So let’s start with our cast… (click to enlarge)
For my first game, I wanted to dive right in, so I assumed the platoon secured a patron for a job. Using the Five Parsecs from Home book, I generated the following mission:
- Patron: Wandering Preacher
- Mission: Find Someone (Who?: Technician)
- Enemies: Zealots
- Mission Type: Strike
- Opposition will have player figures 1 less figure than the player.
- No stealth, daytime
This was quick ad easy using the tables in the book. Now to turn this data into a narrative and play the game!
A wandering preacher from the Reformed Church of COBOL has hired a technician to translate some of the early church documents from an old mainframe. Zealots from the Fundamentalist Church of COBOL have kidnapped the technician to prevent this from happening. The platoon's mission is to locate and free the technician in the abandoned industrial district at the edge of town.
Here are the results are some random shots of the game, used a different camera than I usually do, so they turned out not a good. Buildings mostly by Finger and Toe models.
"So, padre, what can I do for you?"
Initial setup for the zealots
Riley's Renegades moving into the area of operations
After several turns of exchanging fire and maneuvering
One of the platoon members down
Fortunately, Riley managed to kill the only zealot guarding the technician inside the warehouse, and they ran the rest off.
Post mission wrapup:
- Results: 2 Enemy OOA, 2 Bailed off the table, technician retrieved, mission success.
- 1 private rendered OOA, needs 2 campaign turns to recover.
- Acquired new enemy: Zealots from the Church of COBOL
- Loot: Gadgets, roll twice on Found Gear table and get…
- Scanbot: This will be useful for defense scenarios, although it is unarmed. It will help during stealth missions.
- Assault Attachment: Allows figures to receive a +1 chaging bonus even when not charging. Going to keep this for my officer…
- Trade Items roll: Local Map: This is a onetime use item that allows a free scurry move at the beginning of a scenario.
This is not a full review, but just some of my random thoughts.
The rules played very, very smoothly. I have been playing Two Hour Wargames rules for many, many years, all the way back to Chain Reaction version 1, and I am a firm believer in skirmish rules that make it risky to prance about in front of unsuppressed enemies with automatic weapons. 5 Core does this well and in a very fluid manner. Chain Reaction sometimes gets in to multiple cycles of “shoot/received fire test/shoot back/received fire test…” while 5 Core handles this with one set of die rolls. (note: I have not tried Chain Reaction Final Version 3.1 yet)
An example of firing in 5 Core is an active figure with an assault rifle shoots with 1 kill die and 1 shock die. I pull a red d6 for the kill die and a yellow d6 for the shock die and roll them at the same time, so if I miss, there is no extra step to see if the target ducks back or scuttles off.
Reactive fire is (almost) always suppressive and usually just uses shock dice. Cover helps by making you less likely to run away when shot at thus more likely to be in place to return fire on your turn.
The flow of the battle felt right, with guys trying to suppress enemies while others rushed forward and fields of fire were critical. Stationary defenders were able to drive off the attacker until the attacker could achieve fire superiority. All very good stuff with elegant mechanics.
I was a little skeptical of the lack of quality stats for each figure, but the use of skills does seem to offset this. My officer was “inspiring” which allowed him to convert “bail” results to “flinch,” making it easier to keep guys up and shooting, which the NCO was “tough,” which allowed him to shake off his first hit.
My final thoughts:
• I like the single die roll for both damaging and suppressive fire. Much less die rolling than other rules.
• The Scurry and Firefight actions that can occur during a turn add a nice element of uncertainty that should be present in a short range firefight.
• The rules are simple enough that I can use them with non-wargamers.
• The campaign rules are great and really add flavor to the game.
I will continue my campaign and will be playing these rules more!
The price is also right and 5 Core and the Sci-Fi supplement 5 Parsecs from Home are both available from Wargames Vault here.