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1944: Race to the Rhine» Forums » General

Subject: Your help needed: Is 1944:RttR worth the money? rss

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Holger Doessing
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I'm considering RttR, but before I fork over a significant amount of money I'd like your opinion on the game. There's currently 192 ratings and very few of them are negative. However, the low-rating commenters bring up a couple of nagging issues:

d10-1 Dominant strategies: At least one commenter mentions that each general has an obvious strong strategy that the player should adhere to in order to stay competitive. How true is this? Are there many divergent paths towards victory? (I already know that getting the most medals is a secondary goal.)

d10-2 Fun (this one is important!): A couple of fellow geeks mentioned that the game was pretty much what they wanted from a Eurogamer's perspective, yet it just lacked 'fun'. So what makes the game fun for you? Or, conversely, what makes the game fall flat for you? And how well does the fun factor hold up to repeated play?

d10-3 Replayability: One of the complaints was also that the German forces are too similar and the variation is merely a matter of e.g. spending 2 vs 3 crates of ammo. How far do you dig through the decks during a game? How similar/dissimilar are consecutive games?

d10-4 Story-telling/pace: Finally, I was wondering how much story-telling you get with RttR? For instance, are there any major turn of events in a game, or does it progress at a steady (or perhaps increasing) pace until the end? How does player interaction affect the game's pace?


Edit: I should probably point out that I was planning on playing this game mainly 2p, sometimes 3p, but never solo.
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Gordon J
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1. Depending on the General, there will be some overall things you will do the same each game, just because that is the strength of that general or that portion of that map. But since this is a race and a logistical supply puzzle, you will have to adapt and change your plans as the game goes on because the Germans you just fought took up one more fuel than you thought or what you thought was going to be a quick sprint up the coast suddenly bogged down to bad terrain and some straggling Germans that have severely put that Corps behind schedule. Plus the whole, when do I take supply and move it so I don't just waste time sitting around doing nothing. Timing is key and that will be different each game.

Plus don't forget there is a great variant printed in the rules, instead of each general having their own mini deck to draw from for the lesser battles and moving, you can combine all three decks into one big one and all three generals have to draw from a common deck, thus making the fog of war a little more chaotic. Also there is weather you can add on for a more complicated game.

2. I find it fun. But I love the blend of Euro mechanics with war-theme action and a little chaos. I love trying to figure out the supply issue. How fast should you have your Corps move? You really want them that far ahead of your supply line?

3. You dig into most of your mini-decks in each game, but it's when things appear that make a difference. (Look at #1 for the replayability issue).

4. It tells a good story. Things move fast at first, because everyone has supply and the Armies move through relatively easy spaces/opposition. It almost seems too easy. But then mid game it bogs down in a good way, your armies are almost out of supply, but there is a chance to exploit a hole in the Germans line, do you take it and then leave that Corps stranded without supplies and hope you can more supplies to him soon?
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David Janik-Jones
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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
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Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzy┼╝ Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
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Answer to thread title?

YES.

And Gord's answers are spot on. Best purchase I've made this year, without question. Everyone I've played it with wants to play again.
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David Pereira
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Its worth the money... The art and components are awesome. When it is played everyone wants to go imediately to the second round.

Some people say its difficult to win across the Rhine and in the end
its a race for the medals. Its difficult yes but possible and give up medals to get those airborne units feels very good.

And its thematic, enveryone that plays Monty goes in a careful and slow advance securing everything.

If Patton is the first in turn order and gets lucky its difficult to stop him but if you play with the handicaps the game gets to another level and you dont worry so much about Patton.
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Marcel
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Answer to thread title?

YES.

And Gord's answers are spot on. Best purchase I've made this year, without question. Everyone I've played it with wants to play again.


I'll second that. Go and buy it.
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Houserule Jay
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I'm going to play the less desired Devil's advocate role and say no, not at the current sum but, it all depends on expectations.

1. More play is needed to properly answer this one, but due to the asymmetry and strengths of each as in any game like this, you do have to play a certain way to an extent, how much is the real question, and not one I can answer yet

2. This one I can answer, with a caveat in that of course it depends on how you derive fun from a game as many of us differ here. Many race games involve fast and tense movement, this one does not. Combine the slow moving nature with a calculation driven logistic pick up and delivery aspect, and well once this game is widely available you are going to see many people commenting the game is a slow dry calculation exercise (some do point to this now). That is not all together bad, it depends on tastes, expectations etc, and note that this is all fairly strategic, so many will get satisfaction from the planning aspects.

3. Replay - As Gordon pointed to 1 and 3 are somewhat related, and it will be nice in theory to play each faction at least once. How much you want to play is quite another matter of course. Is there a lot to explore here? Based on my one play I would say not really, its not like Terra Mystica or a deeper Euro game, but it does present a challenge, and challenge is another aspect other than depth or fun that can keep you coming back.

4. First and foremost this is a Euro game to me anyway, definitely not a wargame; it is a race game with a strong pick up and delivery element and it does has a strong war theme which does come through nicely.

I found the story telling aspect just a little weaker than I expected, its there, and Gordon points to a good way to view it, but I guess to me I was viewing it as a head to head race as this is how it felt, and obstacles were just that, annoyances that were in my way of victory. This is going to be pretty subjective here I think, and will depend on what the player is focused on, if following the themed details you could probably see a nice story developing in front of you.

Player interaction can actually have a BIG impact on the games pace, and to me it's too big, and this is where my main issues with the game arise, see below.

----

I found this to be a euro game with a well integrated theme. Due to it being a euro game, I took issue with the following things:

- IIRC there is no mention in the rules that VP's should stay hidden. Due to this there is a LOT of beat on the leader possible, since at the end of your turn you get to add German "units" in anyone's path to victory. This also has the unfortunate effect of king-making being possible, since the loser can choose who to pick on near the end.

Much more fair would have been to have German's allocated to each player's path alternating from one to the other, and then you could have an opponent decide where to put it, but letting them decide who just went too far imho. (could be houseruled actually)

- The card draws are of course random, and bad draws linked together can REALLY stimey you, like bog you down for 5 turns even. Will this even out over the course of a game? Maybe but not always from what I seen.

So point one really bothered me the most in my game and was a factor for the whole last half of the game, and right down to the last turn, where the losing player decided who won. The potentially good news about these points is that they won't be an issue in a 2 player game, which is how I want to try it next.

Hopefully that helps anyone looking at forking over the current hefty sum for this, its a unique and well put together package, but not all I hoped it would be.
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Barry Miller
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jayjonbeach wrote:
- IIRC there is no mention in the rules that VP's should stay hidden.

Well, actually there is a mention. However, to support your point, it's buried in the example on pg 9.

It says, "He places the card of the defeated division under his commander card...".

While I have a generally favorable attitude toward this Rulebook, it none the less has a few shortcomings. One is of those rules which are included in the Summary on page 20 but were omitted from the main section. I know the designer is aware and will fix with the forthcoming living rules.
The other is a pet peeve of mine with many rulebooks, and that's when a rule is to be found only inside an example. Perhaps I'm off-base, but to me, examples are exactly that. Nothing new should be introduced inside an example.

For instance, the only place in the rulebook that instructs a player to collect a medal for capturing a city with a medal icon, is in the same example.

But still, overall, this is a good rulebook.


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