Tonight’s Modern Ukraine Game

Lately I’ve been working on other projects, so once again my moderns have been sidelined. I have a post written up covering my Middle Eastern figures which is awaiting …well those models actually being finished. However meanwhile we did manage to play a modern game at the club tonight.

Still not having managed to find some workable modern rules, we decided to go ahead and convert some which we knew already worked. With some tweaks and simplification Star Wars: Legion seems to work pretty well as a modern wargame. It could still do with some work, and we’ll be playing another game next week. Ideally then thinking about adding in fancier equipment.

Each side was a platoon of three squads and a command element. The squads were seven men with a RPG and a LMG. The command was six men, with a MMG and DMR. These were backed by a HMG team, Recoilless Rifle/ ATGM and three vehicles; a soft skin technical, armoured car, and a IFV. Next week a small Special Forces team will be added (to try out infantry with better than bare bones stats).

The aim was to play this as a wargame, not a military simulator. So whilst some weapons will be modified in future to have a bit more penetration, we aren’t intending for 100% realism.

As was found with Spectre: Operations, playing a game on the more realistic end of the scale just isn’t feasible for us. How deadly things were made it difficult to work with more than a squad – as you had to think moves ahead, or lose a load of guys as they run out in the open or fall prey to an erstwhile grenade.

Instead things were fairly simplified. Squad organisation for instance originally started out as A LMG, MMG, 2x UBL, 2x Disposable RPGs, an RPG, grenades and then all the AKs. Or in other words – who shoots first annihilates anything that moves. The same goes for bringing in things like BMP-3s (the heaviest vehicle we had was the 30mm gun on a BTR-3), with their 100mm main gun, co-axle 30mm, 3x 7.62 MGs and a few ATGMs. Though even with all of that, a single ATGM could ruin that IFV’s day and we return to the whole “who shoots first wins” thing (and not the sort of engaging firefights we were having tonight).


The image quality suffered a bit as the night went on and we lost the light, apologies. Looking at my board I ought to add more smaller scatter objects like street lights, bus benches, etc – but well, I have those already, just not painted.

Oh, and there’s some new buildings in there which I haven’t posted before, ah, which I’ll find the time to do a write up about eventually. There’s still around four or five of the things needing painted as is.

Syria post incoming …whenever the models are painted. πŸ˜‰





2 thoughts on “Tonight’s Modern Ukraine Game

  1. That looks like a great set up and a fun game too.

    Never apologise for playing a set of rules you enjoy. I’m very fickle when it comes to them, I’m trying out No End in Sight at the moment but know nothing about Spectre, what didn’t you like about it specifically? Too much detail?




    1. For the past few years we’ve been erring towards simpler rules sets. Not exclusively of course, but its become my preference. Previously I’d been using 7TV for pretty much everything, though another game got us into Ogre.

      Spectre: Operations seemed not that complicated on paper years ago when I was looking at their pre-release rules. However, in the hand full of games with the 1st Edition rules that we managed to play, it became rather complex.

      The rules, at least in my opinion, are written more like a military simulator than a wargame. Which is fine if that’s what you’re into – and there’s already a few similar games which are quite popular in the modern 28mm market (Skirmish Sangin comes to mind). That just wasn’t for us though. Weapons are incredibly deadly, to the point that you need to think a few moves ahead when positioning your troops. That makes things a bit cumbersome – as if you don’t want to lose models unnecessarily a lot of planning and trying to guess your opponent’s moves is involved (which are necessary in any game. In that system though, mistakes are very costly).

      The main issue was the weapons I think. If they were toned down there would be more freedom. As it was we could hardly play games larger than a squad. The rules came down to who shot first won a lot of the time. So if you did decide to not think so much about positioning you’d begin to lose models fast.

      The final straw for my opponent was that with all the work which went into tactics, you could lose it all in one turn. Explosives are just broken in that game. That isn’t a criticism – they’re broken in real life too – as would not many people be happy about being shot by any of the game’s weakest weapons (a pistol was capable of killing the heaviest of armoured soldiers). But losing a load of guys to an RPG from across the board (guns had range increments – not maximum ranges typically – so had almost unlimited ranges), or when a grenade thrown into a room (explosives were bad. Explosives in enclosed spaces were even worse) just pissed him off.

      The Second edition may have improved some things, but I haven’t looked into it. Silly things like grenade launchers having unlimited range and no accuracy penalties. Or leaving it up to players to decide how intuitive their figures would be – i.e. you didn’t always need line of sight to attack an enemy – say they saw them duck into a building, or heard them at the other side of the wall – so could do things like throw grenades into an empty space where the enemy was likely to be.

      The game was written by guys with military experience, so perhaps they could get into the flow a bit naturally. For wargamers just wanting to play a quick game though it just didn’t work. Star Wars: Legions so far has been a much better time – in part as its played more like a traditional war game. I suppose the comparison I’d give would be Spectre’s one of those hardcore video game mods which adds a lot of features to a regular game. Though also things I just plain don’t like, or can’t understand. Perhaps why I don’t like video games like Dark Souls (they’re obtuse, the controls are crap, yadda yadda), which meanwhile are universally acclaimed – but I spend ages in games like Fallout 2 just going through dialogue. πŸ˜›

      Tsk, Spectre is the Dark Souls of war games. There’s a quote for yah. πŸ˜‰


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