Eric Walters
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This game has been out for a number of years, but it's worth yet another review since it takes a good bit of exposure to the Grand Tactical Series system, the scenarios, and the campaign game(s), to really get a handle on what it offers. I don't profess to be expert in any of these and am intrigued enough by this title to keep playing it. Indeed, that's one of the best features of both the GTS system and this particular title itself--it keeps bringing you back and you never feel complete mastery. In my view, this is one of the very best monster-games ever made for a variety of reasons that I hope will become clear in this review. Particularly as I'm composing this in early 2013 with the game long OOP, I'm writing with two major themes in mind: (1) encouraging MMP to reprint it in a much longed-for Second Edition, and (2) if that does not happen, encouraging others to shell out the steep prices on the collectors' market if they can find a copy.

OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN really had not been a campaign on the radar of wargamers until SPI published Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) in the late 1970s. That game made quite a splash when it was published for a number of reasons: (1) this operation really hadn't been covered in games much, (2) the monster-game treatment was positively dripping with detail, (3) the map and counters were graphically breathtaking when playing--the physical treatment just screamed to be played, (4) the system was innovative, and (5) the play experience was quite engrossing in the scenarios and--if the flaws could be overlooked--the campaign game.

Subsequently, there were a slew of games on the topic...some very successful, some less so. But none were as big as this SPI monster. The problem was, for those who wanted to tackle the campaign game, this 1977 title just failed to deliver. There were too many problems with it.

Adam Starkweather reached such a high point of frustration with the SPI game that he resolved to do his own version. Many of us read his design/development musings on Consimworld Forum and urged him on. But none of us really could conceive of what the game really was--despite all the marketing both Adam and MMP did--until we got it in our hot little hands. The experience of just opening the box was overwhelming. The first reaction upon laying out the maps and counters was...I'll never get to play this--it's just too huge....


How does all this stuff fit in the box?

Until you got to the GTS rulebook and Exclusive Rules and realized that the system wasn't that hard (and if you'd played Victory Games' Panzer Command, it was very easy to get into given it's adoption of that system). The Introductory Scenarios were quick solo break-ins to the GTS and it was no time before one got to the intermediate situations, such as "Race to the Bridge" (1st Para Bde getting past KG Krafft and beating the SS to the Arnhem Bridge) and "The Empire Strikes Back" (a paltry force of 82nd Airborne Division holding off KG Feldt from overrunning their drop zones). Pretty soon one was doing "Saga of the 1st Airborne" and eventually working in a foray of the historical campaign game. One just couldn't help it. The system and the situation dragged you in.

Part 2 of this review will talk a little bit about the GTS in particular. Part 3 will provide some comments on basic tactics and selected scenarios necessary to achieve basic competencies needed for campaign game play. Part 4 will provide a few notes on the Historical campaign game. Part 5 will compare this game with the new Decision Games Highway to the Reich (third edition) and MMP's latest monster game on OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN, It Never Snows.

But for now, I'll give you some overall impressions of the game.

BEST FEATURES OF THE GAME:

-- Physical Production. You have to see it to believe it when everything is all laid out. This is certainly one of the most graphically gorgeous games ever produced. The map is quite colorful and contains a huge amount of topographic detail. It certainly beats out anything else on the market in this regard. The counters are extremely colorful and detailed. Both rulebooks are in full color and a rules summary is thoughtfully provided for quick reference once the system is mastered. The terrain table and CRT take up two sides of a single card--wonderful! The Formation Displays, showing Dispatch Point and Command Point statuses, Artillery Parks (for those formations that are allowed them), and reinforcement schedules are also dripping with color and chrome. Most appreciated are the "scenario maps" on the reverse side of the campaign game mapsheets that are optimized for the scenarios to save physical space--what a nice touch!


Table space for the "Empire Strikes Back" Scenario isn't too bad

-- Learning Curve. Pretty easy to get into. The full rules are chatty which makes the game less intimidating if you are not familiar with Panzer Command or the other games in the Grand Tactical Series. Best of all, the system feels relatively intuitive for company and platoon level tactics given a two-hour daylight game turn. The mechanics of movement and combat are very easy to grasp. What takes some getting used to is the command system and some of the Exclusive Rules. They're not hard, but because the system is so different they do take a while to get under one's belt. Best of all, the scenarios provided are numerous and gradually turn up the level of system and situational complexity.



-- Interactivity. This is extremely high. Players will be engaged all throughout the game, no matter whose activation it is. This is a chit-pull system and no one is sure who will get the next move/activation...but no matter who gets it, there is much for the non-active player to be watchful for, particularly regarding Opportunity Fire and involvement in such things as Assault. In the first couple of days, there are "Event" markers on the map around Arnhem and Nijmegen that will keep the German player busy when the Allied player bumps into them--typically these markers turn into irritants such as "ambush" instances or "POW" captures, or getting the unit that uncovered it "Lost," to say nothing of events that convert into actual combat units that were historically present.

-- Speed of Play/Sense of Accomplishment. Some monster games--particularly when playing the campaign game, go at a snails pace. We've all seen it--we stop by a monster game many hours after our initial look and things hardly seem to have moved. Not so with this game. Turns go by at a fairly rapid clip--most turns representing two hours of daylight time take two hours to play. Rarely they take longer (usually when Korps Feldt is launching a major attack before they start to rout formations off the board). And the board situation changes relatively quickly, even given the urban slugfests for Arnhem and Nijmegen. One really enjoys the pacing of the game.

-- Friction and Tension. Also extremely high. Not only do the chit-pull activation sequencing and the Event markers contribute to this, but also the command system which allows players an ability to spend Command Points to overcome certain combat results (such as shaking off Suppressions at the cost of Cohesion Hits) or conduct other game activities, such as Forced Marches. The competition between command systems is another key feature of the game and creates an entirely different level of conflict with gut-wrenching decisions regarding how far on a limb one should go in pursuing particular courses of action.


Defending a larger Arnhem perimeter--and attacking into it

-- Historicity. In the main, the game does this quite well, although some will point to a few irritating exceptions (e.g., Easy Company's actual drop location compared to where it is in the game in the vicinity of Grave; some problematic applications of the "Lost" event that have been remedied by errata, etc). The game narrative is quite believable and does a very good job at showing how tough it is for the Allies when playing with the historical drop zones and deployment limits.
There are provisions to move reinforcement drops (at some risk of losing them entirely), decent replication of weather (although some will want house rules regarding the second drop--if it does not happen, the Allies will nearly certainly lose), and drop scheduling flexibility when weather does allow it in order to keep the Germans guessing to some degree. Best of all, the Exclusive Rules contain options for altering the plan, dropping in non-historical ways (yet are within the realm of the historically possible). The game even provides the British 52nd Air Landing Division that can arrive at the Deelen airfield north of Arnhem if the Allies can get XXX Corps across the Rhine!

NITPICKS:

Physical Production. The scenario and campaign game setup and reinforcement schedules in the exclusive rules and formation cards lack diagrams of the counters which makes getting the game ready to go a real pain. Fortunately this has been mitigated by home-grown war gamer play aids posted in BGG that include counter art; these help a GREAT deal. I can't imagine playing any of the scenarios/campaigns without them. The counter art is also very distracting for most players--each piece is crammed with tons of information and artwork; it can be very hard to read unit designation and type information (particularly for the Germans) during set-up. German counters use German unit type symbology for non-vehicle units, which is disconcerting to those players who prefer standard NATO-type characterizations. The SS colors--dark midnight blue for Hohenstaufen units and black for Frundsberg--can be hard to discriminate in some lighting conditions. The watermarks, which usually help in this regard, won't always in all cases. MMP has decided to dispense with watermarks in future games within the Grand Tactical Series; they never bothered me and I kind of like them, but for some it's just too much.


The military band counter from KG Von Tettau

Rules Organization. That chatty style so beloved when learning the game makes it more difficult when trying to reference them, especially when playing rules lawyers. While the GTS rulebook is indexed, the Exclusive Rules are not which can be a huge pain when trying to research questions.

Fiddliness. Especially when there are stacks that have their own Suppression markers, Men At Work Markers, Cohesion Hit markers, Improved Position markers, etc., It can get a bit crazy. Best to download the Arnhem and Nijmegen city map blowups from the Files section in BGG to help with the urban clutter in those locations. But the most fiddly bits of all involve the Assault procedure--it's just too long and involved. More on this in Part 2. It's really the biggest irritant in what is otherwise a marvelous tactical system, even if this particular subroutine provides lots of color and drama.

Space Needed to Play. This is a monster, after all, so you are going to have to devote a lot of space to play the campaign. It's not just the map, which is not only big (four full mapsheets for the campaign game), but also has "elbows" for various other important locations (e.g., the Pannerden Ferry, the Deelen Airfield, etc.) You'll need space for all those Formation Displays and the turn record clock card. And if you are going to print out those files showing setups and reinforcement schedules with the counter art, you'll need space for them too. And I'd be remiss is remind you of the need for table space for piles of Suppression Markers, Cohesion Hit Markers, Improved Position Markers, Entrenchment Markers, Column Markers, Men At Work Markers, Destroyed Bridge Markers, Abandoned Transport Markers, and more.... If you are just going to play the scenarios, it's much, much better!


There are "vast tracts o' land, son!"

OVERALL RECOMMENDATIONS:

As you likely have surmised, I'm a huge fan of this game system in general and this particular title specifically. But I will caveat my recommendations in the following way--

If you are a tactical game fanatic who has a rabid historical interest in this campaign, consider getting hold of this copy EVEN IF you don't have the physical space or time to play the entire campaign. The advanced scenarios are worth it and more are being produced and loaded up in the game files section in BGG (e.g., "The Saga of the 82nd Airborne").

If you are primarily a competitive player with merely a mild interest in the historical situations, you might pass this one by, even if you've got the physical space and time to play it. The scenarios are great competitive contests, but there are other games that will give you good competitive experiences for a much smaller investment of time and money; plus, you won't have to wrestle with the Exclusive Rules so much when learning the game.

If you are historian-gamer who enjoys monsters with both epic sweep and depth of narrative, you can't go wrong with this title, provided you can play the campaign game. If you love WWII tactical ground titles--particularly monster games--this game is for you.

If price matters to you most and you don't have the space to set this thing up, consider other titles before taking the plunge on this one, given how much the game fetches in the secondary market.

Continued in Part 2: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/11567452

See also my review of the companion monstergame, Where Eagles Dare, at http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/754331/initial-impressions-o...
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
I want this one badly. Your review has reinforced that. I wish MMP would consider reprinting this in the near future. I would definitely be in for one now that I have a steady cash flow for discretionary expenditures.

Very nice review. Looking forward to the other parts of it!
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
ericmwalters wrote:
This game has been out for a number of years, but it's worth yet another review since it takes a good bit of exposure to the Grand Tactical Series system, the scenarios, and the campaign game. I don't profess to be expert in any of these and am intrigued enough by this title to keep playing it. Indeed, it's one of the best features of both the GTS system and this particular title itself. In my view, this is one of the very best monster-games ever made, for a variety of reasons that I hope will become clear in this review. Particularly as I'm writing this in early 2013 with the game long OOP, I'm writing with two major themes in mind: (1) encouraging MMP to reprint it in a second edition, and (2) if that does not happen, encouraging others to shell out the steep prices on the collectors' market if they can find a copy.

OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN really had not been a campaign on the radar of wargamers until SPI published Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) in the late 1970s.


It doesn't really impact on your review, Eric, but you're forgetting the excellent A Bridge Too Far: Arnhem, published in 1976.
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
This is a good read, and a really fair assessment - even though I came to a different conclusion on the game's merits.

You certainly nailed the big things - it's a grand looking game set up, the maps in particular raise the bar, the one map Arnhem scenarios are excellent, the chit pull process works well, it doesn't just tell a story, it brings the command challenges of both sides to the fore, and, most important of all - the games plays much "smaller" than it looks.

Nevertheless, it's still a 50 hour effort for 2 players, and in the final analysis I concluded that it did not adequately repay that effort.

Two main issues lead me to that conclusion:

1. The assault process, which managed the difficult trick of simultaneously being too detailed and too abstract

2. The logistics of play - poor systems design made it quite hard work to play

I also thought the command and control process showed a tendency towards the bizarre, but as I cannot recall why I thought that, it is hard to justify.
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Eric Walters
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
David, I wasn't forgetting. A Bridge Too Far: Arnhem was a gem buried pretty deeply within Westwall: Four Battles to Germany quad and didn't get much press right away. It took a while to discover it and by that time the SPI monster had stolen the show. Indeed for some it was the publication of Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) that got people to take a look at that SPI folio game for the first time. There were other games (Panzerfaust's 1972 Arnhem and scenarios covering both the Battle for Arnhem and Nijmegen in Panzer Leader). But nothing that got gamers to stand up and take notice. The closest that ever happened was when Avalon Hill was talking about following up Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942 with a game using the same system set in Arnhem...but it never saw the light of day outside the a few blurbs in THE AVALON HILL GENERAL magazine around 1975 or so...
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
ericmwalters wrote:
David, I wasn't forgetting. A Bridge Too Far: Arnhem was a gem buried pretty deeply within Westwall: Four Battles to Germany quad and didn't get much press right away. It took a while to discover it and by that time the SPI monster had stolen the show.


I think I recall reading an article about Arnhem in Moves before the F&M close up on HttR, but I couldn't be certain after all this time.
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Eric Walters
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
Scotty Dave wrote:
ericmwalters wrote:
David, I wasn't forgetting. A Bridge Too Far: Arnhem was a gem buried pretty deeply within Westwall: Four Battles to Germany quad and didn't get much press right away. It took a while to discover it and by that time the SPI monster had stolen the show.


I think I recall reading an article about Arnhem in Moves before the F&M close up on HttR, but I couldn't be certain after all this time.


Sure, Issue 28 (Oct/Nov '76) had two pieces on it. But that was it. To me that's not "much press"...particularly given what Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) eventually got! There were two articles in MOVES on HTTR (1st Ed) written even before these (what got published in 1977 was the "real" Second Edition--not the DG version, which should properly be called the "Redesigned/Revised" edition. 1st Ed HTTR rules were just plain broken and it took the 2nd Ed in '77 to get serious attention on the game). And look how many games on MARKET-GARDEN followed it within just a few years! I just don't see the folio game as being a part of the MARKET-GARDEN buzz that the SPI monster created...and it got drowned out by a number of other games over time (Storm over Arnhem, Hell's Highway, etc.) Even when MOVES published those articles, there wasn't the excitement that there was when AH intimated it "might" publish a game on Frost at the bridge using their Hal Hock tactical system! Doesn't matter because in neither case did this have anywhere near the effect that Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) did in getting gamer visibility on MARKET-GARDEN...and getting designers to pay attention to it.
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Re: Wriggling Out of The Devil's Cauldron--An In-Depth Review: Part 1
I may have missed it in the excellent review, but it should be noted that for VASSAL users, the GTS games have a combined VASSAL module made by MMP that players consistently rave about. The next update will even feature an "attack wizard" that will calculate all the modifier pluses and minuses for you.

If you like the GTS, the original ancestor Panzer Command is worth picking up used, even all these years later. Plays great and has a VASSAL module. And its rulebook by Eric Lee Smith, with so many examples and fascinating designer notes, is considered a classic in its own right. If you play the GTS games you'll be able to dive in and grasp the rules immediately.
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Eric Walters
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Broadsword56 wrote:
I may have missed it in the excellent review, but it should be noted that for VASSAL users, the GTS games have a combined VASSAL module made by MMP that players consistently rave about. The next update will even feature an "attack wizard" that will calculate all the modifier pluses and minuses for you.

If you like the GTS, the original ancestor Panzer Command is worth picking up used, even all these years later. Plays great and has a VASSAL module. And its rulebook by Eric Lee Smith, with so many examples and fascinating designer notes, is considered a classic in its own right. If you play the GTS games you'll be able to dive in and grasp the rules immediately.


No, I didn't mention this at all so I'm glad you did. Regarding Panzer Command, it would be great if MMP redid it to GTS standards as an insert to their SPECIAL OPERATIONS magazine, maybe entice new players to the system. I'd be very happy if that were to happen!
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Scotty Dave wrote:


1. The assault process, which managed the difficult trick of simultaneously being too detailed and too abstract



Definitely

Quote:

2. The logistics of play - poor systems design made it quite hard work to play


Other than the assault rules I don't really agree. Surely you must mean something else though, or you'd just be re-stating #1. EDIT: reading another thread reminded me of the abandoned transport rules. Not sure they're a big enough part of play to qualify, but they're pretty ridiculous.

Quote:

I also thought the command and control process showed a tendency towards the bizarre, but as I cannot recall why I thought that, it is hard to justify.


The command and control rules tend towards the bizarre in the short term/smaller scenarios, but with enough time to balance out the outliers it seems to work.
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keethrax wrote:
Surely you must mean something else though, or you'd just be re-stating #1. EDIT: reading another thread reminded me of the abandoned transport rules. Not sure they're a big enough part of play to qualify, but they're pretty ridiculous.


It's been a few years, but from memory the things were:

- having to count movement points very carefully through woods hexes without hex sides, whose centre dots were barely distinguishable from the hex colour.

- having to sort reinforcements using very small unit designations - were some printed in a faux germanic font?

- the well-rehearsed issues for colour blind players

I should probably have said component design instead of system design, shouldn't I?
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Just want to raise my hand here and say that not everybody minds the Assault process. It's not one of the few things that bothers me about the game. Maybe that puts me in a minority of one. However, assault is such a good bang for the buck, in terms of getting up to three attack die rolls per CP expended, that regular fire attacks are devalued by comparison.

Also, not everybody is on the reprint bandwagon. Again, maybe that puts me in a minority of one. But, I'd just as soon see MMP wait a few years for further development of the GTS, and then publish a second edition with some changes.
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
Just want to raise my hand here and say that not everybody minds the Assault process. It's not one of the few things that bothers me about the game. Maybe that puts me in a minority of one. However, assault is such a good bang for the buck, in terms of getting up to three attack die rolls per CP expended, that regular fire attacks are devalued by comparison.



There a difference between the effectiveness of assault and the system used to generate the results. Even if you yourself *don't* have an issue with the assault rules, using the former to justify the latter makes little sense.

I don't think they're as bad as some people seem to. ONce you've done a few they're not terrible. However, just about everyone up to and including the designer and developer think that the assault system is one of the major weak points in the GTS system.
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Scotty Dave wrote:

I should probably have said component design instead of system design, shouldn't I?


Possibly. Then I'd have said something about while most of the time I *really* like the maps, there are some instances where the aesthetics interfere with play. I don't have any problems with the missing hex-sides, but there are a few spots where the terrain type is questionable, and having it on the center dot but buried by the units/markers on top makes it annoying.
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My issue with the assault rules is not that they're a neat way to get a lot of results for a relatively little expenditure of C2 points, it's that they take so long to resolve in most cases given the three rounds of simultaneous Assault Fire. When you've got Assaults going on early in the game in Arnhem, in Nijmegen, and around the Groesbeek heights, they can really be a drag on play. Likewise later on when the Germans are trying to bash "the Devil's Cauldron" around Oosterneek or elsewhere at the same time 1st Guard Armored is trying to bash its way up "The Island," it's a drag on play. I just wish that the three rounds could be handled with just a couple of dice trows and be done with it. I understand why that's not the case--three rounds gives the Assaulting player some control over when to call it off or not. And the narrative can be exciting. But in a campaign game the time this takes just seems to be a major albatross 'round our necks.

Yes, the "logistics of play" being so painful is indeed a component design problem. No graphic setup charts with map reductions like the kind we see in Streets of Stalingrad (third edition) or Death Ride Salerno: 16th Panzer, no reinforcement cards with pictures of the units so that they are easy to match up, etc...all this makes the game a bit of a chore to get ready to play. Fortunately, once everything is laid out, things move at a good clip.
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A great set of reviews - very well done!

I put a lot of time and effort into TDC and I don't regret it. However, after the time and effort it is a game I'll never likely table again. I cancelled my (then) pre-order for WED and haven't looked back.

Apart from the eleventy dice rolls required for each assault, by far my biggest problem was that in any kind of defensive terrain a unit on its last legs, and a fresh unit, were equally dangerous. Because it all came down to who could roll "zero's" and white zero's = step loss.

It took over two years for the campaign game to be actually playable. Neither the original, or retrofitted (pre WED) club Route rules worked anywhere near anything resembling historical. The Germans could "remote detonate" bridges AFTER the club route was established!

The designer was so enamoured with the 82nd AB, he rated them as superhumans. Their assault ratings (for light Parachute Infantry) are better "dual purpose" ratings than most of the armoured units in the game.... The rationale? The designer believes they're the best division of any that fought in WW2. Hmmmm.

As for the central mechanic, the chit pull system, whilst it is in theory (and often practice) seemingly just what the doctor ordered, I always got the impression it was 75% baked. Try a game with the 82nd AB Div chit coming out last on the first turn and you end up with a whole division in suspended animation for two hours hanging 3 feet off the ground.

I could go on, but I've said more than enough. A grand game, but imho another "flawed classic" to grace the shelves rather than the table.
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I'm well aware that the complaint about the assault system is that it involves too many die rolls. And I'm well aware that the designer himself thinks so too. I won't be surprised to see it changed.

But I think this system needs to be evaluated in comparison to how much action happens over the course of a day, a turn, and a single chit pull. Unlike some old IGO/UGO monsters like Terrible Swift Sword: Battle of Gettysburg Game, players don't resolve all the melee or close combat (or whatever a particular monster game calls it) all across the board. Instead, a single chit pull might involve activating only 5 to 10 units for fire or assault combat, due to limits on command points. Typically a few of these will be used for indirect fire, and then the few remaining will be used for Assault.

What that means for the player experience is that those few assaults will be the highlights of the chit pull, or the highlights of the turn, or, in some cases, the highlights of an entire day. Spending a bit more time on those dramatic moments seems reasonable to me. Maybe there are too many die rolls per Assault in order to provide these highlights, but that bothers me far less than some other small issues.

[edit: but on a side question, how many have experimented with having Assault last only 2 rounds instead of 3 rounds?]

Having said all that, Eric Williams made a good point about what the players in our local TDC campaign call "bowling for zeroes." A poor quality unit often does perform just as well as a high quality unit in strong defensive terrain, especially in cities. While this might not hurt the overall narrative of the campaign, it does remove a feeling of accomplishment that the players might get if they were able to influence the outcome more by having their best units fighting in the right places at the right time. Instead, the outcomes, at least in good defensive terrain, more often depend on getting those coveted zeroes on the die roll in the right quantities and at the right times.
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ecka wrote:
A great set of reviews - very well done!

I put a lot of time and effort into TDC and I don't regret it. However, after the time and effort it is a game I'll never likely table again. I cancelled my (then) pre-order for WED and haven't looked back.

Same here. I loved the game wnen I first received it but, after playing it a few times, the glamour wore off. There's a lot to like in the game, but I found it just too frustrating and fiddly, and I felt like I spent most of my time fighting against the game system (rather than the opponent).
ecka wrote:

Apart from the eleventy dice rolls required for each assault, by far my biggest problem was that in any kind of defensive terrain a unit on its last legs, and a fresh unit, were equally dangerous. Because it all came down to who could roll "zero's" and white zero's = step loss.

It took over two years for the campaign game to be actually playable. Neither the original, or retrofitted (pre WED) club Route rules worked anywhere near anything resembling historical. The Germans could "remote detonate" bridges AFTER the club route was established!

The designer was so enamoured with the 82nd AB, he rated them as superhumans. Their assault ratings (for light Parachute Infantry) are better "dual purpose" ratings than most of the armoured units in the game.... The rationale? The designer believes they're the best division of any that fought in WW2. Hmmmm.

As for the central mechanic, the chit pull system, whilst it is in theory (and often practice) seemingly just what the doctor ordered, I always got the impression it was 75% baked. Try a game with the 82nd AB Div chit coming out last on the first turn and you end up with a whole division in suspended animation for two hours hanging 3 feet off the ground.

There's an awful lot of luck in the game. While this may even out over the course of a long game, it is easy for your plans to be completely destroyed by a few bad die rolls or chit draws. Realistic? Maybe. Fun? Not really.
ecka wrote:
I could go on, but I've said more than enough. A grand game, but imho another "flawed classic" to grace the shelves rather than the table.

Agree 100%.
 
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Mike Gebert
Canada
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First of all I would like to say that I have about 2000 playing hours in this system. TDC and WED are ranked in my top five (if not 1 and 2) in my collection of about 500 games. I do own both games as well as NQOS.

Most of my playing time about 99% has been on vassal. I have been heavily involved with Brent on the development of vassal and all the bells and whistle that go with the system. I continually have made suggestions (design) with what is needed to go into the modules (all three) of them and he has come to the plate every time.

These games in my opinion are pieces of art and the chit pull system along with the opportunity fire etc keep all players involved at all times. You just never know what is coming out of the cup next. Excitement and frustration that is what makes it so good.

I have a long history with monsters such as the Longest Day (Avalon Hill)I remember the days when the boys would come over for a 3 to 4 hours night of gaming and what would happen is ...lets watch Bob move for three hours while I did nothing!!! Then off to wait for another week or two for the next session. NOT WITH THIS SYSTEM you are involved!

I quite like the mechanic's. The graphic's are second to none. The support is "A" one. Ask a question on consimworld how long does it take for Nick to answer.

I hear a lot about the assault system. I don't have problems with it the way it is. Want a quick result? One decisive die roll?? Maybe play one of the flawed old SPI monsters then. I know Adam is revamping the assault system but the best part about games are once you purchase it we all have the right to become designers and make our HOUSE RULES and develop the way we want to so go for it.

WED is total excitement. If you already have TDC the your really missing out not having this one. If you don't have WED then get on it. The southern map is fluid and continual problems for the Allies. Not only do you have to manage a Break Out you also have to protect that fragile club route. Continual headaches for the allies.

One more thing how hard is it to get a copy of TDC?? Do you want the same situation with WED.

The main reason I am a vassal player is space. But that is the beauty of it. I can play one half live on a modified 4 x 8 board and link the other half on a computer monitor and combine the 2nd half.

I have played no less then 5 campaigns TDC and one full combined TDC/WED Market Garden Campaign.

This system is the best I have played and if I liquidated my collection these would be the last two to leave.

I look forward to British Beaches and the continued development of this system.

Thank you Adam and Team for the best gaming experiences I have had over the past 50 years.
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