This time, I rolled skills for two soldiers on each team. I played team green, from left to right: Sgt. Sims (Inspiring), Cpl. Marks (Tough), Pvt. Mills and Pvt. Jones. The opposing team had soldiers with the Motivator and Covering Fire skills, and two grunts. All figures counted as equipped with rifles except for the leaders, who carried submachine guns.
Here is the setup. The circles mark bombed spots that count as rough ground. The objective is located at the question mark stand, near the top left area.
I placed each team on a road and moved all figures a full move before starting the game.
At the beginning of the game, the enemy positioned themselves in the ruins overseeing the bridges, as it was a very convenient defensive spot. [I was not sure if they would send someone to watch over the objective so I rolled a die, deciding they would stick together.] On team green, the plan was to have Sims and Mills cross the bridge to the left, while Marks covered them from the ruins. Jones would try to surprise, or at least distract, the enemy on the other bridge.
The two teams exchanged fire for some time, as both were in safe positions. Jones was knocked down as he tried to approach the bridge, but managed to recover [and Marks was saved from a deadly shot by his Tough skill.] Eventually, team green found a breach in the enemy defenses and Sims ran to the objective. Now, however, he was pinned in the ruins, with the enemy ready to shoot.
To make things worse, Marks was taken out of action and Jones was suppressed. The enemy approached the ruins where Sims was hiding, but he fired at them and caused him to run for cover. In a lucky turn of events, both Jones and Mills suppressed enemy soldiers, causing them to hunker down. This allowed Sims to run back across the bridge.
Two enemy soldiers left the battle and the last one did not pose much of a threat. It did not take long before the rest of team green could leave the board. Mission accomplished!
This was a fun game and it took around one hour to play. I liked the portion of the game when the two teams kept trying to suppress each other, firing from cover. I am still thinking about the choice of the enemy tactics. Moving a soldier closer to the objective might have prevented the mad dash of Sgt. Sims across the bridge, but it would have left the other bridge more exposed to a "surprise" attack from Pvt. Jones.
This was my first game of Five Core using character skills, and I think they worked well, as long as I remembered to use them. During this game I also noticed a couple of things I ignored before: guard fire does not work if the figure fired in the previous turn, and cover significantly reduces the impact of a Flinch result. These two bits of the rules make quite a difference during play.