Thursday, November 6, 2014

Skirmish Level Playtest for No End In Sight


So I had an hour on my hands and decided I wanted to try something out, and that something was using Ivan's "No End in Sight " rules as skirmish rules (my definition: each figure is a man, and each man activates individually).  This was just a 'one-off' game; I still don't have a campaign back-story, but after looking into the "Crisis in Alcovia" and the "6mm Prussian Republic" blogs ( and, I think I'm set on an Eastern European Imagination.  I just wish I was as clever as those guys.

On a figures note, I've received my 10mm French Foreign Legion, and my 20mm Elhiem Modern stuff is on the way.  I intend on playing very small-scale skirmish with the 20mm guys, shooting for "Call of Duty" type-scenarios with four good guys and seven to ten bad guys.  That concept is why I decided to try out NEIS for skirmish.  So I grabbed four of my 10mm Special Operations guys and seven Pendraken Falklands Range SF guys to serve as Eastern European paramilitaries.

The Good Guys.  From left to right we have Red, Gray, Blue, and Yellow.

The Bad Guys.  No names, just bad guys 1-7 ;)

The board, North is right, with Good Guys on the left and Bad Guys on the right, 2' x 2'.  GGs are starting on the left baseline, BGs are spread out on right side, with game objectives being for the GGs to exit the right baseline and the BGs to stop them.

The GGs, from left to right: yellow, gray, blue (the team leader), and red.

BGs on the left (from GG standpoint).

BGs on the right (also from GG standpoint).

Game starts with GG initiative, and after that I'd draw cards for activation.  I just took a deck of cards, red = BGs, black = GGs, draw a card, activate, draw the next card, keep going until everyone is exhausted.  To me the rules didn't work very well for what I was trying to do; they're great for small unit combat, but I either need a different set of rules or I need to do some serious tinkering to play this as skirmish.

Anyway, Yellow moves up (bottom left) and takes a shot at the BG at top right, and he's down (two dice as big dogs, whereas the BGs got one dice as 'trained')!

A black card comes out, so Blue (bottom center with white bead, which signifies one stress) moves up to the road.

Looking East: far right BG (top left) counters Blue's move (far right).  Center left you can see the body of the 1st BG.

With Blue (center left) covering, Red (far right) decides to try to sprint across the road, which is under fire due to BGs off camera to far left.  Red rolls a '2', and so he moves only 2 inches and is pinned (yellow bead) in the road.  Another black card comes out and so I use it to unpin Red, praying for another black card so I can try to move him across the road into cover.

But 'twas not to be.  At top left a BG moved up to the wall and took aim at Red standing in the street: down...  Did I mention the GGs only have (had?) four men?  It's funny, because someone only gets hit on a 6, but I've already got two men out of the fight (one for each side).

Blue activates his second time (two white beads): he returns fire on the BG that popped Red, pinning him, then moves to Red (I think I did that right: I moved Blue 3" instead of rolling, and didn't put a pin marker on him even though he ended in the open, because the only BG with LOS was pinned).  I really want to activate Blue again to pick up Red and drag him into cover.

But the BG in the house moves out of the house (top left) and fires at Blue (bottom right), pinning him...  Things are really getting ugly.

A black card comes out, and I decide I need to do something to seize the initiative, so rather than continuing to be drawn into the quagmire on the right, I activate Yellow again (bottom center), and have him move left to engage the BGs on the far left (center left in field, and top center behind wall).  I really need some magic here to start evening up the odds, but Yellow fires on the BG in the field and only manages a pin...

The next two cards out are BG cards.  Just off camera at top right there were two BGs behind the house; they both take their turn to move up and fire at Yellow, but both miss.

On the far right, the BGs begin creeping up closer to Blue and Red (WIA).

Gray (bottom center, with Blue and Red to his right) moves up to the wall, while the BG (top center) moves up, while the BG at top left tries to activate but fails and is exhausted (black bead).  Gray fires at him but misses, while the far right BG moves up again.

Looking east with Yellow at center right and BGs all over the left.  Two red cards means two BG activations, and the two at top left fire at Yellow.  The first misses, but the second hits.  But Yellow shakes the hit off via his saving roll for being in cover, but he's pinned.  Two more red cards, and the BG at center left unpins whilst his buddy in the field tries to unpin but fails and is exhausted.

Gray moved up (bottom right) and fired at the BG at far left, hit, putting him down.  As this was the second BG casualty, I placed one 'permanent stress' on each BG (red bead), which would affect each of the BGs ability to activate.  Blue (off camera at bottom right) tries to unpin but fails, and is exhausted.

At that point my hour was up, and it was back downstairs to help the wife with kiddie baths, homework, and feeding.  It was fun, but just didn't 'feel' right for individual activations.  I'll get it figured out, but the next game (another playtest, I want to be real comfortable with the rules before I hop into a campaign) will be NEIS 'normal,' i.e., unit activation instead of individual activation.  What I'm looking at is going with five-man teams, each having its own leader for activations (but not a separate squad leader), as well as a Platoon Commander and PLATOON SERGEANT, both of whom can activate anyone.

Thanks for looking, and stay tuned for more.


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