Sunday, January 23, 2011

First test of AK-47 Republic

Well we had our first test of the new and improved AK-47 rules. Aside from a few glitches due to this being the first time we played the rules I think things flowed well. The mechanisms are easily understood, the charts are well organized (and get this rules writers, there is a cite on each section of the cheat-sheet directing you the the relevant sections of rules - true genius!) and it's color coded as well.

I found the pre-game warm up a hoot the "15 days to war" mechanism creates a battle that is different every time and creates the sort of chaos in your tidy unit organization that battle probably causes to real units. I was playing Egyptian and thought that I had a nice numerical superiority only to find that during the pregame manoeuvres most of my force had shifted to reserves and three of my five units were in reinforcements. All I had to face the might of the Israeli army was one short-handed unit of tanks and some militia hiding in a village.

The Israelis fared much better as the attacker with most of their troops staying with their units and all but one arriving at the start of the game. One of the important features is the Professionals are much more likely to stay with the unit and (if in vehicles) are more apt to show up where you want them.

I should point out that there is a distinction between Reserves and Reinforcements; Reinforcements are units held off the table that can arrive at the start of a turn on a board edge, Reserves are rather more nebulous, they are off table but when they are activated they simply join a unit already in action (my thoughts on this are that they represent units reserves or skulkers found by officers and pushed into the nearest unit).

There are three grades of troops; Professionals, regular and Militia. These act as their name would imply, Pros are steady, hard to rattle, shoot and fight well and have very good morale. Regulars are pretty good but fall short of the standards of the Pros, Militia are really pretty crappy (they are hilariously cheap on the other hand) they shoot poorly, are apt to run away unless lead by the General, and in any event where they are beaten in close combat are likely to simply disappear in the results section.

Infantry weapons are generalized, the quality of the troops using them is far more important than the weapon itself. In fact the only weapon the comes in gradients is Tank Guns/Towed guns (which work the same) There are Old Gun/Regular Gun/New Gun. Old guns can be made to reroll their shooting at the target units pleasure, Regular Guns have no rerolls, New Guns can reroll at their owners pleasure.

Units can be organized out of any type of troops but they must be all of the same Morale grade. This was a concept that I had trouble wrapping my head around but I think I've got it now.

All in all I enjoyed myself a lot and I am looking forward to building an army. You can find the Army lists on Peter Pig's website;   Peter Pig also provides free downloads of the army record sheet and markers for playing the game. They also make a comprehensive range of minis;   nice stuff indeed!

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