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Khyber Rifles: Britannia in Afghanistan» Forums » General

Subject: The Battle of Cabul rss

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Caleb
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I just recently got this game and have now solitaired it twice. Unfortunately the rules are a bit of a mess (particularly the scenario-specific rules; the system rules are pretty straightforward). I have a LOT of questions about supply and panic that I've posted here and might put on CSW (once I can remember my password to that site). In addition, the game seems prohibitively hard for the British. All Akbar Khan has to do is get into Cabul, which he should be able to do in the first turn or two. Then he can keep a large force there and win a few more battles/forts (not hard given how spread out the British are at start) and just sit there waiting out the end of the game. The Brits will have to assault the forts to try to take them back to avoid losing to Cabul's 5 points for the Afghans plus however many Brits are in the recruit box (a source of rules confusion, btw) vs a max of 6 points (and that's generous) for the British for holding Kandahar and 1 or 2 other forts, plus Khyber and getting the Civilians home. Akber gets 5 for Cabul plus whatever he kills of the British, for a bear minimum of 5 but likely at least 7/8 or more, especially if the British are breaking themselves trying to take back Cabul (they'll be out of supply when trying so each unit will roll 1 fewer die).

HOWEVER....in the game I just solitaired I think I saw the most improbable storming of Cabul I'm ever likely to see:

British army with 15 strength points (reduced to 9 due to being out of supply for this combat) attacked Cabul which was defended by Akbar Khan and a total of 20 strength points. I allowed Panic results against the defenders per the map even though the system rules say defenders in forts can ignore panic (yet another source of rules inconsistencies). The Afghans even got to fire first.

Through an incredibly improbable series of rolls, the Afghan units were all eliminated and 2 3-strength British units raised the Union Jack above Cabul. Akbar Khan was killed and any hope of an Afghan victory completely dashed - they still held 3 forts but that's all and though there were at least 8 Brits in the dead pile, all they'd have to do is recruit and avoid battle a bit and earn at least 8-10 points easy.

I gave up on the game though because there's no way those rolls are going to happen more than 1 time in 10 (100?) and if the Brits had lost that battle they had absolutely no way to win. It was the 6th turn and sufficient recruits could not be raised and gotten to Cabul in time for another assault before the end of the game. I think this game is impossible for the British to win barring completely fortuitous die rolling.

I'll probably play it again sometime, and I would love to play opposed to see if I'm just not getting something, but between the multiple rules questions (including questions around the victory conditions!), apparent imbalance, and vagaries of the cards, I'm feeling like this is not a particularly worthy title. Can't say I wasn't warned about Decision Games!
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John Conner
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Please don't let this one folio series game darken your opinion of Decision Games.
At any rate, I too own this game and am befuddled by the rules/ victory conditions. It is, in my opinion, one of the poorest folio games they have put out.

Try the Caesar series of folio games. I have Caesars War and it is very fun and doesn't have the ambiguities and rule questions that Khyber Rifles has.
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Caleb
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Stigmatador wrote:
Please don't let this one folio series game darken your opinion of Decision Games.
At any rate, I too own this game and am befuddled by the rules/ victory conditions. It is, in my opinion, one of the poorest folio games they have put out.

Try the Caesar series of folio games. I have Caesars War and it is very fun and doesn't have the ambiguities and rule questions that Khyber Rifles has.


Thanks for your answers to my rules questions in the other thread. I'm disappointed because I love this historical period (reading Hopkirk's The Great Game alongside playing this is pretty cool) but it is such a jumble.

I own Loos in the F&M series and enjoy that quite a bit - almost no rules problems and an interesting scenario. I was going to write off the mini game series and concentrate on the Folio series but maybe I'll try Caesar's War first.

Have you played the Belisarius one? That one actually interests me more than the Caesar one from a subject matter perspective.
 
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John Conner
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No, I haven't played the Belisarius one. But Caesars War I play all the time and it is fun.
I was thinking on getting the Custer mini game as I've heard it is good too, but I have a bunch of playtesting to do for Decision and might not have the time for Custer.

Glad I was of some help.
 
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