Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Magic Door Strikes Again! - 5150 Goblins?

We got Goblins. We got Billy Pink and 5150. What happens if they meet each other and how do you handle it? Stay tuned!

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Nuts! Big Battles - Final Sneak Peek : Tank Combat

Nuts! Big Battles has landed!  Just in case you’re still hungry to know more, here’s a final Sneak Peek...

A German StuG (Rep 4; Arm 3; APR 4) rolls into view of a US Sherman (also Rep 4; Arm 3; APR 4). The Sherman wins the In Sight and fires! To Shoot, the Sherman rolls 2d6 vs Rep (just like Infantry).

A US Sherman takes aim at a StuG III and opens fire.

It passes 1d6 – enough to hit the StuG in the open! (If the StuG had stayed in Cover, the Sherman would've needed to pass 2d6)

Next, we check for Penetration: our Sherman rolls 1d6, with Circumstance modifiers (such as +1 for each point of APR above the target’s Armor Value, or +2 for a hit in the Rear). As the Sherman’s APR is higher than the StuG’s Armor, it'll need a 6 or better to destroy it. 

The shot fails to Penetrate...

The US rolls a 3 and adds a +1 bonus for having a higher APR, for a total result of 4 – the shot didn’t penetrate the StuG, but it has forced a Clank Test (1d6 vs Rep) to see how it reacts:

...but forces the Germans to take a Clank Test.

The StuG passes 1d6, so will return fire…

The StuG returns fire...

…passing 2d6, which hits the Sherman!  Does it Penetrate?

...and pierces the Sherman's front armor.

The StuG rolls a 5  +1 APR bonus for a total of 6

The Ronson brews up!

...and the Sherman erupts in flame!

In the above example, each of the vehicles  has a higher APR than its target’s Armor. In the next example below, our trusty Sherman has stumbled upon a German Panther (Rep 5; Armor 4; APR 6).

As the Sherman’s APR is not higher than the Panther’s Armor, it is considered Undergunned: as such, it would need to roll 2d6 on the Penetration Table, requiring a result of 12+ to destroy the enemy tank.

The Sherman has the Panther's Rear in its sights.

The Sherman again rolls 2d6 vs Rep to Hit, passing 1d6 and hitting the exposed Panther in the Rear (behind the Front Facing), receiving a +2 bonus to its Penetration roll:

The shot slams home.

The Undergunned Sherman rolls 2d6 for Penetration and counts its +2 bonus, for a total of 12 – the shot finds a weak point in the Panther's

The Panther is knocked out!

… and the big cat bursts into flame!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of Sneak Peeks. We’ve only scratched the surface – inside NBB you’ll also find Sections on
  •           Vehicle vs Infantry combat
  •           Structures
  •           Terrain 
  •           Non-Player tactics and PEF
  •           Campaign play 

Speaking of Campaigns, included in NBB is Campaign ’44, a series of ten Missions that take the fight all the way to Berlin.

Grab a copy of Nut! Big Battles now from the Two Hour Wargames store and join the fight!

Monday 15 August 2016

Nuts! Big Battles - Sneak Peek #6 - Vehicles

Vehicles – both the fighting and transport varieties – played an enormous role in WWII.  Here’s a look at the defining features of Vehicles in NBB.

As with infantry, the Platoon is the basic organisational structure for vehicles.  A Tank Platoon, for example, is made up of two models (so each model represents two vehicles).  A Tank Company is formed with three Platoons and an additional vehicle for the Company Commander. The same rules for Chain of Command that apply to larger Infantry Bodies also apply to Vehicle Bodies, with the exception that the distance allowed for maintaining Cohesion is 4” rather than 2”.

In comparison to Nuts!FE, where we define every man in the tank's crew,  stats in NBB are more streamlined. They feature:
  • a single  Rep for the entire vehicle/crew (determined randomly)
  • an Armor Value  (between 0 and 5)
  • an Armor Piercing Rating (APR) for the Main Gun (between 1 and 7 - if applicable)
  • two Movement rates (On-road/Off-road)

Let’s take a look at some examples:

German StuG III Assault Gun
               StuG III G: Rep X; Armor 3; APR 4; Move 9/6

American M26 Pershing 
             M26 Pershing: Rep X; Armor 4; APR 6; Move 9/6

M3 Halftrack Transport
           M3 Halftrack: Rep X; Armor 1W; APR 0; Move 9/6

(Spot the ‘W’ after the Armor value? This indicates that troops being transported in this open-topped vehicle can also be targeted with Small Arms or Mortar fire. And APR 0? No Main Gun means no Armour Piercing capability).

An important aspect of how vehicles are handled in NBB is their Front Facing, which is defined by a line drawn across a vehicle's front edge, like this:

Front Facing on a StuG Assault Gun

If you score a hit on an enemy vehicle from behind its Front Facing, you’ll be more likely to penetrate and destroy it. Front Facing can also restrict what you can target: A vehicle with a fixed Main Gun, like the above StuG, can only fire at targets in its Front Facing. A vehicle with a turret however, such as the Pershing below, can fire in any direction, but is still more vulnerable when taking a hit from behind its Front Facing.

Front Facing remains the same, but the rotating turret
 allows an M26 Pershing to fire in any direction

Next time around, we’ll put all these numbers to work when we look at Tank Combat.

Sunday 14 August 2016

5150 Star Army - 2nd Tour the Ikwen!

Here's another Bat Rep for 2nd Tour. This one features the Ikwen, a great alien race from  Loud Ninja Games and available here.  

The Ikwen in 5150

Towering mineral vents pierce the crust of Kwiell, the Home World of the Ikwen, venting strange, nutrient and mineral rich materials into the atmosphere.  These vents are the source of the strange bio-silicates that make Kwiell desirable for exploitation by other, more advanced, Races.

Gaea Prime has established a presence on Kwiell in hopes of exploiting these natural resources. After diplomatic attempts proved unsuccessful to reach a peaceful resolution, the Ikwen have begun military operations.  Unable to fight on even terms, the Ikwen have resorted to guerrilla warfare. 

The close proximity of the Gaea Prime Star Army on Ikwen, now openly viewed as an occupation force, has caused the Zhuh-Zhuh Confederation to be concerned. This has resulted in Gaea Prime charges that the Zhuh-Zhuh has been supplying the Ikwen with weapons and other forms of military support.


Saturday 13 August 2016

Nuts! Big Battles - Sneak Peek #5 : The Company

When playing NBB, you can choose whether to play at Platoon, Company or even Battalion Level. So far, we’ve focused on Platoons, but we can form them into larger Bodies if we like.  NBB is after all a Company Level game (it says so on the cover), so let’s have a closer look at a Company as an example of a larger Body.

For all nations, an infantry Company is composed of three Platoons (with their own Support Weapons) and a Company Commander (CC), represented by his own stand of 3-5 figures. In addition, you’ll also get a Company Support Weapon team of your choice .

Here’s a typical US Infantry Company:

US Infantry Company, ready for action.

We’ve attached the CSW (in this case a Machine Gun unit) to 1st Platoon (top left) to lend them a little extra firepower (note that they now have two Support Weapons attached – the Company Machine Guns and their own Bazooka team).

When building Platoons, we roll to randomly determine the Platoon Leader’s Rep.  When playing at Company Level, your CC will automatically be Rep 5.  This matters, because the entire Company can activate on the CC’s Rep, provided that the Chain of Command is intact.

What is Chain of Command? Think of each unit in a Body as a link in a chain – as long as each unit remains within 2” of another unit and the Leader (in this case the CC) is in Carry On status, the Chain of Command is intact and the Body can activate as one.

This doesn’t mean that it must, though; as with Groups in Nuts!FE, you can break up and reform your Bodies at will (Chain of Command permitting). Want to split off 2nd Platoon to outflank the enemy whilst 1st and 3rd  lay down a base of fire? No problem – 2nd Platoon will just activate on its own Rep until it rejoins the Company Body.

Forming a larger Body is a great way to provide strong leadership to inexperienced troops, to help get a lot of units across the board quickly, and to allow you to coordinate their actions to greater effect.

Now, if you really want to go Big with Nuts! Big Battles, you can form three Companies into a Battalion.  Same rules apply as above, but you’ll have a Battallion Commander on the board to kick butts and make it all happen.

Next up: what’s a big battle without Tanks? Stay tuned for Sneak Peek #6 – Vehicles.

Thursday 11 August 2016

5150: Star Army 2nd Tour - ISS Troopers vs. BUGS Attack Mission

After the defeat of the Star Army,  Gaea Prime was forced to send in the Interplanetary Special Services (ISS) Platoon to stabilize things. Here it is:
 Three PEFs were deployed. The 1st resolved right on the ISS, but was nothing. However, future PEFs would be resolved with 3d6 instead of 2d6.
 2nd Tour has rules for Bug Flyers, Warriors, and the dangerous Pukers.

 Bugs take the Crisis Test and leave the battlefield.
 ISS have jump capability of up to 24".
 Equal numbers are no joy for the Bugs when fighting ISS.
No Bug Holes appeared so this was a walk in the park. In any case, the ISS has stabilized the campaign. Easy to use campaigns are built around each planet. The attacking Faction has to win an Attack Mission to establish a base. Win an Attack Mission and you win one Area. Each planet has one Area per Investment Level (4). So occupy all 4 Areas, win 4 Attack Missions, and the planet is conquered.
Lose a Defend Mission and lose an Area. Campaign Morale was rolled and neither was affected.The Bugs stay at 5. The ISS remains at 5. 

Nuts! Big Battles - Sneak Peek #4 : Melee

In NBB, units are able to take one action when active – whether it's Moving, Shooting , or attempting to Rally, for example. An exception to this is Melee, where the attacking unit Charges into contact with the enemy, then resolves the combat immediately. Here's how it's done.

To be eligible to Charge, a unit must be active. The maximum Charge distance is 9” (a regular Infantry move is 6”) and the attacker must have Line of Sight to the target unit at some point (but not necessarily from the start). Below, the active German Platoon has moved into view at edge of the woods and won the In Sight Test:

The Germans spot the weary GIs from the woods...

As the total distance will not exceed 9”, it can now Charge the Americans. The Germans must make contact with at least one stand in order to fight.

...and Charge forward!

To resolve the Melee, both sides roll 2d6 vs their Rep (4 for both). This is modified by Circumstances, so the Germans will receive a Numbers bonus (+1d6 for having an extra stand - even Support Weapon crews get stuck in!) and the Americans will take a -1d6 penalty due to being Disordered. This adds up to the Germans rolling 3d6 vs the Americans’ 1d6 – ouch!

The outnumbered Americans face a wall of German steel.

The Germans pass 2d6 against the Americans’ 1d6, causing the shattered Americans to Break and be removed from the table. (If the Americans had been in Fall Back status prior to the Charge, then they would have Broken automatically, no rolling required).

Melee combat is gruelling, even for the victor. The exhausted German Platoon is left Disordered.

The victors attempt to catch their breath.

As you can see, Melee in NBB is fast and bloody. It’s a great way to press home the advantage after softening up your enemy with some well-placed Shooting, but be sure the odds are stacked in your favor – on a tie, it’s the attackers who will lose their nerve and Fall Back, leaving you exposed to a possible counter-charge next turn! 

Next up, we'll look at how to form our Platoons into a Company.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

All Things Zombie - Survivor Coming This Year!

Playable as a board game or with minis. More to come!

Nuts! Big Battles – Sneak Peek #3.5 : Falling Back

In our last Sneak Peek, we showed the German Platoon taking casualties and becoming Disordered after their Crisis Test.

"But what would have happened if they'd passed 0d6 and been forced to Fall Back?" I hear you cry...

Let's hit the rewind button - our Germans take a Crisis Test with 2d6 vs their Rep of 4, only this time they pass 0d6

The Germans in crisis...

This results in a Fall Back, requiring the unit to move 6"+1d6" away from the enemy. The Germans roll a 1, so they move a total of 7" away, separate the stands by 1/4" and face every other stand backwards, as below:

...and Falling Back.

Now they're really in trouble: if they're forced to take another Crisis Test, are attacked in Melee or are Overrun by a vehicle before they can Rally, they will Break. At least they didn't pass another German unit within 2" and Line of Sight while they were Falling Back, otherwise the friendly unit would have to take a Crisis Test as well...

End note: The Germans may have retreated out of rifle range (18"), but they're still within reach of the Machine Gun team (24"). If the Americans activate first next turn, they can still shoot at the Germans with the MG (1d6): they won't get the 2d6 for the Platoon's volume of rifle fire, but that 1d6 is still enough to potentially force another Crisis Test and cause the Germans to Break...

Next, we'll look at what happens when things get up close and personal in Sneak Peek #4: Melee.

Nuts! Big Battles – Sneak Peek #3 : Shooting

Following on from Sneak Peek #2, the American Platoon has won the In Sight Test and and are ready to open fire on the overconfident Germans.

As with the In Sight Test, the Shooting Test starts at 2d6 vs Rep, but the number of dice may be modified by Circumstance bonuses or penalties, such as having having additional Squads in the firing unit (known as Numbers, +1d6 for each additional squad), being Disordered (-1d6) or in Fall Back status (-2d6).

Our US Platoon is the same size as its German opponent, so they get no Numbers bonus. However, the Americans do have an attached Machine Gun team, which grants them a +1d6 bonus, so they'll be rolling 3d6 in total vs their Rep of 4.

The GIs unleash a hailstorm of lead

The Americans pass 2d6 - we now consult the Shooting Result table, which cleverly incorporates damage, the effects of cover, and the enemy's ability to return fire, all into the one table. The table shows that passing 2d6 when shooting at an enemy in the open results in him losing one stand as casualties, and also requires him to take a Crisis Test.

The Germans have an attached Machine Gun team, so they need to roll 1d6 to determine if the MG was the casualty (on a 1). They roll a 5 (phew - the MG is still up), so they remove an Infantry stand from the rear of the Platoon instead.

Next, they roll their Crisis Test - 2d6 vs their Rep of 4.

A German Squad goes down, and the Platoon takes a Crisis Test

When taking a Crisis Test, passing 2d6 results in no change to the Current Status, passing 1d6 results in the unit's Status deteriorating by one level, and passing 0d6 results in a drop of two levels (remember: the Status order is Carry On - Disordered - Fall Back - Break). The Germans pass 1d6, and so they become Disordered (indicated by separating the bases by 1/4").

The German Platoon is now Disordered

In a Crisis Tests, units take a -1d6 penalty for each squad that they've lost, so next time the Germans will only roll 1d6 - they'd better hope they get a chance to Rally and recover to Carry On Status before taking any more fire, or they could be in real trouble...

You can probably see the pattern forming: most Tests in NBB are 2d6 vs Target Number (usually Rep), with +/- d6 modifiers for Circumstances. Everything is so straightforward and intuitive that you'll find that, once you get a few games under your belt, you'll hardly need to consult the tables at all.

Here's more Part 3.5