PZ8: Giant Mutants from Outer Space

I tried a very simple solo wargame by PZ8: The Giant Spider from Outer Space.
Since I don’t have Spiders, I actually played The Giant Mutants from Outer Space.
I played with two Giant Invaders, so I could spent 24 points for the Human Defenders: I got 2 tanks (6 points each) and 6 infantry units (2 points each). On the table, each infantry unit is represented by two paper minis.

The rules provide a simple random table to manage the actions of the Giants.


Turn 1: The Humans move forwards. The Mutants move back.


Turn 2: The Humans advance again. The Brown Mutant advances.

Turn 3: The Humans advance again. Now an infantry unit is at shooting range. The Mutants move back.


Turn 4: The tank that has moved to the left wounds the Blue Mutant. The Brown Mutant moves in contact with the other tank, which passes its save roll (an infantry unit would have been automatically destroyed).

Turn 5: now many unit surround the Brown Mutant, who gets a wound as well.


Turn 6: The Brown Mutant gets two more wounds by the tank and an infantry unit. It now has 3 wounds and it is surrounded by 5 human units. In these conditions the reaction table gives more aggressive results: the Mutant blasts an infantry unit with a laser beam! All human units must now take a morale check: two infantry units fail and start moving backward. The Blue Mutant moves away from the tank that is attacking him.


Turn 7: The Brown Mutant receives his fourth wound (from the tank again). The two infantry units are still scared and move backwards again. The Blue Mutant also keeps moving to the right away from the tank.

Turn 8: The Blue Mutant receive his second hit. The Brown Mutant receives his fifth hit and passes the save die that he now has to roll for each new wound (killed with 5+). One of the two scared infantry units recovers and wounds the Brown Mutant again (6 wounds): save die passed.

Turn 9: The Blue Mutant receives another wound (he now has 3). An infantry unit inflicts the seventh wound to the Brown Mutant. This time the save die is failed and the Brown Mutant is killed! The Blue Mutant does nothing.


Turn 10: The tank on the left keeps shooting at the Blue Mutant and misses. Now all move towards the Blue Mutant. Since he has three wounds and no nearby human, the table gives passive results: the Blue Mutant does nothing again.

Turn 11: The Humans move forward. The Blue Mutant moves away towards the right.


Turn 12: The tank hits again (fourth wound).


Turn 13: The tank delivers the fifth wound to the Blue Mutant. The save die is failed: game over.


I found the game very simple and enjoyable. I am considering tweaking the Attacker reaction table to make it more dynamic and aggressive. The game was rather long (a couple of hours, I think). Next time I will probably play as suggested by the rules, with a single Giant Attacker and half the Defenders I used this time.

Ultra simple WW2 skirmish comparison: WarStuff

Here is the report of a third go at the simple “benchmark” scenario. This time I used the excellent WarStuff rules by OnePageRules. Those rules are not only very simple and free (two things I love) but they also include custom abilities, so that you can play with any plastic toys you have handy. In a turn, the two sides alternate activating a figure each.


Turn 1: the PEF across the river is resolved as a single Defender. The attackers move forward. The attacking leaders shoots at the Defenders and wounds him. The Defender shoots back and kills the attacking leader. The other attacking figure activate: the second one wounds the Defender again and the third kills him.


Turn 2: the four remaining Attacking figures cross the stream.

Turn 3: the first Attacking figure crosses the wood and comes in sight of the Defending PEFs. They are resolved as 3 more defending units. The Attackers stop in cover on the border of the wood. Attackers and Defenders (all in cover) exchange shots. 1 Attacker and 2 Defenders are killed.


Turn 4: 3 Attackers and 1 Defender are left. The Defender kills one Attacker. The Attackers kill the last defender. The Attacker win with 2 figures still alive.


WeirdGate 88: meet Sgt. Ninovich and his squad

I ran this using an home-brewed mix of the PZ8 Postcard and OnePage WarStuff rules. There are a few things to fix, mainly about the vehicles, but the two rule sets are excellent, so I have hope to soon come to something that works well for me. To celebrate the start of this new campaign, I painted a watercolor background for the scenario.

“1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet in which elements of the present world mix with elements from the remote past and from what possibly is a remote future. From the hyperplanet, invading armies, dinosaurs and giant mutant fighters attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion”.

The Terrestrial squad is the Green one. Today they are the Defenders (I rolled for the roles). The leader of the team is Sgt. Ninovich, the guy with the gun at the extreme right. Using the cost system that comes with WarStuff, I assembled the Attacking side: two cars each transporting a team of three soldiers and a giant warrior (a Large, Tough, Brutal golem). I made the attacking team slightly more powerful. The Defenders are protected by some debris and an archway. The Attackers come directly forward down the road.


Turn 1: the cars come down the road and stop in front of the Defenders. The Golem advances more slowly. The Defenders shoot, but they miss.

Turn 2: The Attackers exit from the Gray car. The last one of the squad rolls a 2, so (as per the PZ8 rules) the turn passes to the Defenders. They shoot and miss (1 rolled, turn shift again). The blue car moves forward, attacking from the side. The Attackers go for Hand to Hand combat. The Defenders are lucky enough to kill two Attackers losing only one man. I think this was the turning point of the encounter.












Turn 3: The Attacker next to the gray car shoot and miss. The Defenders kill the Golem (who misses the save roll granted by is Toughness). The last occupant of the blue car fails to activate.


Turn 4: One of the defenders move to the blue car, fights Hand to Hand the Attacker leader inside it and kills him. Now the Attackers have lost half their figures and their leader. Two morale tests are rolled and passed. Firefight with the Attackers next to the gray car. All the figures on both sides are in cover, so it is not easy to hit (a 6 on D6 is needed). Yet the Defenders manage to kill two Attackers. Only one is left, behind the gray car.


Turn 5: The defending Marksman Girbach kills the last attacker.

Ultra simple WW2 skirmish comparison: Crossfire Lite

The second run of my little comparison scenario is based on Crossfire Lite by “Warren”. The rules are a simplification of the Crossfire system by Arty Conliffe.

The system is particular in that movement and shooting are not limited by distance. A unit can move forward indefinitely, as long as it does so along a straight line and on homogeneous terrain. So, it is important to have different kinds of terrain, in order to make things interesting. Initiative is kept by each side until actions (shooting, close combat or recover) are failed. The other side can try to acquire initiative by means of Reaction fire against figures moving into sight.

This is the already described initial set-up: the red Attackers are led by the guy with the pistol. They must cross a stream and a wood and reach the building on the North side of the board. The Defenders are initially represented by four PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) that can resolve to a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 figures.


The advanced PEF near the stream is resolved as a single figure.

Turn 1: Attackers

They move forward towards the stream. The Defender shoots and misses. All the attackers can reach the stream. They shoot to the Defender and the first attempt “Suppresses” it (this was lucky, since two dice were rolled and two results of 5-6 were needed).


Suppressed units cannot move nor fire and are penalized in Close Combat. The leader crosses the stream and easily kills the Defender in close combat.


Since there are no enemies in sight, all can freely move until the North border of the wood, where they come in sight of two more PEFs. Those are resolved as two figures (so the last PEF is removed, since we have reached the number of 3 Defenders).

The Defender shoot, but they only score Pins, so the Attackers keep the initiative. The Leader manages to recover one of the Pined units, then fails.

Turn 1: Defenders

They shoot to the attackers, but they are in cover so they only score a pin and lose the initiative.

Turn 2: Attackers.

The leader manages to Recover all his men.

A couple of figures have sight of one of the builds they must reach, and can go there with a single move, avoiding the rough going terrain represented by the brown triangles.


The figures try to reach that building, but they are pinned by Reaction fire. Pinning the adversaries does not grant the initiative, with stays with the Attackers. Moreover, the Defenders have spent their Reaction fire, and now they can only wait for the Attackers to fail. The Leader move out in the open, until the border of the rough going area. He successfully recovers the two Pinned figures. Then he moves forward into Close Combat with one of the Defenders and kills him.


Again, lucky rolls for the attackers. On the left, another Attackers moves into Close Combat. It’s basically a fifty-fifty fight, but the Attacking side is lucky again.


All the Defenders have been killed in Close Combat without any loss on the Attacking side.

The Crossfire system is really special, this is apparent also in this very simplified version. It it important to get the initiative and to make the best possible use of it. In general, I also used a better attacking strategy: since the Defenders are in a good position, going for hand to hand combat is the option that gives more possibilities of success (while long exchanges of fire could in the long run benefit the Defenders, as happened with the PZ8 run of the scenario). It must also be noted that today the Defenders have been regularly unlucky with the dice (starting from the fact that they only got 3 figures from the PEFs).

Ultra simple WW2 skirmish comparison: PZ8 Postcard

This is the first in what I hope will be a short series of games comparing different sets of rules on the same scenario.

The scenario is straightforward: five Attackers enter the map from the South. Their objective is to cross a stream and reach the three buildings on the opposite site of the map. The Attackers should search the three buildings: a figure must end its movement next to each building and roll 4-6 on a d6. The defenders are initially represented by 4 PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces, using Two Hours Wargames terminology). Each PEF is resolved by rolling a d6 when the Attackers get in sight: 1-2=no Defender; 3-4=1 Defender; 5-6 2 Defenders. I decided not to remove all PEFs after 3 or 4 Defenders were generated (since there are only 5 Attackers, 3 or 4 Defenders should be enough).


The guy with the gun is the leader of the Attackers: a Veteran. All the other fighters (Attackers and Defenders) are average figures armed with rifles.

The first set of rules I have used is the Pz8 Ultra Simple Postcard Sized WW2 Infantry Skirmish Wargame Rules.

With these rules, whenever a figure must do something (moving or firing) a d6 is rolled. If a 1 or 2 is rolled, the action fails and the turn passes to the other side. When firing, a 5 or 6 is a success, i.e. a kill. No special states for the figures are specified.

Turn 1: The first PEF was resolved as a single Defenders. The Attackers have the initiative, and manage to kill the Defenders at the second shot (a 6 was needed, since the Defender was in cover).

Turn 2 and 3: The Attackers cross the stream.


Turn 4: the Attackers cross the wood area across the stream and get into view of the two PEFs near the first two buildings. The PEFs are resolved as three Defenders (so I removed the last PEF, having generated a total of 4 Defenders). The first two Attackers to get in view of the Defenders are immediately killed (6 rolls again, since the Attackers are now also in cover).


Turn 5: the other Attackers move to the border of the wood. More shooting on both sides, but all miss.

Turn 6 and 7: more firing. An Attacker and a Defender killed. Now there are only two Attackers and two Defenders left.


Turn 8: one of the Attackers runs forward and fights Hand to Hand against one of the Defenders. In the PZ8 rules, HTH immediately leads to the death of one of the two contenders. In this case, the Attacker loses.


Turn 9 to 12: shooting between the only surviving attacker and the two Defenders.

Turn 13: the Attacker moves in close combat and is killed.


The game was extremely quick. A rather easy victory for the Defenders, who only lost half of their men.