Saturday, December 15, 2012

Free Wargame Saturday! A New Feature!


Yeah, I hear you groaning out there already. 'Just what All Things Fett needs; another weekly feature no one reads.' Meh. This one is at least tangentially related to the stated mission of this blog, so should be cool. This is actually something I had intended to do for a long time, but never really did for lack of time or motivation. Well, now I have both.  I've always been a cheapskate, but due to the holdiays, and my kids getting older and costing more for school/clothes/food/whatever, I have less disposable income than ever. Who's a gamer with a varied interest to turn to?

The INTERNET!

There's a ton of free material out there. And there are not a lot of people who post much about whether it's good, bad, innovative, or derivative. I'd like that to change. So, what I am going to attempt is to post once a week about rules that are free for the taking. I like the sound of 'Free Rules Friday,' but I think I need weekend time to actually get the game in, so Saturday will have to suffice for the now.

Our first week, we will be reviewing a super simple free game called Future Wars: The Kingdom of Evil. The link takes you to the file on freewargamesrules, so don't be alarmed, there is no webpage. It's weird, I know.

The Good: 

My deployment. 'Team Banana' consists of a Squad Leader and three Veteran Heroes. Good Armor, good guns, powerful in close combat. I deploy them conservatively.
Future Wars is, at root, a stripped down simplified Warhammer 40k. This means you already know how to play it. It works off of a d6, it has opposed wound/save rolls, and while there are minor differences in turn sequence and the like, this can really be considered 40k Ultra-lite.

While this makes it somewhat unsatisfying for serious tabletop wargamers, it does make it relatively fun for people who prefer a more beer and pretzels skirmish game experience. Very low model count works here. It's also kid friendly: all of the pictures in this update are of a game I played with my 5 year old son. He beat me.

For a 3 page print job, you get the whole simple rule set, as well as two basic force org charts, which break down as 'Good Guys' (Imperial Guard & Space Marines) vs. 'Bad Guys' (Dark Eldar, Genestealers, and Chaos Marines). There are also a few supplemental 'special' units to be incorporated into follow up games, giving a rudimentary campaign feel.

The Bad:

JuniorFett's 'Possessed Space Pirates.' basically Dark Eldar, he deploys them line abreast. He kept them like this all game, so they could all fire every turn. Clever boy...
The bad on this one is essentially the flip side of the coin from the good. There's not a lot to this game. Want night fighting rules? Tough. Want ambush rules? Tough. Want special characters who allow you to change what types of troops you can bring? Tough. Either you would need to implement house rules, or play something else.

The Verdict:

Heading into the last turn, you can see Team Banana giving better than it got. The Pirates prevailed however based on some hot dice rolling (kids just always seem to roll what they need without even knowing it), and sheer amount of to hit rolls. Leave it to my kid to figure out 'Torrent of Fire' tactics so quickly!
Future Wars: The Kingdom of Evil is a pretty neat game for people who don't have the time, patience, dice, money, or attention span for a full game of 40k. I don't say those things to be derogatory, as those largely describe me. It's a fast game, fun, detailed enough to need tactical play, and easy enough to teach to a five year old. And even to his father.

It's perfect for what it is, as long as you keep in mind what it is supposed to accomplish.

Next week, we are going to take a look at Firezone, a review I promised to do about a year ago. Yeah, so...better late than never, right?

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