Skirmish! is a generic and fun rules set that allows to play any era with whatever miniatures scales. It benefits most if the head count is low as with large numbers it may become a grind as each model is effectively one combatant in the scenario.
It remains my prime choice when setting up the table and have a game with a friend that isn’t really versed nor into the hobby but likes to play a game now and then.
Skirmish! is easy rules to remember and does not complicate obvious resolutions with exceptions.
Thus, past weekend Saturday we threw a game on the table, a classic face off in Normandy between GIs coming from Utah and the baddies.
The battle area was created by using chalk on a mat, to create some roads and a stream ( passable terrain ). Then it was just a matter of throwing scenery pieces around and go with what feels good.
It is fairly “important” to remember that it is supposed to be a game and not a diorama. So all the pieces to be used in a wargame with miniatures are just that – game pieces – and not meant to be exquisite faithful diorama representations of reality.
My friend likes card games. Often we play Tank Duel together so I kind of thought of a deployment system that wouldn’t be the boring – you choose edge and setup, I’ll do the same – but rather be dynamic with a hint of the Chain of Command patrol phase but using a deck of cards and some rules made up on the fly, because let’s be honest, the hobby is “making up stuff”.
Reds for GIs, black for the Baddies.
The benefit of getting more cards means faster movement up the field – limited to two movement per marker – in exchange of showing the opponent where the jump points will be.
For the sake of example here’s some images where the squads were finally placed in the table within a distance from the patrol marker. This phase was very fun and my buddy enjoyed the mini game.
Ah yes ! What are the forces.
2 marksmen teams
2 rifle teams
2 BAR teams
and Vito, the Lt.
2 MG teams
3 rifle squads
Otto the Hun with elite baddies including the mandatory baddie sniper.
The entire engagement was very focused in the crossroads in the middle of the “village”. The GIs had deployed the scout marksmen teams ahead and immediately tried to gain control of buildings. The plan was sound except for the exceptional sniper ( all good war movies have a sniper messing up the best plans ).
The sequence of events gets messy and there’s crackling of gunfire all around and the baddies ( me! ) move up to repel the incursion into the village. Although is not a normal drill for the german infantry, I decided to go close combat.
The baddies are assaulting the area and one charges in and the Garand rifle butt can crack some skulls.
Note: The rules build over rolls to beat enemy “quality” scores with 3 dice. It sounds easier than it is . As an additional house rule I do enjoy to let additional obstacles get in the way instead of just using the worst, so for example if there’s a fence, a stone corner and a tree, the possibilities of a shot hitting one of the three instead of flying true is higher than just hitting the stone building corner. This house rule does enhance and promote more manoeuvre game as opposed to sit and shoot.
Who’s next !? You ask…
Sniper bullet was next… 3 shots 2 kills…
The smart use of fire, fix, flank and win was the main options used by my opponent. Said like that it sounds like the dice rolls didn’t influence anything… I swear and I swore, with some interesting vocabulary, that I’ve never seen such high rolls when needed !!! ( It’s a lie, but feels good ).
Baddies in a bad spot.
A broken team, must merge with a friendly in the next movement, and a half broken one that cannot move closer to the enemy. ( these are house rules and relatable to losses suffered compared to initial strength )
With the center of the village pinned and the GI squads sweeping in after breaking my squads the situation was becoming hard to overcome. The only comment I could come up with was:
” What a scheisse show…”
Team wipe out during defensive fire. Shaken unit sees it and breaks. The 2 MGs get shaken.
– ‘you must sacrifice yourselves for the vatterland!!!!… so I can run away…”
That is when I called it a game. With 3 shaken and going to be encircled next is better to just retreat.
I could’ve dragged the inevitable and make the GIs pay for every step of the way but the quick math was telling my brain I would not win. Hence we moved forward to counting casualties and immediately forgetting about it and down some beers.
I swear I never so many good rolls in one game. 😩
Final situation and casualties.
Here is the link for the rules. Is well worth the “pocket change” value. In addition I suggest to explore the additional rules sets available from the publisher, you’ll definitely find something that fits yours needs.