Thursday, 12 July 2012

Work to Rule: Cold War 83

I've been trying out a variation of these rules for the lst three games in War for Slow Readers.

The variation has largely been prompted by the fact that my figures are not individually based, rather they are 3 or 2 figures to a base as I originally based them up for AK47 Reloaded. The few games I played with the latter rule set were good fun but I’ve not enjoyed them as much as the three games I’ve played using Cold War 83.

Why is this? I like the ‘Bottle’ mechanism that Cold War 83 uses to model training, experience and morale and how this is used to influence the chances of troops’ success or failure at just about anything they try and do. To my mind this far better than separating out factors like morale and subjecting troops to ‘morale checks’ as part of the turn sequence. The CW83 turn sequence is stripped down to alternating unit activation, after an initial die roll for initiative, within which individual stands of figures (in my games) or vehicles, attempt movement actions and/or combat actions. These can be attempted in any sequence, for example a fireteam may fire as a combat action and then move or vice versa, or all the fireteams in a unit may fire before they move or some may fire and some move in any order the player chooses.  You can keep things simple and confine movement actions to crawl, run and walk and combat actions to ranged firing and close combat or you can add as much complexity as you like – figures can attempt to jump, climb, hide, observe, set or defuse a demolition charge, radio for artillery or air support, or just about anything else you can think of.

I’ve adapted the rules to include command and control and to average out a fireteam’s weapons factor if the figures are armed with more than one type of weapon (e.g. two SLRs and an LMG per stand) then they still only perform one combat action.

One potential problem is the requirement to  keep track of Bottle as it changes, usually downwards, during the game. Also stands come suppressed as a result of mortar or artillery fire and er…suppressive fire from machine guns. With a couple of dozen bases per side this can still get complicated. I’ve resolved this by:

a)      Giving all stands in a unit the same Bottle with the exception of the leader’s stand which has the rear base edge painted to signify his exalted status.  This means that until contact you simply have to remember that  9 Platoon has a Bottle of 8

b)      Placing small dice next to the stand to show its Bottle once this changes from the value it begins the game with.

c)       Putting very small rubber band (I found these at Early War Miniatures) around the base of a suppressed stand.
I don't feel the need to make any cahnges to allow Crossfire' style reactive fire. I think the the alternating unit activation and the requirement that initiative passes to th eopposing player when a unit suffers Bottle failures to the tune of one third of the number of figures it has means there is scope for reaction and overwatch.
I played another game last weekend so look out for an AAR soon.

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