Welcome to the second entry of my Chain of Command Diary, a series of ocasional posts describing my impressions while testing the incoming II WW skirmish rules to be published by TooFatLardies in the summer of 2013.
Topic of today: patrolling and deployment... and no, this is not teletransporting!
If I mention the word “blinds”, those familiar with the TFL rule-sets will immediately grab the meaning. Physically, blinds are some large markers used in almost all of the TFL games to undertake the initial deployment and moves of the units in a game. By using blinds, you deny the opposing player knowledge about the size and composition of the forces approaching his lines. Troops in blinds enjoy several benefits like usually moving at a faster rate and avoiding being fired by the enemy until “spotted”.
Blinds reflect “enemy activity” in an area of the table and helps mitigating the “bird-eye” advantage of the most traditional games. Furthermore, using the so called “dummy blinds” patrols can be simulated: small detachment of forces whose only role is to find the enemy and return as quick as possible to inform its own force leaders. These can move and spot, but never engage in a firefight. Blinds as a game mechanism creates uncertainty and enhances “friction” in the battlefield.
In Chain of Command blinds have been ditched and replaced by a new pre-game mechanism called the “Patrol Phase”. Well, I may be too aggressive in my wording; let’s just say that blinds has suffered an evolution and transformed into a new mechanism to simulate the initial steps of a force before engaging with the enemy.