Solo Wargaming: Nuts!

I’ve decided to do some solo wargaming, in part to learn the Two Hour Wargames system but also to get some more gaming in. So tonight I set up my first solo game of Nuts! A squad from the US Airborne was patrolling through the Normandy farmlands.

Nuts! has several mechanics to facilitate solo play. Every campaign starts with a patrolling mission where your ‘Star Character’ and a squad of men go out looking for trouble. Terrain is randomly generated and based on the rolls and my available terrain I created a farm consisting of several buildings and a set of woods running down the right flank. In order to succeed in the patrol mission I need to get to the other side of the table with an NCO or the Star Player. I added a crop field to this layout in the center of the close edge right after taking this photo.

Enemies are generated first by randomly placing Potential Enemy Forces, PEFs, which are represented by barely visible neon markers in the photo.

As my first fireteam pushes up the road it comes into line of sight of the closest PEF and I need to roll some dice and see what it is. Is it a squad of guys? A raccoon in a trash can making noise? No, it’s a full platoon of Fallschirmjäger. The two forces closest at hand were my US Airborne and the FJ, so thats what was hitting the table tonight.

I rolled off against the Germans to see who gets to act first, and lost. The FJ opened up with two MG42’s and a squad of riflemen, splitting fire between the six men. Adding that field and hedge saved my men’s life! Most of the rolls weren’t high enough due to the cover the field and hedges provided, but a couple got through and knocked my corporal and a riflemen “Out out of the fight”.

With the overwhelming firepower my men were forced to fall back, dragging the casualties with them into the nearby woods. Turn two started with a set of doubles for activation, generating more potential enemies. I won the tied roll and dragged my men off the field. After failing the patrol mission I’m forced to defend against an attack for the next mission, so I set up the board, gathered the rest of my platoon and set up a defense around a nearby farm house.

Tomorrow night we’ll see how well we can hold the fort down!

5 thoughts on “Solo Wargaming: Nuts!”

  1. Bad luck for that squad. Seems like THW has a good system for solo play. I bought FNG and am just finishing up so troops so I can give it a try.

    1. I’ve never played another solo system, but the rules are fairly straight forward for their behavior, especially if you move them with some common sense. The resolution of the PEF’s can swing all the way from nothing to “The remainder of the platoon”, so it’s not designed for ‘balanced forces’. I could have just as likely walked all the way across the board and found nothing. I like it in theory, having read several of the rule books, and it’s time to toss some dice!

  2. Nuts! is really great for solo narrative play, precisely because you don’t know what you may come up against. I did play a small campaign that ended on the fourth game when my entire British section became casualties. But that is what makes NUTS! great.

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