Saturday, 17 November 2012

Opperation Squad, Review.

I managed to pick up a copy of "Operation Squad" from eBay this week, so that being the case I thought to offer my view of the game. For those that have not come across these rules they are a set of skirmish rules for WW2 which concentrate on infantry actions at squad level. They are not scale specific but given the move rates and ranges they would mostly suit 28 or 20mm figures. Indeed the pictures in the book show 28mm figures, so it could be argued that was the rules intent. I see no reason they would not work equally well for 20mm though.

The slim volume, a mere 46 A4 pages in length is full colour with a soft back cover stapled together. The Production quality is good, but not outstanding in any way. Following an introduction and some colour pictures the Rules start on page 6 and finish on page 23. Firstly let me say that the rules are all logical and appear in the right order starting with turn sequence and ending with morale checks and a summery of  figure characteristics. The turn sequence is a reactive system where figures have a chance to react to what is being done by an opponents figures as opposed to a "you go I go" system. Having tried a practise game I will say they work and work quite well and can easily be adapted to other settings and eras. I know of one person who is adjusting them to a wild west gunfight setting, while I shall be looking at using them for WW1 East Africa. Shooting for example revolves around the attacker rolling 3d6 and adding a number of dice dependant on range, the figure being shot at rolls dice for things like cover and if they have moved and other factors like hiding. The Defenders score is subtracted from the attackers and should the result be 11 or greater the target has been hit. 11 results in pinning while 16 is KIA. So the difference in dice rolls dictates the severity of the hit. As in real life no figure has multiple wounds so getting hit by a bullet can result in instant kills no matter how much you might think the Sergent is a hero!

4 scenarios are included which takes you to page 30. They are nothing so special that you would not have thought of them yourself, but they do offer you a basic structured game scenario. Most people will accept them for what they are and treat them as a starting point. They are all designed, as is the whole game for 1 squad to fight one opposing squad. Bigger battles can of course be catered for but I would suggest that a single squad be played by each player, at least to begin with.

Most of the rest of the book cover squad rosters for some of the major nations. Therefore in the basic rule book you may take a squad of American, British (or Commonwealth), German or Russian. Each nationality has 3 or more squad choices representing standard infantry or elite squads. Each of these choices also has different points values.. A British Rifle squad has a points value of 235 pts while a British Paratrooper squad would cost 340 points. You then have the points values of any tweaks you might feel that you need to make to your squad, like adding a sniper (+90 pts) or buying the Medic Characteristic for a single squad member (+15pts), or adding some equipment, Binoculars (+10pts) if carried by a leader (corporal or Sergent).

Each nationality has its own weapon charts which define the weapons characteristics used by their troops. These are not usually given a separate points cost unless listed under the squad roster. The weapons characteristics seem to fit with what I have read about the weapons of the period, as such to me they do seem to be fairly accurate. I do have niggles about some of them, but generally I feel they are correct without relying or special rules for each weapon.

Generally these rules retail for about £18-20. My personal view is that while I do like these rules that price is too high. I feel a price of £10 would be more fitting. (As mentioned I got mine in an eBay auction for £7.60 including postage and for that price I am very happy.)

In conclusion: I do like these rules and have plans for them. I can see them being used at the club as they are quick to learn yet give a good level of challenge. Having already played a practise game I am happy with the way they work and they way they encourage you to use a squad tactically on the tabletop. My main issues with the rules is the cost as mentioned above especially as they have already published 2 supplements at the same price each. One supplement covers vehicles, while the other covers a greater variety of nationalities and squad roster. As I believe a single armoured vehicle would totally unbalance a game which focuses on single figures to create a squad I cannot see to mush use for it at present. The other supplement might be interesting, but I feel I could already adapt the basic selection of squads should I wish to field Japanese Finnish, Italian or other squads and weapons from the late war period.

I hope you have found this a useful review. I shall blog again on Monday. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and talk to you soon. Clint.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

FSE Stargrunt Platoon

Here is my FSE (Federal States Europa) Infantry Platoon. I will give details of each section by the relevant picture. For now this force is finished. When I say finished I actually mean that I ave done sufficient for now to stop and feel content. I still have an opposing force to assemble which will be the Kra Vak (an alien race).
The command section. This consists of the platoon command vehicle and a squad of 6. (* men in a standard squad but only 6 in the command squad). Along with the Lieutenant there are 2 support weapons and 3 troopers. One of these Troopers may be armed with sniper weapon (sniper laser or extended Gauss gun), and may there fore be temporarily attached to a squad should the situation dictate or left as a single element in which case one of the other troopers would assist as sniper support/spotter.

3x8man squads make up the main element of the platoon. Each squad has their own hover transport which allows for rapid deployment and tactical support. One of the Hover vehicles is equipped with a missile system, while the other two carry rapid fire Gauss guns. Each squad also carries two heavy weapon in the form of a missile launcher and a Squad automatic weapon. of the type employed by FSE forces throughout known space.

The final element is the support section. This takes the form of two hover vehicles with "Rommel" class chassis but carrying missile launchers as opposed to the better known NSL version which carries a tank gun. The last vehicle in the platoon is a multi role "truck" I can use this to represent ammunition re-supply for the missile launchers or as a ambulance or even as general logistic support. Even as I type this I feel the need to buy another truck, to become a dedicated ambulance, so typical of me to think I need more just as I finish!

However, for the time being this force is now "done". I have room in the storage box for 2 more vehicles so in my heart I know I will expand on this force. But for now I will put it away and consider it finished. As I intend to use the force on the same terrain I will use for my 15mm Apaches the bulk of terrain making will be listed under that project as I slowly bring that to fruition.

That's today's blog post finished, next one will be on Saturday. I may briefly visit the club on Sunday just to pick up some figures from Tim (IT miniatures) so that I may start the painting for next years show game at BROADSIDE> All the best and take care til then. Clint

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

FSE Command Vehicle

The last vehicle for my Federal States Europa (FSE) Platoon. This vehicle being the command vehicle has some obvious sensor arrays. I have not checked the vehicle stats but I should imagine it will have better Communication, and detection equipment and a more formidable ECM than standard vehicles. From my point of view this finished the vehicles for the Platoon. I will try to get the last infantry finished in the next few days, which will give me one complete platoon.
Thanks for the comments on my remembrance post I did not feel it right to reply to them there as I did not want to dilute my sentiment in any way.
Also on Saturday I was wished a "Happy Christmas" while the shop was playing Xmas songs. I like Christmas, but I like it in December. This trend for shops to bring it forward is quite frankly distasteful to me. It is of course done to increase sales. Having just finished Halloween promotions they are now hawking Christmas. I am sure that come January they will be pushing Valentines Day quickly followed by Easter always chasing so unachievable goal. I just wish they would stop rushing through the year, chasing holiday sales and instead just allow us all to enjoy the moment. AND KEEP CRIMBO IN DECEMBER!(Winge over)
And Finally for today, I made some cakes for work yesterday. Here are three of them. Someone told me you could make cup-cakes in ice cream cones so I just had to try it! The good news is that it does indeed work. So I had to cut down a "Flake" to make them look as much like ice creams as possible. The analogy falls about when you take a bite as it is not cold and is much more cake like! Still I like the effect, they taste OK as well but the ice cream cone has a very different texture than you would expect in a cake.
That's today's ramblings, still working extra shifts but anticipate the next blog post to be on Thursday. Until then take care and think about wargames, even if you can't get a game in. All the best Clint.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Please join me this day, 11th November, in taking a minute in silence to remember those who who have suffered harm or death in the defence of Britain and the commonwealth.
I would also extend those thoughts to every soldier in every country, it is after all not soldiers that start wars, but politicians.