Platoon Commander Deluxe: The Battle of Kursk

Published
2018
Publisher
Flying Pig Games
Description
Kursk. Many historians believe it was the turning point of World War II. Kursk. Witness to the largest tank battle of the entire war. Kursk. The end of the myth of German invincibility. Kursk. Just one hell of a lot of fun to game with 1” square cardboard counters representing platoons of infantry and tanks and batteries of anti-tank guns, mortars, and stuff. And that is what you get with Platoon Commander Deluxe: Kursk.

Platoon Commander Deluxe: Kursk (PCD:K) is a big box, mounted map, large counter, visually appealing game. Each game includes two mounted 22” x 17” geomorphic maps, and four sheets of thick (as in 2mm thick, wow these counters are so easy to pick up, thick, why haven’t wargames been like this forever, thick), 1” square counters. There are Tiger tanks, Panther tanks, Mk IV tanks, T-34/76 tanks, KV-1 tanks, SU-152 assault guns, infantry (rifle, guards, pioneers, submachinegun), mortar batteries, Stukas, IL-2, and more.

In Platoon Commander Deluxe: Kursk each turn is gamed through several phases. At the beginning of the turn, the players determine initiative with a unique dice-off system in which ties award the initiative to whomever lacked it the previous turn and applying the Commander's Focus to the roll might tilt the odds in your favor. Next, players will draw a scenario-designated number (usually just one) of Action Cards that may be used for anything from artillery strikes, through rally assists, to negating the opponent's just-played card. Then it is time to rally disrupted units with a simple 1d10 (yes, the game uses 1D10) roll against a nationality or scenario-designated morale. Action Cards, in addition to the special Aid chit, may be used to improve a unit's chances of preparing for combat.

And then all hell breaks lose...

It's the Fire Phase and players alternate firing with individual units or stacks of units against in-range and in-sight enemy units. When firing on the enemy tanks, the target's Armor Factor is subtracted from the firing unit's Armor Piercing Factor, a D10 is rolled, and the results checked on the appropriate column on the Fire Results Table, yielding a number of potential hits. The target rolls a die for each potential hit and compares it to his or her morale. Pass the morale check, that hit is negated. These columns and die rolls can be modified by the target's terrain, flanking fire, the Focus marker (represents the commander's presence), and most importantly Action Cards, which can grant column shifts or even allow the same unit to fire again, adding a delicious uncertainty that makes the game thrilling to play. Players continue to alternate attacks until neither wishes to attack.

Next comes the Movement Phase. Unlike the preceding Fire Phase, one player moves ALL his eligible units before the opposition gets to move. Certain units can move and fire or vice versa (with a penalty), unfired opposing units can opportunity fire on enemies moving within their line of sight. As in many other facets of the game, the insightful play of Action Cards during the movement phase is critical, allowing additional movement or opportunity fire conducted by units that have already fired. No PanzerBush tactics here, you never know when a unit will be able to fire on you. Exciting stuff.

Finally, we reach the Aid and Focus Phase. Platoon Commander eschews the use of HQs that can be unrealistically targeted. Instead both players have Aid and Focus markers, representing where the commander intends to place emphasis or send additional assets (ammunition, weapons, etc) or first aid. The placement of these markers provides combat and morale bonuses to the units underneath them. Additionally, if the player chooses, the Focus marker can be used to influence the initiative roll.

And that's a turn of Platoon Commander.

Cards

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63.5 x 88
18 Cards

Sleeves: 63.5 x 88

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