Smooth and Rifled, A review

After playing a colonial encounter on last Saturday, with Smooth & Rifled, I decided to buy the ruleset, and after reading it here is my personal review.

 Let's talk about this ruleset: Smooth and Rifled.

 The ruleset has 26 pages, where the rules only are in 16, the other are for cover, sample scenarios and markers, support addresses and quick reference sheet. The book is plenty of photos with very good painted miniatures, all the pages have a light brown/sepia colour that is very printer unfriendly.

 Let's take a look a on the wargaming system. The wargame have been thought to be played for battles between 1700 and 1900, but there are projects for expanding it to another periods. The troops have a combat stat called C, that is used for Close Combat resolution.

The turn has various phases:

1.- Action Points, that are rolled with three dices, adding the scores. Each player roll for his Action Points, getting a number from 3 to 18. Those points will be used on the next phases to activate the troops, no more than three times. The player with more Action Points starts to play.

2.- Movement, the players can choose his troops to move them, the troops can move in formation in a lower rate than the unformed troops. The movement rates are the same for every type of infantry, and a bit more for every type of cavalry troop.

3.- Firing, the troops that have an enemy in his Line of Sight, and are armed with a firing weapon can fire at the enemy. It is solved rolling two dices, and adding the scores, if that number is here than the established one by the range, it's a hit. The troops can aim their shoots, for rolling an additional dice when firing. The hits are rolled under a 4+, higher scores become a dead. After the firing, normally you have to reload your weapon, and it cost Action Points.

4.- Combat, the base to base contacted miniatures can start a melee, each miniature roll 3d6, and each score under his C value will be a hit, resolved in the same way than the firing hits.

The troops can be moved alone, or forming a group, the group movement let the player saving Action Points. Normally the first activation of a troop, cost less than the others activations.

There are a lot of special rules to upgrade, or downgrade the troops, creating different types of troops.

The army lists are being published for free from the Smooth & Rifled blog, with all the troops and weapon stats,by now, the army lists published are:
 - Napoleonic Wars.
 - Zulu Wars.
 - Expedition of the 1000.
 - American Civil War.
 - New Zealand War.
 - French and Indian War.

If we take a look on the troops stats, we can see:
Line Infantry British
AV=1/2/3; C=4
0-1 Officer (Leader), sword, revolver (10/0), 23 pts

6-20 Line Infantry, BLR (40/1), bayonet, 28 pts

AV= 1/2/3, means that the first activation costs 1 point, the second 2, and the third 3 points
C = 4, means that when the soldier is shooting you will impact in melee with a 4 or less.
0-1 Officer (Leader) Sword, Revolver (10/0), means that you can only have between 0 and 1 Officer; he will be the Leader (Special Rule) bearing a Sword and a Revolver. The Sword is a melee weapon that allows to re-roll 1D6 in close combat. The Revolver (10/0), means that it haves an effective range of 10, so with a 7+ it hits inside this range. The "0"after the dash means that the weapon is reloaded automatically. The Officer costs 23 pts.

If we take a look on the Line Infantry, we see that we must have between 6 to 20 soldiers, armed with a Breech-Loading Rifle (BLR) that has a 40cm effective range, and that requires 1 action point to be reloaded. Each soldier costs 28pts.

In summary:

Pros: Fast and easy to play and learn wargame, with a great quantity of possible armies that will be published for free. The ruleset could be read easily in an 30 minutes, and learned after a pair of battles. Very good possibilities for expanding. The author is Lorenzo Sartori the author of Impetus.

Contras: Is a product with an elevated cost 9€, is money for a PDF. The addenda published in the blog, isn't already added to the main document. There are no troops creation system inside the book, so or you wait for the official publishing or you have to use your imagination, or look for helping in the forum.

My two cents, Smooth & Rifled is an elevated cost pdf product, that promises to be a big game if it continues having the support of the wargaming community. The big variety of special rules let the players adding a lot of variety to the troops.

From Slorm Wargames we recommend to buy it.
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