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Sergeants Miniatures Game: Day of Days» Forums » General

Subject: should I take the big plunge? rss

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Rob Defense
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I bought "Day of Days" for my 12-year-old son (and me) for Christmas. So he hasn't even opened it yet. But seeing as I'm insane, I'm SO SO tempted to plunk down $260 right now to buy Carentan and the 2 squad bundles because I'm off all next week.

My question is this: Is the game fun? My son and I love Memoir 44. We love Heroscape. We love Earth Reborn. We wanted to love Combat Commander but it was just too heavy for us. Most of all we love theme-heavy games that lend themselves to a narrative, which SMG seems to do. But I've heard horror stories about the rules and I can't really tell from all the postings here if people are actually having FUN playing this game.

Thoughts? Who's the target market?

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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Hey Rob! Well, I for one am having a blast with the game, as is my 21-year-old son. The fact that this game got him off the computer and onto a table with me alone is worth the price of admission. Look - this is not a serious tactical study of small unit tactics. I took it to my wargaming group last night - half the guys loved it and half hated it. If you're a number-crunching, hundreds of pieces, hex and counter guy, you probably won't like it. If you're a narrative-driven, let's have some fun, miniatures guy, you'll probably love it. I'm actually a little of both types and I love this game.

But .... the rules for the most part are unclear, vague and sometimes contradictory. The player aid downloads available here on BGG are really valuable and I highly recommend them. The bottomline as far as I'm concerned is that once you buy the game - it's yours. You can do whatever you want with it and that means you can interpret, re-interpret and make up whatever rules you want to fit your needs. For example, my son and I play that if the "talk bubble" says you "sight" the enemy, you mark them sighted regardless of where they are or what they're doing. It doesn't say "you may try to look", so we interpret the bubble as a definitive statement. The same thing with "soldiers take cover" - we remove the target markers regardless of where they are because the statement is definitive and we assume that the soldier found a fold in the ground or a bush.

So yes, get the game, mold it to your needs and enjoy it with your son! Hermann
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JoeyNine
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I have been playing for maybe a month now, and it is definitely worth it. As I save up money, I am looking to buy more infantry, the game is just so much fun to set up and play. As I posted elsewhere, the feeling that you are getting to know your group of soldiers, learning their strengths and weaknesses, getting a feel of what cards are in your deck, I haven't found that anywhere else than here.

I am the type of person that can live with imperfect rules. I haven't found any of the rules confusion to cause the game to be unplayable, a temporary solution has always worked until you can get on here and post the question.
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John Di Ponio
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Hey Rob,

I will chime in on this question. I have been playing the game since summer and have been enjoying it. The rules were light but meant to be light as an introduction. I can see how you are tempted to just get the mother-load now! may I suggest starting by adding 2 squads and a leader for each side and play the DoD with that set up. See how it goes and then maybe spring (ok, early March) pick up Carentan and maybe pick up a heavy weapons crew for each side. Mem44 and Heroscape are definitely played in our house. The game is not near CC as far as heavy so I think this game will be enjoyable for you.

I introduced plenty of people to this game and have had very positive reviews for the most part.

The rules are constantly being updated and re-tooled but I don't think complication will be added to an extent.

I can say with a pretty good certainty that you have not played a game like this and once you get it on the table and start playing, the soldiers will become personable and you will become lost in the gameplay which is a very good thing. As mentioned above, it has replaced some computer time for my kids and my 12 yr old daughter loves the game!
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    Can any of you responding put it on a map with Heroscape, Memoir, and Combat Commander? How does it compare from a combat-complexity perspective, and how does it compare from an emotion-of-the-play perspective to the other three?

             S.
 
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Bill Wallace
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I'm not sure what JohnnyD means about picking up "two squads." If the OP goes with the squad bundle being offered now, he's getting two leaders per side, AND the MG that JD seems to suggest you wait to get.

He's right tho that it's better to have more terrain before getting the MGs into the game.

Maybe he's suggesting one leader and an extra fire team (4 figs) per side. And that would be good.

Here's my take on your original question.

I don't know how far back you've gone in reading what folks have posted, but I noticed a level of mixed enthusiasm When Day and extra guys was the only choice that shifted (a lot) when Carentan came out. The bigger map possibilities (and lots more scenarios) really clicked for a lot of folks who were feeling a little pinched by the DoD map, and the LBG folks were honest in admitting THEY think DoD is a little small to really enjoy the game, both in terms of space and that they think 5-6 figures per player makes a more interesting game.

So if you like what you've been reading and want a real immersion experience, I'd say fire up the order now so that you'll have it all there for that week you're off.

Here's how the math works-- to get a 4 fig fire team and leader per side, if that's what Johnny is suggesting, will cost you $120, and you will then have Day of Days, with each side having 7 privates and 2 leaders...a more fleshed out 2 player intro.

At your "jump in" level, you'll have double the map size of Day, 4 times the number of scenarios, and 11 Soldiers (including an MG) and 3 Leaders for each side, giving you good options for doing a 4 player game or having choices for 2 players, plenty of extra space to really use sighting, maneuver, and put the MGs to use. And choices-- you don't have to set up the full map and can still play smaller scenarios if you want to.

It's your call. When will you get another full week to dabble with this?
 
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Rob Koch
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Sagrilarus wrote:
Can any of you responding put it on a map with Heroscape, Memoir, and Combat Commander? How does it compare from a combat-complexity perspective, and how does it compare from an emotion-of-the-play


Never played Combat Commander but quite a bit of the other two. M'44 is much more simplified than SMG. Both Heroscape and M'44 use hex counting to abstract distance (SMG uses squares.). M'44 you had to choose what orders to play based on a fixed deck of possible orders; in SMG you control what possible orders you have, but each phase you will have to choose between on of two types of orders (not restricted by flanks).

Heroscape can take some time to set up, SMG is up an running in a few minutes... about the same as M'44.

Combat complexity is above both Heroscape and M'44 in my opinion and that's a good thing. Imagine WH40K w/o the need to paint, measure everything, argue, check charts, roll, argue, check more charts, etc.

SMG is an excellent blend of free movement blended with measured movement. There is measuring, but you've got to be fairly close to even worry about it.

There is little or no downtime as each player takes their part of the turn (which can change midstream!) and everything is laid out either on a Soldiers' card or on the board. No reference checking YAY!

As for "emotion-of-the-play perspective" that is subjective, but I have found it to be fantastic and won't hesitate to play this any chance I get. The uniqueness of your Soldiers draws you in as each has strengths and weaknesses that will be the exactly same on any other soldiers. Characters are all the same, but there are only 4 to help the Story of the game play along.

I bought in Mid-November with Day of Days, Road to Carentan, and 2 Extra leaders, and am already planning on getting a few more squads so I can have more choices and play larger scenarios.

I have no regrets on buying into this game/system as I have with others (who shall remain nameless).

-Rob
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Rob Defense
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I went ahead and bought it. It's some serious jack, but what the heck.
 
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Chris Colapietro
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I am playing both with my 9-yr old son and with my regular adult gaming group, and yes, we are having lots of fun with it. As far as the rules ambiguities go, you can get most things answered here, and most other questions can be handled with common sense and your own preference once you get a grasp of the general rules and flow of the game.

It is much less complicated than Combat Commander, but also at a smaller scale. I would say it is comparable to Memoir in complexity from what I recall, but certainly generates a more compelling story as individual soldiers always will.

That said, it is not a 'trivial' system. I takes a while to really begin seeing it, but there is a lot of elegance built into the interaction of stats and cards.

One of the biggest positives in SMGs favor for us is the quick set-up time and play time. I just can't seem to find the

If you suspect you will enjoy the system, I would highly recommend getting Carentan and some additional soldiers. The extra map space makes a huge difference. I initially went with 2 extra leaders and an assault team each for the US and Germans for a total of 3 (including the character leaders) leaders and 7 soldiers on each side, and felt that it was a good mix. Note that you can use the leaders as basic soldiers as well by choosing the Private rank. The BAR and MGs can wait.

The leaders provide the card draw, and having a senior and junior officer in the squad gives you a good card draw ability (at least while they are still alive) which makes it easier to do what you need to do initially.

As far as the price goes, that was an initial hurdle for me (as I would imagine it is for most people), but now that I have the components in my hands it really is not out of order for what is provided. The map tiles are amazing quality - wooden chipboard (or something like that) not cardboard, and precision cut so they fit perfectly. The cards are high quality, coated, and shuffle very well. Not to mention custom printed for your soldiers. The mini's are well painted, unlike my many boxes of primed and unprimed minis that I will get around to painting 'some day'. $40 for a 4 man fire team seems like a lot until you really think about it - it is 4 metal minis, 28 32 custom cards, and a paint job.

Edit: I forgot to include the character stat cards in the count above...

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CWattie
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Chris' assessment is a match to mine. I also play SMG with my 9-yr old son and 11-year old daughter. They picked up the game pretty quickly and we have a lot of fun with it. As some others have said...the fact that this game will draw them away from video games is a huge plus and worth the price paid. In my mind only a game of great visual quality, cool looking miniatures, and fun play system could do this. SMG easily fits the bill. I also own M'44 and Battlelore and when you stack SMG up against either of those there is no comparison. I think it wins every time. I'm really looking forward to collecting more soldiers, Road to Carentan, and seeing where they take this system next.

Are there negatives? Yes. The information for game set up and prep is a little light but I managed to figure it out. I ended up writing a step-by-step version on my own so that my kids can set the game up for themselves. As for the rules, they are also somewhat light and the content could be re-ordered and expanded to make it easier to learn. These things aren't a non-starter for me but could see where it turned others off. I would really like to see them include a detailed walkthrough of scenario 1 - first contact as a tutorial. Similar to what M'44 had in their rule book. It would make learning the game system a no brainer and provide clear examples for the base concepts.

So the SMG game and system isn't perfect but I really like it and will continue to support it. Why? Because I firmly believe and trust that LBG won't stop until it is as close to perfect as possible. Their level of support in these and other forums, openness to feedback, and great customer service are unmatched by any other game system I have played. For me this is a huge plus and the main reason they earned my support.
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Jeff Billings
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AMEN
 
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Mike Brown
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To answer the question to take the big plunge?
I say... YES!

The more folks buying the game and learning it and teaching it to others can only lead to more and more goodies down the road.


Seinfeld Quote again...
ELAINE BENES:
He's like a virus. He attaches himself to a healthy host company, and the next thing you know, the entire staff's infected.
 
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A.T. Selvaggio
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I agree with the praise for this game and accepting it for what it is. As I read this thread it dawned on me that SMG is the Commands and Colors of squad level games. You get the awesome goober of minis, a light ruleset driven by cards, quick play, fun play, exciting randomness and a story to boot. Like Memoir it is the epitome of a great father-son, or father-daughter game. I have invested a good chunk into this and I see it as an investment for years of gaming fun with the kids. You just can't get hung up and try to play it like it was ASL.
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    That sounds like a Heroscape replacement. High praise indeed.

             S.

 
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John Di Ponio
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BillW wrote:

Maybe he's suggesting one leader and an extra fire team (4 figs) per side. And that would be good.



Thanks Bill! That is spot on. I guess I should have cleared it up a bit more! I hadn't been on the SMG website in a while to see all the new squad packs offered! shake

To update about what I think, I enjoy the game enough to keep investing in it. After numerous plays of the DoD scenarios and 2 scenarios of Carentan, I am in the process of determining new soldier packs to purchase. The game also serves as art to me. I have my soldiers displayed in my Mini's case in my game room along with my painted figs.

This game has a great streamlined look to it. Unlike Heroscape's over the top look on a table, it's subtle but elegant. Like M44, it has figures but not in an abstract way and certainly not restricted by hexes. Combat Commander offers a more complex WWII game. Not overly complex but more so none the less.
SMG, while having rules that are open to interpretation (what rules set isn't), you don't have to pullout any charts! Everything is on the cards and the board squares which is a real plus in my book! I take this game many places and have it up and running in minutes.
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Kent Ing
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I have been on the fence on this one for some time now. Having read through this series of posts I've taken the plunge and have just ordered the base set and a leader for each side. I have to admit that the cost of entry is a little high but it does have painted figs and the quality of the materials used looks to be of higher quality than your average board game.
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Kevin Duke
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Welcome, Kent!

I'd suggest starting off by just adding the leader to the guys who come in the base game. You'll have two soldiers providing card draws at the start of the turn, and yes, those are combined, so you won't need to do a lot of 'fishing' to find actions to match the phases.

Or use one as a private on the side that is clearly on 'defense' and holding terrain. Lots of choices, and you'll enjoy getting to make them.

Happy Christmas!
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Kent Ing
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Package arrived yesterday. Hopefully I'll have a little time this weekend. All the components look great. Only really really small annoyance was that the SMG German leader I ordered was the same fig as in the base game. Might look at doing a separate purchase just for figs from FAA and paint them. That or after a little playing pick up a squad pack for both the Americans and the Germans.
 
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