I downloaded the V-Mail Postcard games #1 Malaya and #2 Unternehmung 25 yesterday and decided to make a review, because these are gems.
First of all how I made them.
Both where printed in color on normal A4 paper. If you really want, the pdf file is good enough to be blow up to A3 size if you want to, but then these wouldn't be proper pocket games, now would they.
The maps and counters was glued on 1,5mm cardboard set to dry under the weight of some books, and then covered in clear self adhesive film. (The sort public librarys use on the cover of their books.) The end result looked smashing. For good measure the rulepage was covered as well.
All in all it took me about an hour to make both games.
Now for the specific game:
V-mail PC game #1 Malaya:
The map is a 10 x 7 hex grid, in clear but not to bright colours. The terrain, roads, hexgrid, numbers and objectives are all easy to identify. On the side of the map is a legend for terain and counters, and a turn-chart (the game is 6 turns long, with alternating turns for Japan and Commonwealth forces.
The counters: 7 Japanese and 10 Commonwealth, are nice, and some are even two sided, where the weaker side is the unit after combat damage or loss of supply lines (for the Commonwealth units). The counters list combat strength, movement points, and hex-# (as well as turn #) for reinforcements. Some units have a coloured insignia, marking them as elites.
The movement and combat is straight forward, combat resolution uses a D6, and unless the die is very nefarious, pretty evenly matched. (for victory points – combatwise the Japanese have an edge).
Now, the rules are brief, as can be imagined. They have to fit on a postcard after all, so not everything is crystal clear.
Here is how the issues not mentioned may be solved. The points marked * is my interpretation.
1.Movement along roads cost ½ MP *
2.All units engaged in a combat, suffers the results of the combat. (Both the unit in the actual hex where the combat happens, and all units which support the unit. *
3.Reinforcements may act in combat the turn they show up, (either in their own hex or as support for an adjacent hex), or move 1 Hex if the don't act in combat
4.Units which supports a combat, may not move 1 Hex after combat is resolved.
5.Units may not move through hexes with other units.
6.If a friendly unit occupies a hex where a reinforcement is supposed to enter, the reinforcement is «backed-up» and must enter the hex on the first turn where the hex have no friendly unit. (This may lead to a chain of backed up units in the case of the Japanese)*
7.The Combat Result table is open ended. ( Less than -2 = -2, more than +3 = +3)
Now this game actually feel like a proper wargame, even with it's small size! It works beautifully as a solitaire game, or for to players. And I intend to keep my copy in an envelope in jacket-pocket , for the moments at a cafe when I fancy something else than dreary backgammon.
And you can't beat that prize! Find the download-link on the games page, and make your own copy!
Could you post some pictures of the set you made? I'd like to see how it turned out with the self adhesive film...
Sure, added them to the image board as well I think?
The whole game, see the pocket knife for comparison. This is printed on A4 paper (1:1 of the original pdf)
Close up. The counters (and board) was made using 1,5mm card board, the adhesive film should ensure that they look okay even after plenty of play.
I played around 10 games yesterday, and experimented with different strategies.
If the British dont protect the beaches against landings, they are very vulnerable unless they have a bit of luck. The cut off of supply lines can wreck the defences. But still havent fount a way to capture Singapore. :)