Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Amateurs to Arms!» Forums » General

Subject: Complexity of this game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Garry Stevens
Australia
Gunghalin
ACT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi All:
I'm a big fan of CDGs and looking for my next purchase. So far it looks like either Unhappy King Charles or Amateurs to Arms.

Can anyone give me an indication of the complexity of this? I'm especially wary of games with a lot of finicky rules or exceptions in the rules. As a guide to my own tastes: I find Hannibal, For the People, Washington's War, Twilight Struggle, Shifting Sands easily digestible. Kingdom of Heaven is borderline digestible, Wilderness War is borderline indigestible, and I've never been able to even start on Clash of Monarchs.

Garry
[Posted to both Unhappy King Charles and Amateurs to Arms]
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Jelley
United Kingdom
Hungerford
Berkshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DrGarry wrote:
Hi All:
I'm a big fan of CDGs and looking for my next purchase. So far it looks like either Unhappy King Charles or Amateurs to Arms.

Can anyone give me an indication of the complexity of this? I'm especially wary of games with a lot of finicky rules or exceptions in the rules. As a guide to my own tastes: I find Hannibal, For the People, Washington's War, Twilight Struggle, Shifting Sands easily digestible. Kingdom of Heaven is borderline digestible, Wilderness War is borderline indigestible, and I've never been able to even start on Clash of Monarchs.

Garry
[Posted to both Unhappy King Charles and Amateurs to Arms]


Both games have innovative rules, unlike those of standard CDGs, which makes them hard to compare. I don't recall any real problems with the rules in either case. ATA would have more to digest, but it is the better game. I would say it was easier than FTP and KOH. UKC would be of the same difficulty as Shifting Sands. I prefer ATA to UKC, it is the bigger, more expensive game and has the better components. UKC has the GMT standard map and pieces, but ATA goes the extra mile. Also I have returned to replay ATA several times, twice as much as UKC.

Philip
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
flag msg tools
Dear Geek: Please insert the wittiest comment you can think of in this text pop-up. Then times it by seven.
badge
The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you had no problems with For the People's riverine rules, none of the concepts in these games will be difficult for you to grasp. Pick the one that interests you the most. They are both wonderful games and both of them belong in any CDG wargamer's library (provided you like the historical period, of course).

UKC's mechanical differences are primarily driven by how you recruit units, resolve battles and sieges, and how the game models fog of war. Unit recruitment is different for each player and there is both a recruitment phase as well as recruitment during the card-play phases. Battles are rarely one-sided affairs and bringing the enemy to decisive action is difficult (as it should be). Winning a "decisive battle" typically takes lots of lop-sided luck (die rolls) or an obstinate enemy who doesn't want to disperse (typically a player not playing optimally). The fog of war element and leader interactions take a bit of getting used to (tracked off-board so that only the leader counter is on the map). You are never sure exactly how strong the enemy is, other than by judging how fast they move on the map. Otherwise, if you want to know, you have to engage them in battle.

The game is certainly more complex than other designs insofar as the procedures used can be disorienting. For instance, units can be dispersed (go back to the recruitment pool) or eliminated (out of the game forever). Early on, it will take you a bit of rules-looking.

The two stickiest points for me in the rules were recruitment and the New Model Army. The NMA requires lots of shifting around of counters, units, and leaders, but the rulebook provides a step-by-process for this.

Amateurs to Arms, on the other hand, it pretty much it's own design from the ground up. The most immediate difference you will note is the combat system, with a CRT than cause some players to spin into apoplectic fits. It is not so hard, though, if you sprinkle in some judicious use of common sense and come to BGG where threads abound that will pretty-much answer any questions you have. Specifically, the two issues that cause players problems are: (1) battles in areas with forts and how this affects "asterisk" results and (2) what/when/how militia applies in various instances. I didn't find it too terribly hard, though.

Components-wise, Amateurs to Arms has a leg up on UKC . . . the design of the counters, cards, and map in AtA just seemed much more integrated. AtA could have benefitted from a disproportionate map - one that enlarged the U.S.-Canadian border out of proportion to the rest of the map (similar to what was done with the Low Countries in Virgin Queen). UKC's functionality, though, it quite a bit better . . . my largest complaint being that the colors of the regions and the colors of the recruitment areas are too similar, and makes a sort of kaleidoscopic pastiche until you wrap your head around it.

Sorry for the diatribe.

I would actually highly-recommend BOTH games . . they are a more of a sub-genre that overlaps many others: the great-story-telling-game. Both games deliver narrative in-depth. And whatever they might lack in play balance (UKC is probably more balanced), they more than make up for with great stories and unexpected turns of events. The combat system in both games really makes battles a "dicey" affair such that even if you have the advantage, you might not choose to press it (but usually will).

Cheers!

Edit: Couldn't resist adding a couple more comments about AtA.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gilbert Collins
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
You also might want to consider "Mr. Madison's War" from GMT. It's a more traditional CDG game and in between 'For the People' and 'Washington's War' in complexity. It's very much a 'strategy' game where players can concentrate on plans rather than fighting the rules. The unique aspects of the War on the Lakes is covered and is very much a product of the design. The fact that I am the designer shouldn't influence you. {blush}

2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 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.