A game that I've really fallen in love with this year is Ironfist Publishings Battlegroup rule set. For the sake of clarity, one of the creators is a friend and also a regular guest on the podcast I part host. Having got several games in of this rule set in now, you can read my thoughts on how the game is played here.
Today though. I shall be looking at the recently released new rule book. It's worth mentioning however this is not a second edition, but is simply a newer, better book with some small revisions and wording changes to the game.
To quote from the Plastic Soldier Company website 'Whilst this remains the same Battlegroup game, there have been 3 small rules alterations. Aimed Fire with HE shells now has no -1 modifier to hit targets in cover.
All Aimed Fire with small arms now has a -1 modifier to hit if the unit moved. There is also a -1 to observe units with the Sniper-Scout special rule. Area Fire is now called Suppressing Fire (but remains unchanged). ' All very limited in impact on the game, so what's new?
Previously the Battlegroup rules were obtainable in the now out of print Battlegroup Kursk book, and an A5 size soft back rule book. Whilst the A5 book is handy for carrying to and from games, font size was a little small and could be hard to read.
The new book is standard A4 size and hard back for a start, and the first 60 or so pages are the same as the earlier soft back book The new book however contains all the generic scenarios from the previous campaign books, as well as a new campaign and some army lists.
Both the campaign and army lists focus on the Normandy campaign, and cover forces drawn from the 12th SS Panzer Division, and the Canadian 3rd infantry division. Full army lists and rules for both are included, and these can of course be used in normal games of Battlegroup outside of the campaign as well, and a few pages of pull out unit cards are included in the appendix for these too.
The campaign itself is a map based one, played over 12 turns covering the 4 days of fighting around the village of Norrey-En-Bessin, with bonus victory points awarded for playing the 4 historical battle scenarios that round out the campaign set. This looks like a superb campaign to play, and one I'd love to have a go at. It would also translate to other theatres and periods of the war without too much effort as well.
The book itself has some beautiful production quality, with highly atmospheric miniature photography, mixed in with some fantastic drawings and period photos, and for £20 I feel is a good value addition to the library.
Is it a must buy if you already have the existing rule book? not necessarily, however if you have an interest in the Normandy campaign especially, or simply want a bigger, easier to read rule book then absolutely. If you are totally new to battlegroup, this is an excellent introduction to the game, as you can instantly start to learn to play with the included army lists before grabbing the specific campaign books.
You can order copies of Battlegroup from the Plastic Soldier Company, and hear more about Battlegroup on the Brit, The Yank and the Hobby podcast, of which I am a co-host. Finally, you can see more of my work at Volley Fire Painting Service.