A busy month

A Mea Culpa and Two Hours of Wargames


Earlier this month, I made a very public vow to get 3 games to the table this month: Zona Alfa, Crom! and Horizon Wars : Zero Dark. 


Which was probably the cue for the RNG deities to rain stuff down on me in real life, preventing me from carrying out my vow. 


So for the foreseeable future, those 3 games will be put on the back burner. 


BUT... I still have to answer the question : so how come I managed to get Chain Reaction 2015 (a FREE rule set from 2 Hour Wargames) on the table?


Answer: my ongoing infatuation with 15mm gaming. The minis are small, easy to store and quick to paint. I reckon I can get a squad painted up in the time it takes me to paint 2 28mm minis.


Some time in the future, my infatuation will wear off and I’ll have a proper mix of 10, 15 and 28mm gaming again.  


But in the meantime ... here are my thoughts on the Reaction System from Two Hour Wargames. 


I've had the rules in my hard drive for quite a while, and despite liking the concept of the Reaction System, I found it quite a chore to wade through the rules, what with the rules being on one page and the required tables and charts on another, and just he way the rules are presented.


Still, I determined to get this to the table this year (one of my resolutions) and voila! Here it is.


My Star and his 4 Grunts are on a Patrol mission. They have to recce 3 points within 6" of the OpFor (Opposing Force) table edge, then get out via their own table edge. They are facing three PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) represented by tokens.


+ + +


TURN 1


My squad moves up the table. Some are in cover, some not. 

PEFs : all 3 move. One comes into LOS of my squad. I resolve the PEF. There is Something Out There! Which means the next PEF will resolve with 3 dice instead of 2. 


TURN 2


My squad moves up. Again, some are in cover, some not. 


PEF: One PEF comes into LOS. I resolve it. It is a 7 man squad! 5 armed with assault rifles and 2 with pistols. 


My squad reacts first. 


My first grunt shoots, and sends the target ducking back into cover. 


My Star trades shots with another OpFor (Opposing Force) figure and amazingly my guy gets hit twice! Damage: Obviously dead and out of action! I use his Star Power to covert both hits to Duck Back, ending my Star's activation. 


The next grunt to shoot aims all 3 shots on one target instead of splitting them like the earlier attacks. I succeed in killing one enemy OpFor. The others take a look and his fallen body and most scatter and Duck Back into cover. One (a lowly security guard with a pistol) decides he’s had enough and scarpers off.

Having no targets in sight my remaining 2 grunts move into a more advantageous position, in cover.


The remaining PEF is just Something Out There (my team are jittery) so there are no more enemies. Just the one revealed squad facing my team.


TURN 3


Remembering I’m not here to kill but to recon, I manage to successfully activate all my groups first and move my star and grunts towards the recon objective zones.


Sadly, my one attempt to shoot at an enemy ended in failure as an OpFor shot my grunt Deader Than Dead as he popped around a corner. Thankfully, that didn't happen in LOS of my grunts or else they would've had to check to see if they ran or not.

The rest of the OpFor, though... all seemed spooked at their dead guy and remain in cover. 


TURN 4


The OpFor finally get bolder. One moves to fire at my Star. But I react first and fire 3 shots at the hapless OpFor grunt. He’s Out of the Fight (OOF). His comrade is made of stern stuff and doesn’t run away even after seeing him drop. 


The other OpFor can’t get into cover and LOS to shoot... so they just move closer. 


One of my grunts Fast Moves to join his friend. The other grunt with my Star stays put. 


My last grunt Fast Moves to accomplish the mission. 


Now to get out!


TURN 5


Most of the OpFor are excessively cautious after two of them have been downed. They opt to stay in place. Except for one ambitious guy who wants to take a chance at shooting at my grunt. 


My grunt reacts first and takes 3 shots, making the OpFor Duck Back into cover.

One of my grunts pokes a head out... and gets shot at. Luckily with a pistol. It misses my guy who shoots back and misses the OpFor who suddenly realises he’s Outgunned (my grunt has an assault rifle with 3 shots to his 1) and Ducks Back into cover!


My SAW grunt Fast Moves into range of the OpFor with the pistol... who is frozen like a deer in headlights. 4 shots. All miss, thanks to the Fast Move penalty. The OpFor is seriously outgunned though, and runs for cover!


TURN 6


My grunt moves up to shoot at the OpFor but he is ready for my grunt and shoots first. Thankfully, a miss. My guy shoots back and the OpFor is OOF!


The OpFor leader toughs it out and doesn’t run. Which is too bad for him because my SAW grunt moves behind his back and shoots. 3 shots hit but the OpFor leader falls prone, so no damage. 

The one gung-ho OpFor moves out to take a shot at my grunt again. They exchange fire before the OpFor grunt finally goes down. Obviously dead. Sadly not in LOS of anyone. 


The pistol packing OpFor grunt plucks up his courage, sneaks behind my SAW grunt ... and another of my grunts spots him. My guy shoots first and puts the pistol guy OOF. 


My Star and his grunt both bug out of cover and move closer to their exit edge. 


The SAW guy takes the time to put the OpFor pistol guy out of his misery. 


TURN 7


All my guys fire at the remaining OpFor... who happens to be the leader. He survives being shot at multiple times and runs into cover... and stays there. 

TURN 8


Which is a pity. My Star moves behind his back and guns him down. 3 shots hit, and he is Obviously Dead. 

Game over! (I mean, I know I have to exit but with no more enemies on the table, that's just a formality).


AAR:


The THW claim for their Reaction System definitely works. You don't know what your guys will do. Neither do you know what the enemy will do.


That said, I can see that playing PvP is definitely more enjoyable as both sides will roll off against each other until one either goes down or runs er... ducks back into cover.


Playing solo is a bit of a chore because there's so much dice rolling back and forth.


The rulebook and charts could also be better organised, but... it does the job.


I loved the uncertainty that the PEFs gave and I groaned every time one popped into view of my guys.


However, I'm not sure if I want that much dice rolling in my games, even if it gives me a more realistic and unpredictable gaming experience. 


I think I'll have to play some more games to come to a definite conclusion.


This game was only my team (5 guys) vs 7 enemies. It could potentially have been more, with the result it could've taken more time and more dice rolling. As it was, it took me just over 2 hours to play my first game, with the caveat that of course it's my first game so there was lots of flipping back and forth and rule hunting, which adds to the game time.


Note this is just the FREE version. My 5150 Star Army has yet to hit the table. And that one has way more charts and tables and larger squads (including vehicles)!

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