May 14, 2013

More New Games: Pulp Alley and Operation Squad WW2

I don't need more rule sets, and yet, I seem to continue purchasing them. Truthfully, the same could be said about board games and miniatures as well. Perhaps is a curse of my personality that drives me to continue acquiring these items. As I mentioned yesterday my board game collection grew in number recently. All of those games are fun and I'm glad I picked them up; it's far easier to get a board game (although if you want to be specific most of those are card games) on the table than it is for a miniature game.

Most miniature games require fairly specific figures to be used. This can be determined by the time period and/or genre the game is set in, as well as the specificity of the model requirements. Games like Mutants and Death Ray Guns don't ask that your model's weaponry match the weapons it possesses on its profile. Others recommend, and some require, that their equipment be easily visible and a direct representation of their profile in game. Lastly are the games that require you to use specific miniatures and their profile cards. All of these have their merits, and all mean that there's work to be done.

For example, I want to play a game using the Dead Walk Again rules that are available for free download. Some survivor figures and zombies are all that one would need, in addition to a table with terrain to play on. Zombie figures are relatively easy to come by, and equipment is tracked on paper for the survivors. Pillaging some old boxes of Horrorclix or board games like Last Night on Earth would easily provide you with the figures necessary to play a game.

The other end of the spectrum would be a game like Bushido or Hell Dorado, which provide character cards to be used with figures produced by the game publisher. Each of these has exquisite looking models, unique settings and good rules. They will cost you not only the $50 - $100 for those items, but also an investment in time to put them together and paint them. In some cases you'll also want to create some setting or theme-specific scenery to go along with it.

So what does this have to do with the title of my article? Well the last two sets of rules I bought were those games.

Pulp Alley had received some really great reviews and comments over on the LAF forums. I have a fair number of figures that will easily fit into "leagues" for the game and I also wanted to support the game's creators. An hour or so after I placed my order I received a copy of the rules in PDF. Less than a week later the printed rule book and game cards arrived in my mailbox.

I haven't played the game yet but I think it sounds like a lot of fun, especially in a multi-player setting. I'm really looking forward to trying it out, and not having to paint new figures specifically for the game makes it quite appealing.

I haven't been able to take photos of my own stuff, so thanks to the folks over on DakkaDakka for the great pictures.

Operation Squad WW2 was something I grabbed at the same time as Swatters, from Ganesha Games. It's not a Ganesha product however, and does not use the same system as most of their games. I had been looking at Bolt Action for doing some straight-up World War 2 gaming, but didn't like the number of models that were required for it. It looked something akin to a small sized game of 40k. Operation Squad is a squad-level skirmish game where each player controls 8 to 12 figures, and maybe a vehicle.

The small number of figures required means it's a lot more likely I'll be able to create squads in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I found two boxes of 1/48 WW2 figures from Tamiya that will work extremely well to get me started.

I also picked up the Vehicles! and Reinforcements rules expansions, also in PDF. For all the books plus my two squads of figures, I've invested approximately $60, which is less than an average board game. There are also plenty of free squad lists on the publisher website; Japanese, Italian, French, as well as lots of partisans.

Granted it will take me some time to put together my models and paint them, but a dozen figures in army uniforms really shouldn't be a huge challenge. There doesn't seem to be a campaign system of any kind after my first glance but based on the subject matter I'm pretty sure I could come up with something easily enough.

Of course, since I have a lot of rule sets just like this one (two or more starter boxes/lists to construct and paint) getting around to all of them will undoubtedly be a challenge. Since it's my hobby though, having all of those options just means that I can flit from project to project as my interest and inspiration dictates. Who knows what I'll decide to finish up next?!


Eddie Kataishi said...

Two words: Dust Tactics.

Clint said...

Opp Squad plays very well. It's not perfect by any means (what rules are?) but you do get a good squad vs squad game which is enjoyable. It can be played at any scale but does require a fair amount of terrain.

Best of luck with it.

Obsidian3D said...

I've looked at it a few times and it might be fun. I'd have to try it first and don't know anyone that has it.

Obsidian3D said...

Hey thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm about halfway through my panzer grenadiers construction, then I'll be building a Russian assault squad. I'm hoping to give the rules a shot before the end of the month.