Following the recent death of Jim Perry , I had a desire to watch a few episodes of his perfect creation Dad’s Army.
It also got me thinking about putting on a Dad’s army game for the regular monthly game. The only issue was that I did not want to play the large version I have taken to a number of shows as only two could make it this weekend. During the week I was in the shed looking for something and came across a set of WW2 skirmish rules called USSR – Ultra Simple Skirmish Rules. These are a small A5 booklet which I was given for free by Bolt Action in 2004 when they first started to sell their range. I am not sure if any of the boys have ever seen or even played these rules and I have to admit that apart from one game 12 years ago neither have I.
Having re-read the rules I saw something different in them which excited me. Yes they were simple, something I like but they also try to give a sense of camaraderie. This is how firing is done.
When any shooting happens a no. of D6 are rolled by the firer depending upon weapon, rating above and modifiers are added to each die. The defender rolls a single D6 adds rating above and modifiers. Totals of each die are compared and from that a result is achieved. This depends upon the highest score compared to opponents lowest score. Very simple, but this is the clever bit. When defenders are in a group(1″) of another figure the rating added is of the highest member of the group. Therefore a group of conscripts with a sergeant add +4 not +2. This is explained in the rules as the sergeant communicating with his team and ensuring they learn from his experience.
Yes I am easily pleased but I like this idea so
The main aspects
- The table size is 1m x 1m, so terrain is important.
- Simple mission generator – Not every game is necessarily a firefight
- Casualties, as in looking after them is a key factor
- No weapon ranges – you see it you can hit it.
- Importance of senior officers and or training
- Groups/Teams did not get the importance of this in game play until a couple of re-reads in.
- Suggests no more than 1 squad per player, to maintain the command experience.
- Targets infantry only games
Figures are classed as :
I set about developing a simple test scenario. I laid out a simple 3’x3′ board. A He111 carrying out a pre-Seelowe invasion, reconnaissance crashes and the crew and invasion plans must avoid capture and await rescue. The local home-guard have been sent to round up any crew.
In the terrain below the plane is in the NE corner, Godfrey’s cottage is the SE cottage and in the SW corner you can see the home-guard entering the table.
Capt. Hertz Von Rental
Damn fools in Berlin.
The day before the planned invasion of Britain and they get you to do a daylight sortie. Just your luck, on the last run a lucky shot hit an engine and you have had to land. Most of the crew seem OK. In your last communication Berlin advised you sit tight and await help.
Yourself – Veteran
2 crew – Conscripts
2 crew – Conscripts
2 crew conscripts (LMG)
At 17:00 hrs June 5th 1940 you have received an alarm that a German bomber was seen coming down, just outside Walmington. In fact, in the field next to Godfrey’s abandoned cottage.
You called the platoon out and have instructed the 2nd squad to wait at the Church Hall while you go with the first squad to round up the crew if any survived.
Godfrey reminded you to be careful as all the services were still connect to his house. Although the toilet may be a welcoming sight for him!
Your Squad consists of:
Yourself – Veteran
Wilson – Veteran
Jones – Veteran
4 soldiers – Conscripts
3 soldiers – Civilians
Due to ages, all move at max 4”
Reconnoitre crash site and capture crew.
Here are a few pictures of the game
The home guard cautiously advance on to the table and at the bend in the road split into two parts , one to survey the plane while the other continues on to the house.
Crew mingle around the aircraft
The rules have no ranges for weapons due to the scale but this started to feel wrong especially as the crew had pistols only. A quick discussion and it was agreed that:
LMGs Normal 36″ Long 72″
Rifles Normal 18″ long 36″
SMGs Normal 12″ long 24″
Pistols Normal 6″ long 12″
all would suffer a -1 when firing at long range.
As the home guard inspected the plane the crew who were now in the other damaged cottage opened fire with the LMG they had removed from the plane.
Pike is down and Walker is suppressed.
The LMG rattled around the group and caused a couple of suppressed results and a down result! Good die throws from the Germans and poor from the British.
It took a couple of turns for Walker to recover and apply first aid to Pike.When a figure is classed as down the nearest figure must perform a first aid action. This enables them to check the down figure for their status; Dead, still down or recovered. I thought this was a good aspect and while trying to “first aid”, a number of figures running the blaze of fire from the LMG ensured they also became victims or hid in cover.
Anyway, the home-guard recovered their nerve and returned fire eventually on the LMG team. Due to their leaders and some great dice rolls both crew became suppressed.
Eventually one of them becoming Down and dead upon first aid from another crew member.
The other home-guard group came under fire from the crew located upstairs and having had another member die, sent a runner back to the church hall for reinforcements ( if they could have got to Godfrey’s cottage they would have found the telephone still connected and could have called).
This is where we finished for a break and some lunch. Everybody thought the rules were OK but would benefit from a little bit of additional detail.
I enjoyed it all and will certainly be adding a little more detail, so maybe watch this space for some suggestions.
Figures are all from the brilliant Foundry range
Buildings are Sarissa and Foxtrot Charlie while I scratch built the greenhouse.