Photobucket

Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Game Reports and Reviews

Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Stavka » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:03 pm

Jeff does Tokyo, and we had a WW2 Eastern Front game today using the Battlegroup Kursk rules with our 20mm miniatures. My Brave Soviet Heroes facing off against Giovanni's Fascist vipers.

Jeff, clearly enticed by the idea of wearing glossy jackboots and black overalls with pink piping, chose to take on the role of Giovanni's tactical advisor as well as being Rulenmeister- being the only one of us with any prior experience of playing the game.

Although I've had a copy of BGK on my shelf for some years now, I've never actually tried it out. So although Jeff has had the most experience with them, it was pretty relative as he had only played a few games; so we were all greenhorns.

With hindsight, we probably had too many units on the table for what was a starter game, but despite this it played quite well, the game proved quite fluid, and we got in quite a number of turns.

Rule mechanisms are by and large straightforward, and the Battle Rating concept that is a cornerstone of the system is really quite neat, adding some unexpected nuances to the game.

Both Germans and Russians were slugging it out with both sides giving as much as they got. The game ended pretty much a draw, with the Germans in control of the crossroads that was the scenario objective, but having lost two out of three Pz-IV's, a Hanomag, and a Stug III, with the remaining Pz-IV and two out of three Panzer Grenadier squads being pinned. Losses a German force couldn't really afford.

The Russkis lost a T-34 and two T-70's, and an SU-122 was taken out by a German ground attack plane. But my pair of BA-10 reconnaissance armoured cars acquitted themselves amazingly well, one of them accounting for- by pure guts and luck- the two Pz-IV's. True Heroes of the Soviet Union!

There really was some eyebrow-raising dice rolling, and when we pulled the Battle Rating chits from the box, we seemed to keep on taking all the specials- which at least gave us a chance to try some neat rules! The rules allow for special events without being too ludicrous.

The mechanics aren't difficult, but play would be speeded up a lot more if we make up some vehicle and weapon data cards, which would have saved us (well, Jeff) from having to take time looking up the info in different sections of the book.

One time the Germans drew a breakdown chit, which they played on my one remaining T-34. Anything other than a one would have seen it damaged or even abandoned, but my luck held and I rolled a one!

Image

Jeff and Giovanni busy deciding what percentage of any prisoners taken should be deported back to the factories, and who would get to shoot the rest.

Image

Image

Image

The first Pz-IV taken out at point-blank range. Later it ambushed another Pz-IV, the German command tank, and knocked it out too. Our finest hour...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The T-70's has decent frontal armour for a vehicle its size, but when up against Stug-III's the odds are against them; still, they managed to toast one of the Stug's before being vaporized.

Image

Image

My infantry never really got to grips- I should have had them in trucks or ride the tanks.

Image

All said and done, we were very pleased with how the rules played out, and the game was both fun and challenging. We are looking forward to giving them a try again later.

It was great having Jeff over for a game, and a rare chance to meet a fellow forum member from across the great Eurasian land mass. Jeff, thanks a lot, and you're welcome back any time!
<beer5>
"So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable."
-Aldous Huxley


http://serreslesrangs.blogspot.jp
User avatar
Stavka
Llama Corporal
Llama Corporal
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:32 am
Location: Tokyo, 日本

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby subedai » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:41 pm

Looks like you had great fun. The table looks really nice.
User avatar
subedai
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:08 pm
Location: Lost somewhere in The Garden of England

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby SteveJ » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:34 pm

Jeff will travel to the ends of the Earth for a game :lol:
Looks like a good time was had by all. Would we call this 'company level' then?
SteveJ
Major
 
Posts: 2980
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:03 pm

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby ochoin » Sun May 08, 2016 8:34 am

Hey, Stav,

a new approach to WW2 is on our agenda. We use BKC but for various reasons not everyone likes them.

I love the look of your game.

Is there a site where I can find basic answers about BK: scales, basing, the turn sequence etc?

donald
ochoin
Second Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:16 am

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Stavka » Sun May 08, 2016 4:02 pm

ochoin wrote:Is there a site where I can find basic answers about BK: scales, basing, the turn sequence etc?


Donald,

The Battlegroup series is published by Iron Fist; their website has some good material including a some pdf's with examples of play.

http://ironfistpublishing.com

There is also The Guild forum, which has a subforum devoted to the game.

http://www.guildwargamers.com/phpBB3/index.php

I remain fond of BKC, and it's a simple and easy to learn system. But it does abstract a lot of things that gamers often like to account for in WW2 games, and sometimes the initiative system can lead to frustration; I once had a roving pack of five T-34/85's wreak havoc on the Hun as I kept on passing one command roll after another. With each tank rolling (IIRC) five hit dice, with those numbers the odds were on my side; I chewed through even his heavier King Tigers. But honestly, it couldn't have been that much fun for my opponent as he watched on helplessly all the time I passed those rolls, without any end in sight or a chance for him to react.

BGK is IGO-UGO, but the order system and the drawing of the chits prevents it from being too predictable.

Figure basing is flexible, although I suppose individually-based figures seem popular. My miniatures were originally based for FoW, but so long as there is some way of noting casualties it really doesn't matter.

I also play a lot of Bolt Action and I'm not about to give that up for my Burma games, which are always enjoyable.

I like all the games in their own, different ways.
"So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable."
-Aldous Huxley


http://serreslesrangs.blogspot.jp
User avatar
Stavka
Llama Corporal
Llama Corporal
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:32 am
Location: Tokyo, 日本

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby ochoin » Mon May 09, 2016 4:29 am

Stav.
I personally have no problems with BKC....but I'm not really a WW2-guy; all gun calibres & firing statistics.
BKC is clearly gamey. Successfully dicing for command is one issue with my pals. One had a Tiger, sitting immobile in a BUA, unable to respond to the American pop guns shooting at him till they finally succeeded after a number of turns.

Thanks for the links to BK. I'm certainly willing to compromise to fit the demands of others: my pals have to do this with Horse & Musket for me.

donald
ochoin
Second Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:16 am

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Jeff » Mon May 09, 2016 7:20 pm

Hi all,

It was a great afternoon indeed. The minis were expertly painted as you can tell by looking at the pics. The terrain was lovely and there was an uninterrupted supply of Yebisu!

I shall be back next spring!

Many thanks again to Robert and Giovanni to organise the game!
Jeff
User avatar
Jeff
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1688
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby The Waxed Moustache » Fri May 27, 2016 9:23 am

Impressive looking game there.

I play the BG series myself (as Jeff knows) and I like the way it sits in between absolute control and absolute fog of war chaos. One has some idea what they can do over a turn, but not completely.

Moreover, there is an excellent chit system to determine the end of the game. When a player loses a unit or objective they draw a random token from a bag, numbered 1-5 or with a special instruction (such as 'air strike' or 'out of ammo') on it. Keeping the number on the chit secret from the opponent, the battle continues until one player's total points from their chits exceeds that of their army's starting 'battle rating'. This means that a player may be down to their last couple of squads but might still be in the game or, conversely, you may have plenty of units left but their will to fight has gone.

Before you buy, decide on a period in the war to play and get the relevant campaign handbook when buying the rules. It's not FoW-style in terms of a supplement for each minor operation (typically an early-, mid-, and late-war supplement for each theatre), but the lists in each supplement reflect the changing value and quantity of units available.

Don't get too distracted by the vehicle stats; the game plays very quickly despite the stats, and one gets pretty familiar with the stats of a Sherman or a Pz. IV very quickly!

Finally, despite the army 'lists' and the points within them, it is not a typical 'list' game and equal points does not necessarily equate to an equal game.

There. I can now collect my commission. ;)
"Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six"
User avatar
The Waxed Moustache
Private
Private
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:58 am

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Stavka » Fri May 27, 2016 11:27 am

Preaching to the choir; bought the rules, played them, love the game.

The chit-drawing system really does make the game both unusual and exciting. In our game all the chits seemed to be specials- breakdowns, air attacks, feats of derring-do and the like, We thought it was great.
"So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable."
-Aldous Huxley


http://serreslesrangs.blogspot.jp
User avatar
Stavka
Llama Corporal
Llama Corporal
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:32 am
Location: Tokyo, 日本

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Donmanser » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:18 pm

Really like the painting style used on the infantry.
Donmanser
Private
Private
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:50 am

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby wrgmr1 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:57 pm

Nice looking models and figures! Looks like a fun game.

Our group plays Rapid Fire. We tried Blitzkrieg Commander but the command roles left some units, especially mine as I have bad habit of rolling ones, sitting for the whole game doing nothing. My complaint, it's a game, let's play.
BGK have this kind of command role? The chit idea looks like fun.

Cheers,
Thomas
User avatar
wrgmr1
Private
Private
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Trying out Battlegroup Kursk

Postby Norman D. Landings » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:59 am

What Don said about the grunts. Effective, uncluttered style - very nice.

Rapid Fire and Spearhead pop up at our club, but IABSM and Bolt Action rule the roost. If there's WWII on our table, it's usually skirmish using Herky's rules.
Norman D. Landings
Second Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1313
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:00 pm


Return to Reports



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Theme modified by Captain Sausage
cron