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Enemy Coast Ahead: The Dambuster Raid» Forums » General

Subject: Not a single review about Enemy Coast Ahead?? rss

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Andrea
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How can it be?
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Todd Quinn
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Have not played it enough times to properly review it.
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Steve Duke
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I hope to give it a thorough look over the holidays.

What I can say is, this is another package of amazingly detailed and interesting information in game form, for a campaign that I knew little about.

The tlc that went into this game is striking to me. I look forward to working through the puzzle.
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Andrea
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What I would really like to know is if this game just portrays a very realistic procedure or it's a lot of fun too. How does it compare to games such as RAF, B17/B29 Superfortress, The Hunters...?
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Kevin Davidson

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andymase wrote:
What I would really like to know is if this game just portrays a very realistic procedure or it's a lot of fun too. How does it compare to games such as RAF, B17/B29 Superfortress, The Hunters...?


You might check out several of the Session reports, and a couple of those miss posted to the General topic. This might help you get a better feel for what you need to know.

Cheers
Kevin
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Matt R
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I do not think anyone has posted a "review" yet per se but from session reports and the other posts that people who have played the game have stated I don't think I have seen a single negative comment yet. I just got mine a few days ago and have not been able to play it (hope to next week) but everything I have read about it from people who have played it have said it is great.
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Damian DiLuzio
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andymase wrote:
What I would really like to know is if this game just portrays a very realistic procedure or it's a lot of fun too. How does it compare to games such as RAF, B17/B29 Superfortress, The Hunters...?


I've been working on a review and it's a great game. Forty + pages of rules gives you some pause, but the three player aids and how the scenarios are ordered really helps teach the game.

As for game play, it is a lot of fun. I've put it away twice to put out other games, but it keeps making it's way back. You first train your crew trying to keep the mission as secret as possible, while still developing recon on the dams.

Next you fly out where these recon efforts can really help or hinder your mission. You'll lose a number of aircraft getting to the dams and have several negative counters attached to your aircraft.

Cracking the dams is not easy. Also, if you haven't made a plan of how you are going to attack the dams, you'll find yourself in trouble. This is not a game where you can just fly by the seat of your pants, you need a plan. There are some similarities to Thunderbolt Apache Leader where the planning could deep 6 the mission before it ever starts.

With my four plays of Scenario 10 (the full campaign) the best I've scored is a 12.
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Chris Stimpson
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Just played scenario 5 (the recommended intro) and scenario 1. These are just attack turns, no planning or flight turns so like others I'm not experienced enough to review properly.

Here's a guess: I have commented in the past on Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France as being an excellent simulation of WWI air combat but lacking decision-taking depth and thus questionable as a game. At this point I could say the same for ECA, but you can almost completely discount my comment based on just two simple scenarios. I'm looking forward to the scenarios with flight turns and especially scenario 10 with all the planning involved. This, I presume, will create an Alt-Hist version of the raid with plenty of decision points.

I have to say, I'm impressed with the designer's attention to personal detail - names, faces and awards of actual participants, Barnes Wallis' engineering brilliance* - when I was young, many of these people were still alive, and since they now 'belong to the ages' it's pleasing to see them as the young, energetic, and courageous men they were.

*If you don't know about him, check up biographical info. His design career stretched from the R100 airship to swing-wing designs of the 1960s. After the war he was awarded 10,000 pounds from the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for his war work. He had been so grief-stricken at the number of airmen who died during Operation Chastise that he donated all of it to his alma mater, Christ's Hospital School, in 1951, for the establishment of the RAF Foundationers' Trust, allowing the children of airmen killed or injured in action to attend the school.
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Alecc
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I spent more time clipping chits than playing games
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cstimpson wrote:
Just played scenario 5 (the recommended intro) and scenario 1. These are just attack turns, no planning or flight turns so like others I'm not experienced enough to review properly.

Here's a guess: I have commented in the past on Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France as being an excellent simulation of WWI air combat but lacking decision-taking depth and thus questionable as a game. At this point I could say the same for ECA, but you can almost completely discount my comment based on just two simple scenarios.

For me, the whole game 'clicked' starting with scenario 9, when you're running all waves towards their targets. I think of 1-8 as extended tutorial, showing you all the pieces in isolation so you can see how it works. The game REALLY takes off in scenario 10 ... a lot of decisions to be made, and a lot of ways things can turn out.
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Matt R
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The real meat of the game is the full campaign in scenario 10...

The scenarios are designed into three types, attack, flight, and planning. The earlier scenarios are just the attack portion of the game and cover the actual bombing of the dams. The "flight" scenarios start with the actual flying to the dams and then the dam attacks.

The whole enchilada is in scenario 10 (the last scenario) which adds planning to the mix. You then get to do the full blown training, planning, and recon of the dams, THEN you go through the flight portion, and THEN the attack portion.

So the earlier the scenario the less decision making you have as more decisions had been made before you got to that point.

If that makes sense. I haven't yet gotten to the full planning scenario yet but there seems to be a LOT of meat and decision making in the game - especially with the later scenarios.
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John Lockett
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Just finished my third campaign game. I posted a running commentary on the consworldforum: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.1dd8c337/459.

I'll try to write a full review but I need time to recover! The full campaign is a great gaming experience and I found I got very involved with the personalities named on the plane counters. The short scenarios are quick and fun but the campaign adds a whole extra dimension. The planning stage is pretty quick and straightforward but the choices made can have a big effect later in the game. Every choice has a gain/risk trade off. The components are the usual high GMT standard. Rules are pretty clear and once you've played a bit, everything you need is pretty much on the play aids. My first 2 attempts I took the extra planning turn for extra training. Meant going with no moon. Maybe over did the recon a bit too so I was expected by the enemy! Had trouble even finding the dams (no moon) and in 2 games, only managed to get one bomb on target.

Third time around was a real blast. Managed to get to the targets, breached the Sorpe and damaged the Mohne & Eder. Got 11 out of 20 planes home. Made the mistake of a follow up raid after 48 hrs and all 7 planes that got to the Mohne, heavily reinforced defensively, were lost with no further net damage done.

Long time since I played b17 but I play and enjoy RAF. This is a more personal & intense experience with a lot of subtlety in the mechanics of the game. It's going to be tough to win and I think the replayabity will be high.

This game is a big winner with me and one I'm sure that will appear on my table frequently for years to come. Buy it!
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