As promised, a brief account of Thursday's playtest. As I may have mentioned earlier "For Whom The Dice Rolls" has been used by other people, so I have gone for the line precedes the title of Hemingway's novel.
I set up an attack on a Republican position defended by some Internationalists, a battalion of Peninsula army and a unit of Assault Guards. Against them we had some Foreign Legion, some Moroccans, a unit of Requetes and another of Civil Guards, (possessors of the world's silliest hats). The Fascists were supported by some field guns and a couple of Condor Legion tanks. At the moment the forces in games are determined by what figures have been finished. Here's a picture of the Internationalists on the ridge line.
At the start of the game you have to calculate how effectively co-ordinated each side is, by taking into account how many different types of troops it has. This meant the Republicans were slightly ahead of the Nationalists on turn initiative rolls. This got a favourable reaction as a mechanism from the players.
Will & I took the Nationalists, and Phil & Chris the Republicans. In the pictures my figures have the sandy coloured bases, and Chris's the green.
Will and I fired off a few rounds to soften up the Communists, then we leapt out of the sunken road and charged across the open ground towards them. They returned a hail of fire which eventually destroyed a battalion of the Legion,
The Civil Guards supported by the Requetes and the Condor Legion tanks managed to get up to the olive grove on their right and launch a ferocious close assault on the Assault Guards behind the hedge. This is the situation after the combat. That's two, two base, companies at the hedge line, and the marker under one of the bases with a red cross peaking out indicates one of the remaining half companies is damaged.
On the left the Legion had made dogged progress but were caught in a crossfire. As you can see from the picture they were rather exposed as the plain had no cover at all on it. The rules allow for units with high motivation to remove potential casualty markers quite easily, but it was still a gruelling baptism of fire for the little fellows none the less.
The Moroccans had been late off their start line and never really got in the game. They were just poised to attack the Peninsula Army boys holed up in the village when after a couple of hours of play and chat we decided to stop for a wash up.
The immediate result of this playtest is that the co-ordination and command rules I wrote whilst in flight have gone in the bin. I was the only one who tried to use them and they did very little good. I have a few ideas for a replacement process, but that was quite a disappointment.
My firing system works quite well, I just need to get the factors right. Essentially bases have a basic points value that is modified by circumstances. You roll less than that on the die for a hit. At close range you use a d6, at medium a d8 and at long a d10. We had a lot of hits at medium range, so I probably need to downsize the point scores, or switch the dice to d6/d12/d24. The casualty allocation method is shaping up okay. Basically you stack all the hits up next to the command figure. Then when that unit is next activated you dice to see which ones become permanent hits.
The anti-armour rules are not so clear. I don't know if the system works or not. Unlike the infantry firing it isn't obvious if a few tweaks will fix them or not. Hand to hand combat worked, but I'm using an opposed die roll base by base, so that's a bit slow.
Don't know if I need more morale rules either.
Anyway a good enough start, and something for me to work on. I really must get back to some painting as well so we have a bit more balance and variety next time we play. Some Nationalist armour might be nice!