Greg and I tried another game of Poor Bloody Infantry (PBI) using 28mm models in place of each ‘group’.
Since my Russians are not done yet we needed to substitute something so the game took on a non-historical StarGate 1900 feel when we pitched WWI era Germans back at them. Forgiving this silly matchup, and just working to understand the game rules, we found a number of interesting things.
This time we used the full rules instead of the Quick Start. This included the pre-game reconnaissance, rules for suppressing fire, and the full rules for hand to hand assaults. Combat was just as bloody, perhaps more so, but the addition of suppressing fire gave us more options.
As it turned out Greg’s attacking WWII Germans arrived on the table with everything except one heavy machine-gun. They advanced boldly and caused apparently easy casualties in my WWI era German defenders. However, once he closed and tried to assault he was bloodily repulsed. In fact the platoon was eliminated. With only one platoon left and the game clock running out (another PBI method to find the game end) Greg conceded. Total playing time: around, or just over an hour.
PBI again felt right for a WWII minor Infantry tactic game. The results felt correct. The covering fire, move and assault sequence seems right. In every way it seems to model the high rate of fire, high lethality environment. However, as I watched the players die I asked myself, ‘where is the place in this game for the story? Where is the narrative angle?’ I’m still not sure. The rules are sound and solid: absolutely perfect for a convention or invitation game. But can they be used to model the kinds of story-telling skirmishes we want to play? Can I, in short, play out a scene from The Dirty Dozen?
More test plays to come.
In other news, I have decided that since 28mm miniatures are scaled 1/56 in height but 1/48 in solidity (they have oversized, childish heads and hands) a correctly scaled 1/56 tank will look small (incidentally GW model their WH40k vehicles on 1/35 scale parts). Therefore I am going to use 1/48 scale armour for this WWII gaming effort. If nothing else, the range is much larger.