Friday, October 1, 2010

Rules Review: USE ME, form 15mm UK. I give it thumbs up!

Warning: Be advised that I suck at writing, you will read at your own risk, and ignore any and all seplling, punctuation, and typos. This review is my opinion, and my differ form those of the author, and other readers.


In the never ending hunt for 15mm Scifi platoon level or higher rules there are very few out there. For the last 6 months I have been on a personal crusade to find just the right set of rules for my needs. I need a rules set that takes the battle of the 15mm out of skirmish, and brings it into large scale battles. Playing skirmish based rules for years I want to use 15mm to its full potential.

It is no secrete that I am testing out a number of rules sets at this time, and have no problem listing them.

  1. Gruntz (free beta)
  2. FUBAR (Free)
  3. Tomorrow's War ($20. pre release, two pdf books, will have to buy full release next year)
  4. Forge of War (Free)
Here is a list of games I have had for years.
  1. Imperial Commander (15mm UK)
  2. Star Grunt II (Free pdf noe)
  3. Beamstirke (Free clone of IC)
  4. Fast and Dirty (Free)
Two weeks ago I got an email telling me of a new rule set from 15mm UK. My first thought was another game like ALS. I looked at buying ALS but I did not like the multi-unit basing, I want units that can interact with terrain. 

Read the description on the 15mm UK web site this rule set promises to offer the player the following, and that list got my attention....................

1D6 Action
Fast Play
Totally Generic
Use All your Miniatures
Upscale the Conflict
Skirmish, Battle, Campaign, Solo Play
All You Need in One Place

Yea right!!!

I was faced with two options. 1) Get Tomorrow's War - large pdf books that will take a long time to read, cost $20. for the pre release, and I have to still buy the final book next year. 2) Spend $5.55 US dollars on a rule book that promises every thing I have been asking for in a small rule book. Well I did both...... I picked up both rules sets and wanted to compare them side by side. Well It will be some time before I can compare them both as TW is just to big for me. I will get to it but It is two books FoF 151 pages, and TW 101 pages.

Now for the meat.

I placed the order, and received my order form 15mm UK in 8 days total. Form UK to New Jersey USA, in 8 days is not bad service. The box, was a very small flat box about 4"x 5". Upon opening the box I found 10 minis ( I also needed some more minis), and this tiny booklet. The booklet is roughly 4"x5" inches in size, with 32 pages not including the covers. The text is well laid out and easy to read for younger eyes. So if you are older like me, I just put the bifocals on, and have no problem. Over all the text is a bit smaller than a paperback novel one might read.

Having only read through the booklet once, I picked up the rules fairly easily, with the examples it keeps the rules clear. I did see a few typos, and on the next read will inform the author of them. For the core rules I do not want to get  involved in explaining them. I rather want to make a point that they are simple, but can be complex depending on how you the player wants to use the rules. There is a point system (a must have for me) that is also simple. The point system is laid out on a two page chart, that will allow for a quick army list to be created. I will list some of the Army components that are covered in these rules.
  • Infantry (armored, unarmored, support weapons, and more)
  • Vehicles (light~heavy, armored, and unarmored with a ton of weapon types)
  • Mechs, Walkers
  • Off table support, and weapons.
  • And More
Next there is one page with advance rules, that can take a game to another level of play. I would bet that the advance rules would best be used in a smaller conflict game. There is a Campaign section, and this is one section I would love to make full use of, it is just that I would need a steady gaming group for this section. I do applaud the effort and the Quality of  this section. Now for the Solo game play section. I have to say I am not fully getting it. I think I would need to run through the solo play section at least once then collect my questions for the author. I have used THW's solo rules in the past, and they are like a machine in how they work. USE ME's system is not like this. This how ever dose not mean it is a non working system, it just means I have some questions about it. Also I did not pickup these rules for the solo play section, and I do not count them towards my final review.

There are some extras that you will need to get from 15mm UK once you pick up the rules. I simply emailed my request for the addons to 15mm UK. I was emaild back with a simple zip file containing, templates, counters, sample army lists, and a blank army list sheet. Over all a nice little addon. I do feel this should be a direct download from there web site. It dose not give away the rules core, so should not hinder the sales

The Pros and cons of these rules. Well I could list my P and Cs but you may not agree so I will give a light list of what I like and do not like.

I like the rules!!!! They are now at the top of my list of final contenders next to Gruntz.
I like the simplicity/complexity of these rules.
I love the scaleability of these rules form Skirmish to full out battle.

Do not like
Booklet, I have grown to love PDF files over printed books. I would have paid more for PDF if it was offered.
Lack of an online forum/group to support them. I am sure one will come.

Over all this is a great product in my opinion. A simple and fast set of rule that WILL meet my needs for large scale conflicts in 15mm. It also allows me to use my many non standard miniatures.

I am giving it 4 and a half stars.


Note: After the writing of this review I was in contact with the author. He explained that the typos would be addressed in the free extras zip file as well as being posted on the USE ME web page.

Note 2: The author informed me of this group.
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