From time to time, I set up tactical simulations of law enforcement gun fights. We recently gamed the FBI shoot out in Miami Dade, which occurred on April 11, 1986, between 8 agents and 2 particularly dangerous individuals wanted for armed robbery and murder. I have run this scenario in the club previously, but this time we used 1/6th scale figures... and, because they were available, 1/6th scale jeeps and kubelwagons filled in for cars. Yes, they do look out of place, but they worked for their purpose, and after a bit everyone responded to them simply as terrain pieces anyway. The son of one of our members actually made up specific representations of the two criminals, which came out quite accurate. The scale created a unique gaming area as we had to use three carefully arranged 4' x 6' tables, and still had to position Hanlon and Mireles far off the table (which was done to allow Orrantia and Risner to arrive on the table).
The scenario starts at the point that Agent Manauzzi has forced Matix and Platt off the road and into a parking lot. Agent McNeil has pulled into Manuazzi's car, with Agents Grogan and Dove taking a position behind the suspect vehicle. Agents Hanlon and Mireles are some distance away, recovering from a spin out, and Agents Risner and Orrantia have yet to arrive.
Platt starts the game with a fusillade from his passenger side seat into Manauzzi's car...
Enraged from the chest wound, Platt pours fire into Orrantia and Risner. Though Risner is missed, Orrantia is hit twice. He is not dead, yet, but is critically wounded and slumps down, out of the fight (viewed in the distance), bleeding heavily. At the same time Matix drops his empty 12 gauge, yanking his .357 from his shoulder hoster. Grogan recovers from his sprawl, going to a crouch, closely supported by Hanlon. He fires ineffectively at Matix. Matix returns fire, hitting Grogan in the chest again, but this time with his .357. The shot is fatal, and Grogan falls in the parking lot.
The fight is over. Of the eight agents, 2 are dead, 1 is critically wounded, and 2 are lightly wounded. Platt is dead. His partner Matix is critically wounded, and unlikely to survive.
This scenario is extremely tense for the players. They struggle with decisions about which actions to choose, as it seems like all choices are bad ones. There were some oddities with dice rolling, Platt failing to hit McNeil 9 times at point blank range for any kind of significant damage went completely against the odds... but chalk it up to his erratic movement, and number of hits he had already received. Mathematically Platt should have inflicted at least 4, possibly 5, more hits on McNeil, and even 1 or 2 would have certainly killed or incapacitated him.... but it didn't happen, because there are no guarantees. Which is why we roll dice.
Matix held up well, pulling his own weight and was completely willing to continue the fight against the remaining 5 agents (two of whom were already wounded) after Platt was killed. The agents were impeded by their inability to coordinate their actions (lack of communication was one feature of the historical event). Here they managed to support one another as best they could, with mixed results. McNeil being saved by Mireles is the best example of this working out for the agents. Despite the apparent retreat of McNeil, the tactical concept was not incorrect, as he was trying to bring a more powerful (at least at short range) weapon into play. Dove, Grogan, and Hanlon ganged up on Matix, assuming (correctly) that their combined fire would win out eventually... though it was Risner making his way past the dead Platt who was able to finally put Matix to sleep, and only after Grogan had sustained a fatal wound.
It is difficult in some ways to game this type of scenario, a modern one in which some of the actual participants are still living. Still, it is very useful as a demonstration of a number of specific details of the historical event, and offers a spot light on the dramatic impact this day had on how law enforcement officers would be armed in the future. It is also a tough game for the players, because the stakes are high and every decision could force them from the game. I present this scenario with plenty of background information, and we have discussion on various aspects of the weapons, the men, the wounds, and the aftermath.