Monday, 18 June 2012

VBCW skirmish, Brink of Battle style

The BUF have once again been trespassing into the territory of the Malvern Hills Conservators…


For a change I invited Giles over to mine for a game (as I was awaiting a delivery ‘between 7am and 5pm’ – thanks for narrowing it down Homebase!) and as JP mansions doesn’t boast a large wargaming room (aka kitchen), I proposed that we try out the Brink of Battle skirmish rules in the confines of my modest dining room.

This meant that only a handful of figures were required, plus a small gaming mat and a scattering of scenery, creating a battlefield thus:-


As I’ve mentioned before, the BoB rules look a little complex to start off with, although once you know your way around them they’re pretty intuitive. The trickiest part I found was working out a force roster (there are moves afoot among the BoB community to produce some sample force lists and Excel spreadsheets, making it easier to produce force rosters) to the number of points allocated (we decided upon 500 points). I decided upon an ‘elite’ force of 7 figures, as listed below:-

Commander

CBT: 6
CMD: 7
CON: 5

Weapon: Revolver 8 / 2 / 2
Sidearm - This is a single-handed Firearm of its Period. This weapon may be used in Close combat with a Weapon Reach of 4. The Base Attacks of the model using a Sidearm cannot exceed the RoF of the Sidearm he is using.
Small - This Gear is not subject to being physically modelled on the miniature. It is small enough to be somewhere on the model’s body, regardless of actual sculpting limits on the figure.

Traits:
Commander – Command radius 7”
Inspiring - As it’s Action, this model may remove its Action Token and place it on any friendly Ready model within its Command Radius. To use this Trait neither model may be engaged in Close combat.
Tactician - The controlling player may re-roll his die result for the Strategy Check if the model with this Trait is making the Check. The second result stands.

Veteran 1

CBT: 6
CMD: 6
CON: 6

Weapon: Sub machinegun 15 / 3 / 3
Longarm
Sturdy - This weapon may be used as an improvised two-handed weapon in Close combat. It is CBT/2 for all Actions and Checks and has the following Weapon Profile: 1/C/1 Improvised, 2-hands.
Firearm - Firearms multiply their Effective Range by 5 for determining the Maximum Long Range.
Rapid Fire – This weapon is capable of producing a high volume of fire. Whenever a Rapid Fire weapon is used for a Mobile Fire Action, after the weapon’s Rate of Fire is cut in half for the movement penalty, add +1 to the newly adjusted RoF to determine how many shots the model gets with this Action.

Traits:
Commander – Command radius 6”
Gung Ho! – This model is immune to Panic from Losses

Veteran 2

CBT: 6
CMD: 5
CON: 6

Weapon: Rifle 25 / 2 / 4
Longarm
Sturdy - This weapon may be used as an improvised two-handed weapon in Close combat. It is CBT/2 for all Actions and Checks and has the following Weapon Profile: 1/C/1 Improvised, 2-hands.
Firearm - Firearms multiply their Effective Range by 5 for determining the Maximum Long Range.
Traits:
Sharpshooter – When executing a Standing Fire or Take Aim Action against a target, this Trait negates the target’s Concealment.
Stoic – This model may re-roll his die for one failed CMD Check per Turn. This may not be used to re-roll a Strategy Check result.

Troopers x 4

CBT: 4
CMD: 4
CON: 4

Weapon: Rifle 25 / 2 / 4
Longarm
Sturdy - This weapon may be used as an improvised two-handed weapon in Close combat. It is CBT/2 for all Actions and Checks and has the following Weapon Profile: 1/C/1 Improvised, 2-hands.
Firearm - Firearms multiply their Effective Range by 5 for determining the Maximum Long Range.
Traits:
Stubborn - This model automatically stops fleeing during the Recovery step of the next SitRep phase as if he had been the target of a Steady Action. He may be Ordered an Action normally later that Turn in the Orders Phase.

Giles knocked up a similar force, but gave his the ‘ranger’ trait. Speaking of traits – anyone wishing to play the BoB rules is advised to keep track of what traits your figures possess – more of which later…

The Game

The battlefield was bisected by a road (bordered by fences and hedges), flanked by a large wood on one side and a wooded hill on the other. Below this hill and at right angles to the road was a ruined wall.

The action kicked off with Giles and me both splitting up our forces, with some of my BUF heading for the wall, while the larger group attempted a flanking manoeuvre through the woods. The bulk of Giles’ MHC occupied the hill, while some were held back to counter my flanking move.


My under cover of the ruined wall my SMG-toting veteran and two troopers exchanged fire with the similarly armed MHC on the hill. Both sides took hits, with models becoming ‘shocked’. Quite quickly one of the BUF riflemen bit the bullet but luckily his nearby comrades passed the panic test and continued firing, with the high CON rating of the veteran keeping him in action.


Meanwhile the other BUF group slowly trudged through the woods achieving very little. As the firefight between the wall and the hill hotted up, I decided to bring these guys out of the woods to provide supporting fire, causing the MHC reserve to move up too.


With all of the figures now engaged, the MHC began taking more casualties (one of them 'shot whilst trying to escape') than the BUF, but again the required panic tests were passed. However by now another BUF trooper had been wounded, and this time my SMG veteran failed his panic test and legged it!


Annoyingly it wasn’t until after the game that I remembered that this chap had the ‘gung ho!’ trait, and shouldn’t have fled – d’oh! I also remembered that my other veteran had the ‘sharpshooter’ trait, which I also failed to take advantage of – double d’oh! The MHC commander also briefly withdrew, as both of these high-stat characters duelled SMG fire.


Despite this, the BUF had the upper hand, taking more MHC guys out of action as the flanking group joined the firing line along the wall. However by now both forces had suffered 25% losses and at the beginning of each turn we were soon both rolling for rout tests (one of the perils of fielding smaller elite forces). Eventually, despite suffering fewer casualties, the BUF proved that they had lost the stomach for the fight and failed their rout test, handing the game to Giles’ MHC.


Despite this rather abrupt end, we had a great game and agreed that the Brink of Battle rules are good fun to play, although we both need to get our heads around the rules a bit more, as in retrospect we both made mistakes and misinterpretations (although we made them consistently!) Oh, and it also pays to remember your figures’ traits too!

I think we both finished feeling that we’d like to play BoB again, although when we’ll get another game in remains to be seen, as soon I’ll be busy with other things – stay tuned…

Oh, Giles’ version of events can be found in his excellent blog, here – take a look!

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