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What you get and is it worth it?
A deep box with very attractive art work on front and back and the same solidity as GMT, and better than many MMP boxes.
Three rule booklets of respectively 52, 68 and 72 pages. The print is strong and clear with extensive use of quality full-colour examples on virtually every page. When you consider that many games have one rules booklet of between 8 and 22 pages, this is substantially beyond the norm.
Eight sturdy Play-Aids [5 of which consist of 4 sides of information and 3 are double sided]. Again many games have one or two double-sided Play-Aids.
3 normal full-size paper maps. The art work is excellent and highly evocative of the winter world of the Bulge. Regarding some concerns raised, the map folds are no more heavily folded than many other paper maps. I would agree that these will not stand up to frequently being folded up, but In my experience [40 years board wargaming], very few paper maps will stand up to repeatedly being folded up and put back in the box, whatever the thickness of paper. That’s why my paper maps once unfolded remain flat until they are folded up in order to be sold.
A John Butterfield design – this was one of the major reasons that I wanted to buy the game. From past experience of D-Day at Omaha Beach and Tarawa, as well as RAF, both in its original West End Games production and the reissue by Decision Games, the prospects were for an exceptionally well designed set of games – and it is a set of games. The comments by one or two that you are buying a game, with two expansions simply is erroneous. Anyone who has bought the reissue of RAF will know that you can expect a well-designed 2 player game and two of the finest solitaire games to match.
Finally, the counters. These have raised a storm of comment, as the result of two extended opening the box videos featuring extensive waggling around of the counter sheets. Surprisingly, if I do the same to most of my MMP and GMT games’ countersheets they look just the same and have much the same thickness if I pile 10 of them on top of each other.
What I can say is that they are clear, perfectly printed in all respects, though some commentators have not had total perfection. The artwork is crisp and functional. They sit well in the good-sized hexes and despite my fairly stubby fingers, I have absolutely no need of tweezers to aid me in picking them up.
The price tag is high. In the UK approx. £100 is typical.
Having punched out the counters [they look very nice on the map], set up the 3-day German solo scenario and started in on the rules, I can say that so far I’m totally engaged and totally happy with my purchase.
I so need the time to sit down with this.