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Some years ago Simon expressed an interest in playing Company level WWII infantry games. At the time Flames of War (FOW) was new and the interest this stirred up seeped through to us as well. A little research revealed that while it was a good, sound system, it did not really model the kinds of movement and action that Simon was after. For example, FOW asks you to put your Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) on the same stand as your riflemen. For a game simplification this is fine. However, in reality there is no reason that they should be co-located.

Further research threw up Crossfire and Poor Bloody Infantry (PBI). Both seemed good, though Crossfire seemed to reward bunching your troops together in order to get maximum firepower. However, in reality you try to disperse your troops to avoid their slaughter. This left PBI. Straight away I was impressed with the elegant design. I have heard it described as ‘like a board game’ because of the way the board is designed and the nature of movement. But is this such a bad thing if the system works?

So I dutifully built a company 15mm in order to play against Simon. And we never have. In the end I told him to take the lot, both sides, and get back to me  if he ever gets around to playing.

Since then I have moved exclusively to 28mm. The recent experience of Jurassic Reich rekindled some interest in this scale (company, infantry) and in WWII (though I still cannot bring myself to play any campaign where my father may have actually served).

PBI can easily be played on the same sized board using 28mm by modelling each ‘stand’ or ‘group’ with a single model. Everything else plays out exactly the same.

The pictures show just such a game that Greg and I played. It appears full and busy, very personal, and very bloody. Games lasted no more than a hour.

I am now in the process of painting up some Soviets.

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