Friday, 21 July 2023

Defend the engine shed and a new project.

New project? Well it is a flirtation with the Rapid Fire Reloaded rules. Having had a couple of trial games with ‘Rapid Fire Reloaded’ last week, largely with blank bases, I liked it enough to do some re-basing of the infantry, gather some terrain and to build a couple of low level scenarios for the 6’x4’ table with 1/72 models.

This post is going to look at the parameters of the project, discuss the rules and look at our first face to face action with them.

If any of this interests you, please use the ‘read more’ tab. 

The Rapid Fire ruleset has been around for a couple of decades and I have the second edition (RF2) published in 2005. 

In 2020, they released a streamlined version called ‘Rapid Fire Reloaded’, putting the game, a scenario and a sample of forces into a small 16 page A5 booklet costing just £5 - it is excellent value and just a nice thing to own if your funds can stretch to it.

It is based around battalion actions and above. An infantry figure equates to 15 soldiers and 1 model tank is representing 5 vehicles.

An infantry company is comprised of four bases, each with two figures, so 8 figures are representing the company.

The interesting thing though, is that despite this designation of scale, during play, it is very easy for the player to feel like they are playing a much more tactical level game, with a tank being a tank etc.

This is likely just a visual thing, but the ‘sense’ was enhanced in the original edition, which had a hand grenade rule. Anyway, none of that matters, because I like both levels of play and the easy nature of scale slip suits me fine - as I do indeed tend to think of 1 tank as being 1 tank.

The two notable features of the ‘Reloaded’ rules are firstly the anti-tank system has morphed from the gun / armour tables based around a cross referencing of a numeric fire power with alphabetically rated armour values and is now a simple numeric difference between gun and armour values [e.g. the Tiger I’s armour is rated as 2, the gun on the T-34/85 is rated as 2. When the T34 fires at the Tiger, those two values are compared and produce a differential of zero, which plays into the ‘to hit’ modifiers].

Secondly, during fire, infantry / support weapon bases are only removed if the number of hits directed at them at least equals the number of figures on the base - remainders are lost. Since all infantry are based in pairs and support weapons have three figures, this really is a visually simple way of dealing with hits and losses. It also means that those bases with three figures on them can be quite resilient.

Since the ‘Reloaded’ volume was released, there have been three follow up booklets. The first (Reloaded Extra) has advanced rules, which brings in some of those things that are in RF2 to broaden the versatility of the rules such as air attacks and naval landings etc.

Booklets 3 and 4 are just lovely, one brings in 4 scenarios for the Canadians in Normandy 6th - 9th June 1944 (24 pages) and the other has 4 scenarios for Crete 20th May 1941 (32 pages).

These are all A5 booklets, that are just nice to own. This is not a Codex style product. All stats are up on the Rapid Fire website and all you really need is the basic ‘Reloaded’ booklet, which costs £5.

Anyway, RF Reloaded is my new project. I have a goodly amount of 1/72 (20mm) kit in the stash, but this has languished for a long time in a storage crate, waiting for kits to be made up and figures to be painted - my knock-about games with these rules gave enough enthusiasm to get some of this out.

With Mike due to visit on Friday (today, as I start writing this post, it is Tuesday), there is a bit of a panic to get some re-basing done and some new stuff painted up.

Project Parameters.

I see this as falling under the ‘Pocket Army’ concept, so respectable starter forces can easily be put together and then added to, but certainly a beginning force will come in at under 50 figures, including some supports, but tanks and anti-tank guns etc. will be extra.

Each side will have a core force of a battalion ( typically 24 infantry) with a command HQ, a couple of anti tank guns, one or two medium machine guns and a mortar or two, for a total of 39 - 46 figures.

On top of that, each side will be able to draw from a bank of vehicles. In the first instance, I think a pool of 3 tanks, 2 transports and an assault gun or two would suffice.

I have some good supplies in the stash, so over time, more can be added at a leisurely pace and I can’t really see the need to be buying anything much more - like with most projects started, I just need to build and paint what I already have!

Meet the cast of todays game. 

The Soviet infantry are AB figures in metal. These have been primed in grey for ages, just sitting there and have nearly been sold twice!  The Germans are a mix, some are Plastic Soldier Company plastics, but most are the ‘remakes’ (re-scaled) of the old Valiant 1/72 figures by Rapid Fire. The plastic figure bases suffered some damage in the latest rebasing, so some new models needed painting up for this game.

The vehicles are likewise a mix. The T-34’s are Plastic Soldier Company (3 to a box). I like these because you get both the 76mm and 85mm gun turrets. The Tiger is a fast build Italeri kit (2 to a box). The Brummbar is a pre-paint diecast, I have added mud to its tracks and finally, the SU 122 (short howitzer) is a Pegasus offering (2 per box).

I don’t base my vehicles - perhaps I should, because Rapid Fire do resin vehicles, but they have bases attached and either everything or none should be based!

The rail track / shed / rolling stock were made up a couple of years ago and that build is covered by an earlier post - the link is below in the Resource Section.

The rest of the buildings are pre-paint resins.

Todays game

I needed a new Soviet command base and considered using a tent and adding dice holders so that it could double for ‘O’ Group games, but that wouldn’t look ‘front line’ enough, so I dug around in by ‘dead twigs’ box and got something that resembled a tree stump and then as an additional prop, found a motorcycle kit from Academy, which I now have leaning against the tree, a nice bit of incidental fluff to the base.

In trying to think of a ‘gentle’ scenario that I could have a first proper game with Mike, I thought I would restrict the order-of-battle to basic forces and use the rail engine shed that I built a few years ago and have been eager to use (see that build in the Resource Section below).

I chose a 6 x 4 tabletop to restrict the battlefield and have the action concentrated at the engine shed. The mat is the city mat from Battlefront, it has grasslands on the other side.

White stars show the initial German positions, the two arrows show the main lines of Soviet advance.

In truth, this scenario evolved in my mind after playing two tactical boardgames that involved railway lines. The first was an ASL based game and the second was an Old School Tactical game played recently. 

Above The Steelworks, Colombelles, France, July 1944 published as a third party product by Lone Canuck Publishing. A lovely map, which I used a couple of times with my Old School Tactical boardgame, swapping out the British, which are not yet produced, for Russians from the East Front Module for a boardgame mash-up.

ABOVE - OST, the Trains Must Run scenario from the new Red Blitz pack. This shot is taken just after mid game, with three defending Tigers already burning!

Links to both the Steelworks and The Trains Must Run AAR posts are in the Resource section below.

The OST scenario was based upon the battles around Minsk in July 1944 and I was reminded that my own set of figure rules which include six scenarios, have one which like the OST scenario above, concerns the battles north of the city for the rail hub, so I decided that today’s game would have that setting as the back story and we are representing just one of the many local fights that broke out in defence of the local rail net.

The opening text from the scenario in my rules states

1st July 1944 - the Soviet offensive was closing on Minsk. To the north of the city, near Pleshchenitsy, 5th Panzer Division with Tiger support (Pz Abt 505) set up strong defences to protect the railway lines that would be needed to evacuate German forces. Soviet 29th Tank Corps and 3rd Guards Mechanised Corps attacked, resulting in a large tank battle. Though taking heavy tank losses, Soviet formations were already by-passing the area, taking the battle to the very outskirts of Minsk.

Taking this to Rapid Fire, I knocked together the following scenario guidelines;

German orders - Defend the engine shed.

Soviet orders - Capture and hold the engine shed. 

Victory Points - In a timed game, possession of the engine shed at the end of play is worth 6 VPs. For each enemy vehicle or infantry / weapon base removed from play, score 1 VP. Otherwise, victory goes to the side that doesn’t collapse and rout (failed morale), when the other side does. 

Special balancing rules - If the Soviets lose two T-34/85’s they will get a reinforcement of one SU 122 (howitzer). If the Germans lose their lone Tiger I, they will get a Brummbar - a good choice for a city fight!

To the table.

Well on Friday morning I was awake before six, adding the flocks and stones to the rebased infantry and printing out the briefing sheet. There was just enough time for this to dry before Mike arrived at 1.30 Phew! The deadline was met and nothing unpainted was on the table (for a change :-) ).

As I was hosting, I took the defenders (German). There was quite a lot of ground and my forces were fairly sparse, so I decided to put numbered chits down at each obvious location and to do a hidden set-up, just to give Mike a more interesting game. 

In the end that made a huge difference as the Russians gently inched forwards, whereas if my defensive points had been known, the Soviets would likely have given them a focus and overwhelmed them early on.

In the above photo, each star shows a genuine location that I chose to set up in. An infantry company went to the Engine Shed and the second company went to the factory on the left. Over on the right, I hid the Tiger I behind the smashed up tram and made a note that it faced the signals box and was positioned / sighted so that it could see down the track. Finally a MMG went into the wood line and behind them was the battalion HQ.

Above - here is where the German MMG went, amongst the tree line.

Above and here it is hidden by marker number 10. Note the marker behind the tram ….. or as we now know …. The Tiger’s ambush spot. To the extreme right is a marker by the rail wagon, but it is a dud, there is nothing there.

Mike put his main attack up the Soviet right side, with two T-34 units and two infantry companies. To the centre, just below the signal box, another tank unit and infantry company were stationed. The mortar and Maxim MMG teams were out on the left - in what would become a lonely place.

Above - the Soviet pushed through on the right flank between the gas storage tanks and ruins, ahead of them was the tram.

Above - the Soviet centre moved forward towards the signal box, with the T-34 platoon reaching the rail track and moving into the sights of the lurking Tiger. 

The Germans had been sitting tight, staying hidden and waiting the opportunity to ambush …. and here it was! The Tiger fired and missed, the T34 fired back and missed - was this an early indication of our luckless die rolling?

Above - While the Tiger had been trading shots to it’s front, look carefully into the photo (click to enlarge) and see the T34 platoon that have moved up to get a clear shot at the rear of the Tiger … although the Tiger tried to react, the fatal shell slammed into its weaker rear armour and it was destroyed.

Above - this activated the special rule that brings the Brummbar on as a German reinforcement, which entered on the German right and immediately left the T-34 at the signal box exposed. The Brummbar does not carry an anti-tank round …… but with a bit of luck, it’s HE round from its 150mm gun found its mark and did ‘this’ to the T-34.

Above - The Soviets had pretty much cleared the right flank - unopposed - a little later, this would include the loss of the German battalion HQ, caught in the open fleeing from a small wood.

Above - from this position, they had a view down the German flank to the engine shed beyond.

One of the T-34 platoons moved from the right, across to the left, to deal with that Brummbar, but wandered too close to the engine shed and the German infantry company that had been laying in wait fired with panzerfaust ….. the second T-34 was up in flames.

This loss activated the special rule that brought the Soviet SU 122 platoon onto the table. They moved up on the left, behind the factories.

Above - The Brummbar (off camera, to the right of these two factories) got lucky a second time and dealt with the SU 122 as it emerged to outflank the Brummbar. Russian armour had suffered more at the hands of the Brummbar than it had to the Tiger - an embarrassment surely to the Tiger crew!

Now that the German infantry company at the engine shed had exposed itself by firing, incoming fire started arriving from every direction. Mortar fire, infantry fire (from the signal box) and HE from the surviving T-34 platoon were all slowly eroding the defences at the engine shed.

To salvage the deteriorating situation, the second German infantry company, hidden in the factory on the German right was obliged to break cover and run towards the engine shed to help bolster the defence, for what could be a last stand.

Above - Seizing the moment, a company of Soviet infantry (nearest the camera) threw themselves at the entrance of the engine shed. In the bitter close assault, the Soviets rolled a ‘1’ and the Germans rolled a ‘6’ - need I say more! The Soviets were forced to retire -  the promising moment had passed as German 2nd Company now started to reinforce the engine shed.

Above - With the engine shed too strongly held, the Soviets contented themselves by standing off and pouring a lot of fire into the engine shed, including persistent and accurate mortar fire and continuous blasting of HE from the T34.

As the casualties grew, the Germans were forced to take their first morale test, which they passed - still the casualties grew and again a morale test was called for - this time it was the German turn to roll a ‘1’ (they also suffered a -1 for this being a subsequent morale test and a further -1 for suffering the loss of their battalion commander earlier) …… the battalion’s will to fight had evaporated and the Germans abandoned the engine shed, leaving the Soviets the victor of the field


At the end of play, we agreed that we had enjoyed the game, both for its aesthetic and the narrative based play.

Playing on a 6x4 with 1/72 was a joy to look at, but also caused moments of the mind misinterpreting the situation, so for example, something looks close enough, that you think it should be spotted automatically, rather than diced for (which it must) and a vehicle can present it’s flank and it feels like it should be vulnerable, but it is only due to fire coming from behind the tank that lower armour values come into effect and I suppose one has to remind oneself that the tank is representing 5 tanks. 

I have been going through some of the rules, Close Assault for example and comparing them with the original (heftier) rule in RF2 (2005) and it is quite impressive to see how short-cutting in ‘reloaded’ has been modelled to keep the sense of the original rule, but with a lower word count.

The only thing that keeps catching me out is that when firing anti-tank, the way the gun / armour value difference plays into the modifiers is a bit counter intuitive and it takes a while to become second nature.

So for example, if you take the armour value of a Pz IV tank it has a target class (read armour) of 3 (the lower the better). The gun value of a Sherman 17pdr Firefly is 1 (the best - so lower is always good). You look at the difference between the firer and the target, so in this case, the difference between the firer and target is 2 in the Firefly favour.

When you use the ‘To Hit’ you want a high score and the above difference is one of the modifiers that will effect the To Hit, but in the above example, while the Firefly value is 2 below the Pz IV armour value, what that difference actually does is to ADD the 2 to die roll, thereby actually increasing the chance of a hit, because high is good for the actual hit.

I’m not sure that I have explained that particularly well, but certainly in my first few games, it has been a thing.

The booklet does not come with a quick reference sheet and there isn’t one on the website. I can understand why, as gamers with FR2 could simply take the QRS and apply it and the ‘reloaded’ project might not remain commercially viable. However, throughout play, I was flipping back and forth for the various charts and modifiers, so I will make myself a play sheet for future games. 

It would be interesting to run todays scenario under the ‘O’ Group rules and see whether this basing style can service both systems.

Overall, I am enjoying by Reloaded dabble and it was double goodness to get some 1/72 to the table.

What’s next?

The game has kept my enthusiasm for the project high and I am keen to add to the forces. For the Soviet pocket army, a SMG company of 8 figures will move to paintings sticks, while the Germans will get another standard infantry company and perhaps a couple of trucks.

Resource Section.

Building the rail track and shed etc. LINK

Creating the destroyed city tram. LINK

The OST ‘The Trains Must Run’ replay. LINK

The ASL / OST mash-up …. The Steelworks. LINK

My sister webspace ‘COMMANDERS’ is being re-configured to showcase various figure and boardgame systems that I am enjoying and gives a flavour of where current projects are up to. Link.


  1. Good to see you having a dabble in good old RF. It looks and sounded like a fine old game you had there, look forward to reading of more. Coincidentally we are having a RF game at Dave's next week, RF2 not Reloaded, I can't get Dave to warm to them. I find the charts in RF2 a bit hard to read across these days, but old school Dave is a fan still🙂

    1. Hi Phil, After your suggestion some time ago, I re-bought RF2 to fill in some of the gaps in Reloaded, but since then they have brought out the Reloaded Extra booklet, which does the same job. Overall, considering the ‘lightness’ of reloaded, I thought it adequately covered all the things that more complex sets do and felt we had a good outing with the game.

      Enjoy your revisit to the system next week - it sounds like Dave might need a copy of Rapid Fire Crete / The Canadians in Normandy to kindle some love for the new rules :-)

    2. Not a case of being stubbornly 'Old School' more a case of knowing a good set of rules that need no improvement. RF2 superior in every way in my view to Reloaded or 'Battleground Wherever Next' for that matter.

    3. David, I see rules rather like computer programs etc, if it works and does what it needs to do, then the discombobulation involved in moving to the latest thing is often not worth the while.

      Black Powder is a case in point, those enjoying its stability have had ten years and more pleasure from it.

  2. Great game Norm. I've been thinking about Rapid Fire recently but O Group is having a bit of a resurgence in my world. I'm actually off to my club in a a couple of hours to pit the Seaforth Highlanders against the Herman Goering div - Op Huskey.

    1. Hi Ian, I love the spotting rule in ‘O’ Group and feel that the gun / armour charts are very good and perhaps overall, it is better at helping the player’s mind stay at the battalion / regimental level, so I can see myself dipping back and forth between the two sets - hope you enjoyed your Huskey game.

  3. Good to get the 20mm WW2 out and on the tabletop for an enjoyable looking game. The Rapid Fire Reloaded does seem to hit the mark with the pocket army approach.

    1. Hi Peter, I really like the 20mm on the table, it holds a lot of old school charm for me. It is probably the most suited period for the Pocket Army approach as the figure / painting investment is about as low as you can get.

  4. Great stuff Norm - I just played WWII 20mm last night, although using the Iron Cross rules from GEG. I also have a "new project" (which I don't really need!) and will reveal all soon!

    1. Hi Keith, I like the Iron Cross rules (though could do with another edit), but I think it really does need 20mm as units start dragging around their activation / morale markers with them and they can look too eye catching in the smaller scales.

  5. A new project? Is it really new if you already have the figures ready for gaming? Your explanation of armor differences in To Hit calculations made perfect sense to me. How does this project fit in with your own rules development especially since you state that RF2 has a tactical feel to it?

  6. Hi Jonathan - I have a crate of this stuff still on sprues etc, which has held promise since Covid days, but just been dormant. It has now moved to centre stage of my attention now and that ‘revitalised’ interest has all the emotional buttons of New Project :-)

    It’s funny you mention the situation Vs my own rules, as during the play, I was thinking about re-running the game under them in their current state for comparison. The 1/72 were originally based for my own rules, so I might have to think how to accommodate the new 2 man basing, but I can see some advantages there.

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Michal, it did feel like a visual treat with that 1/72 charm

  8. What a wonderful looking game Norm, you have some lovely pieces on the table, I love the train emerging from the shed :) A good read as always.

    1. Thanks Lee, It was a pleasure to re-establish a connection with some of this stuff.

  9. First off what a great visual spectacle to behold! This is where the larger scales do come into their own (plus a big dose of nostalgia for 1/72nd) compared to 6mm 0r 10mm, both of which have their own advantages of course. I really like the battlemat which is one of the nicest printed ones I've seen for a long time. Somehow it just works for me where others haven't.

    Rapid Fire always takes me back to my old club where they used the original rules but on a massive table (12' long or more), but never seemed to finish a game:(. Sometimes less is more! RF Reloaded does seem to be very popular, but like you even when using BKCII, I often see a tank as a tank rather than a Platoon.

    I can't see why with your current basing it wouldn't work with O Group, BKC or other rulesets. I certainly hope you get to give O Group a run out to sompare the two. As you know by now, I'll be sticking with BKCII;).

  10. Hi Steve, I’m sure the nostalgia thing plays a big part in the attraction of this and it got me excited to paint and base again, which of itself is no bad thing.

    I think moving to this basing has actually increased the flexibility of the forces. Before, they were 5 - 6 figures on a 60mm base.

    A bought three more boards to take the table size to a true 6x4 (a 4” increase on the depth of my old boards) and I was surprised that this space gives so much room for this scale / system to breathe.

    Yes, I do like that city mat and have not seen another that comes anywhere close.

    1. I was surprised to see you expanding your playing area to 6’x4’. Will this footprint become the New Normal?

    2. I’m not sure, This was a two player game, in a solo game, I am more likely to try and stretch past the halfway line to manage things on the other side of the halfway point. The boards are also heavier (a couple of Mill thicker), so I will see how my aluminium tables cope with that.

  11. Excellent post Norm and strange that you were thinking about RFR as I was too all last week. I have been scheming to get it on the table.
    First of all the table looks very good and testament to why 1/72 scale has reigned supreme all these years.

    That's an interesting point also regarding what was happening in your mind's eye at various ranges vrs what was happening on the table (ie spotting rules) which I hadn't previously thought of. It almost makes me want to give a go with 1/285 or 6mm scale to see how that "feels".

    The abstract armor rules were what kept me off RF for all these years. I understand why they are the way that they are, but they weren't crunchy enough for me. In my older age now, I'm willing to trade detail for time :)

    Lastly, finishing up the last bits of gluing before your guest arrives? I've definitely been there and will admit to prolonging the pre game conversation to give everything a chance to dry :)

    1. Hi Steve, I think when it comes to ranges and what the eye perceives as normal, the small scales will always win out. 6mm would look good, though I think if I did 6mm, I would be tempted to put 5 vehicles out rather than just one and actually play at a 1:1 ratio with them, but obviously when the tank ‘unit’ is destroyed, all 5 vehicles are removed.

      I am told that Bolt Action with 15mm actually looks right in terms of range - I suppose the cartoon world of compressed ranges is simply a bi-product of what we do.

      in my write-up I used the term ‘Platoon’ several times …. More to convince myself :-)

      I completely agree with the sense of trading away higher accuracy for playability, but I am starting to feel that the ‘higher accuracy’ was probably not that accurate in the first place, so it is a one way trade with more gain than loss.


  12. The view from the other side of the table.
    40 yrs gaming with Norman has led me to know that whatever’s on the table will be a success. But all Norman’s articles over the past months relating to miniatures and figure gaming had left me particularly hankering for a figure gaming session. So, the sudden offer to swop our intended Friday night board game for an afternoon of figure gaming was a welcomed change. If you’re reading this, you’ll know what was on the table and how fantastic it looked.
    It was a particular pleasure for me to see so many items that have been projects I’ve read about and talked about with him in the past. Standing out in the centre of the table and the main objective of the game was the engine shed and what a tussle it was to try to take it. The broken-down tram was another familiar item and what a shock that model hid!
    There’s no doubt what made the game stand out was the hidden German set-up. It would have been very different, if I had the usual eye-balls in the sky preventing any surprises. Now it was surprises all the way and a very different approach. Every move was a decision whether to move cautiously with my infantry or risk a full move. Were there men in the factory buildings just waiting to greet me with a hail of bullets or were they over the other side in the ruined building? The revelation of the Tiger tank behind the tram was an early and very nasty moment!
    Lots of key moments followed, especially the tank duel with the Tiger that involved more misses on both sides than I would have imagined and then for the Brummbar to take out both my T34s in moments! Another shock. So too was the failed gamble to rush the engine shed only to be thrown back.
    When ultimately a horrendously low die roll at last broke the German morale and forced their retreat, it came as a great relief. It might have been foreseen as the eventual outcome, but it certainly didn’t feel like it.
    Another gripping session produced another great narrative.

  13. Hi Mike, glad you enjoyed it. I always worry that a throw down game will fail to meet expectations, but we have been lucky so far.

    It was really interesting to see how a hidden deployment creates such cautious / considered movement, but it was great to have another wargaming opportunity where the ‘all seeing wargamers eye’ was dampened right down.

    I may have surprised you with the Tiger ambush, but the Tiger was itself deliciously surprised to find another T-34 in the rear view mirror (so to speak).

    I have a couple of ‘posh’ resin buildings to paint up and the promise of a SMG company, so hopefully something similar will be back on the books.

  14. I was also surprised to read that a 6x4 was being used. I bet after the smaller tables it felt pretty big. And would provide a lot of space for that scale.
    It’s nice when you have everything for a good scenario ready to go; table, terrain, and miniatures. Looks good. 😀
    I’ve only played RF once decades ago. I barely remember.

  15. Hi Stew, I originally set up on a 4x4 but it needed more room. The new boards are only adding 4” the the depth and the 6 foot has always been available. Even so, the area did feel bigger and I am getting the full proper size of my 6x4 maps,

    It was nice to get some of my bigger buildings to the table and I can see more of same in the coming months.

  16. Hi Norm,
    What a great read! Very inspiring I must say. I have a space problem at home, biggest table I can do now is 4x4 feet. I have some old 1/200:Skytrex figures, they used to sell them as “Rapid Fire” packs. Anyway, if I play in cms I can easily get the equivalent sized table or bigger! I am now rebasing the infantry, breaking some so a new order will be required, but have enough for a battalion of 1944 British- German infantry and lots of support available so I can play a few smaller games. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Dave, so pleased that this pushed a button. Yes, that would work exactly fine. In reloaded infantry are moving 6” (or 3 if crawling) and vehicles cross country are typically at 12 - 15”.

      Small arms fire is out to 24”, though that is long range and to get results, units would typically be looking at 14” or less - so short to medium range.

      Good luck with the project. The only thing the Reloaded rulebook had me hunting for is that when it comes to spotting, units that fire can be automatically seen, otherwise it is Rock ‘n Roll. :-)

  17. Hello Norm,

    A great report and insight into RFR. I have played the rules a few times and they are a fine set of fast play rules. Like you, the mods for the armour and guns confused me as well and took a lot of reading and rereading to make sense of it all.

  18. Hi Shaun, I think these sort of things cause the biggest problem when you are playing solo, so managing both sides and it is getting late and the tiredness is creeping in. If one is 21 then it’s not a problem, but ….. :-)

  19. Great to see a ‘new’ revised project, the battle looks great on the table 👍

  20. Hi Matt, yes, some fresh enthusiasm is always a good thing. I really enjoyed this and will get it back to the table soon.

  21. Hi Norm,
    I tried out using cms, then read your post on your other site. Now that sounds a damn good idea! I will give it a go this week as the cms were just a bit too short.

  22. Hi Dave, yes, there must be something in the maths that doesn't quite do in proportion turns, but half measurement on 4x3 for 1/200 and 1/144 seems a better fit.

  23. Thanks Norm, a great report and highly inspiring - I had been thinking I should try 'Rapid Fire Reloaded' and wondering what might be suitably small but sensible forces for a trial game - I think you have given me an answer. Hidden deployment good too, and really should be a 'must do' for WW2, shouldn't it? Now I just need to paint up a few more for about a battalion on each side...

  24. Hi David, I was checking the RF2 rules today and continue to be impressed how much of those core rules made it into the shorter Reloaded set. A battalion per side, with a bit of support is a nice strength. At a fiver for the rules, they are certainly worth a dabble.

  25. As others have noted, this is an inspiring report. I hope you're getting a kickback for sales of Reloaded, because you've sold me on buying them!

  26. Hi John, glad the game has sparked an interest. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you nip over to the Rapid Fire website, there is a rule clarification sheet that can be downloaded.

  27. Lovely looking and great sounding game, it would be interesting to see it replayed with your rules, obviously I am also looking at WW2 urban warfare at the moment so particularly interesting!
    Best Iain

  28. Hi Ian, I will do a comparison. I re-ran it yesterday on a smaller table with 12mm and the RFR rules. This time the Tiger took out all 3 T-34’s and regained it’s reputation!

    A Soviet SMG unit of 8 figures and a German Kubelwagen are on painting sticks.

  29. I used to have a large collection of 20mm which were rapid fire ready now I use my regular opponents 15mm and it plays much better. The reloaded sets I feel are really good and game play seems much better, I have had a couple of ‘Normandy trips’ with Colin Rumford and rented his place in Arromanche with a bonus access to his games room where every night my son and I played RF. I’m sure you will take well to them.

  30. Hi Graham, the association with Colin and his Arromanche home is a nice bit of wargamer history. I love the visual of the 20mm, but can see the advantage of 15mm for weapon ranges to look ‘more correct’ and for a second battalion to be added to the table.

  31. Great stuff Norm, and a very good Batrep!

    French Wargame Holidays

  32. Thanks Matt …. Your scale :-)

  33. Hi Norm. Sorry to post anonymously, but I just couldn't get my Google account sign-in to work. Even after signing in I was still presented with the option to sign in or post anonymously ☹️

    Anyway, good to see you posting about RF. I've used the various versions of RF for decades now, and exclusively them ever since RF2. In my early wargaming days I sought 'realism' and accuracy, but now that I'm very old (!) I'm happy to settle for something a lot less demanding and quicker to play. RFR fits the bill, with some minor gripes.

    I was interested to see that you picked up on the tank/anti-tank firing issue that I did. If the firing gun is 2 lower (i.e. better) than the defending armour, then you take that -2 and add it to your die roll! At first I struggled a little in understanding how this mechanic was supposed to work, but if you are at all familiar with WWII weapons and armour it soon becomes second nature.

    I find that casting 'realism' aside is necessary to enjoy the game. Why does the target's armour class affect its chance of being hit? You still have to throw for damage, and the armour thickness plays no part in that die roll. And neither does what type of shell has hit the target IIRC.

    Trying to make all non smallarms weapons fit into one of six classes, and all AFVs into one of five, also grates. But I suppose that this is a necessary evil resulting from sticking to RF's desire to resolve everything with a D6. Many years ago I ditched the RF2 tank/anti-tank system and used the Command Decision weapon charts instead. It gave a lot more 'realism', but at quite a cost in speed and playability. I don't tinker with RFR though, just accepting it for what it is, a game with a WWII flavour, which lets me get the toys out and have some fun. After about 60 years of wargaming, fun is now the most important factor - which is why I refuse to play Seekrieg 5 ever again!

  34. Hi, agree on all of your RF points. Spookily, before my involvement with RF, my own WWII rules have gun / armour differences rolled into the the ‘to hit’ process and then if a hit results, a penetration / damage roll is made - like RF this is a straight roll, with results of Stun, brew up and brew up on fire. The difference in the last two results is that in a campaign game, brew up with fire cannot be recovered.

    I think you are exactly right that in RFR knowing gun performance helps mentally to undo that counter-intuitive process of gun / armour difference effect.

    Like your good self, I am increasingly moving towards just wanting to play a good game rather than worrying about how absolutely accurate something is. In any case, after a few dice rolls, things can wander off anyway. I have just sat down with some boardgames while in a de-cluttering mood and come across one that I really like the look of, both physically and subject wise, but …… I have had it for 5 years and not played it, will likely play it once as a one-off game and the continual barrier to doing that is that it has 32 pages of fairly dense rules, which I know I will not master comfortably for a one-off game.

    I happen to have another game on the same subject that comes in at 8 pages. It is quite likely that the 32 page one is more accurate or at least more considered, but much less likely to reach the table! The 32 page game may as well be traded out as otherwise it will spend another 5 years on the shelves before being likewise reviewed again!


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