Monday, September 8, 2014

Blitzkrieg Commander and Grant's Advance Guard Action

I have a backlog of 8 posts in draft that I'm working on and I keep playing more games (first world problems). But, after the deluge of role-playing that was DragonCon (I still have one more post about the con among those drafts), I was really in the mood to get some miniatures on the table and have a go with Blitzkrieg Commander again, so that took precedence.

I set up the table based on one Grant's teasers, the advance guard action found at Steve the Wargamer's online repository . My table is square which doesn't lend itself well to the teasers but I was able to get something workable. The objective is for each side to not only hold their objective at game end, but if possible, capture the opponent's objective as well.

The Soviets had been sitting idly while I gamed a lot with my US troops, so I brought them out to face the nasty Huns.

Here's the setup - I rolled to determine who got which table edge.

Close ups of the belligerents:

That mortar team came prepainted with that horrid paint job. Eventually, I'll repaint it.

I used double length moves but kept ranges as written - this kind of confused me a bit when it came to command distance (to double or not? I went with yes) and it also brought the initiative phase into play a lot more.

To my surprise, Ivan beat back the huns quite handily. (Sadly, no pictures of the victory.)

Game 2, same setup, sides reversed:

The Germans got off to a fast start racing to their objective (the bridge) with only a small force fanning out to the village.

Meanwhile, the Soviets concentrated most of their force on the bridge as well!

With mortar and tank, the Red Army captured and defended the village (their objective).

The bridge was cleared of German troops and focus turned to the village. The Germans could not get reinforcements to the battle, but the Soviets received a second T-34, effectively sealing the German defeat.

Game 3, sides diced for - used measurements as written:

The Huns raced for the village, using their armor and mortar to keep the Russians from the bridge.

The Russians had TERRIBLE command rolls and rarely activated at all. When reinforcements arrived on turn 4, they had barely left the table edge! None the less they did manage to take out the Pz. IV with their mortar (or maybe it was the tank, I can't remember).
The Soviets make use of a captured Sd.Kfz. 251
In a desperate attempt to immobilize the Russian steam-roller, Wehrmacht troops close with the Red armor:

The game ended with  one T-34 still in action and the Russian Sdk. knocking on the village door. Since the Soviets held their objective, and the Germans had a tenuous grasp of theirs, I ruled it a Soviet victory.

Game 4 - sides diced for  (I really got my money's worth from this setup):

The Soviet commander looks on as his  armor scores a suppression against the German armor.

Unfortunately, again his sub-ordinate is TERRIBLE at activating and so the T-34 ends up without much support at all.

Meanwhile, the Germans commit wholeheartedly to capturing and holding village this time around.

The German mortar devastated the Russian infantry assaulting the village. When they did reach range, they could not come close to hitting the Germans. Reinforcements arrived for both sides, but too late to change the tide, and the PZ. IV (short barrel) took out the recently arrived T-34 shortly after it appeared.

The game was effectively over even before I checked for reinforcements - the loss of an entire platoon meant at best the Soviets could hope for was a draw. However, I decided to continue to play to see if that was possible.

Alas, it wasn't and the Germans claimed their first victory in this series!


  1. What did you think of the rules? How long did these games take? What scale are your men?

    I've said it a million times - BKCII is my favorite ruleset.

    1. I am 5 games or so into the 10 game challenge for BKC, and I really like the rules thus far. Even with so few games, I have the turn sequence memorized, as well as the relevant rules for largely infantry affairs with some armor and mortar support. I love the one-stop rule book: the fact that the combatants in the Pacific are included in the rules is a HUGE plus. I have 1/72 forces for USMC and Japanese and have found it's uncommon to find anyone outside the big four (US, British, Germany, Russia) represented outside of a supplement.

      The command roll, with it's increasing difficulty per successive command, really makes for some tension and fun. As a solo player, I don't mind at all if a unit doesn't get to move for a few turns, although I'm sure that annoys some people. That said, once the units are in initiative range it really doesn't matter.

      In these games I'm using 1/32 figures. The armor is closer to 1/38 (from Classic Toy Soliders). I have some 1/32 vehicles but they dwarf these tiny tanks. This is the reason why I'm playing with ranges - going forward, I'll go back to the double ranges for everything for section bases. It just brings the troops into initiative range faster.

      On average, I think from setup to finish, including time for pictures and to look up some things, the games took between one and two hours.I found that writing the necessary unit info on a single index card: type, hits, dice/range and if applicable, command distance, made the games move more quickly.

  2. I didn't realize the tabletops were available - thank you for the link.