Armies, navies, air forces… Axis and Allies… Do you save the world from dark tyranny or establish the 1000-year Reich? The world is in your hands.
Theme and What is it?
In Blitzkrieg!, it is World War 2 and war rages on. The Axis and Allies compete over the theatres of the war: Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific. You command the armies, navies, and air forces of your chosen side. Do the Allies win out, saving the world from a dark tyranny, or is it the Axis powers who swarm the land, sea, and air to bring about the 1000-year Reich? The fate of many rests in your hands.
The goal of Blitzkrieg! is to accumulate more war victory points than your opponent by not only winning battles but also the war.
Place the board between the players and the Resource tokens, face down, next to the game board. Place the Battle Markers and War Victory Point Markers on the board. Players choose their side, taking a Player Screen and a bag with Unit Tokens inside. Each player starts with three random units picked from the bag in their Reserve. The Axis starts the game.
Turns are quick—- a player chooses a Unit Token to place from their Reserve on the game board on one of the active Campaign rows, executes the actions according to the type of unit played, executes the actions according to the type of space the unit is played on, and ends the turn by drawing a Unit Token from his bag.
Unit Tokens move the Battle Markers in a given theatre of war to show which side is winning there. Units may also have other effects like Bombing or Blitz. The locations have their own effects such as Industrial Production, Research, Propaganda, etc.
Once all of the locations in a campaign row are filled, War Victory points are gained by the side that is currently winning the theatre or both do if it is a tie. Once all the campaigns are complete, the theatre is closed to further engagement.
Play ends when Allies reach 25+ War Victory Points or whomever has the most War Victory Points following the Axis reaching 25+ War Victory Points.
There is also a solo mode ruleset which has a similar setup and the player is the Allies. The rules include the AI decision block and some new components to provide variability and unpredictability to your experience.
I never really got into games that this one is based upon, but from what I’ve seen, Blitzkrieg! is a nice little intro that wide world.
Game Build Quality
The components are made of good, durable cardboard (tokens, board) and wood (markers). The cloth bags for holding the Unit Tokens are more than enough for their job. There is a single d6 for the solo mode. No complaints or concerns about wear and tear.
The art of Blitzkrieg! is reminiscent of old comics, cartoons, and propaganda posters from the period — very appropriate for the game. The board layout and look’n’feel reminds me of the tactical war game boards I’ve seen before.
Not only will Blitzkrieg! scratch a quick itch for wargaming but it can certainly bring out the competitive gamer in you — you will come back to it and soon.
Age Range & Weight
The age range for Blitzkrieg! is 14+ but I believe this is a bit off. It is more for 12+ or even 10+ as the rules are simple and straightforward. The only reasons I can think for the increase is due to component size and the war theme.
The game touts you can play through World War 2 in 20 minutes and that is pretty darn accurate. The first couple of go-arounds will take longer, getting used to the rules and game flow but it will get faster. You could also fall into decision lock at the start of the game if you can’t figure out where to play to best maximize your turn but, like in real war, you have to decide what your trade-offs are and stick to your guns so to speak.
As to the theme and aim of the game, it drastically streamlines what I’ve seen in tactical wargames, so much so, that aficionados probably wouldn’t recognize it as one of their own. You don’t need tweezers and straight edges to establish line-of-sight, yet I think it gives you a glimpse of what they are and how they might work. If you really like this game, I would recommend trying out other more crunchy versions — you never know what you’ll find.
The solo mode was a good game as well. It played more or less like the 2-player version but didn’t get stuck like you were playing against yourself either. Even after playing it a few times on “Easy”, I still have trouble getting close but that’s just me (I so want to beat it, I know I can).
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