AE-WWII Core Rules

February 17, 2008

gen005_lg.jpgThis past Friday I received my pre-ordered Alternate Events World War II Core rulebook. The book retails at $39.99 and published by Darkson Designs. Pre-ordering the book got me in on a special deal for a free limited edition figure. Upon check out I choose the German Lab Rat. When I got the book I very surprised to see another figure with a note saying the the extra limited edition figure was a way of saying thanks for pre-ordering. The second special edition figure I got was an American Buffalo Pilot. The folks at Darkson are top notch and really made the wait worth it.

The book is 174 page soft cover and in full color. In the beginning of the book has a little short story which then goes on to the background and setting AE-WII. The introduction to the world is then concluded with a brief time line outline real world events and AE-WWII events (in italics) from 1908 to 1945.

Next covered are the core rules for their basic models covering their basic attributes and special abilities. Each model has seven attributes: Movement, Ranged Combat, Close Combat, Armor, Strength, Drive and Wounds. These attributes determine how well a model or a unit can archive certain goals. Models are played on 30m, 40mm and 50mm bases.

The main mechanic behind the game is the Action Point system. Action points are spent to do certain actions available to them. You model’s training level determines how many action points it gets to spend during its activation. There are 4 types of actions available to an individual or unit; Movement, Ranged Combat, Close Combat and Special Actions.

AE-WWII is played in rounds where each player must roll for initiative adding the highest drive attribute from models currently on the battlefield. Each player then takes turns activating a unit until all have been activated.

Moral seems to be a big factor in this game. I would say this is what makes AE-WWII unique among other tabletop wargames. As you suffer casualties your Drive characteristics suffers penalties. Not managing your model’s Drives well can lead to them surrender or running off the table. In this game your troops are assets that are not expendable for quick short term gains.

AE-WWII has some rules for vehicles. They have the same attributes as normal models but have different special abilities available to them. The vehicle list are mainly lightly armored vehicles such as jeeps and half tracks. For the US you have access to a Jeep, Military Cargo Truck, M20 Armored Utility Car and M2 Half Track Car. The Germans have SDKFZ 250 Light Armored Car and a SDKFZ 221 Light Armored Car. The Soviets have a BA-64 Armored Car. I’m hoping to find some 1:48 kits of these so I can try them out as well.

AE-WWII uses a points free method of building your forces. In this game the group of models you bring to the table is a called a Detachment. A player is free to choose from 8 different Detachments: Cavalry, Command, Experimental, Infantry, Motorized Infantry, Reconnaissance, Support, and Veteran. Each Detachment has a unique composition of troop types that you have access to and what upgrades you may give them. I’m very found of this way of army building as you can do away with the calculator when creating a force.

The book covers basic scenarios to play and how one goes up selecting them and achieving their objectives. I haven’t read through them all but there are certainly a lot to choose from. This will certainly make game play more interesting having this kind of option.

For those interested in running campaigns, the core rulebook does not disappoint. Players are able to take part in Story-Based or Map-Based campaigns. These campaigns allow a player to gain Requisition points to replace model losses or increase the size of their detachment. Units are also able to gain experience points throughout the campaign that allow them adjust certain attributes or to increase their Training Level.

Toward the end of the book are the model description and stats of the 3 factions in this book. Before each faction is a short story in that faction’s perspective. Represented in the core rules are the Germans Geneticists, American Sci-Tech and Soviet Psi. At the end of each factions section are sample force lists and a basic painting guide.

The book concludes with another short story called Sub-Human. A German encounter with the Russians.

From my initial thumb through I really like what I see. The book takes the both of best world for me incorporating historical events with pulp sci-fi in the mix. I have not read all the fluff but I’m definitely enjoying what I’ve read so far. The artwork is great! My favorite is the German K-9 Unit. The rules are simple to wrap you head around yet offers strategic thinking. I personally think that the quick start rules in the starter and on the website does not do the game justice as it has so much to offer beyond that. All in all the book is a great buy at $39.99. I can’t wait to get some games in.


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