Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Black Hawk Down -- A Day of Heroes now on my shelf

Based on some comment recommendations -- thanks guys! -- I picked up the Lock 'N Load series game A Day of Heroes, which depicts the Battle of Magadishu (Black Hawk Down) in part.

I've long considered picking up a Lock 'N Load game, but I've been reluctant to get into yet another tactical World War II game series when I have so many scenarios int he ones I already own that I'll probably never play. But no one else (aside from one print-and-play game) has done THIS battle on the tactical level so now I've moved into some new ground.

My frist impression after reading through the rule book is that it's essentially an impulse-based variation on the classic Squad Leader system with a similar level of complxity as the original SL -- not ASL.

There mounted board depcits the actual area of Mogadishu where most of the action depicted in he movie took place, basically the original "Target Building" area, the crash site for Wolcott's Black Hawk and a large part of the route followed by the "lost convoy." The crash site for Durant's bird was off map to the South and that action is not included.

The game depicts the US order of battle in detail down to the fire team level while the Somali OB is necessarily more generic. Both sides have leaders, "squads" of 6-10 men and "half-squads" of about 4 fighters. The US side also includes helicopters, sniper teams, heroes, medics and various vehicles. The Somalis have no heroes, but they do have weapons teams and "technicals" (gun trucks). They also have civilian mobs. Each side also has various counter depicting supporting tools such as rocket launchers, machine guns, grenade launchers and, for the Somalis even the drug khat!

Chronologically the scenarios can be divided into three groups.

The earliest scenario ("Ambush") depicts the deadly June 5, 1993 ambush that killed 24 Pakistani peacekeepers who were searching for an arms cache. This little-remembered episode was a key event becasue it was this gruesome massacre (the Pakistanis were slaughtered and disembowled) that caused theUN to go after Aidid and led directly to the events of Oct. 3, 1993.

Four squads of Pakistanis with a leader and one LMG fight for their lives for three turns against 11 units of amply-equipped Somali militiamen.

The second batch is set on Oct. 3. There's an overall "A Day of Heroes" scenario depicting the whole Oct. 3 battle on the map from the moment things started to really go wrong when Wolcott's chopper went down. There's no time limit -- the scenario ends when all the US leave the map OR the Somalis eliminate any combiantion of six American choppers, vehicles and/or multi-man counters. Victory is assessed on victory points which are mostly earned for eliminating enemy units. This looks like it could be a lengthy affair.

There are also six scenarios breaking down the Oct. 3 battle into discrete parts:

"Chalk 2's Run" depicting the move by Chalk 2 to the helicopter crash site (6 turns)
"Technical Difficulty" depicting Chalk 1's effort to do the same (6 turns)
"A Short Hop" depicting the attempt by the rest of the Rangers and Delta Force to reach the crash site (7 turns)
"Convoy to Hell" depicting the "Lost Convoy" as it also tries to reach the crash site. (8 turns)
"Stand and Deliver" depicting the relief attempt by the 10th Mountain reaction force (actually took place off map, so this is "representative" rather than strictly historical.) (7 turns - half map)
"The Alamo" depicting the overnight stand by the Ranger/Delta force near the crash site. (3 turns - night)

The final scenario ("Retribution") is a hypothetical one depiciting a renewed attempt on Nov. 14, 1993, to capture Aidid. Besides giving the US side a chance to push Somalis around instead of always being the target the scenario provides an excuse to use an M1 Abrams tank and a part of the map that doesn't see as much action in the other scenarios.

I'm going to try to get this on the tabel shortly as it looks very interesting.


  1. Looks like someone took a trip to the Citadel.

  2. Hell, yeah.
    Still need an opponent though ....

  3. Hey... I´ve being looking for this game... And I´d like to read the rules and watch the scenerios to decide if I will buy it. Can someone tell me where can I find them?

  4. I found this video review, if that helps

  5. I´ve seen the video. And it looks good. but still wish to read the rules. If someone can help I would be happy. thanks to you.