Wednesday, 23 April 2014

First Look: Skirmish Sangin

When I first heard about Skirmish Sangin I took a look at their website and was a little concerned that the mechanisms might be a little heavy for the type of game I was envisaging.  Despite the draw of the Empress Modern British range, I already have the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (using Force on Force) I wasn't keen to have two games that were going to play too similarly.  So I wondered whether I could do the Modern Brits at a different level (the Soviets being at Platoon plus) and so Skirmish Sangin came back onto the radar.

I picked up a hard copy of the rules at Salute but they are also available as either a pdf (£7.50) or hard copy (with the pdf as well for £25) from the Radio DishDash website (and in hard copy from other distributors I believe).

The rules are 170 pages in full colour (in softback if you get the hard copy) and illustrated with plenty of photos from the MoD and of various wargames along with a few explanatory diagrams.  After an introduction and a brief history of the conflict the book moves on to creating a suitable force, provides orbats for British, Australian, New Zealand, French and US ISAF forces before moving onto the rules themselves, followed by an example game, two scenarios, the quick reference sheets and some counter sheets.

Troops are given a "Body" attribute which determines their various combat skills and their initiative sequencing along with an armour rating (to reflect body armour if any) and morale.  Morale and skills are expressed as percentages.

Each turn each figure will activate four times and have three action points available to use.  The sequence in which the figures activate is dictated by their Body attribute which are grouped and this allocates their activations across the ten phases of each turn.  This approach reminds me of the system used by older games like Phoenix Command and Car Wars but in a simplified form.  Actions include various movement modes, kneeling, going prone, getting up, climbing etc. as well as spotting and combat actions.  Since a figure's position (moving, stationary, kneeling, prone etc.) along with their location is significant for spotting and firing you do need to think carefully about your use of actions.

Both spotting and combat actions start with a basic skill level and then the relevant modifiers are applied before a d100 roll.  Whilst the list of modifiers in each case is substantial it quickly becomes apparent which are routinely applicable to your current situation.

If a successful shooting roll is made the damage is then rolled and the target can then roll their armour (if they have any) to reduce or eliminate the damage.  Any residual damage then determines how badly injured the target is and whether any nearby troops' morale is affected.  However, even a miss will result in a morale test being required.

As I am sure you can see there isn't anything revolutionary here but the moving parts are assembled to produce a more granular level of game than say Force on Force - which is what I was looking for.  The rules are very nicely presented and I am interested to see how they play out on the table.


  1. I will be watching this space as other that Hell By Daylight (good up to Vietnam?) I do not have anything that is Modern Skirmish

    1. I liked Hell by Daylight, it had some interesting ideas, but I haven't played it in ages.

      There will be an AAR for Skirmish Sangin coming in the not too distant future.