Friday, 14 October 2016

Open Combat - thoughts after a couple of games

A quiet hog-farming village, soon to be not so quiet... My heroes to the right, Thomas' scoundrels to the left.
I have finally started playing with the 2nd edition Open Combat rules, and a lot of fun it is.
I had the first two games quite a few weeks ago, when I met Thomas, Koen and Laffe for a refresher of the mechanics and an introduction by Laffe (a veteran of at least a handful games...) of what’s new in the 2nd edition.
Ganging up on someone is a good idea.
Then we had a go at each other, and Thomas and I sat down for what became two games.
Retreat! Thomas' warband breaks as they have been on the receiving end of a world of hurt.
I had prepared a 150 point warband by taking one of the sample warbands from the rules and tweaking it a bit. I essentially removed one figure and buffed the other ones while I removed some abilities that I thought I would probably forget anyway.
Koen and Laffe fought it out in a greveyard. A good idea as a lot of after action activities are close at hand...
We switched sides in the second game, and my troops attacked from the left. The result was the same, as Thomas' troops were mangled.
The set-up in our living room. Lots of really old terrain I found in a box.
I had another game at home with my 12 year old daughter. I used my warband from the match with Thomas and Johanna used a warband she had used with the 1st edition rules.
Johanna's mostly female warband
My mostly bad-ass warband
It is surprisingly easy learning the basics and after a couple of games you’ll probably have found out how to balance your force. There is also quite a lot of tactical considerations to think of, as positioning is important. To surround an enemy (who don’t wield a two-handed weapon) or force him or her into an obstacle is game-winning and takes a while to figure out.
Long range sniping can be effective. The centaur in the background is protected by the tree and harder to hit and damage.
All in all I think this is a solid set of rules and that it will see a lot of action both at the club and in my home.
Quite a lot of maneuvering to get in good positions
Definitely worth it to try if you want quick fantasy skirmish games. As you stat the figures yourself there is at last a chance to use all those minis that have just languished stored away in a box somewhere.

Spears are good as they have a 1" reach and can attack through your own soldier.
The power of surrounding your opponent. You get a bonus to hit and all results of withdrawal is treated as a wound. The female fighter was quickly felled.
(Hey, and I won three games out of three. Can’t be an altogether bad game!)

The gnome fightress is up against a hedge and can't back off, my blue cloaked fighter is surrounded and can't retreat either, the female knight is also surrounded and can't retreat. This was really bloody and ended the game in my favour.
A big welcome to follower Neil Scott with a blog of his own, Scotty’s Wargaming, a nice collection on a wide-ranging number of topics. He’s building a small army of GNW Swedes, so he is by definition a nice guy with good taste (if he wins with them, of course…). Hop over to his blog to have a look.


  1. That's a nice summary. How is daughter handling the rules?

    1. They are rather straight forward, so no problems really. She had a good time and that is what is important

    2. Thinking of trying it with my kids too someday.

    3. It's a good entry-game I think, if you start by building a decent warband for them, without to many special features.

  2. Interesting. This is one of the many many AARs I have read where Thomas' warband is defeated, routed, and/or eaten. I would like to game against Thomas one day. :)

    1. Just tell me when you'll make a trip to Stockholm and I'll get you a bed to sleep in and an opponent to beat.
      When you're all relaxed and satisfied I will let you meet my son David in a game, any game. You will weep...
      (just ask Thomas)

    2. And then we can spend the rest of the night drowning our sorrows in beer.

    3. Sounds like a most excellent plan.

  3. Seems like a game the I would like! :) Small scale, easy to learn, quick to play and yet with some tactical considerations. Perfect!

    1. I can bring the rules and some figs to the club some day for a test-match.

    2. Yes, lets do that! We'll keep in touch.

  4. It should be noted about Jocke's statement "there is at last a chance to use all those minis that have just languished stored away in a box somewhere." that it WILL backfire on you.
    Instead of looking at a cool new mini and thinking "that's nice, but it does not fit any game I play", you will now look at cool new minis and go "oh, that would be perfect for my Open Combat warband!"

    1. There is that. I don't know if should be seen as a backfire, though, but you might want to look into how to support the floor holding your tin- and plastics-mountain...