Bushido!

2021 Top 10 Solo Skirmish Games Countdown : #9!


#9 : Chain Reaction


A game that was an Honourable Mention in 2020 has jumped to #9 spot this year.


I have had various versions of this game system on my hard disk for several years now (courtesy of Wargame Vault Black Friday sales) but I’ve never played it.


The reason being… when I read the rules (which are broken into sub section for ease of comprehension) I under stood each subsection. Movement: check. Combat: check. But… I couldn’t put them all into a coherent game system in my head!

It wasn’t until Two Hour Wargames put out some game play videos and I managed to dig up this video on YouTube that it all kind of coalesced in my head and I decided to finally get some minis on the table.


And wow! This game is very different from almost every other skirmish game out there. You only ever really control your own character (‘Star’ in the game’s parlance). As for the rest of the grunts on your team… you’re never really sure if they will actually do what you want them to do. Ditto the enemy. When you first come in sight of an enemy, tension ensues. Will you shoot first… or will they? Or will they shoot first and your team (with the exception of your character) turn tail and run? Or will the enemy scatter at first sight of you? 

And when you are shot at or you shoot the enemy and neither dies… will they run away? Shoot back? Duck into cover? You don’t know!


All this excitement and uncertainty comes at a cost though: dice rolling. Lots and lots of dice rolling. For everything. You want to move? Roll dice (not to see how much to move but whether you do move of cower back in fear). You want to shoot? Roll dice to see who shoots first. And so on.


Make no mistake: if you’re willing to put the work in, you’ll get a game play experience like no other. Recommended.


HONOURABLE MENTION


Chrome Hammer/Ascension


These are 2 different games sharing the same engine. One is PvP with some solo rules, the other is written from the ground up to play solo. My first attempt didn’t go well, mainly because I made the mistake of mixing the solo rules for both games, thus ensuring lot of confusion. My bad. I got my gang of 'Runners 3D printed so I can run a classic Shadowrun Runner team and then we’ll see where this goes in 2022.



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