WARGAME WEDNESDAY: The Scheldt Campaign by Hollandspiel Games

Wednesday , 16, November 2016 3 Comments

Fans of World War II history, asymmetrical warfare, and microgames will rejoice: Brian Train’s The Scheldt Campaign is back!

The Player’s Aid has the full scoop; what I find so intriguing is the Staff Card system:

Each player has a C2 Level which represents the maximum number of Staff cards he may have in his hand at any one time. The current C2 Level also determines how many Tactical Units the player may have under command of a single Task Force HQ at one time. Also, the mix of Staff Cards differs between the German and Allied sides.

Each Player selects his hand of Staff Cards from those in his Available Pile during his Planning Phase at the end of his Player Turn. Cards remain in your hand until played or your ensuing Planning Phase, at which time you keep or discard any cards in your hand and then select back up to your current C2 Level (thus planning out your next turn).

There are never enough Staff Cards so you have to balance out the need to push on vs. the risk of burning out your front line units. I liked this aspect of forcing hard choices on players, and being able to at least partially script the turn coming… though your choices could be rendered bad ones by the enemy’s selected actions.

The way that these cards interact with the combat system is especially interesting. It sounds like it can produce a great deal of flavor and nuance for very little complexity. Check it out!

PaxSims (Simulations)

Inside GMT (GMT Games)

Real and Simulated Wars (JC)

Ludic Futurism (Brian Train)

VASSAL (News)

War in a Box (Warren Abox)

The Players Aid (Grant A. Kleinhenz)

3 Comments
  • Brian Train says:

    The Staff Card system was introduced by Joe Miranda in Bulge 20 in 2009. It was later heavily adapted and modified for BCT: Kandahar (Modern Conflict Studies Group), Third Lebanon War (BTR Games), and The Scheldt Campaign (Microgame Design Group, Hollandspiele).

    This was the first game ever to be published that concentrates solely on the clearing of the Scheldt. Most Europe 1944 games show the Scheldt as a little muddy spot in a corner of the map that someone has to drive through in order to make Antwerp go. This game shows how much was involved in doing that.

    I would like to do more with this system; it’s proven very flexible. Got a few other projects on the line right now though.

    • Jeffro says:

      Sounds simple enough that I could get my 13-year-old to play it against me. Dunno if he’d “get” the COIN games any time soon. Hmmm….

      • Brian Train says:

        If he’s played hex-and-counter wargames before, it would be simple enough for him to enjoy and focus on the fighting and not the rules.
        And don’t worry, there are plenty of 50+ year olds who don’t “get” COIN games either, and probably never will.

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