Blitzkrieg Commander Review

Warning Order, Issue 14, May 2006

Taking the popular Warmaster system as it’s basis, Pete Jones refined it into a set of WW2 rules. If you’ve never played Warmaster, either the fantasy or the ancients versions, the game revolves around the command and control system.

Basically, each commander has a rating and you need to roll 2D6 and end up with a result under that rating to succeed. You can keep sending orders until you fail a command roll. Simple, but very, very effective. The combat system involves rolling large numbers of dice, but it works and the gamers seem to have a lot of fun with it.

Format: Large size, bound rulebook with many excellent color photographs.

The rules are clearly laid out with many examples and optional rules. A great feature is a set of armies lists for nearly every front during WW2.

Scale: Can be played either at 1:1 or where one stand equals a platoon.

Figures: 1/285th or 10mm(1/200th) work best, but 15mm could be used as well.

Web Support: There’s an active Yahoo group, plus a dedicated site with battle reports, a gallery, and an army builder program.

Additional Materials: There’s a modern version in the works, but so far no additional WW2 supplements.

Command & Control: As described above, it is simple and very effective, creating unique situations and requires some planning for when things go wrong, and they will.

Game Systems: Movement is tied to the command system and is fairly straightforward. Combat involves a lot of die rolling and luck, but it works and can be fun. Artillery and air support can be devastating.

Best Rule: The optional rule for recon is outstanding, making recon a vital element in WW2 combat, which it should be.

Complexity: On a scale of 1 to 5, probably a 3. Once you get the hang of it the turns move quickly.

Group Play: BKC is an excellent set of rules for group play.

Realism: Although the game stats are pretty abstracted, the army lists do limit players from creating “super armies” of just King Tiger tanks. Artillery and air strikes are very nasty, which is as it should be. The game feels right for the level of play, plus the command system gives a good idea of tempo in operational level armored combat.

Pros: A very fluid game with a novel command system. The game does give the feel of operational level WW2 combat and even though our group has had a few games turn out to be one sided contests, both sides always have fun. The rules are clearly laid out with examples and once you get the hang of it, turns can really fly by.

Cons: For those who like a lot of control over your forces, then this game is not for you. We’ve had games where extremely bad die rolls have limited one side’s movement and combat options. Having said that, though, most of our games have been pretty enjoyable and there is a growing , dedicated part of our group for these rules.

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