Tuesday, January 26, 2021

RAPID FIRE RELOADED - Take the High Ground!

 World War II month grinds on with some more solo gaming in the gaming bunker last night with me finally putting a "proper" game of Rapid Fire Reloaded on the table!  I've been wanting to do this since the rules came out!


I used a quick "out of the box" scenario from the Neil Thomas "One Hour Wargames" book - an old staple of mine - Scenario #4 "Take the High Ground."  Rather than use large amounts of figures and a "proper" OOB, I diced in the NT forces generator and rolled up 3 German infantry units (8 figure companies now!), 2 mortar units (a battery!), and an armor unit, a Panzer IVG Troop!  The Soviets have an infantry-pure force with 4 infantry companies, an AT battery, and a mortar section.  Can the Germans take the high ground?  Germans have 33 total figures and the Soviets have 37 total figures.  BP is 50% of those figures.

Soviet rolling is abysmal the entire game with their AT gun constantly missing the panzer IV, and their infantry failing to hit the broadside of a barn.  Even the mortars consistently fail to zero in on their targets...

The Germans march up - the Battalion in line, manuevering under fire with the panzer platoon and mortars providing a steady stream of fire support!  The Germans reach the base of the hill easily in 3 turns and prepare to assault the Soviet positions!  Meanwhile the Soviet Battalion in reserve steadily makes its way up to reinforce.



Providing Fire Support to the advancing Landser

Over the top!  The Germans reach the hilltop and storm the trenchline!  

The AT gun battery is wiped out

Soviets rush to defend the trench!

Firefight at the opening of the trench system!  Grenades, shovels, and angry words are thrown.
The Germans win both engagements and the Soviet infantry company breaks off and retreats.  RFR has a slightly different system from RF2 it's big brother.  Instead of a D10, the defenders, roll a 1D6 and add2 to the result.  Not nearly as potentially dramatic as the D10.  The attackers 

Panzer swings around to engage infantry reinforcing the hill!  The Soviets are about to mount a 3 x company counter attack!



The Soviets charge up the hill and engage the Germans now in the trenchline

Cool action shots - another Soviet counterattack!

More fighting!
It's tense but the Germans prevail again (this was almost totally due to luck and the fact that the Soviets were slightly attrited on their way into the assault by the German mortar battery and some great shooting from the panzer troop.


The Soviets reach their breakpoint easily and fall back the prescribed distance.  It's over, comrade!
Kings of the Hill




Soviets back to their starting line

Like I said, the Soviets had abysmal dice rolling for the entire game with many volleys scoring zero hits and the Germans for whatever reason scoring extremely well.  That and the 2 x tube mortar battery really racking up the kills.  This game had no heavy weapons except for the Soviet AT gun and the German mortars and the tank platoon.  I think if there would have been some added HMGs in there, you'd definitely see the need for smoke.  I also did not play with ambush fire for this game but will likely do so in another "training scenario."

Thoughts on RAPID FIRE RELOADED

It's always refreshing to see when rules authors listen to their gamers.  I belong to the Rapid Fire facebook group and I have to say I'm seeing many of the changes recommended by gamers on that group over the last 5+ years and those changes seem to have made the game run even more smoothly and more quickly (that's saying something because it already was a fast game).  Granted, the very small rulebook leaves you to figure some things out for yourself (just how IS an AT gun taken out?  Kill all the crew and that's it?  I seem to remember RF2 had rules for that) but the authors seem to have put very much thought into weeding out extraneous text and focusing on the rules that are important.  

Small Arms fire is much better now with multiples of 2 firing 1D6 and a simple to-hit chart that accounts for range and terrain.

Also the cool rules for HE are still there and work even better now.  Artillery is easier to call in with your radio check failing on a "1" now.

In my book, these rules score extremely high in tactical flavor, effectiveness, and give a very fun game.  They are definitely "mega game" worthy and I want to put them through their paces even more with some historical scenarios. 

I do get that people dislike the bathtubbing, but there is something fun about basing your toy soldier OOBs off figure counts and battalion/brigade strengths, replicating neat support vehicles like radio vans and Artillery OPs, and having command posts on the table.  I will definitely play these again and once we've played enough Flames of War, I may put some RFR games on for my group!


31 comments:

  1. Ok, ok...with so many 15mm WWII rules in your arsenal, how do you decide which sees the table? Is each geared toward a particular type of game? Which are your favorites?

    By the way, game looks fab.

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    1. Thanks, Jonathan, and you're not the first person to ask me that! Truth be told, I've always liked RF and when the new rules came out naturally I purchased them. One of my goals this year was to play RFR and with " world war 2" month almost coming to an end I felt it was the right time!

      In terms of favorites... that's tough. I should probably figure that out soon :)

      I guess I'm having an identity crisis when it comes to WW2 rules again. This year's goal was to get more familiar and/or simpler games on the table so my group and I can spend more time gaming. So far that goal has succeeded however it doesn't serve the purpose of finding *my* go to set of rules. I'll list, in no priority order, the games that would be in contention for the top block with me.

      The problem of late is that I dont want to play many of these games solo anymore. Too much of a hassle to set up, take down, and the games are just more fun with opponents (or they are geared towards multi player).

      Flames of War
      Battlegroup:Kursk (case in point you will not see me play any solo BG games)
      Rapid Fire/Reloaded
      Neil Thomas' WW2 rules from Wargaming An Introduction
      Norm's Tigers at Minsk

      But to highlight how truly silly my brain works, I just RE-purchased Frank Chadwick's "command decision test of battle" and his company level "men under fire" after selling them years ago at a convention.

      Send help....

      How do you pick your favorites?

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    2. The only way is to have a different favourite every six weeks :-)

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    3. Ohhh you got Men Under Fire - I have been wanting to play it for years. You have reminded me.

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  2. Cool stuff, Steve, thanks for posting, and I'm very appreciative of your thoughts on the rules. After seeing you and Darren play them, I believe it's time to pick them up and give them a shot.

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. Jack the new version might be a hit with your current Battle of the Bulge project. Given the OIBs you're laying down, a battalion vrs battalion battle would be over in a little over an hour. Plus the rules have that "shoot em up" feel to them so the kids would get to roll dice and kill stuff and blow things up.

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    2. Thanks buddy, I appreciate the info, ordered a copy last night from the UK.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  3. I’ve chosen RFR as my standard WW2 set. Not played a game yet (and never likely to, either!) but they just look right. Plus, every independent review/play test I’ve read gives it the ๐Ÿ‘. I’ve just been unlucky that every group I’ve belonged to has a ‘hater’ who discouraged everybody else from RF. They do say refer to the main set for any unsolved mysteries, but if it’s played with the right attitude players can easily come to a decision. I would just take the NT option over gun crews and support weapons.

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    1. Cheers Jeffers I thought I saw a comment from you on Darren's blog about RFR! They're great and I really like the new changes and streamlined version.

      I think some guys cant get over the fact that you call 8 x 15mm dudes a "company" and i get it but the game just...works!! And works well and it delivers on its promises. You can play BIG games with RF in a short space and in a practical window of 3 hours. We played a big stalingrad game a few years ago with RF2 and that took 4 hours to play. That was with about 5 battalions on a side with artillery, tanks, and support troops. You cant beat that!

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    2. I just repeat myself on multiple blogs. It’s the problem with being old and having internet access... but five quid for a set of WW2 rules that work in a few pages of A5? Outstanding!

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    3. Jeffers I also didnt mean to imply that your comment wasnt welcome or repeated - just that I knew you were an RFR fan :)

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    4. Didn’t think that for a second! ๐Ÿ˜

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  4. Steve, a nice action and an interesting post, as only yesterday, I ran through a couple of trial tank on tank actions to get a feel of things. with a view to putting a bigger action on.

    I agree with your observations that a lot of thought has gone into streamlining, with emphasis given to what really matters, which should allow players to concentrate on the game and not the rules, but that you are left with the odd question here and there.

    Of note to me is the absence of H.E. templates, which interests me as it reinforces my own approach to converting my Tigers at Minsk rules to an open board.

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    1. Norm,
      You have my full and undivided attention with that last comment :)

      I have to tell you when I first read through the rules my first thought was "wow they really listened to their gamers when they wrote these!"

      I pulled out RF2 to validate questions I had (still cant find my answer about AT guns) But overall the RFR booklet answered most of my questions.

      They seemed to have done away with the concept of area fire as a general "area" and seem to have focused more on the maximum casualties one could cause with the the particular caliber if firing weapon be it a gun, mortar, etc. I like that approach alot.

      How is work proceeding on TaM with an open board? Asking for a friend.... ;)
      Also I need to email you as I thought about the conundrum with TFON/EAQB levels of play/command you asked me about years ago, and I wanted to run an idea past you.

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    2. You must tell your friend that this is mostly still floating, but a text translation has begun :-)

      I have twice had a go and twice got distracted with other stuff and this of course is no way to work on rules as they lose their cohesive whole by the time you come back to them, so I need to put in a solid chunk of time on this.

      At the moment I am proofreading / playtesting a set of napoleonic rules on behalf of a friend. They are seriously accurate, but in that is a depth of complexity and exceptions that overwhelms me at this point in my cycle and I am not enjoying the involvement ... too much like work!

      TFON / EAQB is also getting resolved in my mind with EAQB having to transition closer to what TFON is doing. Time, time, time, I need more time :-) but even on that front I am about to approach on a more determined approach to doing and not thinking! :-)

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    3. Norm, my "friend" will be thrilled to hear that youve been working on this!

      Glad to hear you're making headway with the rules, Norm. Playing AWI with TFON made me realize the versatility of your rules and understand a bit better what you're trying to achieve.

      I really liked the grand tactical nature of EAQB but again, I now get it with aligning these rules sets. My idea was that instead of splitting eras, you split echelons.

      Meaning that you could take your current version of EAQB as a true grand tactical set of rules and make them work across multiple eras (ACW, etc) which wouldnt be difficult at all to do with the larger abstractions.

      In that manner, you could keep EAQB for what it is, a wonderful grand tactical set of rules, and continue work on merging your more tactical rules (TFON as ACW, AWI, Naps, etc).

      Anyways that's the thought I had - because I'm biased and i really enjoyed EAQB :)

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    4. Thanks Steve, your support in these things is appreciated. For ACW I favour the regiment ..... though if Warlord Epic becomes a thing, I can see me using the brigade, with their 60mm stands representing individual regiments (rather than 5 stands representing a regiment, which is Warlord Games intention of Epic). Thank goodness there is so much for us to ponder over :-)

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    5. Agreed Norm. It's a wonderful glorious time to be a wargamer :)

      Also know that you have my complete support with your rules and I'll continue to play them sir!

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  5. Excellent stuff Steve and great to see you enjoy playing them. I remember seeing them played at my old club years ago and they never piqued my interest. However if you like playing them and they give a fun game, then that's all that matters. For me, BKCII are my go to WWII rules and I know them so well, I rarely refer to the rulebook, which speaks volumes. Also when you know a ruleset well, it really aids setting up a scenario, terrain OOB etc that should give a good game, subject to the vagaires of die rolls of course!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Steve. I know they're not everyones cup of tea. I admit I had some issues with the rules when I first started playing them but they've grown on me alot over the years.

      Also I used to play ALOT of BKC 1st edition!!! :) a wonderful game as well as CWC.

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  6. Excellent action sir!
    The infantry assault was fantastic there. RFR would be epic for a mega-game. Beach landings or Ostfront would be superb.
    RFR works on so many levels - I've been thinking Falklands and modern WW3 games with the same mechanisms too.

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    1. Thanks Darren! I think RFR is just what the doctor ordered for some large, sweeping battles on the eastern front!
      Also I'll bet the "able archer" supplement would be well suited for the Falklands.

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  7. I didn’t know there was a newer version of RF. I feel so out of the loop! Nice bar rep and overview of the rules. There’s no problem with having a bunch of rules fir the same genre. I have like 9 rule sets for the ACW...๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Thanks Stew! I am not one to judge about rules collections!

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  8. It all sounds wonderful! Can't wait to get a set. Great AAR. Thanks for the post

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    1. Hey SRD! Glad you liked the batrep. Im a huge fan I hope you can tell. The RF changes are very good.

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  9. Btw that's a killer shot of the PzIVH sitting by the field...you can almost feel the commanders tension.

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    1. Thank you sir. A hobby within the hobby? Pics and blogging about wargaming?

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