Sunday, August 27, 2017

Giving Battlefield Evolution a try

A Middle Eastern force rushes up a hill to wipe out a Marine recon unit before the "cavalry" arrives
 A number of years back, a historical miniatures gamer in our region had the score of a lifetime on gaming merchandise. Mongoose Publishing was discontinuing their "near future," pre-painted game Battlefield Evolution. Someone in the chain of command instructed a store/distributor to toss all of the miniatures in a dumpster. The gaming version of WikiLeaks kicked in and soon someone had boxes and boxes of the pre-painted U.S., Arab, Chinese, etc., 1/72 scale miniatures which he was unloading at great prices at various conventions.
Remnants of the hapless Marines atop the hill, with some of their rescuers dimly glimpsed in the background
Mike S and Keith had picked up bunches of them and had been hankering to try out the game. So, Mike set up a game and five us sat down to play one Sunday evening. The figures, by the way, do NOT match up with either 28mm or 20mm scale (which is the size I do my modern wargaming in). However, they both had plenty of figs so that shouldn't be a problem. The first order of business was to piece together the squads to match the cards that came with each group. Tiny writing on the bottom identifies the weapon and figure and it took a good 20+ minutes to sort out the figs to match the unit cards Mike had given us. Next up, was reading the cards. With my "modified mono-vision" (in other words, wearing one contact for distance and one for close up), I generally don't have issues with reading print anymore. However, this font was ridiculously tiny, and I would struggle all night.
My traffic jam of Chinese troops try to make it up the hill in time to shoot something before they're all gone
Once we had our troops sorted and deployed, we began to play. The next thing we discovered was that the rules are NOT well-written. We decided they were written in English by a non-native English speaker -- they had that lack of expertise with the language. We were never really sure if we were doing combat right. Speaking of combat, we found out that fire is exceedingly deadly. Entire squads were wiped out to the man with one turn of firing (assuming we were doing it right!). I know this is supposed to be modern warfare and all, but it seemed relatively pointless. Perhaps it was the scenario, as once we actually reached the cover, troops survived a little better.
A close up on the 1/72 scale (ish?) that were part of the short-lived, pre-painted Battlefield Evolution line
It was one of those games where I was given more troops than I could ever possibly get into the fray, so it seemed I spent a lot of time moving troops around and trying to keep track of which figs belonged to which squad. In sort, the game was very unsatisfying -- at least for me. Both Keith and Mike S seemed interested in giving it another go sometime. Personally, I was of the opinion we found out why the plug was pulled on the game. There was a lot of fiddly figuring out which figure was which, but that didn't really matter, as they all died in droves.

There is a definite possibility we did things wrong, but I was left thinking this is a game I won't mind to never play again.