We recently played our first game of Operation Squad, a WWII skirmish game. Scott played U.S. Airborne, while I played German Panzergrenadiers. Operation Squad has a unique activation system that allows each player a series of reactions and counter reactions, so that one activation may see each side activating up to 3 figures each. Above, Scott is pointing to where his first man will run to once activated. Each figure activating states their intent, and once all actions are declared, models roll off for priority to see who acts first. This system kept us both actively involved throughout the game, and offered an interesting unknown quality reflecting the chaos of the fire fight.
The bulk of my Panzergrenadiers huddle around some makeshift cover. We found out pretty fast that we did not have enough terrain set up, and therefore, the U.S. .30 cal machine gun had a devastating field of fire. Several of the Germans above were eliminated within the first few turns of the game before they could reach adequate cover.
The deadly Paratrooper support weapon in question.
The Germans approach the building, seeking relative cover from the U.S. .30 cal. In the distance an Mg 42 sets up in the woods to slow the U.S. advance on the far flank. Machine guns have both long range and a high rate of fire, making them especially deadly in the game. This Mg 42 has 7 shots per turn.
One Panzergrenadier takes up a firing position to attack the approaching Paratroopers. He managed to pin down a few with rifle fire and a lucky grenade toss, but inflicted no real damage. He was later killed by the U.S. Corporal who shot him with a grease gun.
Not enough of the German soldiers made it through the .30 cal fire to hold off the advancing Americans. Here one wounded Paratrooper props himself up on the wall and fires on the German position. Far left we see a pinned soldier hunkered down to avoid German fire. The system for resolving fire involves rolling 3d6 and adding the figures tactical value (VT) and adding extra dice for the weapon at that particular range. Dice are subtracted for factors such as moving and firing, a running target, and of course cover. A shooter needs to score an 11 or above to gain any effect. A target can be pinned, wounded or killed outright depending on the amount of success.
We called the game after playing 5 out of 8 turns, which gave us a good feel for the game, and some ideas for our next game. The U.S. had a decisive victory, killing off most of the Germans and only loosing 3 men themselves. Operation Squad has rules for support weapons such as mortars, snipers and vehicles as well. A newer version was published earlier this year, Operation Squad Evolution, which cleans the rules up quite nicely, provides more detail, and compiles several earlier books into one. I found the game well worth trying again, so I am busy preparing more WWII forces so as to try out different aspects of the game.