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Prince of Chaos: Battle for Tae Orn» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Great Wargame! rss

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Jason Hael
United States
San Diego
California
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I’ve had this game for about a year now and have played it about a dozen times or so. If you have some patients when learning this game you will be rewarded with one of the best tactical combat games you’ve played.

The first thing I highly, and I mean *HIGHLY* recommend is to go to the website (www.princeofchaos.com/) and download the play aids and Campaign scenarios. Another suggestion for new players is to take the time to view the flash demo on the website. It gives a good overview of how the turns flow and how the units move. The Campaign scenarios are also a great learning tool as they help you learn the nuances of movement and combat in an easy step-wise fashion. If you are a beginner it is wise to stick with the Basic rules for a while until you get a feel for the game. We tried diving right into the Expert rules and there is just too much to keep track of if you haven’t gotten the basics down. The games were taking far too many hours to play because we were always looking up rules. We almost put the game on the shelf for good. But once we went back to the simpler rules and focused on the basics the game got new life and turned out to be a very challenging and fun tactical simulation. Now we are back to the Expert rules and things move much more smoothly.

As others have noted, a clear and obvious plus to the game are the extremely well constructed pieces. The cardboard is very heavy and can stand a lot of abuse when “shuffling” the map. The artwork is fantastic and the colors used stand out perfectly.
The random map construction with the map tiles and unique aspects of each of the Princes makes the replay-ability of the game very high. In my opinion the highlight of the game is how it does a fantastic job of simulating the many factors that work together in combat. Positioning, terrain, and knowing when to give your units extra mobility are important to victory and can turn what would appear to be a weak force into a formidable one. Light units must fear getting too close to their Heavy counterparts in open terrain because once engaged in hand to hand, they can’t use their arrows and they can’t stand toe to toe. However, get them into a forest and their light mobile formations become nearly equal in hand to hand combat with Heavies who venture in after them. Better yet, get them on top of a hill with some Heavy forces of their own at the bottom and they can rain down damage quickly on any opponent who ventures near. Combat between Heavy troops is equally stimulating as things like terrain and flanking become major factors. Another thing that makes the replay-ability of the game very high is exploration. This definitely raises the luck factor but not enough to make up for bad tactical play.

The thing it seems most people complain about is the record keeping. It is true that you will think this game has a lot of record keeping if you are looking for a game to replace Settlers of Catan to play when the neighbors or coworkers come over for an evening of drinking and game playing. This is probably not that game. But as far as combat simulations go, this is definitely far from the worst of the record keeping games I’ve played, and the intuitiveness of most of the action makes it definitely more playable than most. Here’s a tip for making record keeping a simple process: First go to the website and download the Record Sheets and the Quick Reference Guide. Then get some clear sheet protectors and a few grease pens at an office supply store. This will make keeping track of things infinitely easier as you can easily mark and erase with the grease pen on the sheet protector. Dry or wet erase pens can work, but not as well as the grease pens as they erase too easily by mistake (dry) or make too much of a mess (wet).

My only complaint would be that in order to download the “extras” like the Quick Reference Guide, Record Sheets, and Campaign game, you need to own the game. Honestly, if these things were made available to everyone I think people could see for themselves that the record keeping isn’t really that bad.

This game is definitely one of my favorite wargames!
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Gunther Schmidl
Austria
Linz
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I laminated my record sheets, which works fine. I find that with the units one has usually out, record-keeping is done in a minute or less, including spells and traps.

Hopefully, PoC will gain another two ratings and take its rightful place in the ranks.
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John Herrera
United States
Highland
California
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I just picked up this game recently and like it very much. I am ready to show some other players how to play and I like the idea of keeping to the basics first then progressing to the expert rules later.

I use gold coins (from Talisman) for keeping track of money and the Fate chips (from Talisman) to track Mana. This really is an enjoyable game!
 
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