Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Iron Cross First Impressions
I only opened the envelope a couple of hours ago but I have had a brief flick through of Iron Cross to get a few first impressions. The rulebook is very nicely presented but is definitely on the thin side, which isn't a bad thing and reflects the 'easy to learn' and 'compact' format of the rules. The booklet itself is well laid out with a full contents page making it easy to navigate and with plenty of diagrams, helpful tips and explanatory box outs to make things easy to work through. I particularly like the artwork, which is a nice touch.
I haven't had time to read through the turn sequence in any detail or work out the order of play beyond the use of command tokens to activate units, which is a bit like card based activation crossed with order dice, but will get down to a proper read through over the weekend. I have had a closer look at the orbats and lists, which are a bit abstract but include the typical AFV's, support and infantry units that you'd expect. The lists are for the usual NW Europe theatre and include US, British, German and Soviet forces, so no radical surprises there.
The use of five man 'detachments' as the basic infantry unit seems a bit odd until you either think of them as fire teams or take into account that a lot of people will have Flames of War element based armies, which I suspect the rules have been deliberately written to accommodate. It also means that you can field a decent sized force with about 30 figures in 28mm, so ideal if you haven't got a lot of them or don't have the time to put a historical platoon sized force together with all the whistles and bells, as in Chain of Command, for example.
I was hoping that the rules would be more 'historical' than Bolt Action but I'm not sure that this is the case, at least as far as unit composition is concerned. I'm sure that the tactical game play is what this claim is based upon although whether it does so 'better than anything else on this scale' remains to be seen. I suspect the Chain of Command and IABSM fraternity might disagree, although the Bolt Action fans probably don't care either way? I do like the idea of a bit of tactical ping pong and if the rules cater for this it will be one step up from the predictability or artificial randomness of some other rules.
Anyway, I hope to get a game set up at the club in the New Year, once the dust has settled and I've finished off the last of my 28mm Artizan US infantry and my new tanks. The rules seem to favour the wheeling out of AFV's alongside a core of infantry units, so it's a definite combined arms approach to WW2 by the looks of it. This makes me think that it would possibly work better as a 15mm or 20mm ruleset, in the same way that Rapid Fire is pitched, rather than a 28mm skirmish level game like Bolt Action is designed for. I don't know but this is the 'feel' that I get from my first flick through of the rulebook, with an in-depth review coming along as soon as I can find the time.
Bag The Hun (363) AK47 (330) Books (290) Back of Beyond (197) Bolt Action (153) Old West (118) Coastal Warfare (114) Bag The MiG (107) Chain of Command (106) Pirates (106) Wings at War (102) MiG Alley (94) VBCW (86) 15mm Sci-Fi / Near Future (80) Target Locked On (77) Fistful of Lead (68) What a Tanker (68) Shows (67) BKC (65) Darkest Africa (65) Ironclads (62) Rapid Fire (58) Indo China / Vietnam (56) Victory at Sea (52) Saga (51) Boardgames (50) Saurian Safari (50) Knights of the Sky (45) Britain's Small Wars (42) Gladiators (41) Flashpoint Baltic (40) Flashpoint Taiwan (38) IABSM (36) Pre-Dreadnoughts (35) Journals (34) Post Apocalypse (30) Iron Cow (29) Atlantic Wall (28) Normandy Firefight (27) Full Thrust (25) France's Small Wars (23) Samurai (23) Air War C21 (22) Lion Rampant (22) Mexican Revolution (21) Fortifications (20) 28mm English Civil War (19) Cold War (19) Achtung Kommando! (18) PITS (18) Napoleonic Naval (15) Naval Thunder (15) Aircraft (14) Rate of Fire (14) Black Ops (13) Dragon Rampant (13) Aliens (12) Desert Spitfires (12) Flashpoint PVO (12) Imaginations (12) Iron Cross (12) Aeronef (11) Imperial Commander (11) Impetus (11) SCW (11) ACW (10) CY6 Jet Age (10) Flashpoint Alto Cenepa (10) Gaslands (10) 633 Squadron (9) Flashpoint Fleet Air Arm (9) 28mm Future Wars (8) Adventures in Jimland (8) Ancients (8) Dux Britanniarum (8) Cry Havoc (7) French Indian Wars (7) Zulus! (7) Frostgrave (6) Scramble for Britain (6) Three Musketeers (5) Arab Revolt (4) Five Men at Kursk (4) French Resistance (4) Galactic Heroes (4) In Her Majesty's Name (4) Maurice (4) Strontium Dog (4) The Men Who Would Be Kings (4) Duel of Aces (3) HOTT (3) Check Your Six! (2) Crom (2) Disposable Heroes (2) Fire and Steel (2) Gangsters (2) HYW (2) Iron Stars (2) Luft 46 (2) NUTS! (2) No Go Zone (2) Sharp Practice (2) War in El Dorado (2) 2mm ECW (1) Battlegroup (1) Dropzone Commander (1) Hind Commander (1) Missile Threat (1) Naval Command (1) Sturmovik Commander (1)