Opinions on Rommel by Sam Mustapha

Started by Last Hussar, 08 December 2021, 10:48:15 PM

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Last Hussar

Has anybody played these? What are by our opinions.
I have neither the time or the crayons to explain why you are wrong.

steve_holmes_11

I have not played them.

I followed Sam's foreshadowing toward a set of big battle WW2 rules with some excitement.
When the reveal showed manoeuvring companies with three steps of reduction, my interest faded.

So I can't tell you how they play, but can say that the scale doesn't match some of the original hype.

fred.

Well it is for playing historical battles but doesn't include detailed orbats - so probably not what you want.  :o

But if you can manage to get over that requirement of perfectionism. 


We've played lots of Rommel, and really enjoy it. It is a highly abstract game, bases are companies and essentially just Infantry, Army and Artillery. These can have a few special rules applied, which are effective in differentiating. 

The 3 step combat reduction works really well to represent attrition - units are fairly hard to kill if you just keep battering away as both sides degrade. But bring in fresh reserves and they suddenly cut through weakened opposition. 

A battle board with various tactical options on it represents lots of the specialised stuff (eg engineers or extra barrages) this is a neat mechanism, but it is again abstract, you don't get to move your engineers around the table. 

Regarding grids - these help speed up game play, the outflanking rule is a bit complex at first, but once you understand it, it is fine. And grids can be easily setup temporarily using small stones or clump foliage to represent the corners - the grid really doesn't need to be that accurate. Nor does terrain need to be square, as long as you know what box contains what terrain. 

Overall it feels like a high level action, you have to think about reserves, and how to exploit success. 
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hammurabi70

09 December 2021, 12:36:05 PM #3 Last Edit: 09 December 2021, 12:54:12 PM by hammurabi70
Just spent 20 minutes writing a post on this, what happened?  Can only see Fred's response.

EDIT:
[1] Does this mean if someone posts while you are writing your post will get lost?
[2] I like the rules a lot but it is Divisional/Corps level, not skirmishing with individual tanks and infantry or platoons.

Ithoriel

I bought the pdf version with a view to using it with my 3mm stuff. I did a few solo push-abouts to get a sense of the rules but realised that I either wanted something higher level or something lower level.

That said, there is clearly a good game in there, just not one that appealed to me. Shame, I had high hopes.
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T13A

Hi

Not played them but had a good look during the development stage and when they came out. I'm generally a fan of Sam's rules and in partucular his style of rule writting, they are always clear and pretty unambiguous and 'do what they say on the tin' (unlike some rules I could mention). I'm sure they give a good game but for the life of me I cannot understand why you would want to play 'Rommel' with miniatures (as opposed to unit cards or counters of some kind and I have nothing against grids). I have seen several photos of games where tanks seem to be (sword) fencing with their gun barrels. I guess the look of a wargame is important to me.
Just my tuppence worth.

Cheers Paul 
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Gwydion

Haven't played them but if you want a good looking game with (a very slightly modified scale version of them - 2.km to the grid vice 1km) them see Little Wars TV D Day. (There is a part II video of the game as well).
They also have a review video of the rules on the site.
I don't like grids and the 'purchasing' of 'tactics' feels cheesy and gamey for me but I do like the basic idea and I have been tempted now and again, though I have not yet succumbed as I like Megablitz and a slightly modified version of it that friends developed.
If I didn't have access to them though I would be even more tempted to get these for that level of game.

fred.

It is a high level game, so the ground scale is even more out of whack with the figure scale than with most wargames. When you get an attack you can get tanks pretty close to each other - but this is quite transient.

I find that photos of games emphasise this (and other look and feel factors) for more noticeably than when I am playing the game.

I think with any game were one vehicle = many vehicles you will get this to a degree, but I find it less of a thing with 10mm models and rules like Rommel, than I did back in the day with Operation Warboard and 1/72nd figures and vehicles, were infantry could barely move the length of a tank in a single move.
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fred.


QuoteI don't like grids and the 'purchasing' of 'tactics' feels cheesy and gamey for me but I do like the basic idea and I have been tempted now and again, though I have not yet succumbed as I like Megablitz and a slightly modified version of it that friends developed.

Ingesting point about the tactics, I kind of see them as the commander putting is operational resources at the key points. But it is very much an abstraction. 


I couldn't even get my head around Megablitz!
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fred.


QuoteJust spent 20 minutes writing a post on this, what happened?  Can only see Fred's response.

EDIT:
[1] Does this mean if someone posts while you are writing your post will get lost?
.
I just got the warning that someone else has posted, do you want to review your answer, which is what I would expect to see. So not sure what happened to your post.
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BKC Grenadier

Quote from: fred. on 09 December 2021, 07:03:50 PMIt is a high level game, so the ground scale is even more out of whack with the figure scale than with most wargames. When you get an attack you can get tanks pretty close to each other - but this is quite transient.

I find that photos of games emphasise this (and other look and feel factors) for more noticeably than when I am playing the game.

I think with any game were one vehicle = many vehicles you will get this to a degree, but I find it less of a thing with 10mm models and rules like Rommel, than I did back in the day with Operation Warboard and 1/72nd figures and vehicles, were infantry could barely move the length of a tank in a single move.

Started my wargaming "back in the day" with Op Warboard....exciting stuff then and even still  :)  Rommel is good fun IMHO for a high level game, easy play and the grid adds to it. When I want to get down and dirty I pull out Blitzkrieg Commander or even Rapid Fire, as the mood take me. ;D   Op Warboard & Bolt Action do it when I want to taste the mud and see the blood. Four brilliant rule sets providing great fun, and it's meant to be fun, at their individual operational levels IMHO  :D 

Last Hussar

I watched the Little Wars videos, which started my interest again, I've been flirting with buying them for a couple of years.

Sunjester and I play Blucher by Sam, and enjoy it. It too is high level; as army Commander you assume regimental commanders have the formations in the correct order, the only formation change is to go "prepared" for infantry, which means they are good against cavalry, but can't move.

The guys at LW noted they're used battalions not companies for the D Day game, I wonder if at this level that actually makes a difference anyway.
I have neither the time or the crayons to explain why you are wrong.

steve_holmes_11


QuoteI watched the Little Wars videos, which started my interest again, I've been flirting with buying them for a couple of years.

Sunjester and I play Blucher by Sam, and enjoy it. It too is high level; as army Commander you assume regimental commanders have the formations in the correct order, the only formation change is to go "prepared" for infantry, which means they are good against cavalry, but can't move.

The guys at LW noted they're used battalions not companies for the D Day game, I wonder if at this level that actually makes a difference anyway.


The discussion also took me to Little Wars TV.
I wouldn't have twigged that they had bathtubbed the campaign to manoeuvre battalions without your pointing it out above.

I think the main effect of bathtubbing would be artillery, and especially armour in smaller units, and more closely mixed with the infantry.

The guys at Little Wars certainly put on a great show and shared a lot of fun with the audience.
The videos have their hallmarks of great video production, excellent narration and superb terrain.
They expose a little of the rules mechanism without grinding the viewer through the "Tom rolled a six and Chal rolled a four" mill.
I really like their infectious enthusiasm, and their willingness to use a variety of figure scales in their games.

Their focus on the big picture makes it difficult to determine whether I'll like the game.
But bathtubbing to battalion scale certainly reduces one of my reservations.

I'm now off to watch the review.

Last Hussar

If Sunjester sees this I would be most interested in his input, as he is my regular opponent. I know he won know the rules,but would he be interested in a high scale set?
I have neither the time or the crayons to explain why you are wrong.