Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Goldilocks Problem...

One rule set to play forever, is it possible?  Not for me, so how few do I have to remember?

Here's my list
Board: Spacehulk
Skirmish (squad to squads+support) : Ambush Alley.  I really like Stargrunt II, however, it often takes longer to set up than to play.
Platoon to sub-Company: It used to be Peter Pig's PBI, but I just stopped playing it... ...more later
Company to Company plus: Hammer's Slammers Crucible

There are other occasional drop-ins but these are the mainstays of my gaming.

So why drop PBI?  I played the v1 rules a bunch, then I bought the v2 rules and v2 AK-47 at the same time.  I never really gelled with either v2 rule sets.  The books are nice and glossy but they both felt like hard work to read through and tricky to recall the rules.  In the end I just went back to v1 AK-47 and kind of stopped PBI. 

While the Crucible rules are fun they are very abstracted for infantry, as they should for a game focused on armour.  So I decided to revisit PBI and give the v2 rules another go (I still have my v1 rulebook just in case...).  I went off to the Pete Pig website to see if I could find the PBI v2 quickstart rules.  It turns out the link is broken, but I managed to find a PDF.  So without further ado, a PBI v2 Quickstart game...

The Quick start has one platoon of Defenders trying to hold off two platoons of Attackers.  All platoons are identical: 1 Command stand (Pltn Co), 6 Rifle stands, 3 LMG stands.

Incoming!  Defenders on way to deployment
 The Attackers are dropped on the FEBA
 Attackers debus from their transports
 Out, Out, Out!  [transports are a recent donation from Mark, Mini-Me LOVES them]
 Defenders deploy into padddy-fields
 There is a restriction on number of bases per square (the black crosses delimit 6" areas)
 Attackers spot the Defenders across the road
 Attackers begin their advance
 Attackers stall on the RHS
 On the LHS they surge forwards
The LHS flank advances to contact
 Pity their firing is ineffective
 The Defenders pour fire into the attackers, KO-ing two bases
 Forcing one squad to pull-back
 The remainder of the platoon deploy into a solid fire position
 And KO one of the Defenders bases
 The RHS platoon gets into the action (finally)
 and KO's another base
 The Defenders redeploy to protect the now vulnerable flank
 The Defenders take out two bases from the RHS squad
 The Attackers get all squads on line ready to assault the Defenders flank
 The fire-support group blazes away, taking out two more bases (one base from previous fire was casevac'd)
 Casualties are casevac'd but Morale falters in the center of the RHS platoon
 Regardless, effective fire takes out another Defender base
 In reply, the Defenders KO two Attacker's bases
 With mounting casualties the Defenders now suffer morale failures
 The Attackers don't show mercy and gun them down anyway
Time is ticking on though, the Quickstart game is only 4 turns long and this is the last one.  The RHS attackers get a shift on and dash forwards
 With some terrible shooting... ...needing 6's to hit
 I spy... ..Some easy targets?
On the LHS the attackers go for the assault but can't get enough Action Points...
 So they end up stuck short
Fortunately for the Attackers the Defends pass their Morale but fail to hit anything
In the quickstart both sides can roll a dice to see if they can extend the game 1 turn.  The attackers tried, and failed, the Defenders don't want to try, so even though the Attackers are mid-assault its Game Over time. 

The Attackers called their air support and it appears over the horizon just in the nick-of time...
So Who won?  In these rules you get to doll rice/score points by occupying terrain and KO-ing bases.  On this basis, the Attackers scored 5 points while the Defenders scored 12.  A resounding victory for the Defenders.
The Verdict:  stick with v2 or go back to v1?

I'm still on the fence, these quickstart rules were fun and easy enough to play, but even the Quickstart sheet is poorly laid out.  Despite this,  I think I'll give v2 rulebook another go at reading through and try the real game before I decide.  I already have some terrain set up after all... 


  1. I like your yellow vtol. Is it from rebel minis? I'm not sure I'd be up for gridding up all my game mats. Is there any alternatives with these rules?

  2. Hi,
    Yes, its a Rebel Minis VTOL.

    The grids are essential as there is no ruler-measuring. Movement and shooting are based on grid-distances.