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Subject: A critical review rss

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Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
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I heard a great deal of praise about this game, and I've played and liked several Victory Games products a great deal. So when I happened across this game on a 2nd hand stall, it was with some joy I purchased it.

Since then I've played Scenario 1, Scenario 2, and playing the Campaign game at the moment. However, I am increasingly disappointed by the mechanics of the game.

Things I think are odd;

1. the old CRT, and considering the infamy of Korean hills & mountains, it is all just a -1 drm for all non-clear terrain. Rivers are -2 drm.
2. the mandatory combat rule, which requires all adjacent units to attack. Very odd, particularly when there are major terrain features like rivers that actually are detrimental to the attack.
3. the horrible supply rules, can I roll lucky for supply? I don't mind the depot placement concept, but having all supply based on a few rolls (or even 1 roll) is terrible. Plus, the multiplication by fractions, why not by whole numbers?
4. the somewhat random operations, which is mainly problematic because it can’t be delayed or stored.
5. Each unit activates separately, if units activated together to attack, then that might make having more ops desirable, but having several single ops in a row isn’t much use.
6. the fact the UN knows what is coming sort of kills the Chinese surprise attack concept. Particularly when the Chinese intervention roll comes prior to the UN Air Support allocation, allowing full interdiction of the intervention.
7. Activated units having halved defence strength. Really odd. The only game I know where digging in actually reduces your defence value.

8. But the BIG flaw is that the win or loss is decided by the Global Tension roll each turn.
There is nothing the NK can do about Global Tension really, and if the UN are lucky, then it is an easy win. If the UN are unlucky, they will struggle.

So for example, a game where the escalation went to 1 on Turn 6, which is worth 30 VP over the match.
If the Escalation went to 1 on Turn 2, it is worth 50 VP.

Seems a poor game where Victory Points are primarily determined by single die roll each turn.

If they had taken the Civil War Initiative system, and the Vietnam combat system and transplanted them into this game, that would have been great. As it stands it seems like a very ordinary combat system, and a random initiative system that has little point anyway.

So I guess I post this as a warning to VG game fans that as VG games go, I found this a bit substandard.
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Matt Ward
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While I have a couple quibbles with the individual items in your writeup I believe you have hit on the single most important issue with the game in the global tension effect on victory points. Certainly global tension is a neat subsystem to the game and highlights the danger of UN escalation, but an unlucky player (on either side) can find the die roll going against them and see an operationally brilliant campaign undone through a single die roll.

A player wants to feel that their choices and skill have an effect on whether they win or not but the overwhelming effect of the increase (or lack of increase for the NK player) in tension, especially in the earlier turns of the game is something that cannot be undone. Even the lowest level of competitive escalation has a chance of increasing global tension and its reduction of victory points.

In a way I still want the global tension system to be in place but to have it only matter by saying that a player who has chosen to be too aggressive on the global level will have increased the chance that they will not win.

As it stands, an early increase in global tension ensures an NK win, whereas a late increase despite UN aggressive choices will mean a devastating NK win, regardless of the situation on the ground.
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Fred Thomas
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1. the old CRT, and considering the infamy of Korean hills & mountains, it is all just a -1 drm for all non-clear terrain. Rivers are -2 drm.

Agreed. The lack of exchanges makes it inferior even to games from the 1960s. And how are we supposed to believe that there could be no result from an attack? An attack isn't going to stall before taking some losses.

3. the horrible supply rules, can I roll lucky for supply? I don't mind the depot placement concept, but having all supply based on a few rolls (or even 1 roll) is terrible. Plus, the multiplication by fractions, why not by whole numbers?

This is the best part of the game for me. I like having uncertainty with the supply situation while not having to truck around loads of supply counters. I also like to play with a calculator so fractions are no different from whole numbers.

I did hate the replacement rolls. It seemed impossible to rebuild my ROK army. This should have been done using historical numbers.

5. Each unit activates separately, if units activated together to attack, then that might make having more ops desirable, but having several single ops in a row isn’t much use.

I agree and have always played igo hugo.

6. the fact the UN knows what is coming sort of kills the Chinese surprise attack concept. Particularly when the Chinese intervention roll comes prior to the UN Air Support allocation, allowing full interdiction of the intervention.

We historically knew what was coming. The Chinese made a warning attack before the big one, but MacArthur arrogantly dismissed it. He claimed that if the Chinese intervened in force, our air power would inflict the "greatest slaughter".

7. Activated units having halved defence strength. Really odd. The only game I know where digging in actually reduces your defence value.

Agreed. How can anyone say with a straight face that a unit can attack off the march at full strength, but only at half strength if they wait to attack more deliberately and with reinforcements?
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Mark McG
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So further research indicates this one isn't true, at least not entirely

6. the fact the UN knows what is coming sort of kills the Chinese surprise attack concept. Particularly when the Chinese intervention roll comes prior to the UN Air Support allocation, allowing full interdiction of the intervention.

The Intervention roll is made in the NK Reinforcement Phase, so the US won't know if it is successful until after Air Allocations.
They will know Intervention is possible though.
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