I played a small game with 2 Soviet Infantry Platoons trying to capture a hill from a German platoon (should look familiar - it's the same force from last week's Crossfire "debacle." Well, it was a debacle for Dave and I, anyways! Ken won both games :)
|Soviet forces move out towards the hill!|
|2 x "Morale Markers" on this squad!|
I found that on the defensive, it was almost better to "pass" to the initiative player and use your points in reactive fire. By the way, the reaction system is a crucial element of Iron Cross. You roll to react to the enemy's movements, or even try to preempt his fires with your own fire or movement. It's a slick system, but definitely takes some getting used to.
Admittedly, this game is unlike any WW2 system I've ever played before, but I love the scale. There aren't enough games where a stand = a single squad. (the rules, by the way, merely suggest an element is a squad and I get the feeling they can be anything you want them to be).
The activation concept is cool. Your first activation, without any morale markers or tokens you may freely activate. If you try to activate again, you have to roll higher than your current number of activation tokens, plus morale markers on a D6.
|Soviets fanning out to assault the hill. Note the reserve squad in the rear.|
The game's approach is non-linear but it works. Fire is handled with 1 or 2 D10's and I have to say that support weapons are elegantly handled. Mortars FINALLY get the attention they deserve in a table top game as well.
The rules themselves are quite simple and you have to look around for some answers and read the examples but I found that after 3 or 4 turns, most of my questions had been answered and I was playing without even the QRS.
The line of sight rules are VERY loose and some people will not like that very much I imagine but with the freedom it makes the game go much, much faster.
|Germans on the hill. 2 squads and the MMG defending. The mortar section is on the back side.|
|Based for Crossfire but you get the idea. German 1st Company 1st Platoon|
|I used dice to track as command tokens. So when you spent a command "point" or token, i placed it on a squad.|
|This German force has been busy!|
|Battle developing. I would rather have tokens than dice but you get the idea.|
|Soviets push up into the orchard on the left and the Germans BOLO their reactive fire rolls. Ugh!|
|Germans lose the MMG|
|Soviets massing to take the hill. Once you are within 12" as infantry, you automatically roll with 2 dice instead of 1.|
|The Soviets move out to take the hill, but the loss of another German squad sees Gerry throw in the towel.|
|Note the morale marker casualty figure|
|Soviet HMG. Your support weapons are the hammer for your assaults or defenses. Very important!|
I have to say I enjoyed this game very much and will play it again in the future.
And in other news, for my American gaming friends, I may see you at COLD WARS tomorrow. The SOUND OFFICERS CALL crew will be there most of the day for a special, 1 time appearance!