Tag Archives: rules

0.05 Operation: Honeypot

Drawing Flies

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t know any wargamers. I do know some guys and gals that play role-playing games and board games. So, if I’m going to get any wargaming done, I’ve got to create some opponents from this pool of more general gamers. There are at least a couple of implications packed into creating opponents:

  • I must build, model, and paint all forces, terrain, and buildings, and they must be impressive.
  • I must carefully select rules that will appeal to my peeps and be easily teachable.
  • I must keep the amount of work involved in the above manageable.

In order to create impressive models/terrain/toys and keep the time and effort manageable, I’ve limited myself to skirmish rules. Now, there’s probably some false economy there, because larger scale rules often use a few figures to represent a larger unit (3 guys representing a squad, or whatever the case may be), but there are other advantages to keeping things down in the mud and blood.

I think 1:1 figure/man/tank ratio is going to appeal to role-playing gamers more than a larger scale representative game. In fact, I suspect that 1:1 games would have immediate appeal to the general public, as that’s the level most media operates on, these days. Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Call of Duty, you name it, the media is zoomed in on the individual.

I don’t think most people much care about the thickness of the front plate of the hull of a Marder III. I don’t think technical detail, especially technical detail that has the hood up, so to speak, is all that interesting, in an of itself. The psychology of warfare and the problems that commanders, and each soldier, face is interesting stuff, and I think those things are readily grasped┬áby your average person who possesses a modicum of intelligence and empathy.

Picking Rules

That’s a long way around to saying that after much research (well, maybe heavy browsing would be a better term), the two rules sets that caught my eye were “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” by Too Fat Lardies and “NUTS!” by Two Hour Wargames.

It's so...British!

I Ain’t Been Shot Mum

    I Ain’t Been Shot Mum (IABSM) is attractive because every after action report (AAR) I’ve read that’s used the system has been quite interesting. IABSM features hidden movement, deliberately imperfect command and control, an emphasis on leadership, and a rather open semi-Kriegspiel approach to rules adjudication. Yeah, I used the word Kriegspiel in a post, and I have yet to play one single minute of a historical miniatures wargame. Bold of me. All that said, I’ve actually ordered their skirmish game, Troops, Weapons, and Tactics (har…har…har…I won’t be giving that one its acronym.), which seems to have most of the features of IABSM, but is aimed at squad level instead of IABSM’s company level actions.

This is not so British


    NUTS! ties into my honeypot goals quite well. It has significant role-playing elements: Your men have traits, stats, and they persist from game to game in the by-the-book campaign system. NUTS! initiative system is very fluid. I believe THWG calls it the Reaction system, or something of the sort. Basically there is an elegant, but detailed, system of opportunity attacks and movement. This reaction system is heavily awareness and morale based. NUTS! also has robust cooperative and solo playing options, though I hope I won’t have to use the latter! In any case, NUTS! is in my possession, and has been guiding my terrain and model building activities.

In Summary

In spite of all my Machiavellian scheming about honeypots and creating players, you’ve got to pick a rules set that you’re going to enjoy playing. If my RPG career is anything to go by, I’m going to be capable of enjoying a LOT of different rules. Thankfully, the wargaming community is profligate with rules creation, so there’s an embarrassment of riches to explore at and with my leisure.


    * Look up the Battling Bastards of Bastogne, if you don’t get the reference in the title of this game.
    ** The wargaming industry is in dire need of the attention of a few volunteer graphic artists and book layout guys (whatever they’re called). I think the reasons are self-evident.