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Boots on the Ground» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A difficult war against an Unorthadox enemy rss

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Tanks Alot
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Boots on the ground theme has always intrigued me... I watched it pass by several times before finally biting the bullet. I am glad I did. The theme of the game is modern warfare and one of the things I liked about this was that its a theme my son would probably like, and it's pretty light and quick. I have also been playing Descent lately with some friends and I like the special abilities of the units in that game. I have never understood why there arent more "wargames" that have this feel to it.
The components are fine except for the cards. After the 3rd play I already noticed some wear on the cards. I have had to sleeve them which is ok, but it seems silly that they are that fragile.
The gameplay is so fun I have to admit this is the only solo game I have ever played and got excited about. Most solo games I dont finish, but the drawing of the cards and the insurgents popping up behind you really has a chaotic feel. I have been stuck in some really bad situations in this game but each time I try and figure out what I can do differently to avoid that. And another thing that is nice about this game is that you can play co-op, solo, and against another player and all seem to work well.
The rules are the worst part to the game. There is some open ended-ness to how to interpret some things, but there are enough questions on the geek answered now to where I feel more comfortable. There are only 4 pages of rules I think but some specific things, like a units range is on page 4. I think I am so used to games with a great intro section "This is a unit, movement is located here, firepower is located here", and going from games that have stacking rules and all the unit strength built into the chits have made me spoiled a bit. Nothing drives me crazier than digging through 5 pages of material to find a simple statement.
So after the pains of getting started, I really like this game. I am planning on making a video tutorial so you can see it in action but for now, a written review will have to do.

Gameplay sort of goes like this
The streets are full of civilians, that could be insurgents but you dont find out til you move close..
I move toward my objective. Nothing is in range so I dont fire.
I am adjacent to a civilian though, so he is flipped. He is a civilian so I am safe
I draw a card, and 4 insurgents pop up in the 4 closest windows and fire at me. I take hits etc...
Now its my turn, and I fire back, and run for cover into a building if I can...
Draw a card- More insurgents pop up or one could have a grenade or possibly nothing could happen.
I know activate my medic to heal my damaged unit.
I draw another card.

So you can see the longer you take to heal and slowly move the more cards that activate. You can also get health kits and grenades from footlockers around the map, but the best par of the game is each units special abilities such as a healing medic or a demo unit being able to blow a hole in a wall.

So this game is absolutely fun, if someone else is teaching you the rules :) And sometimes you just gotta make a call and go with it. It's fun and light but very hard as the American player.

I hope you get a chance to play this game, and I sure hope they make a vassal module for this game as I really think everyone should give this game a go at least once (if you like chaos like me)

Happy Gaming!


Charles
http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalBoardGames

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Scott Key
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Quote:
I really think everyone should give this game a go at least once (if you like chaos like me)

Not "chess-like"... which to me is a good thing! You can't plan the perfect moves because you just never know what is going to happen. Excellent narrative, each turn riveting, very bloody.
Thanks for the review!
I wonder if they'll do more with this "under appreciated" gem?
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Tanks Alot
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There is a second print coming out. If they fix the ruleset and include a clearer player aide I think they will have no problem getting a huge following with this.
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Kev.
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charlescab wrote:
There is a second print coming out. If they fix the ruleset and include a clearer player aide I think they will have no problem getting a huge following with this.


Agreed. The fans have been neglected here. There was to be a FAW, a v 2 of rules and expansions for either purchase or download.
I think they missed an opportunity to create a tight game.
The could even look to making this a basic thru advanced game (deeper rules more realism)
Kitting out your guys, with new gear, weapons and new enemies and new decks provides a fab launch point.

Which so far has not been managed well as far as I can tell based on response rates here and on CSW.

I've offered once to make promo vids, for free and would be happy to do so, but I guess either the designer or publisher are too busy.
This could be the first game to "replace" the old SPI title SNIPER or PAtrol ( I forget which it is... that was a coooooooool game.)
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Erik Racer
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Nice review. I didn't realize they had a second print in the works. Hopefully it won't take as long as the first one.

If they do update the rules, I think it would be nice if they included an actual AI script for playing solo instead of making the player responsible for it. Not because its difficult to do so, but more because I'd rather feel like I'm playing against the game instead of myself. That is one of the reasons I like Gears of War: The Board Game so much.
 
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Adam Jones
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I'm pretty sure I have the 2nd Edition of Boots on the Ground. There is now a quick-reference card displaying the abilities of the units, combat resolution, and the attributes of the various civilians/vehicles/lockboxes.

There have been a couple times where I've have to pore over the rules to resolve an issue, but I've found that in these instances it's best to just go with the most logical action.

For example, insurgents are supposed to attack the "closest" unit to them during card play. However, I was in a situation where an insurgent was equidistant from 2 of my units who were in different buildings. Both were out of view of the insurgent, but in the previous turn unit 1 had fired and moved. So although it would have been much more convenient for me for the insurgent to attack unit 2, I had to deduce that the insurgent would have most definitely heard the firing and moving of unit 1 and moved in that direction.

That's one thing I definitely love about this game, it leaves the decision-making up to the player (in a solitaire game). I read in another thread that a good principle to abide by when placing and attacking with the insurgents is for them to do whatever "Hurts the Worst." I've found that by disciplining myself to attack without mercy when placing the insurgents, it's made me a much better decision-maker when it comes to the movement of my American units.

This is my first real war board game, so take my opinion for what it's worth. I think this game is fantastic. The scenarios are believable, the unit abilities have been well-thought, the insurgents/American units are well-balanced.

Best of all, I believe this game (in it's solitaire form) captures the true "Fog of War" that exists in the present-day urban conflicts the US military is engaged in. With an enemy that is also a civilian, it is completely realistic for the Intel to project 25 enemies in a given area when there are actually 50. I think the addition of hidden IED's and insurgents disguised as civilians was a stroke of genius as well. It's unpredictable, it's frustrating, it's 100% realistic.

Another great feature is how easy it is to make your own scenarios. There are enough extra units (American and insurgent) to do just about anything.

Great game, I'm looking forward to future expansions.
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Scott Key
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The more I play Boots on the Ground the more I love it. More please Worthington ( though this game gives you more replay ability than most games I have ever played).
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Geromino Pares
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Hey guys I just purchased this game and was wondering if you guys would be interested in an advanced version of the game? I am currently working on some advanced rules and ideas and would love to bounce around somethings..

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Brett Schaller
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I would certainly be interested in checking out your ideas. This is a fun little game but it cries out for some house rules.
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