Recommend
37 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Hitler's Reich» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Hitler's Reich - no chits allowed rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
J Mar
Belgium
flag msg tools
Hitler’s Reich, 1 or 2 players

As everybody knows, World War II ended in 1942 when the Germans first captured London with their unexpected paratrooper offensive and blitzkrieg-d themselves to Moscow two months later. It all could have gone different, however. If you wish to explore some alternate histories, Hitler’s Reich might be your game.

Dice, dice, dice

But beware: this is not a long and detailed study of World War II. I don’t even think this qualifies as a true wargame. Do not expect endless rows of counters and chits. That’s to say, do not expect any counters and chits at all. That’s correct: there are no armies in Hitler’s Reich. There are fleets and control markers that can be placed on the map, but that’s all. Want to conquer an area? Point at it, place a conflict marker and resolve the subsequent battle -as long as you can reach that area, of course. To resolve conflicts, you roll the dice – most of the times, three per side. Whoever rolls most, wins. Clean and simple.

Cards, cards, cards

Oh yeah: I almost forgot. The cards. They are the most interesting part of this game. Each player has a deck of conflict cards, numbered from 1 to 13. These must be played along with the dice in every conflict. Some of them can cause a reroll of one or more of the dice, some have other special possibilities. Then there are the event cards. These can be used in conflicts (add a die, change the value of a die roll, have a sneak peek at the conflict card of the enemy, etc). Watch how I use the word ‘conflict’ and not ‘battle’. To acquire event cards, you have to resolve conflict too. For example: if I want the Bismarck event card in my hand, I point at it and a conflict occurs. Just like in a ‘real’ battle, both players select a conflict card and add the result of the die roll.

Bluffs, bluffs, bluffs

This means that there are in fact two battlefields: the map and the cards in your hand. You can lose the game on both fields, so be very careful and don't ignore one of them. This is where this game shines: the interaction between these two fields can cause huge dilemma’s. Say I play as the Allied. I started the game with a smaller hand size (6 vs 8). I can try to win the Convoy-event to add a conflict card to my hand, but what conflict card will I play? My Supreme Commander -value 13? The average lieutenant? Or just a measly corporal in the hope the Axis players burns one of his top cards? Or another twist: the Allied can only use Soviet conflict cards to defend the USSR. And even if -through a bad draw- the Soviet cards in his hand are terrible, he can put pressure on the Axis by trying to win Landing Craft. Now the Axis player has the choice: allow the Allied player to win a potentially destructive card -Operation Overlord, anyone?- or focus on the Eastern Front and hope for the best. This adds a very nice layer of bluff.

So-so-so

Now then, is this the perfect game? Well, it’s a good game, perfect it’s not. First of all, the manual is so-so. I would not call it bad, it just could have been better structured. Luckily, the playbook helps and there are some nice video playthroughs on the internet. I also wished the Axis had some more events to bid for. The game is not for everyone too. In the few sessions I played I noticed that some players got annoyed by the constant rolling of the dice and the luck involved. Even though dice rolls can be altered/influenced, a bad roll can still have disastrous consequences. But until now, I feel the player with the best strategy and best feeling of the game has won (btw, that was me). There are also two modes of solitaire play. The second mode, a bot-flowchart, is fun to play against albeit slightly flawed and in need of some tweaking.

Conclusion

You probably noticed I do like this game very much: the easy setup, the events, the eb and flow, the constant bluffing, the playtime (around two hours), it just ticks a lot of boxes. So yes, I would recommend it to players who are looking for a fast, fun and not too difficult WW2-game. And according to the designer, there’s more to come in this series.

Post scriptum one: soon after the capture of London, the Allies discovered they did not use all of their available defenses -they forgot to roll one extra die. After some deliberation and the promise of extra beer and schnaps, the Axis was fair enough to pull his forces back.

Post scriptum two: I’m not a native speaker. If things sound a bit weird, that’s because you probably are. Feel free to correct me, I can take it.
57 
 Thumb up
6.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
badge
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Hitler's Reich

Thanks for the review, it echoes a lot of my thoughts on this title.

The luck element is really about risk management and this game abounds in making judgements about what value cards to use and when to add your events, particularly the win/lose cards.

When playing the Axis I tended to take a low risk approach and ended up with eight event cards (you can go over the six card limit when adding them at the end of the year) and winning the game. It made me very strong, although I agree with your statement that the Germans could do with a few more event cards (and possibly fewer generals).

My only comment on the game is that, after 5 plays, I haven’t managed to come close to the two hours of play advertised on the box. Each game has taken quite a bit longer.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ad Astra Per Aspera
United States
Wesley Chapel
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Preserve Our Wildlife!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've got five games under my belt now also. The last three we had the rules down.

It's very easy to blame luck of the draw and dice on the ebb and flow of the game. Certainly, going all in on an attack or a defense and using two or three events to lose the conflict (and the events) can be a crushing blow. At first we accepted that the dice seem to decide more of the outcome than any strategy.

But...we reminded ourselves of our first play throughs of Twilight Struggle. Where we blamed many losses or victories on the luck of the draw. True, luck of the draw/roll does come in to play in both games. But it's short-sighted at the least to give it too much credit.

My schooling came when a member here played me a few games of Twilight Struggle to help me learn the finer points of the game. He soundly trounced me in nearly every game of Twlight Struggle we played. I did have a win where I played the cards in the wrong order. That was enough for him to win. But by and large, in spite of the luck of the draw and the dice, the better player won the vast majority of the games. Luck of the draw and dice are mitigated by timing, patience, and strategy.

Now, I have to say the amount of dice being rolled adds to the the amount of luck evident in Heitler's Reich. However, juat as in Twlight Struggle, I think a seasoned Hitler's Reich player can whoop up on a newer player. Sure, the seasoned player can be stung by a string of bad luck. yet I feel the better player knows how to mitigate the luck enough to eek out a win. Moreover, just as in Twilight Struggle, you still need to be smart about the strategy you apply on the map.

I'm looking forward to many more games of Hitler's Reich. Whether or not it's a true war game is irrelevant to me. It's a "good game" regardless of it's genre.

When I compare it to the more mainstream games about war (Memoir 44 always comes to mind) I think Hitler's reich is a quantum leap forward in depth and strategy. I'm sure some will argue that fact, but for me it's no contest. I found Memoir 44 (with many expansions) to be a snooze fest. For me it's just too simplified.

In any case, I happen to really love Hitler's Reich. I'm never going to play a giant bonafide war game, I have no desire to fiddle with chits and armies while the hours tick away. That's just more than I want to devote to any game.

That being said, I've love to hear about Simpler games like Hitler's Reich. Say what you want about Hitler's Reich, but it serves the purpose for me perfectly. Relative to my usual games this is a breath of fresh air. Not bogged down with a gazillion parts. I almost feel that it could be called a "war game for people who don't like war games."

Regarding the OP, I loved the perspective. Clearly this game is on the simpler side of what you typically play. Yet it's great to see an opinion from someone who can compare this to the genre it's sold into.

14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ad Astra Per Aspera
United States
Wesley Chapel
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Preserve Our Wildlife!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll also add I'd LOVE to see this on Steam. Though I know it's unlikely.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Mar
Belgium
flag msg tools
I think GMT announced that it would co-operate with a digital publisher -I forgot the name. So who knows...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
flag msg tools
H
JMar wrote:
I think GMT announced that it would co-operate with a digital publisher -I forgot the name. So who knows...


Playdek, I think.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
..or maybe iPad?

There are some great converts there from physical games (Among the Stars, Eclipse, Terra Mystica, Agricola, Waterdeep, ... but few if any strategic WW2 games.

Come on Asmodee Digital (or anyone else who does good converts!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.