TITLE: Battlefield Evolution: World At War (2008)
AUTHOR: Agis Neugebauer
PUBLISHER: Mongoose Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: 2008
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
• Web Site: Mongoose Publishing
PRICE (with date): $29.95 (in 2008)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
World War 2 Ground 1944-1945
World At War is a perfect bound book of 156 pages. The first 40 pages cover the actual rules while the remainder are devoted to army lists. The army lists included cover the late war period (1944-45) and cover Britain, Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States. The book is well illustrated throughout, though entirely in black and white.
Battlefield Evolution: World At War (BEWAW) is a game of tactical ground skirmish warfare.
Given the scope of the game many armies can be quite small. A couple dozen figures per side with a vehicle or two should give a good game.
In BEWAW soldiers and vehicles are represented on a 1:1 basis. Figures are grouped together into squad sized units.
• Ground Scale: None stated
• Time Scale: None stated
• Figure/Base Ratio: 1:1
• Recommended Figure: 25mm
• Table Size: 4’ x 6’ will give a good battle area
• Game Length: 2-3 Hours
BEWAW does not require any specific basing. Vehicles may be based or not, while infantry figures are based simply for convenience.
The turn sequence in BEWAW is a straight forward IGOUGO. There are no sub-phases. Instead, the first player may activate his units. Each unit may undertake two actions. Once the first player has activated all of his units, his opponent then does the same. Units may undertake the following actions:
- Move: The unit may move.
- Shoot: The unit may fire its weapons.
- Charge: The unit closes with the enemy and engages in close combat.
- Ready: The unit may prepare to perform a special action such as load a weapon or plant a bomb.
The game mechanics of BEWAW are essentially the same as Mongoose’s Battlefield Evolution and Starship Troopers games.
Movement: Movement in BEWAW is simple. For each move action taken a unit may move a given number of inches. It may make as many turns as necessary at no penalty. Units have a size characteristic which is important in determining terrain costs. Essentially, if a unit is larger than the terrain, it treats that terrain as clear. Terrain is simply classed as clear, difficult or impassable.
Fire Combat: When a unit fires at the enemy, it creates a fire zone. (Note: Firing is done my unit, not by individual figure, though a unit may be a single vehicle.) A fire zone is 3” in diameter and is centered in an enemy figure. The firer rolls damage dice based on the weapon type. Natural 1’s are discarded and the remaining hits are allocated to enemy models within the fire zone. Only visible enemy units may be hit.
Each figure has a target score, an armor score, and a kill score. If the firer’s die roll exceeds the target’s kill score, that enemy is removed from play. If the firer’s die roll exceeds the enemy’s target score, the target must roll a D6. If that D6 equals or exceeds the target’s armor score, the armor has saved the target. Otherwise that model is removed from play.
The rules also cover special cases such as:
- Units may fire at multiple targets, splitting their fire zones. The fire is obviously diluted.
- Some weapons and vehicles have limited arcs of fire.
- Indirect fire operates with a fire zone, but with a simple “drift” rule. The target rolls a D10 and moves the aiming point that many inches in any direction. The firer then does the same and the fire zone is calculated from that point.
Close Combat: Close combat assaults result from Charge actions. Close combat works the same as fire combat but at point blank range. After all fire dice and casualties have been taken, Push Back takes place. The smaller surviving model retreats 2”. In case of a tie, the defender retreats. In addition to the lethality of the close combat, reactions can make close combat very deadly. For example, you Charge an enemy squad and defeat it. Your opponent may then take shoot (re)actions with every model within 10”!
Reactions: As a player activates his units, the enemy is not merely passive. The enemy may react. Whenever one player completes an action within 10” of his opponent’s figure, that figure may perform a move or a shoot action.
Leaders: Unit leaders are important to combat effectiveness. Units must remain within 6” of their leader. If the leader is killed a member of the unit is nominated as the new leader. However, once a unit falls below half strength it may not replace fallen leaders. Units that are out of command either by being further than 6” or having no unit leader, may not act but may only react.
Air Units: BEWAW includes rules for air units. If air units are present, there is a separate Air Phase in each turn. The Air Phase takes place after both players have activated all their ground units. Air units operate much like ground units. They may take two actions, creating either aerial or ground based fire zones. Air units do differ in some ways - they may not react, and when destroyed they crash causing damage to ell models in the crash zone.
Included in the rule books are army lists for the four major protagonists - Great Britain, Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States. The army lists include both infantry and vehicles. The army lists are somewhat limited. For example, the German AFVs included are limited to:
- Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer
- Jagdpanzer IV
- Jagdpanzer V
- Pz IV Ausf H
- Pz VI Tiger I
- Stug III G
Scenarios included are of the generic “mission” type (similar to Flames of War).
These are a simple set of rules based on a well tested engine. The rule book is well laid out and clearly edited. Short and easy to read the rules will be easy to pick up, and will feel very familiar to people who play other skirmish games like Warhammer 40,000 and AT-43.
They do, however, have some flaws. The army lists are very limited, though additional army books are promised. Further, there are no rules for hand grenades which at this scale seems a very curious omission.
I have not played these rules...
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