Finally dug out from a lifetime’s accumulation of wargaming stuff, Vaughan at the club put on a long-promised modernish-era game. This was 20mm stuff in the setting of a campaign played in years past, where real-life birder skirmishes between Surinam and French Guyana had bubbled over into fictional war in the early 1980s. Vaughan had found some amount of the old club rules, transcribed some from damaged bits, and some stuff like morale rules and air support were lost to posterity.
The scenario had a beleaguered French Foreign Legion force having fallen back from a Surinamese push into a disputed zone. The French had holed up to re-arm in a Guyanan Gendarmerie outpost, as a mob of opportunistic gold prospectors assaulted out of their camp across a river as the Surinamese assault force closed in. The rules set, untitled but generally known as COIN or Modern Intervention, are a skirmish-level action points type of affair, with action points costs for firing, changing stance, and so on. There’s lots of tables to refer to for weapon effects at different ranges for a host of modern-era weaponry, explosive deviation, that sort of thing.
I took the French and Gendarmes, Vaughan was the Surinamese and prospectors.
By packing-up time the outpost was holding, but the governor was cut off – sequel material!
This was a fun game, with those moments of individual heroism and tragedy that you can only get from a true skirmish (one figure as the base unit of gameplay) rule set. The rules had on oddly 1990s feel to them to me, probably because a lot of role-playing games of the era used similar combat mechanics. Probably not the most efficient way to run a larger game but it does seem like it’d scale acceptably from tiny raids to reinforced platoon-sized battles. Who needs to be efficient, anyway? As I observed when Warhammer 40,000 moved to its quick-to-play 3rd edition, what’s the hurry, when I was enjoying myself?