Saturday, 18 July 2015

Patrol Angis - First Impressions.

Hi all,
Today I give you my first impressions of Patrol Angis, a 15mm sci-fi / space opera skirmish ruleset from Gavin Syme, over at theionage.com. I've had a quick read through of the rules, but, I have'nt played a game with them yet.

First off, the quality of the book is great, It's obvious Gavin has put a lot off work in to Patrol Angis. It's a 64 paged A5 sized book, which is easy to read and conveniently sized for the tabletop. The layout is well thought out and easy on the eyes, the art work, although all black and white, is stunning!

The rules, as mentioned I haven't played a game yet, but I remember the basic principles from play testing, I got my name in the book! :) This is not an in-depth review of the rules, so I may miss some finer details, but these are the basic rules...

Troops are organised into elements, or groups of miniatures, a retained lance for example can have 22 miniatures comprising of 3 elements of 2 Posts (10 man element) and a command Mina (2 man element).

As with most games you get a initiative phase, Patrol Angis has an interesting way of resolving initiative. Both players roll a dice and the highest wins, normal stuff so far, the winning number rolled is the number of elements (troops) that can be activated that turn. The winner of the initiative roll gets a +1 to his roll. This means the winner gets a bonus but not too much so the losing player suffers.


Activating (troop movement, firing, etc) each element is simple, each player has a token for each activation allowed (the number rolled in the initiative phase) with these tokens an element. The tokens are distributed as you see fit, if you had 5 tokens, you could used them to move and fire 5 elements, or put two tokens on two elements and one on a third element.

Activation is alternating, The initiative winner uses one activation token to move a element, then the other player does the same, repeat.... The elements can choose from a short list of what actions to take per activation. Move and fire, move and close combat, rapid move, overwatch, etc. All the usual stuff that is required to conquer your enemy.

Shooting in the game is quite deadly, only requiring a 2+ on a D8 to hit, however terrain and other modifiers do effect the to hit score. Depending on how terrain affects your LOS determines the modifiers applied up to a max of +4, meaning that terrain is important in this game, get caught in the open and you get shredded!

As you take casualties, you'll be taking morale tests on your elements. If an element fails a morale test, it loses an activation token, if it has one or receives a re-motivation token. Re-motivation tokens have to be removed, by spending a activation token, before the element is allowed to take any other action. This can cause a few issues after a few turns as you start to lose the use of your limited activation tokens....

The book includes a section on force organisation, guidelines to building your forces, depending on the troops or vehicles being used. Gavin has included a points list for all the troops to allow for a more balanced game if you prefer points, I know I do. There is plenty of options for including all manner or troop types, commanders, snipers, medics, and battlesuits or portable weapon teams.

Characterful special rules are included to cover the specialists, medics, snipers, etc. Also the different weapon effects and armour effects, these add a nice depth to the game, meaning you can tailor your element's abilities to your liking. That's pretty much it for the rules! These rules should give a quick and simple game, but should be robust enough to manage large games with little or no fuss!

The book also the background setting to the Prydian Civil War. The first eighteen pages are given over to tell the tale off the fight for the throne! so there is a lot to read, but it is a well written piece of science fiction and does well to set the mood of the game. Later in the book the weapons and armour of the combatants are explained in detail too. And some starter scenarios to get you started.

All in all a fine set of rules to go with the Ion Age miniature line.  I highly recommend them for anyone looking for a quick skirmish game, which is still tactically challenging. You also get a unique free miniature when you buy the rulebook, what's not to like?

Patrol Angis will have a couple of expansions, Callsign Taranis, which will deal with vehicle combat, using the Mullo AFV or Skylark flyer in your games. The Khannate Return which will have rules for the Shia Khan forces!!!! I don't know when these will be released as of yet, but I'm hoping they are soon!!!

That's it for now, thanks for looking!