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I too was surprisingly happy with this game.
When buying a few big games, I had a few dollars left but not enough for a big game and so threw this one in the cart. I'm glad I did.
Cards: These are fantastic and just about what I would imagine from a WWII card game. Everything here is good. (And my aging eyes send a thank you for not having long instructions in small print!)
Gameplay: Can indeed be very short. I didn't think it possible given other games which claim to be quick, but as long as you don't get hung up on choosing forces, it can really be quick and fun.
Movement: It took me a bit to realize what was making the game different from others. I hadn't even thought about it, but there is basically no movement as you know it to worry about in the game. You each have a frontline and rearline and you basically just duke it out. But, in the big picture, movement is present though abstract. If you wipe out your opponents frontline, your lines advance and come face-to-face with his rearline. [The artillery units can start shaking in their boots NOW!]. Also cards may allow units to retreat or go back to the reserve deck and mobile artillery units can keep things fluid and move between lines. So far, it works and is part of what makes the game play quickly.
Kudos for overrun mechanic: A tremendous and simple mechanic which I will have to remember to incorporate into other games is that if you run out of land units, you don't 1) Lose immediately 2) bring out 1 unit each turn and see it used as cannon fodder for the forces that already wiped you clean. You have three turns to draw cards and build up your forces again. And with the option to draw two units per turn, it is an even better option. [But remember, your opponent gets to keep drawing cards during this time!]
Targeting Method: When I had only read the rules, I was a bit worried about choosing targets by physically pointing the units at their target. This hasn't turned out to be that bad for the smaller battles.
A couple of notes:
1) The rules didn't state and no one has mentioned that you need to have a way to keep track of the damage to your units. I'm using some extra d20's - at least for those Panthers!
2) Targeting Method: When it comes to larger battles, I find that I do like to mark targets with counters. Note that markers are planned for the expansion.
And finally, not only have I enjoyed the game, but a big thumbs up for the support of the designer being very active in the forums here in answering questions and even just chiming in to confirm things that have already been answered by the players.
Thumbs up for this one!
Doug, a big thanks for picking it up, and I'm glad you're enjoying Spearpoint 1943.
This week or next, I'll be releasing a new free situation I've been testing that uses Command Cards to represent a German-held airfield along the German rear line. It acts as a static objective. The scenario is basically for the US to capture or overrun the airfield. The cool part is a built-in mechanic that lets you draw and 'stage' aircraft from an Aircraft Reserves deck and when it's time to commit, you as the German player have to choose to either commit from your hand or commit from the airfield (up to four staged aircraft)... but be careful... those grounded aircraft are considered vulnerable targets to US attack I'm not sure if you've tried out any of the situations or not, but I think this one will be the best one yet for the base game.
On your notes-
1) do you find you need to track damage even though temporary damage 'clears' at the end of the combat phase? Certainly, I do see the need to track damage within a single phase if you have multiple attackers against a single target like a Panther, but beyond the current phase, unless the Panther is damaged (and you draw a damage card to track it), any temporary damage goes away and the unit is back up to full Endurance... or if already damaged, back up to the half Endurance mark... a bit of recovery. Makes those German tanks even tougher and the US tanks a bit more useful.
2) Agreed. It becomes absolutely necessary in the expansion where a map board (one of two sides) essentially replaces the frontlines of both players. So what can happen is with movement added in, units can be anywhere on that map. Turning cards to point and target is less viable. So there are 16 pairs of targeting markers (1" die cut counters, numbered as pairs) to mark Attacker and Target for each attacking unit during Target Declaration. Those pairs also work the same way for use in base games of Spearpoint and are useful for those who prefer not to turn cards and would rather mark the cards with something.
And always happy to support. Thanks for the kind words. Enjoy!
1) do you find you need to track damage even though temporary damage 'clears' at the end of the combat phase?
The more I play and depending on the experience of my opponent, the less this comes up.
And part is my playing style which is very 'compartmentalized' or methodical not to mention the way I go in games I won't remember the base dice roll for the Crew damage from 10 seconds before! (I'm a visual kind of guy who refers to things, not a keep it in mind guy!)
It's also not as bad when the first attack doesn't get you to half endurance, but when the 1st does get you there and you have to place the damage card and see how it affects things, by that time I'll probably lose track of the current endurance level for the 2nd attack.
I just played my first game with aircraft and got out some 4 sided dice to keep track of their turns of flight.
Turned into a very different game because I used the suggested starting deck for the germans with the two Panthers and a Tiger while the Americans had the deck with the four aircraft.
Turns out the Germans can't damage any aircraft - not a single unit!
So it was a race against time with the Germans trying to take out the few US land units and overrun them before the planes had time to bomb the US to victory.