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Over There

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TITLE:  Over There:  The Modern Skirmish Wargame (2007)

AUTHOR:  Evan Anhorn

PUBLISHER:  Available as Computer Download

PUBLICATION DATE:  N/A

WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:  http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/overthere_modernskirmishwargaming/?yguid=138106051

PRICE (with date):  FREE (from http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/overthere_modernskirmishwargaming/?yguid=138106051)

REVIEWED BY:  Michael J. Clinton

PERIOD COVERED:  Skirmish actions beginning in 1914 and going forward to the present

THE BOOK:  All components are downloaded.

SCOPE:  Skirmish / Tactical

ARMY SIZE:  Potentially this game could be played with just a few figures (3-5) a side.  I think the rules were probably designed for larger actions numbering at least 10 figures (a single squad) a side.  I have played these rules with 30 to 80 figures on a single side without difficulty.

BASE UNIT:  Infantry Squad or single Armored Vehicle

GAME SCALES:

  • Ground scale (1” = 2 meters)
  • Time scale (1 turn = seconds ???  Not really stated)
  • Figure/Base Ratio (1 figure = 1 man)
  • Recommended Figure size (20mm to 28mm)
  • Table Size: Games are easily played on a 4’ x 6’ table.
  • Game Length:  Games typically can be played in one to four hours depending on complexity of terrain and force sizes.

BASING SIZES:  ” washers work well for 20mm Infantry.  Since this is a 1:1 scale, the actual figure base is the base size needed.

TURN SEQUENCE:

Each unit is assigned a card.  When the unit’s card is drawn:

Activation

  • Morale Tests
  • Group Activation
  • Group Actions

GAME MECHANICS:  Each unit is assigned an initiative value (which may change during the game).  The unit receives a number of “dice” equal to its current initiative.  These dice may be rolled to move; to shoot; or to take cover.  A clever resource allocation scheme where the resource being allocated is time.

ARMY LISTS/SCENARIOS:  Some units are rated.  Weapons are rated.  Vehicles are rated.  Players assemble their own forces and create their own scenarios.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS:  The rules are about “average” where organization and content are concerned.  It can be hard to find stuff when you first start playing.  On the other hand, the basic rules are only 8 pages long, so it isn’t all that hard to re-read the entire rules set if need be.  There are a few diagrams to illustrate key points and a section that details the sequence a unit must follow when its card comes up.  The rules are very concise and relatively straight forward in their application.

PLAYER’S COMMENTS:  Over There plays very fast.  Smaller games take longer to set up than they do to play.  The game requires a die for each unit to track it’s take cover status and quite a number of stress markers (we use 2” pipe cleaners for these).  You will also need markers to record deteriorating initiative status.

You will need to create a roster or ratings for each unit prior to the game.  This is a fairly simple matter but does take time.

Success in Over There games centers around obtaining fields of fire and getting the most out of what you’ve got.  Player decisions about how “offensive” or “defensive” his posture might be will influence his eventual success to a relatively high level in most cases.  For instance, you can operate a Heavy Machine Gun in a fashion that optimizes its ability to deliver fire but in so doing the crew will be more exposed to enemy fire.  If you improve the “cover” status of the HMG, the offensive potential of that weapon may be diminished.  You can use modern infantry tactics in this game and they actually work.  I own a number of other skirmish games that cost $50.00 or $60.00 that don’t deliver this kind of “realism”. 

The price of these rules is right.  If you like modern skirmish gaming, you should give these a try.  Recommended.

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