Sunday, 4 September 2016

WW2 Normandy skirmish game on 2'x2' with 5Core

I have been wanting to play a 5Core games ever since the first game in the series, Five Men in Normandy came out.  Since then, 5Core itself then came out and is up to the third edition.  I have recently been looking for a game that is good for co-operative play since playing some 20mm WW2 with the children.  They wanted a smaller board and I was thinking of revising my own NUTS! like rules but then remembered 5Core.  I played two games to test them out, and this is the third game (using the same forces and board).  They are great.  I may need to simplify Scared and Panic (or at least explain them better than my cheat sheet does) for the children but other than that I think it will work great!
I also have been on the lookout for a company level game (1 stand = 1 squad/section) with a lot of dynamics (activations, reactions etc) for my 6mm games on 2'x2'.  I have been attempting to modify my own skirmish rules to adapt them to company level.  However, I think 5Core Company Command will work great (if the skirmish version is anything to go by) so there is a good chance you will see some 6mm 5Core Company Command battle reports in the future.

A simple scenario - the Germans are defending a building and a British section needs to kick them out.  I randomised the terrain using a system that is a cross of NUTS! and Platoon Forward.

Shot from the British entry. Note there is a leftover British soldier (the Oops) from the previous game.  I did not notice him to about 1/2 way through the game!  so he appears in some other early shots.  He should not be there.

Top shot of the 2'x2' board.  British entry at bottom. Objective building in the centre.
I did not randomise the soldiers, just picked 7 figures for the British  as that sounded alright for a small game and 5 for opposition.The British are a reduced section of a the Corporal with an SMG (classed as a leader), Lance Corporal Bren gunner with assistant and four riflemen.

Corporal Smith with SMG, leader and leader die
Lance Corporal Brenner with Bren
Private Ashdown, Bren assistant, rifle
Private Goodwin, Rifle
Private Hull, Rifle
Private Ingram, Rifle
Private Jones, Rifle
The Brits - Brenner, Ashdown, Jones, Ingram, Corporal Smith, Hull and Goodwin. Long live plastic army kits!
The Germans are a 2 person MG34 crew, SMGer Gruppenführer and 2 riflemen.

Gruppenführer Schmitz , SMG
Grenadier Muller, MG34
Grenadier Mayer, MG34 assistant, rifle
Grenadier Jung, Rifle
Grenadier Konig, Rifle
Konig, Jung, Gruppenführer Schmitz (SMG in front), Muller and Mayer. Mor eplastic kit.
German MG in the centre building, Gruppenführer Schmitz, Jung and Konig in the wheatfield behind the hedge (I picked three positions and then placed randomly placed the two groups).

German deployment.  Building top comes off and I did this for the rest of the game, especially as the map drawers do not close with the roof on.
The British also deploy in two groups, the Bren team on the left, the Corporal Smith and the 4 riflemen on the right.

Overview that also shows the British deployment.
For the British, I am rolling three activation dice (white) event chance die (red), event number, if event die is a 1 (the blue d20) and the leader die (green). Leader die only relevant on a 1 or 6.
The Germans have two activation dice and I am not giving them a leader die.

The only shot of dice - just to show a British turn roll - event die (red for chance, blue d20 for the event if happens, green leader die, 3 white activation dice.
British first move is quite simple - advances each group to the back of the building.

Brenner and Ashdown, the Bren team, move to the left building.

Corporal Smith leads the others to the rear of the right flank building. 

For moving into a house, I am assuming it is one activation to move to the rear,and then one activation to move inside into position (declare hiding peeking at this point).  And while adjacent figures can assist a move, I loosely define adjacent - using about an inch - as my bases are quire small.

Next turn, both British groups move into building and peek out from front.
Note that I used tactical moves from Five Men at Kursk (4 figures within 6" move only on the one activation).
No reactions to the Bren team that scurries, but the others are fired on by the MG34. Jones is knocked down, Ingram panics, retreats 6", no cover covers so retreats  and 6" off the board. I was tempted to use the panicking 3" for, the edge rules from Five Men in Normandy but like they will retreat off the board.
Note that I got carried away with reaction fire here - it is only shock dice and I rolled kill dice for the LMG as well. A carryover form playing NUTS! where reactions are full fire.  Not to spoil it, but Jones comes back later. And I also like the rules from Five Mean at Kursk that a panicked unit does not retreat form cover, but also like the Company Command rule that they will regardless if known enemy with 12".  In the end, i decide Ingram retreats, even though the enemy is 14" away.  I think in future I will use the no retreat if scared and known enemy is greater than 16" away (16" for the small board, or I would pick 24").
And I also fired at the furthermost away figures and should have been the closest.  I was just going right the left, no idea why!

Lastly, the British AREin the buildings but I put them behind as the roofs do not come off.

MG34 opens up on the advancing Brits.

Ingram retreating (and continues off the board), Jones is knocked down.
It is the German turn and the Brits are peeking, the Germans can fire.
I am lazy and do not want to track who fired and who did not.  So if you reaction fire, you can fire in your own activation, and if you fire in activation, you can reaction fire. It also makes for a faster game!  Company Command works this way, so I am not straying too far from the rules :-)

German targets in their turn.
Gruppenführer Schmitz (SMG) and Jung (Support shock die) at the Bren team for 1K2S results in one Knock down.  Ashdown fires back (reaction) - nothing.

Brenner is knocked down, Ashdown fire back for no result.
The MG34 at the three peeking on the right flank results in 2 knockdowns!  I never took a picture of this :-( but two recover in the British turn, peek, reaction fire form LMG is no effect (!) and the two rifles fire at the German LMG team (Corporal Smith's SMG is out of range). LMG receives one Knock down and one panic.

MG34 Knockdown, assistant panics and retreats.

Brenner (with the Bren) recovers and they fire at the Germans in the wheatfields an scores a Scared on Gruppenführer Schmitz.

Gruppenführer Schmitz is scared (I use the green bush to mark this).

The Germans now roll to recover Muller, the MG34 gunner but roll a 6 and Muller is Out of Action.

Muller, the MG34 gunner, does not recover and is out of action.
Jung in the wheatfields fires as Ashdown (Bren assistant) who panics and retreats off the board.
Note the Schmitz (SMG) is longer scared as it the end of the German turn.

The Brits are now down to 2 activation dice.  The Bren fires (with no assistant, the amount of dice used is reduced)...
Lone Brenner fires...

...and panics Schmitz with the SMG.

...and panics Schmitz
Jung reacts, fires and Brenner is knocked down (again, should have just been shock die for reaction fire).

Return fire sees Brenner knocked down.
On the right flank, the  rifles open up and a Konig is Scared.

Brits fire first, Germans return fire.
In the German turn Jung fires and scares Goodwin.

Jones reaction fires back for a knock down on Jung.
Gruppenführer Schmitz recovers from panicking behind the building

Another reaction fire that should be shock dice only.  I am beginning to like having a Kill die in reaction! It certainly speeds up the game.  And while reaction is more about opportunity fire/covering fire, i seem to be using it more like a decent return fire, almost like having your go.  I might keep reaction fire just being like normal fire.  Maybe.

Jung is knocked down.  The brown blob next to Konig is to represent he is hiding (after being scared, he has not popped his head up yet.
The British roll two scurries and so decide to advance, an  especially good option as there is no LOS to any Germans, even if they could react (which they cannot in a scurry).  Corporal Smith SMG is not in range of anything where they are either.  And after all, the centre building is the objective.  Private Hull is left Knocked Down in the right building though :-(  There has never been enough action dice to help him recover.

British advance on the right.
Gruppenführer Schmitz scurries into building and is not peeking (Schmitz should have as no reaction in a scurry.  My mistake that cost Schmitz dearly).  Knocked down Jung in the wheatfields is now OK and peeking (got a scurry as well)

Ok, on the British turn I want to see how Brawling works.  The three Brits behind the hedge Brits run to house.  Jung reacts and fires, Corporal Smith leader panics but Goodwin and Jones continue to the building.

Goodwin and Jones make it to the building, Corporal smith panics under fire from the wheatfield.
In the subsequent Brawl the British win by one but as Schmitz is hiding he panics (if he was peeking like he should have been, he would have just been Scared).

The victorious British advance.
Panicked Schmitz quickly recovers from his contact with the Brits.
The Germans get a useful random event - one figure can shrug off a panic.
He fires his SMG at the Brits in the building (3S as he wants them out!) and scares one
Schmitz is next to the Panicked Mayer, the MG34 assistant.  Mayer is now just scared.

Jung in the wheatfields fires for no effect - that seems to be a first for this game!

Corporal Smith recovers from his panic and scurries  back to the hedge
Goodwin (in the building) fires at Schmitz who is knocked down.  The shock roll was a 6 that is applied to Mayer who panics and retreats of the board.

Fire from the building at Schmitz knocks him down, and the MG34 gunner retreats off the table.
Gruppenführer Schmitz attempts to recover, but his wounds are too much and he is out of action.
But Jung, who seems to have been on fire this game, fires at Goodwin in the building who panics.

Goodwin panics, but i moved Jones by mistake!
Brenner finally recovers from cowering in the building, peeks and fires at Jung who is knocked out.
Jung could not react - he was facing the wrong way.

Konig, the last German and I think fired once the entire game, does a runner.

The British are victorious!

Firstly, the dice were swinging in this game compared to the other two i played (with the same setup).  I got two random events in the entire game (one was not relevant so did not record it).  In the other games, I seemed to be looking up random event every second turn! And when you roll 1K1S on 2d6 with 1 and 6 having an effect, there is about half a chance that nothing will happen (ok, 4/9ths for those preferring exactness).  I seemed to roll an outcome nearly every time I fired! The leader die also seemed to come into effect a lot in the previous games but not once did I roll a 1 or a 6 with it.

Secondly, these rules are great and despite some mistakes, and my inevitable rule tweking, they really suit what I am looking for in a solo game. They provide a fun, fast, tense chaotic game where you have to make tough decisions all the time.  And more importantly the rules fade into the background. I cannot wait to try them out with the children and play some 5Core company Command with my 6mm forces.


  1. Shaun, nice snappy action, interesting to see that the potential doubling of fire capability (by not marking reactions etc) does not seemed to have harmed the feel of the game.

    1. It does increase the chance of something happening, but the effect of a Knockdown is not too different form a Panic (the shock die) except in recovery you may not come back! But I really like that the reaction fire can encompass all the possible game results, not just the shock ones.

  2. Looks like a great time! I'm looking forward to seeing your take on Company Command as I'm considering it myself, but for platoon per base gaming.

    1. It would work just fine with platoon per base, although if you are a bit picky on scale you may want to change some of the firing ranges.

  3. Never heard of 5Core rules before, but will take a look, I'm a Nuts! fan, always looking for other angles :)

    1. They have different mechanisms to NUTS! but contain similar elements to produce a similar feel such as dynamic turn sequence, reaction fire and reaction results.