Monday, February 17, 2014

First Impressions: Brigadier General

Today I ran my first test game of Brigadier General by Bat Cave Miniatures. This is a solo game for brigade level battles during World War II. Each unit is mounted on a 40mm square base and represents a company. The rules also mention the use of 1" and 50mm square bases, for other miniature scales. Units include infantry, armor of different types, artillery, aircraft, anti-tank and anti-air guns, and a few others. They are defined by a combat stat, move allowance and attack range. Some of them have a special rule. For instance, infantry may support other infantry units, or artillery cannot move and fire in the same turn.

The basic game involves combat between 12-unit forces. The book includes several suggested force setups and also presents a points system to generate others. For this test, I selected one force from Germany heavy with tanks and one force from Soviet Union with more varied units. While in the future I might make some bases with Junior General figures, for this test I just printed some counters with unit abbreviations and an insignia. Here is a shot of the third turn of the game, right before I removed my HQ (I was playing with the Soviet Union) that was destroyed by artillery fire.

The general turn structure follows the "I go, you go" pattern with separate move, fire and close combat phases. The game uses a fatigue mechanic that may cause units to have to roll for activation. It also has a simple "supply line" system to allow units to recover. Combat resolution is based on opposed rolls between units.

The solo aspect of the game is represented mainly by the "enemy A.I. matrix," which is a table indicating the deployment and general behavior of each unit type, depending on its current situation and fatigue. While this is certainly not the most detailed solo system around, it seems to give enough information to guide the battle. I still have to play more games to see if there are situations where I end up having to "play both sides" despite the solo system. The book also includes a campaign system to play linked games, including random events that may affect the players' force. This is another interesting element for solo play.

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