One Friday evening in January 2009, I got together with Tom D, Tom M, Peter and myself at Tom D's kitchen table for a game of CombatZone. We used the warehouse terrain that I'd build specifically for the night's gaming and the hostage miniatures I'd only finished the night before, we armed ourselves with pizza, cola and crisps and fought out the following game!

I should probably note at this point that Tom D had come up with the scenarios for the evening, and that he wasn't playing, but was umpiring the game, so if I've just mentioned Tom as a player, I hope you won't get confused!


We were each assigned our roles for the scenario:

I was playing the terrorist gang in this game. I had a gang leader and two bodyguards, as well as five hostages who I had to beat up for a minimum of eight turns in order to extract vital information from them. I was also expecting a raid by Hostage Rescue forces, so my gang had hired Tom M's gang for some extra muscle to help fend off the expected attack, and then I needed to kill any remaining members of Tom M's gang before making good my escape with the information extracted from the hostages - after all, we can't have anyone left alive who knows my face!

Tom D's gang had been hired by mine to fend off a government attack. They needed to repulse the attack, then make sure I made good my escape, in order to be paid.

Peter's Hostage Rescue squad needed to storm the building and arrest, or kill any of the gang members in the building, whilst rescuing the hostages as quickly as possible, due to the danger my gang leader was thought to present to the hostages.

We played with hidden setup, so that only Peter's forces were initially placed on the board. Tom D's and my gang were moved on a paper plan of the buildings, until they became visible to the hostage rescue team. Oh, and the loose holders you see in the warehouse are representative of barrels that block line-of-sight. We had to use these because someone forgot to bring the box with barrels and crates in. D'oh!

The game started well for Peter, entering thought the warehouse cargo doors and splitting his HR team into two groups to clear the offices to the left and right of the warehouse. First contact was made with one of Tom D's gangers in the last of the left-hand offices, with the ganger quickly being taken down, never to trouble anyone ever again!

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The other half of his team advanced through the offices on the other side, blissfully unaware of the danger of a giant pizza monster just feet away outside the building!!

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On the next turn Peter's team encountered Tom D's gang leader in the last of the offices. Dispite using a tear gas grenade (not represented on the tabletop here) he was unable to effectively attack either of Tom's gang members, and in the confusion, one of Peter's team was fatally wounded!

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The following turn, Tom D's leader managed to radio to the rest of his team that this warehouse was the direction that the attack was coming from as he got out of the room full of tear gas as quickly as possible, and even managed to kill a second member of the hostage rescue team. The second member of Tom D's gang was not as lucky, and was shot as he left by the other door to the office, and quickly arrested and bound, so as to prevent him causing trouble later in the game.

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It was all over for the gang leader in the next turn, however, as after witnessing two of his team members killed, a hostage rescue officer fired on full-auto into the gang leader's face. No need for an arrest here.

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Proceeding into the offices area of the building, the hostage rescue team encountered the remaining members of the muscle gang in the first corridor!

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After a fairly brief, but brutal, firefight, two gangers were unconscious and arrested and a third member of the hostage rescue team was dead. Only the hostage rescue team leader was left alive to complete the mission! But rounding the corner, he ran straight into Dave's two terrorist bodyguards!!

A bref burst of SMG fire disabled the first.

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And a brief scuffle incapacitated the second.

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Two more quick arrests and tie-ups until the backup team could arrive and Peter's team leader was well on his way to completing the mission.

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But round the very next corner is the leader of the terrorists himself!! A few shots are traded.

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The run up close and shoot him in the face tactic doesn't work so well with the end-of-level boss!!

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He fights back, equally unsuccessfully.

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Before finally being subdued and arrested. However, as he goes down, he at least has the comfort of knowing that he got the information he needed from the hostages. Maybe his cronies will bust him out of jail.

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The Hostage Squad Leader looks down at his captive, feeling pleased at completing his mission. Maybe he'll get a promotion, he thinks ...

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... until, that is he finds the corpses of the hostages in the main conference room.

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Maybe he'll not get that promotion after all.