Monday 22 October 2012

Normandy Firefight

A little while back I picked up a copy of Normandy Firefight, Warwick Kinrade's "detailed skirmish combat rules from WWII" from North Star. Like most wargamers I buy far more rules than I will ever play but the fact that these rules were designed for extremely small scale skirmishes of up to around five figures a side and used 1/35th miniatures, my interest was piqued.

The rules are very interesting using a two second action move, detailed wound location and recording of ammunition expenditure. This might sound a bit too much but I was extremely impressed how Warwick combined the to-hit, hit location and damaged caused in one D100 roll (and I love percentile dice). Overall the mechanisms seem quite elegant and simple for such a detailed game.

I do have some reservations such as the lack of an overwatch rule to allow opponents to shoot at miniatures running from behind one piece of hard cover to another (eg. from house to house) but I think that I'd really need to play the game before critiquing further.

Will I?

At this stage probably not. The concept intrigues me, I used to love sticking Airfix Multipose and Tamiya figures together (and there are some in the attic IIRC) but at the moment I don't want to slip into a new scale. The game can be played with 28mm miniature or even 20mm ones but I guess much of the fun is using the larger scale models.

Even with one part of my brain saying no, the creative part is pondering 54mm infantry combat in Italy or Burma!

Maybe a project for 2014? :-)


  1. I have skimmed them, was impressed with them in general, as well as liked the production value - then put them down, knowing I didnt need another unused wargaming book in the house!

    1. "knowing I didnt need another unused wargaming book in the house!" - sorry, I don't understand what you mean! ;-)

  2. I have plans (on top of all the other plans) for these, using various 1/35th scale kits to put togther a section of the 5th DCLI in Normandy, together with a similar squad size contingent of landsers.

    ...when this happens is another question although, needless to say, I have acquired all the requisite bits.

    The thing that puts me off is the terrain?

  3. I have also bought these rules but not played them. I already dabble in far to many periods and scales as it is. Nice to know I am not alone.

  4. I have the Normandy Firefight rules. The game worked really well as envisaged by the rules, but I think it would not perform so well on a game board with loose terrain pieces, largely open spaces and little cover. I have built up a large crate collection of Tamiya and Dragon WW2 figures that I have enjoyed building, modifying and painting and can also field a 1:35 armoured car, Kubelwagen, Stug, Sherman or two! You could make a desert or snow board easily just as well, by suitably adapting the rules. My squads combat well on a dedicated foamboard 3ft square base with permanent modelled terrain, similar to what is shown on p.32. (and I may also make one like p.48 at the back of the Rulebook). It makes for a fast game with nuanced tactical decisions and when I want to, I can rip it up and build another version very easily and at virtually no cost.

    A dedicated scenario board is really cheap to make if you don’t buy ready made buildings, bridge, houses or trees. I have home made structures of foamboard, card, foam fruit box, cotton wool, etc costing virtually nothing and stored uprighta church ruin, bridge, narrow lanes hedged in paint sprayed cotton wool balls with a few trees and smaller sheds and rubble.