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Subject: Band of Brothers: Tactical WWII Lovers Assemble! rss

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A.T. Selvaggio
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There is a new tactical level WWII game out there that is worth a view from every wargamer. Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles If you want to learn about this game watch Marco's excellent video review and read the comments.

This game gives realism and depth with unbelievably low rules overhead. Jim Krohn and Worthington have created a gem.

Watch the video and place your order!
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Erik Nicely
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I was a good video. I'll be buying the game.
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Wulf Corbett
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It does look good, and I did like the video, but I do still worry that there sounds like there's a lot of die rolling for so many actions.

Mind you, I thought that about Lock'n'Load sighting rules, and it proved otherwise.

But do I need yet another WWII tactical game, after Lock 'n Load, Conflict of Heroes and Nations at War Series (and even Panzer Grenadier if we move up in scale)? I may be over-stretching things...
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
But do I need yet another WWII tactical game, after Lock 'n Load, Conflict of Heroes and Nations at War Series (and even Panzer Grenadier if we move up in scale)? I may be over-stretching things...

That's my problem. I don't even want to watch the video, because I might be tempted. I've got enough LnL scenarios backed up to last me for years, and the last thing I need is another distraction from that.

I'm too heavily invested in one system to even look at any others.

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Enrico Viglino
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I'm not a big WWII tactical fan, but this one's tasty looking.

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I have room in my heart for more tactical games. CoH, ASL starter kits, and now BoB. Hoping it lives up to my expectations. One thing I really enjoy is the artwork and the way it appears to handle defensive fire and activations per turn.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Wulf Corbett wrote:
But do I need yet another WWII tactical game, after Lock 'n Load, Conflict of Heroes and Nations at War Series (and even Panzer Grenadier if we move up in scale)? I may be over-stretching things...

That's my problem. I don't even want to watch the video, because I might be tempted. I've got enough LnL scenarios backed up to last me for years, and the last thing I need is another distraction from that.

I'm too heavily invested in one system to even look at any others.


Ditto. LNL is the gem for me. Besides the Band of Bros does not solo well.
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calandale wrote:
I'm not a big WWII tactical fan, but this one's tasty looking.


me either. But I like Lock n load for its WWIII/Vietnam/Falklands war.
Great modern tech and awesome squad action.

I'm a bit tactically WWII overloaded.
Sold Combat commander.
Bailed on PG
Deep into TCS - platoon level.
The rest dont interest me enough to make a switch. If I have an itch for it I can use LNL's simple system, and extensive library.
I like the 'look' of BoB but I think the solo side of it is weak. The rules are very well done and allow you to focus on tactics to the of the systems ability.
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A.T. Selvaggio
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hipshot wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
Wulf Corbett wrote:
But do I need yet another WWII tactical game, after Lock 'n Load, Conflict of Heroes and Nations at War Series (and even Panzer Grenadier if we move up in scale)? I may be over-stretching things...

That's my problem. I don't even want to watch the video, because I might be tempted. I've got enough LnL scenarios backed up to last me for years, and the last thing I need is another distraction from that.

I'm too heavily invested in one system to even look at any others.


Ditto. LNL is the gem for me. Besides the Band of Bros does not solo well.


I am curious as to why you think LnL solos better? Is it the sighting mechanic in LnL v. The concealment/decoy in BoB? I won't knock LnL in any way (I own most of the series) but I can't see how it is significantly better solo and the rulebook for LnL, IMHO, is quite large and more challenging to decipher in comparison to BoB. Looking forward to your insights.
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Wulf Corbett
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atsgamer wrote:
I am curious as to why you think LnL solos better? Is it the sighting mechanic in LnL v. The concealment/decoy in BoB?
That's my opinion, certainly. It's a good solid compromise in LnL for solo play, not requiring actual hidden units, but still disallowing actions in a semi-realistic manner.
Quote:
I won't knock LnL in any way (I own most of the series) but I can't see how it is significantly better solo and the rulebook for LnL, IMHO, is quite large and more challenging to decipher in comparison to BoB.
Personally, I still compare tactical game rules to ASL, in which case the LnL rulebook is barely a leaflet...
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atsgamer wrote:
There is a new tactical level WWII game out there that is worth a view from every wargamer. Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles If you want to learn about this game watch Marco's excellent video review and read the comments.

This game gives realism and depth with unbelievably low rules overhead. Jim Krohn and Worthington have created a gem.

Watch the video and place your order!


Every time I watch one of Marco's videos I want to buy the game. The man's enthusiasm is infectious.
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Leesa
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anything WWII.. I am IN!
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It looks a bit too cartoony for me. We can't have that. Counters for tactical games like this need to be more manly and not so colourful. It looks like it was drawn by a hippy. Also it is better if they're not made out of wimpy cardboard. Personally I think they should be a lot more sturdy and have real sharp edges so your fingers bleed a little everytime you handle them, not this rainbowy kiddy nonsense.
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pepe le moko wrote:
It looks a bit too cartoony for me. We can't have that. Counters for tactical games like this need to be more manly and not so colourful. It looks like it was drawn by a hippy. Also it is better if they're not made out of wimpy cardboard. Personally I think they should be a lot more sturdy and have real sharp edges so your fingers bleed a little everytime you handle them, not this rainbowy kiddy nonsense.


The artwork and counters are great, top notch in my book. They should have included larger maps and a different map for the hedge scenario. Thes are my only two complaints other than Jim needing to update the rulebook.
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
It does look good, and I did like the video, but I do still worry that there sounds like there's a lot of die rolling for so many actions.

Mind you, I thought that about Lock'n'Load sighting rules, and it proved otherwise.

But do I need yet another WWII tactical game, after Lock 'n Load, Conflict of Heroes and Nations at War Series (and even Panzer Grenadier if we move up in scale)? I may be over-stretching things...


Yeah, for years it was Squad Leader, Advanced Squad Leader, or Up Front. Then after 20 years, we get 4 major new options, Panzer Grenadier, Combat Commander, Conflict of Heroes, and the Lock n' Load games.
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Enrico Viglino
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pepe le moko wrote:
Personally I think they should be a lot more sturdy and have real sharp edges so your fingers bleed a little everytime you handle them, not this rainbowy kiddy nonsense.


This is why double-sided counters suck. The days of mounting
counters on sheet metal seem to be passing. Pity too, I liked
to KNOW I'm holding a combat unit by the way it makes me hurt.
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I'm being a bit fan boy here but, rather than me explain lets have Mark Walker explain:
An excerpt from his article on a new game (which I am not buying) that explains his design thoughts on hidden units, and unique ways to model them, especially in the Pacific Theatre.:::

Hidden Units

Argh, I hate them. They are the lamest of design ploys. Nevertheless, I understand that surprise Japanese attacks and snipers are much of the fun in any game modeling the Pacific theater. The game’s standard rules cover the snipers, just fine, but small groups of men ambushing Marine patrols or emerging from spider holes to fling satchel charges at defensive positions is something new. Here what I did.

Some scenarios allow Japanese to enter using Ninjutsu movement. The Japanese player merely points to a hex that the Japanese are to appear (it’s usually a Half-squad, but can be more), and rolls d6. If he rolls four or greater, he places the Japanese in the hex. Simple? Yes, but there is a bit more meat than first strikes the eye. One is added to the die if the hex is Heavy Jungle, making it easier for the Japanese to appear in that terrain. One is subtracted from the d6 if there is an enemy MMC in the hex, making it more difficult to appear right under the Americans nose, and the other results (1-3) are much more than “no effect.” The Japanese might be eliminated, might be placed in an adjacent hex of the American’s choice, or perhaps not placed at all. We think it works quite well, and without the muss of tracking hidden units.


Full article:
http://thegaminggang.com/2011/12/mark-h-walker-looks-at-hero...

Like I said, I'm sure BoB is awesome. But I'm at quota on WWII low level tactical, it just does not give me the sense of battle I am looking for. Whereas I find the modern era tactical FRESH, NEW, and VERY interesting. Different tactics for different systems, and armies. IF I do desire to dig in on squad level I have LNL, CC and a hang over from the old days of ASL when it first came out.

IF we were to assume ASL was the gold standard - I disagree, and CC the common mans WWII tactical game then BoB for sure has a place for players. The designer did a great job word smithing the rules (OTHERS SHOULD TAKE NOTE).
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A.T. Selvaggio
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hipshot wrote:
I'm being a bit fan boy here but, rather than me explain lets have Mark Walker explain:
An excerpt from his article on a new game (which I am not buying) that explains his design thoughts on hidden units, and unique ways to model them, especially in the Pacific Theatre.:::

Hidden Units

Argh, I hate them. They are the lamest of design ploys. Nevertheless, I understand that surprise Japanese attacks and snipers are much of the fun in any game modeling the Pacific theater. The game’s standard rules cover the snipers, just fine, but small groups of men ambushing Marine patrols or emerging from spider holes to fling satchel charges at defensive positions is something new. Here what I did.

Some scenarios allow Japanese to enter using Ninjutsu movement. The Japanese player merely points to a hex that the Japanese are to appear (it’s usually a Half-squad, but can be more), and rolls d6. If he rolls four or greater, he places the Japanese in the hex. Simple? Yes, but there is a bit more meat than first strikes the eye. One is added to the die if the hex is Heavy Jungle, making it easier for the Japanese to appear in that terrain. One is subtracted from the d6 if there is an enemy MMC in the hex, making it more difficult to appear right under the Americans nose, and the other results (1-3) are much more than “no effect.” The Japanese might be eliminated, might be placed in an adjacent hex of the American’s choice, or perhaps not placed at all. We think it works quite well, and without the muss of tracking hidden units.


Full article:
http://thegaminggang.com/2011/12/mark-h-walker-looks-at-hero...

Like I said, I'm sure BoB is awesome. But I'm at quota on WWII low level tactical, it just does not give me the sense of battle I am looking for. Whereas I find the modern era tactical FRESH, NEW, and VERY interesting. Different tactics for different systems, and armies. IF I do desire to dig in on squad level I have LNL, CC and a hang over from the old days of ASL when it first came out.

IF we were to assume ASL was the gold standard - I disagree, and CC the common mans WWII tactical game then BoB for sure has a place for players. The designer did a great job word smithing the rules (OTHERS SHOULD TAKE NOTE).


No fanboy guilt necessary. I saw that article from Mark Walker and liked it a great deal. Frankly, I kind of agree with him on hidden units. It is probably my bias as a solo player. I am always trying to create work around systems for them. This is probably my least favorite part of BoB. I also get what you are saying about the other systems available. I love CC, just finished a scenario. I even play it solo. I also enjoy CoH and ToI. I own LnL, but the rulebook was a stumbling block. It seems easy to play, but the rulebook is an impediment (I know it is not ASL). I think if I were a new guy coming to this area or a guy who wants to downsize the rules overhead of his current system and to get something to the table that sets up and plays fast, while maintaining (and adding in some cases) realsim, this game could fit the bill.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Poll
Do you think we need another tactical squad level WWII game?
NO, I don't need to learn one more system!
NO, the market can't bear all these systems!
YES, as long as it involves innovation and streamlining.
YES, I love playing a variety of these games and they each have their own strengths.
      62 answers
Poll created by atsgamer
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I can't answer the poll.

Let's look at the choices (disregarding 'need' - we don't
NEED more games, there are plenty of good ones for a lifetime):

1. I certainly intend to learn lots more systems.
2. The market seems to always be able to bear another
WWII game with pretty components.
3. Seem to be plenty of streamlined games out there on the subject.
Innovation is good, but it should be choosing to explore areas not
yet touched upon (which this game may be).
4. I dislike tactical WWII for the most part.

I'm stuck somewhere between 2 and 3 (disagreeing with both),
as I'd rather the market move away from WWII stuff, and I'm
in favor of innovation. But, it's just too many facets to each
answer, not covering the options well. Simple 'yes' or 'no' would
work better. That I could answer (see 'need' issue).
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Kev.
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Good points there. If I was a new player I would likely pick up a CC or a BoB first. Then graduate to LNL....well actually LNL is more fun and easier to me that CC. So maybe not CC.
I think ASL etal is just too much. I'm even having 2nd thoughts about TCS. I seem to have more fun planning the battles than playing the bloody things.
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hipshot wrote:
Good points there. If I was a new player I would likely pick up a CC or a BoB first. Then graduate to LNL....well actually LNL is more fun and easier to me that CC. So maybe not CC.
I think ASL etal is just too much. I'm even having 2nd thoughts about TCS. I seem to have more fun planning the battles than playing the bloody things.


Ok, now you have convinced me to crack out my LnL stuff and play it. If it is ultimately more fun and easier than CC, then I am missing out on something special. Thanks for the encouragement. Any suggestions for a good place to start in the series?
 
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hipshot wrote:
I'm being a bit fan boy here but, rather than me explain lets have Mark Walker explain:
An excerpt from his article on a new game (which I am not buying) that explains his design thoughts on hidden units, and unique ways to model them, especially in the Pacific Theatre.:::

Hidden Units

Argh, I hate them. They are the lamest of design ploys.

Full article:
http://thegaminggang.com/2011/12/mark-h-walker-looks-at-hero...

Like I said, I'm sure BoB is awesome. But I'm at quota on WWII low level tactical, it just does not give me the sense of battle I am looking for. Whereas I find the modern era tactical FRESH, NEW, and VERY interesting. Different tactics for different systems, and armies. IF I do desire to dig in on squad level I have LNL, CC and a hang over from the old days of ASL when it first came out.

IF we were to assume ASL was the gold standard - I disagree, and CC the common mans WWII tactical game then BoB for sure has a place for players. The designer did a great job word smithing the rules (OTHERS SHOULD TAKE NOTE).


Wow, I could not disagree more with Mark Walker's take on hidden units. I think that having mechanisms for concealment or hidden units are absolutely vital to recreating the mindset of squad, platoon and company level commanders as they maneuver in contact with the enemy, and not having those rules leads to gross distortions of behavior. The feeling of starting a CoH scenario where the board is completely empty and you have to push across, or of playing a BoB scenario where you are confronted with a wall of potential contacts--those are the moments when those games best simulate their subject matter. I understand that those rules can make solitaire gaming a bit tricky (though far from undoable--I've got easy systems for each game to handle hidden/decoy issues), and that you probably will never get as good a sense of uncertainty in a game designed for two players as you will in one designed to be played solo like Fields of Fire. But far from being a lame design ploy, they are a central mechanic in encouraging historical behavior without artificial rules overlays.

Anyway, I wrote a fairly extensive comparison of BoB to CC and CoH, which people are free to check out here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/728052/comparing-bob-to-comb...

Having played even more of BoB since then, I'm firmly convinced that it is the best tactical game on the market, though of course "best" is a product of what I am looking for in a game. I'm interested in games that have a clear design focus (that I agree with) and that encourage historical behaviors without dictating outcomes, and I give extra points for minimal rules overhead. I think it's a better game than Lock n' Load in almost every way, but if you are deep into LnL, I don't think that you necessarily are going to run out and trade off everything you own so you can zone in on this one system. You don't need to. I'm not getting rid of my CoH or CC collections at this point. But that said, I can't see when either of those two games are going to hit the table in the near future, while BoB has set up a permanent station there.
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Michael Dorosh
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seanmac wrote:
hipshot wrote:
I'm being a bit fan boy here but, rather than me explain lets have Mark Walker explain:
An excerpt from his article on a new game (which I am not buying) that explains his design thoughts on hidden units, and unique ways to model them, especially in the Pacific Theatre.:::

Hidden Units

Argh, I hate them. They are the lamest of design ploys.

Full article:
http://thegaminggang.com/2011/12/mark-h-walker-looks-at-hero...

Like I said, I'm sure BoB is awesome. But I'm at quota on WWII low level tactical, it just does not give me the sense of battle I am looking for. Whereas I find the modern era tactical FRESH, NEW, and VERY interesting. Different tactics for different systems, and armies. IF I do desire to dig in on squad level I have LNL, CC and a hang over from the old days of ASL when it first came out.

IF we were to assume ASL was the gold standard - I disagree, and CC the common mans WWII tactical game then BoB for sure has a place for players. The designer did a great job word smithing the rules (OTHERS SHOULD TAKE NOTE).


Wow, I could not disagree more with Mark Walker's take on hidden units. I think that having mechanisms for concealment or hidden units are absolutely vital to recreating the mindset of squad, platoon and company level commanders as they maneuver in contact with the enemy, and not having those rules leads to gross distortions of behavior. The feeling of starting a CoH scenario where the board is completely empty and you have to push across, or of playing a BoB scenario where you are confronted with a wall of potential contacts--those are the moments when those games best simulate their subject matter. I understand that those rules can make solitaire gaming a bit tricky (though far from undoable--I've got easy systems for each game to handle hidden/decoy issues), and that you probably will never get as good a sense of uncertainty in a game designed for two players as you will in one designed to be played solo like Fields of Fire. But far from being a lame design ploy, they are a central mechanic in encouraging historical behavior without artificial rules overlays.

Anyway, I wrote a fairly extensive comparison of BoB to CC and CoH, which people are free to check out here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/728052/comparing-bob-to-comb...

Having played even more of BoB since then, I'm firmly convinced that it is the best tactical game on the market, though of course "best" is a product of what I am looking for in a game. I'm interested in games that have a clear design focus (that I agree with) and that encourage historical behaviors without dictating outcomes, and I give extra points for minimal rules overhead. I think it's a better game than Lock n' Load in almost every way, but if you are deep into LnL, I don't think that you necessarily are going to run out and trade off everything you own so you can zone in on this one system. You don't need to. I'm not getting rid of my CoH or CC collections at this point. But that said, I can't see when either of those two games are going to hit the table in the near future, while BoB has set up a permanent station there.


I had intended to post here with a "so what does it offer that is new" question, but it appears you may have answered that with your review. Off to look.

Is it me or does Mr. Walker seem to take the path of least resistance, as far as his designs go? There is nothing wrong with uncomplicated games, but I don't think they offer either the greatest challenges nor the greatest realism. They do offer the advantage to the publisher of allowing great rapidity of process, by which I mean to say you can turnover many titles in a short amount of time. Which is I am sure a coincidence. None of which is a criticism; his titles are well liked but I don't know if you would ever hear the title of one in this sentence: "In order to get to the next level, you really have to play ______"
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Is it me or does Mr. Walker seem to take the path of least resistance, as far as his designs go? There is nothing wrong with uncomplicated games, but I don't think they offer either the greatest challenges nor the greatest realism.

IMO, they offer the greatest concentration of tactical wargaming fun. A measure of realism is required for verisimilitude, which factors into the fun. A measure of challenge is important to keep the mind busy and interested. Both are there in LnL games, but they both take a backseat to game-playing fun.

When challenge takes the front seat, a game starts to strain the brain. When realism takes the front seat, a game starts to become studious. In either case, the fun factor is diminished.

If I want a good challenge, I can always play chess. If I want a good study, I can always read books.

If I want "more game, less guff," I can play Lock 'n Load.

Other tactical WW2 games are fine too, no doubt. The only ones I've tried are SL/ASL and Up Front. I owned CC:E for a while but didn't like the idea of card play, I guess. BoB sounds like a good game, but I don't have enough time or interest to check it out myself. I'll wait for more reviews to come in.
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