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Subject: A Short Written Review -- Bitskrieg rss

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Paul D
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Fitzroy
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Gameplay
The rules are simple and short. Go read the rulebook. Or, at least gleam all the details from caublbil's nice one-page summary.

But here’s a summary that's too short summary to do it real justice:
Each player gets 5 tanks, and 2 rebuilds. There are light, medium, and heavy tanks, as well as tank destroyers. On your turn you either activate one tank, or refresh all tanks. When activated, a tank moves or shoots. Die rolling is used to assess hits. The first player to kill all opponent tanks or hold both opponent flags wins. Takes about 20-45mins to play, depending on the players and if you use the optional rules.


Review
Mechanically, Bitskrieg is pretty solid. Not broken or unbalanced in any problematic way.

I’ll admit I was seduced by the cleaver title and box art. But I do enjoy the game a little more than I expected to. I do think it's fair to draw parallels between Bitskrieg (with all its optional rules being used) and manoeuvre – and this is certainly a compliment to Bitskreig.

I do have reservations, though.

For instance: While the variability within the game system (e.g. during setup, use of dice) does mean that no two plays will ever be the same, the variability isn’t of the sort that can really make different plays feel different. So I worry that Bitskrieg will grow stale or samey.

I also worry that Bitskrieg tries to be too much to too many people – trying to be appealing to both grognards and grogkids alike. However, the level of detail and simulation sought by gorgnards isn’t really of the sort that grogkids can handle.... But I never play boardgames with grogkids, so am I their target audience here? I'm not sure. And I'm not sure how many adults (who only play with adults) will find enough in Bitskrieg to be satisfied. An expansion with a host of additional optional modules could be a great addition, even at this early stage, to help ensure the game offers lasting appeal to gamers like me. So, I’d like to see an expansion.

My other main criticisms are aesthetic. This is the main board:

Why did they print the dice all over it? Why not just do what Carson City did, with the dice running along two edges? It would work just as well and the board would look cleaner/nicer while playing.

And, while the texture, coloring, and thickness of the components is fantastic, they all feel too small. You can tell from that pic above how small the board/tanks are. It would have felt nicer to physically play with if the main board and tank tokens were bigger -- there’s certainly space within the nicely thin box for bigger bits. I also dislike the cartoony font style used on the tank tokens. The artwork itself is nice, but I find the "info holding graphics" ugly.

Given that this is a brand new release from a relatively younger boutique publisher, all these complaints could justly be considered to be very minor.


Final Thoughts
So, if you’re in the market for a 2-player tank-themed filler, give Bitskrieg a go as this could be a good game for you.

If you like manoeuvre, or even if you just like the idea of a game like manoeuvre, Bitskrieg is probably a game you should check out.

Tank Duel might be the tank game I’m looking for, but for the meantime – until it get released – I’ll play Bitskreig.



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Frankie Bones

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Many, of course, will rant and rave against the garment fate has woven for them, but they pick it up and don it all the same, and most wear it to the end of their days. You…you would rather go naked into the storm.
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I have really enjoyed Bitskrieg but share some of your reservations. As an adult, I did get this game to play with my kids and have come to the conclusion that it is just a little too complex for them.

We have modified the rules to play with 3 tanks, 1 flag and 3 obstacles to make it more approachable but they still don't understand the strategy, range rolls and combat. My Son is 6 but I do believe it is appropriate for older kids. I also think it's great to introduce wargames to non-wargamers. I have played it with my Girlfriend numerous times and she likes it, but not as much as me.

One other complaint I had is that it is very difficult to manipulate the pieces when there are 3 or 4 next to each other. There is a lot of "counter flipping" and that becomes a task when the board is crowded.

With that said, it is a unique, portable, fun little tank game that I will most likely hold on to for when I want to scratch that wargame itch with my lady or my kids when they get just a wee bit older.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Thanks for your comments, guys.

The only thing I'll add is that the basic game really is just for playing with or among kids. Two adults who want to play Bitskrieg should play with all the fixin's from the get go. That's why we included a half-dozen or so optional bits at the end of the rules.

P.S. -- I'm excited about Tank Duel, too!
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Frankie Bones

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sdiberar wrote:
Thanks for your comments, guys.

The only thing I'll add is that the basic game really is just for playing with or among kids. Two adults who want to play <b>Bitskrieg</b> should play with all the fixin's from the get go. That's why we included a half-dozen or so optional bits at the end of the rules.


I've actually yet to try these but look forward to giving them a go soon! I think it will add some fire to the game.
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John Owen
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I've only played the base game once. It was with my 11-year-old daughter last Wednesday. I had fun and she had fun.

A week later, completely unrelated, I asked all of my children to each write down their five favorite games in the house as I've been doing some serious culling and wanted to make sure that I didn't get rid of any favorites that they like that I don't care about (later in the day, after hearing their cries of pain, I let them revise their lists to include ten games).

My 11yo put Bitskrieg on her list after just that one play (not that I was planning on getting rid of this one after just getting it! I did like it too!). But it really worked for her if she's thinking of it as a favorite already. For context, her favorite game is Summoner Wars, another fav is Nexus Ops, and the "heaviest" (warrish-)game she has played is probably Conquest of Paradise and/or 1754:Conquest.

I do think that Bitskrieg shares some similarities with Summoner Wars:
-played on a carefully defined grid
-could be abstract, but theme is perfect
-luck is present in the dice
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jumbit
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Yeah, those numbers on the tanks are unreadable. Who chose that font? The standard fonts are standard for a reason.

Well I guess it was Wil Alambre, seeing as his name is in big letters. He sure chose a very readable font for his name.
 
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Tom Russell
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jumbit wrote:
Yeah, those numbers on the tanks are unreadable. Who chose that font? The standard fonts are standard for a reason.

Well I guess it was Wil Alambre, seeing as his name is in big letters. He sure chose a very readable font for his name.


Blame me for the fonts in both cases. I lay out the counters, I design the box tops.

Wil's name on the box is no larger than those of the designers.
 
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Frankie Bones

Montana
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Many, of course, will rant and rave against the garment fate has woven for them, but they pick it up and don it all the same, and most wear it to the end of their days. You…you would rather go naked into the storm.
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jumbit wrote:
Yeah, those numbers on the tanks are unreadable. Who chose that font? The standard fonts are standard for a reason.

Well I guess it was Wil Alambre, seeing as his name is in big letters. He sure chose a very readable font for his name.


I have never had a problem reading the numbers at all. The only thing I have had a problem reading is distinguishing between MT and HT on the counters. That is easily remedied by looking at the numbers but at first glance, those two can look the same.

I find the counters readable and fun!
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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jumbit wrote:
Well I guess it was Wil Alambre, seeing as his name is in big letters. He sure chose a very readable font for his name.

I think you owe Wil an apology for this crass and ignorant statement.
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