Monday, July 28, 2014

Impressions of Chocolate & Cigarettes : RPG-Lite / Small Scale Skirmish

Chocolate & Cigarettes is a system included with Nuts! Final Edition from THW. This is something new for this edition. It also happens to tap what I think is the sweet spot for THW systems: very small scale skirmish with 3-5 figures making up the entirety of the player's force.

Three skills are used to differentiate your characters beyond REP: Fitness, People and Savvy. There are two additional attribute tables to be used in addition to the attributes normally used during the generation of the player's force. Finally, characters have the possibility of carrying special items that may or may not be useful on the mission (chocolate and cigarettes among them).

Although the regular mechanisms are still used, there is a system for Opposed and Unopposed Challenges - something common to any number of RPGs, lite or otherwise. I like this as it shows that actions more typical of role-playing are expected in these missions.

For my first mission, I brought out my Conte British Paratroopers, hereafter referred to as Corporal Lionel Hardcastle, Lance Corporal Alistair Deacon and Pvt. Stephen Peacock aka Team BBC.

Intel had located a high ranking German officer enjoying a holiday on a remote farm in rural France. Hardcastle and his team were called on to parachute into the area under cover of dark, make their way to the farm and capture the officer. They would rendezvous with the transport team in a village some 3 miles away.

[Night scenarios limit visibility to 12"]

The drop went swimmingly and the team descended on the farm, approaching through a small patch of woods to the south.

Utilizing the hills to their right for additional cover, the team swept right over the crest of the hills, and moved unseen towards the buildings.

[The PEF on my right advanced towards us but was found to be nothing]

On Hardcastle's signal, Peacock and Deacon stormed towards the back of the yellow building, while Hardcastle himself covered the front. 

[The building PEF resolved as nothing, meaning I'd roll 3d6 when entering the building.

The leftmost PEF advanced into range of Hardcastle. It revealed a lone guard on duty]

A lone guard tromped through the darkness, whistling a folk tune. He caught a glimpse of Hardcastle and brought his gun up to his shoulder, but he was too slow.

[Hardcastle won the In Sight and gunned the man down. ]

[Although it's not written anywhere, I really should have tested to see if anyone in the buildings reacted to this but I didn't. To my knowledge, as written, building PEFs don't leave the building (unless they're revealed to be troops]

Peacock and Deacon cleared out the building while Hardcastle kept watch for enemy reinforcements. The building was empty. With no welcoming party other than the lone guard, the team stormed the second building.

[Building PEF was nothing, so 3d6 when door opened. Rather than use the Ready the Grenade test, I used a Savvy challenge, and then did the same with kicking down the door, and putting the pin back IN the grenade after the first floor PEF turned out to be nothing. The upstairs PEF had to be the objective.]

With nowhere left to hide, the team rightly believed the officer must be on the upper floor and Hardcastle joined his men racing up the back stairs.

[I tested In Sight and the German Officer won. I decided to forgo the way the rules usually work and had him dash down the front stairs - that I didn't know existed until I rolled some dice: Does he engage them in a fire fight? 1- Yes and he's turned over a table so he has cover, 2-3 - yes but only until he can fight his way to the front stairs, 4-5 No, but he takes off running down the stairs, 6 No and he surrenders. I rolled a 4. ]

[He won the initiative for the next turn and took off running for the woods and out of sight.]

Team BBC raced down the steps behind the officer. 

[Thankfully the Officer then rolled a 6 for initiative, which meant no action for him. This allowed the team to get within range.]

Unable to catch him, they opened fire and dropped him in his tracks.

Mission : Failed!

This is more like it. 

A handful of figures makes it easy to keep track of everything, not too much dice rolling and a loose RPG-Lite feel. In fact, I imagine I could run a solo RPG using this system, and only break out the miniatures when combat necessitated it.


  1. Great report! Looks and sounds like a fun little game! And nice to see Corporal Hardcastle didn't get kicked by a mule on this mission.

    1. Thanks, Fitz-Badger! And I'm glad that someone else knows who Hardcastle is . I admit, I have been looking for a 1/32 mule so it can make an appearance, possibly as an evil mastermind working for the nazis.

  2. Can we expect Corporal "Foggy" Dewhurst to arrive to reinforce the section?

    As a jungle warfare/camouflage/knife expert and all-around leader of men, he would make a fine addition to this team.

  3. Sounds like a good game. I hear what you are saying bout THW maybe getting too difficult to manage for large amounts of figures. I also will be getting in some games for the 10x10. The majority of my experience is with Rally Round the King. It works pretty well although I'm finding some things that occasionally bug me in the tables. The nice thing about solo is you can interpret or change the rules as you like. I'm also trying to follow the ghoul slayer, but google is being difficult right now.