Martin provides us with a quick look at a few of the truly new and to him anyway interesting cards.
With the impending release of the Germans on the Eastern Front we see a mass expansion in the capabilities of how you can configure your German force, with some new unique Command Cards to tailor your forces and to add some additional equipment not covered in the book.
The Bagration German Command Cards are a mixture of old favourites introduced in the D-Day Germans and D-Day SS books and new Eastern front specific cards.
There are familiar favorites like Lucky and Tiger Ace, a few rebranded Title cards like “Rebuilt” to modify your troops to match the capabilities of specific Eastern Front formations such as the 16th, 19th and 20th Panzer Division, and there are cards to modify pretty much all your Heer units to be “Fearless” SS units.
Then comes the equipment cards with the Goliath demolition carrier and the options to field 21cm and 30cm Nebelwerfer batteries, the later coming at the expense of the number of times it can fire during the game harking back to the old v3 heavy rocket reloading rules.
There are also some additional formations. The only truly new one being the 653rd Heavy Tank Hunter Battalio,n equipped with Elephants, which could be popular.
Heroes-wise we get several new ones including both Otto Carius and his comrade Albert Kerscher. Together they can really pimp a Tiger platoon, providing two tanks with rerolls to hit as well as Carius providing a 2+ counter-attack rating and offering last stand test benefits to his unit and nearby units. You can even put them in different platoons to spread their benefits – this might make two tank platoons a little less fragile.
There are plenty of others, improving reserve roll chances or the RoF of the HQ. Though there is nothing especially new in what they do, it’s nice to see a mixture of familiar names for older players and a few new heroes of the Reich are introduced.
I’ve picked a few of my favourites to look at in more detail below.
First up is the Stuka Zu Fuss, this is a great addition to your Panzer Pioneers (another command card) allowing them to make a devastating bombardment moving forward to clear a dug-in position.
My next choice of card is the Sperrvernband part of Kampfgruppe Von Saucken. These units were used to stiffen the line against Soviet breakthroughs.
Where I see this card being popular is as the infantry support for Tank formations, enabling you to get some more troops onto the table in defensive missions if you end up as the defender, or to guard an objective. They may be prone to get pinned down but the new Blocking Force motivation rating still enables them to Counter Assault on a 3+ and, being MG armed, they are a tough nut to assault with Soviet infantry as well as being well supplied with Panzerfausts, making them a challenge for the Soviet armour as well.
My final pick of the new cards is Dietrich Von Saucken himself. Interestingly, he can be taken as either a tank or infantry Formation Commander. I can see that including him in a Hetzer or Panzer IV/70 formation would really enhance their Blitz/Shoot and Scoot/Stormtrooper chances making them an even tougher challenge for Soviet armour to overcome and the reserve reroll will hopefully ensure your reserves arrive quickly. If you have him as your infantry leader then its a similar story; he can help getting your reserves into play as well as ensuring better success with those movement orders.
Well, there’s lots more to come but this might give you a sense of what’s coming for the Germans on the Eastern Front.
The January release is going to be really interesting for the game as a whole and the Germans will be putting up some serious resistance to the Soviet Sledgehammer!