Airfix Battles: The first play-testPosted: May 6, 2016
Both sides comprised two squads of Infantry, some Veterans, and a Captain.
In order to get a better feel for how the game works, I used the solo play option for both sides, using D6 scores to determine which side moved first each turn. (After Turn 2 (see below) I also removed any exclusively Vehicle-related Command Cards from the pack that I used as I thought that including them might slow the game down.) I’m not sure if this was what the designers originally intended, but it enabled me to conduct the play-test as an interested observer, not as a participant.
Each side deployed in their respective Deployment Zones.
Both sides drew a ‘2 Units may Fire then Move with +1’ Command Card, with the Germans moving first.
The Americans then moved.
The Germans drew a ‘1 Unit may Move with +2 and then Fire once’ Command Card and the Americans drew a ‘2 Vehicle Units may Move once each, and then Fire once each’ Command Card.
As the Germans were the only side with a card that could be used, they chose to move their Veterans and to fire at one of the American Units …
… with quite devastating results. (They caused 3 casualties and the American Unit had to take a Morale Check, which it failed. As a result it was now Pinned.)
The Americans drew a ‘1 Infantry Unit may Move 3 times its normal move’ Command Card and the Germans drew a ‘1 Infantry Unit may Fire once then Move +2’ Command Card.
The unpinned American Infantry Unit charged forward and assaulted the German Infantry Unit occupying a farm.
They were met by defensive fire, which depleted their numbers by 3.
Their assault went in, with the result that the German also lost 3 men.
The Germans then counter-assaulted, and inflicted another 2 casualties on the Americans.
Both sides then undertook a Morale Check … with the result that the German Infantry Unit became Pinned but the Americans were not!
The German Veterans now fired at the already pinned American Infantry Unit …
… and inflicted 3 more casualties on it.
The Veterans then withdrew to support their own pinned Infantry Unit.
The pinned American Unit took a further Morale Check … which it failed. As a result, the Unit withdrew towards its side’s Deployment Zone.
With things seemingly not going very well for the Americans, which side went first this turn was very important. The Germans threw the better D6 die score and went first
The Germans drew a ‘1 Unit may Fire with +1 on each Die Roll when rolling to hit’ Command Card and the Americans drew a ‘1 Infantry Unit with Rifles may Move then Fire using the Rifles. Re-roll once for each miss when firing at a target within 2 squares’ Command Card.
As the Germans had no Units that qualified to use their Command Card (the only Unit that might have been able to use it was Pinned), the Americans were able to use theirs. The American Infantry Unit that had previously assaulted the German Infantry Unit in the farm chose not to move and fired at them …
… and inflicted a further 3 casualties.
The German Infantry Unit then failed its Morale Check and fell back, leaving the farm unoccupied.
The situation on the tabletop had now reached a stage where both sides were roughly equal. They had both had an Infantry Unit fall back, and both still had intact Veterans and Officers. The Americans had suffered a few more casualties than the Germans, but not sufficient to restrict their ability to achieve their objective.
The Germans drew a ‘1 Vehicle Unit may Move once, and then 1 Infantry Unit may Move once then Fire once’ Command Card and the Americans drew a ‘Fire with 1 Infantry Unit. Then 1 different Infantry Unit may Fire and then Move’ Command Card.
As the Germans had no Vehicle Units, they moved their Veteran Unit so that it could fire at the remaining American Infantry Unit.
The effect was devastating, and the American Unit’s sole survivor began to retreat towards his side’s Deployment Zone.
At this point the Germans had achieved their objective and thus won the battle.
- During the set-up stage I did have a few problems trying to work out which figures were which as the images on the counters are quite small. I really wish that I had bought a box each of Airfix’s WW2 German and WW2 US troops before mounting the play-test as I would have had no problems identifying which figures were armed with which weapons. (In fact, it doesn’t really matter what is depicted on each counter as this is not important as far as resolving combat is concerned … but for aesthetic reasons I think I prefer to be able to identify the weapons each figure is armed with.)
- I really like the Assault Rules! The fact that the defenders can lay down defensive fire before the Assault takes place at least gives them a chance to stopping it in its tracks. In addition, the ability of defending Units to counter-assault makes the outcome for both sides uncertain until the whole process is finished.
- Infantry casualty rates seem to be quite high … but I suppose that they might have been lower in this play-test if I had used the available cover somewhat better and not mounted an assault on such a heavily garrisoned farm.
- It was fun to play, even though my method of playing solo might have left something to be desired. The play-test did enable me to use most of the main game mechanisms, which worked extremely well and were quite simple once they had been mastered.
This was my first play-test of the AIRFIX BATTLES rules, and I hope to mount further battles in the near future so that I can see how well they work when Armoured Vehicle and Artillery Units are involved as well.