Okay, after building some terrain, a 3x5 terrain mat, wall set from dust, extra dice, and a bunch of colored tokens for things like damage/reaction/supression/reload… We had gameboard.
Then I semi-blindly upgraded both armies to about 220 points, and added some upgrades to round them out to 250. Final verdict, we now have the following two armies:
Faction: Axis ( 250 / 250 )
--- "Ersten Beobachter" Blutkreuz Platoon (131)
Upgrade: Implacable (15)
Command Section: Sturmpioniere (25)
1st Section: Laser Grenadiers (21)
2nd Section: Battle Grenadiers (17)
3rd Section: Axis Zombies (19)
+ Grenades (1)
Support: LPW I-C "Hans" (25)
Support: Beobachter Team (8)
--- "Uhrwerk Zuschlags" Schwer Platoon (119)
Upgrade: Implacable (15)
Command Section: Lara (29, Hero)
1st Section: Heavy Laser Grenadiers (35)
+ High Visibility Lasers (2)
2nd Section: Heavy Flak Grenadiers (26)
Support: Sniper Grenadier Team (12)
Faction: Allies ( 250 / 250 )
--- "White Tiger 309s" Assault Platoon (137)
Upgrade: Aeronca GB-9 Strike (30)
Command Section: "Hell Boys" Ranger Attack Squad (25)
1st Section: "The Hammers" Heavy Ranger Assault Squad (28)
2nd Section: "BBQ Squad" Assault Ranger Squad (21)
Support: LAW M1-B "Blackhawk" (25)
Support: "13 Foxtrot" Observer Team (8)
--- "Black Cougar Company" Combat Platoon (91)
Command Section: "The Boss" Ranger Command Squad (25)
1st Section: "The Gunners" Combat Ranger Squad (17)
+ M9-D Bazookas (1)
2nd Section: "Recon Boys" Recon Ranger Squad (16)
3rd Section: "Death Dealers" Ranger Weapon Squad (20)
Support: "Crack Shots" Sniper Team (12)
So, what did we learn quickly from the first engagment?
We need another pack of walls… More blocking terrain is good.
Artillery is nasty. And evil. And VERY effective.
Zombies make good distractions. Allies will do anything not to have them get within claw's reach…
Snipers first target tends to be the opposing sniper. After that, sombody gets to seriously annoy the other player with it the rest of the battle.
Hero's as commanders may NOT be the best idea… They tend to need to turtle-down (since command squads get hammered early and often), and you lose a great spearhead unit.
It's hard to keep track of all units special abilities. We forgot that the hammers don't attract reactions baseed on their movement. Buggers nearly died.
Axis ability to regen units with zombies is a great WTF moment for new players. Wife's comment, "Okay, THAT is going to get annoying…"
Reread all your unit abilities alot. I missed the Hans can sit behind a wall and drop bombs on you as long as the radio spotters don't die.
Reaction mechanics give a reason not to push all your troops. If you have inititive, you may want to leave that squad behind cover watching the flank, to discourage the enemy from trying to move in on you.
As to how it played? For a pair of new players (Becky and Myself), it took around 3 hours to play about 3 full turns of the game. There was a LOT of reading, REreading, catching errors we made, and trying to undo them before they got too far. By the 3rd round, we were taking nearly 1/10 the time to take our turns than in the beginning. Almost everything uses the same mechanic, and really, you can run ten units in the unit phase pretty fast, even with reactions.
Someone mentioned that reactions slow things down. I disagree: Once they react, or are given an action in the command phase, they don't get to do much more. They're just taking the turn they would have later a little ahead of time (or late).
Not a bad mechanic. Simple design with complex possible uses. Does need a lot of tokens, though.