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  1. #1

    Ambush Alley (Classic Version)



    This one caught my attention and seems an interesting set of Modern Warfare miniatures rules. This is the old version published in 2007, and available for $10 here.

    It is not compatible with the new version of the game, supposedly still in development (called, “Ambush Alley 2”), but as you can see at the end of this post, the old system expanded to a lot of material so, a lot of classic-play gamers asked AAG to keep these rules available, an AAG was willing to comply so as not to let anyone hanging that were staying with the old system, or still collecting (I wish Lock ‘N Load was the same with World at War!).

    A highlight:

    Ambush Alley is a modern miniature wargame that allows players to recreate the intense counter-insurgency actions in an urban environment that have become the hallmark of 21st century warfare. The rules revolve around a universal mechanic that is easy to grasp but supports a high level of detail and rewards sound tactical play. The game’s dynamic turn sequence captures the turmoil of the modern city fight and integrated fog of war keeps things chaotic and unpredictable!

    Ambush Alley contains complete rules for all the key elements of modern counter-insurgency and street-fighting, including:


    • Civilians on the Battlefield
    • Full Vehicle Rules
    • Special Assets and Off-Board Support
    • Night Combat
    • UAVs
    • IEDs and VBIEDs
    • Building Clearing
    • And much more!


    Ambush Alley includes five scenarios and sample organizational charts for US, British, and Australian forces.


    The game can be played at any scale from 15mm up. 15mm scenarios call for a 2’x2’ table, while 28mm games only require a 4’x4’ table.


    Ambush Alley is easy on the pocketbook where miniatures are concerned.
    Few scenarios require more than ten figures for the Regular force and a dozen or so for the Insurgents.

    Ambush Alley also offers full solo-play rules, so players can still have fun pushing their figures around the table even when a flesh and blood opponent isn’t available!


    Expanded by:


    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  2. #2
    Mathew Jones has a very nice review here.

    It seems to follow a lot of the same interests that our modern warriors here at the DropZone seem to enjoy: Squad-level actions in urban hotspots, with “Regular Army” troops versus Insurgent or militia-types. It appears to bee easy-play, and not a lot of charts and such. Might be worth a lookie-see!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    From the makers of Force on Force. I had it in my head that Ambush Alley is for WWII and FoF is for modern. Apparently, they're both for modern. For whatever reason, seems like everyone plays FoF, and no one plays Ambush Alley.

  4. #4
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Ambush Alley is the kernel Force on Force was built from. There are lots of layers so if I have something off please correct but have patience. I will post a longer more detailed reply soon but here is my quick take at this time.

    I have them both. In fact I have everything for FoF and much of AA.

    AA is based on asymmetric urban conflict with no(?) vehicles.
    FoF handles combat between equals as well as asymmetric conflicts.
    FoF has vehicles but I haven't gotten that far except it looks like NEiS where they are highly simplified and combat is primarily between infantry.
    They are modified I go You go.

    They have two conceits which colour the rules IMHO. Combat performed is by unit although determined by individual's characteristics and units can and are expected to interrupt the actions of the unit which is ABOUT to perform their actions.

    Quickly units are assumed to be fire team size for professional soldiers and about twice as large for irregular forces. Line of sight and line of combat is determined from the geographic centre of the unit. So if a few guys can see a few other guys but the centres can't then nothing happens. Units are not very spread out so this may not be as big of an issue as I feel it is.

    Units declare their action(s) for the turn. Enemy units can then announce interruptions in the form of movement or fire. They can be before the unit has moved, while moving or after they moved. The interrupting unit must have LOS at that point in the turn. Interrupting units are then done for the turn. The unit being interrupted looses movement and combat effectiveness based on the number of interruptions. This can alternate with friendly units interrupting the interrupts of enemy units. This requires pages of explanations and examples and despite reading it I still would have to review this aspect of the game for some time before I felt comfortably knowledgeable. One neat aspect is snipers who interrupt trump everybody and I believe can kill or disable an interrupting unit before it could attack.

    There is an official area on another site where you are supposed to have access to the designers. Don't quote me on this but I think they went silent a couple years back. I sent the company a message from the site listed above asking about "classic" products they show on their site about a week ago but have not heard anything back as of this time. Almost all of AA and FoF can be found in free download sites if one is so inclined.

  5. #5
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Sorry I left out that after the disappointing results with NEiS I have been looking harder at FoF as I have played a couple games of it. My regular gaming partner likes it as well. He was the one I did the "acid test" play test of NEiS.

    I have seen and heard nothing but claims about an update or new version. If it was being play tested one should see the occasional comment from the testers. All I have seen is from the designers. Great games with very little needed, rules corrections or house rules, to bring them to the table. They are at the forefront of possible skirmish rules for me.

    Other very neat aspect is troop quality, not weapons they are very intentionally generic. All action require a 4+ to succeed. Low quality troops roll D6, average trained soldiers roll D8, special forces roll D10 and individual extreme soldiers (maybe one or two per scenario tops) roll D12. I saw a post from a guy (american I assume) stating he was going to run a D Day scenario and all his rangers would be D12! IMHO at Normandy they had their first action so I would have treated them as D8 at best moving to D10 months of action later. This is in line with what the designer states in his notes.
    Last edited by madman; 03-17-2020 at 08:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiterook View Post
    Ambush Alley is easy on the pocketbook where miniatures are concerned. Few scenarios require more than ten figures for the Regular force and a dozen or so for the Insurgents.
    As I state in my post forces consist of units which seem ideal at 3 to 5 troopers. Not individuals. So at ten to a dozen figures per side each side has only two or three units who operate as units.

    As for solo I have a very hard time playing solo games so I can't comment especially being new to skirmish and these rules. But based on the way life is in my neck of the woods I may have to learn to start playing solo!

  7. #7
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiterook View Post
    Mathew Jones has a very nice review here.

    It seems to follow a lot of the same interests that our modern warriors here at the DropZone seem to enjoy: Squad-level actions in urban hotspots, with “Regular Army” troops versus Insurgent or militia-types. It appears to bee easy-play, and not a lot of charts and such. Might be worth a lookie-see!
    Sorry, again squad would mean only a couple units. Based on this I think a platoon to as much as a couple small companies could be handled by these rules. I feel anyone wishing to play to the upper limits would need some experience but the first game I played was about a platoon per side and things went quickly except for our low rules familiarity which might have allowed us to play with a couple platoons.

  8. #8
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josta59 View Post
    From the makers of Force on Force. I had it in my head that Ambush Alley is for WWII and FoF is for modern. Apparently, they're both for modern. For whatever reason, seems like everyone plays FoF, and no one plays Ambush Alley.
    It seems the designers intent (I think he said as much) is FoF could handle anything from pre WWII to modern or a bit beyond with house rules (cyber warfare, drones (more involved than the rules as written) and other forms of intelligence warfare). As to why one over the other AA is one size you fit to it while FoF is able to handle AA's limits and go beyond. There are some things in AA which are buried in FoF (I had to search hard for stacking when assaulting and clearing buildings but it was there just not as obvious as in AA).

  9. #9
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Just a couple more thoughts. These pretty much apply to AA and FoF.

    The game uses a roll to hit and roll to save mechanic. Attacks hit on a 4+ and you roll one die for trooper firing and add dice for automatic weapons, RPGs, grenade launchers in the unit, if you are better equipped than your opponent (assault rifles vs bolt action rifles) and a few more like plentiful supply.

    The defender rolls one die per trooper in the target unit (not casualties etc.) with additional dice for body armour cover and a few other things.

    Neither side can roll more than 10 dice either in the attack or defense. I think there is also something which limits either side(s) number of dice for the size of the opposing unit. So there is a push for optimizing unit loadouts and size. Every defending die roll over 4 is matched to an attacking die. If the defending die is higher the roll misses. If the attacking unit has dice which cannot be bettered by the defender the target takes hits. Sorry I don't remember combat effects at this time.

    Also there is no "buying" mechanic. No points value to determine sides. There are a lot of scenarios which you can use to judge appropriate forces. Modern, and older, unit organizations can be found or worked up from on line examples. Don't forget the off balance scenarios can sometimes go in odd and interesting ways and there are many potential battles in books and movies (and maybe TV).

  10. #10
    Member madman's Avatar
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    So Whiterook, any thoughts, questions, comments, etc.?

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