Great rules & ideas

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Great rules & ideas

Post by mackoso »

Good evening,
this is my first post and I had to go through the alphabet a few times to be able to get all the letters right for registering. :D
I wrote a first wall of text, but deleted it and just wrote a new one. The following are just general thoughts about wargame rules in general and the effect that the IABSM fire table had on my wargaming. I just had to write down my thoughts somewhere:
I bought IABSM only yesterday and I am very glad I did for the way infantry fire is resolved alone! Looking forward to exploring the rest of the game!
Since last Christmas and during these past moths of more and less lockdown I have been studying and playtesting wargame rules by myself and with others online (both hex & counter and miniature), trying to find a framework to let me do what I like most about war- and strategy games: maneuvre, fire and movement and tactics. I like detail, but I also like flexibility
I looked into many designs with great ideas in different areas such as C&C/unit activation (CoC, PBI), detail down to the last man (CoC, Bolt Action), initiative and movement (Crossfire), suppression (Band of Brothers), area control (Fields of Fire, PBI), solo systems (Fields of Fire and Nuts!) and Men to Men games (such as 1-48 Tactic, Spectre Ops and Battle Force). Many great ideas and solutions simulating complicated concepts in great ways. (There were also many designs I tried and did not like, but everybody is different.)
I had also heard of Kriegspiel and liked the concept but how to test it without an experienced player/umpire?

This brings me to IABSM:
The fire table and Kriegspiel concepts that are presented by the authors offer all the options of details while staying flexible and adjustable. Combining Pins, Suppression, shock, and casualties into 2 simple dice rolls and at the same time offering such flexibility is a masterpiece!
Instead of hating tables in games for the distracting calculation of the fixed modifiers they require (normally you first have to cross reference table x.x for modifier y, too) this is the first time that a table makes me think about tactical concepts I could use for an advantage (to gain a point or even add a dice):
Could I use my big man to add the firepower of another light machine gun or even squad in one concentrated attempt to suppress one enemy squad, so my 3rd squad can do a flanking move? Would it grant 1 additional dice to achieve the suppression, but maybe reduce the 3s result to a simple 1s or 0s?
No table in no other game made me think like that. I know it is not in the rules, but could it be a tried in reality?
If you allow these types of ideas and maneuvers in the game, the fire table is flexible enough to play/quantify it. That is what I think wargame rules should be about: allow you to play and quantify your tactical ideas. The mechanic is simple but you have the possibility to modify the roll by each terrain, positional, initiative or other advantage or disadvantage you have, without possibly breaking the game.
It is the first table in a wargame that makes me read real history, field manuals or tactics books in order to improve my odds instead of searching the rules for the applying modifier xyz.

I don’t know if anyone can follow me but this game and ruleset is the one that brings me closest to that flexible and tactical war game that I always dreamt of playing,

Thank you for your attention and a great thank you to the authors and god bless you all
One happy wargamer :)

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Vis Bellica
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Re: Great rules & ideas

Post by Vis Bellica »

Glad you're happy, and good luck with the gaming: you will indeed find that using historical tactics is the way to succeed in IABSM.
I look forward to reading the AAR!

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Re: Great rules & ideas

Post by Sam »

Just been looking back through some posts and came across this one from Harald. His thoughts and reactions to first reading IABSM reminded me how my first "introduction" to the rules came from Rich's article, "The Hill",in Wargames Illustrated a number of years ago. When I read that article, I had to find out how a set of rules could create so many decision making opportunities within an uncertain environment where troops may not always move or fire as you want them and an unwelcome surprise is just around the next corner, hedge or slope. IABSM was my first TFL acquisition and there have been many more over the years but IABSM is my first love and I play it regularly with friends and solo - another great benefit of the card or chip activation system. I have often thought about putting forward a game ARR for the Special/Annual and maybe this will be the Christmas I do! We should all try and do what we can to keep IABSM in the centre of our TFL world.

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Re: Great rules & ideas

Post by TroubleAtTheMill »


I caught Rich explaining IABSM3 on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast one Xmas in about 2011, and my immediate reaction was 'oh, my goodness. I just realised what was wrong with the WW2 rules I used to play'... and I think I placed the order on that Christmas Day :D
Mike Whitaker
Podcast: The Miller's Tale (see blog)

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Re: Great rules & ideas

Post by mluther »

Still my favorite rules by far. It does reward historical tactics and allows for all kinds of customizing for individual situations. The other benefit of IABSM is its rules lawyer repellent ability. Our group does not much care for this mentality and IABSM makes our gaming experience that much better.

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