I didn't watch the movie because I thought it was fascist propaganda. But that doesn't matter since I'm rating the game here. This is a simple wargame which is definitely luck heavy. However, it is also very thematic and this makes the game shine. Personally I would prefer historical artwork instead of bare breasted Spartans fighting in thongs, but the game is so much more fun when speaking and visualizing the movie quotes while playing a card. If every eurogame out there was replaced by a games base on an action movie, I think the gaming world would be a better place.
The game system disappointed me, I anticipated something more innovative. While your usual tactics work (advance under cover, lay down covering fire, send in squad to close assault) the game sometimes yields strange/unrealistic results because of the way units are activated.
The artwork appears to be pretty good, but the counters are a little glutted. For example I find the unit symbols in the background distracting and I'm also not a fan of the unrendered leader photos, which look dull.
Furthermore I was a little let down that the International Brigade is not in the base game. That's one of the few incidences in history when Germans did something meaningful in a war. (I'm not talking about the Condor Legion, which was a horde of civilian murdering fanatics.)
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.
This is a very accessible game and definily provided a starting point for many now veteran wargamers.
The game is pretty straightforward: devise a strategy, build units, move units, throw dice.
That's it, but although the design is lacking when compared to other games, it still provides a good basis for an entertaining evening (as a multiplayer game). And this is what most games promoted on this site are lacking IMHO.
The game neatly encourages story telling. The following may sound strange, but because the game forces you to spin stories about the craziest events, the conversations appear less forced (when compared to serious story telling games for example). The game really relies on its players, so play it with boring/austere people and it will suck. It isn't much of a surprise that this game is loved by Italians or French and is hated by my fellow Germans (fortunately not including my friends).
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.
Completely random game. Draw good card combos and you win unchallenged. Has one clever mechanism, but that doesn't make a good game. All you're doing in your turn is contemplating over the best move you can do, and this is very boring if you find that move too easily and very frustrating if you can't do anything advantageous at all. As a side effect you're having long downtime because players analyze their situation too much.
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?
Nice production level, some new ideas to the C&C system, but I already grew tired of Memoir '44. The base game seems kinda incomplete (read: money dump), but there's lots of stuff for your money in there already.
The base game is pretty bland. You're really just placing tiles, and trying to sneak some meeples into other player's cities. The game is VERY luck based and is usually decided by a few lucky draws. Other expansions add more options and also "fun", but really makes counting points and checking who controls what very complex. BSW could do that for you, but of course player interaction is equal to 0 there. (As if Carcassonne had any to begin with...)
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.
Although this game is maybe the most elaborate and innovative wargame in recent years, it has issues.
The game is frustrating because sometimes (or when you're unlucky; all the time) your squads can neither shoot nor fire. Some people argue that this is realistic, - I don't have any combat experience to dis-/prove this point, but from my understanding an elite unit accompanied by a competent leader should be able to move when there's no enemy unit in sight. The same goes for a MG in a prepared defensive position which should be able to fire at advancing units when manned by an attentive crew and when the gun is neither jammed, unloaded nor otherwise restricted in its functionality.
Defensive positions are almost impenetrable. As opposed to other games, satchel charges, panzerfaust rockets and even artillery strikes leave houses or pillboxes unscratched. Preparing units for close combat against defenders in these fortifications is a pain in the arse, because you need a good set of "Advance", "Fire" and "Movement" cards, which is very hard to build. And don't get me started on melee combat.
Furthermore you only lose units through bad luck. You can have a unit fired at by an enemy flame-thrower and this is no problem when you have a "Recover"-card at hand.
The system is also very gamey. Firing at units without any chance of success, just to use up cards and "advance in time", is a plausible tactic, as is blatantly ignoring one's objective to move units past the enemy.
The many possible random events spice up the game, but some are just illogical in some situations.
The game is a really neat design, but it fails to simulate combat in WWII, when compared to Squad Leader for example. Compared to this old shoe, it's also only slightly more fun. Another war might really fit better, I thought about WWI trench warfare, but this in not relevant to this comment.
This rating is very subjective and displays the disappointment I had missing this game's supposed greatness.
I might want to try Combat Commander: Pacific though, if it contains some rule changes or a different composition of the cards.
I think this is an excellent game for casual or novice war gamers, or generally for people who enjoy light war games and I know these people exist plenty. I have to give credit to the designer who admirably condensed huge antiquated war game rule systems into an easily playable game which still manages to capture all the flair of these systems, while also keeping the game 'realistic'. These things for example can't necessarily be said about Tide of Iron. The game even incorporates a clever system for reacting to the opponent's moves and the components are awesome. However, it's just not my type of game, the resolution of attacks gives a too broad array of results, i.e. the game is very luck based and at least with the few units we had in our game you can't really stage a sophisticated attack or defense. For example breakthroughs in our game were generally only achieved by rolling high and having the right card which allows a unit to move extra fast. Maybe I'll still buy the German edition of the game, which will have a politically correct name, and by appearing next month will be the only German war game to be published in quite a long time. Or maybe I'll wait for one of the other titles in the series about conflicts I not yet have games about.
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.
Topic: Players send out adventurers to slay dragons, and then try to share the loot.
Gameplay: Loot sharing has only one rule: If there is no consent after a short time given, nobody gets anything. The game is spiced up with a clever scoring mechanism and different abilies for the adventurers which add stealing and magical abilities (special rule-breaking powers). Fun with a talkative group.
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.
Rock-Paper-Scissors variant. I don't know if there was the need for a variant, but variation is good and this game makes more sense than the original, if this is even possible. May need to spawn some pro players and nation-wide conventions to garner equal fame as Rock-Paper-Scissors.
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.
Very abstract game: you got nine tiles and ghosts popping up every time. You can choose from several actions, but the one you actually resolve is either obvious or - since this is a coop game - suggested to you. Which is boring.
It also got what most eurogamers misconceive as theme: highly stylized components. However, the game tells absolutely no narrative, it's really just random ghosts popping up. The characters with their different abilities aren't elaborated either.
I don't mind the dice rolling/combat mechanism though, that's pretty neat.
Still, I have no desire to ever play this game again.
Innovative ideas and beautiful components, but game play is dull. During play we had many questions which weren't addressed by the rulebook, so it seems like many things were dropped to create a short manual. Players have to work together to not let the starting player win. Winning may be arbitrary (at the whim of the other players), as is sadly evident with many other eurogames, too. The polar bears are nice, but they should be nastier.
Players interact by taking away each others ressources. Sounds stupid, but turns out to be quite strategic.
As opposed to other euros, "your people" in this game starve to death, succumb to diseases, get enslaved or fall victim to Mongol raids. This is mostly your fault: sometimes you'd rather get a new court lady than remunerate a farmer.
Another Knizia tile-laying game. A little too much luck dependent for an abstract. However, the game is very accessible and plays rather smooth. Clever game winning moves are rare. No game experience whatsoever.
This is Lost Cities for 3 and 4 players. If this information didn't scare you off, let me add that it is a really dull game. I played a similar game as a kid, only with flowers. You might as well also buy this for you children, but don't expect a brain burner. It's like playing Skip-Bo with a board.
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.
This completely random game plays like Candy Land (draw a card, match colors), only that calculating the points takes as long as one actual play. Would be more fun if you had to convert the results from Polar to Cartesian Coordinate.
Stupid, chaotic fun. If you play without the rule which forces people to make laser sounds, you shouldn't play at all. I like the 2nd edition artwork better, but that's just me.
Don't trust the bad comments! This game neither takes too long, nor can you be eliminated before you take your turn. Well, only if 3 people shoot at you, but that's just lame. Why play games with people like that at all?
This was my second ("gateway") war game. It's simple and fast-paced. Depends heavily on luck with dice and cards. One of my friends loves it, although he's usually not keen on playing board- or even war games.
Finally I sold this whole Memoir game packet off to a friend, although I liked it. But in the end it is much too simple and doesn't really comprise WW2 in a way (tension, realism, thought) my other games do.
Here are my thoughts on the expansions: - Eastern: The best expansion to M'44 in my opinion. The Russo-Finnish War scenario is great. But the sniper rules are strange and unrealistic. - Pacific: Unplayed. - Terrain: An average expansion to M'44, with many new rules, which almost all aren't used. Is best suited for people, who like to build their own scenarios. - Map: Is only required for aesthetic reasons. You might want to use the desert side for C&C Ancients though. Doesn't work.
I consider this game to be a parable on life: Move around and lose money.
Actually the Soviet Russian version of this game called "State Monopoly" is much better, plays faster and usually still has the same outcome as the American edition: Players roll the dice to determine who gets to be the state (or bank). The state wins. If the Perestroika card is drawn all players (including the state) lose.
Nifty design, but in the end I wonder why I should be playing this instead of a two-player wargame. You've got the same things: Units with different abilities and the goal of out-manouvring/outbluffing your opponent. Only that wargames are bigger (and better).
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!
You could call this Caylus done right. It burns your brain like nothing else (=downtime!), but people can't screw your strategy over that easily. There are some clever ideas, but the game is missing fun. The winner is the player with the best brain stamina, capable of playing longest without making a mistake.
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.
Build some armies, roll some dice, it's all for the good fun. I liked it very much when I didn't know much about other games. The secret objectives make it a "shorter" and more tense game than heading for "global domination".
Haven't played it in a while but would prefer it to many of this site's favourites.
I was the first user to tag this "gateway" [game].
Desperatly uninnovative game, which fails on all its promises: It's said to be a political game, but there is no player interaction or arguing. Political satire is reduced to what is printed on the cards. Strategy is almost non-existant, all choices you make are inherent, i.e. it's very easy to figure out what to do throughout the whole game.
The game mechanism is blind-bidding without any major twists. Highest bid wins, Lowest bid pays a penalty. You bid with cards and what cards you get is completly random.
To sum it up: This game provides no opportunity for clever play.
Gave it away as a christmas present to my uncle's family. Hope his young children might like it. It is definitly no strategy game. (In retrospect this was pretty evil.)
I have to admit though, when you get this for less 10$ you won't be too disappointed and might give it a try.
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.
Strange euro/war game hybrid. You still basically win by building stuff, because warfare is very limited. The cube cuboid (not to be confused with a dice tower) is a nice gimmick, but pretty pointless in resolving battles.
The gameplay is fun, but the game is pointless in the end, because the winner is either determined randomly or by the player who has the choice between killing any of the two last ducks. There should be a mechanism where shot ducks count for victory, and the game shouldn't drag on until only one duck is still swimming.
The game sounds like a good idea, but ultimately is boring and repetitive. Best before 5 plays. The only meaningful decision in the game is when to go into decline and what race to pick, but this only happens maybe three times in the game. Conquest practically goes without saying. As in most eurogames, victory is determined by the discretion of the other players, i.e. try to always only receive the second most points!
This game is probably the only one where the die bugs me. Every turn you can practically risk getting -1 or +1 VP. Distributed amongst several turns, this can make a big difference, especially if you are able to hold for long a space you won with the roll of the die.
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.
This is a game where lots of random stuff (like 1500 different things) can happen to you. I like it, but seeing Puerto Rico as #1 on this site I don't understand how people here can honestly appreciate it that much. I prophesy that once it's not that "uh-so-rare" anymore bad ratings will start pouring in.
A friend asked if he could borrow it, and I sold it to him instead (for a super fair price). I can still play it whenever I want.
Tide of Iron compares to other WWII games, as Call of Duty compares to other WWII shooters: It looks great, plays nice, is very popular, but other games convey a more tense gaming experience on the same topic (which is WWII tactical games). It is an excellent starting point though, if you plan to also play other war games.
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.
Doesn't appear to be good on first play. Repeated plays reveal that this game is basically a race to earn most VPs while placing stumbling stones in your opponents' ways and calculating risks (where to attack?, which city to abandon?). It might also appear that the game ends too soon, but my impression is that players attack too late. You shouldn't build up your strength before attacking, but watch for weaknesses in your opponents' defense (if they even have one).
Trick-taking card game fans! Burn your cards, buy this game and play for the rest of your life. Oh wait ... chances are you're already playing one game for the rest of your lives ... well, this should be the one.
I have an additional Fokker Dr.1 and Rickenbacker (Spad XIII), so it can be played with up to 6 people. A friend of mine has yet another two planes, and we enjoy playing it with 4 people 2 planes each.
Sold. It was fun while it lasted. Moved on to more complex games.
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.