Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Battlefield Evolution WW2 - Any good?

As promised, my thoughts on these, having now played them; along with a little battle report.

Firstly the basics. Troops operate as squads, vehicles as individuals unless attached directly to a squad (e.g. transport). It's IgoUgo, except that enemy forces within engagement zones (10 inches generally) of your units have the option of a reaction, to interrupt - either with fire or movement.

A unit can take two actions per turn, of which there are four; Fire, Move, Assault or 'Ready'. Ready actions generally combine two actions in to one and allow more complex things to be done, such as vehicles moving and firing at any point in their movement.

We set up a game of 1500 points, which on table was equivalent to a platoon sized action with a healthy amount of support equipment. My American Armoured Infantry faced Steve's Waffen SS (boo hiss!).

Steve took first turn at my decision, a nice element of the game is that players elect in secret at the start of the game whether they are on aggressive, defensive or reconnaissance (called Probe)orders. Both sides could pick the same, which is nice, the result of this choice gives each player different orders and victory conditions. I'd elected to probe Steve defenses; though it seemed Steve decided attack was the best form of defense.

Mortar fire caused early casualties for both of us; apparently on this occasion our artillery was very accurate, but based on the system established for it, it is hard to see how it wouldn't be. With 20mm models it wouldn't be so bad, but for a cluttered 28mm scaled setup it was hard to miss with artillery. The firer nominates his target point, and if he has no line of sight, the opponent nominates a direction of deviation and rolls a D10. That is the number of inches off target the shot lands, but then the firer rolls a D10 too to move the shot back on target.

On average it moved the target point by one and a half inches in our game, and with a blast area of three inches, seldom did less than hit half a target unit.

Armour was very similar to a lot of other games in some respects, but was handled generally well enough, and I've no complaints about it. Tanks are properly effective at this scale, but my Bazooka teams were entirely luckless on their firing rolls and Steve's Panzer IV was only worried when my Sherman 76 paid it some attention.

Morale as such, is handled in a simple fashion, a unit with its commander alive can always act normally. But as commanders have no special immunity to getting killed, unlike say, any game of Warhammer you've ever played, this is unlikely to stay as the situation long. A unit of half strength or more can always elect a new leader, once under half strength, and leaderless a unit can only react to enemy activity, and does not take actions in its own turn.

Routing doesn't happen, but it reflects troops becoming pinned, but with the option to defend themselves or withdraw when their immediate situation becomes threatened well enough.

On table the Americans were boxed in and suffered a pasting, one point that bothered me was the definition of certain weapons. Machine guns only fired three shots, far too few in my opinion at this scale, compared to how effective artillery was. Cost them more and make them at least twice as effective I think! Meanwhile a German 37mm gun was credited with a HE round; doubtful.

So in general, they are pretty good, if needing a little common sense applying here and there. The rulebook seemed clear and simple and well priced at £15; it contained reasonably complete army lists for at least four major combatants in the late war period - Germany, Russia, America and Britain, and was extensively illustrated.

Well worth a look, and I think I'll try a few more games for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment