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Customer Review

on 4 November 2012
Superficially this game may seem overly-simplistic to some but it captures very well the flavour of Platoon-Company actions in the Second World War without becoming bogged down with rules that try to detail trivia and in fact add little to realism.

The key mechanics are Orders and Pinning, the former allowing a pleasing mix of doubt and control over which units will be able to act when, and the latter being a supremely elegant method of modelling how suppression impacts on morale and command-control.

Orders include Advance (move and fire), Ambush ('overwatch'), Down (keeping heads down to become harder to hit), Fire (firing at full effect without moving), Rally (remove pin markers) and Run (move at double speed, includes assaulting). Orders require a test to pass if the unit has any pin markers and every pin marker reduces the chance of passing (nearby officers can mitigate this) and knowing when to rally and when to risk another action is important.

Army lists for late war Commonwealth, German, Soviet and US troops are included and are quiet comprehensive, allowing you to model almost any formation based upon infantry platoons. The lists are points-based and the costs of each unit are probably as well balanced as one could hope for. Each army gets two special rules that help model national differences in weapons or doctrine (so for instance German light and medium machine-guns are more effective than those of other nations but US troops are better able to fire and manoeuvre.

Six 'standard' scenarios are included and all of them give good games that fit the system well. Not all these scenarios could be considered terribly common in a historical sense (Demolition and Top Secret for instance) but they do work well from a gaming perspective.

If you're the sort of player that insists the difference between the front armour on a T34/85 and that of a Cromwell should be modelled or gets worked up over the difference in range between the Lee-Enfield and M1 then this game probably isn't for you. But if you're able to accept that such precise modelling of such things is in fact over-detailing and ultimately unrealistic and want a game with slick mechanics that model WWII actions reasonably well, then this game is ideal.

Warlord support the games with an ever-expanding range of good value 28mm miniatures and you can also run the game as it is with 15mm or other scales with little or no modifications. There are some instances of rules requiring greater clarity (a regrettably common theme in modern rulebooks where thorough editing and especially proper playtesting seem often skimped), but Warlord appear committed to clarifying grey areas and gaps. Fuller army lists for all the major nations are being released in separate (relatively cheap) books and these complement the rulebook lists rather than supplanting them.

A great value set of rules allowing fast, fun and well-flavoured play.
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