I'm searching for a light and fast ruleset from some time. I tried the "Song of ..." rules serie from Ganesha Games (the modern one is "Flying lead"), and TwoHoursWargame "5150: Star Army", along with some free ruleset found in the web. What i want is an easy game that i can use with my AT-43 miniatures or with modern soldier miniatures to "emulate" some movie like "Black Hawk Down", as example.
The Battlefield is really different from the other rules, and requires some sort of "reset" of your gaming habits.
It rises the level of abstraction a bit: as example, you don't need anymore to have a metal barrel on the field to use as cover, but instead you can put your figures adjacent to a "terrain piece" and that's enough for your minis to be partially protected. The reasoning behind this is that there's a lot of features on that "terrain piece" you can't see and your soldiers are using it without the need to fiddling with the miniature.
Everything revolves around infantry: they are your main units, there's a lot of "specializations" for them and, while there rules for almost all types of vehicles (being them wheeled, tracked, or choppers) you'll use perhaps just one, to give some "color" to the scenario (the vehicles needs an infantry unit inside to operate, they're not working alone!).
The game's easy and plays fast; once you get the few basic concept, and once you start to "see" the game from its new point of view, every other single rule will find his place like the last 10 pieces when you're finishing a puzzle.
Other reviewers mentioned how it plays like a video-game and i agree: the action is often frantic and you usually respawn dead units, so you can't loose a scenario (or better: "game mode") 'cause a couple of bad rolls or bad decision: you can alway "spawn" the unit you need and retry to gain your victory.
What this game is not:
- a game where "heroes" (leaders, stars.... you get it) are important. They don't even exist here. You "just" have units of infantry or vehicles.
- a real-life simulation: you have no morale, no automatic reactions. There's just some random checks for some special actions (like parachuting), otherwise you have full control of what your soldiers will do.
- a solo/co-op game: the previous point means that there's no an easy (and official) way to have an "automated" opponent
Instead, this game is:
- a fast and easy, but still believable and deep skirmish system
- a multiplayer game: it can handle multiple players, grouped in teams.
- a game that don't requires complex terrain features: a "terrain block" is an abstraction that works whatever kind of stuffs you put on the table. The added advantage is that you can build your terrain pieces (building, forests, ruins) without worrying about how the miniaturs can walk on them, or use a shoe box instead if you're not a modeller. Still, the game requires a good amount of scenery on the field.
So i'm particulary happy pf this book. Perhaps "The Battlefield" will not replace your "best" system, but it is different enough from the other ruleset i know to have its own place and its unique flavour, and to be played 'cause you want to play "another game".
(pls excuse my poor english, i'm italian).
[5 of 5 Stars!]