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Subject: Tiger Leader Expectations rss

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Gary Logs
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OK, this game fell short of expectations. So the question is what were you're expectations and why? Just a quick few from my view:

1) DVG Leaders series success - not a bad expectation in my book. I was surprised by some of the land battle assumptions and counters after the fact.

2) This will be a load up your tank and fire your chosen ammo - refer to "1)" but realize the whole pre-issue campaign information put you in a KG force leader role not a tanker team. I wasn't surprised.

3) Map quality - makes sense. But looking back every, and I mean every, map I saw showed the hextiles not aligning perfectly and being a casual grid. I wasn't happy per se but not surprised.

4) The rules of WWII land fire and movement land doctrine is followed - I was surprised, but not after getting the game. I was surprised well before that when I read the posted draft rules. I sent comments and DVG responded well at various levels. If you didn't ever look at the very early posted rules before buying, well...I assume you were a "1)" buyer and moved on.

5) Range of equipment/leaders - a wide mix for the forces. I was mixed surprise with the Germans being more than expected and the Allies being frozen to fixed types over many years.

6) Battle variation - Good range of theaters and forces. I was happily surprised the available campaign/force choices were quite broad. The random orders sometimes challenged that though but were typically rationalizable.

All in all it was less than DVG's best. However I enjoy playing it as a game and appreciate the efforts to improve upon the land battle simulation level. I'd rather have it than not, since most of my expectations were formed before it was released from the readily available information.

[edit removed the "don't" from 4)to be an expectation that it would]
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Eric Teoro
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ncree wrote:
All in all it was less than DVG's best. However I enjoy playing it as a game and appreciate the efforts to improve upon the land battle simulation level. I'd rather have it than not, since most of my expectations were formed before it was released from the readily available information.


A very fair set of comments. I have vacillated regarding purchasing this game, but with so many yet-to-be-played games in my collection, I have held off. If I do pick this up, it will be for fun as a game; if it works on that level, I would be happy.
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John Brown
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I was expecting there to be a difference between a 1939 campaign and a 1944 campaign. In practice you feel blitzed in both, where I'd expected to be the one doing the blitzing in the '39 campaign.

I was expecting the different Allied nations to feel different, but in practice they all feel samey.

I was hoping the tactical map would allow/highlight actual tactics, but instead you are generally just trying to get to defensible terrain and pound the Allied units before they pound you.

I was expecting a tank to be able less vulnerable to anything but another AFV at range, but in the game, an MG can take you out as easily as another tank.

In general, I think the designers tried too hard to shoehorn the TAL Leader rules into a WW2 package. One caveat, I have yet to have time to try the rules updates to see if they help.
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Hubert Switalski
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Not sure what my expectations were…maybe I was looking for a WWII game with some historical flavor and armored unit combat between 1939-45. I was hoping that I could take my units from 1939 through 1945 through a series of linked campaigns. I was looking for some mechanics resembling armored warfare during that time period, but I was not looking for anything too realistic, just something that would model such warfare with some historical accuracy (i.e. fighting in Poland in 1939 should be different than fighting British tanks in North Africa in 1942). However, the game fell short on many levels. The main board is great. Surprisingly it appears to depict eastern France and the Ardennes Forest, a campaign which is not playable in TL (weird). Counters are thick but the graphics are poor with yellowish background. Terrain tiles do not fit properly and there were some cards missing. To me that could potentially be overlooked, if the gameplay was stellar. It is not.

-unit selection is tedious through several hundred cards. Their selection has questionable impact on gameplay/campaign which may only last 3-4 missions.

-campaigns feel ahistorical as fighting units in Poland is no different than fighting units on the western front. This is based on card selection where in 1939 you could be fighting vs. 6-8 tank units. However, your spending resources pool allows you to buy 1-2 tanks with some support infantry units. Campaign cards should have been designed for specific years rather than a generic deck of mission cards.

-units (’39 vs. 44) have similar characteristics. This is boring.

-despite the description you cannot play linked campaigns so after 3-4 missions chasing some enemy battalions the game is over.

-missions are bland as they take place on generic maps without any geographic names, etc. Very little in terms of historical geography.

-To me TL is nothing but a reskinned version of TAL. Game mechanics may have worked in TAL but with armored warfare, which changed dramatically between 1939 and 1945 this generic approach falls flat.

I generally play wargames for two reasons 1) to learn something about that particular period/conflict; and 2) there is that attempt to perhaps rewrite history and see how any given particular conflict/battle unfolds during gameplay through a series of choices and decision. TL does not offer any of these. It is some generic approach at building your forces while attempting to chase some nameless battalions across some unnamed landscape somewhere in Europe. The result is unexciting and boring and maybe I need to realize that DVG’s games are not my cup o’ tea. I would rather spend time playing other games which are just so much better and offer a much better historical gaming experience (D-Day at Omaha Beach, Enemy Coast Ahead, Navajo Wars, Airborne Commander, CC, Enemy Action:A, The Hunters).

Not thrilled about Sherman Leader or the upcoming B-17 leader, but I will definitely check Lock and Load's A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich. Im afraid any other Leader title will be just another reskinned TAL game with game mechanics not really applicable to the time period/warfare type.I feel like designers at DVG should spend more time consulting period specific history books.



H
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Dean Brown
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hubo72 wrote:
...I feel like designers at DVG should spend more time consulting period specific history books.


Pictured are some of the books (the 21 books in the center) that I referenced for B-17 Leader. I also bought and read some online books.


There are advantages and disadvantages of designing games around a common game engine. A key advantage is that players can quickly learn new games in a system they have already played, which I think is the main intent around the Leader Series. But if followed too closely (like you are implying that TL did with TAL), then its harder to tease out the interesting aspects of that combat period.

My first version of B-17 Leader was very similar to Hornet Leader, and it was pretty bad. I slowly added new elements that were unique to the Bombing Campaign, and I feel it is a lot better, even though it has some deviations from the other Leader series games.

Some people like having similar game mechanics, and others don't. So I agree that it might be a matter of taste.

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Hubert Switalski
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Dean,

My reference to consult period specific history books was meant for those who were involved with testing and design of TL...It looks like you have this aspect of game design covered very well.

Also, in response to your comment about designing games with the same game engine. Well, the ultimate question is whether such engine is applicable to that specific game. Are game mechanics used in modern aerial combat applicable to WWII armored combat? The answer is probably no, in which case the designer choosing to use the same engine should modify such engine to reflect whatever combat model he/she chooses to implement. It could work but it would have to be heavily modified and tested to work. You stated that your initial version of B-17 based on TAL model was pretty bad...applying such model to TL and armored combat makes the game beyond bad, in my opinion. That's why testing should extend into months not weeks to really see if such engine works within a specific game. I like chess but I would hate to see Combat Commander or Paths of Glory for instance using chess-like mechanics.

Max Hastings Bomber Command is a good read, but it deals specifically with the RAF. Also, Blair's books on U-boats are excellent. There are some good books on that shelf...
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Gary Logs
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hubo72 wrote:
Not sure what my expectations were…maybe I was looking for a WWII game with some historical flavor and armored unit combat between 1939-45. I was hoping that I could take my units from 1939 through 1945 through a series of linked campaigns. I was looking for some mechanics resembling armored warfare during that time period, but I was not looking for anything too realistic, just something that would model such warfare with some historical accuracy (i.e. fighting in Poland in 1939 should be different than fighting British tanks in North Africa in 1942). However, the game fell short on many levels. The main board is great. Surprisingly it appears to depict eastern France and the Ardennes Forest, a campaign which is not playable in TL (weird). Counters are thick but the graphics are poor with yellowish background. Terrain tiles do not fit properly and there were some cards missing. To me that could potentially be overlooked, if the gameplay was stellar. It is not.

-unit selection is tedious through several hundred cards. Their selection has questionable impact on gameplay/campaign which may only last 3-4 missions.

-campaigns feel ahistorical as fighting units in Poland is no different than fighting units on the western front. This is based on card selection where in 1939 you could be fighting vs. 6-8 tank units. However, your spending resources pool allows you to buy 1-2 tanks with some support infantry units. Campaign cards should have been designed for specific years rather than a generic deck of mission cards.

-units (’39 vs. 44) have similar characteristics. This is boring.

-despite the description you cannot play linked campaigns so after 3-4 missions chasing some enemy battalions the game is over.

-missions are bland as they take place on generic maps without any geographic names, etc. Very little in terms of historical geography.

-To me TL is nothing but a reskinned version of TAL. Game mechanics may have worked in TAL but with armored warfare, which changed dramatically between 1939 and 1945 this generic approach falls flat.

I generally play wargames for two reasons 1) to learn something about that particular period/conflict; and 2) there is that attempt to perhaps rewrite history and see how any given particular conflict/battle unfolds during gameplay through a series of choices and decision. TL does not offer any of these. It is some generic approach at building your forces while attempting to chase some nameless battalions across some unnamed landscape somewhere in Europe. The result is unexciting and boring and maybe I need to realize that DVG’s games are not my cup o’ tea. I would rather spend time playing other games which are just so much better and offer a much better historical gaming experience (D-Day at Omaha Beach, Enemy Coast Ahead, Navajo Wars, Airborne Commander, CC, Enemy Action:A, The Hunters).

Not thrilled about Sherman Leader or the upcoming B-17 leader, but I will definitely check Lock and Load's A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich. Im afraid any other Leader title will be just another reskinned TAL game with game mechanics not really applicable to the time period/warfare type.I feel like designers at DVG should spend more time consulting period specific history books.



H


As a guess, I think you summarize well the majority of expectations I've seen. I do wonder if you read all the available material before buying (rule book, vids, etc.) ahead of TL release? Not as a criticism but helping give feedback for designers who I think assume most people would and so trust "silence" as positive design feedback.



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Vance Strickland
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Just reading the rules only gives you, well me anyway, a small part of the understanding of how the game actually feels while playing.

I read all the material that came out while the KS was on and that's actually why I backed it.

Once I started to play, however, it became apparent that this game was not for me.
 
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Hubert Switalski
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to Gary....

I received the game as a gift almost immediately after the KS campaign finished. There were not too many reviews, except one from an overly positive reviewer and game unboxer (I have seen some of his other videos and I think he misses the point most of the time, but that could be a topic on another thread). There was the rule book available as well, which I downloaded as well. Once the game was setup however, I realized that the game was not finished as was rushed to meet KS demands and timelines. Read the description of TL that's included on BGG...it is wrong and deceiving...there are no mega campaigns, or any type of fog of war (where??), etc., which tells me the designers had an idea for a game but the final product was not what they envisioned.

Ultimately, I am blaming my kids for gifting me a half baked game not DVG for releasing abysmal product....you are all grounded, grounded for not play testing the game after you bought it! You know....kids these days, I dont even think they watched any TL reviews at all. Can you believe that? shake

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Gary Logs
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hubo72 wrote:
to Gary....

I received the game as a gift almost immediately after the KS campaign finished. There were not too many reviews, except one from an overly positive reviewer and game unboxer (I have seen some of his other videos and I think he misses the point most of the time, but that could be a topic on another thread). There was the rule book available as well, which I downloaded as well. Once the game was setup however, I realized that the game was not finished as was rushed to meet KS demands and timelines. Read the description of TL that's included on BGG...it is wrong and deceiving...there are no mega campaigns, or any type of fog of war (where??), etc., which tells me the designers had an idea for a game but the final product was not what they envisioned.

Ultimately, I am blaming my kids for gifting me a half baked game not DVG for releasing abysmal product....you are all grounded, grounded for not play testing the game after you bought it! You know....kids these days, I dont even think they watched any TL reviews at all. Can you believe that? shake



Got it, fair enough (lucky it wasn't a horse).
 
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Gary Logs
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John,

Thanks for the response, I think I agree, let's see. Also, thanks for teaching me how to try and separate post quotes, never done this before

Granger44 wrote:
I was expecting there to be a difference between a 1939 campaign and a 1944 campaign. In practice you feel blitzed in both, where I'd expected to be the one doing the blitzing in the '39 campaign.


For sure. I've rationalized the tactical battle as active resistive effort, but the general advance of battalions was surprising. My thoughts are to maybe subtract from advance die rolls based on year but I haven't played that yet.

Granger44 wrote:
I was expecting the different Allied nations to feel different, but in practice they all feel samey.


I see equipment value vs nationality being used as basis. But the "national" equipment didn't reflect years of development change (or not). I hope the new mod looks at that.

Granger44 wrote:
I was hoping the tactical map would allow/highlight actual tactics, but instead you are generally just trying to get to defensible terrain and pound the Allied units before they pound you.


Existing rules are a mix of move for advantage rolls vs. be in good terrain. This is actually where a lot game play tactics value shows up for me, not simulation value. I believe the general intent was to drive battles to be quicker (turns) and reward movement thusly.

Granger44 wrote:
I was expecting a tank to be able less vulnerable to anything but another AFV at range, but in the game, an MG can take you out as easily as another tank.


I put this in the simulation vs play action. I rationalize here, usually after cursing. A fog of war vent for me when needed. Solitaire gamers in my book need to be very self creative.

Granger44 wrote:
In general, I think the designers tried too hard to shoehorn the TAL Leader rules into a WW2 package. One caveat, I have yet to have time to try the rules updates to see if they help.


I agree. Me too, just waiting.

[edit: sorry John, focused too much on quotes and forgot to address to you, DOH!]


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Barthheart wrote:
Just reading the rules only gives you, well me anyway, a small part of the understanding of how the game actually feels while playing.

I read all the material that came out while the KS was on and that's actually why I backed it.

Once I started to play, however, it became apparent that this game was not for me.


I understand well, any extra input to which parts particularly? I assume that the DVG team is trying to get as much feedback as possible. That's just me trying to get to our expectations!

[edit: "our" meaning us non-DVGers ]
 
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Jim F
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I must admit that the poor reviews stopped me from buying the game. I will wait for SL to come out and then see how that goes. I'm not writing off DVG as a company because of this title but then I wasn't burnt on the KS.

I do strongly believe that there is a tendency for publishers to be more blasé about their game designs when it's other people's money funding it rather than their own hard earned cash. I'm afraid the protestations to the contrary ring hollow.

A few weeks play testing is not adequate for a title costing £60. 'Last Blitzkrieg' which I'm playing at the moment, went through several years of play testing and it shows.
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Jeff Fike
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Is this review for vanilla TL or the new rule set dvg made?
 
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schmoo34 wrote:
Is this review for vanilla TL or the new rule set dvg made?


original, vanilla
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hubo72 wrote:

Not thrilled about Sherman Leader or the upcoming B-17 leader, but I will definitely check Lock and Load's A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich. Im afraid any other Leader title will be just another reskinned TAL game with game mechanics not really applicable to the time period/warfare type.I feel like designers at DVG should spend more time consulting period specific history books.



H


Hubo, if I may speak my opinion - I beg to differ. I've seen the new offerings that the new Leader games have in mind and if I may be so bold to say it - I'm sorry, but no, not every new Leader game is a reskin of TAL.

I can prove it with the following:
Israeli Air Force Leader
-Takes more of an ode to Phantom Leader/Phantom Leader Deluxe with the fact that you'll have to moderate targets you go after. This is in the form of the Escalation system [a la the Politics system from PL/PLD] that corresponds with certain targets with high VP values. Strike too hard and you'll face uncalled-for international condemnation from the UN.
-Also, you don't purchase aircraft like in TAL, the pilots already HAVE their aircraft available from the get-go!
-And to add a greater sense of urgency to overcome the enemies of the Land of Zion and Jerusalem, there are Invasion Targets. Said targets must be destroyed with all haste, or Israel will fall to Islamic/Arabic aggression.

Huey Leader
-Now THIS is more like TAL, but with a few twists considering the Vietnam War setting.
-You'll not only eliminate targets, but also supply forward bases and deploy troops at designated landing zones while assisting friendlies.


B-17 Flying Fortress Leader
-This seems to be a rather interesting setup, it appears to take cues from Microprose sim games like Falcon 4.0 and B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th in addition to Hornet Leader.
-Also, there's no hex map in the style of TAL, but a unique one. One that encompasses the entirety of Europe while the action takes place in a sequential set of squares.
-Instead of controlling individual aircraft, you command entire SQUADRONS of Bombers and their fighter squadron escorts. B-24s included as well.
-Also, the campaign is pretty dynamic. As striking specific targets will alter the deployment of Luftwaffe squadrons around the European theater of war.
-Also, there appears to be technology levels implemented within... I'd wander over to the BGG forums regarding this one. [Trust me, looking at it will help]

U-Boat 2nd Edition and Gato Leader
-The rules appear to not only been amended, but also expanded upon
-The battleboard is more like a sonar array than a hex system

Not trying to start up an argument or a fight, Hubo - No more than I am presenting some facts.

And if you can't take it upon yourself to purchase HL:CAO and PL/PLD - Check out these vids, please.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn_Y7RbskZA (HL:CAO Playthrough by the Lonesome Gamer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92b5Z3TnYHE (And a PL Playthrough by the Lonesome Gamer)
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Hubert Switalski
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None of the games that you mentioned with the exception of Gato/u-boat Leader have been published. You should not comment on games that are in development because the final product may and most likely will change.

Im assuming your descriptions are based on what's available on DVG's website. If you read the description that comes with TL you will realize that half the crap that's mentioned is not available in the final game. So, please comment on final games and not their descriptions while each game is in development.

H
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Dean Brown
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hubo72 wrote:
You should not comment on games that are in development because the final product may and most likely will change.


Hubert,
I did just recently update the B-17 FFL game description to match the final design I submitted to DVG.
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hubo72 wrote:
None of the games that you mentioned with the exception of Gato/u-boat Leader have been published. You should not comment on games that are in development because the final product may and most likely will change.

Im assuming your descriptions are based on what's available on DVG's website. If you read the description that comes with TL you will realize that half the crap that's mentioned is not available in the final game. So, please comment on final games and not their descriptions while each game is in development.

H


Your point is valid except the person you are talking to is actively playing these unpublished games and is capable of telling you what the experience is like.
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