PBI

PBI was released by in 1972 by Third Millenia, Inc. This company produced 11 titles in 1972 and 1973, all of what we would consider today lower quality. Vernon J. Stribling is credited with six of those titles; PBI was the only modern tactical title among the eleven.

The game is simplistic but has the distinction of being the first known attempt at a realistic man-to-man scale commercial board wargame. The rules folder is only 8 pages, one of which is devoted to examples of counter artwork, two more of which are taken up by tables (and table examples), and one page is devoted to the four scenarios included with the game.

Some of the rules are inelegantly stated (one is called an "Idiocy Rule", and the sequence of play section concludes with "Continue this routine (actually quite simple) until the victory conditions in the scenarios are fulfilled or one player gives up in disgust") and yet, there is a sophisticated feel to the approach; different types of armament are modeled, including rifles, automatic rifles, light machine guns, heavy machine guns, sub-machine guns, grenade launchers/knee mortars, hand grenades, and flamethrowers. There is a counter to depict a slung weapon, and the results of weapon hits include Pinned, Lightly Wounded, Seriously Wounded, and Killed. There are counters to indicate men "lying down" (generally called "prone" in later games such as Firepower or Ambush!) and Interdiction markers to indicate lines of fire for automatic weapons. All these concepts would be used in later man-to-man games to some degree.

The map is typical for the low-end magazine games of the period, though it is published on sturdy paper, it is in stark black and white with little in the way of graphical detail.

The countersheet contains 238 1-2" counters, though 56 of them are blank. The counter set is divided evenly in half, with a set of yellow counters and a duplicate set of red counters; the reverse of all counters are also blank, uncoloured cardboard.

Each counter set (one yellow, one red) includes:

  • 21 riflemen

  • 5 slung weapon counters

  • 9 sub machine gunners

  • 3 automatic riflemen

  • 3 light machine gunners

  • 3 heavy machine gunners

  • 12 interdiction counters

  • 3 assistant gunner counters

  • 1 flamethrower

  • 2 light mortars

  • 2 sergeant counters (SMG-armed)

  • 2 sergeant counters (rifle-armed)

  • 12 Pinned Down counters

  • 13 Lying Down counters

  • 28 blanks

The title of the game comes from a British Army slang term; PBI stands for "Poor Bloody Infantry."

 

PBI

Developer: Vernon J. Stribling
Publisher: Third Millennia, Inc.
Date of Release: 1972
Scale: Man-to-Man
Players: 2
Campaign Type: None
Components: ► 1 22" x 28" map
► 8 page rules folder
► 1 die-cut sheet of 1/2" counters


All photos from the webmaster's collection

tacticalwargamer.com 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer