Friday, July 30, 2010

Battlefield Evolution World at War test drive

Maybe it was the offer of free booze, or maybe everyone wanted some WW2 again. We've tried different rule sets over the years, but never clicked with any of them. Like all the Basement Generals games, we want something simple, can be played in about 3 hours, but gives a feel for the period. So, we gave Battlefield Evolution: World at War a whirl.
Rules? Check. Dice? Check. Beer? Check. Cigar? Check.

We kept it simple. No tanks, no artillery, no crazy objectives. 6 1/2 players (the Boy would run a MG team and the panzerschrect), each controlling a squad with the option of splitting those into fire teams. The rules themselves are basic. One side goes, then the other, with each unit getting two actions. You can move/shoot, move/move, shoot move, etc. No big revelation here, except when you take in the Reactions. If an enemy unit comes within 10" or fires on you, the target may fire or move in reaction. The shooting mechanics are simple enough charts weren't really needed after awhile.

Germans emerge from the trees

The objective was the walled farmhouse. Take and Secure. Both sides closed from each end of a 6 x 8 table, playing length-wise. As in real life, plans went smoothly til the bullets started flying. Players found how deadly gunfire is. A well placed MG can wipe a squad out quickly. Now, for a word about Morale. There isn't any, really. When a unit is reduced to half, be it a fire team or squad, they are mostly combat ineffective. They can take no offensive actions, merely react. No rolls for morale. Some players took awhile to adjust to this, but I thought it had a lot of subtlety to it.
The Americans attempt a crossing

Splitting you squad into smaller units gave them more flexibility, but made them more vulnerable when casualties started. Bigger squads could take more hits, but were had less tactical options.
On the American left, a well placed German MG cut the squad to pieces, effectively taking them out of the equation. On their right, a stream seemed to slow them down for an inordinate amount of time. Maybe they were just being cautious?  When they finally did get across, a bazooka shot took the corner off the building along with most of a German squad.
Overall, I liked them. I want another try. I find a couple of play tests is what you need for a final decision.
The remnants of squad huddle next to a wall for cover


Frankfurter said...

nice farm complex ... where did it come from? Scratch built?

BaronVonJ said...

Twould be from Hudson and Allen purchased many moons ago, by my lovely wife as a Christmas present.

Patrick W. Rollens said...

I saw that you posted about Song of Blades & Heroes on my blog — if you're into WWII, might I suggest Flying Lead, by the Ganesha Games folks? I'm looking forward to using it with some of my mothballed Axis & Allies Miniatures pieces.

BaronVonJ said...

Have Flying Lead, but haven't tried it. My group has played enough of the Ganesha stuff we would easily pick it up, I'm sure.