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New South Wales
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Synopsis: You are a force of troops in a strange alternate history where the Great War is all. WWI has rolled on and straight into WWII, magic is real, and mad science proves successful. You will match forces against your foe, or struggle against them in one of several missions.
The board features a map with linked circles to support the game system. This is the line of sight system, where any circle comprised of the same colour are in range for ranged weapons. You take turns moving and activating your troops on board, utilising both combat and support tactics.
While base game includes two factions. There is the Allied Union, which is an American based ‘allied powers’ world union lead by President Edison, who has harness the secrets of the Roswell Alien crash to augment the allied forces. The German Reich has the aesthetics of the Nazi movement gone haywire, with the ‘lich Fuhrer’ leading his troops of demon augmented and psychic soldiers.
Additional expansions include new factions. The first of these is the glorious Matriarchy, under the joint rulership of Anastasia and Rasputin, who wield the might of Tesla’s science. Finally, the Far Eastern Shogunate has highly trained operatives, well versed in shadowy tactics and espionage imitating cinematic ninja.
Commentary: This game is steeped heavily in theme, which makes it highly compelling. The artwork is also representative of the standard we have come to expect of Fantasy Flight, with its pre-painted minis and its lavishly detailed board maps. While some may have preferred to have unpainted minis for their own personal pleasure of painting, I consider this to add to the value of the game’s evocative nature.
The game design does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Instead of full customisation, the game offers you several pre-built packages for each character and guidelines on how to put them together. Assembling your forces becomes intuitive and easy. The line of sight system also eliminates a lot of the finicky calculations that can stem from games like these.
Verdict: This is one of the more memorable games I’ve played. The combat is fast-paced and seamless, with figurines immerse you into the setting.