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.)
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.
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...)
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.