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Baptism By Fire: The Battle of Kasserine» Forums » General

Subject: How is this coming along? rss

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Malcolm Cameron
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I think this might be the first forum post for Baptism By Fire.

At the time of posting, pre-orders have slowed down (at about 510 of 550 needed).

I love Last Blitzkrieg - not because I am interested in the Ardennes Offensive - but because the way this series depicts combat at this scale is different, interesting, challenging and fun.

I would love to see this title in production - it looks like a much smaller game (in terms of unit numbers); much more open (in terms of force to space ratio), and set in an entirely different theatre.

It would be great to see some posts here on BGG to show how the game is coming along: playtest AARs; a taste test of the scenarios or game specific rules. More pictures! Anything to see this developing (which might help it to pick up some pre-orders along the way).

Team Essig - What can you tell your eager gaming public?


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Lynn Brower
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Hello Malcolm,

Yes, you have the first post in this forum.

I guess I qualify as a minor member of team Essig so I will give you my impressions of Baptism by Fire. (BbF)

First, I love LB too. Which is to say I love BCS. And there is the best news about BbF. BCS makes the battle at Kasserine Pass work just as well as it does the Battle of the Bulge. During play testing a number of special rules were added at first to fit BCS to this desert battle. In the end most of those special rules were discarded and the base BCS system provided the best simulation and game play results.

If anyone found LB too large, BbF is smaller with two maps and a much smaller total number of formations. Several of the Scenarios in BbF can be completed in 4 hours or less by players comfortable with BCS play. The full campaign scenario is also MUCH shorter to play than the full campaign of LB.

For people who are playing LB and feel comfortable with the BCS rules, be advised that BbF is a very different game. This is as it should be. You are moving from the congested terrain of the Ardennes filled with large numbers of late war combat formations to the wide open desert with a small number of early war formations.

In short, BbF is a different game than LB but it demonstrates the ability of the BCS system to make a playable simulation of a very different battle.
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Carl Fung
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Hmm, I'm glad you bring that up Malcolm. I wouldn't want the lack of posts here to imply that Baptism by Fire is the bastard stepchild of Last Blitzkrieg. The design and playtesting are completed, mostly waiting on the pre-order number to hit. That said, the majority of the dedicated team that worked on Last Blitzkrieg helped guide Baptism by Fire.

I'm sure the majority of the folks haven't migrated to this BGG page and Dean's admitted limited usability of BGG has caused him to not notice this page. But Lynn and I are here at least, and we can drag in Dean as we need.

I'll chime in a bit about the design. BCS Kasserine actually existed before Last Blitzkrieg, used mostly as a test bed for early iterations of BCS. Anyone who listened to Dean's interview on Three Moves Ahead heard that BCS has been in the works for upwards to 10+ years. When Last Blitzkrieg was conceived, Kasserine was shelved and it was all hands on deck for the Bulge. Last Blitzkrieg helped the prepubescent BCS rules mature due to the larger scope, variety of terrain, and situations in the Ardennes to become the BCS that we see now.

With LB wrapped up, Kasserine was back in the forefront. I took my hand at reviewing the older material and spiffed up the OOB, scenarios, set ups, and helping Dean out as he needed. Kasserine under the existing BCS rules held up well, despite the polar opposites in terms of terrain and forces involved.

While Kasserine takes place in the desert, it isn't the same as the vast open deserts of Libya (for the upcoming BCS design). Mountain ranges slash across the desert and the poor weather (winter rain) causes the action to funnel to the historic passes.

The map here is at 1 mi/hex as compared to 1 km/hex in LB. This really just affects the AV ranges, with the majority of the armor engaging at range 1. The 88's (towed flak and the lone Tiger company) still outrange everyone at range 2.

Rommel, of course, makes his appearance and his magnetic personality and hands on nature allows him to benefit certain formations of the Axis player's choosing.

The game really is to show that while considered an embarrassing defeat for the Allies, it was more a close run thing than a runaway stomp that gets repeated in popular history.

Let's recruit everyone to get the word out to get Baptism by Fire over it's pre-order number. It's close, so let's get another successful BCS design out there to the public soon.
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mark mathews
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I haven't pre ordered this title as I live in the UK and with postage etc the price would likely double. But as soon as it hits one of the online shops in Europe I will be buying it and I'm sure there many the same over this side of the pond that would take it over the pre order amount needed.
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Carl Fung
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forzamark wrote:
I haven't pre ordered this title as I live in the UK and with postage etc the price would likely double. But as soon as it hits one of the online shops in Europe I will be buying it and I'm sure there many the same over this side of the pond that would take it over the pre order amount needed.


Hi Mark, Baptism by Fire has made its preorder number! The artwork has been sent to the MMP higher ups and Dean is finalizing the game specific rules. No word on timeline as this is above my pay grade...
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mark mathews
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Thanks for letting me know. I was tempted by LB but as I knew this was in the works I thought it would be a better intro into the system and I believe it's being marketed as such.
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