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Subject: The Return of Shifting Sands! (to my table) rss

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Rick Thomas
United States
Orlando
Florida
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We pulled Shifting Sands down off the shelf recently, kind of on a whim. We have just finished out second "official" game, and I must say that we have been having a ball with this design. Card driven games are not to everyone's taste, but they taste fine to me, and this game is card driven in spades.

We are quite impressed with the card choices presented in the game, and really happy about all the historical flavor included in both decks. The interaction of the decks and cards is also close to the best I've seen. We've played PoG quite a bit, and that game forces you to make some tough choices, but man, this game...I think it may actually trump PoG in the "agonizing choice" department.

The inclusion of East Africa and the Near East is just icing on the cake, and really puts these "sideshows to a sideshow" in perspective. Both games have seen the East Africa campaign earn points for the beleaguered Italian forces, but just barely. It's exciting to see just how much effort you can force the Allies to spend getting rid of those pesky Italian and Colonial forces.

I will say that we did find the game to be tricky to play correctly. Some key rules are easy to miss, but they are in there. There are also a fair number of details that you need to remember and get right (hence my mention of only two "official" games), but once you do get it right, you will be rewarded with a tense contest, and a manageable playing time.

I guess my main purpose for posting is to let people know what an good game this is, and hopefully get you to take another look at it. I know it's long out of print, but if can track one down, or have it languishing on your game shelf (and you like card driven games), check it out.

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Michael Rinella
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Hey, someone still plays this! laugh

The game was definitely a PoG "first cousin" original designed for GMT but ultimately published by MMP.

There's a chance of a second edition being published. First, though, the second edition of my Monty's Gamble: Market-Garden must be released.

There's also my card-driven "sequel" to Shifting Sands that was published by Compass Games in 2016, Festung Europa. It's a much more streamlined take on the PoG system and a better game to introduce newbies to.

Michael Rinella
Designer, Shifting Sands
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Ric Manns
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We just played this last week. Its a real gem!

I need to MG:MG back on the table as well.
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Kevin Rohrer
United States
Medina
Ohio
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What in the world do the Italians need to do to survive until 1941?! Walt and I played two games of this and the Italian army was totally destroyed twice in 1940.
 
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Michael Rinella
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Kevin Rohrer wrote:
What in the world do the Italians need to do to survive until 1941?! Walt and I played two games of this and the Italian army was totally destroyed twice in 1940.


If you meant the Axis are losing the game because the Allies took Tripoli, that's one thing. I'm assuming that is not the case.

The Italians have to do everything they can to keep the Allied attention divided. Every OPS the Allies spend on the East Africa map is one less spent attacking in the western desert. Playing the Italian Fleet in 1940 is a no-risk move - either the Allies burn a round countering it, or the Axis pick up a freebie VP.
 
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