Last night I had the opportunity to run through a game called 5150 with a friend of mine. This was the first play through of a game for any of us so all of the rules were fresh and new to us. We had sought out this game from a company called Two Hour Wargames. This company is pretty much a one man shop and he produces many wargames all based off a similar set of mechanics. His philosophy for playing his games do not revolve around purchasing shiny new models, but rather, using what you already have. The rules scale to adjust for any scale of miniatures and the only real requirement is having similar scale on both sides to keep it fair. The size of the game was also appealing since the average games is going to have each person using approximately 8-12 models and then growing from there.
In last nights run through it was pretty obvious that we have been playing some fairly linear I go and then You go games, this is pretty far removed from that. The game utilizes a series of checks that simulate spotting someone before they spot you. So for an example, I’m hidden out of sight from an enemy, the enemy moves around the corner, I would get an opportunity to react to him coming around the corner before he’d get to continue doing what he had planned. This could mean I get scared and run or fire upon him depending on how the reaction check turns out. This is something that probably doesn’t sound like much, but this type of mechanic is prevalent through out the game.
Even though my first run through was a thorough beating, I must say the basic game mechanics we went through were very good. Once we understood what was to happen in what order, the game moved fairly smoothly. As with most new games that I’ve tried over the years, other rules from other games seem to try and slip in and make the learning curve a little bit steeper, but this isn’t a fault of this game or another, it’s just my brain saying, knock that shit off, you can’t learn any more! Some of the games initial start up was difficult to decipher as well, because we were trying to make a roughly close game in terms of army size…but neither of us had made a force for this game, so we were basically guessing at this point. This won’t be as big of an issue going forward, but the first is always the hardest.
Since this was only the first game, hopefully of many, I don’t have a full grasp on this system yet. There are some definite things that are irritating, such as how the rules are laid out. The rules layout leaves a lot to be desired, even reading through sections twice left me a bit baffled, but once you run through them on a table it seems to straighten them out.
More to come next time we get a good play-through on this game.
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