Sunday, April 14, 2024

Breaking out Rapid Fire! Reloaded

 I’ve been building up my WW2 forces in 28mm of late and trying out different rules.

I’ve had a couple of solo games of Bolt Action but aspects of the rules I do struggle with. I see the order dice mechanic as both a strength and weakness of the system. A strength in that it does allow the player to priorities choices and so face a range of decisions each turn. I also like the pin mechanic and see it as another strength of the system.

 However, Bolt Action does have a number of flaws. Firstly I don’t like the fact that it is easily exploitable in that you can “stack up” on cheap filler units to manipulate the order dice mechanism which can lead to all sorts of shenanigans to get a gaming advantage with the random activation die pull. And don’t get me started on putting bazookas and flamethrowers in a jeep and driving them pell mell at the enemy to leap out and fire at the offending target. WTF! I can take some liberties with my WW2 gaming but that is a bridge to far as far as I am concerned and a real turn off for me. Finally, the game is a it slow, a result of the afore-mentioned random activation. 

These days I prefer solo gaming and have no interest in competitive play or of gaming vs random players with pick up games. My main interest now is in researching a battle of engagement and trying to turn it into a fun scenario and refight it, or elements of it, on the table top.

Anyway getting back to rules to use. I’ve no interest on the new edition of Flames of War or in going back to 15mm and 3rd edition of FoW either (well no interest in 15mm at this stage!). I am enjoying painting and playing 28mm games and focusing on two primary campaigns (currently)- The British 14th Army in Burma and also the campaign in Italy 43-44. There are other rules out there, eg Battle group and Chain of Command but I aren’t really keen on trying either or learning another set of rules- not sure why by Chain of Command has never really grabbed me as a ruleset though I must preface that by saying I've not actually played a game.

I have been hankering for a it of an older style gaming vibe and so was toying with breaking out Operation Warboard which was the first ever rulebook I bought (sometime in the mid 1980s) or even updating the rules that my friend Ian and I developed from Donald Featherstone and Lionel Tarr’s rules from Featherston’s original Wargames books- we hand typed up our rules (adding elements from Operation Warboard when we got these rules) and used them for several years as kids and teenagers.

Another option I was considering for gaming in Burma was to have a look at Rapid fire! I bought the original edition of the rules and a number of supplements around 2000 but once we got into Flames of War in 2002 I sold off all my 20mm figures and we jumped onboard Flames for a long long time.

Anyway, I decided to have a look at Rapid Fire! Reloaded and for the price of a tenner ($NZ) was worth a punt and was pleasantly surprised with the rules. I was never really a fan of the old school damage charts in the original and so like the new chartless approach of RFR, and it simplicity.

I’ve had a few solo playtest games in the past couple of weeks and have really enjoyed them so far. They give the period feel I’m after and are definitely fast play. It is still early days of course but think I’ll be persevering with these rules for some time.


A few shots of a recent solo game of Rapid fire! Reloaded



  1. A few of us tour club have just picked up these rules. First play test last week met with favourable results and more games are planned.

  2. Hi Neil. Keep me posted how they work out for your group.

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