|We must destroy that machine gun!|
The main rules are the same from Five Core but there are changes to reflect the fact that now each unit is a number of soldiers instead of a single person. There are also rules for vehicles but as the author states, this is a game focused on infantry. Therefore, tanks, helicopters and transports are there to provide some support to the soldiers. As a result, vehicles are not highly detailed, with different transportation modes and weapon types. Instead, they fall into broad categories relative to each other an to infantry.
The "...Spaaace" supplement includes rules for many things found in sci-fi games like: bugs, grav tanks, power armor, walkers, giant mecha and monsters, orbital bombardment, and psionics. There is also a more general discussion on how to model aliens in the system by giving them modifiers to different actions, but there are no example templates.
Assaulting the outpost
I played a few test battles on a small board (around 2'x2'). As in Five Core, providing cover and avoiding long corridors is necessary to make an interesting battle. In the first one, the blue army was defending an outpost, while the yellow army must destroy it. Blue had two rifle squads (one of them with a medic), and a machine gun team. Yellow had four rifle squads, two of them with demolitions experts, one with additional light machine guns and one with a scout.
|Mission setup: Blue guarding the outpost, Yellow with two groups trying to explode it.|
|Yes, that is an "out of action" result from snap fire!|
Having lost two squads, Yellow had to change plans. Back on Blue's left flank, the other demolitions squad advanced and fired at the enemy entrenched in the ruins, wounding many soldiers. The other squad recovered and advanced between two hills, thus protected from enemy fire.
|Let's try and outflank them! Yeah, you go first.|
Escaping the swarm
Using the same table setup and Blue forces, I now placed a swarm of bugs as their enemy. The bugs only want to destroy all humans. The humans must hold until all civilians have left [I would make a task roll at the end of each turn. When 5 successes were accumulated, the humans would win.]
|Humans were easy. Can they hold against the swarm?|
|Again, the squad in the ruins got the highest kill count, including more kills on snap fire.|
Five Core Company Commander works very well, within its bounds. It is a game of infantry combat with simple rules for vehicles, and it supports up to a company (around 12 stands) per side due to its activation system. Still, there are a lot of battles to be played within these parameters, and they are fast and fun to play. The squad types and attached specialists allow the construction of various types of forces.
When I first read the rules, I was a bit concerned that squads hit by fire do not degrade (e.g. a squad can receive Man Down status, then recover without any loss of strength, and this may happen more than once.) When playing, however, I did not find issues with this. I think part of the reason is that activations are limited, so at times a squad in Man Down status will remain that way for a while.