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Hold the Line: The American Revolution» Forums » General

Subject: Received Copy: Wows and Woes rss

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Dan Poole
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This is just an initial impression regarding the production of the game. I have not played yet,nor have I ever played any of the previous incarnations. Overall I am mostly pleased with the game, though there are some not so minor issues outlined below. After reading the rules, I am excited to play.


Wows:
1. Box is nice, roomy and thick
2. Pieces are nice. Not flimsy (see below).
3. Nice player aid. And there are 2.
4. Rules seem mostly clear though have not played yet (see below)
5. Game board is nice. Some people may not like the title on the board but that does not bother me.

Woes:
1. Three of my cannon wheels were snapped off. Super Glue fixed that.
2. Pieces were all bent. Most needed to be boiled for reshaping.
3. The terrain hexes were poorly cut. Half are slightly smaller than the other half. This really annoyed me.
4. The terrain hexes don't quite fill up the spaces on the board. This is a minor annoyance.
5. Beware: I think there is a mistake in the French and Indian War expansion regarding the flag bearer count. The manual states there should be 10 regular, 2 light and 1 elite flag bearers. I only got 10 figures, so I made 8 regulars, 1 light and 1 Elite, since the scenarios don't seem to require more than that. Hopefully this count can be verified in case I need to contact the company for more pieces.
5. There was a rule question or two I had which was clarified here since others posed the same questions. These clarifications should have been present in the new rules set
6. You get 3 boring black dice. I upgraded them to a set for each player, 3 blue and 3 red.
7. Putting flag stickers on the little poles takes awhile to get the hang of. Definitely do as recommended in the rules: stick the ends together to make a loop, stick the pole through the loop, then squeeze.

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Keith Anderson
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voynix wrote:

5. Game board is nice. Some people may not like the title on the boy but that does not bother me.


Why disturb the battlefield appearance? Do gamers need help keeping the board with the right game (there are margins)? Is the advertising space that valuable (how about Nascar logos on each soldier)?

Is the grid printed on both sides? If so, does the back leave off the logo?
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Dan Poole
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The back is black. I hear what you are saying and I agree in that I prefer the designers should forego stamping the title on the board. I was just saying it doesn't me as much as some.
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Keith Anderson
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I wasn't trying to be as negative as my writing indicates...I'd still gladly play it. I just don't know why so many games insist on doing this. At least make taking over the letters worth extra points :-)
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Dan Poole
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I am in agreement. At least the writing is subtle on the game board
 
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fightcitymayor
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voynix wrote:
1. Three of my cannon wheels were snapped off. Super Glue fixed that.
2. Pieces were all bent. Most needed to be boiled for reshaping.
Plastic Soldier Company strikes again! (Sounds like The Great War bayonets all over again.)
 
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voynix wrote:
5. There was a rule question or two I had which was clarified here since others posed the same questions. These clarifications should have been present in the new rules set

Should have been, but don't hold your breath. There were rules clarifications in the first iterations of this system (Clash for a Continent / For Honor and Glory) that weren't corrected years later in the first Hold the Line, nor in the Napoleon's War games that had 90% of the same DNA.
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Dan Poole
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Quote:
Plastic Soldier Company strikes again! (Sounds like The Great War bayonets all over again.)


This isn't as bad as the bayonets thank goodness! At least these pieces aren't on sprues and aren't as hard. Having said that The a Great War pieces are better detailed.

Quote:
Should have been, but don't hold your breath. There were rules clarifications in the first iterations of this system (Clash for a Continent / For Honor and Glory) that weren't corrected years later in the first Hold the Line, nor in the Napoleon's War games that had 90% of the same DNA.


The rules aren't terrible but they are lacking in some areas, especially the retreat rules:

"Defending units failing a morale check must retreat toward their side of the board as represented in the scenario set up, or towards its main group of friendly units that is not closer to or adjacent to the attacking unit"

Now I think I know what the rules are saying. But,

A) do you gave a choice between the two options, or does retreating towards your end of the board take precedence?
B) what the heck does "main group of friendly units" mean? I am guessing that means friendly units closest to the defending unit.
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chuckster williams
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Thanks for the nice overview. When I heard the models would be soft plastic, I feared the problems you have reported. With that said, after dipping the little suckers in boiling water for a few seconds, do they straighten out nicely? BTW, you retreat guess sounds good to me.
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Dan Poole
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Yes, boiling them makes them perfect. In fact, boiling the flag bearers straightens their poles with minimal manipulation. Some of the leader/dragoon bases were warped to the point they looked like little rocking horses. A lot of the milita were bent to the right. Some of the British infantry bayonets were bent. Many of the cannon wheels were bent.

I boiled every unit actually, minus the three superglued cannons.
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voynix wrote:
Quote:
Should have been, but don't hold your breath. There were rules clarifications in the first iterations of this system (Clash for a Continent / For Honor and Glory) that weren't corrected years later in the first Hold the Line, nor in the Napoleon's War games that had 90% of the same DNA.


The rules aren't terrible but they are lacking in some areas, especially the retreat rules:

"Defending units failing a morale check must retreat toward their side of the board as represented in the scenario set up, or towards its main group of friendly units that is not closer to or adjacent to the attacking unit"

Now I think I know what the rules are saying. But,

A) do you gave a choice between the two options, or does retreating towards your end of the board take precedence?
B) what the heck does "main group of friendly units" mean? I am guessing that means friendly units closest to the defending unit.

First priority is away from attacking units, second is defender's side of the board, third is closest friendly units. See here: HOLD THE LINE AND EXPANSIO OFFICIAL Q & A FROM GRANT WYLIE
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Also, just to illustrate how long these questions have been kicked around without any effect on subsequent rulebooks, here's a quote from 2010 (with a reference to an earlier one in 2008) in a discussion where we were dealing with the same issues:

R M Chair General wrote:
Huh?

Thanks for starting this thread, Sphere. So, now my mind is really spinning full speed. Being that the rulebooks for both games have nearly identical language, it appears Worthington knowingly approved and reprinted the same Hold the Line language into the Napoleon's War rulebook, even though the Hold the Line FAQ with the retreat rule clarification approved by Grant as correct had been posted already back on October 1st 2008 and Worthington had plenty of time to address the confusion for the newer rulebook but didn't?...

It's a funny thread from that perspective. I'll give you a link to Grant's appearance in it, which should prove useful when the question of displacement arises: Re: Retreats and Displacement.

Another quote from that same thread that might make you laugh:
peterb12 wrote:
It looks like this has been resolved, but I want to chime in here and say that in the heat of battle (in Hold the Line, which has similar language), I found that "main group" language to be completely infuriating. My opponent and I looked at the rulebook, looked at the board (liberally sprinkled with various groups of units all about) and grumbled. Having now heard the 'official' explanation of the retreat priorities, my reaction to the "main group" paragraph is that of Wolfgang Pauli: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong."
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Barry Kendall
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fightcitymayor wrote:
voynix wrote:
1. Three of my cannon wheels were snapped off. Super Glue fixed that.
2. Pieces were all bent. Most needed to be boiled for reshaping.
Plastic Soldier Company strikes again! (Sounds like The Great War bayonets all over again.)


These figures are not on sprues; in fact it appears that they were glued to bases prior to being bagged. To be honest, I'd rather have them on sprues (so long as the sprues don't attach to the bayonets as with "Great War" British!).

The bad thing is that they come in plastic bags, and inevitably, many get bent just from the weight of everything shifting around in there. I've put all the figures in greeting-card boxes and did away with the box liner (which doesn't really do anything anyway) but they barely fit, and I haven't even put the flags on the standard bearers yet.

In short, I wish the box was rectangular and provided some extra space for secure component storage.

I hope this harder plastic is bendable using the boiling-water method. It does not look to tolerate a lot of re-bending otherwise. I received one Highlander in the supplement bag (which was just included in the shipping box outside the F&I War game box) with a broken musket, and the musket end is nowhere in sight.

Not the end of the world, but I hope the "Arrowstorm" game pieces come through in better shape. Half my cavalry pieces are leaning at about twenty-five degrees off-vertical, more than half the standard bearers have curved flagpoles and there are a number of infantry either with bent muskets/bayonets or leaning to one side from the ankles.

On the other hand, the figures come on nice solid bases and present a nice appearance when in good condition.

I do have to go back and look at my original "Clash for a Continent" and "Hold the Line" games . . . believe I remember there being more hexes in both directions than in the new edition, which uses the "old standard" C&C 13 x 9 configuration. I prefer more hexes for more maneuver options.

But I'm hoping that this big, colorful edition will be appealing to children and to a broader-than-wargamers sampling of players.

The effort is well-executed (very thick terrain tiles!) and clearly everyone tried, but PSC, or Worthington--whoever decided on loose bagged figures with bendy bits--needs to put pessimists in charge of packing and shipping rather than optimists.
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Barry Kendall wrote:
I do have to go back and look at my original "Clash for a Continent" and "Hold the Line" games . . . believe I remember there being more hexes in both directions than in the new edition, which uses the "old standard" C&C 13 x 9 configuration. I prefer more hexes for more maneuver options.

They were 13 x 9 as well.
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Seth Owen
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I have only had a handful bent or leaning figures, no broken ones.

The flags are a bit tricky for me.

It looks like there are about a dozen additional scenarios over HTL and Clash.

I'm a little annoyed at the separate entry because gameplay is the same. I think I will continue to track plays under the original version.
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chuckster williams
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I finally received my game today. Unfortunately, many models need to be dipped in boiling water. But they do straighten out very nicely. As stated above, the terrain tiles are a wee-bit smaller than the hexes. No big deal, but strange that slipped through. My only real "complaint" is the color of the British soldiers - a lackluster red. Gee, since PSC is an English company, you'd think the Brits would be a nice vibrant scarlet...oh, well. The map, flags, terrain tiles and info markers do look nice. Except for the boiling requirements, I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
 
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Mike Hoyt

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Tell me more about the boiling method please? How exactly do you do that?

Also, I'm finding the weird font with extra squiggles on the "t" and "p" to be disconcerting. Legible, but I keep wanting to wipe the page clean
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chuckster williams
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Dip the soldier in boiling water for only a second or two. For some strange reason curly bayonets magically straighten up on their own! Once you remove the model gently adjust the offending part (e.g. a crooked flag pole or a leaning horse.) Then dip the model in cold water to set the adjustment. Make sure you don't boil your fingertips!!! BTW, I use an unwanted pot. Remember plastic residue is collecting in the water. Personally I would never use it again to cook in.
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Jeff K
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Plastic has a "memory" in that it is a polymer and it will attempt to return to the shape in which it was cast. To be permanently bent, you'd have to break and reform the chemical bonds, which is not going to happen. That's why it snaps back. That bend can be kind of persistent sometimes, though! So occasionally you may have to repeat the process.

Plastic isn't soluble in water to any real degree. That's why it sticks around for thousands of years in a landfill. So I wouldn't worry about it in your pot, as any parent that has boiled baby bottles can attest. You might get some of the mold release, though, so just be sure to give it a good wash and you should be okay.
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Mike Hoyt

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Thanks for the tips guys. Now, let's see, all I have to do to get ready to play is:

1) Find my Hessians and Highlanders (in the F&I mailing box if you're looking)
2) Boil my troops
3) Affix the flags
4) Glue my cannons back together
5) Ignore the weird font in the rulebook that looks like smudges
6) Guess which scenarios might use Hessians and Highlanders (and guess how they might be different from other infantry)

Nothing insurmountable, but this game is off to a poor start with me.
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chuckster williams
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Lincoln once said: "I'm too big to cry, and it hurts too much to laugh." If that's where Highlanders and Hessians were, they left in a garbage truck yesterday. Oh well, such are the fortunes of war.
 
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Keith Anderson
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phuloivet wrote:
Lincoln once said: "I'm too big to cry, and it hurts too much to laugh." If that's where Highlanders and Hessians were, they left in a garbage truck yesterday. Oh well, such are the fortunes of war.


Sorry to hear that.
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phuloivet wrote:
Lincoln once said: "I'm too big to cry, and it hurts too much to laugh." If that's where Highlanders and Hessians were, they left in a garbage truck yesterday. Oh well, such are the fortunes of war.


Man sorry about that. I posted my question last night, put the trash out this morning, saw the replies this afternoon and rushed out to save them before the truck came...
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Mike Hoyt

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I am happy to report that I have not had to boil my soldiers. A big salad bowl of hot water (with a little Dawn to clean off any left over mold lube (whatever they call it)), 15 seconds or so of soaking, some gentle bending then toss them in a bowl of cold water and my flag poles, bayonets, etc. all look quite nice.
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voynix wrote:


1. Three of my cannon wheels were snapped off. Super Glue fixed that.



Why? Why? WHY?
I Hate Hate HATE superglue.
One of my British Artillery units had a busted wheel, whereas ALL but one American Artillery units were busted and two units had BOTH wheels off. After over an hour with the superglue, the wheels are either still off, or hanging precariously on the unit attached by superglue, but I emphasize "precariously" as any kind of pressure will see them come off again (like being mixed in the bag it came in).

Why am I fixing a broken brand new game??????

I could understand if I got it used off eBay, but brand new with so many broken pieces....unforgivable. And very unprofessional.

Very unhappy. And it will quickly go to eBay and let someone else fix broken pieces. I buy a game expecting ready to play right out of the box. I can accept putting on stickers (flags as well as units in C&C), but this is ridiculous.

Fixing broken wheels on a brand new game.
It just sucks.
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