For the first time in quite a while, a two-hour window of opportunity presented itself. The boy wasn’t interested in a little light gaming, but his 11 year old sister was. After a few minutes reviewing Osprey’s trusty Black Ops rules, her eyes started to glaze over, so we shifted gears and ripped a copy of Warstuff from the One Page Rules website.
It took us about five minutes to bang out two different 150 point forces, ten minutes to go over the rules, and then we enjoyed a pair of thirty minute games. She used the armored Prang, and I had a larger force of less capable Octos.
|Click for more detail. The melee near the yellow garage door
didn’t go well for the weaker Octo.
Warstuff is pretty much as simple as a wargame can get and still be considered a wargame. It’s a one-stat plus skills system with that one stat used for shooting, fighting, and resisting wounds. The skills can influence that stat for different parts of the game, and the skill set is limited enough to be learned within the first turn of the game.
Our forces were evenly matched, and thrown together with little thought, but it made for nice, light game. This is just the sort of game that I’ve been looking for, given that my normal mode of play is essentially solo-play with the added sandbag of helping my young opponent understand the rudiments of strategy and tactics. Much as I’d love something deeper and more complex, you really do need an opponent who can help you remember the fiddly bits and rule exceptions that more rigorous rulesets demand.
|The melee to the front of the ad went a little better. The
brave leader hiding behind the sign failed the first rout check
in this game, and the Octos fled at the first check.
The one downside from my perspective is that most of the rules on the site are heavily tied to the Warhammer 40k universe. While I know enough about the background to kludge something together after a while, for a quick dirty fight this basic system worked better for us. For my money (he said, jokingly, referring to a set of free rule systems), a purely generic ruleset would be a step in the right direction. Warstuff, designed for toys and army men and any little bits and pieces you have lying around the toybox, is the only generic set on the site, and is easier to play straight off the printer.
In the final analysis, my daughter enjoyed the game enough to want to sit down and draw up some proper forces, and we’re comfortable enough to run 300 point battles, which should give us enough the ability to play with up to 10 figures on a side, and to experiment with a wider skillset than Leader, Shooter, Armor.