Designer: Mitch Mitchell
Publisher: Mas Mitch’s Games
Page Count: 6
Available Formats: Pocketed Tri-Fold
Publisher: Mad Mitch’s Games
WWII Assualt is a skirmish scale miniatures game that pits the forces that were embroiled in various WWII combat operations against one another at the squad level. Men fight in squads, usually multiple squads, that are present on the table during play. The rules allow for gamers to recreate historical battles or try “what if” battles to test out new theories in how a particular battle might have gone with a different tactical doctrine applied.
Presently, this game is only available in the physical form and I was provided a copy for evaluation purposes. It’s really amazing to see the rules of a fully developed miniatures game fit on four panels inside a pocket trifold. The heavy cardstock trifold held up very during reading, playing and in-game rules referencing. The Initiative cards that come with the game are made of a similarly high-quality card stock that held up well during play.
There are two other components that come packed into this small trifold that I wish a little more attention had been given to. The first of which are the scenario sheets; In fact, they could have benefitted from being printed on a something heavier than simple paper. Cardstock would have been a good choice here as they didn’t hold up well during playing. The second, are the counters/markers that are needed in-game to note various states or conditions literally had to be cut out by hand. These really should have been die-cut for convenience.
All-in-all, the components, as a package, are more than useable and with a little care will hold up well during game play.
The mechanics of this game are fast paced and rather streamlined when compared to other, more bulky, WWII skirmish scale games currently on the market. The game turn is broken into several phases with an “I go, you go” alternating mechanic. The mechanics remove many of the convoluted rules that add to gameplay length that other game rules are famous for including. Let’s look at a few of the things that make WWII Assualt different.
First, let’s look at the turn sequence.. This will tell you a lot about how the game mechanics fit together.
1. Orders Phase
2. Spot Phase
3. Assault Phase
4. Morale Phase
5. Tactical Phase
The Orders Phase is the most streamlined process that sets this game apart. The game uses initiative cards to set the order in which the other phases will be played out. During the Orders Phase the initiative cards are dealt out, one to each quad in play. The cards contain a number that will be use to set the turn order. The initiative cards also act as sequence of play card reminder. Once the cards are dealt, each squad in play, moves into the Spot Phase. This phase is only used if either side is playing a scenario that utilizes hidden positions.
The bulk of the game turn is spent in the Assault Phase. It is here that the initiative order determined earlier comes into play. In ascending order, play alternates back and forth as all squads are moved. Movement options are: run, walk, crawl, stand or go prone. During this half of the Assault Phase, no shooting can be performed. Thus, there is no opportunity fire in this game. After movement is completed the squads will execute the assault half of this phase. Assaults are completed in descending order; meaning the last squad to move will be the fist to assault. Let’s be clear, assault is defined as attacking in some form or fashion, not necessarily melee combat. Each squad is comprised of particular individual models and each model (squad member) is outfitted with specific weapons. When assaulting, the player will assess the model or group of models (similarly equipped) that will fire on a position and determine the allowable distance for the given weapon type. One die is rolled for each contributing weapon and for reach Rate of Fire factor a weapon has. If the target number is reached, a hit is scored. Now, each hit will be randomly assigned to the target position and possibly several models (5″ frontage). Then a die is rolled again to determine the type of damage (suppressed, light wound, heavy wound or KIA) for each hit.
Moving from the Assault Phase, play next enters the Morale Phase. Morale for each squad is checked if and when certain in game conditions are met. If the conditions are not met then morale is not checked for that particular squad. During this phase, players can also attempt to rally squads that suffered negative morale affects previously. This mechanic includes a streamlined and simple application of morale rules and the subsequent effects of failed morale checks.
Lastly. during the Tactical Phase which is not very tactical, the game turn is concluded. Cards are returned to be reshuffled, suppressed markers are removed and other such clean-up actions are performed.
The streamlined rules are refreshing and when compared to the bulkier WWII rulesets out there, Mitch has hit on something here! The initiative cards are the crux of what makes this game very fast paced.
Just because the game is fast paced, there are times when the game does bog down, but not nearly as much as other similar games I have played over the years. The one thing that I wish was further explained in the rules were the cover rules. As written, cover is applied to any model(s) in any position that provides cover. Cover is a -2 to the “to-hit” die roll. With the terrain (tree copse) we were using, we ran into issues, that models behind the copse edge, but in the trees themselves were not able to be hit because of the line of sight rules (trees, block LOS). Maybe we were being dense that day, but this something that needs further refining or at least clarified.
The game was fun and deadly! There is no denying that the combat actions in WWII Assault are deadly. The rules as written as very solid with only very minimal clarifications needed. For the $10 investment, how can you go wrong? Everything you need to play, excluding models, is included and more free content (OOBs, etc) will be making its way on to the publishers website in the near future.