Budapest 45′ – Command Magazine

If you want to play a fun magazine game, check out an oldie but goodie from Command Magazine Issue No. 31. Budapest 45′. 

Super short Intro to Budapest 45′:

The situation in Budapest in January 1945 deteriorated for both sides – The Nazi’s taking the brunt from all Theatre’s, and the Soviet’s high command hesitant of funneling a massive amount of resources into a large city, by-way West through dense forest, wet ground-near-freezing, narrow roadways with minor rivers and the Danube (major) crossings that branch out across > than 150km+ distance W-to-E of Buda.

Hitler ordered Budapest a ‘Fortress’, and with the onslaught of overwhelming forces in the north, and the south of Hungary crumbling, supplies were becoming scarce. Especially fuel*. Units were being moved from sector to sector to help support the recovery of Budapest in this fourth period of the siege.

** Wiki overview: Link** “The Fourth Period (1 January 1945 – 26 January 1945) was marked by a series of strong counter-offensives launched by German reinforcements in an attempt to relieve the siege of Budapest. Some German units managed to penetrate deep into the outskirts of the city, with the most successful ones only 25 km away from the Hungarian capital. However, the Soviets managed to withstand all the German attacks and maintain their encirclement.”

Command Magazine’s Issue Nr. 31 Budapest 45′ covers this period of the battle, which gives you command and perspective on the seesaw battle for Budapest, and coordinated Panzer Drives to relieve the fortress of Buda and Pest (Castle Hill too) as well as the Soviet elastic-defense to bleed the Nazi’s drive for Budapest.

Pro’s and Cons on the game…


  1. The Rules/Errata are clear and easy to pick up on. Turn sequences are somewhat asymmetrical.
  2. Special Rules for the Nazi’s such as Heavy Support and Surprise Attacks & for the Soviets, Artillery Bombardments makes the game pace better than I expected.
  3. Panzer Division Detachments are very valuable to cover ground quickly. Their significance is important in feint attacks which can throw off the Soviet Player.
  4. Balance: It is somewhat even keeled in terms of unit count and att/def ratios…The map terrain is the true differentiator.
  5. Bridges! I love destroying bridges…
  6. The map and counters are clear enough to enjoy the game


  1. Concentric attacks can be good…however, they are trite. Since this is operational, it feels like two Goliath’s are smashing each other…You’re smashing defensive lines > than 4:1 odds and with these DRMs, it is almost excessive. There is definite positives to this to..
  2. The Map – For the time, it is great! Today, meh, somewhat lacking in details.
  3. Artillery bombardments are not as effective as I expected them to be.

Overall, a fun game. Once you get through a couple turns you’re spending more time book keeping step losses than re-reading rules for clarification. It is definitely a fun game and there are assault tactics that need to be employed at the start for the Nazis, and defensive flexibility/terrain reading/planning for the Soviets. Last words: Keep moving, and you may win…Get stuck, you’re dead.


So other than playing the crap out of…

So other than playing the crap out of Budapest 45′ (1-2 turns a day between work ;) ) – I recently picked up a copy of C3i Magazine Nr. 30 – I highly recommend picking it up. Mark Herman’s South Pacific mag-game gives you a good big picture issues of island hopping in WW2.

Omega Games – Ranger *


I have been a major fan of the ‘Solitaire’ game, Omega Game’s: Ranger. A game that provides the experience of operating a Ranger Squad or Platoon conducting Patrolling Operations.

The games major focus is based on planning, tactically prepping your platoon/squad, outfitting them, and following through the choices you make before you begin the game makes Ranger a fun, highly replay-able, fast paced game.

Missions include: squad reconnaissance or platoon ambush and raid patrols.

Ranger has expansions: AO Sierra and AO Victor – expanding the game much beyond its original version.

Ranger covers the fictional Jungle landscapes of The Republic of Puerto Oro, a US ally. The ‘PO’ Government is combating a (Communist)-Socialist Guerilla Army – The Peoples Socialist Revolutionary Front (PSRF) who is supported by a Communist backed, Socialist nation – Costa Verde. There are also rebel forces involved from Costa Verde involved.

Go get a copy as soon as possible…



Here is a decent review from Hexsides on youtube explaining a Ranger Reconnaissance mission.


Note: I recently found out that Bill Gibbs, creator/owner operator of Omega Games / Ranger has passed away.

I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with him on multiple occasions and finding this out was sudden and unexpected.My condolences go out to his family – RIP Bill.



Part 3 of The Battle of Marathon – GMT Games Hoplite: The final struggle…

Part 3 of The Battle of Marathon – GMT Games Hoplite:

To recap last phases, it’s escalating! Lets see what happens when Pre-Shock kicks in and Shock Combat in Turn 2! Reminder: Athenians have a DRM +2 due to a Running Advance, there are also single-sized units, and half depth phalanxes on the field – will note them when rolling for Shock. The Persian side, Greek Mercenaries (MI) and one Elite Persian MI unit.

CORRECTION: Shock MUST check (I didn’t flip the counters for the Athenians – that was fixed)

Pre-Shock! Athenians on the Run take a few Cohesion Hits!

  • Athens 8 = 1
  • Athens 7 = 1
  • Athens 15 = 1 (Half Depth Unit)

Athenian Pre-Shock checks have all passed, with the exception of Plaetea’s HO single force! They take a CH of 1 due to this.

(This is insanity! (I haven’t been this lucky since my first vassal battle of Hoplite!))

We now continue to the second segment of checking the Persian pre-shock.

  • The Persians from Left to Right begin Pre-Shock! Cohesion Hits
    • The Carian LI Archers = 2
    • Persian Elite Medium Infantry take 1 CH and hold strong !
    • The Mysian LI Archers = 4 ; A major blow in the initial shock – They were unprepared!
    • All others have passed.
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Eight Stadia Run Results and the Pre-Shock Results…Here comes the Shock!

Note:: Susa and Syria made contact with the HO infantry unit above, the only unit that received a failed PreShock: HO Plaetea is no longer engaged. They also had made a “RUN” that was solved too…and advanced with the Eight Stadia Run – and passed the TQ check – however, they meet in stalemate…No Shock Combat for them.

Athenian Shock Combat Ensues – The Struggle is Real.

The outcome of Shock Combat! (Pictured below) The intensity of the struggle has reached a heavy crescendo – the speed power of the Athenian advance have crushed and routed 

The Persian, MI – Greek Mercenaries are routed, 4x LI Archers are routed -> pt Total as so far: 27 RPs for Persia. The initial Shock Phase was violent and swift, this does not mean much as of yet since Turn two is continued. We shall see how Persia bounces back from this.

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As you can see, the Persia’s right flank is isolated and out of command. Athenian Hoplite/Phalanxes have Advanced with a Wheeling Maneuver to envelop and wipe out LI Archers as the center of the battle is stalemated. The Greek Mercenary Medium Infantry drop and run. Due to the momentum of the Eight Stadia Run, the assault begins with full might. Centers have been collapsed. The killing begins…

Things take a major turn for the worse and disengaging is not an option. As the Persians realize what is happening, it is too late. Shield and spear thrusting through their wicker shields, blood soaking the battlefield, people are being stampeded.

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The final outcome, momentum was lost by both sides as hacking and slashing ensued. Datis, the Persian General has pulled back to attempt a rallying of troops, the possibility is very low, his Cavalry not in sight, (Not till turn 4); the opportunity to seize the moment, lost. What will come of this?

The Athenians, dead-bent on destroying the Persians, they’ve made perfect positioning on the flanks, their ranks, Advanced with perfect organization into Wheeling Maneuvers, taking little to no damage or threat. The Athenian right flank is now tired and may attempt to pursue further to annihilate  the retreating LI-Archers.

Suffice to say, little loss to the Greeks, the Commanders are reconvening for the push.


Turn 3



The Final Results of Battle – Datis Flees the field – There is no possibility of hope when a collapse of the middle, and being fully envelopment by Athenians follows. The Cavalry do whats best and proceed to safety…Their chance for recovering the battle is too late and would be of waste.

To fight another day…

Athens is Victorious! Now begins a new dawn, Democratia! The Athenians leave the dead in the field and collect trophies to take back.

Sparta comes soon after to inspect the field of battle to see what a Persian looks like at close up. Not realizing what the Athenians have done, they are baffled, shocked, at the sight….

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Below is a decent depiction of the battle of Marathon, you’ll notice the outcome nearly matched. Kind of crazy – The route could have continued.

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Athens: 0RP

Persia: 84 RP


What did I learn from this simulation, and the historical Battle of Marathon…

Historical accuracies: Somewhat due to the confines of the battle, the orders I gave toward both forces. The only factor, advance of hoplites, and the luck of the die.

The area of the battle that I found compelling to mention: The breakdown of LI Archers on the flanks, and the glorious Wheeling Maneuver made the battle look so attractive to replay just for that!

There was a major chance for pursuit after the end of Turn 3 if I wanted to continue and play through the pursuit and potential Cavalry reinforcement – the engagement would have had changed from splitting forces to pursue routed Archers and Medium Infantry, and a blocking pattern to engage the Cavalry forces. Instead, I felt the battle was lost – and ended.

I can definitely see how Light Infantry Archers are useless when engaged by a bunch of crazed Greeks, wielding Hoplons and Dory’s at full run…Perhaps my learning lesson here is to disrupt the Athenian lines by creating gaps to keep distance and perhaps use Medium Infantry to strengthen a dominant side. I still have difficulty imagining why/how Datis could not see this coming.

My luck with Momentum on the field, for both sides, terrible. I couldn’t roll for the life of me…Until Shock-Combat occurred…then things picked up.

The Persian Cavalry: They could have totally disrupted the action for a limited time, the Archers could have presented a nice screen to bleed the Athenian Hoplites.

Note: Athenian Skirmishers were not heroes today, if anything, they served one true purpose, to disrupt and slow the flanks with H&D Tactics. :)

A great game, Marathon rocked! Now its time to read “The Battle of Marathon, by Peter Krentz!”

Rating of Hoplite
Overall: 8/10
Replay value: 9/10
Solitaire: 9/10
Historical: Yes – Can be.
Complex: Medium Complexity – You’ll catch yourself re-reading rules…over and over…Even when you know it, you’ll find something that you either missed, or realized was incorrect.