Blitzkrieg Commander Review

Milihistriot, April 2005

When the package arrived containing Blitzkrieg Commander, I was a bit surprised by its size. It was a large format book with an attractive color cover. The cover features photos of a well-scenicked wargame in progress. Obviously, this was not the average wargames book! Inside was a host of surprises.

Let's back up a bit. I come from the days when tank wargaming involved a handful of Minitanks and a few boxes of Airfix Infantry Combat Group and German Infantry. Scenery was a set of houses (the infamous "Village in a Bag"), some lichen and a few pieces borrowed from an HO train set. The rules were by a fellow named Featherstone. Coming from that background, games like Blitzkrieg Commander are a new thing entirely.

The amazing thing about Blitzkrieg Commander is how well the reference material is organized. A lot of time had to have been spent on research for compiling Army lists.. These cover everything from the Spanish Civil War to final operations in the Far East in 1945. The lists cover infantry, vehicles, artillery and aircraft for each army, Be aware that some armies rate several charts, depending on changes during the war years. All together there are 43 army lists that cover 18 nations and 15 regions of war.

Blitzkrieg Commander has a fairly straightforward sequence of play. One interesting concept is a "command" phase, wherein a player rolls to see how many commands may be issued that turn. This is a way to simulate the 'fog of war" insofar as controlling units. Missing from the game are the innumerable tank statistics that had been part and parcel of games in the old days. Vehicles are handled more efficiently. So, too, are artillery, close air support, etc.

It may take the average gamer a couple of games to get used to the rules. Once done, he will find an excellent, well-researched system which allows him to game any theater and year of World War II. Blitzkrieg Commander is an example of thorough preparation. It is the product of exhaustive research followed by extensive testing. The presentation is superb, with excellent typesetting and page layouts that enhance the text's organization of facts. This is a high-quality publication and an excellent, user-friendly game. All this makes for fast play and an exciting game.

My opinion: Blitzkrieg Commander is a playable game because everything has been anticipated and assembled for the convenience of the wargamer. Pete left no stone unturned. The game works because of the thoroughness that went into it. I like Blitzkrieg Commander enough to actually play it. I think the charts / lists are a big part of its success. Something like that comes of exhaustive research. There are a lot of good World War II games out there. Blitzkrieg Commander is a GREAT game. It is great because of the thoroughness of the author and the resulting quality of the publication.

If you want to play a realistic game of World War II in miniature, from micro scale to 1/76, the game for you is Blitzkrieg Commander.

All of this leaves me with one question: how come we didn't have games like Blitzkrieg Commander when I was starting out?

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