I accidentally came across this game doing my usual trolling around BGG for information, fun and/or interesting facts, and general obsession pacifying. The description was great. I really enjoy any level of war gaming (frankly pretty lousy at whatever depth I play, but I always have fun and learn a tremendous amount), and often find myself as a solitaire player. This is especially so since moving to a new town a couple of months ago, still looking for work, and trying to settle into a new place while still having most of my possesions back in New York.
I love B-17: Queen of the Skies, play it all the time, and have picked up all the expansions I have found (something like 10 or 12 of them encompassing a couple of hundred pages), but it hasn’t made the move yet. While Agricola did come out here several months ago to play with the girlfriend, and I have enjoyed playing it solo, I miss my B17 & RAF.
Enter Airborne in my Pocket!
Up till now I have not tried (with success) to make a PnP/DIY game until now. Following Emmanuel’s suggestion:
Personally, I print these babies in a professional photo shop, 2 cards per 4x6. I just cut the 2 halves of a card (back and front) and place them together in a card sleeve (penny sleeves are perfect). The print quality on photo paper is unbelievable (actually better than a purchased game), and the paper has a good thickness. Costs me about 20 cents per card (front and back), which isn't too much.
I did exactly that and I am very happy with the final (as of this moment ) results!
So I wanted try and write an initial impression- review/session report, and that is what follows.
I printed all my cards (locations, events, rules, aid’s etc.) at a local photo store for $.19 a piece (like said above), they came out great, and the artwork really pops. Took the rules & campaign files to Kinko’s (not having a printer yet) & picked them up within the hour.
Brought everything home, hole-punched and slipped the rules into a soft-sided, dollar binder. Pulled out an extra set of sleeves from the little bit of stuff that made the trip to fix up the Agricola already here. One utility knife ($1), 1 kitchen cutting board ($1), 1 steel ruler, 3 pitchers of water, 8 trips to the head, and several hours later one beautiful looking game!
I have to admit I NEVER thought I would be able to do this. Seeing the quality of PnP work done by so many others, I had developed a sort of "Eyes bigger then Stomach" feeling about the whole process. I can’t make it look like that so I think I’ll just pass until I can make it look that good. After this simple project with such satisfying results, I’m ready to try another (including more of this game ).
Now on to my first, purposeful & accidental, plays which I just finished.
I "played" one game and just as I was figuring that I was going to win within the first couple of minutes (lucky card draws), I discovered my mistake - I hadn’t made it to the Ammo Dump to find the explosives! I went right in on the 3rd outside card. The second inside card was the Gun Control room! I survived both events and realized I didn’t remember how to set the explosives. Read that part of the straight forward rules again and discovered my mistake. Decided to go back out and search for it and died at the door!
Immediately played another game and that’s what follows. I will list out which location card I pulled and its layout on the table in front of me. Imagine a compass rose drawn on the table in front of you, South at your stomach and North pointing across from you. The locations are described this way reading the directions from left to right, W;S;N;E. Each noted direction is how the "exits" (roads/hallways) face.
-Drop Zone (W;N;E) No event. Move North.
-Panzer (W;S;N;E) Event #7: Face down the Infantrymen & Panzer bravely (& lose 3 Health), hell they have a motorcycle! Search it & pull Event#6. Decide to keep the Panzerfaust 30. Rest (discard event) and add my 3 Health back. Move West.
-Barbed Wire (W;N;E) Event #4: Eat my D-Ration and add +1 Health. (Hell that went easy!) Move North.
-Half-Track (W;S;E) Event #5: Explosion takes away 1 Health. (Thought it was over when I read the +2 on the tile, so quite happy at how this went.) Move East.
-AMMO DUMP (W;S) Event #9: (I think I did this one right?) "4 SS Soldiers yell at you!" So I killed them. That’s what I was supposed to do, right? Took my -3 Health (still only have the Colt) and searched them. Pulled Event #3 this time and keep the Flame-Thrower.
I pulled the second Event which was #2 and no interaction necessary. Got Lucky again & picked up the Explosives.
Exhausted the event cards, shuffled, discarded the top 2, and moved the clock ahead 1 hour.
Rested (can I do this here?) discarded the event, added 3 to my Health.
The Current Stats are:
-Health = 6
-Items = Colt, Explosives, Flame-thrower & Panzerfaust 30.
-Time = 0800
Move South. (The map happens to match up wonderfully!)
-Panzer (W;S;N;E) Event#5: Another exploding shell means -1 Health & -1 from the Panzer. Move East.
-BUNKER DOOR (W;S;N;E -With Bunker facing East) Event#10: Look for the item and pull Event Card #7. Immediately dump the Flame-thrower for the MP40 (from the just drawn Event #5). Good Idea? I didn't want to get stuck with a limited use weapon but at the end of this game I could’ve used the torch and lived! There was just no way to know and I had to "play it out", gotta love that. Next I moved East onto the already placed bunker Entrance.
The Map on the Way In
What I'm Carrying With Me
-Entrance (W with matching up the entrance arrows here;S;E) Event #8: Enter combat with the MP40 and lose 1 Health in the end. Move East.
-GUN CONTROL (W;N;E) Event#6: Lose 1 Health (and think "Can it be going this well?") Pulled the second event as Event #2 and use the Panzerfaust to deal with it. Explosives set. Time to get the hell out! Move West.
-Entrance (W;S;E) Event #4: Red Alert: 6 Infantrymen in a machine gun nest! Damn! Where’s that flame-thrower now! Gun it out (MP40) and lose 3 Health. Um, opps.
Die with -1 health, Colt, MP40, at 0800 hours In the DOORWAY!!
In my excitement I didn’t want to push the clock forward once more I just wanted to get out, but that was pretty short sighted. I was so engrossed that this game moves along so well, I wasn’t paying enough attention to the actual game! (Did I mention being a somewhat crummy gamer at times )
This was short, which is not a complaint at all - I can already see the tension and fun in this variable system. I can’t wait for this to go longer OR shorter. This is a very, very fun game. Easy to pick up the few pages of rules , the 2 item limit makes the choices tough, and thinking that I wouldn’t have an issue with the time proved wrong as I saw the possibility of burning through the minutes approaching.
Overall this was wonderful. I like that it really is "in my Pocket" if I want and don’t need anything else. With the traveling that occasionally plagues my year, I have a new friend!
One question I had was could I have evaded the last combat (in the entrance) to the outside to not lose so much health, and still win? I think I could have done so back into the Gun Control room, but before I rested I would have needed to draw another event. If I could go out the door, could I have won?
Thanks for this great game, and for all the time I will spend playing this over the years.
ps. The alternate titles I thought of for this were:
Secret Invasion News Just Released: Sheep from Agricola jump on D-Day!
Hey! What are you doing with MY Agricola sheep! (or My first play of AimP).
These ideas came from the Quarter I used for my player marker, and my girlfriend walking in and asking me if the cubes I was using were the old Agricola animal ones.
To which I replied "Yes! Isn't wonderful that I found another use for them? I actually have an idea for all of those little flat discs we use for grain and clay and stuff."
"Oh? What we'll we use for those then? It seems like a pain to move those from one game to another."
"Hum, maybe we can come up with something."
My evil plan to slowly pimp that farm continues!
And D-Day Dice, too!
I'm an "A"vatar.
Wonderful session report. And I'm not biased in any way!
It is always a privilege to hear about other people enjoying one's work. And your session had the added bonus of being very thorough. My girlfriend, after reading it, took the game from the box and started playing immediately (and cursed as Nazi bastards crushed her).
To answer some of your questions:
Yes, you can Evade from or to the Bunker Door.
Yes, you can Rest on any tile.
Yes, you can win the game by Evading to the Bunker Door after blowing the Guns. As long as you're out, you're safe.
Oh, and be careful not to pick up too many Items, as these will take away precious time. About 2 Items per game is reasonable. More is... greedy.
Thanks for the time you took to write this session, and may the Screaming Eagle protect you.