27 July 2012

Random Friday Wargaming: The Guards!

Why are you getting Warfighter 101: The Guards today? Because it's my birthday weekend and you'll get whatever I want to give you!

Seriously, though - for the 4 of you out there that might've stumbled across it, what did you think?

From a comment on BGG
The scenarios notwithstanding (some appear badly under-tested) this game is fascinating as the second module in the Warfighter Series. Infantry jump to the fore in this one, and they are very effective as a blocking force, and as a way to screen your armour from maruading anti-tank units. You gotta use dismounts to deal with his AT units, then your vehicles can mop up his remaining units.

Production quality is better than Movement to Contact, however there appears to be a dearth of good terrain types (1000m is a large scale for a hex. There could be nice terrain in there). The scenarios, while possibly unbalanced, and sometimes having impossible (as in contradictory to the rules) objectives, are nevertheless informative, and feel plucked straight from today's headlines.

Recommended, as a neat interpretation of modern platoon-level combat. This system is going places. Get it.

And yes, you can discuss it on CSW.

Master links/images from Boardgamegeek.com; message boards linked to Consimworld. Other links to the actual game pages...

By: Brant


Pete Maidhof said...

Still available?

Brant said...

when we get around to releasing World of Conflict, it'll be included in there :)

Brian said...

I like this one, especially the difficulties you worked into the design re cvilians and other imponderables.
But I don't think the squaddies would be wearing sweaters in Africa.

Brant said...

Probably not, but you go to press with the art you have, not necessarily the art you'd like to have :)

DomS said...

Love to see an update with post-Afghanistan vehicles and kit. Is there a Vassal module?

Brant said...

No Vassal module, sorry. I don't know enough to make one, and no one's ever offered. Didn't even sell 200 copies, so not sure the demand was ever out there.

DomS said...

Thanks for the reply - I'm surprised about the low demand for modern tactical (platoon-level) board wargames. Do you think this is because miniature wargames fill this niche? I have neither the time nor space for minis, and have been looking for a realistic, intermediate-complexity tactical game for a while now.
Your Warfighter series is one system. I was interested in Stryker (forthcoming from MCSGroup), which appears to be in Development Limbo (or maybe I'm just too impatient). Modern War Magazine has a tactical title in its proposed future releases, probably a couple of years off at best.
For me this game would have to include civilians, IEDs, and other features of the modern battlefield.
Any thoughts? I might just have to make a hex-mod of Ambush Alley/Force on Force.

Brian said...

Production seems to be keeping up with demand for modern tactical wargames - for board games, there's piles of stuff from Lock n Load with things like their Blood and Bridges games, and a range of expansion add-on modules, though these are all devoted to a WW3 that never happened. No civilians IEDs or anything diffcult like that.

I recenlty got Boots on the Ground, which is all right in its way to explore some issues but is not platoon level. Haven't seen the new Fallujah game, which might be more in line with what you are looking for.

MCS Group has some titles coming out at some point besides Stryker - there is a solitaire game about the adventures of an MEU, for example. But it's just two or three guys with day jobs, so things take longer.

Modern War magazine has the next two years or so planned out and I'm not sure about a tactical game. Meanwhile they are touching on some intersting topics, albeit at the operational level.

Brant said...

I supposed it depends in part on how you define "modern"
Is "modern" set in 1985? It was nearly 30 years ago. When we were all playing wargames in the 80s, "30 years ago" was the Korean War.
If you're defining "modern" as post-Cold War, then there's not a lot out there.
Nuts! Publishing has a Fallujah game coming out. Brian mentioned Boots on the Ground (which we also featured in an early Random Friday Wargaming post last year).
The challenge is that if you're looking for games with platoon-level counters, those are more appropriate for shooting wars; much of the current COIN ops are looking at squad-level counters. But IEDs, mines, civilians, etc, were all things we wanted to make sure were incorporated into the Warfighter games precisely because they were present on the battlefield.
Now, if we could just figure out how to get Kickstarter working to get things back into print!