Recently I bought two "oldies" from Skirmisher Publishing: Skirmish! and Quactica. I thought I'd write about Skirmish! since I found no reviews while searching for information before buying. As an aside, searching for reviews of a game called Skirmish! is far from pleasant (try searching "skirmish!," "skirmish game," "skirmish game skirmisher" and you'll get results from pretty much all skirmish games to be found.)
Skirmish! falls into the category of "beer and pretzels" games; the author clearly states he created the rules to play with his collection of toy soldiers. Still, it is pretty versatile (if simple) and might work as a first system to new players, or for quick games.
It uses the IGO-UGO turn structure with one very important twist (that I hadn't seen before in other games.) Each player's turn is split into three phases. On the first phase, the active player's (called the aggressor on that turn) units may either attack or move. On the third phase, the active player's units that didn't attack get a chance to do so. The magic happens in the second phase, where the inactive player's (the defender on that turn) units may attack (without moving.) This rule, which maintains an overall simple turn sequence with no interruptions, reactions or anything else, allows for the implementation of things like overwatch or standing against a charge. This insight alone was worth buying the game. In this small test battle, the green forces (at the bottom) win initiative, so they are the agressors in the first turn.
[On the first phase of the turn, the aggressors move from behind cover. As none of them are in sight of the defenders, they don't get to shoot in the second phase. Likewise, the attackers have no targets and thus nothing to do on the third phase.]
[Now, for a detailed view of the turn: the blue forces are now the aggressors. On the first phase, two of them move from the ruins to the rocks on the right. The other two move to have a line of sight of the topmost two green soldiers.]
I liked this little system and I think it's most useful for quick pick-up games between two people. The rule about shooting at a target that was in sight during movement makes me put it strictly in the realm of "fun" matches. Otherwise I can imagine all kinds of arguments about trajectories or even keeping track of the exact movement of each figure. On the other hand, this rule and turn structure enable quick play and varied tactics.
Playing Skirmish! solo effectively might require adding some unpredictability to the standard turn sequence. Maybe some kind of activation check for units, or an awareness check to enable a defender to shoot at a moving target. The PEF and NP movement rules from Chain Reaction might also work well.