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Preamble

Note on my nostalgia reviews: I attribute my adult love of board games in part to a ‘golden era’ in my teenage years playing games with my best mate James ‘Big Guy’ King in Auckland New Zealand. They were good times, long summer days playing cricket, drinking far too much coke and hours of board gaming, in a time when I never had to worry too much about where the time was going. There are four games that really defined those years for me, and I would like to do them service by providing a review of why they were important in my gaming development, and why they may be appealing for others. These are not going to be rules-heavy reviews, more dissections of why I like the game and why it may appeal to you, whilst also providing a personal context that I often find sorely lacking in some BGG content. The other three games forthcoming in the series are Blackbeard, Merchant of Venus, and History of the World.

Introduction

BFA was one of the first wargames I ever played growing up as a teenager. I, like many gamers found my way into war gaming via initially playing Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Battle, Space Hulk and other similar games (probably starting with Heroquest). When Games Workshop released a couple of war games in the early 90s, these came to my attention in Auckland New Zealand, where I used to play cards and wargames at a little store called Pendragon Games at the bottom of Queen St, downtown. Interestingly, the shop is now a karaoke bar, my how things change over time!!


My good friend James and I played this game on many an afternoon, interestingly we rarely used the Chaos Attack expansion, we preferred to play just the default version, and I have to say we shared victories fairly evenly. I have fond memories of the game and look forward to introducing my children to this game at the right moment.

Why was Battle for Armageddon so special for me personally?

As a teenager, I had a limited attention span for overly complex games. This has improved with time, but back then if anything was remotely complex or had a number of dependant rules, this often meant my interest would easily wane. BFA was a simple game, with some dice based luck, but also a reasonable amount of thought involved in how you set up and manouevered your armies across the board. War is a mixture of luck and strategy as is this game.

I also think the linkage to the Warhammer universe made the game a little more palatable as the races and battles had some extant meaning to us both. I think in the end, as the title of the review suggests, this was a game that you could play in 90 minutes and feel like you had played something meaningful. I do remember some of the special cards could influence the game heavily, especially the Orc Rocket card, I seem to remember suddenly rolling one’s a lot when I played this card!!

Finally, I think this was one of the first asymmetric games that I really got into, i.e. that the human player actually starts at quite a disadvantage and has to hold out until his reinforcements arrive. For a non balanced start, the game played in a surprisingly balanced way, and it was quite fun to play either as Orcs or Humans – I think we saw winning with the Humans as being more of an achievement. Overall, the game was well designed and had very good replay value.

I think this really was my war gaming ‘gateway’ game and one of the games of my youth that I look back on most fondly, it is for that reason that it made it into my nostalgia reviews grouping.

I look forward to playing this game with my own two children. Whilst I’d love to think my wife Nicole would play, it would be a stretch to put this on my couples geeklist I think!!

If you haven’t tried this game before, get yourself a copy (or make one), and provided you don’t love too much complexity you won’t be disappointed.

Summary of why I love BFA:

• Fun war game with relatively easy to digest rules
• An asymmetric game that actually makes it work to its advantage
• Some luck involved
• Great memories of my youth
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Ruben Rigillo
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Guy Mullarkey wrote:
Preamble

Note on my nostalgia reviews: I attribute my adult love of board games in part to a ‘golden era’ in my teenage years playing games with my best mate James ‘Big Guy’ King in Auckland New Zealand. They were good times, long summer days playing cricket, drinking far too much coke and hours of board gaming, in a time when I never had to worry too much about where the time was going.


Those great days

Very nice personal review!
Being a WH40K (Rogue Trader) fan, I should give it a try.
Thanks!
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Luke mccredie
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Yes very much agree. But my teenage years were in the 80's bad hair , bad overall style. But gaming golden age for sure, computers had not evolved enought to make gaming on a PC challenging.
playing BFA was great and a definite challenge for the humans, but enjoyable very very well balanced game. Have you checked out the other board games by WD
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