Review: Enduring Freedom

Rating: 4 stars

Enduring Freedom is the second supplement for the Force on Force rules for modern warfare, which were published earlier this year.

This supplement covers the campaign in Afghanistan from 2001 – 2010, and gives all the information required for players to recreate battles in a region of the world that has become all to familiar through our day-to-day news channels names such as Kandahar and Helmand.

The book is divided into 6 parts. The first is a brief historical summary of the war in Afghanistan. Next is a detailed description of the Afghan combat environment, and what effects and changes they make to the game rules – everything from terrain features, combat effectiveness of the various forces involved in the conflict, and special rules for both Taliban and Coalition forces.

The third part of the book is the main focus – it consists of 20 scenarios, which range from Special Forces operations to capture or kill HVTs (High Value Targets), pitched battles, casualty evacuations, and even clearing IEDs. The majority of the scenarios are based on historical engagements, and as well as giving briefings for both sides, will also have footnotes on the historical outcome of the scenario. The majority of the scenarios are designed with a coalition force of approximately 1 platoon, plus support and vehicles, and are facing, on average, somewhere between 40 – 60 Taliban. These scenarios are designed to be played on a 6’ x 4’ table with 15mm or 20mm figures – you will need to increase the table size should you wish to play in a larger scale.

The fourth section of the book cover sample unit organisations of all the major forces operating inAfghanistan, but they are designed to be rough guidelines rather than rigid army lists.

The fifth section gives game stats for the various vehicles that appear in the Afghan theatre, but have not been previously covered in the main rules.

The sixth and final section of the book is a small hobby section, giving details of the uniforms worn by various forces, a brief painting guide and some examples of miniatures that can be used for gaming the period.

The book is completed by a Glossary and several pages of ‘Fog of War’ cards that are specific to the Afghan theatre.

As you would expect from Osprey, the publishing quality of the rules is excellent, and the book is liberally illustrated with a mix of operation photographs, illustrations of military personnel and uniforms, and pictures of wargames models and scenery.

My only complaints about the book surround the scenarios. I would have liked to have seen more ‘day-to-day’ operational activities covered, rather than some of the larger engagements – but that is more down to the aim of the book. It is a scenario book, rather than a campaign supplement.

My main complaint is the style that Osprey have chosen to depict the table layouts for each scenario – they are designed to look as if someone has sketched a map on a crumpled piece of paper, and all the various initial deployments are therefore hand-written and scribbled onto the paper. This may have an ‘authentic’ look, but can be quite difficult to read at times – especially as the majority of the maps are quite small, averaging about 4” x 2”. As these are vital to playing the games, I would have expected them to be both bigger and easier to read/understand.

On a plus point, although all the special new rules for the game have their own section at the start of the book, these are repeated in the scenarios that use them, which means that you do not have to spend lots of time leafing through the book to find a particular rule for a scenario – although this increases the page count of the book, it is an excellent idea.

Overall, I would say that this is an excellent publication – certainly a ‘must buy’ supplement, not only for Force on Force players, but for anyone who is wanting to wargame the current Afghan conflict.

Enduring Freedom is also discussed in Episode 79 of the Meeples & Miniatures Podcast

Disclosure: A review copy of this game was provided by the publisher

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