Sunday, 14 August 2016

First Play: Iron Cross

I picked up a copy of Great Escape Games' new WW2 rules Iron Cross a number of months ago.  I knew they were fast play and so I was hoping I might be able to use them for larger games than some of my current favourite rules allowed.  I did have a few reservations after a read through and also when I heard that they often play the game using 28mm but, as so often happens, a game is quite different on the tabletop than a simple read through would indicate.

So when Lenin came over for our annual pilgrimage to Salute (I did warn you I had a backlog of posts!), I put together a game using my 15mm WW2 figures.  As usual I took the role of the dastardly Hun and Lenin was the plucky Brits trying to stop me from advancing on Dunkirk.

This was a simple attack and defence scenario with the Germans having to push through a village.



I had a company of troops with tank support to assault the village and I started with a bold advance down the table:


It was quite clear early on that, whilst simple, the mechanics started to bog down a little with a large amount of troops on the table. I assume that this may well reduce with frequent play but it did all present as being a little fiddly.

Things soon got messy when the Brits decided to open up with one of my Panzers being brewed up on the road.






I managed to push the Brits' advanced positions back but those dug in in the village were a bit more difficult to winkle out. In the end I did enough damage to make them withdraw but they had done enough to me to delay our overall advance.

As to the rules, I may have mentioned this in a previous post but I think games fall on a spectrum running between pure game at one end and simulation at the other. Recognising that no game is a real simulation of warfare unless the other side can actually kill you! I have games which fall right across the spectrum and enjoy them but when it comes to historical tabletop gaming I want something that's in the simulation half. In this case the simple approach to the tokens as the only command and control mechanism really meant these rules aren't a good fit for me for this size of game and, for lower level games, I have rules which play almost as fast and are much richer experiences.

I'm not saying these are bad rules and I do think there is a place for this type of game but they're not the rules I'm looking for...

11 comments:

  1. I have the rules, and find that they do have a perfectly elegant command & control system which are the tokens (orders).
    The management of your allocated tokens is a game within itself.
    There never seem to be sufficient to do everything you want to do. You can keep troops that are heavily engaged fighting by using tokens to rally or firing. Or do you sacrifice some units so that tokens are used to bring forward reinforcements? Large games can be catered for by calling each stand a platoon.

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    1. Perhaps I overstated it (possibly due to the delay between playing and posting) but since the tokens seem to be a centralised pool and can be used on any unit until they run out I didn't find this quite what I was looking for. I realise these are abstracted rules in order to make things simple. I'll edit the post to reflect the point.

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  2. Rules aside, I am somewhat envious of your games room, what a splendid space.

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    1. It's good having a room but I can only get a 6'x6' table in this one (the one in my last house could manage 6'x8' with access all round!) - it was one of criteria I had when looking for the house - of course I would have more space if it wasn't for my library and my boardgame collection...

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  3. I'm interested in Iron Cross. I didn't quite "get" your critique. Can you expand on why the C2 rules fall flat for you? You say they aren't what you were looking for, but what is it you were looking for and how exactly do these rules fall short?

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  4. Nice looking game, impressive buildings and terrain!

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  7. Hi, I don't suppose if you've still got the S-2 Shop Operation Sealion vols 1+2 you'd be willing to sell them? if you would you can email me at lubeh11@yahoo.co.uk

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