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Enemy Coast Ahead: The Dambuster Raid» Forums » General

Subject: getting a handle on this from the rules? rss

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Reading the rules it is difficult to envision the game as more than a set of procedures where you do something, roll, consult an outcome chart, and repeat. Of course I realize that any game can be boiled down to this description... What I'm trying figure out is whether this game is mostly procedural with limited choice (to me, that is more of a simulation) or whether it feels enough "game-y" (a subjective term that I realize is meaningless in any objective sense). I get that the overall mission is a singular one, of course, and that is not part of the choice....

Anyhow, guess I'm asking those of you who have an opinion on this whether the game feels more like a game or like a simulation? Are player actions enough so that you are doing more than just moving through a simulation?
 
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Pete Martyn
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Some of the earlier missions feel much more in line with your definition of "simulation" -- I'm thinking about the ones that begin with bombers at the dams, making attack runs. There are some choices to be made but it feels fairly light.

What those do, however, is guide you towards the more involved scenarios. Once you start conducting entire flights, or especially playing the full campaign, the choices become much more meaningful. For me anyway, it combines some tense choices with a strong historically-flavored narrative and creates a very awesome experience that is both game and simulation.

I likely won't return to the earlier scenarios, but playing through them definitely helps one to ease into the mechanisms of the game. They highlight how important certain details are to a successful raid -- details that need to be addressed in the campaign game before a single plane has left the airfield.
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the pete wrote:
What those do, however, is guide you towards the more involved scenarios. Once you start conducting entire flights, or especially playing the full campaign, the choices become much more meaningful.
Thanks for the reply. Do you think it possible, for a relatively seasoned (war)gamer to simply jump in with the 10th scenario? I pretty much have already ruled out a lot of interest in the baby-step versions (though I appreciate a game that is designed that way). I don't think I could get through them and worry that if I try, I'd lose interest before getting to the overall campaign, which interests me the most.
 
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Peter Kossits
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Yes, definitely.
I wasn't too interested in the mini scenarios and just jumped into the full campaign - it was fun.
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Pete Martyn
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2sherman2 wrote:
the pete wrote:
What those do, however, is guide you towards the more involved scenarios. Once you start conducting entire flights, or especially playing the full campaign, the choices become much more meaningful.
Thanks for the reply. Do you think it possible, for a relatively seasoned (war)gamer to simply jump in with the 10th scenario? I pretty much have already ruled out a lot of interest in the baby-step versions (though I appreciate a game that is designed that way). I don't think I could get through them and worry that if I try, I'd lose interest before getting to the overall campaign, which interests me the most.


I think you'd be able to do so, yeah -- the rulebook is well-organized and the game isn't very complex if you're an experienced wargamer. You may well find that jumping right in leads you to some suboptimal decisions when you're planning the raid, but that'll be educational and pretty fun if you're not too invested in the lives of your little cardboard pilots whistle
 
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the pete wrote:
I think you'd be able to do so, yeah -- the rulebook is well-organized and the game isn't very complex if you're an experienced wargamer. You may well find that jumping right in leads you to some suboptimal decisions when you're planning the raid, but that'll be educational and pretty fun if you're not too invested in the lives of your little cardboard pilots whistle
That's helpful... and since you're writing back now another question. If you have played other solo games is there anything you'd compare this one to in terms of the mechanics (not necessarily the topic). I'm attracted to it because of the overall planning-to-getting-there-to-execution which seems unique to me and will (I'm sure) cause me to get rather attached to my cardboard guys...
 
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Pete Martyn
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2sherman2 wrote:
the pete wrote:
I think you'd be able to do so, yeah -- the rulebook is well-organized and the game isn't very complex if you're an experienced wargamer. You may well find that jumping right in leads you to some suboptimal decisions when you're planning the raid, but that'll be educational and pretty fun if you're not too invested in the lives of your little cardboard pilots whistle
That's helpful... and since you're writing back now another question. If you have played other solo games is there anything you'd compare this one to in terms of the mechanics (not necessarily the topic). I'm attracted to it because of the overall planning-to-getting-there-to-execution which seems unique to me and will (I'm sure) cause me to get rather attached to my cardboard guys...


Good question, and tough for me to come up with a good answer. I haven't played much like it even though I do enjoy a lot of solitaire titles. The closest in my experience is probably Thunderbolt Apache Leader which, besides the theme, shares with it aspects of mission planning, resource management, zooming in from an operational perspective to a tactical one, and getting overly attached to pilots who suddenly die in horrible ways.
 
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the pete wrote:
I haven't played much like it even though I do enjoy a lot of solitaire titles.
It does seem unique and I wonder why it has flown under the radar a bit (so to speak). No treatment from the big video game reviewers, etc.
 
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Chris McDonald
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In fact I think it's barely necessary to read the rules of this game. The play aids are that good.

Edit: I think it's a fascinating game but I wish there were more randomness injected into the planning process. The randomness in the dam defenses and water levels add some variety, but the game could do more to throw different situations at you (e.g. planes are scarce this week and cost more resources, or no elite crews are currently available - now what do you do differently?).
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