|British left, Axis right. Italians are forward on the|
objectives. On-table Germans are in the back row.
The third Italian objective is just out of the picture
at the top. Scenery was highly improvised!
Actually, it wasn't so much of a competitive game as a collaborative exploration of the rules, at least to start with. We worked together on the initial Axis deployment. My collaborator, Chris, then set up the British based on their historical deployment.
Although it wasn't my original intention for us to adopt sides, Chris effectively assumed control of the British while I started making decisions for the Axis.
|The British close in on the vulnerable|
central objective. It is quickly overrun.
Some German forces are deployed on the back row while others arrive in a later turn (but we didn't get that far). The Italians can be deployed forward to hold the objectives.
Deployment is very straightforward, but it all feels a little different if you're not used to playing many grid games.
|Stalemate on the Axis right.|
A counterattack by the German forces already on-table was only partially successful. Had the game continued I think it would have swirled around with both sides threatened by isolation. We completed three moves but didn't have time to pursue the game further. At this point the Axis line seemed very thin indeed. Although this is an introductory scenario, it's an interesting one and should repay playing with different strategies.
|The counter-attack by the on-table German units.|
Steven Thomas' Balagan blog recently reviewed a range of Operational-level games that predated Rommel. By his definition Rommel would not count as an Operational game because the basic unit is a company.
The town (Sollum) was a hot spot. The defendersare critically worn down and destined to shatter.
My collaborator judged the game to be complicated in comparison with Sam Mustafa's Bluecher and although he considered it realistic he didn't warm to its attritional nature which he found unexciting. Each to his own.
Now for some of the physical practicalities.
| Deep-Cut Studio gridded meadow mat from|
1. My tabletop consisted of 1 ft square cork tiles with little Go counters at their centres to remind players this was a 6" grid. It was OK but still required a degree of mental adjustment. I really felt it would be better to have clearly defined 6" squares with edge lines and I've since ordered the Deep-Cut Studio gridded meadow mat from BigRedBat for use with my 10mm armies.
2. The unit cards don't provide the immediate visual clue given by models and can be awkward to pick up without long nails. If used as game counters they need to be based on MDF.
3. Command Post cards are, I believe, a big improvement on the Command Post sheets but can again be fiddly. This isn't just a question of size but more importantly a result of being printed on ordinary card stock. Proper playing cards are coated and glossy and slide off each other easily.
4. Tipping didn't actually lead to any ambiguity in the game but I think it might. Players naturally want to point attacking units towards their targets. Keeping them perpendicular, unless tipped, feels too much like a boardgame. In future I think I will use markers to indicate tipped.
5. In addition to the D6s used for Ops, I must remember to pack two D6 of another type for combat resolution.