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If you are getting into the Ultramodern wargaming scene, this is the ruleset to have. While there are more than a few sets out there right now, "Force on Force" (Written by Ambush Alley Games and published by Osprey Books) is easily one of (if not the) best out there for playing actions around the platoon level (though you can definitely do a bit more than that). It has an excellent system which captures the chaos and fluidity of the battlefield, as well as the importance of training rather than just concentrating on gear. The rules, which started their first iteration in 2007 as "Ambush Alley, originally only covered asymmetric warfare; basically, it was meant to cover groups of regular troops (i.e. properly trained, professional military) fighting against irregular troops (local militia and insurgents). From there, it evolved into Force on Force (which covered warfare between two forces of regular troops) which had expansions into both Vietnam ("Ambush Valley") and Sci-Fi ("Tomorrow's War") improving and filling in weaker spots with great new rules. All the best parts were taken and put into these new rules, showing off all they've learned and adding some new stuff as well.
"Force on Force" is different from most (though not all) games in that it doesn't have an IGOUGO system; instead, one side has the initiative, which allows them to start an action (move a unit). The side which doesn't have initiative can have units react to what that unit is doing (run away, shoot, etc). They make an opposed die roll (i.e. both roll and see who rolls higher), and whoever wins gets to execute their action first. For example, if the unit reacting decides to shoot and wins, they get a chance to shoot at the unit before (or while) it is moving.Read more ›
I have been a gamer since 1977 and a miniatures gamer since 1980. Having gamed many periods, from ACW, 7-Years Wars, and Cold War era, this is one of my favorite set of rules thus far.
The rules are very much like chess in that the rules are easy to learn and difficult to master. Using an action / reaction system, instead of an I-go-You-go turn sequence, both players are drawn into the action instead of waiting while your opponent guns down your troops without recourse.
Although the action / reaction can bog down games that are composed of large quantities of units, this game is designed as a 'Tactical' platoon level game. As such, it excels in capturing the flavor of symmetrical combat. Where it really shines however, is that the action / reaction also captures the essence of asymmetrical combat where regular / trained units engage untrained irregular units.
One of the best factors that I find in this game system is that the proper use of actual tactics rewards the player, whether you are playing trained troops or a rag-tag bunch of irregulars. If you play them according to the way they actually fight, you stand a good chance of victory.
As there are no points assigned to units, the game is scenario based. Although this may be a drawback to the tournament crowd, for those who prefer real-life engagements, this is a huge bonus. I started my miniature gaming with Cold War games where the attacker normally had a 3:1 advantage in units, so this aspect is not only refreshing to me, but a major attraction as combat is seldom, if ever, "equal". In fact, it's quite the opposite.Read more ›
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Force on Force is a great set of rules. The new edition published with Osprey is outstanding! Beautiful presentation. I am extremely happy with this edition.
This game system offers a uniquely simple game mechanic that has been molded into a very exciting game. The games seem very authentic. Everything that happens seems completely understandable as a possible outcome in the real world. Yet the game mechanic is so simple, it is surprising how authentic the games results seem. I play lots of games, but I haven't played any other game that delivers the level of excitement, ease of play, and immersion as Force on Force.
These rules play well with any scale miniatures. Fun games can be played with a minimal investment. But the rules can handle larger games as well.
I was so impressed after receiving my copy of Force on Force, that I pre-ordered all the other titles that are coming.
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Force on Force is a simple yet comprehensive ruleset for modern wargaming based on real-world small infantry tactics.
This approach gives the system tremendous versatility. With it, you can play out battles ranging from a sniper team mission to company-size engagements. And although there are numerous companion books offering theater-specific rules and scenarios, the core rules are all you really need.
The game's central mechanics are designed to be as intuitive as possible, abstracting some key concepts for faster play. But Force on Force never loses its focus on sound tactics: scouting, fire and maneuver, using concealment and cover to your advantage. Rushing in blindly without knowing the strength or disposition of your opponent will almost certainly lead to heavy casualties and defeat.
From the basics on infantry combat, you can add all the detail you want for your game. Force on Force provides special rules for night fighting, vehicles, air mobile operations, close air support, artillery, civilians on the battlefield and more. You'll even find in-depth guidelines for creating an ongoing campaign.
Force on Force includes just four scenarios (that's where the companion books come in). But a quick look at what's here reinforces how well the rules adapt to just about any 20th century conflict and beyond -- from the defense of LZ Bird in Vietnam in 1966 to the 1994 Russian assault on the Chechen capital of Grozny.
Ambush Alley Games and Osprey Publishing deserve top marks for the book's high production level. It's well-written and organized, with extensive designer notes and callout text throughout to emphasize important points. The full-color illustrations and photography add a lot to the overall presentation.
To me, Force on Force helps set the standard for what a rulebook should be. If you're interested in modern wargaming, I can't recommend it highly enough.
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