Saturday, 4 November 2017


It's been a few month since Rommel was released, but Thursday night was the first chance our group had to play a game using the finished rules. We were one of the playtest groups, so we knew what we were doing, but it was great to actually play the finished product.

Rommel is a WWII operational game, which uses reinforced company-sized units and a square-grid, each square being a kilometre in size. This table, for example, represents 8km by 12km.

We played the Counterattack at Deir el Tarfa scenario from the rules, with an Allied force defending against a strong German armoured force. Ralph and I took the Allies, and immediately botched our deployment; our desire to have a strong attacking right flank, loaded with armour (Valentines) we left our centre with a great big hole.

The attacking Axis troops were a mix of Germans and Italians.

The Italians attacked first, driving forward quickly and seizing one of the objectives under our very nose.

German an Italian tanks moved up in the centre.

Our Grants suffered badly, as the Axis army drove into our centre and cut the supply line to most of our force.

On our right the Valentines attacked some isolated German infantry, who were able to withdraw before things got too serious for them.

However we pushed through and cut the German's supply as well.

We even overran their artillery. On the downside this was basically our only success of the game.

Our last Grant unit made a desperate attempt to grab a German-held objective.

Meanwhile our infantry was managing to hold out defending another objective marker. But our position was untenable; we had no capacity to replenish resources, and our command and control was al over the place. So we conceded the game.

Our mistake was the big hole in our centre which left the Germans able to cut our supply. This basically made it more costly in terms of resources to activate our units, and slowed our response. Tactics for combats are also a resource which needs to be renewed, and we couldn't afford to replenish those either, leaving us seriously disadvantaged.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the game certainly achieves what it sets out to do, giving you a battle of reserves and resources rather than details of weaponry and armour.

On the other table, Geoff and Peter played DBR. It looked very impressive, with Geoff emerging victorious from a battle which pitted his Florentine quantity against Peter's quality.

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