The Battlefield is a quite different take on miniature wargaming, it is inspired by PC/console games and has a completely new and dare I say fresh take on the classic wargaming mentality. Now before you run off in the other direction (possibly screaming “HERESY!!”) let me describe ideas and basic game mechanics included in this set of rules.
First of all, the game is meant to be played by 2-8 people, at the same time. Either in teams supporting each other, multiple teams or free for all. It has the same backbone that you will find in squad based RTS games where I think Company of Heroes and World in Conflict is the most compatible comparison I can make.
The game can be played with either single or multi based miniatures. Almost all soldiers in this game make up “units/squads” that have to maintain unit coherency and who share a common profile of stats (which are reduced as the squad takes casualties).
Results are generated by opposed rolls using D6s where each 4+ equals a “success”, and the number of dice players roll depend on unit profiles, terrain features etc. The player that rolls more successes than his opponent becomes the winner and inflicts the number of damage points equivalent to his success ratio. The defender may reduce the number of successes with each success of his own, possibly avoiding taking damage altogether. There is a bunch of modifiers in the number of dice rolled, but the basic idea of everything 4+ being a success and everything below being a failure creates a very fast paced and slick system upon which the game rests.
The Battlefield also uses Command Action Points (CAP) which is basically something that you use to pay for unit actions. The game turn sequence depends on the number of players, but playing 2 players it uses a straight IGOUGO. Playing in teams you take turns activating one player from each team at a time rather than the whole team together (Red player 1, Blue Player 1, Red player 2, Blue player 2 etc).
There are no “point costs” for units in this game. Instead each player has a set number of units at his disposal which depend on the number of players. 1vs1 games have the players command 4 units each. Destroyed units may be respawned or spawned as a new unit coming in from your own table edge. Vehicles located on the gametable may respawn on respawn points, you roll for these at the start of each turn. The terrain rules cover pretty much everything from woods to buildings and how to attack buildings.
The Battlefield includes numerous vehicle types (both ground and air) , off table artillery strikes and various infantry squad types. These are the basics of the game. The rules also include a rich section covering hiding from and spotting enemy units, mounting/dismounting from vehicles, multiple helicopters (with takeoff and landing abilities), weapon types such as SAM teams, parachuting, repelling from helicopters, silencers, smoke, red dots sights and everything you would come to expect from a modern warfare setting. You also get advanced suppressing fire rules, opportunity fire and at the ready rules.
Finally there is the scenario section. This game is all about scenarios and “game modes”. These include classics such as capture the flag, deathmatch, free for all as well as several variants that are just aim to provide a fun and interactive multiplayer miniature wargaming experience. You get victory points for holding objectives, killing opponents in specific ways, capturing locations etc.
There are even additional rules for adding zombies, insurgents or mercenary squads to your games and they differ from the regular rules to make it a more spiced up experience. These oddball “factions” are controlled by one single player in your games and may add to the multiplayer chaos of such battles.
The author even includes a couple of pages of his notes on the game design explaining game mechanics and how players may add stuff like Fog of War and player communication restrictions to their games.
The Battlefield will not be everyone’s cup of tea, however I think that it really adds something new and very different to the miniature wargaming community. The interesting blend of PC games and miniature wargaming should in fact not be any weirder than the blending of boardgame/miniature wargames that are quite popular. The look and layout of the rulebook is also easy on the eyes with good font on the text and extremely nice real life pictures of modern warfare action and equipment.
Full (and more detailed review including game mechanics) review can be found on my blog: http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.se/2012/07/battlefield-miniature-modern-warfare.html