A busy month

2020 Top 10 Countdown of solo skirmish games #5

#5 OPERATION LAST TRAIN


This is a delight. A donationware set of solo skirmish rules from the designer of Rangers of Shadow Deep. It's minis agnostic, and features a group of "expendables" or "really motivated volunteers" (your choice) whose mission is to rescue civilians survivors of a deadly invasion of bug-like aliens.

You get certain pre-set troop types, with stats and 1 or 2 special skills (limited numbers) and it's recommended you have a roster of more than the recommended 6 because casualties will be high. So don't name your troops or get too attached to them! Although you do get a chance to roll on a table to see if they die outright or can return for subsequent missions.

The game plays really fast and smooth. Lots of dice chucking action using d10's, one of my favourite dice types. One side-effect of the rescue rules can be a "conga line" of survivors making their way to the waiting dropship as the bugs also make a beeline for the survivors.

I don't play this as much as I should because much like Rangers, there's a certain specific layout for the missions (although it's much easier for me to get the tables built compared to Rangers, just because I have so much terrain for Infinity). One interesting bit about both this and Rangers is the non-standard table sizes.


Still, for a quick pick up game using your extra minis, this game is really good. It also plays fast. My 2 games took me slightly more than an hour to play. Note you do need about ... 12-15 civilian minis/standees and about the same number of aliens/bugs.


Highly recommended!


HONOURABLE MENTIONS


The last entry in solo games that didn't make the top 10 for various reasons (usually because I haven't played them yet).


The Men Who Would Be Kings This is one of Osprey's Blue Wargame Book series. It's all about squad level colonial actions wherever the British Empire had its forces. The normal theatre of combat would be India, Afghanistan, Egypt, Boer War/Zulu Wars, Boxer Rebellion. The rules come with a special chapter for solo play (which is pretty unusual for historical tabletop minis rules) and your opponent is Mr. Babbage. The rules are pretty straightforward and use d6's. I've not played this yet because I don't own any suitable minis. I am looking to either get some metal 15mm minis or some 1/72 plastic ones from Italeri. The only thing stopping me is this game is at the squad level so I'd need about 50-80 minis per side. Lower numbers for the better trained colonial troops and the higher side for the 'natives' (the game's terminology). I probably will go 15mm metal just because I haven't managed to find any 1/72 cavalry and 15mm has more ranges and troop types.

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