I, like most wargamers I think, am never 100% fully satisfied with any given rule set and so I go through stages of tweaking bits, rewriting others or adding bits in. Also I’m always keen to try a new set of rules to see if the grass is greener on the other side. The obvious answer would be to write my own set but that is always easier said than done.
Given how much I and the others have enjoyed playing Nordic Weasel’s 5core Brigade Commander rules in 6mm I decided to pick up one of their skirmish sets from Wargames Vault and give it a go.
I grabbed what was handy fromthe shed and Brian and I had a quick run through of the rules. I set up a 4 by 4 table (I’ll say here that we played with all measurements doubled) to look a bit like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The light green patches were bits of scrub, mid green defined the edge of woods.
Brian got 2 four man teams of RLI each with 3 FN FALs and 1 FN MAG:
Whereas I got 10 assorted ZANLA (5 AK, 2 SKS, 2 PPSh, 1 RPD), all of the figures were from Under Fire Miniatures.
My ZANLA move up the left flank.
Whilst others advance into the kraal.
The RLI move into position at the edge of the woods, this was just before we found out how powerfully an FN MAG is.
We used a lot of counters (Green= hidden, Orange= fired, White= Panic, Red= Knocked Down, blood splat= out of action) I know that is not to all gamer’s tastes but for me function follows form if it for the sake of game play.
RLI advancing through the scrub on the ZANLA right flank.
In my last two turns I managed to combine a scurry followed by a fire fight; I got my men into position weathered the return fire then was in a good place to shoot. I took a few casualties (4 out of the fight) but I gave the RLI a bloody nose (2 out of the fight) which historically they would have found hard to countenance.
First impression on the game were overwhelmingly positive from both of us- clear rules and it played nice and quickly too, ideal for a mid- week evening. The mechanisms are very similar to the brigade level game but feel right for a smaller level of play. Having three reserve activation dice to use throughout the game is a nice feature, standing in for the asset cards in Brigade Commander. The RLI didn’t do as well as they should have, even with the tactical advantage, but if we re run the scenario I’ll add in some skills to boost their performance. I wanted to keep things simple for a first run through.
The only two minor quibbles would be how to have assault and bolt action rifles on the table at the same time. We decided to just treat the AKs and FN FALs as infantry rifles and the SKS as a single shot rifle to provide some differentiation.
Also I’d have like to see some rules for medics too – but that can be easily house ruled (and that takes us back to the top of the post).
I’m very taken with the set and am already planning future games as well as tie ins with our 6mm Cold Wars games in a mini campaign.