Comparison of CR3, FNG and NUTS from THW

All of the games from Two Hour Wargames are based on the same mechanisms. Since Chain Reaction 3.0 has their core rules, and it is free, I wondered what the other rules sets are giving me. You could argue that this exercise is a waste of time as I’ve already bought the other rules but really I’m thinking “if I wrote my own supplement what would I have to write and what would come from Chain Reaction 3.0?”.

I’m currently thinking about the Portuguese Colonial War so the three sets of rules I’d decided to compare are all 20th Century: CR3, FNG 1st Ed, and Nuts 2nd Ed. Both CR3 and Nuts 2nd Ed are new generation rules published in 2009. FNG 1st Ed is older (2006) but there is a new version coming soon.

My starting point are the table of contents for each set. I’ve highlighted where there are differences. The comparison is made slightly more difficult because the core mechanisms are evolving and older games differ from the newer generation (see Publication History). I’ve tried to gloss over these.

The summary that the supplements have the core rules plus more detail on equipment (weapons and vehicles), army lists, running a campaign and specific missions.

Rules Cover CR3 NUTS2 FNG1
 
Introduction Y Y Y
– IGO UGO Y Y N
– THW Reaction System Y Y N
– Word of Advice Y Y N
– Equipment Required Y Y Y
— The Dice Y Y Y
— Figures and Terrain Y Y Y
— Basing Figures Y Y Y
— Charts and Tables N Y Y
– Outline Y (Patrol Example, p. 28) Y (p. 4)  
Defining Characters Y Y Y
– Stars and Grunts Y Y Y
– Star Advantages Y Y Y
– Reputation (REP) Y Y Y
– Weapons Y Y Y
Attributes Y Y Y
Getting Started Y Y  
– Recruiting Y Y  
– The Lists Y Y  
– Military Operations Y N N
— Military List Y N N
— Insurgents List Y N N
— American N Y (1944-45) Y (Vietnam)
— British N Y (1944-45) N
— Germans N Y (1944-45) N
— Russian N Y (1944-45) N
— ANZAC N N Y (Vietnam)
— ARVN N N Y (Vietnam)
— VC N N Y (Vietnam)
— NVA N N Y (Vietnam)
– Street Warfare Y N  
— Police List Y N  
— Gang List Y N  
Organizing your Force Y Y Y
– Groups Y Y Y
– Leaders Y Y Y
Rules of War Y Y Y
– Turn Sequence Y Y Y
– Actions Y Y Y
Movement Y Y Y
– Normal Movement Y Y Y
– Fast Movement Y Y Y
– Going Prone Y Y Y
– Swimming N N Y
– Involuntary Movement Y Y Y
Reaction Y Y Y
– How to Take a Reaction Test Y Y Y
– Taking the Tests Y Y Y
— Focus Y Y N (probably newer rule)
— Fast Move Y Y N (probably newer rule)
— In Sight Y Y Y
— Received Fire Y Y Y
— Wanting to Charge Y Y Y
— Being Charged Y Y Y
— Recover from Knocked Down Y Y N (probably newer rule)
— Rally Y Y Y
— Man Down Y Y N (probably newer rule)
— Leader Lost Y Y N (probably newer rule)
— Vehicle Clank N Y Y
— Overrun Test N (vehicles not a focus) Y Y
— Surprise N N Y (probably an older rule since discarded)
– Heroes All Y Y Y
– Reaction Tests Status and Actions Y Y  
— Carry On Y Y  
— Duck Back Y Y Y
— Halt Y Y  
— Hunker Down Y Y Y
— Obviously Dead Y Y  
— Out of the Fight Y Y  
— Retire Y Y Y (Runaway)
— Snap Fire Y Y  
— Stunned Y Y  
Challenge Y N  
Ranged Weapons Y Y  
– List of Weapons Y Y Y
— Small Arms Y Y Y
— Machine Guns Y (only the SAW as LMG) Y (LMG, MMG, HMG) Y
— Anti-Tank Weapons Y (only Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher) Y (ATR, Bazookas, Piats, PanzerFausts, etc) Y
— Grenades and Other Weapons Y (only Grenade) Y (Grenade, Rifle Grenades, Flame Thrower), Molotov Cocktail, Satchel and Demolition Charges Y
— Hand-to-Hand Weapons N N Y
– Armor Piercing Weapons N Y N
– Useful Gear N N Y (Flashlights, flares, wire cutters, flak jackets)
– Outgunned Rankings Y Y Y
– Tight Ammo Y Y Y
Shooting Y Y Y
– Line of Sight Y Y Y
– Resolving Fire Y Y Y
— Arc of Fire or Swath N Y Y
— Target Selection Y Y Y
— Shooting a Weapon Y Y Y
– Determining Damage Y Y Y
– Auto-Kill or Capture Y Y Y
– Firing Two Weapons at Once Y N N
Pitiful Shots Y Y N
Throwing Grenades Y Y Y
Flock of Seagulls (Civilian Behaviour) Y N  
Melee Y Y y
– Hand-to-Hand Weapons Y Y Y
– How to Melee Y Y Y
– Breaking off Melee Y Y Y
Retrieving Wounded Y Y Y
— Medics N Y Y
—  Wounded Way Station N Y Y
—  MEDEVAC N N Y
Vehicles Y Y Y
– Using the Vehicle Y N N
– Types of Vehicles Y (only wheeled softskins) Y (Includes armoured v softskin, tracked v wheeled, open topped v enclosed) Y (Includes armoured v softskin, tracked v wheeled, open topped v enclosed)
– Vehicle Weapons N Y Y
– Vehicle Crew N Y Y
– Vehicle Lists Y (only two) Y Y
— American N Y Y
— British N Y N
— German N Y N
— Russian N Y N
— ANZAC N N Y
— ARVN N N Y
— VC N N Y
— NVA N N Y
       
– Vehicle Actions N Y  
– Vehicle Groups N Y  
– Vehicle Movement Y Y Y
– Reaction Tests Y Y Y
– Vehicles in Combat Y Y Y
– Shooting Y Y Y
– Driver Disabled Y Y Y
– Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons N Y Y
Attacking Vehicles N Y Y
Buildings Y Y  
– Gaming the Street Warfare Table Y N  
Fighting the Battle Y Y  
– Setting up Terrain Y Y (Called Setting up the Table and Generating Terrain)  
– Types of Terrain Y Y (different from CR3)  
– How Many Pieces of Terrain Y Y  
– Terrain and Scenery Y Y  
Campaigns N Y  
– How to Play N Y  
— Solo N Y  
— Same Side N Y  
— Head to Head N Y (includes how to)  
– Historical Timeline N Y (1944-45) Y (1967-68)
– Time in Campaign N Y  
– Where the battle takes place N Y  
– After the Mission N Y  
— After the Battle Recovery Y Y Y
— Replacements N Y  
— Medals and More N Y  
— Improving Rep N Y Y (including Short Timers, p. 5)
– Where’s the Points N Y  
– How do I Win? N Y  
Example Scenarios N Y  
– Introductory Infantry Encounter N Y (p. 29) Y (p. 23)
Missions      
– Enemy Activity Level N Y  
– Support Level N Y  
– Determining the Mission N Y  
– Possible Enemy Force (PEF) Y (p. 25) Y (p. 62)  
— PEF Deployment y Y  
— PEF Movement Y Y  
— Resolving PEFs Y Y  
— Scouting the Table (for more PEF) Y Y  
— Optional Reinforcements Y Y (big section called “Escalating Battles starting p. 67)  
— How the Enemy Moves Y Y  
– Patrol Mission Y (p. 25) N (although see Reconnaissance Patrol)  
– Mission Sequence of Play Y (called Patrol Example, p. 28) N  
– Reconnaissance Patrol Mission N (although see Patrol) Y (p. 61)  
— Contact N Y (p. 62)  
— Mission Sequence of Play N Y (p. 65)  
– Perimeter Defense  N Y  
— Contact N Y (p. 66)  
— Mission Sequence of Play N Y (p. 67)  

References

Eckles, D. and Teixeira, E. (2006). FNG: The game of man to man combat during the Vietnam War. 2 Hour Wargames.

Teixeira, E. (2009). Chain Reaction (3rd ed.). 2 Hour Wargames. [Available on-line Chain Reaction 3.0]

Teixeira, E. (2009). NUTS! Europe 1944 (2nd ed.). 2 Hour Wargames.

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