Here is the final part of our UMS review: Modern Age. Forgive us for the delay and let’s get started!
In the last article we saw how a perfect attack by an Iraqi mortar battery succeeded in both removing the Overwatch from the BMP-3 and Pinning the crew. On a strategic level, now the Iraqi regulars and Specials have much more maneuvering capacity, since the danger of the automatic cannon on the BMP has been, at least for the moment, averted.
Moving out of cover, the Iraqi Special squad has both the Russian regulars and the BPM in LOS and decides to attack both, splitting their fire. Two Elements will attack the infantry, with their ARs, while the third will use an RPG-27 against the BMP. Splitting fire is very useful, especially in cases like this where, with a small penalty to the hit roll, you can target two enemy Squads. Having moved we cannot make an Targeted Shot, and the Russian infantry are in cover around a corner, but the close range towards them will allow us to reroll the dices of failed attacks. Only one hits and causes no effect, but perhaps more importantly, the RPG rocket hits the BMP. Weapons like the RPG-27 or LAW don’t have great penetration, but APC/IFV don’t have the same armor as an MBT and the saving throw fails catastrophically! The BMP, hit in ammunition or fuel, explodes in a fireball. The shockwave and splinters of catastrophic destruction hit the Squads (The russian regulars) close to the vehicle, pinning them immediately.
With Pinning there is little for Russians to do, the possible actions available are reduced to 2, both to be rolled with activation: in this case we convert only 1. Making a ranged attack while Ponned leads to scarce results, usually: weapon ROFs are reduced and a heavy penalty is applied to the attack roll. We don’t have many alternatives at the moment, Falling back back will leave the flank uncovered, so we can only activate a ranged attack and try to resist. Two hits lands and one kills a Iraqi Special Force, taking them to half the starting lineup. Unit half at their initial operatives becomes Shaken and have Morale and Activation penalties. This time, however, morale holds! The initiative appears to be Iraqi, at least for this sector of the table, and the regular team approach the objective, taking possession of it as the closest Unpinned Team.
Meanwhile, a furious fight breaks out around the central objective: the Russian team has numerical superiority having six regulars and three reconnaissance but the Iraqi regular is in solid cover and in a defensive position (a kind of entrenchment). Not having moved, the two Russian teams can carry out targeted attacks, increasing the chances of hitting, but small arms have very little chance of causing real damage since the wound roll will have a heavy +5, given the cover. (the higher the shot, the better!).
We decide to suspend our game which, in our reports, seems to have been going on for a month, but in reality we limited ourselves to taking advantage of one afternoon! Both sides own an objective, while the third one isn’t taken yet. In this Scenario the first victory condition was to take more Objective (VP) than the opponent and, if there’s a draw, a “Destruction” tie-breaker is used.
We are, therefore, at the conclusions. What do we have in UMS: Modern Age? Let’s try to list the qualities that we have noticed so far
- Activation system based on a deck of playing cards. The opponent can “steal” the activation only if he has a card that can beat, as a value, the one turned from the deck. These strategy cards can be played with various utilities and are therefore are a valuable resource and the players need to manage how and when to use them.
- Army building. With a total of 12 modern armies available, each with special rules, there is no shortage of choice and variety for sure! Complete freedom left to the player to use Squads and vehicles, mixing them at will.
- Twelve scenarios available for a “Quick Game”: six symmetrical and six asymmetrical.
- Supports and Aviation not present in the army list, but always available “on call” as long as you have the necessary strategic cards still available in your hand.
- Average end time of a match wit 1000-1250 points per side: from two and a half hours to three. Great for a night at the club. Both the maximum army and table size are expandable without greatly affecting the gameplay.
- Rules NOT linked to any manufacturer of miniatures, all those on the market are usable, both in 28 and 20mm scale.
- Possible future expansions through the introduction of new war theaters, both contemporary and from the recent past.
What are we waiting for, then? Obvious! The news that the regulation is available for sale!