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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Playing Poor Bloody Infantry

   While in Weymouth at the end of June, I had the very good fortune to spend an evening playing some introductory games of Poor Bloody Infantry with Martin Goddard, the owner of Peter Pig Miniatures. We played on some terrain that he and his employees had made up as a folding table for convention games. Really, a very useful setup for introductory games, and simply turning the board (it was something like a 4 foot square when opened up) changed the game a good bit.

   The rules seem designed for 15mm minis, which makes sense considering that is what Peter Pig manufactures. It is a stand based game, played out on a table gridded with squares. This can be done in a variety of ways, including marking the lines or just the corners. This does give a bit of the feel of an old fashioned Avalon Hill type wargame, but it has its advantages.

   What I liked about Poor Bloody Infantry: 

   My favorite thing about the game was that it is played on squares - 5 inches in this case, I think, but you could easily do it as 6" squares. What that means is that you don't need to have a measuring tape and there is none of that "You can only charge me if I am within 4"; my tank is 4.01" away from you so you can't hurt it" rubbish. No questions about terrain or cover either - the dominant terrain of the square is what you use for everything. Eliminating the tape for movement and ranged fire is also quite a nice time saver. You simply move the bases the desired number of squares and there you are.

   What I didn't like about Poor Bloody Infantry:

   In the intro games, well, there seemed little to dislike. It's a relatively simple game when you are limiting yourself to just some infantry with a little bit of LMG support. Perhaps the only mechanic that I found frustrating was dealing with casualties in order to maintain morale. You do need a bucket full of dice to play, and that can be off-putting for some people. I attacked a German MG nest, while 'bunched up', and I think he rolled 20 dice? Something like that.

This is the traveling board. Notice the dots? Those mark out the squares.
Buildings are placed on the board; trees are magnetically mounted.
Ridges and hills are built in.

A Soviet platoon, including rifles, LMG support, and command.

Dane contemplates his impending doom.


   I think I need to buy the rules and evaluate some more, including adding in tanks, aircraft, and artillery. It seems good for a company sized game. Also, I will be looking out for the re-vamped rules for the Spanish Civil War that Martin tells me will be coming out sometime near Christmas, if I remember correctly.

   Martin was a gracious host, taking us to dinner and showing us a bit of the local history around Weymouth. Thanks also go to his wife and daughter for putting up with two perfect strangers from America who invaded their home to play with toy soldiers for a few hours.

US: Brookhurst Hobbies


Sean said...

Just caught up with the blog and a lot of great stuff going on. I went to London and Paris back in March and wish I had had the opportunity to meet up with some wargamers. Oh well, maybe next time.

J Womack, Esq. said...


I announced my travel plans on TMP and asked if there were any gamers in the areas in which I would be staying. Martin kindly offered to put up with us.