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Subject: A one-play opinion rss

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Arnaud Bouis
France
Toulouse
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Played once, four-player. Took about four hours.

Warning : I have only played it once. We may have made rule errors, and my opinion is based on a a single game.

Ups :
- Well, this is a very fun game. We laughed a lot.
- Very attractive, thick carboard game pieces.
- lots of (about 15 ?) scenario cards. You can choose any that fits your playing time.
- simple, easy-to-remember turn structure : 1 - draw events; 2 - players move; 3 - Germans move.

Downs :
- Very unrealistic. for example, our engineer got "disabled", riddled with bullets by 11 germans at point blank. Next turn, my medic moved on his tile and totally (!) cured him with a medpack. thereupon (in the same turn), the engineer got up on his feet, fired and killed a score of germans. Then other germans disabled him again, and next turn the medic cured him entirely again, he wiped all germans out, so on. Forget all pretenses at reality : this is Hollywod and super-heroes.
- stupid random events. For instance, on turn 1, stuka raid ! Wait ...the map is a German depot ! Turn 2 event : A random (german) tank fires on the map. Never mind that the map is german ground in occupied Europe.
- Success or failure is often decided by random alert die rolls. Fail one, and the map will be swamped by Germans. Too random for me.
- The game will probably get repetitive over time. After a few plays, many players will probably get bored with the "dont' trigger the alarm - oops I triggered it - kill all germans" synopsis.
- The AI's Germans are very dumb. Player strategy does make a difference, but it mainly consists in dealing with scores of mindless Germans and coping with random events and AI moves. This game is not on a par with VG's Ambush!, in which the AI does have some consistency. In V_commandos, randomness rules.
- Too bad that this game includes several identical tiles, and no play aid. It would have been so easy to include four cards as mini-play aids.


I will probably not buy it because it is so random. But we had a great time. Get it if you look for fun and laughs, not strategy. - Highly thematic : tells a story you will probably remember.


Oh, and please folks, stop giving games a rating when you have not played it even once. This is bad for fellow players.
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Moe45673
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While the game isn't a brainburner, I find that there is a surprising amount of depth to make it interesting enough when it's on my table. Some of these decisions only emerge after a number of plays; the game was playtested and rebalanced for years.

I find that thing with the medic hard to believe. Did you not roll for stealth check with the medic at all?

Anyway, sorry the game didn't work for you. I just want to point out that this is a 1-play review and the game actually does have plenty of interesting decisions to make. For instance, did anyone choose a commando with a silenced weapon at the start of the game?
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fightcitymayor
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"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
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Arnaud_Bouis wrote:
- The AI's Germans are very dumb. Player strategy does make a difference, but it mainly consists in dealing with scores of mindless Germans and coping with random events and AI moves. This game is not on a par with VG's Ambush!, in which the AI does have some consistency. In V_commandos, randomness rules.
I think this might be the Downfall of the game for you. (Get it? Downfall joke! Hilarious!) If you want any sort of a "proper wargame" experience like Ambush! then this definitely is not your game, and it makes total sense that you found it random and unrealistic. V-Commandos is definitely a boardgame, not a wargame, and the proceedings have to be viewed through the prism of a fun tabletop war movie experience rather than getting hung up on events that occur that "wouldn't happen in real life." Kinda like Heroes of Normandie you have to have a certain 'suspension of disbelief' to achieve maximum fun & enjoyment, otherwise you're gonna have a bad time.
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Rich Dodgin
Scotland
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Arnaud_Bouis wrote:
...The game will probably get repetitive over time. After a few plays, many players will probably get bored with the "dont' trigger the alarm - oops I triggered it - kill all germans" synopsis...


This sums it perfectly for me, and it's why I've hardly played the game since I got it
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Chris Dirk
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Arnaud_Bouis wrote:
Get it if you look for fun and laughs, not strategy.

Strategic no, tactical, yes.


Arnaud_Bouis wrote:

this is Hollywod and super-heroes.

This is "The Dirty Dozen" in a box!


Arnaud_Bouis wrote:
Highly thematic : tells a story you will probably remember.


Tru dat!

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X. Nostradunwhich
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fightcitymayor wrote:
I think this might be the Downfall of the game for you. (Get it? Downfall joke! Hilarious!) If you want any sort of a "proper wargame" experience like Ambush! then this definitely is not your game, and it makes total sense that you found it random and unrealistic. V-Commandos is definitely a boardgame, not a wargame, and the proceedings have to be viewed through the prism of a fun tabletop war movie experience rather than getting hung up on events that occur that "wouldn't happen in real life." Kinda like Heroes of Normandie you have to have a certain 'suspension of disbelief' to achieve maximum fun & enjoyment, otherwise you're gonna have a bad time.

I totally agree. I had the pleasure of playing my first game monitored by Thibaud at GenCon. I started going at it like a wargame and he mentioned that same sort of thing... shooting it out is not how to play.

V-commandos is more of a puzzle than a wargame, but still fun.

As a fan of Heroes of Normandie, it was easy to embrace the game as the "dramatic raid movie" equivalent... although those usually do end in a big action scene, but in any case I find the game a lot of fun

I do agree that repeating the same scenarios too many times is going to get a bit stale. Having to react to events and such a few times is fun, but things are only going to vary so much. But there is so much material included in the box that they should make some good building blocks for new scenarios to play and share

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Arnaud Bouis
France
Toulouse
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Granted, this is a question of taste.

What made me raise eyebrows was when:

- the first random event was "Stuka Attack", while we where covertly infiltrating a .. German base in occupied France !
- Another event was "An off-board german tank fires a shell at the map". !!

Later in the game, a dozen germans in a room fired at one of our characters. He received uncountable hits, but was only "incapacitated" or "KO" (I do not remember the exact game term).

The next turn, another of our commandos healed him with a Medpack. Next action phase, the resurrected commando fired a captured machinegun and wiped out all germans (or we did together).

This happened all over again the next turn : the same commando was riddled with bullets by a new horde of Germans, then was healed again, then we wiped out the German horde another time.

Once we'd realized that the "AI" was entirely predictable (Germans move towards the nearest spotted commando, if I remember well ?) and that we were almost invulnerable, we stopped fearing the Germans.
I played Zombicide yesterday, and it was much more challenging.

Rambo is a wimp


 
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Julien Regnard
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Arnaud_Bouis wrote:

- the first random event was "Stuka Attack", while we where covertly infiltrating a .. German base in occupied France !
- Another event was "An off-board german tank fires a shell at the map". !!

The event cards have text and title corresponding to probable events, but obviously they do not always fit the scenario. I don't think this is a big deal, this is very frequent in streamlined games (Memoire 44)...I am not the best role player but I can translate this to "Royal Air Force Attack" on the fly

Arnaud_Bouis wrote:

Later in the game, a dozen germans in a room fired at one of our characters. He received uncountable hits, but was only "incapacitated" or "KO" (I do not remember the exact game term).

The next turn, another of our commandos healed him with a Medpack. Next action phase, the resurrected commando fired a captured machinegun and wiped out all germans (or we did together).

This happened all over again the next turn : the same commando was riddled with bullets by a new horde of Germans, then was healed again, then we wiped out the German horde another time.

Once we'd realized that the "AI" was entirely predictable (Germans move towards the nearest spotted commando, if I remember well ?) and that we were almost invulnerable, we stopped fearing the Germans.
I played Zombicide yesterday, and it was much more challenging.

Rambo is a wimp

You mean when the medic moved to the tile with the commando in critical state, he passed successfully 12 furtivity tests? (about 1 chance among 130).
What should very probably happen is that the medic fails the test...so he can still heal the other commando but he will be shot to critical state (he either stays there visible and gets shot, or tries to move back to furtivity and gets shot doing so).
Edit: There are 7 healing tokens among 70 equipment tokens so in average 10% chance to get one for a kill...so unless you play with the medic who starts with 2 healing tokens and you have infinite luck with furtivity tests and equipment draw (16 spotted tokens vs 7 healing), you can not rely at all on this infinite healing tactic.

IMO you are getting a little far when you suggest the game is broken and commandos are invulnerable. I am not yet experienced with this game enough, but I really doubt such a problem would not be detected with playtesting (the print and play version of the game has been available for 2 years before release). I played Zombicide too and V-commandos is much more challenging to us until now.
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