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Operation Squad: World War Two» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Best squad-vs-squad game I've played rss

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Donald Acker
China
Suzhou
Jiangsu
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[Cross-posted from TMP]

Summary: Awesome squad-vs-squad game (where one man moves at a time). Probably best kept at this level – expansion-book rules are clunky.

Operation Squad is simply the best one-man-at-a-time wargame I have played in any historical or fantastic milieu. The rules are clean and easy to learn, the act-react system is well-refined and unambiguous, and the gameplay is tense at every turn.

In OpSquad, each player controls a squad of infantry, and perhaps and attached MG, mortar, or sniper team. Players build forces using point values, but the basic question is: Regular or Veteran, and what support options?

The game uses an action-reaction system broadly similar to Force on Force and a few others. But I found it much easier to read and understand than FoF. There are subtleties in play, but those relate to getting the most benefit, not merely understanding the rules. Troop quality is most important here: it is a modifier for who shoots first -- highly important when one can react to shooting with shooting and face almost no penalty for doing so.

Shooting uses opposed rolls, where the attacker rolls dice by range and adds quality as a constant, while the defender rolls dice for cover, attacker on the move, attacker couldn't see Defender at start of turn, etc. The attacker must win by certain margins to pin, wound, or kill the target. Heavy weapons allow multiple shots, which can shift once the first target drops. Heavy MGs can save shots and go on overwatch in an area around the initial target point.

Assault is similar. Grenades and mortars sometimes scatter (random, using troop quality), using the point of a D10 and the value in cm. All other dice are D6.

The designer answers rules questions on the game forum,
operationsquad.forumfree.it

The game has some weak points:
* Bazookas and flamethrowers are reserved for the vehicle expansion, which is a very mixed bag. And these rules are kind of bad once you get them.
* Better rules for support weapon crews (in which they move together) are saved for the Reinforcements book.
* Rules and FAQ about targets behind walls falling down pinned are hard to grasp (explanation below **)

Conclusion: If you want to fight a squad against a squad, this is totally the best way to do it. The base book is really all you need, though the downloadable Tournament Rules (mostly about grenades) are quite good and in some ways make the game simpler.

** Your Bren (4 shots) starts shooting at a German behind a wall. The first shot gets a Pin. If you stop, he'll fall down and be obscured from further fire. But you can keep shooting before applying damage. Shot #2 wounds. You can decide this is good enough and cease fire (to save ammo), or shift to another target. Or you can keep shooting to try to kill before you apply and he drops out of sight.
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Rob Arcangeli
United Kingdom
Manchester
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You just sold a copy!
 
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Erik Nicely
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Thanks for the review. I've been on a rules buying spree and this is next on my list. Are these rules suitable for 28mm? EDIT: going by the pictures in the gallery looks like 28mm.
 
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David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Up Front fan, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander series fan, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Fields of Fire fan
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Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
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pigasuspig wrote:
Your Bren (4 shots) starts shooting at a German behind a wall. The first shot gets a Pin. If you stop, he'll fall down and be obscured from further fire. But you can keep shooting before applying damage. Shot #2 wounds. You can decide this is good enough and cease fire (to save ammo), or shift to another target. Or you can keep shooting to try to kill before you apply and he drops out of sight.

This might be better if all the firing player knew was that the first shot was a "success". Not necessarily a pin, just an accurate shot. That way, there's no way to know if they should stop shooting because neither the firing player or the guy who was hit would know what effect the success had until that soldier tried to do something. Then, when the player controlling him order him to crawl along the wall to another location, he only then finds out he's been killed or so badly wounded as to be out of the fight by checking to see what the effect was (secretly). The firer, on the other hand, might wish to add a second or third shot to see if he can pile the successes on making the effect of the fire more likely to be good for him. Just a thought.

How does the reaction system compare to the fabulous NUTS! by Two Hour Wargames? Or Seven Coffins? Is a PDF available? (A PDF wasn't available originally, but now is ... http://www.wargamevault.com/product/108992/Operation-Squad)

P.S. That was the forum after I signed up, btw, that I started getting spam from Italian email spammers. The admin knows he had a hole once.
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Charles Silbernagel
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I just bought a copy of this and the vehicles expansion. Very nice books for $9.50 each. I'm looking forward to giving the core rules a try in the next few weeks.
 
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