Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Phantom Leader Deluxe» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Very Preliminary First Impressions from a Phantom Leader Fan rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Scott Key
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This "review" is based on one play and assumes some knowledge of DVGs Air Leader games. It is not a full review.

I finally received my copy of Phantom Leader Deluxe this morning. I punched and organized everything then put together a squadron. I've played all the campaigns in Phantom Leader at least twice apiece as USN & as USAF, so initially I thought I'd take one of the established campaigns and run it through using the slightly revised rules. But then... I decided what every PL veteran is going to decide.... Cuba 1962. Who can say no to a new campaign?

In the end I created a squadron that is 80% F-105s with an F-100 & an F-5 in the squadron Leader role ( not that that matters in PLD). I almost never fly Phantoms for some reason. So I have lots of SOPs.

My first mission was against target #16 Barracks which is soft. I'll spare you the details but I flew low to avoid the numerous SA-2s and it turns out I was way under armed to deal with the 4 bandits.

First impressions:
1. Playing all 5 turns makes missions a nail biter, no more skedaddling when the heat is on or you've smoked the target. It certainly increases the narrative effect. I was screaming in fast and low over many sites with at least 3 bandits on my tail at all times. My flight dropped every one of our M117R bombs on the target but somehow left it standing, though damaged. Mig 19s and Mig 17s followed us out over the gulf until the F-5 downed one with his guns then we shot home.
2. The flight path mechanic adds a nice new twist to things especially when mated with the new attack angle.
3. The components are all at least a match in quality to Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations if not a little nicer. Definitely a step up from the original Phantom Leader. The box is big, bombproof, and roomy.
4. Lots of nice new Target cards, but they are all new in a way since damaging the target now counts for something.
5. Replayability is definitely going to be up there with Hornet Leader.
6. If this mission was any indication, then this game will be just as challenging as the original. I have never found that PL got easy once I hit my stride. There are too many variables to feel like you've ever got the game "figured out". The new game seems like it will continue that. Stand-off weapons are few and expensive and bandits are numerous. Going high will get you killed but so will going low.

In short a great game has, as advertised, gotten better. As a first Air Leader game or as an upgrade you will not be disappointed. The game is a little more straight forward than Verssen's masterpiece Thunderbolt Apache Leader which might make it a better intro than that game. It's also different enough from Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations in terms of tactics and challenges to make it worthwhile for owners of that game.

I'm tired so now I'll wrap this ramble up
33 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Very good summary report. I'm quite tempted.

Quick question, the list on the BGG entry doesn't include it but somewhere I read that the F-102 has been added to a/c represented in the game. Is this true? Thanks for any info provided.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Key
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes. Pretty limited in terms of Phantom Leader.if you go to DVG games and download the rulebook it's listed in the back.After 4 missions I am finding the new a/c to be of limited utility.

Edit, added image
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
No No No Sheep
Russia
St Petersburg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scott Pasha wrote:
This "review" is based on one play and assumes some knowledge of DVGs Air Leader games. It is not a full review.

I finally received my copy of Phantom Leader Deluxe this morning. I punched and organized everything then put together a squadron. I've played all the campaigns in Phantom Leader at least twice apiece as USN & as USAF, so initially I thought I'd take one of the established campaigns and run it through using the slightly revised rules. But then... I decided what every PL veteran is going to decide.... Cuba 1962. Who can say no to a new campaign?

In the end I created a squadron that is 80% F-105s with an F-100 & an F-5 in the squadron Leader role ( not that that matters in PLD). I almost never fly Phantoms for some reason. So I have lots of SOPs.

My first mission was against target #16 Barracks which is soft. I'll spare you the details but I flew low to avoid the numerous SA-2s and it turns out I was way under armed to deal with the 4 bandits.

First impressions:
1. Playing all 5 turns makes missions a nail biter, no more skedaddling when the heat is on or you've smoked the target. It certainly increases the narrative effect. I was screaming in fast and low over many sites with at least 3 bandits on my tail at all times. My flight dropped every one of our M117R bombs on the target but somehow left it standing, though damaged. Mig 19s and Mig 17s followed us out over the gulf until the F-5 downed one with his guns then we shot home.
2. The flight path mechanic adds a nice new twist to things especially when mated with the new attack angle.
3. The components are all at least a match in quality to Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations if not a little nicer. Definitely a step up from the original Phantom Leader. The box is big, bombproof, and roomy.
4. Lots of nice new Target cards, but they are all new in a way since damaging the target now counts for something.
5. Replayability is definitely going to be up there with Hornet Leader.
6. If this mission was any indication, then this game will be just as challenging as the original. I have never found that PL got easy once I hit my stride. There are too many variables to feel like you've ever got the game "figured out". The new game seems like it will continue that. Stand-off weapons are few and expensive and bandits are numerous. Going high will get you killed but so will going low.

In short a great game has, as advertised, gotten better. As a first Air Leader game or as an upgrade you will not be disappointed. The game is a little more straight forward than Verssen's masterpiece Thunderbolt Apache Leader which might make it a better intro than that game. It's also different enough from Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations in terms of tactics and challenges to make it worthwhile for owners of that game.

I'm tired so now I'll wrap this ramble up


Did SA (situational awareness that can make slow pilot shoot first) exist in PLD
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Key
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No SA.

There are now some Navy planes (E-1 & E-2)that give something similar. You can roll to allow a slow pilot to go fast if you have one of those planes in your flight.

This is new to the deluxe game and I like this little taste of SA.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
No No No Sheep
Russia
St Petersburg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scott Pasha wrote:
No SA.

There are now some Navy planes (E-1 & E-2)that give something similar. You can roll to allow a slow pilot to go fast if you have one of those planes in your flight.

This is new to the deluxe game and I like this little taste of SA.


thats great to hear.. that kind of limited SA is great for its time (vietname war era).

thanks
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Key
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, it blew me away when I first saw the numbers of US a/c downed in Vietnam. No HUDs back then.

I'm almost finished with Cuba 62 medium campaign and I'd say the Deluxe edition is a WINNER.

Buy it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.