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Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blitzkrieg Commander Playtest

Digging Axis & Allies figures out of the closet, we ran a test of Blitzkrieg Commander II in order to learn the rules.  I used Litko bases for the infantry, support, and command units, placing figures loosely on the bases.  With the Axis & Allies figs and my single Battefront 15mm M4A1 Sherman, we were able to play a 1500 point game, using American and German Army Lists from North West Europe, August 1944.  I used substitute vehicles for some units.

Germans defend the hill with the objective circle
The set-up and deployment took a long time because I needed to constantly check the rules. Ryan began getting bored very quickly; I probably should have tested this game solo once.  However, he wanted to try it out. Ryan played the attacking Americans using the Assault scenario, with about 1800 points of forces.  My Germans had 1500 points.  I used a marked minefield which is depicted by the white rectangle.

In Ryan's first turn, his scheduled artillery took out one transport with an MG 42 unit.  He force  of two Shermans and three half tracks on the right moved forward to the edge of woods, posing a threat to two infantry units.

After that, his command rolls failed, and he managed one command blunder, leaving most of his forces right in the concentration point for my scheduled Nebelwerfer fire.  My artillery destroyed two transports, carrying an infantry unit and an MG Browning as well as an 81mm Mortar unit.

I placed all of my armor on my right flank and began moving them toward the center during my turn.  I didn't get as far as I would have preferred before my command rolls failed.  The mobility, compared to DBA and horse and musket games that I have played, is still a big difference - I moved the force 40 cm in two command attempts.

My CO directed 81mm Mortar fire on a transport, but the firing was ineffective.  After that, I rolled high, leaving myself quite vulnerable.  In Ryan's second turn, he tried to run a Sherman right to the objective because I didn't have many forces in the area.  He only made it one move before his command roll for both his HQ and CO failed.  The daredevil move would have required him to pass by three German units, so I need to learn if such moves are legal.  I don't know if a close assault is required when you approach an enemy or not. In any case, we had been playing for 1 1/2 hours, so we decided to call it quits.  Breaking out the miniatures definitely helped me learn some of the rules better, but I need to review the rulebook more.  Ryan found the game very slow paced compared to DBA, so he doesn't like it yet.  Once I learn the rules, he might have a different view - not sure.

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