I decided to try a solo test game of Blitzkrieg Commander II (BKCII) the other night as the local wargames club in Chorley uses this for its WWII games and I thought it would be a good idea to see how it works before going along.
I went for a 6mm game set in 1941 using a Russian motorised regiment from a Tank or Mechanised Division vs a Schutzen (Panzer Grenadier) Battalion. Both units were represented at 1 stand = 1 platoon/battery. True to form I managed to blunder on the very first Russian activation roll! Strangely the Russians activated far more than I'd of expected with a Command Value (or CV) of 7, it may have been something to do with the +1 CV for all doing the same thing rule given to armies classed as having Rigid Doctrine?
Rather stupidly I deployed the Schutzen Battalion over too wide a frontage and had trouble activating all of it in one go. Then on top of that it failed to activate when I was planning to dismount the infantry from their trucks and then proceeded to lose two platoons to Russian fire when their trucks blew up!
Unfortunately I didn't get time to finish the test game but thankfully I did get far enough in to the game to get the leading two Russian Battalions in to firing range of the Schutzen companies so I did get a couple of turns using the shooting rules. Both sides ended up losing quite a few platoons of infantry once I realised that it was far better to concentrate your fire on one target than hit multiple targets and then have the hits taken off at the end of the turn.
Overall the game played well and was easy to remember though taking the hits off is a little strange (there is an optional rules to leave them on at the end of the turn). I felt that there had been quite a bit of thought behind the mechanisms so that although they are easy to use (and remember) you still appeared to get a similar result to more complex rules sets. Also I felt that BKCII (and Cold War Commander) is very well supported via the online forums.
Having tried out the rules it got me thinking that this style of system might be adaptable to the Zulu War and possibly to the Ironclad era (1860-1885) - both are periods I have miniatures for but haven't yet found rules I'm happy with. I found with the Ironclads that most sets of rules are far too focused on the detail and can't be used for fleet actions without causing me headaches or RSI from throwing hundreds of dice to represent each and every gun firing!