Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

War Stories: Red Storm» Forums » General

Subject: Impressions? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey guys,

I'm trying to get some of my customers excited about this game and explain the differences between a title like this and Heroes of Normandie. I feel like they cover a very similar niche in the war gaming hobby and don't want them to feel as if they are redundant.

Obviously Heroes has a more comical and light-hearted take on World War II tactical 'miniatures substitute' battles, but if any of the playtesters or other would like to add anything else aside from that I would really, really appreciate it. It has been some time since anyone has posted anything at all.

Plus it would help me sell more copies of this long overdue gem!

Thanks,

Nick
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Up Front fan | In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this | Combat Commander series fan | The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me! | Fields of Fire fan
badge
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is over a year old and I did design one of the scenarios (so take this for what it's worth) but here's something I wrote ...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1024886/play-testers-overvie...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess that is my issue. Most of the impressions are from about a year ago--I don't recall when the Tan implosion happened, but what I got out of it was that a lot of mechanics were still being worked on up until last fall.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You might have. To wait for the game to actually be released into the wild. I know I completely lost track of what was happening with all the changes. I am not even sure the game will even resemble what I pledged for. I think shipping is close, though, so the anticipation is building.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't have HoN, but did mess around with the PNP option offered during their KS campaign. Got to play War Stories:Liberty Road last winter (Feb , IIRC) with one of the playtesters at a local con.

HoN is WAY more granular than WS. Normandie has individual crew served weapons, machine guns, tossing individual hand grenades, etc. You can enter and fight in rooms of the buildings in HoN, can't do that in WS. WS has AT guns and machine guns as asset cards, it's tactical level combat, but not as tactical.

Where I feel WS EXCELLS is the whole limited intelligence aspect. Instead of one scenario card that lists everything for both sides, there are 2 scenario books, so you have NO IDEA what the other side has, or what their objective is. ...and with the blocks, even after the scenario starts, you STILL don't know what is on the other side. Oh sure, infantry blocks are smaller than vehicle blocks, so you know troops from tanks, but is that vehicle block a Puma or a Panther? Are you going to risk your Shermans by exposing a flank to that unknown block?

Here are my comments I made when I playtested WS:LR.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M King
United States
Wilder
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was involved in the last round of playtesting, so I think I got a good feeling for the game close to how it will play when released. I recently (it arrived on Saturday) bought HON, so I can only talk about it in terms of what I read in the rules, saw on videos, etc.

One of the biggest differences between the two games is the art style. HON has a distinctive, very cartoony style. This cartoony feel spills into the game itself. One of the first scenarios has you chasing down a dog. I'm wondering how that tone will go over with real wargamers. War Stories feels more like a traditional wargame. I think HON looks fun and I don't regret my purchase. Those components are amazing. But I'm worried that the wargamer in me is going to feel like I need a shower after playing it.

War Stories has a distinctive look as well, but instead of cartoonish excess, WS goes for a very clean minimalist look. I really like its restrained visual style.

I agree what was said above about the importance of fog of war. The use of blocks in a WWII tactical game is, I think, the first time it's been done. Though you know which units are vehicles are which are infantry, you don't know if you're looking at a halftrack or a tank, and that infantry unit could be a rifle squad or an anti-tank gun.

The hidden objectives also contribute to the fog of war. In one scenario I eked out a one point victory because I was able to sneak a unit off the board down an unguarded road.

For me, though, the best part of the game was how smoothly it flowed, and how much everything was baked into the units, maps, and combat result chits. I played it with a non-wargamer and he picked it right up. The systems become automatic very quickly, and you're able to focus on the tactical situation. You don't need to memorize movement rates through terrain, the map does it for you. You don't need to memorize combat modifiers, they're on the combat result chits. The "user interface" really fades away and you can just play. It created very memorable "stories" in the games I played, much more so than any of the other tactical war games I've played. And the system is so smooth, I think it bests even Conflict of Heroes in terms of ease of play.

I'd encourage anyone interested in WWII tactical warfare to give War Stories a look, especially those looking for a serious, but accessible, introduction. I can't wait to replace my playtester's kit with a production copy. Oh, and one other thing, I'm pretty sure there won't be a Chthulu expansion set. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Having played both "versions" of the game, they're pretty much the same. It's like the play aids have been moved around. The AFVs are much better with tjeir their ranges and anti-tank factors on them, instead of on a chart.

As has been said, the game flows really well and the fog.of war factors make adbances advances nail-biting affairss.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the information guys! A few last minute questions since we've brought this forum to life again.

For the playtesters, was the playing time still around 30 minutes?

And for the people that may know, was there any word of what kind of material the map sheets will be made out of, as well as the overlays?

It would be great if I could get Dirk's comments on this, but was the gameplay for scenarios tested with both hidden information(for that first time you play) and open knowledge of objectives(for the subsequent plays). This is not a consumable game like Risk Legacy, right? And I don't quite remember, but were troop load-outs customizable for each scenario? I'd like to give me customers some reassurances here.

Based on what I hear back about this I might be upping my store's pre-orders!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RabbitMan wrote:


For the playtesters, was the playing time still around 30 minutes?


More like an hour, maybe a bit more, but then, I was learning the game.


RabbitMan wrote:

And I don't quite remember, but were troop load-outs customizable for each scenario?


IIRC, the troop loadout is set, but there are variables as follows: reinforcements-- never sure if they will arrive or not, depending on where their card ends up in the events deck. If your reinforcements card is under the 'end of game' card, you'll never see them; and the other variable are the ambushes. Again, IIRC (based on 2 scenarios) your loadout is fixed, as is deployment, but if you have any ambushes, you can designate some or all of your troops to an ambush and their deployment is outside the standout set up area.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
StevenE Smooth Sailing...
United States
Torrance
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well... let's see if this response answers some questions... or generates more...


RabbitMan wrote:

...explain the differences between a title like this and Heroes of Normandie.


I have played both games.
My preference is for War Stories... but that in no way means I wouldn't play Heroes of Normandie given the chance.

Heroes of Normandie is played on a square grid
WS is played on a Hex field

HoN uses chits and tiles for units and status'
WS uses blocks for armor and infantry and chits for hidden elements

HoN has open information
WS has a lot of hidden information

Both games have a limitation of how many units can be ordered

Both games use a type of event deck

HoN players roll a die for combat results
WS uses a Combat Chit pull

In WS players need to be attentive ordering and moving units and then when setting the unit status (rotating the block)

Both games have objectives that are criteria for success/winning

Both games use tile overlays

In HoN unit facing is of little use
In WS unit facing is very important

I really like the art work of both games, unfortunately I find the iconography and unit stats in HoN to be distracting (I am not sure why because WS blocks have a lot going on too)

I find War Stories a more fulfilling encounter than HoN, enter bias here (I am a backer and play tester).

People say both games could use a miniatures face lift... In either case I am not sure how it could be done without the mini having to be over produced. I don't think one could just drop a miniature in place of a token or block and play normally.


[End the Comparison between WS and HoN]


Complexity
War Stories is a tactical game, not a strategic level game.
The game is not complex, after 4 or 5 plays one should not need to refer back to the rule book much.

Rules complexity... War Stories in my opinion fits between Memoir '44 and Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42


Scale
If I remember correctly...
1 hex is about 50m
1 turn is about 30-60secs


Playability
War Stories is a fun game
Not many units are fielded in each scenario, maybe 7 to 10 per side on average (Remember this is a tactical game, not strategic).
The lower number of units reduces playtime and analysis paralysis.
Only two types of units are used:
- Armor
- Infantry

Airpower and off board artillery are handled with event cards
Crewed weapons are maned by weapons teams

Basic Turn:
Player A selects order type
Orders specific units
Moves
(Player B may Ambush or OP fire if able)
Attack if able
Play event card if/when applicable (from Combat chit draw)
Recover units (change status) based on Order played


Player B selects order type
Orders specific units
Moves
(Player A may Ambush or OP fire if able)
Attack if able
Play event card if/when applicable (from Combat chit draw)
Recover units (change status) based on Order played


End Turn - Play end turn event card if no event occurd



Replayability
Because of the nature of hidden elements and unique setups/board entry one could immediately replay a scenario. Yes, one will know the units and capabilities of the enemy but not their placements.

This game has:
True Fog-of-War
Hidden/Secret board elements that can be placed differently
Hidden unit placements - One can only tell infantry from armor
Initially (first play) unknown attacker entry zones
An event deck that is constructed at the start of every scenario
Unknown placement of end-of-game card (usually 1 of the last 3 cards)

I play tested the scenarios many times so can remember much... but over time (months maybe) one will likely forget some of the details.


Play Time
Until you get proficient at the rules and setting up I would count on an hour to play a scenario.
After 10 plays I can see 30mins being realistic.
It really depends on how much a player will analyze possibilities.


Troop Load-outs/Customization
Units are pretty much static
Capabilities are built into the type of unit being fielded.
Weapons Teams are the only unit that can be customized and that is only through selecting which crewed weapons they get
Another customization is selecting which units can be set to Ambush - noted in the scenario setup
Some event cards will offer an upgrade or tactical event but don't hold your hopes up too high.


RonA and I played WS at an LA con earlier this year.
While playing a WS-LR scenario he moved a PzIV (IIRC) through the field of fire, a break in the woods, of my Sherman FireFly, the look on his face when I engaged him was priceless. Fog of War for sure...

The only real (mild) complaint I could throw at War Stories is that it is not a solo friendly game... It was not designed to be.
It can be played solo but much of the fog will be lost.

On the plus side... I see a lot of potential for expansions and scenario building. I am looking forward to what the community can come up with.

How long until we get a Pacific themed edition? whistle

[Edits.... many for clarity]
8 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Nicholas,

Steven's overview is pretty much on-point in terms of the play and flow of War Stories. I'm getting private questions similar to yours - especially from people who played the original, pre-summer 2012, version of the game as well as people who pre-ordered some three years ago. I may make a post that tries to outline the evolution of the design, something I tried to do in very brief form in the Designer's Notes of the rules.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice to hear back from you Dirk, and thank you very much Steve for the exhaustive comparison!

I think the whole community would love to see a new design overview, and personally I think it would be a great to have one article or post to link to in order to show off this new game's mechanics.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So how are the scenarios doing? Are they pre-constructed or randomly generated?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nicholas, I am clumsy taking pictures so that kind of more immersive and multimedia overview will need to wait for our How to Play video.

Lawrence, the scenarios initially are pre-constructed.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:
Nicholas, I am clumsy taking pictures so that kind of more immersive and multimedia overview will need to wait for our How to Play video.

Lawrence, the scenarios initially are pre-constructed.


Initially? Please elaborate!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
StevenE Smooth Sailing...
United States
Torrance
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The scenarios are designed and have been play tested.

One will find it pretty easy to alter existing scenarios or to create new ones... I am hoping "initially" means there will eventually be a scenario editor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RabbitMan wrote:
dknemeyer wrote:
Nicholas, I am clumsy taking pictures so that kind of more immersive and multimedia overview will need to wait for our How to Play video.

Lawrence, the scenarios initially are pre-constructed.


Initially? Please elaborate!


Steven's interpretation is correct: I am hopeful that the game gets enough play that a points system can be created to allow infinite replayability and customization.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:

Steven's interpretation is correct: I am hopeful that the game gets enough play that a points system can be created to allow infinite replayability and customization.


Yes, yes, YES! This would be great.

More MAPs, especially historic maps (even if they are just jgps we have to print ourseles) would also be very welcome.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So I would like to dig a little bit further--should I market the scenarios included as consumable and basically one shot affairs due to the element of surprise being gone, or as replayable despite the fact that each player knows what the other is trying to accomplish?

I only ask this because side exclusive scenario books is such a rare game design choice that I am led to believe it was done for a signicant reason.

One mechanic I absolutely adord in Combat Commander was the use of randomized objectives, that in a small way seems to mimic what is being done here. If players are expected to tweak scenarios to customize them once played, would I be wrong to believe there was an included guideline of how this is to be done?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RabbitMan wrote:
So I would like to dig a little bit further--should I market the scenarios included as consumable and basically one shot affairs due to the element of surprise being gone, or as replayable despite the fact that each player knows what the other is trying to accomplish?

I only ask this because side exclusive scenario books is such a rare game design choice that I am led to believe it was done for a signicant reason.

One mechanic I absolutely adord in Combat Commander was the use of randomized objectives, that in a small way seems to mimic what is being done here. If players are expected to tweak scenarios to customize them once played, would I be wrong to believe there was an included guideline of how this is to be done?


They are not single play. After the first play they will play like most tactical games: all players know the force disposition and objectives for both sides. We started going down the path of a back-up system like CC for randomized objectives but finally decided we needed to ship the game since it was so late and left that on the drawing board. It is easy enough to add later as a posted rules enhancement or part of an expansion. But to be explicit: they can be played many times but it is only on the first play you get the near-total fog of war.

Of course, if you play them all and both games you will likely forget details. So there could be big fog of war on repeated plays depending on how good people's memories are and when last a scenario was played.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I always heard that the sign of a good designer is knowing when to stop.

Thanks for the answers Dirk and co., I can't wait to get this in my hands!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just chiming in here to report a sighting of the game in the wild. Unfortunately for me I will probably not get to look it over until Sunday.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Coelho
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sick! Let us know what you think!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M King
United States
Wilder
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
martimer wrote:
Just chiming in here to report a sighting of the game in the wild. Unfortunately for me I will probably not get to look it over until Sunday.


Was this a kickstarter copy that came in the mail? A copy at your FLGS? Purchased online? Details, please!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
oneoldgamer wrote:
martimer wrote:
Just chiming in here to report a sighting of the game in the wild. Unfortunately for me I will probably not get to look it over until Sunday.


Was this a kickstarter copy that came in the mail? A copy at your FLGS? Purchased online? Details, please!
I kickstarted and am a pre-order from the old days! It arrived by USPS.

After a total upheaval of my anticipated evening I managed to read the rules. On a first pass, I am not sure I know exactly how to play. Lots of new concepts and lots of things to remember as a result. I am a long time board gamer, so the game does not come across as complicated, just very different from what I have seen before. I am looking forward to playing and will possibly get to push units around on Sunday. I have no idea when I will/might get to play against an actual opponent.

It is very likely that I will have to flow chart some of the combat and damage routines to keep track of things - This is a comment on my capacity to remember things like this. It looks pretty easy, but there are some subtle differences in how some things work and those will trip me up.

I am not sure how swarming is supposed to work. I get the basic concepts but the execution of results has me a tad baffled. Probably easily cleared up with a simple play through.

Given how much handling the result chits will see, I am thinking of ways to prolong their useful life. So far, preservation in varathane (or similar) is leading.

It is my opinion that the map art looks great. I am sure some will disagree with me.

My questions after one read through with no components handy:

If a vehicle with a Crew Injured result moves, is that movement reduced? The grammar in the result is open to interpretation.

For opportunity fire, does all movement have to be hex by hex (even for area movement) so any opportunity fire can declared, or when using area movement is any possible opportunity fire done when the moving unit reaches its final hex in the area?

When reorganizing after activating units, may any units be reorganized or just units activated that turn? Or is it that only units that did not activate that turn be reorganized?

So, after all these years, it looks good enough to play and holds promise of being fun. It is not a simulation, but looks like a competitive game. I have not tried any of the scenarios.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.