I have been looking forward to getting the three "new" expansions for Memoir '44 for some time. This is really the only one that I am disappointed with, but it does have several redeeming qualities.
The box comes with loads of new tiles and rules. We have oases, marshes, mountains, flooded fields, railroads, etc. etc. There are so many tiles I really don't know what to do with them all, and yes that is a good thing. Also, with all of these new tiles come lots of cool new rules.
However, you don't have to go through and memorize them, because each mission will tell you what rules to use and where to find it in the rulebook. Very nice indeed.
On top of the tiles and rules we have lots of new markers: minefields, new units, big guns, and battle star tokens. Now battle star tokens are the cool thing as they change from mission to mission on what they do. Sometimes they represent damage done to a bridge, or perhaps free prisoners.
This rulebook only comes with 4 new missions. Even though there are plenty on the internet I feel that's a load of crock not to put them in the rulebook; especially the desert maps. We get one, and I'll admit I haven't played it yet, but it doesn't really look fun.
Also, we don't get any different kind of hills. There are desert towns in this expansion and winter towns in the Eastern Front expansion, but what about different looking hills. Just seems hypocritical to say, "For best visual effect, we recommend that you use the Desert board from Expansion Pack 'Winter/Desert Board Map'", and then go off and have us using green hills on our desert board.
The box is ugly, and I am definitely not a fan. The sleeve it comes with will only get damaged over time. The plastic holder that holds the tiles is not very good either. There are no finger grooves in the plastic box, so getting to some of the tiles can be frustrating.
This expansion is great. All of the Bad and the Ugly can be ignored and once you are playing the actual game you won't even think about it. However, it would have been great had Days of Wonder packaged all three expansions into one box that looks like the regular box. I give it 4 battle star tokens out of 5.