Jon Gautier

Rhinebeck
New York
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I recently had the pleasure of playing a test game of the English-language version of this little gem. I hadn't read the rules, but because this game is so easy, I already know how to play it--so do you. Think movement/combat and that's it. Napoleon at Waterloo. The wonder is that Nakamura can get so much out of seemingly so little. He's kind of like a judo designer, throwing much weight with little effort.

Here are the main twists that give the game so much life:

First, ZoC's cost +2 to enter and leave, in addition to terrain costs. So the vast majority of unit quality differentiation gets factored into the movement allowances. Panzer divisions get 10 MPs while Russian tanks get 6. The difference is incredibly powerful. Panzers can move two hexes through ZoCs, enough for a skilled player to wreak havoc. German infantry move at 5, while the Red infantry move at 4. Another huge difference that makes the Red forces ponderous on the attack and generally unwieldy.

Second, a basic chit pull activation system that gives the advantage (i.e., more chits) to the Reds early on (they get just enough rope to hang themselves with) and gradually favors the Germans more and more as the game goes on. The "backhand blow" is not only possible, but likely.

The command system, which is of course linked to the chit pull system, is simplicity itself, but presents the players with many choices. Will you concentrate your HQs for an offensive, or will you advance the line evenly? How will you handle counterattacks that are away from your main effort. Again, German HQs are just a little better than the Soviets.

Another nice touch: panzer divisions have fearsome attack ratings, but are average on the defense. The German player is encouraged to use the panzers as a mobile strike force. He defends with them at his own risk.

Finally, the victory conditions (points to the Reds for kills and captured cities) give the Russian player plenty of options and even allow him to change the axis of attack. So this game has high replay value.

Overall one of the most fun FtF gaming experiences I've had in a long time. I am coming to value simple games that offer subtle and complex choices, and this is such a game. It also looks good. If you are on the fence about a preorder because you already think you've seen it all in Eastfront panzer pushers, think again and preorder. It is an amazing value.
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Steve Bernhardt
United States
saratoga springs
Utah
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Ive looked at this game while people have been playing, and it seems quite good. I have always liked chit-pull systems in wargames because it adds some uncertainty that should exist in more wargames.

Good review, you hit the major points. I'm looking forward to this one.
 
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j b Goodwin

Lynchburg
Virginia
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Visually attractive, and EVERYTHING I've heard about this sounds good...so I just pre-ordered it. Thanks for a great review!
 
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Hans Korting
Netherlands
Hoorn
Noord-Holland
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Have been involved in proofing the rules and have played it a few times now. (did not always play through until the end though)

It is on the table again right now and it is great fun and easy to get in to.

Jon said it all and I can only agree with him on this.
 
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Nicolas Eskubi
Spain
Bilbao
Vizcaya
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I was the artist for the game and I hope it is OK to comment. I will let the rest of you decide what you think about the art but I finally had a chance to play this last weekend (a friend's copy - still waiting on my copy) cry and thought it was a lot of fun. I understood the game easily enough and it was a fun play. More comments coming as I plan to have another game with my friend in the coming weeks.

Adam really made a great work on the rules, my congratulations!

Best
Niko
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