Saturday, August 24, 2002

Men Under Fire

I played a game tonight of Frank Chadwick's playtest Men Under Fire rules. It was WW2 Western Front, Operation Cobra. I thought the rules played pretty well, although from the title's similarity to "Men On Film," I couldn't get the images of Blaine and Antoine out of my head! ;-) Read on for a quick review.

The first thing to stand out from the rules was that rifle fire was less effective than in most games, while automatic weapon fire was much more effective, being able to keep suppressive fire on large areas of the board. Casualties are card based and very similar to Larry Brom's the Sword and the Flame, and tend to end up with troops being suppressed. Command and control is very important, as each squad was required to have orders from the platoon leader, who could only change one squad's orders a turn, and then only when within 6" or Line of Site. Unsuppressing troops required a superior officer, which made letting your squad leaders get suppressed a very bad idea. This kept the platoon leader pretty active! All in all, there were several concepts in the rules that I thought were pretty realistic, and it gave a fun, stort-to-average duration game (we played essentially two platoons and a tank to a side in about four hours).

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