Mark came over on the 27th for all-too-rare FtF gaming during our off week. Up this time was SJG’s old Battlesuit pocket box game, which both of us got in the reprint version a couple years ago. I had it in the Space Gamer magazine version (still have the magazine, but the counters are long gone), and soloed it some in the ’80s, and thought it seemed good.

We stuck with the intro scenario of two equivalent fire teams entering from opposite sides of the board in a training exercise. I didn’t exercise enough caution in my (second) entry, and got shot up fairly bad in the first turn. We started over, and our revised entries went better.

Early in the second game, I’m Paneurope (Black), Mark is Combine (Red).

At least at first. Mark’s entry was in three pairs, and the east (bottom) pair got damaged and stunned on the second turn after they went into the air. The west pair also got knocked around and were quickly hors de combat. This was largely due to me successfully using the high level 6 ground with the heavy weapon issued to the team.

But that’s where things went wrong. Mark gave his heavy weapon to the ranger suit, while I tried it with a standard (my first instinct was for the ranger as well, but when Mark went with that, I went to the standard to see relative performance). A lucky roll killed the heavy weapon suit outright, and things slowly fell apart from there.

With the combined ECM of a ranger suit and heavy weapon, I could only hope to hit it with LOS, while his ranger was hidden behind a low hill, and the heavy weapon was picking my men off one at a time. A second lucky hit stunned my assault armor, who then self-destructed in a panic, and when my ranger was picked off while I was trying to figure out how to close, it was game over.

We both think it’s a good system. The main trouble is that the LOS system is way too finicky, and gets in the way of play. Solve that, package it better (this is way too large of a map for squeezing into that pocket box), and I think it would do better. I do note that the rules state the map is 1.2km long, which at 30 hexes means 40m/hex. It’s tempting to adapt some extra terrain types, and use ASL maps and LOS rules. The main problem with that is Battlesuit is geared towards longer-range firefights (range penalties start at 11 hexes), but the open terrain of the single map means the first couple good shots can be decisive, and the jumbled terrain of say, SL board 2, could help a lot.

After that, we had some extra time, and pulled out Wiz-War for a two-player game. I had an opening hand that was a little too good, so I went the first few turns not playing any cards, and seeking out Mark. He tried to siphon cards out my hand, and I countered that, and then did a 10-damage spell, which I reflected… and he countered with heal to get his life up to the max of 20. A 7-point fireball put him back in trouble, especially when I used a shadowstone and throwing knife to give myself 3 of his hit points. But Mark drew a wizard blade, and repeated number cards quickly lowered my health. We both stayed in the same area for a while, as we kept stopping to pick up dropped items, and I eventually finished him off (I forget what with) for a win while carrying one of his treasures.