Played my first game of the new interwar rules 'A World Aflame' today at the club. These are written by Paul Eaglestone of Empress Miniatures and published by Osprey. Our trial run was a battalion size game of Very British Civil War between Red Clydesiders and Scottish Government forces in 28mm.
These rules have a retro feel to them. A bewildering array of dice including a return for an old favourite, the average dice. Some nice set up features including dicing for officer grades and ammo levels. These can be replenished during the battle from reserves by carrying or trucking them. Unlike most wargames it makes you think about not firing all the time, particularly at long range. Realistic too, as many SCW memoirs I have read mention critical ammo shortages.
Forces are very like the Great War rules we have been using for the period. Three 8-10 figure squads and support weapons for a company. Two or three companies to a battalion with attached artillery. There are a couple of starter army lists and a scenario to get you going.
Movement can be at different speeds and there is a variable element. Who goes first is by initiative rating plus dice, one unit at a time. Bit complex and untidy this part and the effect is that better trained troops go first. Firing is by individual figure although you can speed matters up through firing by squads. The effect is pretty bloody with no saving throws, but the game moves quickly. Similarly for melee. Artillery firing is particularly good as the mechanism makes firing at blocks of troops very bloody, but difficult to hit individual targets. I managed to land fire on my own troops in the first round! There are rules for everything you would want including aircraft, boats, tanks and Heath Robinson improvised vehicles.
We didn't use chance cards in the first game, but they are a small variable and shouldn't dominate the game. The production quality is what you would expect from Osprey and a very reasonable price wise at £9-12 depending on supplier.
There is a bit of paper recording of matters like ammo levels that might put some people off, but we are used to playing PoW, so that's nothing new. Overall we enjoyed the game and it felt right. We might make a few tweaks to the factors, but will certainly play again. Chinese warlords against an allied intervention force in a months time.