(6mm) Blitzkrieg Commander II – a first review

Yesterday I was a umpire/ table host at the Dutch participation wargame event Poldercon, yearly in Utrecht.I prepared a homemade BKCII-wargame scenario. I focused on the table and the scenario mostly. As BKCII-player I’m a newbie, WW2/6mm BKC is a new project for me. I fearlessly offered to host a game, though. The rules aren’t too difficult and with my gaming experience umpiring this fastplay BKCII-ruleset is simple. The event gave me the chance to take a more distant look at the game and to observe how other wargamers react on the rules.First a table sneak peek.

As you might see I worked hard to set up a nice table to show the fat majority of 28mm-gamers the beauty of 6mm.
I felt inspired by the Mark Luther and Bruce Weigle tables. Their tables show that a 6mm-gamer should never underestimate the importance of scenery, larger cities, lots of trees and rivers. So I made LED-light-explosions and bought the Terrainshed-wargaming woods (they look like woods on aerial pictures and really enhance the tabletop). Buildings are Leven and Timecast. Roads, rivers FatFranks, table cloth Cigar Box, bridges Iliada Studio’s.
The table is still imperfect, btw. I want even more roads, buildings, fields and layers.

About BKCII: it indeed is a pleasant system. The rules are quite clear, quick and promote maneuvering. As such, they are indeed a good match for the smaller scales. My players quickly understood the system. No bookkeeping needed, excellent for demoing. For blog readers that don’t know BKC: it’s a WW2-adaptation of Warmaster. Like Warmaster and Black Powder, a commander has to roll equal or below his Command Value with 2 dice to give an order to a group of units. CV is 8 or 9 mostly.

I made a scenario for a larger battlefield (however this is a 6×4 table – why I love 6mm) with objectives/victory points. In this scenario the British Airborne troops can try to capture not one, but two bridges (the Arnhem and Oosterbeek bridge), and a third dropzone north-east of Arnhem. They will lose victory points if they lose their starting dropzones. The Germans have the option (just as in history) to blow up the Oosterbeek bridge.
The British troops start with a superior force but after 6 turns the Germans are reinforced.
The pre-set standard air landing scenario from the BKC-rulebook can lead to quite boring ‘supreme forces attack the dug-in defender’-scenario, as I experienced when preparing the event. An objective-based-scenario is often more dynamic than a ‘most points win’-scenario. Players have to think about a strategy before they battle.

I also experienced shortcomings. Main strength of BKC – unexpected commander inefficiency – is also the main weakness, gaming-wise. If your roll badly, your sit still and wait until the other player has finished his turn. If that happens once, no problem. If that happens turn after turn, while the other player can move and move again, sometimes extremely successful – players could get frustrated. That happened once.
It’s an excellent system for casual, social multiplayer games with 3 commander per side, I think. Just like all Warmaster/BP-games. Good for large scale. Not bad. Absolutely not. I have no final conclusion, yet – I should compare it with other games like Spearhead and Fistful of Tows for example, before I write down a verdict.

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