I added a train rail through the battlefield (difficult terrain – no cover). This proved to be irrelevant, since the Green attackers crossed the railway during their initial activation, when the Gray had no line of sight to them.
I made the objective a flat area with no cover (I decided the vehicle does not count a cover).
I used more coloured bases in order to make things more visible – red base: Company Commander; yellow base: Platoon Commander; blue base: Support Weapons.
Turn 1 and 2: the Green left platoon approaches a wooded area that will grant them a good firing position towards the objective. A second platoon crosses the railway and occupies the objective. The third platoon splits: the Company commander, together with two other units, occupies a building near the center of the table; the Platoon Commander and the other units remain in reserve. The Gray right wing occupies a wood in front of the objective: they are immediately targeted by the Green men both in the objective area and in the wood behind it. In turn 2, the Green reserve moves behind cover across the whole field, finally reaching a wood in the lower part of the table. At the end of Turn 2, the Green side gets its first Victory Point.
Turn 3 and 4: the Gray moves a second platoon right in front of the objective, but again they are under intensive fire by the whole Green company, which is now deployed across the whole field. The Gray lose two Platoon Commanders and several other units. Two more VPs for the Green (now at 3).
Turn 5 and 6: the Green in the wood at the bottom of the table move out to charge a few Gray units in the open: those Gray units move forward into a small wooded area very near the objective. Gray fire towards the objective is more effective now: the Green support weapons team is destroyed, one squad is suppressed and another pinned. But the Platoon commander and the third Rifle Squad are still in good shape and collect the last two Victory points.
I understood that in my previous game I misinterpreted Group Firing: I used to roll a bunch of dice, pooling together all firing units. This was more or less guaranteed to result in at least two successes. Now I roll individually for each unit: so the probability that a single unit scores two successes is much lower.
I must definitely try deploying along the longer sides of the table: this could make outflanking manoeuvres easier.
I probably need more blocking terrain: possibly smaller areas but in greatest numbers.
The idea of an open, cover-less objective area seems interesting. I will probably use it again in my next game.
I have run a first solo test of the new One-Off-Game “Covering Fire!” by One Page Rules.
My table is smaller than required by the game, so I reduced the number of figures in each unit: Rifle Squads are represented by 3 figures (instead of 5) and Support Weapons are a single crouching soldier with a bazooka.
Each Company is composed of three platoons each comprising:
3 Rifle Squads
1 Support Weapon
The Company is lead by a Commander
The objective of the battle is the building with the two orange bricks at the centre of the board. The small building can be occupied by at most 4 figures (e.g. a Rifle Squad and and Officer). I deployed the two armies symmetrically, with the two commanders attached at the central platoons.
I rolled a die and the Green army turned out to have initiative.
Turn 1: Since armies on the deployment lines do not have line of sight to the objective, the Green army was free to occupy the central building without risking Reaction fire from the Gray units.
The left and right platoon occupied woods at the sides of the objective. The central platoon split, leaving the Company Commander, Support Weapon and two Rifle Squads in a smaller wood. The third Squad and the Officer occupied the objective.
Here the Green army simply gave up initiative [I am not sure this is allowed by the rules].
The Gray army moved forward in its turn, but was soon exposed to Reaction fire by the Green army. Here I made two major mistakes:
1. Most of fire in the game (Reaction or otherwise) was “group fire”. I handled cover by only subtracting a single die from the total, while I am quite sure I should have subtracted a die for each firing unit. I consistently made this error through the game.
2. Initial reaction fire by the Green army was quite effective, killing a Rifle Squad on the right of the Gray army and Suppressing two units at the centre (marked with the pink cubes). Effective fire should have resulted in the end of the turn, with initiative moving back to the Green, but during the first turn I forgot to do so and kept moving Gray units.
At the end of the turn, the Gray army tried to rally a few of their pinned / suppressed units. A squad on the right flank was successfully rallied, but than they failed with the suppressed units at the centre and the first turn ended.
Turn 2: the Green platoon at the top of the table moves out of the wood and crosses an open area to reach the rightmost building (a group movement). Since most units at the centre of the Gray army are Suppressed, Reaction fire was limited, but enough to kill a Green Rifle Squad in the open. [I am afraid that here I forgot Reaction fire from the Gray right flank that became possible when the Green units entered the building]. The Gray tried again rallying a unit and failed again. At the end of the turn, the Green gain their first Victory Point.
Turn 3,4,5: these turns were short exchanges of fire, with Gray fire concentrated against the objective. When the Green Squad inside the objective was killed, reinforcements tried to run in from the platoon on the right flank, but also this squad was killed while running in the open. But the Green still have an Officer inside the building, so they receive a victory point for each turn and they now have 4 VPs. [I think I made another mistake here: Gray units fired at the objective building even when there were other closer enemy target]
Turn 6: the Green Commander, Support Weapon and Squad behind the Objective attempt a group move toward the objective. The Squad is pinned by Reaction fire and the Support Weapon killed, but the Commander makes it to the building. The Gray fire in their turn and Suppress the Officer inside the building, but the Commander gathers the fifth and last Victory Point.
This game is different from anything I have played. It requires a lot of difficult decisions: in particular, it is hard to decide if attempting rallying units (which is rather difficult) or keep moving / firing (which in the long run cannot work without rallying).
Questions and Comments [Edit: designer’s answers in brackets]:
It is clear that the first Turn is vital. Should I have placed terrain so that the Objective was visible from the deployment lines (allowing the Gray to take some early Reaction fire)? [Terrain placement is up to you, however as you play more games you’ll learn what makes for good matches and bad matches.]
What about having more terrain types? In this game, woods and buildings worked identically (blocking and cover). Maybe one could have something like soft cover (-1 die) and hard cover (-2 dice)? [That’s definitely something that we could do. In general we’ve been having a hard time distinguishing terrain types due to the no-measuring thing.]
Can a side just give up initiative because they have nothing useful left to do? I think this should be possible but it appears to be excluded by the rules. [Yes, you can pass the turn whenever you want.]
Do the Commander and Officer rally bonus apply to the Commander and Officer themselves? Does the Commander rally with +1 because he is “in sight” of the commander? [Yes]
Does the Commander receive a +1 rally bonus if he is adjacent to an Officer [Yes]
If an Officer or Commander is Pinned or Suppressed, does he still cause the rally bonus for other units? [Yes]
If two Rifle Squads and an Officer make a Group move, Reaction fire can focus on the Officer. What about having the moving player choose which of his units is hit by Reaction fire? This could also hold for “normal” fire, when target units are all in sight and in base contact. [The shooting player picks who he is targeting, as it makes the most sense.]
Do friendly units block Line of Sight? [Yes]
Unit A has a wood area between itself and enemy unit B. When does A and B get LOS to each other? As soon as A enters the wood (Position 1), or when it reaches the edge of the wood towards B (Position 2)? [As soon as it enters position 1, however I think maybe we could add a terrain type for it where you can only see units at the edge and you can only see out if you’re at the edge]