Monday, 24 October 2016

Airfix Battles Play Test: Scenario Two - "Save Colonel Parker" (Part 1 of 2)

Airfix Battles has been languishing at the bottom of my "to play in the near future" draw for some time now, so I naturally leapt at the chance to finally "get a game under the belt". It may be branded as an introductory wargame but it looks simple and 'neat'. I have seen so many  'advanced' (aka unnecessary complex) set of rules leap into the "bin of rule despair" I will give anything a go for inspiration and novelty.

Note: The playing pieces and counters are of high quality (which bodes well) and have already cross-fertilised other game systems

Scenario 2: Rescue (or try and capture in my case) Colonel Parker who has got himself trapped and injured in a French farmhouse (see middle square of the board below) in the early hours of the D-Day operation. He carries vital operational information, so both sides "want him" for completely different reasons (see below, terrain used instead of paper game board, US coming in from top and the Germans from the bottom):

A subtle twist to game play is that both sides position two pieces of blocking (LOS) terrain, so cover appear (see below) to help both sides get a safe route "near" the farmhouse. The US are apparently trying to recover from a loss in Scenario 1, while I as the Germans are tasked to "nab" Parker and spoil the party for the Americans (see below, "spot the difference"hedges have miraculously appeared):

Side set-up alternatively "squad" at a time, the player winning the initiative choosing to go first or second. The US have a powerful Full Squad (see bottom), a gaggle of Veterans and their commander (see center) and a small half-squad or large team of Snipers (see top below). The American troops being a friend's metals, from the Britannia Miniatures WWII US range (see below, the long green line):

The Germans put a Grenadier unit (powerful but short range), the commander with his Veterans and a  pair of deadly (at least I am hoping so) MG42 machine guns to the right. Nobody is in Line of Sight (LOS) so the winner of the initiative can focus on effective movement. The objective is to hold the central farmhouse square for "two turns" and be deemed to effectively have captured or rescued Colonel Parker (see below):

The Germans are my old (favourite) Revell Panzer Grenadier figures (bought in the twentieth century but painted in the twenty first century). The Captain barks orders after to move up to the right of farmhouse, The large US Squad plays an interrupt card and takes out one of their number (see below, quite a nice game mechanic):

The German MG42's set-up to the far right of the German line in a rather exposed position while the German Grenadiers tuck in behind the objective ("Farmhouse Bleu") where Colonel Parker is hiding. This is part to act as a threat against any quick US snatch attempt and partly to keep the Grenadiers safe and out of long range fire (the Grenadiers only have a range of three whereas the normal is four). The German's hunker down and tensely wait for the next turn (see below):

Next: Crunch time "Colonel Parker tries to hail a cab."

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