Neat strategy/war game. It's card-driven and therefore not historically correct (very random). For example in one session the player of France conquered all of continental Europe (incl. Moscow), while in another the Russians took Paris at around 1809. It's fun though.
It's meant to be a light game, but the rules prohibit it from being that. The 2nd edition update supposedly fixes all that, but I don't have that one.
I regularly answer rules question on this game in the forums. So if you have a problem, just ask.
This game cured my addiction to computer-games!
People who fancy "theme", "drama", "crucial desisions each and every turn" or "a game that plays like a story laid out before oneself", should try this instead. Or maybe you shouldn't, because most people feel a certain futility of their own existence after finding what they were so desperatly looking for...
Somehow I can't get past mission #9. The Germans have a dug-in Jagdpanther aiming at the road. Everytime I try to sneak them up, I roll bad random events and the day breaks, whereas my squad end up being in sight of two machine guns.
My favourite Tom Wham game. It's great fun and features some elements of wargames, including movement, creation of attack plans, different units for combined arms, reinforcements (growing monsters) and special weapon effects.
Solid redesign of B-17, but with few mechanical troubles . The Japanese counters are confusing, because they display the Japanese names, while the rules mention them in their Allied code names. (There are also two planes labeled Ki-44.)
Overall the rules are laid out better than in B-17, but in keeping the game more realistic there are fewer encounters with fighters and more tables to consult, which is sensible, because weather, fuel consumption and navigation were more crucial factors than enemy resistance. However, the result is: Less action, longer play time.
This is a fast-paced naval wargame with astonishing graphics. I can't compare it with other naval cardgames, but I like this one very much for its smooth and exciting gameplay. Altough the overall strategy is determined for each side, the allotment of ships and therefore the tactics differ with every game. Have I already mentioned the great artwork?
Interesting game and situation. Classic hex'n'counter, but with various innovative systems added (attrition, command, retreat). Jon Southard adapted Richard Berg's original South Mountain series to this rather unique battle situation, and it simulates the fighting very well. The two day (full battle) scenario is very replayable, because of the variable methods of entering the armies. The game isn't much suited for solitaire play though.
Close Action is pretty much the ideal fighting sail simulation game. The rules initially appear to be very dense, but are really easily handled in play and it suffices if only one player knows the more complex rules such as e.g. line of sight, because all actions are resolved simultaneously, so rule questions the players might have can be answered all at the same time.
The game is very fun with many players, i.e. four or more, because without good teamwork or communication ships from one side might for example run into each other or block each other from shooting. The recent 2004 Clash of Arms edition also features incredible graphics and looks great in play even without miniatures.
Classic tactical-level wargame from the tank leader series created by the designer of Squad Leader. The game features a quite revolutionary initiative system, which allows well trained and equipped units to either act before or after the enemy (their choice). It's the third installment of the series, thus the most advanced. The components aren't the best, but the price was low. That doesn't mean it's a bad game though. It's quite easy to play, because of the desert terrain and the rules are divided into a basic and an advanced section. Advanced play gets very deep, too.
The armies this game adds are mildly interesting, namely the Italians and French, which are both worse than the other three (or five) armies. Still, this expansion is very valuable because it contains a scenario "guide" which allows every scenario to be played with any forces, listing men and material for each side in matrix form.
This is a decent strategic game, it's only downside it being a little too scripted in the beginning of the war. The game play overall is pretty simple (for a consim), but the political rules are really a little too much. They are generally a bunch of exceptions to rules or restrictions for the players and can easily be overseen in play, because they are so many and it's hard to remember all in play. This pretty much shadows the enjoyment you can get from the game. For beginners I recommend to start the campaign in 1941.
Interesting game, though too abstract for a wargame. I picked it up for 17 Euros and it's definitly worth that. Winning the game is both dependent on luck in dice rolls and skill to bluff your opponent.
I once played it with 3 other players and the game was very lighthearted (i.e. we were having lots of fun); it think this is good, and nothing against the game, but I think WWI is a little inappropriate for such a light game. Note that WWI is only used as a "theme", don't try to recreate history with this game.
Finally giving this away. I had fun plays with it, I had tense plays with it, it would certainly be worth keeping, but I don't think I'll play it again in the near future.
Operational game which covers the whole war in Lybia and Egypt in WWII, playable in nine scenarios or the whole campaign of course. Simonitch again provides an easy to learn, non-simplistic game with much depth, making it one of the best on this topic.
+ The game is about a topic not treated to death. + It really gives you a sense of historicity, the action on the board seems so authentic, as does the decision making of a player as field commander. I think it does it's job as a tactical simulation better than Squad Leader for example. + It's fun in an Ameritrash way, because some dice rolls may go awfully wrong and can really screw you or your intentions up. This also augments the former since it creates chaos and confusion on the battle field/board. Luck is not game deciding either, your strategy just shouldn't rely on everything going down smoothly.
- It takes a lot of commitment in time and the rules aren't simple either.
This one goes up to 9, because the two-player variant is also a lot of fun. Excellent hidden gem. Can easily be played with casual gamers, too.
Interesting little game, which portrays the Battle of Britain on a tactical/operational level. Lost twice, but seriosly kicked the Luftwaffe's butt after starting with two Spitfires pilots, who became aces after three days.
I managed to get the deluxe editions of this now out of print game. The counters and map are artisitc. The game can be played with varying complexity and play time (suited for beginners and grognards). The game also includes an extensive battle report.
This is the first game I played which features so-called traditional wargame mechanisms (mandatory combat, interlocking ZOCs, etc.), but I like it!
First off avoid this game if you dislike lots of friction in a war game.
Then I think it's a little discriminating that the game assumes the Chinese are the aggressors. I don't think they would attack the Americans, why would they damage their own property? Apart from that the situation portrayed in the game is certainly interesting.
Of course there aren't many strategic options for the Chinese since they are trying to achieve a few goals as fast as possible and the Americans are mostly reacting to that. However, the play resolves around the random event table and the player reacting best to (not necessarily benefiting most from) these events will win. Luck resulting from these should equal itself out over the course of the game.
Is it really a surprise that the WAR AT SEA system works in a modern environment? Not really, since it is a strategic system and the unit ratings abstract in all technological equipment. It doesn't matter whether a higher attack value comes from more advanced aircraft, ECCM equipped missiles, etc.
As a final comment I have to note that the game does only resemble 6TH FLEET in the portrayal of politics factors and in its focus on contemporary conflict. Otherwise the game/combat system in RED DRAGON RISING doesn't have much in common with 6TH FLEET.
A noble effort, but "Battles of the American Revolution Series" doesn't really lend itself well to siege battles. It is a damn fine system for field battles. But all this game evolves into is a bloody and repetitive turmoil of assaults and close combat around the fort, with the British only reinforcing gaps and the French/Americans sending more fresh meat to be butchered. The card play is kind of nice, even though it's minimal.
This game is a disappointment, because I really enjoy playing Ambush. In my first game I was acting as a referee for the other players and although I know the Ambush rules by heart, I got confused by many rule inconsistencies and design flaws in the game (erroneous tables, missing rule clarifications). It seems to me that those are a result of the designer trying to improve too much over the Ambush-system. (There are some sensible changes, though.)
Don't know if I play it again, but I would definitly have to correct the rules myself then, because apparantly no errata has been published.
The players' goal in this simple design (rule-wise) is to outfox your opponent. This "elegant" gem contains no luck. Hilarious (!) artwork on the bits. Replayability is warranted through random set-up. Unfortunately it has no feudal-europe "theme" and is fun to play.
Portfolio edition. Differences between boxed game:
- You draw chits instead of rolling the dice, which equals out the influence of luck to a certain degree - Great historical article - Counters are smaller, but color-coded (!) - Map is laminated paper, but the same size
Very innovative design and the start of a great series. Good as an introductory wargame. It's tense but not overly complicated.
Rule-wise this is a very simple game. You have to pre-plot your actions several turns in advance, which is a good way of simulating panic. For example, when your soldier falls, he can only crawl until you give him a "Stand Up" order. The game is not very strategic or tactical, but the action is intense and brusque. Every fired bullet counts and a decisive victory can only be achieved when one side manages to land a few lucky hits. Once the trenches have been breached by the attackers, deadly close quarters fighting ensues. The game is extremely bloody and it reminds me of the book "All Quiet on the Western Front", although you need some imagination. I greatly recommend this game to people who not only see hexes and counters in a game.
I would also like to add that I rated this game a 3 before I actually played it. First impressions can be wrong.
First off I think all four games published by AH in their Area Impulse series are great. Many people try to rank these games, usually with "Turning Point: Stalingrad" (TP:S from here on) or "Thunder at Cassino" (TaC) coming in last. However, each game is quite unique in itself, so comparing them directly is really buttocks.
The core of the Area Impulse games consists of players alternating in taking an impulse, i.e. fire or movement with any units starting in one area. After these units have taken their action, they are flipped over to the 'spent' side, which usually has a lower defense value making 'spent' units easier targets. That's simple, but players should still carefully plot their moves to avoid units getting smashed in an immediate counterattack.
The advantages of the Area Impulse system are, that combat is simple, because you only take two numbers, add a couple of modifiers (no more than five) and roll four dice (two per player). Furthermore the alternation of player actions reduce downtime and create a very dynamic and realistic play and battle progress. An added bonus is that the map having no hexes and being quite vivid, which might attract casual wargamers.
After "Storm over Arnhem" (SoA) and TaC which featured combat on a bigger tactical scale, it is unique for TP:S and later "Breakout: Normandy" (B:N) to depict a whole battle on an operational scale. Personally I think the Area Impulse system work best on a tactical scale, but nevertheless TP:S works well, too. The second unique aspect of TP:S is that units remain 'spent' for more turn, depending on their combat performance. Results vary from overrun (0 turns delay) to disastrously repulsed attack (4 turns delay). The randomly determined length of day and night was also revolutionized here.
TP:S also has a slightly above standard amount of chrome rules, for example German and Soviet artillery are resolved completely differently and Soviet reinforcements have to cross the Volga first which is more difficult if the Germans occupy observation points across the city or at the shore.
My two points of critique are that firstly the Soviet have to play really good to NOT lose the game after the first week, because if the Germans do as well as they did historically they'll win too soon. The Germans are more powerful than the Soviets on the first week of the campaign, but taking just the Southern part of Stalingrad and tearing a few holes in the Soviet Northern defense line shouldn't win them the game. Secondly the game plays for a long time and is very hard to be finished in one sitting, which in my opinion wasn't what the Area Impulse system was intended for. (The inventor of the system only created the first two games: SoA and TaC.)
Another word on the expansion counter sheet. Even including the extra counters shouldn't take the game to NOT be resolved after three weeks, which is the same period of time the base game covers. Wasting more than $10 on a sheet of cardboard is therefore ridiculous.
9.123: Although I usually don't award 10s simply because I only use a 5 point rating scale, I'm tempted to arrange an exception for this game and present it with a well-deserved 10 for its excellent game-play and unique design. EXC: The cover art, however, is so disgusting and thus barring me from implementing this move. NOTE: The person who crafted this forsooth despicable piece of "box cover" is to be freed from any guilt, because his design was simply a vengeanceful reaction to the decline of his first draft which only featured American soldiers. This move obviously did not fulfill its purpose, as the game sold well even in a time without the broad availability of online-reviews and where purchases were more frequently made on impulse (like cover art).
10.1: The rules aren't really all that difficult to comprehend (Up Front rates a 4 on the 10-point AH/VG complexity scale), only when you spend too much time reading them, the language rubs off...
This game offers a very special approach to the players: Instead of giving a certain amount of choices each turn (like in modern games), you get all the famous ships of the conflict and complete freedom of action from Pearl Harbor to the final days of the IJN. After setting up the game and explaing the rules to my friend, we both set plotting strategy for about half an hour ...
This makes it a very fine game in my oppinion. Something like chess with dice to resolve "combat" and the Yamato/Iowa instead of the queen.
Upped my rating even more. There is a lot of discarding at times, but if you can overlook that it's really an awesome game. It's been a hit with everyone I played it with. Trash talking is a requirement. Tag team matches are the best (= four players).
Very funny game, great (four-color) artwork. All the "wrasslers" in this game are spoofs on real 80s wrestlers, but I don't know any of those. The game requires a gaming group which likes to Bodyslam each other ... Gameplay at times diverts to all players just discarding and drawing cards. I blame the card mix for that, otherwise the game system is just fine.