Skip to main content

Commanding the Blitzkrieg

Chip and Blake had invited me to play some Blitzkrieg Commander this past week. I am already involved in a Cold War Commander campaign with Joe which has essentially the same game mechanics. I am still unfamiliar with these games so this was a good chance to practice and learn.

Note: Chip and Blake will be teaching summer classes to some young people and wargaming will be the subject. The kids will learn the rules of BKG, learn a little history with the games, and get to take home a unit at the end of the course.  Wow! Yet more evidence that I was born way to early.

The scenario we setup was a German (Chip) vs. Soviet (me) 1000pt battle with a combined tank/infantry/cavalry units. Blake was willing to observe, teach and moderate.

My Soviet force included:
Commanding Officer (CO)
2x Headquarters (HQ)
13x Infantry
MG unit
Mortar unit
3x Trucks
2x Horse-drawn wagons

2x T-28
T-34 76 (early)
2x KV-1B
BA-10 recon unit

The initial setup
The game started off fine. I was designated the attacker. The terrain included a small village in the center of the map at a crossroads. I setup the infantry close to the village so they could quickly move into safe cover. Meanwhile the tanks and KV's were spread out into two separate groups on each flank.

KV (left) and T-34 got stuck out in the open

The well-commanded Germans
 I quickly learned that the Soviet commanders (CO and HQs) in this game have horrible command ratings (7 for an HQ, 8 for a CO). This made it terribly hard to command the troops because each fire and movement action required a command roll (lower than command rating on two D6). With the tanks spread out so far, I needed a lot of successful command rolls just to get the tanks to move out. Most of my tanks remained stuck in there original starting positions for most of the game. There was even one turn when I FAILED EVERY COMMAND ROLL! The entire Soviet force did nothing for one turn. Chip was willing to completely skip his next turn in order to give me a sporting chance. But, I wouldn't have any of it.\; The dice were not in my favor but that didn't mean the battle was a lost cause. The dice just turned out that way. An experienced Soviet player would have known the limitations of the army and planned for potential problems.

My infantry loaded onto the horse drawn wagons and inched toward the village while Chip's Germans moved quickly and easily due to his CO's high command rating (10 for his CO). The German tanks were able to pick off my tanks easily and the casualties started to mount. I had to resign the game because it had gotten late in the evening.

Soviets rushing into the village
It was a discouraging loss but a solid learning experience. If I play Soviets again, I think I'll keep all the tanks close to the CO and one HQ to help manage the command rolls.


Popular posts from this blog

Star Trek Miniatures Games

This past weekend, I had a game of Starmada with my friend Ken. He and I have been long time Trekkies. We both wanted to try a Star Trek miniatures battle. Ken even purchased the 10-pound grab bag of Starfleet 2400 miniatures from Amarillo Design Bureau. I have been gathering some plastic minis from bargain bins at local game stores and I borrowed a set of metal Starfleet minis from another friend. Between the two of us, we had enough figs to setup a reasonable sized skirmish battle.

I attempted a game of Starmada before with Desert Scribe (some photos are here). We were both unfamiliar with the rules and struggled with some the details. In my recent game, Ken and I did much better but there we still made a few mistakes in game play. Ken played the Federation faction with a 1x Command Cruiser, 1x Heavy Cruiser, and 1x Frigate.  I took the Klingon faction with 1x D7C command cruiser, 1x D6 cruiser, and 1x F5 Frigate.

The game took three hours to complete despite the fact the results we…

Star Fleet Battles, Klingon Armada

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…  There was a game called Star Fleet Battles.  It was a rules bloated, counter and hex, mess of a spaceship combat game. And… I loved it!

Yes, it’s true. This statement alone could give my readers reason to suspect my mental stability.

The game was loathed by some players, revered by some players and possibly both loathed and revered by many others.

So, what was it that drew me to this game? I am a self-described Trekker and this game IMHO was the best simulation of ‘Star Trek’-style starship combat ever made. The game was so detailed that it really gave players a sense that the simulation could be based on actual starships.  For the analytical players , the tactics were rich and engaging with new strategies to consider with every new ship design.

Games like this often come with a rulebook so large that you might be killed if you were to fall asleep while reading it. SFB is no exception. The original game included ships from only seven races common…

Battleship Texas and Monte Cassino

Earlier this month, my brother and I attended the Texas Broadsides! mini-convention. What makes this event unique? Unlike other events that take place in a hotel or meeting space, this convention happens on board the battleship U.S.S. Texas!

A little primer about the U.S.S. Texas (BB-35). It's a US Navy battleship that has seen service in the "Tampico Incident" and both World Wars. It is one of the oldest battleships remaining in the world. It was first launched on 18 May 1912. It was first installed with coal-fired boilers and was converted to oil-fired boilers sometime between the World Wars. It was also the first US battleship to have anti-aircraft guns installed. Rather than retell the ship's remarkably long service record, I'll just direct you to the Wikipedia page at for more details.

Currently, the ship is moored at the San Jacinto State Historical site and is open to the public as a museum. Most of the lowe…