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Subject: Clash for a Continent Recycled rss

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Kent Reuber
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Hold the Line is a new release from Worthington Games. Well, sort of. Because Hold the Line is very similar to Clash and since I've previously reviewed Clash for a Continent (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/80742), I'll invite you to read the rules description in that review. Not much has changed other than the physical components. In this article, I'll summarize what has changed.

The Changes
1) In my reveiw of Clash, I griped a lot about its components. The components in Hold the Line are much improved: the counters are large and thick as are the terrain hex tiles (see below). As one would expect, this also comes at a price: the MSRP of Hold the Line is $10 more than Clash. The board is also thicker and includes turn and action point tracks, and unit movement and combat capabilities. One thing that's lacking in the game is a terrain effects chart. It would be nice to have all the terrain types organized on a reference sheet.



2) Clash included scenarios for both the French & Indian War and the American Revolution, while Hold the Line covers only the latter. There is a separate expansion (Hold the Line: French and Indian War Expansion Set) for the French & Indian war which includes, as one would expect, French and Indians units to add to the scenarios as well as boats, open water and additional terrain tiles. So, the price went up, and in addition, you don't get the variety of units you would have gotten with Clash.

3) There are only minor changes to the rules from Clash for a Continent to Hold the Line: leaders now have the ability to take up to two step losses rather than being eliminated by a single hit, the scenarios are new, and some scenarios such as Brandywine are defined to be "grand tactical" where the ground scale is increased and thus weapon ranges are one less than usual.

I'm actually surprised that they chose to give this game a separate name, since the games are so closely related. Why not call it Clash for a Continent 2nd Edition? My guess is that Worthington may have ambitions to transport the system to other venues, for example Napoleonics or Seven Years War in Europe and perhaps they felt that the original name was too tied to North America. Certainly the term Hold the Line could be applied to almost any battle in the Horse and Musket era.

Summary

In summary, it's not that Hold the Line is a bad game, it's just not a new game--it's Clash for a Continent Recycled. By the way, I already own Clash and I read the rules to Hold the Line on Worthington's Web site ahead of time, so I knew exactly what I was getting. So I won't gripe about paying more money for a very similar game, because I knew that was getting. Still, if the rules had changed more (for example, if there were rules for double-board multi-player scenarios a la Memoir '44: Overlord), I would have felt that Hold the Line had better value.

For those of you who have mourned the absence of Richard Borg's Commands and Colors game Battle Cry, Hold the Line will give you the horse and musket period experience, though using dice rather than cards to order units. On the one hand, you lose the fog of war of the cards by using dice--you know that the opponent is capable of responding to you, whereas in the Commands and Colors system, he simply may not have the proper card. One big advantage of using a die for action point generation is that it's easy to play Hold the Line (or Clash) solo--rolling the die and acting with each side in turn works much better than trying to forget which cards your "opponent" has in hand.

Buying Recommendations

1) If you've played Clash and didn't care for it, there's no point in buying Hold the Line. The game is more of the same with better components.

2) If you have a choice between buying Clash or Hold the Line, I'd go with Hold the Line for the better components and slightly updated rules. I note on Worthington's site that Clash is listed as "Out of Stock". If Clash isn't to be reprinted (and frankly, I see no reason why it should be), it would be nice to see the scenarios for Clash posted online or made available for purchase as an expansion pack.

3) If you already own Clash, it's a much tougher decision. The game isn't much different than what you already have. You do get all new scenarios and you get better components, but I think it's a tough call unless you really love Clash already. Especially if you want to play the French & Indian War scenarios, you'll also need the expansion pack. Don't get me wrong. I bought Hold the Line and the expansion (in fact, I pre-ordered them) even though I own Clash already simply because I like quite a bit. It's just not a significantly different game.
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James Boyd
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kentreuber wrote:
If Clash isn't to be reprinted (and frankly, I see no reason why it should be), it would be nice to see the scenarios for Clash posted online or made available for purchase as an expansion pack.


According to this post http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/336559 the Clash scenario book is going to be sold by itself.
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Kent Reuber
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Ah, excellent. Thanks for the pointer.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I have both Clash and Hold the Line, and your analysis is dead on. But the price will be up $25, not $10, if you have to purchase the French and Indian War expansion separately for $15 (it was thrown in for pre-orders).

Most of the changes for the rules involve stripping French and Indian War rules out of the main set, where they resided in Clash for a Continent, and printing them separately in the expansion. The expansion consists of those rules and the corresponding counter sheets in a piece of shrink wrap. They fit easily in the main game box.

One other rules tweak that I noticed, and which wasn't mentioned in the review, was that the sequence of play has you checking victory conditions after each player turn, rather than only at the end of the full turn. This makes better sense in many cases.

A similar problem with the rules still exists. I'm referring to the rule that says units can't recover morale if they were fired on in the current turn. Taken literally, this would mean that only the second player would ever be prevented from having units recover. The sensible way to handle this would be to say "in the previous player turn" rather than "in the current turn", so that units which had just been fired on couldn't recover. I'm sure that was the intent, and wish it had been cleaned up at the same time as the victory condition thing.
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Kent Reuber
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Sphere wrote:
One other rules tweak that I noticed, and which wasn't mentioned in the review, was that the sequence of play has you checking victory conditions after each player turn, rather than only at the end of the full turn. This makes better sense in many cases.


That's the way I've been playing Clash all along, so I didn't notice it as a change. oops.

One thing nice about the new counters in "Hold the Line" is that there's a clear "front" to the unit. It would be nice to see some simple facing rules and firing arcs added to the game.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Good way to sum it up. I played Clash a few weeks before I ordered Hold the Line and really liked the system but not the components. So Hold the Line seemed perfect for me.
 
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Marc Dabros
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Any idea if Worthington plans on doing an 1812 expansion for Hold the Line, to replace For Honor and Glory?
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Renaud Verlaque
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As for myself, I sold Clash and bought Hold the Line (+ Extension) at prepub prices even though I put in the order very late. The presentation sold me on doing the swap, but I probably would not have bought HtL if I had not been able to (1) get the extension at no extra costs and (2) sell CoC for almost the same price first.
 
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Kent Reuber
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So far, I've kept my Clash set. I'm keeping it for the scenarios as much as anything.
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Andrew Prizzi
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Quote:
A similar problem with the rules still exists. I'm referring to the rule that says units can't recover morale if they were fired on in the current turn. Taken literally, this would mean that only the second player would ever be prevented from having units recover. The sensible way to handle this would be to say "in the previous player turn" rather than "in the current turn", so that units which had just been fired on couldn't recover. I'm sure that was the intent, and wish it had been cleaned up at the same time as the victory condition thing.


I wonder if they changed the rules. I just checked by copy and it says that a unit can not rally if it as FIRED on its turn, not be fired on. The other requirement is that the unit does not move and start and ends its turn with a leader in the same hex. So there's not any unfair advantage for one player or the other.
 
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