I like a well researched historical battle – but often I don’t have the time to research what the goal was of Caesar, Louis XIV, Ney, Blücher, Rommel or Patton. Then I play a quick play pick up game, but pick up games are often bland. No time clock. No clear goals. Just terrain, a couple of divisions, an enemy, and some time to kill with dice. Good fun, the best dice fun I can imagine, but can I enhance it? Well, I recently found a quick and very cheap ‘pick up battle enhancer’ to make the X-points vs X-points pick up games more lively. More challenging.
It’s called Flux Battle Objectives, via Wargame Vault, here, just $1,13 this week. Cards with a main battle goal for every player, a sub-goal and a minor goal. Players randomly and secretly select a goal in every category and start to play. They win 10 points if they reach their main target, 5 for a subgoal and 1 point for a minor goal.
For example, Player A draws the objectives
- Main Goal: Crucible Targets (secretly determine the d3+2 most valuable opponent target units, gain points in proportion to the number of high value targets that you
- take out)
- 4-point Subgoal: Captive recovery (rescue a prisoner from a building on the table)
- 1-point Minor goal: President;s favorites: (secretly select 3 of your own miniatures, (sub)commanders excluded, that must survive the battle)
Player B gets
- Main Goal: Data Theft: designate 1 d5 table objectives, known by you and your opponent, that you must capture, gain points in proportion to the number of objectives captured)
- 4-point Subgoal: Demolition Job (destroy a certain building on the table)
- 1-point Minor goal: Capture the Flagbearer (kill a certain (secretly selected) miniature from your opponent
It’s generic, these battle objectives can be used in Ancient battles and Death Star battles and everything in between.
But think, for example, of a Battle of Arnhem. The Germans (player A) try to destroy the 1d3+2 British paratroops (player B), who want to capture certain buildings and a certain bridge and hold them till the end of the game.
The Wehrmacht commander however has to save Schütze Reihähn, a German soldier who already lost two brothers and who is captured by die Engländer (a story retold in ‘Saving Schütze Reihähn’). In the meantime the paratroopers try to take out the German Flak cannons, transported to Arnhem from the island of Navarone.
If ace tank commander Bart Pitt, Feldwebel Thomas Hanks en Schütze Haagen-Dachs, favored by the German Oberkommando, survive the game, then the Germans gain an extra point. The British paratroopers in the meantime try to take out the shiny new German pink Mercedes transport used to transport troops to the front.
With the Flux objectives, a pick up game becomes much more cinematic, and less one sided ‘you won, I lost’. Yes, you won, because in the end you had 6 points and I had 5. I lost my rockabilly pink Mercedes. But I saved Schütze Reihähn!