Thursday, 8 March 2018

Oil Cheaper than Water....

and other news!

Somewhere in 1973

I have been very interested in recent battle reports by Steve and Duc using the rules being developed by Alex from the Up the Blue blog. So interested that I made enquiries and Alex very kindly sent me copies of both his draft WW2 and modern rules. I have now had a chance to give them a good read and report on what makes them very interesting.The two sets of rules (Oil Cheaper than Water for modern actions and Up the Blue for WW2) are variants of Neil Thomas’ OHW rules. So, although the guys have been playing games much larger than OHW, the rules work just as well with the OHW scenarios as in Alex's latest run through.

Key things of interest for me are:

  • Units are platoons with a frontage of 4" (around 350-400 yards) so a great fit with my hex grid.
  • Non-tank units can dig in giving protection but also allowing friendlies to shoot over them.
  • Units are destroyed on the seventh hit. Hits can be rallied off but....the great thing here is the introduction of permanent hits. Getting three hits in one combat creates a permanent hit which not only can't be rallied off but which creates a negative combat modifier. 
  • First player is determined by die roll but there is a negative modifier for lost units, good to represent force attrition.
  • Units activate individually, if carrying four or more hits the unit must roll to activate, failure results in the unit rallying.
  • Unit actions are move, fire, dig-in, rally and ready, a version of overwatch.
  • I'm still working through the combat rules which also look good, more complex because of ATGWs etc. There are fire priority and proximity rules which remind me a bit of Spearhead. Nice!
All in all, a deep game in only five pages of rules. Oil Cheaper than Water is aimed at the Cold War era and will provide a really way to expand OHW into the modern world. 

In other news...

  • Tigers at Minsk, west front expansion. Norm has started work to expand his TaM small hex grid rules for the war in the west 1944 as Tigers at Caen. I've been looking forward to these for a good long while so it is nice to know that Norm has them under development. Catch Norm's update here and the original TaM here.
  • There is a really nice demo of Trench Hammer on Jozi's blog. Its shows what a neat little system it is. WW2 versions are on the way, Winter Hammer (Winter War 1940) is up first. I'm looking forward to having a go at October Hammer when I get a moment.
  • Also, on Bob's blog the welcome return of the Sands of New Stanhall game, a very interesting divisional level grid game featuring companies represented by one figure and with a simple combat system. A Russian front version features in the next edition of The Nugget.


Steven Whitesell said...

Huge Tigers at Minsk fan and I'm thrilled Norm is taking the action to Normandy as well. Alex's Oil Cheaper than Water is a great game that gives very plausible results. After seeing how well they worked for the Arab Israeli Wars, I'm hoping to use them for a late 1970s/1980s "Fulda Gap" style game for some WW III action. Cheers! Steve

Old Trousers said...

Hi Steve, Nice to hear from you. I have in mind some ultra-modern (I think that is the same as present day!) action: Ukraine and the Baltics. It's quite exciting!