Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of Year Game!

Today I had a chance to play "Iron Cross" for the first time.  I went to the Adler Hobby Game Cafe and got together with Gordon and our friend AJ for an initiation game.  As we were starting - in walked Bob O.!  He ended up joining us for a couple of turns learning the game along with me.  Bob and I decided to play on the same side reasoning that if AJ and Gordon beat us it would be the expected and if we won, it was because of our total mastery of wargaming in general!  Well, at the end of the game Bob and I had not shown our total mastery of wargaming to say the least.  We couldn't even blame it on the Dice Gods as there were very good and very poor rolls on both sides.  AJ and Gordon just used their army better than we did and in the end my French forces fell back in disarray.  Sort of just like the real Italian Campaign.

The game is very simple with only about 15-20 pages of rules including OB's.  A turn consists of each side playing a number of initiative chits with one per maneuver unit (half squad or vehicle) and then two or more for the unit commander.  Once all initiative chits are played the turn is over and the chits are collected up and a new turn starts.

The scenario today was four half squads of infantry, one light tank/recon, one medium tank, one SP ATG, one regular ATG, an MMG team, and a command team, one flamethrower team and one mortar team.  So each side started with 14 command chits.

The game is pretty simple in design but it really puts players in the role of a commander as the management of command chits is so integral to the success of your force.  Do we play more or less chits before passing to the other side?  Do you spend chits to take an opportunity fire shot and prevent an enemy unit from doing something?  Do you pass the initiative to the other side to make them spend at least one chit because they only have a limited number left?  The number of choices to make and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each possibility make it a very interesting game.

This was only the first game, and we have a long way to go before it is our favorite for WWII but the system definitely has some merit and I am looking forward to playing the next game!

Here are some photos of my brave RMLE (Regiment de Marche Legion Etranger) soldiers as they conducted their first operation under the Iron Cross rules.  I have provided comments to each of the photos.

An infantry section and flamethrower team move up the right flank.

In the center the commander leads the AT guns, an infantry section and the MMG team into the attack!

Two infantry squads move up the left flank with a medium tank in support (Grant standing in as a Sherman).

The view in the other direction of the center force with the Stuart Light tank covering the road. The yellow chit is a command chit.  The Free French marker is a "morale" marker recording the number of current hits on the unit/vehicle.

The Lee/Sherman is knocked out and its destruction has put a morale hit on the adjacent infantry section.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

You kindly left out the part where your French got in their licks early wiping out a German platoon with MG and Stuart fire. Good game, lots of fun. Those MG teams were pretty potent for each side!

Adler Hobby & Board Game Cafe said...

Great write-up Mark you gotta share this on the Adlernest Facebook page , I may try a demo this Thursday and try recruitment with some of the BA guys .cheers