Blitzkrieg Commander Review

Vae Victis, Issue 61, March-April 2005

These new rules to simulate fights of the Spanish Civil War and WWII are presented in a thick booklet of more than 120 pages illustrated by superb colour pictures.

There is not a specific scale defined, be it for a game turn, fire range, or figurines. For example, an ‘element’ is equivalent to a real group, a section or a company depending on the level of the simulation wished by the player.

The rules as such, including very didactical examples, only occupy thirty + pages and are inspired by the mechanisms of Warmaster. The rest of the booklet is dedicated to 43 army lists, from the most classical (German, Soviet, British and American) to the most original (Yugoslav, Greek, Belgian, etc). These list are relatively succinct. Some leave room to chance: a player can obtain a difference of more or less 25% with the standard list, and it is hence difficult to get an accurate idea of the enemy’s force.

Each stand is, amongst others, characterised by its attack potential – a specific number of D6 -, its ability to sustain hits over one game turn, and, for armour units, their ability to save successful hits.

The game mechanisms are extremely simple and the playability has been obviously favoured. All combat resolutions – infantry, PAK, artillery, air support, melee, etc. are solved by throwing (a lot of) D6, and a player ought to have a lot of them. The number of D6 to throw and the values to achieve depend on the type of unit that fights, its target, and various tactical factors. For each successful hit, an armour unit can attempt to save some of these hits, also by throwing a certain number of D6, in order to reduce the number of received hits. As a matter of fact, the system is simple and fast, but one should not be scared of throwing kilos of dices.

Command and control rules are concise: each HQ (commanding from a few to twenty stands) must reach, with two D6, a result that is inferior or equal to its command ability to activate the units of its command and order them to perform actions. This command ability is reduced by one for each activation that already occurred in the turn. Hence, a HQ with a value of 8 will have to roll (with two D6) maximum 8 for the first, activation, 7 for the second attempt to activate...

All together, the game mechanisms of BKC are very enjoyable, but this rule is a bit too simplistic and the level of the troops is not really differentiated, no difference being made between de-motivated Volksturms and fanatical fighters. Moreover, the field of a simple WWII rules set is currently well provided for by Flames of War, which, to me, has better arguments than BKC, if only because FoW is a bit more complex, which allows to differentiate a bit more the various troops and material available to the armies.

BlitzkriegCommander is a rule is English to recreate fights from 1936 to 1945. It is published by The Wargames Directory.

Original review in French by Philippe Imbach, translated by Jeff.

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