Pizzabase Wargame

Wargame Rules Review

Mike Smith’s Pizzabase Wargame Rules.

The Pizzabase Wargame creates a visual story: its like making a war movie frame by frame. The terrain pieces are the film set, the model soldiers, used in poses that depict the action of each turn, called a «go», are the actors. The tables of fire effects & troop additions create the script. The resulting game is one of creating and witnessing a story as it unfolds.

Anything which would appear within a soldier’s 25 metre (using 20 mm figures) circle of vision can be included in the game. In operational terms this means the area held by a section or platoon and any groups, vehicles or equipment that could be sited within that area or pass through it. The game can be played on a static Pizzabase and the player can watch the forces pass to and fro across it, or a rolling terrain system can be used so that the wargamer follows this small circle of action across a larger battlefield. Multiple table, multiple player games can be devised where time is co-ordinated by the number of turns, space by the number of hex changes through which the Pizzabase is moved. A simple diagram can show the direction of hostile and friendly forces (or other Pizzabases) enabling relieving or supporting actions to be fought.

Pizzabase Wargame Terrain Pieces.

The Pizzabase Wargame is played on 50 mm faced hexes suitable for use with 20 mm wargame figures. The current range of Mike Smith’s Pizzabase Wargame terrain pieces is shown at the end of the rules.


  • Title: Pizzabase Wargame
  • Period: World War Two
  • Type: Tactical Wargame
  • Time Scale: 1 turn = seconds
  • Ground Scale: 1:95 (1 Pizzabase with 8.75 cm Hexagons = 25 m)
  • Troop Scale: 1 figure = 1 man
  • Author: Mike Smith
  • Format: 24-page rule book
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Mike Smith, Wigton, England
  • Published:


  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Figure Poses & Capabilities
  4. The Order of Go
  5. Tables of Fire Effects & Additions with Examples
    1. Enemy action into player interior locations adjacent to unseen locations
    2. Enemy incoming fire into player locations across hex edges
    3. Enemy forces emerging into seen locations not under player fire ...
    4. Results of same location (hand-to-hand) combats
    5. Player fire effects against bunkers, AFV & other vehicles
    6. Enemy revealed in locations under fire earlier in the go
    7. Off-table targets of LMGs, HMGs, and mortars
    8. Off-table targets of shellfire
    9. Hostile/friendly forces locations diagram
    10. Weapons types, target types
    11. Suggested unexpected enemy forces
    12. Results of effective fire not covered in the above tables

The Scenarios

  1. Farmyard
  2. Dear End
  3. Beachhead
  4. Bocage
  5. Patrol
  6. Despatch Rider

Mike Smith’s Pizzabase Game is a fun, suspensful, innovative, and visually appealing skirmish wargame, using programmed enemy actions and reactions. Current actions taken by player characters are indicated by basic figure poses: moving, firing, observing, prone, hit, rescuing, tended casualty, and POW. Changes of action are executed by replacing a figure with another, differently posed, miniature during the «change of pose» phase of the player turn (go). Grenades thrown or automatic weapons fire directed into adjacent unseen locations do not yield visible results, until player figures enter the position in the next movement phase and possibly reveal enemy «combat», «hit» or «prisoner» poses in that location. Solo wargamers will find the Pizzabase Wargame very useful. The game is easily adapted to later or earlier periods of warfare, by changing some of the tables.

The rules are short, easy to read and understand. However, the «tables» are not layed out like tables and they can be difficult to locate among the running text. Players may want to create their own playsheet for the Pizzabase Wargame to facilitate game-play.

Pizzabase Wargame Terrain Pieces

Pizzabase Wargames are played on seven terrain hexes arranged in a circle around a central hex. As the player characters advance, the half-circle of three rear hexes is removed, the four remaining hexes are pushed back, and three new terrain hexes are added at the front. A set of seven generic city hexes is all the terrain needed to start playing the Pizzabase Wargame, as the three removed rear hexes are instantly recycled at the front.

Separate wall sections, rubble piles, foxholes, mortar pits, gun emplacements, roadblocks, barbed wire sections, and many other accessories may be used to customize the available hexes as they re-enter the game. In addition, the Pizzabase Wargame will occasionally throw in an enemy vehicle, wrecked or intact, to add variety and generate possible enemy locations.

As additional terrain hexes are built, players may decide to randomly insert new hexes into the game to make their advance less predictable. Troops easily get lost in the unfamiliar rubble of a war-torn city, and they may happen upon their objective hex much later than expected.

There are two sets of resin-cast hexagonal terrain pieces specifically designed for the Pizzabase Wargame. The Street Fighting set may be further customized by adding loopholes, mouseholes, and strongpoints:

  • 2-storey ruined shop front with attic and roof, PBWG1
  • 2-storey ruined corner building with stairway, PBWG2
  • 2-storey ruined corner building, PBWG3
  • 2-storey interior wall with stairways, attics & double roof, PBWG4
  • 2-storey house front with attic, PBWG5
  • 2-storey collapsed building with 1st floor, PBWG6
  • 6 assorted «wedges», PBWG7

The Beach/Bocage set may be used to play Normandy scenarios or Commando raids:

  • plain hex with raised level surface, PBWGBB1
  • ¾ raised surface hex with bank, PBWGBB2
  • ¾ raised surface hex with bank collapsed, PBWGBB3
  • ¼ raised surface hex with bank, PBWGBB4
  • ¼ raised surface hex with bank collapsed, PBWGBB5
  • plain level surface hex, PBWGBB6
  • rectangular pillbox with separate roof set into PBWGBB1 above, PBWGBB7
  • round weapons pit with separate root set into PBWGBB2 above, PBWGBB8

Pizzabase Wargame terrain pieces are offered fully painted and assembled, or as unpainted model kits.

1:72 Pizzabase Wargame

If larger 115 mm hexes, instead of the recommended 88 mm hexes with 50 mm faces, are used, the ground scale increases to 1:72 and exactly matches the figure scale. Larger hexes have the added advantage that 1:72 scale vehicles may be driven through the wider hex faces, even if part of the hex is covered by rubble or building corners.

Wargame Rules