Brink of Battle

Brink of Battle is a skirmish wargame ruleset that Byakhee Jon bought and I’d been aware of. Due to offspring Jon is often only able to make short games sessions and I’m also up for skirmish gaming anyway. So we’ve now used these rules for a few games and are getting the hang of them.

More details here

The rules use d10s throughout.

The players dice off each turn to see who has the initiative ‘The Edge’, however the loser gets ‘The Break’ which means after the fist Action they can seize the initiative.

After generating Action tokens, the player with The Edge gets to move a single figure first and does all their actions (move, shoot, combat etc) all in one. Activation of models then alternates between the players unless The Break is used. So it keeps both players actively involved throughout the game.

Dice rolls are ‘contested’. So when I try and shoot an enemy, they also get to roll dice to dodge the bullet. Obviously the ‘attacking’ player gets benefits ! Again this keeps both players actively involved in the game, which is a very nice thing, as some games do mean a player stands down for long periods…The downside of these contested rolls, is you do need either a very good memory, or a pice of paper and pen to hand at all times.

As this is a skirmish game, each individual model has its own stat line. Every model is rated on C3: Combat; Command; and Constitution. Then they have what weapons and gear they have. All of these are bought using ‘Supply Points’. For 500 SP, you get about 5-10 models depending on their rating, and their scaled to go up to 1000 SP – so maybe 20 rubbish troops, 15 average and 10 elite troops. You wouldn’t want to go beyond that due to book keeping.

On top of this, you can buy ‘Traits’, basically skills like being a Sniper (better at shooting), or for my MHC Rangers (ignoring movement penalties through difficult terrain). This further customises your forces. As JP commented, this helped strengthen the characteristics and background of the forces. In this case we were using the rules for AVBCW, but it could easily be used for RCW/BoB.

The ranges of the weaponry are more realistic, using a 4×4 board pretty much all of the area would be within range of a rifle, and half within a realistic chance of success of hitting a barn door. This is both a good and a bad thing. We also had a problem with the rules on long range shooting which was one of the few instances when the rules weren’t clear.

We’ve been playing these rules at the 500 SP level so far. This means the generation of Action points has been a moot point. Action points are based on a d10 plus the commander’s level, so we’ve alway had surplus Action Points. In larger games we can envisage cases where you have more characters than Action points and their distribution becomes more important. (No Action point = no acton !)

Learning from our first game last year the three games we played yesterday were very brutal, and very short: 1.5 hours; 1 hour; 1 hour. As quick, if not quicker than other skirmish games such as Laserburn, Mordheim or Necromunda.

This is a good and innovative set of rules, that are very definitely different to Warhammer and its derivatives, and keep both players engaged.

One Response to Brink of Battle

  1. Jon says:

    Having re-read the rules for long range today, the effective range x5 figure is the MAXIMUM distance one can fire. So for rifles, while the effective range is 25″, you are firing at long range over 20″ according to the rules. Maximum range (above which your shot would simply miss) for rifles is 25×5″.
    That would certainly have had a bearing on the games yesterday!

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