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Valley Games Edition

I felt my first unease when i read the game description at the back of the box - golden letters in around 8pt at black background.

What you get
- one of the most colourfull mapboards in the history of wargaming, where you struggle to grasp play important information
- strategy and battle cards with beautifull pictures, but backs with the same artistic work and only differentiated with the word "strategy" or "battle" in around 10pt
- CU's and city markers in ...well, at least the fontsize of the CU's is raised a bit.

Summary: Dysfunctional. The cards are a nuisance (more work in sorting), but the map and counters are critical. To play with this hardware is exhausting, also i would not recommend to use it as an introduction for newbies into the hobby.
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Andy Ravenscroft
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Quote:
To play with this hardware is exhausting


That's worrying, Achim. Thanks for the alert. It looks like the game might be fun from the pictures I've seen here on BGG, but my goodness from what you report it sounds like it's going to be a bit of a pain. Were you exhausted after playing just one game, or did it take several to wear you down? I expect I'll give it at least one play before I throw it out, so I'd like to set my pain tolerance to an appropriate level before I open the box. If it turns out that just one play with the graphic design that's been used for the game is going to leave me lying in a sweaty heap on the floor, then perhaps I won't even open the box.
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gobbeg wrote:
Quote:
To play with this hardware is exhausting


That's worrying, Achim. Thanks for the alert. It looks like the game might be fun from the pictures I've seen here on BGG, but my goodness from what you report it sounds like it's going to be a bit of a pain. Were you exhausted after playing just one game, or did it take several to wear you down? I expect I'll give it at least one play before I throw it out, so I'd like to set my pain tolerance to an appropriate level before I open the box. If it turns out that just one play with the graphic design that's been used for the game is going to leave me lying in a sweaty heap on the floor, then perhaps I won't even open the box.


Haha, enough sarcasm to make it hilarious, but also almost sounded serious for a second.

Really, from the pictures posted, they seem to match what the original poster describes, but those look fine to me, the cards especially look great.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Sounds like someone's copy is up for trade.cool
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To be honest, I will be ticked off if the cards for battle and strategy have the same back... but other than that...

heh.
 
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BlueJackal wrote:
To be honest, I will be ticked off if the cards for battle and strategy have the same back...


The answer to that is to buy two different colors of card protectors to distinguish the decks. That's what I did with the original edition anyway, to protect the cards from wear.
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BlueJackal wrote:
To be honest, I will be ticked off if the cards for battle and strategy have the same back... but other than that...

heh.


They don't.
They are as shown in the pic above.
Those on the left are the battle cards (marked BATTLE) with the strategy cards (marked STRATEGY) on the right.
It's difficult to make out the lettering in the pic and I guess they could have chosen a 'lighter' colour for the font to stand out more against the darker background but... come on, is this really a problem?
Not in my book.
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Charles F.
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Functionally I dare say having the space name noted under each space is an improvement over past editions. This was arguably the greatest (valid) criticism players had in the past and I trust this change was implemented following suggestions made by players. Most exemplary.
 
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Nikator wrote:
Valley Games Edition

I felt my first unease when i read the game description at the back of the box - golden letters in around 8pt at black background.

What you get
- one of the most colourfull mapboards in the history of wargaming, where you struggle to grasp play important information
- strategy and battle cards with beautifull pictures, but backs with the same artistic work and only differentiated with the word "strategy" or "battle" in around 10pt
- CU's and city markers in ...well, at least the fontsize of the CU's is raised a bit.

Summary: Dysfunctional. The cards are a nuisance (more work in sorting), but the map and counters are critical. To play with this hardware is exhausting, also i would not recommend to use it as an introduction for newbies into the hobby.


LOL

Gee. I wonder if this is coming from a wargamer? I understand. Beautiful colourful components can be hard on eyes that are calibrated for linear two-tone drabness.

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Charles F.
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zapperio wrote:
Beautiful colourful components can be hard on eyes that are calibrated for linear two-tone drabness.


Hehe, Hannibal was certainly an eye-candy treat for wargamers in the still somewhat graphically spartan 90s. But wargame graphics have caught up considerably thanks to Photoshop & Co. Even though Roger MacGowan still has the odd problem with shading and perspective...
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I like Rodgers work. I think his style is very clean and appealing; Combat Commander Europe is one of my favorite box designs. I'm bummed a photograph is featured on CC:Med instead of one of his stylizations.

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ejamer wrote:
I do hope that Achim answers my question about the cards. IF the backs for all of his cards are the same, it would kind of suck. IF he just made a mistake... well, I've made similar mistakes and certainly wouldn't hold it against him!


You are right, the cards are different, i confused them. Seems that i was still shocked by the board then inspecting the cards.

Nevertheless, regarding the board Valley Games has crossed a border. I usually have a high tolerance regarding maps and counters (rules are another matter). I own Triumph of Chaos and found the components atmospherical and still functional acceptable, while other in the wargaming community complained about the darkness of the map and the colourladden counters, but this map is a problem. I don't know how to use this game as an introduction for newbies if they are struggling the first hours to get the space connections in Italy correctly. Also i'm not willing to be distracted for some aesthetical effect from play important information or ease to discern this information. There is a tendency in wargaming towards bigger counters (5/8 size) and larger fonts. This game uses at different occasions unnecessary low font sizes.
I'm somewhat surprised that it's such a challenging business to reprint a wargame, but it seems that there is really some "industry knowledge" necessary to get it right. Clash of Arms, a company known for their more colourfull games in comparision e.g to GMT, is the example how to push not to far away from playability for some aesthetical effect.
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ejamer wrote:
My copy hasn't yet arrived, but does this mean your cards don't look like this:


That image was not uploaded by a Valley Games employee, so I'm pretty sure they aren't just prototype card backs... Maybe the person who took this image (or you) got a special deck by mistake?


I uploaded the picture. I'm pretty much 100% sure it is the production version. I think the original poster made a boo-boo in stating othervise.

ejamer wrote:

Personally, I'll reserve judgement about the multi-colored board until seeing it - but it's worth mentioning that the original game had a colorful board as well. A comparison of old vs new is included below just so everyone can see.


It is even more obvious from the below pictures that it is in fact _the same_ board, only the tables have been updated and the logo and a few additional pictures (the Hannibal bust, the coins on the bottom) have been added.


Original Board


Reprint Board

The hexagonal spaces and two-sided area names are the most obvious difference. As I played the game on Friday I must say that these changes are to the better! You now see the area names when there are units in the area, and also the political allegiance marker is visible under any combat units present in the hex.

The added placename banners have made the provinces a bit more difficult to pick out i.e. in Italy, though. This is IMHO the biggest problem with the map makeover.

Overall, my impression of the new version is very positive. I have had no problem distinguishing the new cards, all illustration are sombre and fit the graphic design overall.

The rulebook is clearly presented and well typeset. I've counted three minor typos, which is nothing compared to most games released nowadays. (I think the rules text is verbatim the 2nd edition rules made available by Simonitch for the original AH release some years ago.) If there is anything to gripe about, it is the lack of an index.

Overall, I'd say that Nikator critisism is mostly unfounded, with the exception of the provices in Italy, and I do hope that he'll come to appreciate the minor tweaks and graphic upgrade the new version has received in later playings. It is really that good!

/kgm

(Edits, can't type, can't separate usernames, and can't forget to mention the "provice problem" :)
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BlueJackal wrote:
To be honest, I will be ticked off if the cards for battle and strategy have the same back... but other than that...

heh.


By they are different. They even have different illustrations. In addition to being marked with "Battle" and "Strategy"... :-/

/kgm
 
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ejamer wrote:

This is the trick with graphic design: personal opinion counts for a lot.

Although poking a bit of fun isn't a problem, we would do well to remember that the original poster is entitled to his opinion. If he feels the board is too colorful or unclear, there is nothing wrong with that... and if a simpler board would have made the game easier to play for him, then he's got every right to say so.


Very true. I had similar reaction to BattleLore as the OP has to Hannibal mainly because I love the clean crispness of C&C:Ancients. So my laughter was more sympathetic than I conveyed.

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The OP may subjectively have a point. I'm going to reserve judgement on H:RvC until mine arrives but I have always suspected not enough game artists play the games they work on.

Many times initially perceived game art issues disappear with play but not always. The name of the game across the middle of the C&C:Ancients and Battle Cry boards irritated me at first but they do disappear when playing. There were a couple of decisions on layout, colors and fonts in Phalanx's Age of Napoleon, A House Divided and Waterloo that irritate me to different degrees every time I play. Due to my aging vision, I may be especially irritable about some such things.

Generally speaking, I can always do without ornamental scenes of battle or general's portraits adorning a wargame board placed soley for the purpose of filling in a blank space.


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Just regarding replies to me, about the backing (and how I'd be ticked):

Yes, I saw the pictures of the different card backs (and part of the reason I'd be ticked), but the OP was stating that this was evidently not the case.

And yes, I will sleeve the cards, and different colors would work, but in most cases it's not too costly to print different card backs.
 
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BTW, I strongly suggest you use card sleeves for the battle cards since they'd otherwise suffer a lot of wear.
 
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Speaking of card sleeves, those cards look like they are of the narrow variety. Are they some non-standard size or are they of the yu-gi-oh size?

Personally, I very much prefer good old 3-1/2 x 2-1/2. That is my own personal quibble with the production...based of course only on pictures.
 
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kgm3219 wrote:
The added placename banners have made the provinces a bit more difficult to pick out i.e. in Italy, though. This is IMHO the biggest problem with the map makeover.


I agree. Generally, the map is a beauty and of course, it is very, very similar to the old one. Italy is the part where the graphical changes are most noticeable. In my opinion it makes the board appear too crowded, and I wish it could have been just a bit more subdued. See for instance this comparison (new board overlaid on old one):



Apart from that, I find the components for the new version fantastic. Here's an example of new vs. old version strategy cards:

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Jim Marshall
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Nikator wrote:
Valley Games Edition

I felt my first unease when i read the game description at the back of the box - golden letters in around 8pt at black background.

What you get
- one of the most colourfull mapboards in the history of wargaming, where you struggle to grasp play important information
- strategy and battle cards with beautifull pictures, but backs with the same artistic work and only differentiated with the word "strategy" or "battle" in around 10pt
- CU's and city markers in ...well, at least the fontsize of the CU's is raised a bit.

Summary: Dysfunctional. The cards are a nuisance (more work in sorting), but the map and counters are critical. To play with this hardware is exhausting, also i would not recommend to use it as an introduction for newbies into the hobby.


Sorry to hear you didn't like it.

Now if you'll take €20 in exchange, I'll happily take it off your hands.....
 
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gobbeg wrote:
Quote:
To play with this hardware is exhausting


That's worrying, Achim. Thanks for the alert. It looks like the game might be fun from the pictures I've seen here on BGG, but my goodness from what you report it sounds like it's going to be a bit of a pain. Were you exhausted after playing just one game, or did it take several to wear you down? I expect I'll give it at least one play before I throw it out, so I'd like to set my pain tolerance to an appropriate level before I open the box. If it turns out that just one play with the graphic design that's been used for the game is going to leave me lying in a sweaty heap on the floor, then perhaps I won't even open the box.


If you ever wonder what sets me off to bring out the sarcasm in me, it is comments like this. And you have garnered fifteen (at the time of this posting) thumbs. I would imagine that most--all?--come from a select group of pucker-up's kiss who cannot stand any criticism of this reprint. It is as if Moses came down from the mountain, not with the Ten Commandments, but with Hannibal in his hand.

Achim is expressing his opinion. He is finding fault with the graphics. It is only his view, so why not let him have his piece in peace? Nah! Let's flame him instead with a sarcastic reply that makes even Severus Snape wince.

You do not agree with Achim, and you do not need to do so. You can express your like of the game, as it is, or has become, and you both can speak your respective pieces in peace.

This comment from ejamer was fair, common sense. He wrote:

Quote:
Mike Doyle did a lot of the graphic design for this game. Some people love his style, but others don't (isn't that always the way these things work?).


I think those who cannot stand any criticism of the reprint should start there own website where you can have one big Hannibal love-in. kiss

The pucker-up's kiss praise of the reprint has become putrid yuk because you will not allow room for differing opinions.

goo
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Philip Thomas
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Bentlarsen, people thumbed up that comment because they thought it was funny.

Lighten up a little!
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Barry Kendall
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Well, I've found a benefit to the game's delayed release in the US.

I've now learned that I was wrong about something.

I though only us Yanks were picky about things.

I guess consumers are consumers everywhere.

I'm still glad the thing's been reprinted.

All spoken in good humor, no offense meant.
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