Thursday, 21 June 2018

Airfix Battles

Had a proper try out of the Airfix Battles game by Modiphius tonight, something I've been meaning to do for a while.

The introductory scenario pits two equal 'platoons' against each other, consisting of two squads of 10 and a small squad of veterans.

The system is card driven, with everything you need to know about each squad/unit, set out on a card, and a deck of order cards for actions.  Any card can be used for a basic action, but the real fun comes with the special actions, some of which can only be used by certain unit types.  How many cards you get to hold and use depends on your officers, which makes for some interesting choices about whether to protect your officers or use their (slightly) improved combat abilities.

Everything needed is in the box, and good quality.  Dice, counters and maps.

I forgot to set up the rough ground, so sue me...

Both sides initially sought to gain cover of the buildings with their infantry squads while holding their captains and veterans in reserve.

The Germans used a 'sweeping advance' card (+2 move and fire) to get in cover on their right flank and fire on the US troops in the building opposite (the US made good cover saves, only taking one casualty).

In return, US captain used an artillery strike card on them, causing two casualties, enough to cause morale test, pinning the unit (pinned units are marked by turning their card on its side, a second failed test results in retreating, a third in a rout).  The Germans then used 'rapid advance' on the squad on the left flank to charge ahead and occupy the southern building on the US side of table, right in front of a (probably startled) squad of GIs.  However miserable dice rolling only caused two casualties and the US squad passed their morale test.

(rubbish photos from my ipad)

The US squad in the northern building sacrificed shooting to use a 'dig in' card. 

The Germans had some interesting cards ('sweeping advance' and 'superb teamwork'), but weren't able to capitalise on them.  The Germans in the north building rallied using their Captain's value and fired on their US opposites again.  Before they did the US tried to play an 'it ain't so bad card' to regain 2 casualties (certain cards can be used to interrupt the opponent's turn), but it got cancelled bythe German's own 'counter intelligence' interrupt card.  Another two US casualties were caused but they passed their morale check again. 

Rather than keep getting shot at in the open, the US squad in front of the German squad to the south, they risked an assault.  They lost three to defensive fire, caused three in return, but took another hit to a counterattack.  Both sides ended up pinned, the Germans tried using the Valour Counter to re-roll their morale test but still failed (the side holding the counter can re-roll a dice or dice, but then have to hand it to the other side).  The German Captain and Veterans started moving up the middle to support the attack (trusting to holding onto a 'hit the deck' interrupt card in case of trouble).

(The GIs attempt an assault, leaving both sides pinned)

The Germans won initiative for the next turn.  The squad who were pinned after the assault  attempted an 'open up' order (re-roll misses) but were unable to rally and stayed pinned. The US squad to their front had no such trouble and used the same card to good effect, forcing the German squad to retreat.  The German Captain used 'Commando Assault' (fire then move with +2) to open up on the US north squad (causing two casualties but no pins) and then occupy the house the other squad has just left.  The US squad on the north then used 'hold the line' to fire on the German command with an extra die (putting down two veterans).  The remaining German squad opposite fired back but to no effect.

Looking to end things quickly, the US Captain then used a 'rapid advance' move to get on the flank of the German command and assault the building.  They took one casualty to defensive fire but in return wiped out the enemy Captain and Veterans and occupied the building

With that, the US had destroyed three stars of the enemy and had a solid victory, ending the game.

The rules were really easy to pick up and follow, with most rolls being based on one stat for the unit (shown on the card).  The order cards are simple, you can always carry out a basic order (so long as the unit isn't pinned), but the special orders really add to it, allowing for some bold moves.  In larger games, I can also see how they encourage balanced combined arms forces to make best use of the special orders.

Interesting to think that, if the game had continued, the loss of their captain would have reduced the Germans to only one action card per turn.  Risking the officers really is a last ditch measure.

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