I've seen the prices this commands on eBay, and the only reason I'm interested in this over Pacific Typhoon is that Atlantic Storm can be played with 2. I was happy to find a good playing copy of this for a reasonable trade value.
I love the concept of the shared infrastructure that everyone builds together, yet all being in it for oneself. I also really like that interest payments etc are baked into the loan rules as the system here is really streamlined.
Hard to rate it after only one play. It's a great game, no doubt, but do I rate it an 8 or a 7?
I like this better than the original expansion - the addition of the goods tiles makes for a nice challenge for bonus points at the end, and the pigs are cool. This expansion essentially makes the River redundant.
A solid game - lots of tactical decisions to make each turn of the political phase, and a need to keep an overall stratgey going. The requirement to produce enough farm resources to maintain your citizen level (and thus not incur a penalty) is a nice added touch. Definitely a keeper in my collection.
As an aside, it's a classic game that has stood the test of time. However, it's a game not to be played with people who hold grudges as it perforce expects that you will be swindled, backstabbed, and cheated...
It's essentially impossible to rate a book like this - I enjoy browsing it on a regular basis, but I haven't really tried the variants posted in it. That said, the variants that exist in this book run the gamut from compelling to bizarre to downright unplayable.
I've always had a fascination with the Spanish Civil War, in part because it was such an overtly political/ideological conflict.
This game beautifully captures the cat and mouse nature of the struggle, forcing you to carefully plan where you're going to place your planes and generals each turn. Then it kicks it up a notch with the events phase - although you can use your cards to help you in combat, the events are all so good that you want to conserve them as much as possible. It's, again, a lovely piece of design. Great game.
Richard Pardoe kindly taught this to me at BGG.Con 2010, and I LOVED it.
Before I continue, this game is NOT Combat Commander. It's also not "just Combat Commander with tanks". It's a classic hex and counter wargame, but it has some very slick innovations. There's a set of order boxes numbered 1-10 on a track that are available for selection, and when you pick an order, you move the initiative that many points towards the opponent on a push-pull track. Initiative still on you side? Continue. On your opponents? They go. On 0? The player holding the fate card goes.
The more complex/involved orders have to be selected from on high, whereas simple things like playing an asset card, moving, and firing tends to be in the 1-3 range. The track differs depending on which side you're playing. After the first turn is complete, the order track gets refilled with 10 order markers, but they're assigned by die rolls, not a simple 1-10 ordering, so some order levels may not be available the next turn (I'll note for completeness that selecting a "5" order means you can execute the 5 order for your side, or any LOWER value order. If all that's available is a 5 order and you want to do a move, which is a 2 or 3 depending on which side you are, you can still do it, but it costs you 5 initiative)
The other thing I liked was the use of different dice types to resolve attacks. You typically roll 2d10 for shooting at another unit (say), but if you're in an adjacent hex, you roll 2d12. If you're too far away, you roll 2d8 or possibly 2d6. A nice way of making a KISS fire resolution system.
And lest anyone think that these mechanisms are a little too "gamey", let me reassure you that once the action got underway, everything save the fact I was trying desperately to advance my units along the road to capture objectives and the electric tension at the table as the melees unfolded in hexes completely eclipsed the mechanics of the game. In fact, the simple elegance of the system really made it transparent to the playing experience - I was focusing on what was happening on the board and not pausing to step out of my suspension of disbelief to figure out a CRT column shift.
I highly anticipated before BGG.Con, and do so even more now.
A surprise hit for me at BGG.Con 2010. Although there's nothing "new" or "innovative" here in terms of mechanics (it's all things we've seen before in Carcassonne and elsewhere), at the same time the game manages to charm you and become greater than the sum of its parts.
The North African map/expansion really only works well with East/WestFront, but the Spanish Civil War is a brilliant little gem of a game - it has all the complexity and flavour of the xFront system, but a small compact game that typically plays in an hour.
As others have noted, the MedFront part doesn't really shine on its own. My rating is mostly based on the Spanish Civil War portion.
The SCW game is an 8, the rest of MedFront gets a 6 - Rommel in the Desert is the block game of choice for North Africa.
Added note: While I have upgraded to *Front II across the board, I did buy the components for SCW from Columbia Games as it makes a great small wargame.
My rating for this item reflects not my interest/willingness to play Ogre as much as it reflects the amount of cool information that's in this sourcebook. If you're a big Ogre fan and get to play it a lot, you'd be remiss if you didn't try to find a copy.
This is one of the few games in my collection where newbies say "let's play again right now" at the end of a game. Heck, some non-newbies too. :-) A great addition to any collection and highly recommended.
Update 26 Dec 2006 - changed rating from 10 to 8. :-)
This game makes me even more hostile to the soulless Endeavor, because this game has soul.
The double ended action mechanic makes planning ahead essential, and the clash of priorities clamouring for ones attention means you'll always be juggling which of your vital few actions you have left need to be played next.