Raid & Riposte
Line of Fire
Lock ‘n Load Publishing
First of all, I want to state right from the beginning, that I think “Line of Fire” is an excellent magazine. However, I may be somewhat biased due to the fact that I write a review column in “Line of Fire”. Having said that, I want to point out that there are a number of articles in the magazine that are devoted to games that Lock ‘n Load Publishing has published. For those games, die cut counters, maps, and scenarios are provided. Just as an example, Issue 12 has Scenarios for the following Lock n Load (LnL) games:
- Forgotten Heroes 2
- A Day of Heroes
- White Star Rising
- Eisenbach Gap
- Untold Stories
And this is to name just a few of the games in which Scenarios are provided. Now, if this is not enough, LnL has begun to include a full game with the magazine. The game that is included with Issue #12 is Raid & Riposte.
Raid & Riposte
Raid and Riposte is a game which represents the defense of Tanenhause by the 1st Soviet Paratroop Regiment from May 13-20th, 1985. As a background, you are told that the defense of Tanenhause is led by Colonel Michael Balakirev and that the Soviet Paratroopers held off repeated assaults by Bundeswer and US Army Forces for several days. The outcome is not provided as this is a hypothetical situation and it is up to the players to determine.
Raid and Riposte is a simple game. By that I mean, that while the rules are only 4 pages long. Don’t judge the games quality on the length of the rules! While simple, the play of the game is robust. This is a game that I enjoy saying that is simple to learn but difficult to master.
The scales used in Raid and Riposte are only approximations as this is a game and not a simulation. As such, units can represent companies, platoons, batteries, heroes or leaders. Distance or range is estimated to be that one inch is equivalent to 750 or 1000 meters and each turn equals a few hours.
Sequence of Play
The Sequence of Play consists of 4 simple phases. These phases are
- Initiative Phase
- Rally Phase
- Operations Phase
- Route Phase
Depending on the number of Action Points that a unit possesses will determine the number of actions it can perform during a turn.
Action Points are represented on the edge of the counter. These Action points define the number of actions that a unit can perform during the course of a turn. Typically, depending on the unit, it has either 1 or 2 Action Points that it can use during the turn. Once a unit uses an Action Point the counter is rotated counterclockwise to denote that the Action Point has been used and to show if anymore are available.
The game map uses an area movement system. Units can move the number of areas per turn dependent on the number of Action Points available to the unit. On the map areas, there is a number that can vary between +2 to -1. This number is the Terrain Modifier and is added to the defending units Defense Factor during combat. As you can imagine, it is relatively important to pay attention to these numbers as Terrain Modifier can become an important decision when it comes time to deploy your units or move then to defensive positions.
All other actions in the game cost Action Points. Combat is no different and also requires the expenditure of one of your units Action Points. Remember, different units have a different number of Action Points that they can use per turn. If there are no additional Action Points available to the unit, its turn is completed.
Ranged Combat in Raid and Riposte uses a straightforward and simple system. To conduct an attack, the defending unit must be in the attackers Line of Site and then players utilize the following procedure:
- Roll 2d6
- Add the attacking units Ranged Combat Modifier
- Add one for each supporting unit attacking from the same area
- Total this number for the attackers Final Attack Value
- Take the Defenders Defense Value
- Add the Areas Terrain Modifier
- Total this for the defenders Final Defense Value
If the Total Attack Value is less than the Total Defense Value the attack has failed. However, if the Total Attack Value is 1 or 2 higher the defender suffers one hit, 3 or 4 higher and the defender suffers two hits, and if the total is 5 or higher, three hits have been achieved. As you can see, this is a straightforward simple fast combat system that keeps the gamers engrossed in the games activities.
The final item I want to talk about with combat are what the hits achieve. A single hit on a target unit will suppress that unit, two hits on a unit will cause the unit to flip over to its reduced side, and three hits will immediately eliminate the unit. However, a target unit can spoil the best planned attack by deciding to retreat one area thereby negating the effects of a single hit. So, it is possible that you may think you got lucky to eliminate a unit, only to have your opponent retreat an area, take a reduction and stall you for another turn. Retreat today and live another day is an interesting strategy that can be tried in Raid and Riposte.
Raid and Riposte is an excellent game. The fast pace at which the game plays and the simple rules that make up the game, place this game as a perfect Introductory Wargame for newbies. The rules are a short 4 pages in length and are well written and straightforward. Don’t mistake four pages with simplistic as Raid and Riposte is a robust game whose complexities appear in the player strategies employed. Examples of Play are provided that enhance a player’s comprehension of the rules or clarify any misunderstandings. Having played a few rounds of Raid and Riposte I can tell you that it’s great to be vocal to your opponent to throw them off their game. Plus it’s a lot of fun as you banter back and forth. It has been quite some time since I have come across a game that is as much fun playing whether the first time or the 10th time. It is also a game you can setup and play solitaire to hone your skills as you maneuver across the fields outside of Tanenhause. Raid and Riposte is a game that I enjoy saying is simple to play and difficult to master, which means you will spend many enjoyable hours trying to perfect your strategy only to find it crushed when you attempt to employ it against an opponent. Whether you are introducing someone to this fascinating hobby called Wargaming (Boardgaming), playing a pick-up game, or playing a competitor of equal tenacity, Raid and Riposte will provide the gamer with a fast paced, fun game that was well worth the time and money spent.