Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rules of Engagement - First Game

Today Tim and I got together in the garage game room to try out the Rules of Engagement. We were looking to try out the basic rules first, before trying any of the cools stuff like artillery or tanks. The game uses a unique army selection that does not use points. Your force is centered on an infantry platoon and you have required elements and optional elements. For most armies you must take a Platoon HQ and two infantry squads. To keep things simple we just used the basic force for each side.

I went with the US Infantry. The picture above is my force which had a 5 man HQ and 2 twelve man squads. The US gets a nice ROF from the M1 Garand but the BAR as a support weapon leaves a bit to be desired.

Above is Tim's German platoon. He had a 6 man HQ and 2 nine man squads. The basic German rifle only has a ROF of 1 but has a longer range than the US riffle. In addition, the Germans have a light machine gun in each squad which can really put out some firepower.

We selected the Advance to Contact scenario. This is basically a meeting engagement type of battle. It is supposed to use a hidden deployment but we opted for the quick - throw stuff on the table - approach.

The terrain was pretty basic with a few hills and some woods. Again, we just wanted to keep things simple.

The turn starts with the Discipline phase, which is where you do various checks and tasks related to morale. On the first turn there is nothing to do. Next is the Orders phase. There are four basic orders that relate to how you want each unit to behave in the following phases. Depending on the order selected you unit may move fast or slow, it might be able to shoot and assault or it might not. The orders aren't complicated but they add an interesting aspect to the game. In the order phase you must also declare your targets for each unit to shoot at in the Shooting phase as well as any units you wish to Assault in the Close Quarters phase. This declaration of targets is really different and takes some getting used to.

In the first turn we both just issued Advance orders and moved up and started shooting. The US was able to get in the first kill. Discipline is a big part of the game and it is mostly centered on how many hits are scored on a unit in a single Shooting phase. If you score a number of hits equal to the size of the unit after casualties are removed then the unit becomes Suppressed. If you do double the number of hits than the unit has models it becomes Shaken. The different levels have there own drawbacks and limit what the unit may do and how it may act. We quickly learned that the umber of hits on a unit is, in many ways, more important than how many kills are inflicted by those hits.

After a couple of turns of trying different orders and shooting away at each other we had managed only a couple of kills. Tim did manage to get my HQ to Shaken and it took the next couple of turns to get them back in good order and back in the fight.

On the US left, the Germans advanced behind a small wood and prepared to assault a US squad that was defending a wall. The US would get a turn of shooting before the Germans were in position so I tried lobbing some grenades. This did not work out but it was neat to be able to do it. Many games just ignore grenades or make up some sort of abstraction to explain them away but they were an important part of WW2 combat and really add flavor to the game.

On the German's turn they swung into position and opened fire. The scored 5 hits but no wounds and 5 hits were not enough to Suppress the unit. In the close Quarters phase the Germans launched their assault against the troops defending the wall...turns out this was a bad idea. The CQ combat system uses a target number that is then modified up or down based on a series of factors. Each soldier in base to base fights separately and the fights are resolved one at a time. Each side checks there modifiers, rolls the dice and modifies the score. The side with the high score wins and the looser is removed as a casualty. Repeat for each model in base to base. This is quicker than is sounds and much bloodier than you think.
The Germans launched the assault with 8 men, six of which made it into contact. They lost every fight and the two survivors surrendered. This turned out to be the climax of the battle as the Germans were reduced to their break point. We got in a couple more turns but it was over for the Germans.
The game played well and if you are familiar with Warhammer 40K or Flames of War you will quickly pick-up the rules. It is not the same as either game but it has enough in common to allow for points of reference. I can't wait to play it a few more times and try out some of the more interesting units and rules.


Mike G. said...

Thanks for the battle report. Looks like a fun game. Makes me want to dig out my ww2 minis.

Charles Feduke said...

At Cold Wars my friend picked up a WWII ruleset and a bunch of the Berlin or Bust Old Glory line - he gave me 4 packs of Germans to paint up of which I have completed a test model so far.

I am thinking it would be nice to try out this rule set as well as we both like 40K... I paid $45 for a ruleset for WWI from the UK so $65 isn't that far out of the question.

Charles Feduke said...

I just found that the Warstore/e-figures (one of my store's distributors) does carry this rule book so a bit cheaper than ordering from overseas ($44).

Drunken Samurai said...

It seems like it has made it into wider distribution. This is a good thing as I would like to add the suppliments to my collection.

Jerry said...

Nice write up. It looks like a cool system.