The RAPID FIRE! story stretches right back to the early W.W.II rules of the 1960s and the influence of pioneering UK wargamers such as Donald Featherstone, Peter Gilder and John Sandars on the young Rumford and Marsh.
In the early 80s Richard Marsh (paying a visit from Plymouth ) and Colin Rumford (a recently joined member) were introduced to each other at Grimsby Wargames Club by mutual friend Dave Tuck. Soon after that Col began to streamline rule mechanisms being developed by club members, taking them further than most people thought possible. As they evolved, more and more gamers at shows started asking ‘which rules do you use?’
By the early 90s, as Colin was perfecting the ultimate fast play W.W.II rules, Richard was simultaneously masterminding a book of W.W.II scenarios. Then they got the idea of putting them together.
Much blood, sweat and tears later, the original ‘Rapid Fire! Fast Play Rules for W.W.II’ were published in 1994 and quickly became very popular, winning ‘Best Rules’ at Leeds Wargames Club ‘Fiasco’ show in 1996 and 1998 and spreading across the globe. ‘Supplements’ with organisation charts and scenarios for NW Europe and the Russian Front followed, until Colin and Richard decided to take the whole thing another stage further in 2003.
Ever open to customer suggestions we knew that RF gamers wanted refinements, such as no order of play and more explanarion to eliminate ‘grey areas’.
Fresh from having just published the ‘D-Day Campaign Guide’ and ‘Scenarios for NW Europe’ we decided to completely refresh the rules, solve all the problems, remove all the queries and add many new rules and mechanisms, including an advanced section. We also wanted the new RF to ‘look the business’ and offer players the best in design and presentation in return for their hard-earned cash.
After well over a year of writing and testing we met up for ‘Mad Easter’ in 2005, when over 300 photographs were taken and the rule book was assembled in its final format.
Launched at the Salute show in London in April 2005 we’re pleased to report, two years on, that the rules have proved to be even more popular than the ’94 version’.
The RF website continues to expand, with more vehicle and gun (and aircraft) chart downloads being added, as well as articles, scenarios, painting and making guides and photo galleries.
…… and the story continues with 2007 seeing the release of ‘Battle of the Bulge’ and 2009 ‘Guide to the North Africn Campaign February to June 1941′, ‘Russian Tank Units 1941 to 1943′ and ‘German Tank Units on the Russian Front 1941 to 1943′.
2010 will see a return to the desert with Richard’s latest project – ‘Monty’s Desert Battles’.