Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brink of Battle: Cops and Drug Dealers

My first game of Brink of Battle was a quickly sketched scenario where a group of regular cops must arrest drug dealers hidden in the slums somewhere in modern-day Brazil. The board was drawn in a single A4 sheet as I am playing at a reduced scale. This let little space for maneuver but I wanted to focus on the engagement between the two groups.

The cops are on the left with blue bases. They are a regular force with one detective (commander, CBT 6, CMD 6, CON 6, marksman, hardened, carrying a shotgun), two veteran cops with carbines and five officers with pistols. The drug dealers are a horde-type force with a drug lord (commander, CBT 6, CMD 6, CON 6, gutshot, inspiring, carrying an assault rifle), one lieutenant (veteran) with a shotgun and seven henchmen with pistols, revolvers and shotguns.

The objective of the drug dealers is to escape through the left edge (with at least 4 units, including the commander) or make the cops rout. The objective of the cops is to keep the drug dealers on the board for eight turns, when reinforcements arrive, or to make the dealers rout, which in this case means they surrender. The yellow areas are houses that have been abandoned while the cops advanced.

In my first game I tried to play offensively with the cops, moving quickly with some of them towards the dealers. This was a bad idea as the henchmen near the gate of the red area moved out and shot them. The cops managed to mount a defense but had some losses and routed by the fourth turn.

In the second game I moved some cops to the narrow alley and put others in the houses. The drug dealers had to move out and try their luck, some of them fast moving and others using move & fire actions. In the end two of them fled but the rest routed.


As I am still learning the game, I simply played both sides in these games, with no other solo adaptations. Each game lasted around 30-40 minutes. The mechanics are indeed easy to use although there are a few bits that may be forgotten during play. For instance, I completely forgot to make weapon checks (to test if a weapon jams or needs reloading) and at one point during the second game I forgot to make a psychology check when a dealer was wounded by a cop.

Creating the forces is an interesting exercise. While it is desirable to keep the combat, command and constitution scores of each unit high, this severely limits what you can buy in terms of special abilities and gear. On the other hand, I feel that I did not really make the drug dealer force a "horde": I should have made many more henchmen, which then would be individually weaker than the cops.


Slorm said...

Hi Ricardo,
Pleased to see that you tested this game. I bought it some months ago, but still not tested.
I hope that you will publish something more about it, because I think that it can have a lot of potencial.

Ricardo said...

Hi Slorm, thanks for the comment. I agree with you, this seems to have a lot of potential. I want to try it in some games in other periods.