Saturday, February 5, 2011

Operation Squad test game - Written by Nils Idemalm

We tried out the fairly new skirmishrules ”Operation Squad” from Warlord this week. It was a very simple straightforward scenario with a squad of british paras who collided with a squad of germans somewhere in France june 6 1944.

As this was a first try at the rules we just put 7 paras on one side and 7 germans on the other side and went at it. 

The battlefield during the battle

A brit para behind a small rise in the ground



During the first turns both sides just advanced forward. As both sides started to get in range they traded shots for a while. The brits tried to move around the german left flank but as this is a game with ”the all seeing eye” covert outflanking is impossible…

In the end both sides took a few casaulties and retired. The germans lost 4 killed, the brits 2 killed and 2 wounded.

Figures are Bolt action british paras and Renegades WWI germans ( I forgot my Warlord WWII plastic germans at home so I had to improvise…)

So how did the rules work?

I thought they worked fine. They were interactive with both players involved at the same time. I liked they way they handled ”reactions”. If one figure wanted to to something others could react to this action. The mechanism to roll to see who reacted first was good. It gives an edge to welltrained soldiers but the dice element always gives a chance to everyone to win the reaction. I liked they way to roll a certain number of dice and either adding or reducing this number of dice depending on situation. Also the ”save” roll. This gives a better chance to succeed for welltrained troops but always gives a chance to less skilled soldiers to survive/hit its target.

The rules were fairly easy to understand and the level of detail was ok. I prefer simple games and this game was ok in that aspect. 

We played with 7 figures per side, with a bit of experience you might be able to handle about 10-15 figures per side but above that I think the game becomes to unwieldly.

It needs markers to show the status of the figures. I generally dislikes markers on the terrain but here it is necessary to easily notice if a figure have already acted or its status.

There are no vehicle rules included which is fine by me. At this low level of skirmish vehicles would seriously unbalance the game I think. Maybe a halftrack or so but with tanks, not really good.

Same goes for artillery. One artillery strike and one side can easily be wiped out, does not provide a good game. 

These rules, I think, are for very small level skirmishes, patrols clashing, securing a building or such missions. At this they are good enough.

What I miss is a bit of ”flavour” for the different units. A russian early war squad is just as efficient as a german squad when it comes to coordinating its movement and firing. I would have liked to have a few restrictions on how squads can move or fire for the different nationalities to provide for different gamingstyles. Now there are very few differences between playing US paratroopers, German ”Landsturm” or Russian soldiers.

What I would like (like every gamer on earth) would be some kind of ”hidden movement”. Don´t know really how yet though.