This game of Nuts! was played cooperatively. Andrew and I each took a squad of squarehead Nazis and pitted them against a randomised collection of low quality Soviet defenders. We chose the Reconnaissance Patrol setup on page 61 of the rules, with the understanding that it was probably 1943 and deep in the Soviet Union.
The board was notionally divided into 9 sectors. Our squads entered from the bottom left and right, sectors 7 and 9. In the remaining six sectors I placed a single enemy model to representa Potential Enemy Force (PEF – gotta love the way Americans love acronyms).
The Germans were Reputation (Rep) 4, the Soviets, 3. We did not add in all the extra character traits for this game as it was the first exposure Andrew had enjoyed with the system. But the experience reminded me yet again that, as with any of the Ganesha set of rules, it is these personalisation – special rules – that make the difference. Without them any set of rules devolves into ‘roll dice and count 6’s’.
So, the squad on the right advanced and immediately contacted an enemy squad behind strong cover. Initial fire drove the Nazis to cover with two men down, but a set up and return fire from the MG42 soon cut down the communist robots. This exchange went on for a while, but the end result was the entire Soviet squad being eliminated.
On the left flank the Germans managed to advance somewhat quicker until they too found an enemy. Snap fire drove them back, but again, the Germans managed to mangle the Soviets, driving them back into cover.
Expanding out to the left flank, a group of Germans quickly covered the dead ground and reached cover. The fire from a Degtyaryov on a second floor swept the area, but a cleverly placed MG42 cleaned them up as well. In terms of the scenario, the objectives would have been complete as the opposing edge of the board could have been scouted.
Ultimately, the enemy (Soviets) would have poured in reinforcements. But this was as much as Andrew and I felt like playing. Overall, the game probably took not a lot longer than two hours – holding true to the company claim. Again, I think the feel was correct for WWII.
Nuts!, and the Chain Reaction system in general, more than any other system I have played really rewards a close study of the rules. The mechanisms are not bizarre, but you really need to get your head around them.