About two hundred years ago, the Prussian military used a strategic military simulator using a map and little wooden blocks called Kriegsspiel (literally, wargame). Since that time, wargaming has grown into a popular hobby, but the games themselves have tended to get simpler and simpler. Most modern wargames have sacrificed most of their realism in order to make the games more fun. However, with their new game, Force on Force, the guys at Ambush Alley Games have proven that it is possible to make a fun and realistic wargame.

Force on Force is based upon the earlier Ambush Alley rules, which I reviewed about a year ago. That game depicted modern military forces fighting insurgent enemies, with a simple set of rules that really seemed to capture the flavour and tactical challenges of insurgent warfare. However, almost as soon as Ambush Alley was released, fans began to ask if the game could be adapted to depict the clash between two trained military forces. The answer to that question is Force on Force.

More than a wargame, Force on Force is a tactical simulation in miniature. Although plenty of dice are rolled to determine the effects of shooting, the game revolves around the correct positioning of forces to establish overlapping zones of fire. A player\'s troops must work together in mutual support or they will be quickly overwhelmed and wiped-out by a well-organized enemy. The speed and violence of the game will probably come as a shock to those who have only played more modern, friendly wargames.

Force on Force gives all the rules necessary to fight small battles from WWII to the present (and can probably be expanded further either way). Unlike the original Ambush Alley, Force on Force is presented with a slick, modern layout, filled with photography and explanatory charts.

There is certainly nothing wrong with “Beer and Pretzels” wargaming, and that\'s probably what I\'ll play more often than not. However, when I am seeking a real tactical challenge, I\'ll definitely turn to Force on Force.

In this reviewer\'s (ever so humble) opinion, Force on Force is the Kriegsspiel of modern squad combat.