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Subject: holiday to sicily gone wrong rss

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Tonny Wille
Belgium
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FAB Sicily is the 2nd of the fast action battle series. It covers the allied landings in Sicily during the 2nd world war. The first game (the bulge) got a lot of positive reviews but for this game, there are not that many reviews available. So after a few games, I found it time to write a little review

Components
No surprise here. The components are great. You get a nice looking cardboard map of Sicily. FAB is a block wargame so you also get blocks and stickers. I like it that they included a lot of spare blocks and extra stickers. The rules are fine and you also get a play book with a lot of examples of play. This makes it a lot easier to understand how this game works.

Gameplay
I will try to explain how the game works but do keep in mind that I only scratch the surface and I'm not explaining every rule of this game.

As I told before, FAB is a block wargame. The axis player places his blocks. Regular units have a fixed place but Italian garrison units can be placed everywhere. After this, the allied player determines his landing spots. He can choose the historical landing plan but he can also go for the alternate landing plan. This means that the axis playes must keep in mind that every beachhead must be defended to prevent easy breakthroughs.

Both players will draw chits that represent battle assets and events. During the game they can assign these assets to a battle or use them to activate a special event. Battle assets includes engineers that can blow or repair bridges, artillery, airsupport and much more.
The map is devided into areas. When blocks enter an area that is occupied by enemy blocks, a round of combat begins. There are a few steps: first both sides decide which battle assets and point unit they use; the attacker his artillery will fire first, after that the defender his artillery and his groundforce will fire; the attacker can always abort the attack by only taking one hit. If he doesn't, he finally can return fire with his groundforce. Every 5 is a hit but terrain, troop quality, armor ,river assaults, etc. will modify this number.

Movement can be done by all blocks by paying the movement costs (roads are cheaper) You can also place some units in reserve that you can move at a later time which gives you more flexibility. These units will be available to move after the combat phase or even in the reaction phase during your opponents turn.

Difference with first game
The biggest difference are the Italian units. Italian untried units are placed face down on the map. Nobody knows there combat strenght. They suck but some suck less and they are great in delaying the allied advance. They might even score some hits an weaken a allied unit or take out an asset.
All Italian units (garrison and regular units) might and will suffer from fading morale when the allies take an undamaged port or take all important places (marked with a star on the map). This makes them less effective and can be a real problem for the axis player.

Also the axis player will be on the defensive all the time. You can launch a little counterattack against an Allied unit that got careless but you will not be able to go on an all out offensive. Don't get me wrong, the allies are not on a holiday and will have a hard time pushing back the axis defence line.

Opinion
I like this game. The game however is not that easy and I would not call it fast playing either. You will have to invest some time but it's worth it. So I don't believe this is the best game to start with if you are new to wargaming. The campaign game takes some time to finish but they also include a short scenario that can be played fast and is a great way to learn the game.

I think this series is great and you should give it a try. I do like The Bulge a bit better because both players will go on the offensive and it includes more armor units but it's out of print. The 3th game of this series (Golan 73) is available for preorder and this game should deliver a more similar experience as the bulge. You might want to check it out. I hope you enjoyed my review and till next time.
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Łukasz
Poland
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Not a review, more like an overview, isn't it? Nothing explained about the game balance, victory conditions, the asymmetry of the forces...

The major difference for me -- after 10 or so games -- is the tempo and pace of the game. The Bulge is violent and rapid, players can expect to face a quick and deep breakthroughs deep behind the lines. I preferred the more strict supply rules that made you a bit paranoid about the lines -- with the modified rules it is bit easier to make a huge gap in the lines. Anyways, in Sicily both forces are clenched in what I would call a WWI-type battle: it's a tedious pushing the front line over the easy to defend terrain. Combat can be bloody for the Allies who need to push it strong if they don't want to lose to auto-victory.

For me the game is a step backwards -- maybe it's the nature of the operation itself but from what I read it hardly was a slow paced war of attrition. I am looking forward to Golan, the next instalment in the series.
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Tonny Wille
Belgium
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I only played 3 campaign games so far using the correct rules (1st one we made a few mistakes) Both sides have already achieved victory. So at this point I believe that the game is balanced but more plays are needed.

Vistory points can be scored from taking regions of importance to that side (some are mutual while others affect only one side) or when you destroy an beachhead/units with 3 or more strenght points. Be carefull where to drop your paratroopers

I do like The Bulge more but I would not go so far to call this game a stepback. It's another campaign that plays different.



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bruno faidutti
France
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I want a Catch 22 boardgame.
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