Afrika Corps – The Desert War (Avalanche)

I must have been out of my mind, but I decided to give the Panzer Grenedier series (and Avalanche Press) another stay of execution, and I tried out Afrika Corps with Milton. We played the “Escape from Derna” scenario, which ironically maps exactly to a scenario from ASL’s West of Alemain module (I often feel that the main research done for Avalanche Press’ games is looking at other, better games).

So anyway, we cracked the game open. First question – what are the rules for those hills? We searched for quite a while in vain to find the LOS rules, so we made somthing up. The first time a tank shot at a truck, about 15 minutes into the game, we searched (again in vain) to find what happened to the passengers. Again, we made somthing up. Uh, guys, didn’t this come up in playtesting? The complete unworkability of the hill rules is really quite staggering.

Then we were treated to the sight of a PaK 37 trading shots with a Crusader for two hours (game time) with no effect on either. Do they even carry that much ammo? Combat is remarkably un-lethal, and the vehicular combat rules are stunningly dysfunctional (not a good sign for a desert game) – since during one 15 minute period you can either move or fire, ranges stood at about 600m the whole game since closing the range was pointless.

Maybe I’m missing somthing here, but this seemed pretty awful. I’d still try the East Front games (of which I sadly own two), being mostly infantry, but this was a bust. Then again, Heroes of the Soviet Union may go directly to eBay, especially if Lock ‘n Load pans out.

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