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Ignorant Armies: Iran-Iraq War» Forums » Reviews

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Terence Co
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A very interesting and quite playable wargame on the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s.

Easy to learn and play and lots of chrome but hard to master.

Lots of flavour and atmosphere(I ended up hamming up Saddam Hussein when playing the Iraqis).

PROS:

1. Easy to play and learn. Can be played fast and in an evening with experienced players.

2. Lot of interesting chrome which adds to the atmosphere. Especially liked the Random events, the Saddam and Khomeni counters(which the players can use once a year to change a die roll when played)(insert Saddam and Khomeni joke here...).

3. Very nice production values.

4. Easy to learn but hard to master. Both sides have to play carefully. The strategy and play rules the game and not the game rules ruling the game.

CONS:

1. Not balanced and tilted for the Iranians. The Iranians get hordes or replacements when compared to the Iraqis(just the Basij replacements are killer) and the Iranians also have the easiest victory conditions(going into Kuwait for once).

The only way the Iraqis can survive are the Iraqis getting the Republican guard early and doing offensives very carefully. The Iraqis have the hardest time. It is also not recomended for the Iraqis to do too much offensives and killing units via putting them out of supply may be the way to go rather than brutal offesnives because the Iraqis simply do not have the manpower(Rps) to replace them.

I'd rate it higher with a few modifications:

1. Take out Kuwait as a instant VP condition for the Iranians. I think that it would actually be a defeat for the Iranians to go into Kuwait. THe USA would be on their ass just like that. The Iraqis would probably welcome a US military intervention.

2. Have the Republican guard come in not as a special event but have the Iraqis get the option of calling the Iraqi extraordinary congress at the start of any turn after turn 2 thus bringing in the Republican guard but the Iraqis instantly loose 2 VPs.

Conclusion excellent game marred by play balance issues.
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Re: Game modifications
By the way, good review Terence. I like your game modifications. I agree with your first modification about the Kuwait invasion. As for the Iraqi Extraordinary Congress, I would suggest this: keep the effects of the congress special event plus when the Iranian player gets a certain amount of VPs, the congress event may be trigerred by a D6 die roll made by the Iraqi player after the Mutual Random events phase but before the Iraqi Player Turn.

So every turn that the Iranian player has 2 VPs on the VP track, make a D6 die roll. If Iraq gets 1 on the dice, the Iraqi Extraordinary congress takes effect immediately in this game turn. If the Iranian have 3 VPs then the congress event takes effect on a roll of 2 or less. When the VP track reaches 4 points towards the Iranian player, the Iraqi player gets the congress event on a roll of 3 or less.Finally, 5 iranian VPs will trigger the event on a roll of 5 or less.

This represents the following situation: the more imminent the possibility of defeat for Iraq the more chances that it will develop great measures to win.Those winning strategies are implemented in the Extraordinary congress.In addition, this rule will balance the game for the Iraqi player especially if the Iranian player gets too strong too fast in the beginning of the campaign.
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Re: RG die roll
I had second thoughts about the extraordinary congress D6 roll. For more game balance and simplicity, I think it would be better to still make the roll between the "Mutual Random Events Phase" and the "Iraqi Player Turn" but you can now start to roll as soon the Iranian player has 1 VP or more, and you trigger the "Iraqi Extraordinary Congress" event on a roll equal or less than the Iranian VP score. That sounds better to me! Peace!
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