Daniel Blezek
msg tools
mb
It's not often that a designer includes a letter inviting a vote and review on BGG. So, after lurking for a long time, I thought I'd take Uwe up on his request and share my impressions on the game.

Motivation to buy
I love to buy games, but I also like to play the games I buy and enjoy them for the money. We have four kids (10,8,6,4) and they comprise my primary gaming group, so, with rare exceptions, all my games need to be kid friendly. My 8 year old son and I have played through the basic Memoir '44 and the Memoir '44: Pacific Theater expansion over the past year, enjoying every scenario. This turned out to be a good purchase, and has a lot of replay value still left. Just before Christmas I put in my annual Christmas game order and wanted to add a new war game, something that would be a step up from Memoir '44. I'm not a huge war gamer, and remember my friends pouring over combat result tables, and moving itti-bitti counters with inscrutable symbols on them around paper maps for hours and hours at a time. Didn't want that... Because I wanted a WWII tactical game that was easier I had boiled it down to CoH and Nations at War: White Star Rising from Lock n Load games. White Star has been in P500 for a long time, so I went with CoH.

Components
The first thing you notice when taking the game in hand is it's heft. I really appreciate well made games, and I was especially pleased to see a game produced in the US have the same quality as many of the German games that I own. Opening the box revealed a very nice note hoping you enjoy the game and asking for votes on BGG by the game designer himself. Kudos for that, I really appreciate that Uwe thinks of the people buying the game. This really shined through when I discovered that my rule set was mis-printed and he personally sent me a replacement. Thanks Uwe!

Normally, I don't let my 6 and 4 year olds touch "Daddy's games", but the counters were so hardy, I let them punch them out. Huge counters with great graphics on them, easy to handle and see. Nice art on the boards and rule sets.

Rules
Having played and enjoyed many games of Memoir '44 with my son, I wanted to step it up with him and play a game that requires tracking more things and thinking through tactics. I think CoH does this very well. I read through the rules required for the first firefight. Nothing very suprising, if you are familiar with miniatures games (like Star Grunt/Dirtside). The rules have the feel of Space Hulk, you have a certain number of action points per counter and some reserve command action points. Spend the points how you like, but be careful because your opponent can spend his points between your actions. This is very nice, especially for my son. It can be hard to sit idly by and watch your enemy pound you to dust. With the reaction rules, you have a chance to do something in response to every enemy action. And the added option of going all out on an attack, only to leave youself open to counter attach.

The hit rules are fantastic. Each time a unit is hit, I inwardly groan as the results can be anything simply being shaken (almost no effect) to nearly destroyed. Really adds a lot to the "grinding down" of a Memoir '44 unit.

After action report
All we've been able to play so far is the first firefight. I was a little skeptical that it would all be over in 5 turns... I played the defensive Russian troops against his attacking Germans. My son picked up the rules right away, but had a hard time keeping the numbers on the counters straight. I still can't figure out why the front defensive value is below the flank value, just seems backwards. I helped him with some of the moves, and made sure he keep track of his action points. So his very direct frontal assault worked well, including rushing my rifles hiding in the trees along the road. Being 1 hex away adds +3 to your firepower, so he was able to take me out. I played with my "nice-guy" rules, pointing out things he could do, and holding back from time to time so it wouldn't be totally discouraging.

What I really like about CoH
Rules are well thought out and lend themselves to rapid teaching, learning and playing. I taught my son in 10 minutes during the first game. The examples and designer notes are appreciated. The production quality is very high. The rules have nice illustrations and are well laid out. I especially like the "Now you know enough to play firefight 1". This is very helpful as I'm not a huge war gamer. The counters and boards are great, easy to see what each hex is, where roads go, walls that hug hex borders, etc. And hats off to Uwe for his excellent customer service.

What I didn't like about CoH
I like the idea of the cardboard counter holders, but mine ended up crushed in shipping and 2 of them were useless. Not a huge deal, as I like baggies for organization, so the counters ended up in bags anyway. I didn't like the open ends on the maps. Normally the edge of a board has paper wrapped around it, but the maps were just cut and left raw. I see them becoming ragged with use. Hope I'm wrong about that. The biggest thing I dislike is really silly: the size of the rule book. Not the length, the size of each page. While it's great to have so much information on each page, the book is really unweildy and awkward to read anywhere but on a table. I don't mind the scenario book being big, it's not something you carry around. This is a minor nit in the end.

Summary
This game really works as a tactical WWII war game. The rules add some new concepts to my son's experiences with Memoir '44 and are enjoyable for me. The production quality is very high with clear counters and wonderful maps. I sincerely hope to see more player produced firefights and expansion packs.

Rating
9/10
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Talbert
United States
Federal Way
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just got the chance to start playing this game and I have really enjoyed it so far. I just finished Firefight #3 and it came down to the last action of the game to decide who won.

The Defense Value being at the bottom of the counter makes me look twice sometimes too. It is counter-intuitive.

As far as the rulebook, I would suggest going to the website and grabbing the PDF. It prints out nicely on 8x11 paper and it is the most up to date version of the rules. My rulebook was messed up as well but I have been using this instead. I printed off 2 of them and keep them with my game so my opponent has their own copy to look at.

http://www.conflictofheroes.com/rules.html


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I shared your son's confusion about what all the numbers mean on the counter, too. I could hardly keep straight what the activation, firepower, and movement values were.

Your observation about the defense rating for the front and side/rear was baffling during my first play, too. I wanted the front rating to be boxed above and the side/rear rating to be below.

Putting the range in the national symbol was also a bit baffling.

None of these are game or deal-breakers. Just things to keep straight that I think could have been done more intuitively, given the size of the counter.

The counter holders in my buddy's set had to be folded into shape. They were shipped flat.

I'll have to give the game more plays to give it a fair rating. Right now, it seems like a faster-playing SL/ASL, but then the counter density is very low by comparison.

I do like the chit draw for damage and the idea that a second hit eliminates it. That keeps things simple.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
Abdullah Ibrahim - Water from an Ancient Well
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BradyLS wrote:
I wanted the front rating to be boxed above and the side/rear rating to be below.


It's interesting how people perceive things in different ways. I saw the larger number, in the larger font, as the primary (front) defense when first looking at the counters, so never experienced the disconnect that the "front on top" folks have to deal with.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First thing I noticed was the dark box and the number in white. Very important, I thought. I noticed, too that the front arc is marked in a darker color from the background color on all unit colors. I drew a connection. Wrong. The "front" rating is the number at the bottom right corner of the counter. Even though the counter's "front" is located at the very top.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hmmm... I wonder if I can change this in future games though? It may be more confusing switching the numbers, once a player have become used to the current configuration. I do like the idea of making the main defense value larger and more prominent. That may be a good solution. Thanks for the great input.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P Duggan
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't switch it, please.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Obsolete Man
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
uweeickert wrote:
Hmmm... I wonder if I can change this in future games though? It may be more confusing switching the numbers, once a player have become used to the current configuration. I do like the idea of making the main defense value larger and more prominent. That may be a good solution. Thanks for the great input.


I would think that the solution would be to make the main number graphically larger... but I don't think you can switch positions at this point. It would be too confusing to have one game be one way and another be the opposite.

When I first read about this issue, my reaction was the opposite. It makes sense to me to have the front defense on the bottom, because the counter is meant to be read with the bottom facing the reader. I suspect it makes sense to roughly half the people involved and makes no sense to the other half.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Aaron. Enlarging to make it clear which is front is great, but don't switch the positions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Obsolete Man
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Felkor wrote:
I agree with Aaron. Enlarging to make it clear which is front is great, but don't switch the positions.


Just thought of this... perhaps the bottom (front defense) number could be shifted one digit to the left, or even aligned diagonally with the top (flank defense) number? This would mean that the front defense is positioned slightly to the left of the flank defense, and "left = front" may be intuitive to a lot of people. It seems like this could be done without changing the basic format of the counters.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Loong
Hong Kong
Causeway Bay
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm always looking at both numbers and chose the larger one for the front defense value. I think more than 99% the front defense will be larger. Also, this give me some initiative to move my troops to attack the flank.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Embrion Linus
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
Regarding flank/Front defense numbers: It makes sense if you consider that the front def # is printed closest to the front edge of the tile. It would make even more sense if the flank # were printed farther back toward the flank half of the tile.
 
 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.