Nuts!

The photo is from my first Two Hour Wargames Nuts! game with my friend, Mark, we played while vacationing along the South Atlantic beach. You can see how I didn’t put much into terrain with 1:300 scale Dutch acting as buildings in 1:72nd scale!

SCALE: NUTS! Final Version is 1-figure-per-soldier (or 1-model-per-tank) “skirmish” style ruleset. Roughly speaking 6′ per inch (or whatever your ruler unit is; one could use centimeters (or partial inches like half-inches or 2/3″ units on custom made rulers) for tiny figures like 6mm or 10mm). But most use inches for more typically skirmish scales of 15mm to 28mm figures. Time represented is quite short (seconds but averaging as minutes?) but the designer feels that gamers should not get hung up on exact scale feeling that the relationship of space and time is the key. So just keep the movement and fire ranges as per the game. If you are repesenting a terrain element (like Pegasus Bridge) that is a specific size, one could use a bit different scale.

PegasusBridgeByMartinWickham
Martin Wickham of England made a really nice diorama of the immediate area around Pegasus Bridge (overhead photo of the micro-scale table shown in the middle of the graphic he designed to help explain the situation).

The ruleset suggests using a 3×3′ felt game area and 4×6′ seems to be the biggest size anyone might ever want to use. With lots of terrain. More terrain makes a small table big; sparse terrain makes a big table small! If instead of inches, you choose to use 2/3″ ruler units, half-inches or centimers then the game area could be very small; an inch scale 4×6′ table would have the same game play area as on a 2×3′ table with half-inches or 48x72cms (19×28″ like a boardgame) with centimeters.

INTRODUCTION: Nuts! is an unusual game in that it breaks with the IGOUGO sequence concept instead featuring a “reaction” approach, soldiers get within potential spotting and you determine who sees whom first. So in your Activation, the enemy may ambush you. It is flexible in that it can be played:

  • with traditional opposing players
  • a team or solo versus the game system, or
  • a judge can be added to either of the previous two approaches (but not necessary because the game system adjudicates all otherwise).

The ruleset includes an option to link the games into a series of skirmishes and thus what gamers think of as a “campaign”. And so it has ways for characters to advance (or degrade) and a narrative constructed. Almost D&D in WWII. I chose the ruleset because it was highly recommended by a friend who was an infantry lieutenant, and a close contender, Chain of Command, seemed to have some gamey bits to drive the order of events—different strokes for different folks. I wrote a review of Nuts on BoardgameGeek.com. My feeling from just one game, is that we liked them. I think we are used to higher level sort of game and so it will take some getting used to the sort of tactics necessary. The rules are quite different than the average miniature game but I think they are worth learning the unique approach. John Holtz used to say give a set a rules three chances before you give up on them. Jeff Glasco was the friend who had recommended Nuts and has posted some game reports at his blog Gentlemanly Wargaming.

MY GAMING BACKGROUND: Perhaps it would help you to know where I come from wargaming wise: 1970 Fast Rules, 1970-1973 GRT/Tractics, 1973-1976 SPI’s TANK! converted to miniatures, 1977-1986 Arnold Hendriks’ 1944, 1986-now Command Decision (all 4 versions, platoon-per-stand) plus 2001-now Great Battles of WWII (for company-per-stand). General Quarters 3 for WWII naval, Volley & Bayonet for ACW plus various boardgames. You can find my play aids for some of these by clicking on categories at left although a few may have not yet migrated from http://www.g-design.us yet.

SUPPORT: NUTS! FV has a wide variety of campaign extensions from WWII-Vietnam plus alternate reality. Other THW games address other eras, pulp fiction & dimensional weirdness. In fact you can get a free copy of their Chain Reaction ruleset that gives you a feel for how the system generally works (with 2 free versions, swords or “modern” combat but not specifically WWII, that’s what NUTS is for). When you have Chain Reaction, it can be spiced up with specific “campaigns” like Napoleonic, Dinosaurs, Aliens & Modern Pirates (which are not free but a nominal cost). An important tip: if you order a PDF from THW (free or otherwise) look carefully for the Download button which I missed the first time I ordered and then I didn’t know how to get back to it—so I sent an email and got help.

MY PLAY AIDS: I am working on accessories for NUTS! Final Version because the ruleset is set up in a Programmed Instruction approach which doesn’t sit well for me. The theory is that after digesting each bite size bit, then you will just need a few charts found in the back of the book. But I prefer to have a stepping stone between the P.I. and occasional chart reference. So my design vision is to produce a Turn Sequence oriented General Reference Chart (GRC) with snippets of the chart-specific bit. So with the caveat that it is not really been fully checked, here is the link to my General Reference charts (first 8 pages of filename: charts.pdf) plus 4 more pages of others’ play aids (that are unrelated to mine). If you find errorrs or important omissions, please let me know. I say “important” because it is not an exhaustive reference, you still need the ruleset but my hope is that this will get me and perhaps you into the game more quickly than otherwise.

The version date of the play aid is found in small type at the lower right of each page. Unless you download a version showing a later date (means I forgot to update the version history), the latest GRC is date below in Version History:

  1. 15JAN16 First edition
  2. 15MAY16 Added how Temporary Group Leader gets no Leader Die per forum response.

OTHER PLAY AIDS: If you don’t need this much hand-holding the NUTS! forum has charts that might be enough, like a summarized Flow Chart and other worthwhile aids. Also, I suggest joining the THW Yahoo group and its file section, in the folder for NUTS! for other items. For now the GRC link also has a little compilation of other peoples’ aids. Both the THW forum and Yahoo group are where you can get answers to questions or feedback on your ideas or source of miniatures etc.

NutsForPostIMG_2177
France 1940, two German sections approach the built-up area while two British sections do likewise at the top of the photo.
NutsBritishTroopsFrance40IMG_1801
My reinforced platoon of British troops in France 1940 mounted steel washer with aquarium gravel. I use different colored rubble bricks to indicate which squad is which.
GermanTroopsFrance40
German troops, also in 1:72 scale.
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