No good deed goes unpunished.
Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen
This was one of the favorite games that my group judged for the Themed Rummy Contest. We were using version 0.4. of the rules.
World War II in Europe Rummy has interesting mechanics that fit the theme perfectly. It is an clever hybrid between a war game and a rummy game. The game had consistent tension throughout and was just plain fun to play.
Having said all of that, there were some issues we had with the game:
There seems to be some problems with game balance. In the two-player game, the player playing Germany on the even years has an advantage of making easy melds with a strong German army. This might be resolved by changing the run/set pattern to set, run, run, set, set, run, run, set. Changing it to set, set, run, run, set, set, run, run would also balance the hands.
The players who go out in a round have a huge advantage. Holding out for a big campaign win is a gamble that almost does not seem worth the risk.
The cards have a nice design overall (Note: Graphic design was not one of the judging criteria for this contest.). Having said that, we have a couple of design requests if you have any plans to update the game. First, the front and back of the cards are too similar. It would help if these two had significantly different colors. Second, make Northern Europe a color that is not beige. Again, it is hard to distinguish with the present design.
The instructions need some polishing. For example, on page one, it says, “Starting with the dealer, each player turns over cards from the top of the draw deck until two region cards are revealed. The player places two of his colored cubs in that region.” Do you mean, “The player places two of his colored cubs in EACH region?” Is the cube placement the same region for both players?
The instructions continue, “Once all the players have placed their cubes, all cards are reshuffled, and the first round of play begins.” How many of the cubes are we to place? All of our cubes or just two of them? Can a player start in Germany?
Please rewrite the rules about deployment. We were unsure if we could only move two of the tokens that were on the board.
We were also wondering what happens when the battle strengths are greater than the number of cubes in the region?
Congratulations on the creation of as unique, fun and well-designed game. No matter what happens in this contest, please continue to develop it and give publication (even if it is only on Gamecrafter) serious consideration. We gave this game a 7.5 on the BGG 1 to 10 rating scale.
P.S. We used Through the Ages bits as the cubes for this game. They worked perfectly.