If you’re waiting – like me – for your Nihon sponsored counter sheets to arrive, here’s something related to the Nihon Invasion but without the custom counters. Back in the day, Keith Johnson’s created a scenario called “The Nihon Invasion of San Francisco” featuring an amazing USGS map. [Remember – this was before Google Maps!] I printed a colour copy on an 11×17 sheet and had it laminated, wrote this scenario, then had great fun pushing little paper chits around.
I wonder how easy it would be to get a large-format version printed today…
It is 2101 and the Combine has fallen. The Nihon Empire avidly monitored its collapse, and now sets its eyes on invasion. Spies and agents loyal to Nihon have infiltrated positions along the west coast, reporting military intelligence back to the Heavenly Empire.
But there is a problem.
A Nihon defector, a high-ranking spy, has made contact with San Franciscan authorities. He possesses detailed knowledge of the planned invasion; information which would jeopardize the entire North American operation if revealed. It is a desperate situation for Nihon; drastic measures are called for. It is time to contact the sleeper agent…
…An old program hidden deep within a computer AI has been activated; a hidden voice issues new commands to an OGRE. Turning south from its previously assigned mission, it acquires a new target. Its goal is to reach the turncoat before he reveals Nihon’s invasion plans.
1.10 Overview. “Prelude to Invasion” pits a hacked OGRE against the NoCal (Northern California) Civil Defence Force in downtown San Francisco. The OGRE’s target is a command facility located in Pacifica, a suburb south of San Francisco. This is where the Nihon defector has fled, and where he now reveals detailed plans about the upcoming invasion.
1.20 Necessary materials. “Prelude to Invasion” uses the OGRE 6e rules (with modifications) and requires Keith Johnson’s map of San Francisco, created for his scenario “The Nihon Invasion of San Francisco“. Finally, some House Rules are recommended. In particular, the “1.106 Urban Hovercraft” rule from my Other Rule Variants page should be used.
2.10 Map. The San Francisco battle map (above) is a small version of the full map. The “top” of the map is up, to the north. The green hexes are forests, the yellowish hexes are clear terrain, the dark blue areas are streams, the blue hexes are water, the greyish hexes are town, and the red lines are roads. Terrain effects are important in this scenario; if you ignore those rules, you will miss out on what infantry can really achieve in an urban environment.
2.20 Defender. The Civil Defense Force gets 40 squads of infantry, 2 howitzers, and 10 additional armour units (94 points total). Civil Defense does not have access to some of the frontline units used by the army. Thus, the defender may not select any heavy or superheavy tanks. Additionally, they defend a 10-SP admin building and control a 30-SP laser tower.
2.30 Defender Placement. The defender places his units first. All defending units begin on the San Francisco peninsula. The stationary laser tower and admin building must be placed as described below. The remaining units can be placed wherever the defender wishes, but stacking is not permitted at the start of play. No more than one armour unit (or three infantry squads, grouped in a platoon) may begin in each hex. Stacking is only allowed after the OGRE enters the map.
The 10-SP admin building must be placed in one of the two isolated town hexes in the southwest portion of the maps (see the detail above right). This is the facility where the defector has been brought, and the target of the OGRE. Since it is a military site, it is hardened against attacks. It does not, however, have any defenses of its own.
The 30-SP laser tower must be placed in one of the three clear airport hexes in the southern half of the board (see the detail at left). This building is part of San Francisco’s missile defense system, one of many laser towers built by the Combine to defend its west coast. Although it is not technically part of the Civil Defence Force, the defending player controls its use. Unfortunately for the defender, the laser tower is not particularly useful against the OGRE in this scenario.
2.40 Attacker. The attacking forces consists of a single rogue OGRE Mk. III, designation “Run DMC”. It begins with full missiles, treads, and ammo loadout.
2.50 Attacker Placement. The attacker moves first, entering the map on one of the roads from the north or northeast. There are three possible entry points and the attacking player may review the defender’s placement before deciding on which road to take. The entry hex counts towards the attacker’s first turn of movement.
3.0 Game Play
3.10 Special rules. There are a number of rules changes for this scenario.
3.101 OGRE water movement. For this scenario, the OGRE cannot enter water hexes. (The bay is crawling with NoCal submarines, but they won’t attack targets above water. Alternately, check out the “Submarine Patrol” scenario variant, below.)
3.102 Destruction of bridges, roads, and town hexes. The defender may not target bridges, roads, or town hexes (although they may be damaged by spillover fire). Civil Defense is not permitted to slow attackers by detonating tac-nukes in residential areas. The OGRE is also unlikely to intentionally destroy terrain – it retains some of its original programming and does not want to harm civilians. (Check out the “Urban Renewal” scenario variant, though.)
3.103 Terrain effects on GEVs. (Overrides the Terrain Effects Table.) Town hexes cost 2 movement points for GEVs to enter. There is no chance of the unit becoming disabled, nor do town hexes end GEV movement for the turn. (Otherwise they can move only a single hex per turn through the urban sprawl, rendering them near-useless.)
(I’ve included this as 1.106 Urban Hovercraft on may Other Rule Variants page.)
3.20 Defender strategy. Don’t be too aggressive in this scenario. Your forces aren’t heavy enough to defeat the OGRE in a frontal assault. Steer the attacker towards your howitzer umbrella, and take advantage of your infantry’s improved defense and unhindered movement in the city. Use your soldiers to block the major roadways; the OGRE will either pay dearly in overruns or face extra howitzer attacks while plowing through side streets.
Missile tanks and mobile howitzers fare surprisingly well in an urban environment. GEV units are quite restricted, however, even when the variant terrain effect rule is implemented.
3.30 Attacker strategy. The player must consider his entry point carefully. Generally, the northeastern road is the best place to start. But if that route is well-defended, try attacking from the northwest instead – the OGRE might be able to slip along the western flank and reach the bottom half of the map with little opposition.
Be sure to examine the defender’s howitzer placement carefully. It is not important to destroy the howitzers, and a detour around them is worthwhile if the OGRE can avoid taking unnecessary hits. Remember – your first mission is to stop the defector. Ignore the laser tower entirely until your primary task is completed.
4.10 Defender objective. The Civil Defence Force’s objective is to neutralize the rogue OGRE with minimal civilian and military casualties. Although the San Francisco forces don’t even know about the defector, defense victory can only be achieved by preventing his death.
4.20 Attacker objective. The OGRE’s primary objective is to stop the defector before he reveals Nihon’s plans for invasion. Originally, it was planned that the hacked OGRE would take out San Francisco’s laser tower during Nihon’s surprise invasion. Once the defector has been taken care of, it will try for the tower.
4.30 Ending the game. The game is over when the attacking OGRE is either neutralized or leaves the map. Additionally, there is a time limit of 20 turns. If the defector is still alive on turn 20, then the OGRE is too late – Nihon’s plans have already been revealed. Any unit may escape the map along any edge, but may not re-enter after leaving.
4.40 Scoring. The OGRE must stop the defector to achieve victory; the laser tower is an added bonus. The Civil Defense Force is concerned with preserving San Francisco – and with surviving. The outcome of the scenario is determined as follows:
- The defector is neutralized in under 20 turns and the laser tower is destroyed: Total OGRE victory.
- The defector is neutralized in under 20 turns, but the laser tower is intact: Regular OGRE victory.
- Nihon’s plans are revealed but less than half of the defending forces survive (less than 47 VP in the regular scenario): Regular defense victory.
- Nihon’s plans are revealed and half or more of the defending forces survive (47 or more VP in the regular scenario): Total defense victory.
For the purposes of VP scoring, the laser tower is not considered part of the defending player’s forces. It is NoCal military property and “on loan” to Civil Defense just for this one scenario.
5.10 Advanced scenario. Change the attacker to an OGRE Mk. V (or Mk. IV). The defender gets 10 more infantry and 10 additional armour units for defense. The defender may select OGRE Mk. I-Bs and I-Cs as part of his defense force – see my Littlest OGRE page for Mk. I variants from late in the war.
5.20 Army reserves. The OGRE Reinforcement Pack introduced militia. This scenario seems like a perfect excuse to bring on the reserves. Allow the defender to substitute 2 militia per infantry squad. Each militia counter represents 1 VP. A maximum of 20 militia units may be called upon.
5.30 Submarine patrol. It’s risky, but the OGRE can attempt an amphibious assault. There are two NoCal Navy submarines patrolling the bay, each equivalent to an OGRE Mk. II. In the advanced scenario, one of the submarines is equivalent to an OGRE Mk. III. The main batteries and secondaries on these submarines only work in the water; the ‘missiles’ are actually torpedoes which are also able to attack targets on land, but at half-strength.
5.40 Urban renewal. Allow Civil Defense forces to block roads and collapse bridges to slow down the OGRE. Subtract 2 VP from the defender’s total for each section of road that is sacrificed, and 10 VP for each bridge hex destroyed. Defense VPs are not deducted for infrastructure destroyed by the OGRE.
Use 13.01 and 13.02; bridge hexes have a defense of 8. If the defender is allowed to destroy bridges, the OGRE may be forced underwater. Use the rules from “Submarine Patrol”, above. Submarines may target bridges from underwater but are blocked by the resulting rubble.
5.50 OGRE destruct. The OGRE has been ordered to stop the defector at all costs. If necessary, it will detonate its power plant. Try treating this as a cruise missile strike (as per 10.04). This makes the OGRE’s job easier, so increase the defender’s forces by one armour unit (two in the advanced scenario) in compensation.