Friday, 20 July 2018

Tactics II, Replay (1)

Over the years, I have done away with many of my old board wargames. However, I kept a few memorabilia. One of them is Tactics II, often labeled the game that started it all (at least for board wargaming). It was the very first board wargame I ever bought, somewhere in 1981 or 1982 (can't remember exactly). Combined with its iconic status, I could never part with it, although I haven't played the game in over 3 decades.

So, when cleaning up my game collection, I came across the old box again, and couldn't resist starting a little solo-game. It is amazing how well you can remember rules over the years.

But anyway, let's start the game.


Here's the initial setup. I followed the initial deployment as in the original game. I rolled for a starting month (May), and the weather, which was perfect. Another random die roll indicated Red would start.

Initial Setup

Turn 1 (May)

We always had a houserule, which stated that the first player could not invade the other territory - otherwise you could immediately take an enemy city and skew the game. So Red deployed its troops for an initial thrust, with the trusted moves of putting airborne troops in cities and marine units in harbours.

Red move 1
Next up is Blue. I decided to attack just north of the mountains, a matter of initiating the proceeedings!

Blue Move 1
 Here's a close-up of the attacking zone:

And here's the result after the combat resolution. I won;t go into the nitty gritty details of all attack rolls, but suffice to say I rolled a dreaded 6 (A elim)  in a 2-1 attack.

Turn 2 (June)

The month is now June, and the weather is again perfect. Red decided to execute a classic paradrop/beach landing assault to capture one of Red's cities (upper-right of board). This is followed up by a Red drive through the northern forests, and an attack south of the forest, in an overall attempt to conquer Blue's northern territory.

Red move 2
 After combat resolution, the situation on the Northern Front looked like this:

Blue needed a counter-attack, since the end of this month replacements would arrive. Red has 7 replacement points, Blue 5 (1 for each city), so Blue cannot afford to fall too much behind when it already has lost one city. So, Blue used its own paratroopers and marine units to quickly encircle the city in the upper-right corner of the country. (Note: I misread the rules that replacements would be at the end of June, they should be at the start of June, but the rulebook and the calendar sheet contradict each other on this matter ....)

Blue move 2
And after combat resolution, Blue has indeed recaptured its city, but it looks as if Red can renew its offensive during turn 3.

Situation at the end of turn 2, with placement of replacements (placed in cities or replacement areas).

To be continued ...


  1. A little like visiting an old friend. I last played it in the summer of 1982; it didn't end well for me. Thanks for bringing back some good memories.

    1. Thanks! I must confess the game as I experience it now is crude compared to modern standards. But that didn;t matter when Iw as a teenager. I thought it was the most realistic wargame EVER!

    2. I can appreciate that. I was introduced to board games through France 1940 and Panzerblitz/Panzer Leader, so even back then, it sort of took a back seat position to those other games. Still, it can be fun to revisit those old games every now and then.

    3. I jumped from Tactics II straight to 3rd Reich. As a 15-year old non-native English speaker, the rulebook was no easy job. We probably played the game entirely wrong.

      Other favourites from that period were Russian Campaign and Afrika Korps. I never dabbled much in Panzerblitz or Panzer Leader, although I tried Squad Leader once.