Thursday, December 15, 2011
A game out of Italy formally titled Operation World War II, but has since changed to Operation Squad from Warlord Games is probably the best skirmish game I've ever played and that's saying something. These Italians keep making games I like a great deal with Impetus for my Medieval/Ancients and now this for my skirmish games.
The rules are extremely easy to learn and play great straight from the book without any need to modify, however they are also constructed in such a way that house rules can also be added without any difficulties at all if you want to adjust them for your gaming tastes, terrain or particular environment or scenario you have in mind. They have enough lists to get you going from all the major powers(3 each) and if something isn't there you want it wouldn't be difficult to come up with your own as the formula they use is pretty simple.
It's designed with 28mm gaming in mind, but of course you could play it at whatever scale you wish with some tweeks. It uses between 10 to 15 miniatures per side with initiative deciding the order figures are activated. Once initiative is decided by a roll a player activates a figure by declaring an action and then the opponent declares a reaction. This continues until either a player chooses not to react or 3 actions/reactions have been declared. The actions/reactions are then resolved until completed and then another set of actions/reactions are done etc. until all models are finished and thus ending a turn.
Weapons have a set number of dice per shot with additional dice for modifiers and the defender gets a sort of saving throw with x number of dice plus additional dice for modifiers for each shot. IMHO , because of how the modifiers work in the game you get a very satisfactory and realistic game of squad level tactics that is neither too quick nor too slow to complete(roughly 2 hrs or so).
These rules are designed for WWII, but can easily be used for any period using fire arms that you care to play with only a few modifications. To me this is very exciting as I'm a slow painter and wargaming butterfly on top that which makes it difficult for me to collect for games as it takes me quite some time before I have enough painted to do so. This game now makes it possible for me to collect several different theatres in WWII plus diverse amount of other periods I care to try. Now, when I paint 10 or so figures they will see action right away and not months or even years later after sitting on shelf waiting for enough figures to be finished so I can play whatever system I'm collecting for!
Also, the table requirement isn't big which makes building and collecting terrain for it inexpensive and relatively quick to do. Of course the game could be expanded in size if you wish by simply doubling the squads, but again these rules are not really designed for larger then squad level play with probably 2 squads a side being the very maximum.
The book itself is soft cover with about 45p. all color on high grade paper with inserts that can photocopied or removed and used if you wish. The layout could have been better in finding things for the occasional question, but fortunately you won't really need to after a couple games. They should have added more fluff and pics for the price they are asking which is quite a bit for a small book, but lucky for them the rules are good enough and so it's well worth it. When one views it at just a bit more expensive then Disposable Heroes(another fav of mine) which is only black and white on cheap paper then it's even easier to swallow. This isn't the most detailed set of rules for low level WWII skirmish games I've played, but it sure is the most fun!
They also just released a vehicle supplement for you heavy metal fans to be used in your games which I haven't had a chance to try out yet:
Lot's more rules reviews to come as I purchased a truck load this year!!