Category Archives: Blitzkrieg Commander

Blitzkrieg Commander II 20/02/2011 (Nick)

Troop of Grant tanks

We had played BKC in its first incarnation quite a few times, but haven’t got around to the new edition. This game was set in the Western Desert in May 1942 and was the first outing for my newly (ish) painted Stuarts, Grants and Panzers. The scenario was a simple meeting engagement around a town at a crossroads, with 2500 points a side and the Germans fielding an 88mm.

Battle rages around the town

The army lists were as follows:-

British & Commonwealth Army, North Africa (May 1942)

Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost Notes
1 CO (CV8) CMD 60 3/30 6 6 90 [90]  
3 HQ (CV7) CMD 40 2/30 4 6 30 [90]  
1 FAO (CV7) CMD 40 4 6 30 [30]  
1 Recce Unit (Humber, MG) REC 20 1/40 2 3 6 60 [60]  
12 Infantry Unit (Regulars) INF 10 3/30 4 6 40 [480]  
4 Infantry Upgrade (Anti-Tank Rifle) INF 1/20 10 [40]  
3 Support Unit (MG, Vickers) INF 10 3/60 2 5 40 [120]  
1 Support Unit (Mortar, 3-inch) INF 10 3/80 3/80 2 5 65 [65]  
3 Tank Unit (Crusader, 2-pdr) ARM 25 2/50 1/40 3 4 6 80 [240]  
4 Tank Unit (Honey) ARM 25 2/40 1/40 2 3 6 65 [260]  
6 Tank Unit (Grant) ARM 20 3/50 3/80 3 4 5 115 [690] R
1 Anti-Tank Unit (ATG, 6-pdr) AT 5 3/60 2 4 45 [45]  
3 Field Artillery Unit (25-pdr, 8-gun) ART 6 6 4 90 [270]  
1 Transport Unit (Universal Carrier) TRN 20 1/20 2 3 6 30 [30] #1 O
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open
Tactical Doctrine
  • Normal tactical doctrine (20cm initiative distance; HQs may issue orders to units in other formations, but will be subject to a -1 command penalty)
Special Rules
  • +2 modifier to die roll for air superiority from October 1942
  • Artillery Stockpile: Double the number of artillery assets are available from October 1942
  • Accurate Gunnery: Deduct one die when rolling for artillery deviation
  • Dispersed Artillery: FAOs suffer a -1 command penalty for each additional artillery unit requested beyond the first one until June 1942
  • Counter-Battery: Field artillery units may not be used for counter-battery fire
  • Uncle Target: One FAO may request any number of artillery units without the -1 modifier once during the game from January 1943
 
Note 1. Transport Unit (Universal Carrier)
  • May transport one mortar unit or tow one anti-tank unit
Summary
  • Breakpoint 16
  • 2510 points spent of 2500 points available (2500 points selected)
  • Add 10 to your casualty points at the end of the game
 

Panzer III

German Afrika Korps, North Africa (May 1942)

Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost Notes
1 CO (CV10) CMD 60 3/30 6 6 150 [150]  
3 HQ (CV9) CMD 40 2/30 4 6 90 [270]  
1 FAO (CV8) CMD 40 4 6 45 [45]  
1 Recce Unit (Sdkfz 222) REC 20 1/30 1/60 2 3 6 70 [70] O
9 Infantry Unit (Afrika Korps Regulars) INF 10 3/30 4 6 40 [360]  
3 Support Unit (MG, MG-34/42) INF 10 3/60 2 5 40 [120]  
1 Support Unit (Mortar, 81mm) INF 10 3/120 3/120 2 5 75 [75]  
3 Panzer Unit (Pzkpfw II) ARM 20 1/30 1/60 2 3 6 60 [180]  
6 Panzer Unit (Pzkpfw III, 50mm kurz) ARM 20 2/50 2/60 3 4 5 100 [600]  
3 Panzer Unit (Pzkpfw IV, 75mm kurz) ARM 20 2/40 3/80 3 4 5 110 [330]  
1 Anti-Tank Unit (ATG, 88mm, Flak-36) AT 5/100 3/100 2 3 120 [120] #1
3 Artillery Unit (150mm, s.FH-18/36) ART 4 4 2 60 [180]  
1 Transport Unit (Half-Tracks) TRN 20 3 15 [15] #2
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open
Tactical Doctrine
  • Flexible tactical doctrine (25cm initiative distance; HQs may issue orders to units in other formations without penalty)
Special Rules
  • -1 modifier to die roll for air superiority from October 1942
  • Infiltration: +1 to command value for flank deployment
 
Note 1. Anti-Tank Unit (ATG, 88mm, Flak-36)
  • May pivot 180° per action
Note 2. Transport Unit (Half-Tracks)
  • May tow one gun
Summary
  • Breakpoint 12
  • 2515 points spent of 2500 points available (2500 points selected)
  • Add 15 to your casualty points at the end of the game
 

 

 I need to get some more desert terrain like wadis & ridges, as with only the town on the left and a large area of flat ground on the rest of the board, the 88mm might well have ruled the day.

We rolled for sides, and Nick got the Germans with me as the British. As it was an encounter battle, we used what BKC terms “mobile” deployment – basically, you plonk down your command units, and you have to make a command roll to bring their commanded units on. We both tried an outflanking movement on the same flank and true to form (even though I had the first turn) my outflanking command failed its command roll, allowing Nick to win the outflanking battle and bring on his 3 Panzer IVs and some infantry halfway up the board. My command with 4 Honeys and some infantry had to re-locate to my baseline. Luckily, my tank command of Grants and Crusaders did well on command rolls, and managed to take out the flanking Panzer IVs over the first couple of turns.

Nick’s tank commander kept failing his command rolls to bring on his Panzer IIIs, but my infantry commands trying to get to the town kept failing theirs, while Nick’s infantry were soon in the town. I had two chances of laying down a huge barrage on them while they were in the open, but my FAO was as blind as a bat, and couldn’t roll a 7 or under in 2 attempts. In the end, it was Nick’s FAO who called in a barrage on my infantry, and 6 or 7 infantry stands and a 6pdr bit the dust. Never mind the losses, this left my right flank open to being rolled up by Nick’s Panzer IIs, and we called it a day with my army nearly at their breakpoint, while Nick’s was a way away from theirs. That, and the Bratwurst we were having for dinner was nearly ready.

So what did we think of the new edition of BKC? Well, artillery against infantry in the open is still as deadly as ever, while the new distinction between AP & AT for tanks has made infantry a lot less vunerable to AP fire from tanks. Add to this that infantry in buildings are only hit on 5 or 6 and get a 5 or 6 save and have 6 hits per stand, then 3 Crusaders firing 2 dice each at them isn’t going to make too much of an impact. We like Cold War Commander, the modern version of these rules, and a lot of the rule changes  (such as close assault) bring BKC into line with CWC – not a bad thing. This was our first Western Desert game, and the downgrading of the weapons from Normandy and the Eastern Front meant that tanks were a lot more durable – one Grant survived numerous hits and rolled many saving throws when it seemed every tank in the German Army was lobbing shells at it. It also thumbed its nose at all those German infantry who were annoyed that the Panzerfaust hadn’t been invented and that they had left their anti-tank rifles at home (1 attack at 20cms – not worth the effort of carrying them).

The fight for the town

And the 88? Well, it did take out 2 Grants before I noticed that the AP range was 80cms, not the 50cms I first thought, so a barrage from the Grant squadron’s 76mm guns firing HE soon took the 88’s 3 hits away, and that was that – lucky we were playing a date where the British had tanks that could fire HE really!