Battle for Basra

by Bob Safin and Brian Kreiner

GDW's latest effort in a introductory wargame is Battle For Basra. This
free giveaway game is aimed at newcomers and it features a simplified
version of GDW's acclaimed "First Battle" game system. 

The tactical feel combined with a popular topic has effective in getting
novices to "give it a try". Even more experienced garners have been
known to have played some intense battles for Basra. 

One problem though is a "up front" Iraqi defense as noted in
illustration #1 draws the game into an all or nothing 2 turn contest.
The Iraqi Infantry "freezes" the US units on their entry hexes. Because
of the flanking rules these infantry units are as big a threat as the
second line of the Iraqi armor. Even with only fair luck die US forces
will lose 3 to 4 units the first few turns. The following variant rules
are intended to discourage the Iraqi player from adopting this "up
front" set-up and following for a more fluid contest to take place. 

If the Iraqi player places more than 9 Units on the US players entry
hexes the US player may call for a pregame airstrike!" 

AIRSTRIKE PROCEDURE: The US player rolls one die. If a 1,2, or 3 is
rolled "1" is added to the die roll and this is the number of US entry
hexes that receive a pregame 1:1 attack. If 4, 5, or 6 is rolled "1" is
subtracted from the die roll to determine die number of airstrike target
hexes. The US player chooses which hexes receive airstrikes. 

Iraqi Spoiling Attack 

Setting 

Units of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division had established
themselves in the area East of the Shaibah West Airbase. Before these
positions could be consolidated a surprise counterattack is launched by
2 reinforced mechanized brigades of the Nebuchadnezzar Republican Guard
Division. 

U.S. SET UP: Four MIAl's and three M2A2's set up anywhere on the board.
One M2A2, the mortar unit, and the ITV startoff board. These 3 units may
enter as reinforcements just as the Iraqi reinforcements do in the
original game. US reinforcements may enter anywhere on the West edge. 

IRAQI UNITS ENTRY: The Iraqis enter on turn 1 from anywhere on the East
board edge. All Iraqi tank units start on turn 1. Each BTR-60 and BMP-1
enters play transporting one infantry unit. (Only 12 infantry units are
used in this scenario.) 

RULES FOR TRANSPORTING INFANTRY: (These rules are in keeping with GDW's
more advanced "First Battle" rules.) Units being transported are stacked
beneath the transporting vehicle's counter and move at the vehicles
movement rate. Vehicles transporting infantry can conduct combat
normally. Units being transported cannot conduct any combat. 

If a vehicle is destroyed any units it is transporting are also
eliminated. If a vehicle is disrupted units it is transporting remain
loaded but are also considered disrupted. 

It costs a vehicle unit 1 MP to load or unload passengers. In order to
be loaded onto a vehicle both units must start the turn in the same hex.
To unload a vehicle unit pays 1 MP and the infantry unit is placed on
top of the vehicle counter. Units in the process of loading and
unloading are the only exceptions to the rule prohibiting entering a hex
occupied by another friendly unit. Units must conform to normal limits
(ie 1 counter per hex) as soon as possible after unloading. 

If a US unit fires on a hex containing both a vehicle and a just
unloaded infantry unit the US player must designate which particular
counter is his target. 

IRAQI FIRST TURN FIRE: On the first turn of the game the Iraqi tank
units can fire after entering play. Starting with the first US turn the
movement/fire sequence is identical to the original game. 

VICTORY CONDITIONS: To win the Iraqi player must have 3 undisrupted
units in any hexes of the North-West wadi and/or the Air Base. 

NB submitted by John Kula (kula@telus.net)
on behalf of the Strategy Gaming Society
(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/~sgs), 
originally collected by Andrew Webber 
(gbm@wwwebbers.com)