Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sidi Rezegh with Rommel

Finally Simon and I got to play a game of Rommel.  I was delighted when I stumbled upon the scenario for the battle of Sidi Rezegh as it matched my 15mm collection quiet well.  This would be the first time I used the figures and models I purchased for my Tunisian project some time back.  Also only the second time I had used my new gaming mat which I had particularly acquired for use with Rommel.

Would I enjoy the rules?

Simon, being the experienced player (as in he had played a game before, although that was five months ago) went DAK.  I went 7th Armoured Division. 

 Set up.

 First combat.

 Panzers getting ready to attack.

 Clash of armour.

7th Armoured's  tanks got the worst of the fighting.

 Okay, they are Matildas, but they are representing Honeys.

 The DAK have captured one objective so far.
But still have plenty of fight in them, whereas the 7th Armoured is a bit run down.

 The final reinforcements have arrived, top of the picture.

Game over on the final turn.
DAK just manage to hold three objectives, 
or rather the 7th Armoured just fail to retake an objective.

So, what do I think of Rommel?

I like my wargames where I am an army commander and Rommel certainly gave me that feel.  Often with WW2 games you are not often in the role of a senior general.

The command, movement and combat systems all worked well and were quick to get the hang of.

Using a grid made things easy.  It is not something I have previously experienced.

The game, including set up took six hours and while we could have played a bit quicker, it is probably not suitable for a club night, which is a pity. (Club night's are only about three hours.)

Yes it did feel like a boardgame with figures, but I like board games so this wasn't an issue.

Have to remember that the bases represent companies, not individuals.  I'm used to that with Napoleon's Battles; Fire and Fury; and Impetus.

Labels... Well, same applies to Napoleon's Battles and Fire and Fury, two of my most favourite sets of wargame rules.  The labels could be changed and possibly even done away with, although some strength counters would be required or a good roster.

Tipping, while an essential mechanic, seems an odd term.  I'd prefer something like regrouping.  I don't like the idea of twisting the bases to show tipping and think I might make up some markers instead.  I need to do that to show suppression in Blitzkrieg Commander.  One simple option would be to use cotton wool.

More a concern for me, and this is nothing to do with the Rommel rules, is that some of my collection are based and some not.  There are pros and cons with both approaches.  Some of the plinth bases could be improved by painting the edges to match the gaming mat.  Rommel doesn't need standard base sizes (as long as three can fit in a grid square, so this is definitely an aesthetic issue for my collection.

I'm looking forward to my next game of Rommel.


  1. Interesting. Having developed an interest in 'Operations level' war games, I've been tempted to give Rommel a look, but the thing is pretty expensive, and doesn't really suit my present set up. So I have yet to persuade myself to go down that track.

    1. The PDF version is only $20US, but of course the printing can get pricey, especially if you want colour.

      Working out the labels etc is no big deal. We just used the provided template and then laminated and used blutack to temporarily attach to bases/models. With the labels you can really just use any old model or figures that look right (to one's personal tastes of course). At worse you can just use labels, but nah.

      Having a grid mat is nice, but there are a number of ways to achieve the effect.

      Biggest cost I find is the time spent to learn a new set of rules and motivate an opponent to play them.

  2. This was a good game and i think we got the rules right. The rules certainly capture the flavour of period.
    The Germans had the best troops in this scenario so, even though they did have to attack, this was important as there are no great advantages for the defender over the attacker.

    There is some advantage in concentrating in one large attack per turn as you can 'stack' your artillery and support however this works just as well for the defender as the attacker.

    all in all its seems like it generates "realistic' outcomes and encourages keeping divisions together as coherent groups.

    look forward to another game.

    Simon c.

  3. Yes, I was very pleasantly please. Will be in touch about organising another game. Currently enthused working on my 15mm WW2 collection.

  4. What size are the squares out of interest?
    I got very enthused with Rommel for a while, but part of me is not sure.
    I have huge amounts of unpainted 15mm Western Desert stuff so it's nice to see someone using that scale for Rommel instead of the usual 2mm and 1/300.

    1. The squares are 15cm. The board is basically 6 foot by 4 foot.

      Second game has now been scheduled, so that has to be a positive outcome for the rules.

      I also have a friend that has a 1/300th scale collection so that might get a try out, but I was happy using 15mm and would even give it a try with my 20mm stuff.

  5. I think the set up looked god, and your post gives a nice impression of Rommel. I usually don’t mind labels as well and like board games so those aspects of Rommel wouldn’t bother me either. It’s hard to think of a wargame at the operational level that wouldn’t be something like a board game. 😀

    1. Thanks.

      That's a good observation about operational level wargames resembling boardgames. I would go on to add that it then requires some degree of labels and markers. The challenge is to get them compatible with the figures, models and terrain.