Monday, 19 May 2014

Force on Force Modern wargaming rules. Osprey Publications and Ambush Alley games initial impressions and Review


 As a gamer my tastes are varied, and there is nothing i enjoy more than a nice new rulebook.
Gaming rules come in all sorts of types, and sets.  And believe me I have seen all sorts ranging in quality from the printed out or photocopied rule sets to the almost “coffee table” style book. 


Force on Force defiantly falls into the second category.  Its a full colour 220 page hard Back book and you can see that it has received the "Osprey touch" full of beautiful artwork, photographs, clear printing and well bound.  It Is a book I'm proud to leave out to be seen. 


Its a comprehensive tome covering warfare from the end of ww2 to the conflicts seen in today's news.  This is the main book covering the rules, some scenarios and lists.  There are expansion books for everything from the war in Iraq to the African bush wars.
As you flip through you see how well the its laid out.  The graphic design is beautiful, with out it being intrusive
It features a well laid our table of contents and a handy index, both bugbears when books don't include them, as it makes flipping for that rarely used rule in game so much harder.
The Back of the book contains lists and some sample scenarios ranging from Vietnam to the Falklands.
The issue with the game that some might have is that it is not "pointed" the units in the book have no "cost" so creating your own scenarios, you may have to juggle things to get it right, but there are so many books out there its no a problem.
The book features two distinct styles of combat, Symmetrical, as in combat against two "standard" forces, such as the British Army and Soviet forces.
The second style is Asymmetric combat, which is regular forces against insurgent style forces, and is a different style of game using the same rules with some additions.
The book opens with a nice introductory session, suggesting a range of different figure manufacturers to use in different scales as there is no pre-set scale for the game.  20mm 1/72 is recommended though.
Throughout you see designers notes on why such a rule is a certain way, and plenty of examples explained.  Though no diagrams.  It is not such a bad thing though as on first reading the rules I didn't seem to need any, but only tabletop time can determine if that is the case. 

There are so many things you can do in this game, there are rules for POWs, wounded troops, night fighting, suppressed weapons, vehicles, air support, artillery, civilians on the battlefield. Too many to mention but they add up to allowing many options for your gaming enjoyment.


 The basic  mechanics of the game are rather simple. It is based on operational units or squads. Instead of points based it is scenario based, with the scenario dictating set up. Who goes first or initiative is also dictated by the scenario. The main rule to remember is that a roll a 4+ is needed for most actions. All combat, morale and tests are determined by varying the number of dice that you are allowed to roll. The quality of the troops determines the type of die that you will use - untrained troops use D6’s, Experienced troops D8’s, Veterans D10’s and Elites D12’s.  As standard infantry weapons such as the M16, AK series, or the SLRs do not have different weapon stats, as the game goes along the line of the the quality of the troops is what gives you the edge in battle, and the weaponry only provides support.  A well trained troop will shoot as effectively with an AK as an M16, and it works in reverse as well, a random citizen will blaze as wildly with both guns.
I must say I am rather impressed overall with the book, though a little nervous of being let loose with no point limits!
I hope to grab some of the other supplements and share them with you on here. In the mean time, go grab a copy, well thought, beautifully presented and fun looking a good set and a fine addition to your bookcase.  The sheer amount of information along side rules in here is worth it alone!