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Subject: Quick Review- Basic Game rss

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Jason McMurray
United States
New York
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Okay, I just bought this game a few weeks ago and got down to a game last night. I ran my friends through the first scenario, and it was well received.

My friend, Jeff, ran the Germans against my friend, Pete, with Soviets. Jeff is our gaming groups head historical gamer (playing since the early 70's), so it was really him that would decide the games fate (was it any good). In a short statement, Jeff thought it was a great set of rules.

The basic game turn is:

Spotting Phase: Who can be seen, and how far away. The rules have what I think is a great spotting system. If you move you are seen easier than standing still, and if you fire, you better hope you are out of range of your enemies, as they will really be able to see you (400" in the open).

Command and Control Phase: In the basic game, each unit can get a unique order. In the advanced game this gets limited by the experience level of the formation and the number of units in the formation. The basic orders are: Move, Fire, Short Halt (Fire then move), and Overwatch.

Initiative: Determined by rolling percentile dice. In the advanced game this gets augmented by the army level. Winner gets to choose who the first and second player is. Bear in mind that shooting is sequential, not simultaneous. We liked this, as it made winning initiative matter. It made sense that the better quality army should be able to dictate the action and have an advantage as well. Jeff gave this a big thumbs up. He considers most rules with simultaneous rules to not be wargames. He doesn't say that makes them bad, just not wargames.

Shooting: The rules for shooting are simple. Declare all shooters on target, then resolve by checking range and referring to the charts. There are 4 charts in the game. I was worried that they would bog down the action, but they really were very intuitive. I liked the way they were set up a lot. Anyway. You roll percentiles to hit. Then roll them again, using the 10s for the location. If your penetration factor is equal or greater to the armor at that location, then you use the 1s digit from the second row to check if damage was done on the damage table. Every weapon has some form of damage modifier. You can have nothing happen, blow up the tracks, damage, knock out, or brew up a tank with a shot.

Overwatch: You can perform overwatch either in response to enemy fire (remember, when you fire you are much more visible), or as enemy units move. It is much like shooting, only with different modifiers based on whether you need to turn your turret or not.

Movement: Uhm, yeah. You move your unit. Pretty simple standard stuff here. You move faster on a path than cross-country, and faster still on a road. Obstacles slow you down. Nothing surprising.

There is then a general adjustment phase where you can pivot your tanks and adjust you turrets. Then you go back to the beginning, only people are now more visible than before, most likely.

The game went well. Pete roared forward and claimed all of the objectives early on. Jeff, unfortunately had his worse guns facing the T-34's front armor. He was unable to gain control of the bridge, and eventually conceded victory when he was down to 5 tanks remaining. He really liked the rules, which is great, because I though they were a blast and want to continue playing them.

If you are looking for a nice set of micro scale rules for WWII, I would recommend this ruleset. I had played Micro armour, as has Jeff, and we felt these rules captured some points a little better, especially with the sequential fire portion. We are planning on doing the advanced game at our next session in two weeks, and it will be scenario 2- Kursk 1943. 3 formations a side, now adding in infantry, artillery, and the more advanced ammo and cohesion rules. The game has a very nice ability to scale as you are comfortable with it. We are crazy, so it is all out from now on.

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