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Subject: The Gist of the Game (because it's simpler than the rules suggest) rss

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Mark Buetow
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I think the rulebook to Hitler's Reich could use a bit of editing and cleaning up still. That's unfortunate as it becomes a barrier to learning the game and makes it appear to be a more complicated game than it actually is. I'd like to suggest the following very brief overview of how the game works; perhaps, understanding this, it will help others make more sense of the rules.

The Goal:

The goal of the game is to either occupy your enemy's Production Centers or reduce their Conflict Card hand size to zero or three or less if yours is twelve.


Commentary: When you first start the game, you have a list of different actions you can take. But what do you actually do? What is your plan? Hitler already controls most of Europe. It's 1941. What should you actually do? you want to play Event Cards that will increase your hand size and decrease your opponents. If you can get theirs to zero, you win. Otherwise, it's a battle over production centers. Germans taking all six of West or Russia will win; Germans holding onto Berlin plus at least two of their original Production Centers win. Allies have to win by preventing that, or by reducing Germany's hand size to zero. Everything you do should be angled toward those eventual goals.

The Core Mechanic:

The core of Hitler's Reich is the old card game "War." You know, you both flip a card and the high card wins. In Hitler’s Reich, though, you’ll get to choose your card from your hand. Now add in a roll of at least three dice to that card. High number wins. Now, add in some events and other factors that can add dice, allow you to set the numbers on dice, and allow you to re-roll your dice or force your opponent to re-roll their dice. That's the heart of it.

This Conflict Resolution sequence is done for one of two purposes: to acquire or activate an Event Card -OR- to attack a land or sea area and take control of it.


What seems confusing to some is this: You play conflict cards and events to GET another Event Card or to immediately play certain types of Events. You can use other Events to modify this attempt to gain a card. The same procedure for GETTING or USING a card is the same as ATTACKING to control a space. And this is important: When you are playing for a card, you simply select the card from those available that you would like to acquire or play. They aren't random. The deck/array is open information and an open selection from which you get to choose.

EXAMPLE: I want to play a Wolfpack Card to reduce the Allied hand size.
(1) I pick the card from the deck and put it on the table.
(2) I play one or more events from my Event pool that will help me win this card (or I don't play any)
(3) My opponent plays events or not to help him win the conflict.
(4) We choose our Conflict Cards and reveal them
(5) We roll pertinent dice.
If I'm successful, Wolfpack activates, and my opponent will discard and reduce their hand size. If not, the card goes back to the deck.

Now, replace "Wolfpack" with "Tigers." I want some tanks! If I win the conflict over this card, I get the card to use later when I attack a land area.

EXAMPLE: I want to attack Yugoslavia and control it. (The Allies can't try to take my Romanian oil fields).
(1) I announce my attack, placing the white cylinder there (just as a reminder that's where I'm attacking).
(2) I play my Tiger card (and maybe a General, some Stukas, whatever).
(3) My opponent plays some events like a General to help defend, or a Counter Attack to possibly re-roll.
(4) We play Conflict Cards and reveal them. Perhaps the Conflict Cards we played allow us to re-roll. We decide if we want to do that.
If I am successful, I put a control marker in Yugoslavia. If not, I lose and my Tigers are discarded (winning flips them for use at a later turn).

That is the essence of the game: Card Comparison + Dice Roll + modifiers to dice rolls = Winner who either gets a card/executes a card OR takes control of a land or sea area.

Everything else in the game in one way or another affects these two actions: getting cards or attacking.


Every event, fortification, navy, special operations, bonus actions - all of them adjust, enhance, or make more difficult the act of getting/using a card or attacking. That's it.

The rules explain the various conditions and resolution of various actions. When certain actions are successful, you can take additional actions, and so forth. But, to reiterate:

The gist of this game is engaging in conflicts (Cards + Dice) to GET/RESOLVE more cards or to ATTACK and take control of areas.

I think, if you get this general overview, the game will make much more sense, despite the sometimes hard-to-follow wording of the rules.

I hope this helps as others learn the game!
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Chuck Tewksbury
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I got to play Mark with his design prior to the game being released. You hit several nails on the head with your outline above! It's a fun, fast-paced game and in the war gaming world it's very easy to over think the mechanics.
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Jason Sherlock
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I am a hard core gamer (been playing Avalon Hill Wargames since the 70's).

I still have not been able to crack the code of this rulebook.

A Youtube walk though would probably help a lot.
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Dan Rivera
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I have been playing wargames for a long time and haven't been able to understand the rulebook to play much less teach. This desperately needs a video walkthrough. It probably is as simple as you make it but I just can't make it through the rules which is unfortunate because I really want to play it.
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Richard A. Edwards
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Very nice summary of the core actions and conflict and goals!
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Jeff K
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Malacandra wrote:
I think the rulebook to Hitler's Reich could use a bit of editing and cleaning up still.


This, sir, may qualify as the understatement of the month (at least)!

Well done on the summary.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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"All history is made up. Good history is made up by good historians; bad history is made up by the others." -David Macaulay
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Malacandra wrote:
The core of Hitler's Reich is the old card game "War." You know, you both flip a card and the high card wins.

While most of the summary is excellent, this bit is misleading - and off-putting. In War, you flip a card and high card wins. In Hitler's Reich, you choose a card to play from a hand of cards.
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Jason Clubb
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Very nice, concise simplification of the core of the game. It is a hand Mangement/dice war game that plays fast and easy, nothing more, nothing less.

The rules are a little cryptic, no doubt; It took me 5 reads and a solo game vs the bot to get the rules. I taught someone the game in 15 minutes the other night and we got through 1942, no problem, with a low number of Rulebook references.


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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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Thank you for this clearyfucstion
Now when I have a more understanding of how the game flows im little concerned its little to light and abstract. Specially for a two player game.
Quartermaster General seems more meaty maybe? 🤔
 
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Lee M
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Just a note about the need for clarification with some rules and why the rules are a bit vague and confusing:

If I'm successful, Wolfpack activates, and my opponent will discard and reduce their hand size. If not, the card goes back to the deck.


Actually,

If Not, the Wolfpack goes to box top and may later be added back to EventDeck/Array

Per answer to question in the rules forum here,
 
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Mark Buetow
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sos1 wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
The core of Hitler's Reich is the old card game "War." You know, you both flip a card and the high card wins.

While most of the summary is excellent, this bit is misleading - and off-putting. In War, you flip a card and high card wins. In Hitler's Reich, you choose a card to play from a hand of cards.


No intention to be off-putting. I know from reading leading up to release that “War” was a bit of a core mechanic, but obviously modified. whistle

From the Playbook:
Quote:
Why add dice to the Card vs. Card battle of the traditional card game of War?

Real war is fraught with uncertainty; the dice reflect what can and will go wrong—or right—once combat or conflict over Event acquisition begins. The ability to modify dice through the play of Saboteur, Double Agent, or Bonus cards and Events represents the greater planning and resources that go into the commitment of superior forces to gain victory.


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Mark Buetow
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comsolut wrote:
Just a note about the need for clarification with some rules and why the rules are a bit vague and confusing:

If I'm successful, Wolfpack activates, and my opponent will discard and reduce their hand size. If not, the card goes back to the deck.


Actually,

If Not, the Wolfpack goes to box top and may later be added back to EventDeck/Array

Per answer to question in the rules forum here,


I may have been referring to the Removable event resolution. If you lose, it goes back to the deck/array. It’s not specified for Recyclable events other than to say when it’s “used.” You have a link to the thread?
 
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Jeff M
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So to summarize. A relatively simple, elegant game with off-putting unnecessarily complex rules.
Good rule writing is a talent which sadly so few seem to possess.
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Susan Buetow
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You did a great job explaining it!!
 
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Jason Sherlock
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Someone who understands the game, please do a video.

I keep putting down the rulebook and playbook after a few pages.

This game stumps me. I do want to like it.
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Paul D
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Lowden025 wrote:
So to summarize. A relatively simple, elegant game with off-putting unnecessarily complex rules.
Good rule writing is a talent which sadly so few seem to possess.


Still eagerly awaiting my copy, but this is advertised as a simple and quick playing game. It's a real shame if the rulebook, in its current form, is an impediment to that. I appreciate the difficulty/effort in designing good games, but if you can't learn/play the game because of the rulebook, it doesn't really matter how good the game is. .
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Greg Love
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Think I will wait for a 2nd edition, with (hopefully) revised rules. I know it is HARD to write clear rules, even for relatively simple games.
 
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Mark Buetow
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zombiewarrior07 wrote:
Think I will wait for a 2nd edition, with (hopefully) revised rules. I know it is HARD to write clear rules, even for relatively simple games.


There are a couple things that were a bit fuzzy but have been clarified since. While it’s true that he rules could use some polish, you’ll miss out if you wait for a second edition.
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Jason Clubb
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zombiewarrior07 wrote:
Think I will wait for a 2nd edition, with (hopefully) revised rules. I know it is HARD to write clear rules, even for relatively simple games.


I am going to take a crack at a rules summary to help clarify the game. Once I get going, I will post it up as a WIP, so people can send me corrections, clarifications, better wording, etc.

Believe me, the game is simpler than he Rulebook makes it out to be.
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Lee M
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There is an exceptional game here, don't miss out.

Once you get the innovative game system locked down, it will be all about speed of play, abundant choices, engaging turns, and fun!
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Jeff M
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So what happens to rule writers/editors? Do they all have an engineering or legal perspective on how rules should be written? Are they writing rules aimed for tournament play rather than to teach the game? If so pease stop. The vast majority of your potential customers are not playing in tournaments. We just want to have fun, not spend hours trying to decipher how to play a game.
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chicagopsych

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Can anyone comment on the complexity level of the flowchart bot system?
 
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Jason Clubb
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chicagopsych wrote:
Can anyone comment on the complexity level of the flowchart bot system?


It is not too bad. I had one or two "what does that really mean?" moments, but figured it out. Using the bot is a good way to figure the rules out...keep the rulebook handy to refer to.
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Jeff K
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Tolchock wrote:

Now when I have a more understanding of how the game flows im little concerned its little to light and abstract. Specially for a two player game.
Quartermaster General seems more meaty maybe? 🤔


No, definitely not. It just so happens that I played Hitler's Reich and QG back to back last week. I can assure you that HR has almost an order of magnitude more tense and interesting decision making than QG. It is a much, much deeper game than QG, where your decisions are pretty obvious and there is only so far you can take them. And HR is better balanced, although I think that goes without saying as QG is so wildly swingy. Also, QG is far more abstract than HR.

I did like QG, if it sounds like I didn't, but it is definitely fluffy fun compared to HR. QG is a great game to have a laugh with friends over a beer at the crazy thing that just happened, and then reset and do it again. But HR is better at rewarding actual planning and good play, and is somewhat historical, compared to QG which isn't really (although, that is not it's strength. It's just a comment if that type of thing matters to you, personally I don't always care about that).
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chicagopsych

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MetalChef wrote:
chicagopsych wrote:
Can anyone comment on the complexity level of the flowchart bot system?


It is not too bad. I had one or two "what does that really mean?" moments, but figured it out. Using the bot is a good way to figure the rules out...keep the rulebook handy to refer to.


Thanks!
Once you had the system down did the solitaire system flow smoothly or is it cumbersome (high effort)?
 
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