July 18, 2024

#UnboxingDay ~ When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? From Japan in 2024, apparently

RockyMountainNavy, 21 March 2024 ~ #UnboxingDay

I am fortunate to have made the acquaintance of Yasushi Nakaguro (中黒 靖) the publisher behind Banzai wargames magazine from Bonsai Games in Japan. The latest issue, No. 20, has the feature wargame When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? Operation Compass & Operation Sonneblume included.

When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? Operation Compass & Operation Sonnenblume is a magazine wargame delivered within Banzai issue No. 20. The credited designer is Waguri Nanka (aka Nanka Waguri 和栗 南華). A check of BoardGameGeek shows this is the designers second published design. Further, I confirmed with Yasushi that When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? is an original game design and not a republication of an earlier game edition.

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Banzai No. 20 (photo by RMN)


When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? is fairly standard sized for a magazine wargame. The components are a 12-page rule book, two player aid cards (Axis & Allies), a countersheet of 99x 15mm (.6 inch) counters, and a single sheet 840mm x 297mm (33″ x 11.6″) paper map. The scale of the game is division or battalion-sized units with each turn representing two weeks and each hex 10 km across. Like most magazine wargames players need to provide their own six-sided dice to play. While the game is printed in Japanese, an English language translation of the rules is available.


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Magazine game components (photo by RMN)


The rule book for When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? is 12-pages. The more loosely formatted English-language rules come out to about 18-pages with illustrations.


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Japanese language rule book (photo by RMN)


There are two player aid cards—one for each side—included in When Did Rommel Get His Goggles?. The English language rules refer to these cards as “tactical management sheet records.” Like many North Africa campaign wargames, the rules for supply are often a main feature of the wargame design and When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? is no different with the player aid cards playing an important role in managing each player’s supply. In When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? one does not only spend supply to keep their offense or defense going, but you can also spend it on bonuses like 12.2.3 Concentrated Fire where the player rolls two dice for combat and choses the one they want to keep.


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“Tactical management sheet records” (photo by RMN)


The map for When Did Rommel Get His Goggles? is four-panel paper sheet that includes a helpful terrain effects chart and other useful tracks. The counters have a clean look and are easy to read even for this bespectacled grognard.


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Map and counters (photo by RMN)


Apparently, a few of the counters are for a second wargame found in Banzai No. 20. As best I can tell, Mission X: Dinosaurs in the Pacific is a variant for the wargame Rifles in the Pacific designed by Gottardo Zancani from Tiny Battle Publishing (2019). I don’t see a BGG listing for this variant nor do I have an English translation.


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Dinosaurs in the Pacific. Has anybody told Amabel at Hollandspiele yet? (photo by RMN)



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