Disposable Heroes: Point Blank

I was really looking forward to the release of these squad level rules from Iron Ivan games, written by one of the authors of the Disposable Heroes platoon level rules (which are the set I use most). The rules support both infantry and vehicles (unlike Operation Squad which made you pay for a separate vehicle supplement) and claim to be fully compatible with the original DH army books – a cracking idea.

The basic unit is a squad instead of a platoon, and although the foreword says it could be used at platoon level even for 1 player per side, I seriously doubt it due to the way activations work. Each leader gets a number of actions equal to his guts score (morale in effect) plus his training and experience level, so typically 7 – 9 activations per squad. Each activation grants a squad member 3 actions, though it would cost 2 activations if the figure is beyond command range (guts score in inches x2)  or 3 activations if the figure is beyond 3 times the leaders guts score in inches. So a leader with a guts score of 8 (a typical sergeant) would have a command range of 16″ and activating figures within this distance would cost 1; activating figures between 16″ and 24″ would cost 2 activations and over 24″ would cost 3 activations.  With a full platoon this would take forever to get through a turn, though I could see it working multiplayer and giving each player a squad to control.

It’s a lot harder to kill a figure than in DH, but suppression markers are applied at figure rather than squad level, so managing suppression is a major part of the game. I’m sure this plays a lot quicker than it reads and you can use actions or fall back to remove suppression quicker – this rather reminded me of Sharp Practice’s use of shock, so no bad thing really.

At first glance, the vehicle rules are pretty much the same as DH, except that each vehicle gets to perform 3 actions during an activation, so could fire-load-fire and get to shoot twice in a turn. One new aspect is that guns can choose to use an action to aim and improve their acquisition roll (they have to acquire a target before they can fire, but this doesn’t usually cost an action), or try to acquire for free which is harder and loses you the shot if the acquire roll fails. I like this better than the acquire rules in the original DH, as it gives you a choice as to whether to fire off 2 quick shots or one aimed one.

So, what to play first – Spanish Civil War, WWII or Modern…

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