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Panzer General: Allied Assault» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review Of An Out of Date Wargamer rss

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Sean Syndicator
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While I have played my share of war games over the years, I am years out of date. So for me, the major question I wanted answered about Panzer General: AA was what the barrier for entry was. Said another way, would this game be accessible to someone who enjoyed those style games but who hadn't heavily played them for years? It is from that angle that I approach my review of the game.

As with all games, you start by reading the rule book. It is well illustrated and very detailed. So back to that barrier for entry topic: it seemed a bit daunting at first. Cards here... move there.. add prestige... morale up and down... But as with all rule books, you really can't judge complexity until you actually apply the rules.

At that point I was pleasantly surprised to see there were three single player scenarios included (Metz, Bulge and Herrken Forest). You were able to play both sides with special rules being supplied for the NPC side. Of course you could cheat but that really defeats the purpose of playing a competitive war game to begin with.

Running through each of the three scenarios I found the early intimidation by the rulebook to rapidly vanish and instead be replaced by anticipation of what card I would draw next and what I would do next turn and would I have enough Prestige to play the cards I thought I wanted to play.

If you are still confused about anything after playing the single player scenarios there is a snippet of a sample game in the back of the manual to further clarify the rules. And if you are a fan of numbers and stats and thinking up 'what if' scenarios then the table of all the units and their stats is also a value added inclusion in the rulebook. And finally, there are a page of hints and strategies at the back of the manual. While we all like to think we are the next world conquering general, I found it useful to read Chuck's ideas (he signed the Designer Notes section) and picked up several pointers I carried forward with me.

As with all games though, the real fun comes from playing against someone else. The human element of not knowing what they will do or what cards they drew and how they will architect their strategy to counter yours is why most of us play these kinds of games. Panzer General: AA definitely delivers there. In fact, the single player scenarios are really just warm-ups to get you comfortable with the rules and familiar with playing the game.

In closing, I would definitely recommend Panzer General: AA for anyone who enjoys war strategy games. I think the barrier for entry is not very high as they do a good job with examples, explanations and the chance to play single player scenarios. The physical game pieces are well designed (great artwork on the cards). The mechanics of the game are such that you pretty much are always doing something, even when its the other person's turn since you are often in combat and that means playing cards. And playing the cards is really the 'unknown' factor each round that keeps things fresh and interesting. Its the old cliche that no two games are alike and that is certainly the case with PG:AA.

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James Mckane
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Thanks for the review, I'm looking at alot of ww2 games and this has hit higher on my list.

Cheers.
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