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1944: Race to the Rhine» Forums » General

Subject: How does this game feel? Wargame vs. Semi-coop? rss

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Jonathan Franklin
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I have read the rules and some of the reviews, but when playing, does this feel like a logistics exercise or is there player interaction that is beneficial to one player and hinders the others?

In other words, how does the interaction feel when playing? Incidental hindering of others or something stronger?

Thanks.
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grandslam wrote:
I have read the rules and some of the reviews, but when playing, does this feel like a logistics exercise or is there player interaction that is beneficial to one player and hinders the others?

In other words, how does the interaction feel when playing? Incidental hindering of others or something stronger?

Only played once (I think we're playing again tonight), so take this with a grain of salt, but we were definitely trying to hose each other with our Axis reaction phase (where you either place tougher Axis resistance in a player's path, or remove one of their control markers, which can wreck their position). There was also a lot of arguing/moaning in the "why are you doing that to me; you should do this to him!" vein.

Also, the guy who won last week was the first to grab the victory cities which his opponents could've grabbed, so I think the race for those guys will be even more aggressive this time. When the winner ends with 5-6 points, a 1-point swing is a big deal!

(Also, placing tougher Axis resistance in a player's path isn't always a good thing; if you can see they're in good position to deal with it, you may want that potential victory point farther away, out of their reach.)

EDIT: I can grammar real good.
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It's a race game with logistics. The axis forces are bumps in the road to account for. Nothing wargamey and nothing cooperative unless it's a 3 player game and 2 of you are cooperating to hose the third player...
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Gordon J
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lorna wrote:
It's a race game with logistics. The axis forces are bumps in the road to account for. Nothing wargamey and nothing cooperative unless it's a 3 player game and 2 of you are cooperating to hose the third player...


That's what I wanted to hear. I'll be picking this up on Friday.
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Manhattan Reject
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Played it with two people new to the game a while ago. Short answer they both loved it and would love to pick up a copy. It was not the usual game they would go for.

The game is basically a race with each person trying to transport supplies to their front line units, enabling them to move and battle forwards. But the logistics of passing the supplies forward between these units and having enough to keep moving forwards works wonderfully. Euro war game would sum it up for me, I wouldn't say it is a semi-co-op, our generals in the game tend to do the best they can to get at each other vis the Axis counter turns . There is combat with the axis units but it is just swop resources for victory.

But ... don't let that put you off! Thinking about it at a very basic level (and I know I will be shot down for this!) it handles combat at the same level as the coin series. The exchange of resources for victory over enemy units makes thematic and logical sense.

Players race to take control (and gain the medals from) a few towns that have the potential for either player to own outright. Each turn you forward the position of the axis and this in itself is a difficult choice. Do you bring them forward in front of your opponent hoping to hinder their forward march, or do you attempt to sidestep them and cut off their supply lines as they stretch for the rhine. Also successfully combating enemies brings your generals medals (victory points if no-one reaches the rhine) and these in turn can be used/spent as influence to call in airbourne landings giving you that extra edge and chance of reaching the rhine. So putting axis units in front of your enemy doesn't always hinder, it can help them if they have the logistical set up to deliver the correct supplies to their front line!

Their are lots of decisions to be made in what is a relatively short game. Every game I have played so far has ended without reaching the rhine (yes we are poor at it!) and we all wanted to play on. Always a sign of a good game!
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lorna wrote:
Nothing wargamey

Name another Euro where you get to show off your knowledge of Panther versions!
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EGG Head
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kuhrusty wrote:
lorna wrote:
Nothing wargamey

Name another Euro where you get to show off your knowledge of Panther versions!
hehe you got me there, of course I'm not even sure what Panthers are besides big kitties
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Jim Keenan
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Manhattan Reject wrote:
Every game I have played so far has ended without reaching the rhine (yes we are poor at it!) and we all wanted to play on. Always a sign of a good game!


We are having the same experience with the game here.

Despite our ineptitude, the ability to score a medals victory over your competitors leaves us satisfied in the end. And then we want to play again, just to tweak our strategies and see if we can cross that river. And of course, should someone cross that river, the game's gonna taunt them with the challenge of doing it again with a different general.

The whole of this game is absolutely greater than the sum of it's parts.
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Gordon J
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Keenanja wrote:
Manhattan Reject wrote:
Every game I have played so far has ended without reaching the rhine (yes we are poor at it!) and we all wanted to play on. Always a sign of a good game!


We are having the same experience with the game here.

Despite our ineptitude, the ability to score a medals victory over your competitors leaves us satisfied in the end. And then we want to play again, just to tweak our strategies and see if we can cross that river. And of course, should someone cross that river, the game's gonna taunt them with the challenge of doing it again with a different general.

The whole of this game is absolutely greater than the sum of it's parts.


I'm playing through a game right now and I am surprised at how hard your choices are to make: do I get supplies, do I move supplies, do I move my Corps and take that city before my opponents place a German reserve on it? How far should I move?

Is General Brad the hardest to play? He has no limited supply places, where Monty and Patton at least have the chance to help their supple problems by getting limited supply cities.
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patton55 wrote:
Is General Brad the hardest to play? He has no limited supply places, where Monty and Patton at least have the chance to help their supple problems by getting limited supply cities.

Seems like he's gotta make hay while his supply track position is better than the others'. He won our first game, but was last in our second game (same players/same positions); in the second game, Patton & Monty got those first victory cities which can go to them or Brad, and I think that made a big difference. I think Brad's gotta take one of those to stay in the game.
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Michał Ozon
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kuhrusty wrote:
patton55 wrote:
Is General Brad the hardest to play? He has no limited supply places, where Monty and Patton at least have the chance to help their supple problems by getting limited supply cities.

Seems like he's gotta make hay while his supply track position is better than the others'.


+ Brad's supply base is the closest to the Rhine.
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ozy_pl wrote:
kuhrusty wrote:
patton55 wrote:
Is General Brad the hardest to play? He has no limited supply places, where Monty and Patton at least have the chance to help their supple problems by getting limited supply cities.

Seems like he's gotta make hay while his supply track position is better than the others'.


+ Brad's supply base is the closest to the Rhine.


I didn't notice that. Good point.

So, if a Corps is fully supplied (Gas + Ammo + Food) it doesn't matter if it has a chain of controlled spaces back to a supply base, right? I'm so used to other wargames where you always have to trace a line of spaces back to a supply source. (Of course, if you want to get more supples, then that means you are screwed.)
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Michał Ozon
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Yes, but you need to have such line for an automatic victory.
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patton55 wrote:
So, if a Corps is fully supplied (Gas + Ammo + Food) it doesn't matter if it has a chain of controlled spaces back to a supply base, right? I'm so used to other wargames where you always have to trace a line of spaces back to a supply source. (Of course, if you want to get more supples, then that means you are screwed.)

When I was running through a game solitaire to learn the rules, Brad got effectively eliminated this way: all his corps were forward, counterattacks cut them off, and then after a supply check they were grounded and/or didn't have enough gas to restore a route for their trucks. "Oops."
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David Janik-Jones
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grandslam wrote:
In other words, how does the interaction feel when playing? Incidental hindering of others or something stronger?

Two games completed now and loving it. A lot.

Before I toss my $0.02 re: your initial question, let me state up front that I really dislike games (like Agricola) where there is "absolute choice denial" mechanic ... I find that game mechanics that permit one player to absolutely block an action, because only one choice of that specific action is allowed per phase/turn, are especially punative in games where there are mathematically obvious clear choices that have to be made at the beginning of the game to prevent runaway leaders.

Now, more limited player interaction that you can get around, compensate for, pay more to do, or need to balance your play (e.g., El Grande, Le Havre, Age of Industry, Troyes, Power Grid, Glen More, most wargames as a genre) is great, but if there's absolute choice denial in a game I most likely won't play. I personally don't find that fun. I'm not saying it isn't welcome and well-done in some other games, but if I wanted real player interaction in its purest form I'd go all in and play Diplomacy. That all said ...

1944: Race to the Rhine offers that second type, more limited player interference, and done in an elegant way ... your end of turn allows you to build or enhance defensive lines of German units in the way of the other players that will be more difficult (but not impossible) for them to get through. Or counter-attack unsupported lines of forward movement by other players and slow them down by cutting off their supplies. Both of these enemy actions take an effort to overcome ... more resources, planning, or change of planned movement, for example ... but do not absolutely block that player's effort to move toward the Rhine. And it takes some thought to most effectively slow the other players in terms of where to best place German markers, for example, to allow you to keep going but gently hinder the other two generals.

I really like the way player interaction is handled in the game based on the types of games I like. I'm digging this game a lot. It may even move up from an "8" to a rare "9" rating for me after a few more plays.
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Dick moves we see every game (all 3-player):

- taking all but one truck. Now someone's going to have to waste a "take trucks" action for one stupid truck, and it sure isn't going to be the guy who just took trucks.

- deliberate flank non-support. If one guy runs forward and grabs an objective city, the other guy who could have taken that will never link up on that side, leaving that side exposed to counterattack, meaning the first player has to leave a corps guarding it for the rest of the game. (In tonight's game, as Brad, I grabbed the closest two objective cities, so Monty stayed on the far left edge of the board, Patton stayed on the far right edge of the board, and two of my three corps had to park there to hold those VPs. We have never seen anything like a unified front moving forward; it's always 3 isolated prongs.)

- resource hogging: "I don't exactly need ammo, but you do, so I'm taking ammo." In tonight's game, in maybe the second turn, Monty used his 2-extra-supplies power to take the last of the food, and so for almost the entire game, there was no food in the general supply. At the supply check, whoever triggered it would take food with their next action, and the next player would take food twice. And then push for the next supply check to hose the guy who wasn't choking on food.

Unsurprisingly, we have never made it into Germany, and find it difficult to imagine how that's even possible.
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Gordon J
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I don't understand how someone could or would want to hog the food. Your Corps can only hold a certain amount of supplies, and if you have a bunch of food then you are taking up space that could be holding Ammo and Fuel.

This game is hard enough without trying to screw your neighbors on purpose. Why anyone would want to leave one truck, you are kind of screwing yourself, since in a turn or two you might just need that one truck.

Next time why don't the three of you have a nice big group hug before you start and see if any of you can actually make it into Germany.


I've played this three times, and at least for now, I see a significant disadvantage in playing General Brad. Not having access to any limited supply bases on the way hurts Brad I think.
 
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patton55 wrote:
Why anyone would want to leave one truck, you are kind of screwing yourself, since in a turn or two you might just need that one truck.

No way! We all start with 6 trucks; say we've all placed trucks once, so Monty has 4, Brad has 3, and Patton has 4. (Actually I think the first time it happened last night, Patton had placed trucks twice, so had 2 left.) Monty takes 5 of the 6 trucks from the pool, bringing him to his limit of 9; there's no way he's going to need to take trucks before either of the other two guys, especially since he can drop supplies into Dieppe, and the other two guys are now trying to squeeze each other into being the one who takes one stupid truck.

patton55 wrote:
Next time why don't the three of you have a nice big group hug before you start

What! Why would I do that; those guys are jerks!
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kuhrusty wrote:
patton55 wrote:
Why anyone would want to leave one truck, you are kind of screwing yourself, since in a turn or two you might just need that one truck.

No way! We all start with 6 trucks; say we've all placed trucks once, so Monty has 4, Brad has 3, and Patton has 4. (Actually I think the first time it happened last night, Patton had placed trucks twice, so had 2 left.) Monty takes 5 of the 6 trucks from the pool, bringing him to his limit of 9; there's no way he's going to need to take trucks before either of the other two guys, especially since he can drop supplies into Dieppe, and the other two guys are now trying to squeeze each other into being the one who takes one stupid truck.

patton55 wrote:
Next time why don't the three of you have a nice big group hug before you start

What! Why would I do that; those guys are jerks!


Man, I never thought about how badly you can screw your neighbors in this game. And I thought just placing the Axis marker in your opponents side was bad enough

I think I'd only purposely do the truck-screwage thing later in the game, when it looks like someone is running away with the game.
 
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patton55 wrote:
I don't understand how someone could or would want to hog the food. Your Corps can only hold a certain amount of supplies, and if you have a bunch of food then you are taking up space that could be holding Ammo and Fuel.

This game is hard enough without trying to screw your neighbors on purpose. Why anyone would want to leave one truck, you are kind of screwing yourself, since in a turn or two you might just need that one truck.

Next time why don't the three of you have a nice big group hug before you start and see if any of you can actually make it into Germany.


I've played this three times, and at least for now, I see a significant disadvantage in playing General Brad. Not having access to any limited supply bases on the way hurts Brad I think.


You don't put the food on your corps! You leave it sitting in your supply base - taunting the other players with how well fed your units could be.
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Jon_1066 wrote:
patton55 wrote:
I don't understand how someone could or would want to hog the food. Your Corps can only hold a certain amount of supplies, and if you have a bunch of food then you are taking up space that could be holding Ammo and Fuel.

This game is hard enough without trying to screw your neighbors on purpose. Why anyone would want to leave one truck, you are kind of screwing yourself, since in a turn or two you might just need that one truck.

Next time why don't the three of you have a nice big group hug before you start and see if any of you can actually make it into Germany.


I've played this three times, and at least for now, I see a significant disadvantage in playing General Brad. Not having access to any limited supply bases on the way hurts Brad I think.


You don't put the food on your corps! You leave it sitting in your supply base - taunting the other players with how well fed your units could be.


Good point.

Still though, it's kind of like the game Agricola, sure you can screw over your opponent by blocking a space, but then your wasting an action doing it and hurting yourself.
 
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