TITLE: Mega Blitz: Rules for fighting large actions of the Second World War
AUTHOR: Tim Gow
PUBLICATION DATE: Unknown
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
Mega Blitz has a home page located here.
Player support can be obtained on the Mega Blitz Yahoo group.
PRICE: $22.95 (in 2008)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Second World War
THE BOOK: Mega Blitz is a 42 page booklet. The interior is black and with with few illustrations or diagrams. It includes several pages designed to be copied for use with the game (orders chits, player aid card etc.). The rules themselves are 23 pages long.
SCOPE: Mega Blitz is designed for recreating the larger battles of World War II, such as Kasserine Pass, the Battle of the Bulge, etc.
ARMY SIZE: Mega Blitz can be played with a fairly small number of figures. One of the scenarios included in the book calls for a Finnish army of a mere 18 stands. In another, the German 2nd Panzer Division is represented by a total of 20 stands.
BASE UNIT: In Mega Blitz a stand typically represents a battalion, while a player might command a division or possibly two. Support groups are typically battalions and regiments.
- Ground Scale: Mega Blitz provides two ground scales: for 1/285 scale miniatures the ground scale is 2cm = 1 km. For all larger figures the ground scale is 4cm = 1 km. In the rules all distances are given in kilometers.
- Time scale 1 turn = 2 hours
- Figure/Base Ratio 1 infantry base = battalion
- Recommended Figure Size: None given, ut any scale between 1:285 and 1:72 may be used.
- Game Length: Most moderately sized games should be playable in one evening
Mega Blitz is very flexible regarding basing. For 1:285 scale miniatures bases should be between 2 and 4 cm wide and between 4 and 6 cm long. For larger figures stand sizes are:
- Infantry: 40 x 40mm (Soviets are 60 x 60mm)
- Vehicles: Between 4 and 5 cm wide and between 10 and 12 cm long.
- Transports: 4cm wide and 12+ cm long
Units in Mega Blitz face the narrow end of the stands. At the rear of each stand should be space for unit information (this could also be put on a roster if desired).
Play in Mega Blitz is simultaneous with each player performing the each of the phases as follows:
- Reveal Order Phase
- Movement Phase
- Air Action Phase
- Air Landings Phase
- Combat Phase
- Engineering Phase
- Overnight Phase
- Reconnaissance Phase
- Place New Orders Phase
The Orders System: Every unit is required to have an order chit. These are placed next to the unit, face down, in the Place New Orders Phase. Orders are revealed to begin the turn and movemtn begins. There are five possible orders, each of which carries benefits and limitations. The five orders (known by the acronym SMART) are Static; Mobile; Attack; Retreat; Transit.
Orders affect your movement rate as well as your combat ability. They also restrict which orders you may adopt next turn. For example, a unit currently in retreat may only change to retreat or transit in the next turn.
Spotting: Mega Blitz has a spotting chart but it is unclear. By cross indexing the stand type with an order type a spotting distance is given. Spotting is automatic. But there is no explanation as to whether it is the spotter’s order or the target’s order that matters (examination of the chart suggests it is the target’s order - still a sentence here would have helped).
Movement: Movement rates in Mega Blitz are determined by cross indexing the unit type with the unit’s order. In some cases there are two rates given “the higher is possible only on good going, the lower on less favorable terrain.” There are no other rules or guidelines regarding terrain. Other than mentioning a few minor exceptions there are really no movement rules to speak of.
Air Actions: Mega Blitz provides two pages of air rules. Air units act exactly like ground units in combat. Units on ground support add their dice to their dice pool, while counter air units do likewise. Brief rules are provided for raiding and repairing air bases, paratroop drops, and rearming air units.
Combat: In Mega Blitz stands need to be in contact to engage in combat. Certain support units may also be engaged if they are in support - i.e. they are in contact with the rear of the friendly unit. Stands may only support friendly stands from the same unit (usually a division).
In addition it seems artillery may support an attacking unit provided the enemy is spotted and in range. Specific ranges are not given for every artillery type but a table breaking the major types down into 5 categories is provided.
Combat is very simple. A player adds one die for each strength point to his dice pool. For example, if he has 4 stands attacking with a total strength of 18, his dice pool would contain 18 D6. He then passes the dice to his opponent who rolls them. Each die has a “to hit” number. This is found by cross indexing each side’s orders. For example, a stand with Attack orders engaging an enemy with Mobile orders hits in a 5 or 6. But a stand with Mobile orders engaging a stand with Attack orders hits only on a 6. For every hit scored the player removes one strength point from the unit attacked. Terrain may, in some cases, provide a defensive benefit by absorbing hits.
There are no saving throws or other rolls involved. One hit = 1SP removed. There are no terrain effects except for fortifications and urban areas (called BUAs). There are no rules or restrictions on which units must take hits. There are no morale rules at all - morale is part of the stand’s strength points. Nor is there any differentiation between unit types - 5 strength points of T34s is the same as 5 strength points of Panzer IIIs or militia.
Engineering: There is a chart which details how long engineering tasks take but I found it confusing. The rules state: “Engineering tasks are costed in EP/turns (engineer points x game turns). There then follows a list of tasks and costs. Building a 0.5km bridge for vehicles, for example, costs 5. I assume this means one engineering point would take 5 turns, while 2 points could build the bridge in 2.5 turns, and 5 points in 1 turn. But there is no text beyond the quote above to explain the chart.
Logistics: To model the logistical tail of armies in engagements of this size, Mega Blitz uses LOG points (which represent basic supplies and ammo) and POL points (which represent petrol). In essence each unit consumes either one LOG or one of each each day (not each turn). These are represented on the table by appropriate models (trucks, wagons etc.).
Reconnaissance: Units with a reconnaissance capability may attempt to scout out the enemy. To do so they roll D6 subject to a few modifiers. The results may vary from the reconnaissance unit learning nothing and losing 1SP (worst case) to identifying the enemy unit, it’s current order and current strength (best case). Friendly recce units may counter enemy recce acting as a negative modifier to the enemy’s recce die roll.
The book contains no army lists but provides a chapter on how to calculate strength points for the game. Strengths are always relative. So in 1941 a T34 is a superior tank, while in 1944/45 it would be average.
There are three scenarios in the book - one large, one medium and one small.
Motti: This is the small scenario and pits the Finns against the invading Soviets. The Soviets have to divisions plus a tank brigade against the Finns’ 9th division. The map for this scenario is 30 x 60km.
Dot Sur La Mappe: This is a fictional (duh!) meeting engagement between Germans and French in May 1940. It pits the German 2nd Panzer plus one regiment of the Totenkopf against two French divisions in a fight for control of a cross roads. This map is again 30x60km.
Race for Tunis: Large - REALLY large. The playing area requires 7 tables each 45x30km. The British have 1st Army (46th and 6th Armoured Divisions), the US have first army (2 infantry and 2 armored divisions). The Germans face themwith 10th Panzer, 2 Fallschirmjager and the Italian Ariete division.
In all honesty, Mega Blitz does not feel like a rule set. Rather it feels like a player aid card with notes, where it is assumed you already know the rules. Even a cursory scan reveals the following areas where players must work out the details for themselves:
- Do you need one LOG/POL point per division per day? Or one per stand per day? The rules provide no clear definition here.
- Are there any restrictions on combat losses - can I assign losses to any units as I see fit?
- There are no terrain rules other than the comment mentioned above - the players will need to decide for themselves which terrain types are relevant and what effects each terrain type should have.
- It is implied in several places that stands are removed when they fall below 0 SPs, but nowhere is it stated explicitly.
One other factor that struck me is that ground units are largely generic. Vehicles move fast and guzzle gas but otherwise fight exactly like infantry. Better equipment just gets more strength points. I’m perfectly happy with this level of abstraction, especially considering the ground scale, but many gamers want their units to feel different.
Note that there are substantial support pages at the sites listed above.
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