Don Cooper
United States
Syracuse
New York
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Having finally got my preorder, I had the opportunity to play the game a half a dozen times or so. So here are some of my observations regarding the game:

1.The actual footprint of the game is bigger than I thought. With two maps (Scenario Three, for example, there are scenarios with even more maps), the AP tracking cards and scenario sheet the game takes up quite a lot of space.

2.The interactive sequence can be very confusing, like a real firefight. Combat units basically have to stop in every hex they move and see if the opponent wants to use an Opportunity Action or CAPS or Pass. What gets confusing is that the active player can then use an opportunity or CAPs action and vice versa. This makes the game less solitaire friendly than one would suspect, in my opinion. Players must remain focused on the game at all times. There’s a lot going on with so few units that solitaire gaming is a bit hard, although the option they have for solitiare use works surprisingly well.

3.As the game progresses, the above issue can be a real time killer, especially, if you or your opponent is one of those deep thinkers (These are the same guys who wait in like at McDonald’s for fifteen minutes but wait until they are the cashier to figure out what it is they want to order). I think one of the biggest myths of the game is that it is fast playing but that is only the case if the scenario uses few boards and pieces and the players are familiar with the system. I’m sure some house rules can be instituted to move things along, but even the first scenario will play longer than fifteen minutes and with the added rules a lot longer.

4.The game’s Rule and Scenario books are oversized, which is not a problem if your eyes are going on you (which mine are). A small scenario card or sheet would work better and reduce the game’s footprint. I suggest creating a generic turn record chart and keeping the scenario book off to the side.

5.The rules are simple and are intentionally so. Read this: “No Rules Lawyers Need Apply.” The first thing a hardcore wargamer will do is read between the lines, which can be disasterous for any game. A hardcore Eurogamer will forgo the use the use of the rules past the first section and miss out on all historical realism and complexity that is added to the game that really makes the game tick.

6.Although the game has often been referred to as a Eurostyle Squad Leader, this association is very superficial. The parts and pieces are typical of the higher-end Eurostyle games. Although for once we have a game that doesn’t use little army men and minatures as a marketing scheme.There is a bidding process for Command Action Points at the beginning of the turn to see who goes first. The interaction between players is also another Eurostyle trait in the game. That said the game is very historical and is more similar to a wargame than to a Eurogame. There is quite a lot of die rolling from who gets initative on the turn to rallying to firing and various other activities. If you are one of those players that feels that there is a dice conspiracy against you and you have lost every game due solely to dice this game is not for you.

7.There are a lot of games that are considered to be gateway games to wargaming. You don’t want “Case Blue” by MMP to be your first wargame purchase or experience. That said, a game like “Napoleon’s Triumph” is a bit gimicky and so unique that it would not lead gamers to develop their interests into other wargames. ASL Starter Kits are very basic and simple when compared to ASL, but the starter kits lead only to ASL as the rules and terminology are very series specific. Conflict of Heroes, however, does what Squad Leader did over thirty years ago and opened up wargaming to a whole group of people who would never have purchased or played a wargame.
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Richard Savage
United States
Clearwater
Florida
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I agree whole-heartedly with your comments. This is a "gateway" game that promises to lure wargamers into the hobby because of its easy rules
but complex tactical strategies. The programmed instruction is straight out of the old Squad Leader also, only much more precise and compact. Grognards will love it for the cards, Command Action Points, Action Points, opportunity fire, etc. It seems that the majority of wargamers are still awaiting their games due to the unexpected popularity of this game, once they get them, I predict that BGG and CSW will be swamped with strategies, new scenarios, and a lot of happy people.
 
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Mike Windsor
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Fort Worth
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2 and 3 don't have to be a problem. You move your unit hex by hex at a reasonable (not too fast, but not too slow) pace. If your opponent wants to take opportunity fire, he announces it and is honor-bound to take it with some unit. No stopping, measuring, thinking, then deciding. If you have new players to the system, or just want to give each other some slack, use a mulligan system like in golf. Example: I tell you to stop moving your unit, I calculate my shot and realize that I've completely messed up something, and I declare a mulligan; I don't have to take a worthless shot, and you keep moving (although I may have shown a hidden unit -- there's no taking that knowledge back). I'm not sure how the scoring works (since I'm still waiting for Thought Hammer to deliver the %@#* thing), but you could even "buy" your mulligans like they do at some charity golf tournaments (you get # of mulligans for one victory point).
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John Fortune
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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It is interesting that different types of players and people will have different observations.

your #3 you say it is misleading that this is a fast playing game.

There is a lot of time that goes into moving each unit, but both players are involved the entire time. So there is very little down time. If you had 30 units on each side, that could take some time to get through a turn I suppose - but it would tense the entire time for both sides.

#2 - Sometimes I forget who the active unit is and whose turn it is whe there are a lot of CAPS being used. I may start using some kind of token to mark the active unit.

#1 - There is a large footprint now that you mention it - I found myself running out of table space with the rules out, the firefight book and the board.

I love the game though.
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Rob Bradley
United States
Belleville
Wisconsin
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mwindsor wrote:
If your opponent wants to take opportunity fire, he announces it and is honor-bound to take it with some unit. No stopping, measuring, thinking, then deciding.


That is ridiculus.

I want the game to move along so I move my unit counting out hexes, at any point, I will let my opponent say "go back 2 hexes" and let him check range or LoS. He is not bound to use any CAPs if he chooeses not to, for any reason. The game uses hexes for a reason. It is so you can stop (or in this case your opponent can stop you) at any point to check LoS or range.
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uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
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Reaction time can be an issue and we have an informal 3 second rule. (Or 5 second ) But this is to make players decide on gut reactions, not figuring out exact odds. Again, the idea is to try to simulate life reactions, which are not always the best choices.

For new players, we always allow all the time they need, since they have to get their head around the game first.

Uwe
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Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
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Quote:
That is ridicules.


Actually its academic. I usually play solitaire, so I get to do whatever I damn well please.
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Rob Bradley
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mwindsor wrote:
Quote:
That is ridicules.


Actually its academic. I usually play solitaire, so I get to do whatever I damn well please.


Sorry if i offended. It was not my intent.
 
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James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
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DUMASCLUB wrote:

1.The actual footprint of the game is bigger than I thought. With two maps (Scenario Three, for example, there are scenarios with even more maps), the AP tracking cards and scenario sheet the game takes up quite a lot of space.


Out of curiosity, what's the highest number of maps used in a scenario?

I've only received my swamp map so far, no game, but I was surprised on the size of it... all 6 together would be one massive game!
 
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Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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Quote:
Sorry if I offended.


None taken.
 
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uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
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In the firefight book 4 firefights use 2 maps, 2 - 1 map, 3 - 3 maps, 1 - 4 maps.
Online: 1 - 2 maps, 1 - 1/2 map, 1 - 1 map.

In design most have 1 - 6 maps.

Uwe
 
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James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
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uweeickert wrote:
In the firefight book 4 firefights use 2 maps, 2 - 1 map, 3 - 3 maps, 1 - 4 maps.
Online: 1 - 2 maps, 1 - 1/2 map, 1 - 1 map.

In design most have 1 - 6 maps.

Uwe


Wait a sec.... that's 3 online firefights... there's only 2 so far... where's the 3rd???
 
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uwe eickert
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Fremont
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Opps, I just have not had time to upload it yet. Am busy getting the games shipped to Canada!

Sorry.
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Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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Thank you for giving us your honest impressions of the game vs. the (well deserved) hype. I requested my wife get me this for Christmas (waiting that long is hard, but at least I know how long I have to wait and don't have to grind my teeth over a delayed pre-order laugh ) Your review tempered my enthusiasm that my wife will willing to play very often, but I do feel this is finally a war game she would be willing to try.

Also, regarding the space needed... Will a fairly standard 6-8 seater dining table accommadate most scenarios or will I be crawling around on the floor fairly often? Thanks!
 
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Randy Dickens II
United States
Canton
Ohio
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You should be able to do most of the firefights on your table.

Number of boards per firefight:
Firefight 1 use one board
Firefights 2,3,4,7 & 10 use two boards
Firefights 5,6 & 8 use three boards
Firefight 9 uses 4 boards

I imagine you will have to use 9 somewhere with more space. Everything else should work with your space restrictions.
 
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Mark Mitchell
United Kingdom
Brighton
East Sussex
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Good review. After my first play with my GF she said straight after "shall we play it tomorrow".!!? After trudging through TOI with her I thought she was going to be put off for a while, this game seems to make wargaming not only accessible but it does create a feeling of fluidity I havent seen in any wargames. Suffice to say her german LMG's cut me to shreds as I tried to storm her position with my Ppsh squads. A bad move.

It is a seminal wargame, and with about a 5 - 10 second move rate, it feels fast, engrossing and exciting. TOI does have these moments but certainly is more 'gamey' with irritating modifiers and weirdness. I like TOI but this is going to get a lot more plays. Quick to setup, good engrossing play, and extremely re-playable.

It also has enough depth that I really want to explore the world of COH, where as TOI I feel like I've seen it all. (Not enough unit types, dodgy scenarios, long setup time).

A little criticism is that the counters may not wear too well, and although I like the matt finish I think a weave or some kind of laminated finish would make them last a lot longer. Already have the paper hanging off of one counter as I think it wasn't glued that well.

M
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Chris Bailey
United States
Broomfield
Colorado
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This game sounds SWEET!
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James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
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ixnay66 wrote:
This game sounds SWEET!


Oh, it most definitely is.
 
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