We tried out the Great Escape Games rules for WW2 skirmishes, ‘Iron Cross’, at the club last week for the first time. We were quite impressed with our first play through with our two equally matched forces of British and Germans slogging it out in a meeting engagement. I particularly liked the use of command tokens where you can choose to react to an opponent’s movement or shooting and attempt to seize the initiative. You can also spend them on multiple activations on the same unit which is a nice mechanic if you want to lay down some serious fire or get an assault moving. Morale is managed very similarly to Bolt Action in the form of hit counters which count against unit activation and firing. These can be removed by company morale tests at the cost of the command tokens, of course. In fact, it is the spending and/or reserving of these command tokens which lies at he heart of the game. A good example of this is where both sides spent pretty much all their tokens in attempting to dislodge/protect a machine gun team. One side laying down heavy fire whilst the other reacting and attempting morale tests to keep it going. We’re going to give it another go soon to try and get our head around some strategy and tactics to use these tokens to best effect.
Our second, and first proper, game of SP2 was remarkably more successful than the first. The rule’s systems now becoming embedded and making sense and providing an engaging, often tense and very entertaining game. This was a basically an encounter fight between two similarly sized French and British forces. On paper the British were technically superior in points but not by much. The roll for position found the British forced into the corner between a wood and a farmhouse and the French, in space, having much more room for maneuver and some useful cover which they used well. The British were unable to deploy their formation into a full line. However, it was a close run thing until the French skirmishers struck a mortal blow to the British senior commander. The British were unable to recover and no replacement appeared from the ranks. Numbers proved decisive in the end and the French were able to bring guns to bear quickly and efficiently to deal the killing blows.
We played our first game of Sharp Practice 2 at the club this week using a collection of Peninsular Napoleonics. We were using two similarly sized forces of French and British who were basically stumbling into each other and getting into a firefight. The idea being to start with something simple enough to get the fundamentals sorted. So while we attempted to ‘play’, it quickly became more of a muddle through the rule book and a testing out of various mechanics! This isn’t a bad thing as there’s clearly a lot more of the game to work out so we’ve decided to run it again next week and give it a chance to embed.