Bottom Line Up Front:
If you want a rule set that provides a tactical squad level experience using historic doctrine and Tables of Organization and Equipment to provide an accurate, yet fluid, representation of World War 2 combat, look no further!
I will play this game
Ultracombat Normandy is a squad-based skirmish World War 2 game written by Colin Phillips and Nathan Dieck. While the game presents itself as a squad-based Skirmish it can be scaled up to the platoon level and have vehicles/tanks/mortars and anti-tank Guns. The rule set provides in-depth examples of rules interactions as it would come up during a game. The author has clearly done their homework on WW2 doctrine and even provides historical vignettes for why rules or mechanics work the way they do. This is one of the few times I have seen this provided in a rule set and creates a shared understand of the intent of the rules that otherwise may get lost biased on a gamer’s bias from previous wargames.
Ultracombat Normandy has elements of resource management in the use of action points. Each figure (one miniature) generates action points which enables them to perform actions. These can be combat actions like shooting or non-combat actions like spotting or passing on information. Groups of Soldiers or individual leaders are referred to as elements. Leaders can form teams, by combining multiple elements within their range of influence. Each element has an associated card with all the of the element’s stats present which form the players deck. Games of Ultracombat Normandy consist of several Combat Rounds (every element activating) composed of multiple Combat Phases (each element activating). Elements/teams are generally activated by the owning player selecting their element card from their player deck, placing it face down with the opposing player, and flipping them over at the same time. Activation goes in precedence of experience or the use of doctrine/tactics cards assigned to the element. This create a unique game within the game which gives fans of John Boyd a chance to get in your opponent’s OODA Loop (worth the google). The book culminates with a combat round example. This example is a brilliant battle report that goes in depth to what is happening and how the rules interact within the space of the game.
If you liked what you have read, click the link and order the pdf or hard copy of the rule book. I look forward to following up this rulebook review with a gameplay review. I would print out the unit card at home with black ink (just the ones you need) and then if you enjoy your experience to just buy the cards. But then again, I am a sucker for already finished gaming aids.
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