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User Rating Comment Status
Mark Perkins
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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10
Apr 2005*
Even in the first playings, this is obviously the very best game on the Pacific War. It is an intense recreation of history with plenty of flavor, and many, many nailbiting decisions to make by both players. Highest rating.
2005-04-27*
Owned
Bruno Nguyen Huu
France
Bordeaux
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10
Jun 2005*
One of the best games I'd played on this topic.
Play is intense and very chalenging.
Many aspects of the war without the burden of heavy rules.
I'll advice to try the short scenarios before playing the campaign, if you don't want to see your offensives ending in full disaster.
2005-06-06*
Owned
Grant Herman
United States
Potomac
Maryland
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10
Jun 2005*
this is the best game of all time...he's my dad...
2005-06-25*
Owned
Joel Toppen
United States
Gallup
New Mexico
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10
May 2007*
This is one of the best strategic-level treatments of WWII in the Pacific, I've played. What most impresses me after a couple of play-throughs is how players must take into account the same things that the historic leaders had to take into account. Beautiful map, colorful counters, and gorgeous cards make this one one of THE BEST!
2007-05-12*
Owned
Dan Gallagher
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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10
Aug 2005*
After taking a little time to figure out the reaction rules, and have someone murder me with them -the light bulb went on. The game not only does a good simulation of the history, it's a great game too - and I have not had many where I've been able to say that. While there has been a lot of carping at the rules, there really have not been very many actual changes -more qualifications and explanations.
2005-08-24*
Owned
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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10
Aug 2005*
This game is surely the one to watch in 2005. It is going to be a great game from Mark Herman. With Card-driven game mechanics, one gorgeous map and competitive tournament-type scenarios, this one is definitely the best strategic-operational level game on the Pacific theatre. Achievement of perfection requires judgement as well as enthusiasm. This game has both.

Lots of decisions to make and everytime you are making an important one. The uncertain aspects of political events are seamlessly and subtely integrated in the core game mechanics (via political will track, not political control marker this time).

The game emphasis on the use of Operation Cards and Event Cards to conduct offensives. The game system is very interactive and fluid in that reaction player has every chance to react a number of units, within the range of a Headquarter, quickly to a battle location. So you'll see units triggering to move at any time and developing small into a large bloody battle. Very realistic as to what was fought over.

Air units' Zone of Influence (ZOI) is another interesting concept not so often seen before. The ZOI could prohibit amphibious assault, strategic movement and tracing line of communication. The air force is given its credit where it's due.

Movement allowance is dependent on the use of cards as its value is a multiplier to the basic movement rate by unit types. Weather is a card in your hand of fate.... Intelligence war is simulated elegantly. Every battle is a surprise attack unless modified by a reaction card or a die roll. If successful, the war is turned into an intercept or ambush. The determination of intelligence state has a direct proportion to the amount of inflict of losses. Combat losses calculation requires a several add-ups. So you need you calculator handy. Part of the fun in this game is to apply hits to your opponent. An interesting aspect therefore is to plan your offensive with combined arms and screening forces, so that you won't have to incur a big loss in one battle alone.

The rules are well written, sometimes too lengthy or duplicate, but the game concepts are clearly explained as a result. The offensive action and reaction movements are sometimes criss-crossing each other in the context of amphibious assaults. So you have to read carefully about the movement and combat things. Once you passed the action and reaction moves, amphibious assault and command range rules, everything would start making more sense. The game system is really designed with an objective to capture the unique features of island-jumping land and sea campaigns. The one map is gorgeous to cover the entire Pacific War, divided into several theatres of operations except China. CBI, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Dutch Indies, Australia, Marshall and other small Pacific islands, Japan homeland…no arbitrary army restriction lines but just that the game flows naturally along the historical line of the Japanese naval and land invasions. The geography of the Pacific dictates the strategies and tactics.

Victory is ultimately hanging on the Japan's ability to bring the Allies into a peace talk. Great gaming system and replay value. This game is designed to be playable one mapper game and completed in one session than Mark's longer, if not unplayable, game on the same theatre - Pacific War (VG).

Everything you look for in a wargame, and especially card-driven ones (it is the first time to integrate CDG to a traditional hex based map), are here in this one package. Excellent physical components, the cards art, the counters' choice of colors, the map's richness and strategic overall commander feel, all that are just some of the goodies in a highly integrated gaming system. If you just want only one game in 2005, grab this!
2005-08-25*
Owned
James Terry
United States
Somersworth
New Hampshire
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10
Dec 2005*
The essence of WW2 in the Pacific distilled into a playable form by a truly innovative designer. The blend of traditional hex wargame and CDG is a delight to play, tense and addictive. I give it the highest possible recommendation.
2005-12-07*
Owned
Pablo Garcia Silva
Chile
Santiago
Metropolitan Region
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10
Dec 2005*
I have not been able to stop! Four years and counting and still is my favorite game.
2009-05-12
Owned
Robert Crawford
United States
Chester
New Hampshire
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10
Sep 2014
Will play this game next (2006)I will comment and rate then.
2006-02-02*
Owned
Marc Guenette
Canada
Laval
Quebec
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10
Jul 2014
This game grows on me everytime I play it. The only backlash really, is being an inexperienced Japanese player. Superb game.
2006-04-03*
Owned
Daniel Schulz
United States
Saint Michael
Minnesota
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10
Jun 2015
Ver 2 might be the most gorgeous wargame ever produced. This thing is a real gem.
2015-07-09
Owned
Andrew Vignuzzi
Canada
Burritts Rapids
Ontario
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10
Sep 2008*
This is a strategic game where positioning and long term views reign. The initial play of the campaign scenario is always a bit tricky as a few bad rolls by either side can make the game much more challenging, and some of the abstractions, such as War in Europe or Progress of War can make things almost impossible to deal with if the cards don't come out right, but it works and is very, very exciting.

I found that watching the CSW challenge match was extremely useful in helping me understand the intricacies of the rules, the general strategy and improving the overall enjoyment of the game.

As you read through the replay you get a full sense of the nail-biting aspect as it brings the best and the worst out in the players. Kudos to Mark Herman for putting together this gem and supporting it in such a professional manner.

The rules look tricky and long, but once the game begins, they actually are fairly straight forward. I missed several points in my play, but I understand them all now. Most of the misses was because I chose to overlook some items until I could get into the flow of it.

Clearly not for those who want to play WitP or a Pacific scenario of WiF or AWAW... This one removes the leader in the field viewpoint. Very enjoyable - now I need to have someone to play with face to face....
2010-08-25
Owned
Tomasz Samek
Poland
Kielce
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10
Sep 2008*
Mark Herman CDG = Must have. But not all will value. This game needs a bit time to fall in love her.
2009-02-23
Owned
Mike Joslyn
United States
South Miami
Florida
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10
Nov 2008*
A card-driven, perfected, playable version of one of my all-time favorite games: Victory's Pacific War. If Mark Herman has ever a done a bad game, I haven't seen it.
2008-10-13*
Owned
Scott Rose
United States
Redding
California
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10
Jan 2014
What a great CDG! Lots of depth, and the ability to explore historically plausible outcomes without being on rails. This game should be learned like Labyrinth... in steps. Reading the rulebook will leave you scratching your head trying to figure out a strategy. If someone teaches you the game its not hard to learn. Learn core concepts first (offensives) then go back and learn the details. Check out Mark Hermans videos.
2014-01-22
Owned
Papa Khann
United States
Minnesota
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10
May 2009*
My favorite game. One that I keep going back to. It takes a while to get the rules down, but it's worth the effort.
2009-05-21
mark Hodgkinson
Bahrain
bahrain
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10
Oct 2009*
the best game I have ever played...has all the extras
2012-12-23
Owned
ryan campbell
United States
Rockford
Illinois
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10
Aug 2010
Currently learning this, so the rating is certainly a little tongue-in-cheek or hopeful, but its great so far!
2010-07-04
Owned
Jeff Kuhn
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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10
Nov 2013
Without a doubt, this has become my favorite wargame. The depth of play is just amazing. The lack of serious constraints on what you can do means the possibilities are endless, which equates to high replayability. I have also learned so much about the unique nature of the conflict through this game. What an incredible design! And beautiful, too (I REALLY like Mark Simonitch's work)
2012-10-23
Owned
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Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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10
Mar 2012
This is an incredible game! Although Washington's War is my favorite game, this is probably Mark Herman's masterpiece.

It is elegant, thought-provoking, and deep. It's unlike any other card driven game out there. About all that it has in common others are the cards having events and OPS (Gee, isn't that what makes it a CDG?). What I mean is that you see similarities in them: spend OPS point to activate a general, lay down attack/movement markers and such, but this one has absolutely nothing in common with those in terms of game play, and that is a great thing. Mark Herman went out and re-invented the CDG all over again.

It uses the core system you see in many Pacific strategy games, namely the move/react/battle/redeploy feature along with coordinating air units/infantry/naval units/marines, along with Japanese capturing resources in Burma, Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies along with rules for taking out India, China, and Australia, while feeling the effects of Europe.

But let me put it this way, while I dearly love Asia Engulfed, AE is Bruce Banner. When Bruce gets angry, he turns into Empire of the Sun: a super sized behemoth of awesomeness that will make you soil your drawers the moment you stand face to face with it and realize just how big and awesome it truly is.

In addition to the core game that is in in so many different packages, in this one you suffer from your bickering polticially-driven commanders through a unique inter-service rivalry aspect, this one differs by abstracting the internal revolution in India and the Sino-Japanese war, because Mark Herman explains that Japan was biting off more than it could chew through a land grab, but instead, tried to destabilize the governments of those two countries.

The game uses layers of operational realism and historical detail, and the end result is the PTO game that all others are measured against. Every operation/move takes so much planning that you feel like Nimitz and Yamamoto.

This is not a game for the feint of heart. This is not one that you and your buddy are going to read through the instructions once and sit down and "figure it out together." If you try, you WILL screw up stuff that, in turn, screws up the game. If you insist on trying this, go to the Files section and download the two player aids that I created to help new players run an operation and correct common newbie errors.

But if you can't find an experienced player, send me a Geekmail with your e-mail address in it. I have created a series of 25 Vassal modules that teach you the game, some basic strategies, and provide some small examples of play. Combined with my player aids, if you are diligent, you can play error-free, and discover perhaps the greatest CDG ever made.
2013-08-01
Owned
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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10
Jul 2010
I had ALOT of reluctance to diving into EotS; I'm too old to muck about with hexes And, it just looked too "fiddly" with zones of influence (as it turns out, rather simple) and reaction rules (as it turns out, elegant). BUT, having just been thru the process of learning this one, it won't take you more than a complete campaign game to get the hang of it.

It's not the rules that are complex; it's the choices presented to the gamer and what to do about them (that's called good game design). The reaction system makes you think about offense and defense in depth - much different to the most wargames. Think picket line and the winner being who can concentrate the most the quickest on the key spot (sounds like war to me - think Stonewall Jackson).

The way politics (Inter Service Rivalry, Progress of War), the secondary fronts (China, Burma, India, etc) and stuff beyond your control (War in Europe) is modeled is innovative and elegant. I'd place this game in group of games out the last few years that really offer strategy gamers an integrated political and military game.

Having played almost all the Pac war games and concluded, well, they suck (they don't play like the history I read, completely ignore politics, etc) - this one is a gem. Given that it has been out 5 years and has 25,000 (yes thousand) messages on Consim, a "staff" game going on the consim board that you can follow along with, the three podcasts on how to play the game, I can't think of a better supported game.

Anyways, you're really missing one of the top wargames of the last decade, and I think the best Pac War game I've played (been wargaming 30+ years), if you don't pick this one up. It would be like playing WWI games and somehow not giving Paths of Glory a try - or the American Civil War and not giving For the People a go.

This is one fun and frickin smart game.
2010-07-15
Owned
Robert Fox
United States
Tampa
Florida
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Fear cannot be banished, but it can be calm and without panic; it can be mitigated by reason and evaluation.
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A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
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10
Jan 2014
Outstanding strategic level treatment of the pacific war. Difficulty is in the play options and not in the rules/counter density like most Pacific games.
2010-12-26
Prev. Owned
Fei-Fan Chang
Taiwan
Hsinchu
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10
Jul 2013
Amazing CDG! A different point of view on the Pacific theatre. The game is engaging and exciting. I am now waiting for the reprints.
2015-02-04
Owned
CH Zzz
Switzerland
Lausanne
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10
Sep 2011
One of the best game in the 1941-1945 Pacific theatre
2011-09-28
Owned
Lopo Metello
Switzerland
Denges
Vaud
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Neko-San is here!
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10
Aug 2012
Fantastic game! This is one of my preferred game these days! Very intense and captivating gameplay! I play it with Vassal and with or without ACTS, and I don't stop to discover subtle strategies and to appreciate it! Already five games behind and still like to play it! This one is a game you MUST HAVE and play!
2013-07-19
Owned
Kevin Davidson

Livonia
Michigan
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10
Oct 2014
Had this game for years and just realized I never rated it, doh! At first cracking of this box I was completely overwhelmed by the rules and had no clue what I was doing. It wasn't until I started playing several wonderful opponents online and participated in a Consim World staff game that everything started to click. A big problem I think for most new players is after understanding the rules is setting up the game and going, what the heck do I do now? The game will take several plays to start to get the hang of the strategy, and after a bit I was helping others learn the trade so to speak. Brilliant design, and if I could compare it to anything I would call it a modern day chess, because every move you make is just like that. Great thinking game.

I really excited about the makeover and the updated rules. Pre ordered and hope it comes out first quarter of 2015 as promised.
2014-10-02
Owned
olivier R
France
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10
Jan 2012
The more I play, the more I am thinking this is a masterpiece.

The optional intel table is a must imo and so is the reading of the pdf about the Truk operation analysis by Mark Herman. It really helped me picture was what going on.
2012-02-19
Owned
Igor Sangulin
Croatia
Zagreb
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10
Jul 2012
Keep
2014-11-06
Owned
Want To Play
Matt Pinchuk
Canada
Sainte Anne de Bellevue
Quebec
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10
May 2014
Really clever design. It's the only PTO I've played at this level and it's amazing how different a game this is compared to all the other wargames I've played.
It's a pretty steep learning curve but I think in the end it's worth it.

Edit:
This is without a doubt the most interesting game I've ever played. I really wish I had more opportunities to play it though.

1st ed but includes mounted map

2015-05-14
Owned
For Trade
John Smales
United States
Rome
New York
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Colonel Peter Gansevoort (1749 – 1812) Defender of Ft. Stanwix 1777
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10
Dec 2012
More than any other game I own this one demands to be studied. I am finding it a labor of love, and each time I pull back another layer of the onion it's like opening the box for the first time all over again. Games come and go; however, this title will always be in my collection. Get the 2.o rules and dive in. 2nd Ed. P500 preorder
2013-03-14
Owned
D Bryant
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10
Jan 2013
A game of exceptional strategic depth and intellectual richness. An outstanding gaming experience.
2013-01-06
Owned
Jonathan C
United States
Iowa
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
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10
May 2015
P500 GMT 2015. Mark Herman's 2p WWII game set in the Pacific. One of the greatest CDG strategy and war games in existence.
2015-06-10
Owned
Kevin Ingoldsby
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10
Apr 2015
P500 Reprint
2014-03-02
Preordered
Paul Martin
France
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10
May 2014
Very hard to master but amazing. Much better game than most wargames, at the expense of straightforwardness.
2014-05-16
Owned
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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10
Dec 2014
Empire of the Sun is unbelievable; quirky & brilliant, unique in it's increased complexity in card usage & rule exceptions that weirdly make sense & aren't stapled onto the chassis but inherent to the strategic complications of inter-service rivalries, politics, the stealth of fleet activity, the asymmetry of the belligerents. The intricacy of the Burma theater and the time scale making stealth lightening strikes & rebasing of naval fleets are awesome.

I'm learning so much about the Pacitic War with this.
2014-11-23
Owned
Chris Gillmeister
Canada
Abbotsford
British Columbia
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10
Aug 2015
Paid 70
2015-08-14
Owned
★ Siddis Vicious ★
Norway
Stavanger
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Get off my lawn!
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That's not my opinion. That's science. And science is one cold-hearted bitch with a 14-inch strap-on!
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10
Aug 2015
If you like card driven wargames and want a grand strategy game set in WWII Pacific then look no further.

Empire of the Sun is a grand strategy level wargame by Mark Herman covering the entire Pacific theatre in WW2. The game has become somewhat of a classic since its first release in 2005. It offers exceptional strategic depth, operational realism and great historical detail. This is probably the best game ever made on the Pacific War.

First time wading through the rules you might feel a bit overwhelmed. This being said, it appears to be more difficult than it really is. The rulebook is very thorough and well written. In addition, there are a lot of instructional videos, and the game is greatly supported in the forums both here on the Geek and on ConsimWorld.

Although EotS is primarily a two player game, the Second Edition (2015) includes a card driven solitaire system (CDSS). I’m mainly a solitaire player, and this is a great addition that is highly appreciated.
2015-08-12
Owned
Want To Play
John Steidl
United States
New Hampshire
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10
Jan 2015
Have been playing pretty much non-stop since I dusted it off 18 months ago. The more I play, the more I appreciate it - pretty much my all-time favorite. Not a light game. The rules are non-standard, even for a CDG. And once you learn them, it takes a little practice to have some idea what to do. Best way to learn is spend some time with the videos and Vassal tutorials available, and then look for a friendly opponent willing to do a teaching game. You can find those here or at the CSW forum.

Once you understand the rules and how to use them, the game actually plays fairly quickly. The low counter density means you can put some serious thought into each card as an operational puzzle. And the cards contribute to amazing replay value.

If you enjoy WW2 in the Pacific, and are willing to invest some time, the return is well worth it. If you are looking for a Pacific game you can get into quickly, or just don't like dealing with unusual game systems, EotS is not it. Also, if you like the cards in your CDGs to generally re-create the historical script, you won't find that here. The cards do provide lots of historical flavor, just not a script.
2015-01-29
Owned
David Ells
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
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Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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10
Jun 2015
GMT P-500
2015-06-03
Preordered
Luca Cammisa
Italy
Monza
MB
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10
Aug 2015
This game is pure addiction for me.
2015-08-26
Owned
simon thornton
United Kingdom
Liverpool
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9.5
Aug 2015
I love it. My favourite Pacific game very good at recreating the feel of the campaign. I particularly like the victory conditions which encourage aggresive play by both players and keep the game ticking along nicely.
2015-08-05
Owned
For Trade
Want To Play
A RQ
Spain
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9.5
Jun 2015
Un juego espectacular.

Eso sí, no es para todos los públicos. Las reglas no son fáciles ni intuitivas y tienen sutilezas estratégicas que han de ser despejadas a base de partidas. La comprensión del mapa lleva su tiempo. Qué sitios son importantes y hay que proteger, longitudes de activación, ZOI, donde golpear, cuando y con cuantas tropas. El combate siempre es una incertidumbre y es imposible tenerlo todo bajo control. Incluso el final de la partida no es obvio pq las posibilidades de victoria son múltiples (¿recursos?, ¿Japón?, ¿aislamiento?).

Mantiene la tensión desde la primera carta a la última. Es muy típico llegar al último turno sin un ganador claro y con todo por decidir. He ganado y perdido con una de las últimas cartas de la partida después de un montón de horas de juego. Increíble.

El jugador americano debe ser muy meticuloso en sus ofensivas hasta lograr la supremacía aeronaval. Por su parte el japonés debe jugar bien sus oportunidades iniciales pq a largo plazo se impondrá la superioridad material de los aliados. Ambos bandos tienen su fase ofensiva y defensiva a lo largo de la partida y hay que saber muy bien como ir progresando de una a otra a lo largo de ella.

Novatos, huir. Es un juego para verdaderos grognards.
2014-02-22
Owned
C. Kettmann
Luxembourg
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9.5
Jul 2015
Really happy to own this new edition.
EotS is THE strategic game to play, and it covers the whole Pacific War in a not too long game.
Every game was up to now very pleasant to play.
The rules are complex but managable. It is worth to overcome the initial hurdle to read through the rulebook.
2015-07-20
Owned
Preordered
R Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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9.5
May 2014
Incredible game. Takes CDGs to the next level, IMO. The focus on "offensives" that require coordination of Air, Naval and Land units makes the game fascinating to play. I also applaud the use of Hexes instead of Point-to-Point. It gives a very unique feel to the CDG. I don't know if the unique facets of the war in the pacific lends itself better to hexes than other periods/theaters do, but I would like to see more CDGs use hexes.

My only quibble, and it is a minor one, is the use of weather as reaction events. I've read Herman's rebuttable to this, and I think that he puts it to much better use than most CDGs, but it still feels odd to me that the Japanese player can invoke the weather at will to cancel an offensive. I think it works well from a narrative standpoint and a game standpoint, but it troubles me from a simulation standpoint.
2014-06-24
Owned
mario vallee
Canada
montreal
Quebec
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* Vive L'Empereur! *
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9.1
Aug 2015
Outstanding great game, but complicated. played 6 times
2015-08-17
Want In Trade
Chris DeHeer
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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9
May 2005*
Fantastic design. Takes Card Driven Wargames to the next level. Tough to wrap yourself around the sometimes confusing rules, but once you've done so this is a truly superb game.
2005-05-05*
Owned
Peter Young
United States
Yakima
Washington
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9
May 2005*
In early playing, this seems like a real winner, certainly the best combination of playability and comprehensive overview I've yet seen in a strategic PacWar game. The rules are not perfect, but I've had little trouble playing this so far. Figuring out strategy is another matter entirely...
2005-05-08*
Owned
Paul Denhup
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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9
Jul 2005*
"We Won't Stop Playing!" - 2005. A play on the box cover photo of this very fine game. Unlimited possibilities of this refined Card Driven Game (CDG) of the impossible: World War Two in the Pacific. Excellent scenarios and random events can create unpredictable results and some very fun games. Well done and very playable.
2005-07-24*
Owned
Jack Dorrell
United States
Harrison
Idaho
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9
Dec 2005*
The Pacific War is a tough subject to game without reverting to monster proportions. I feel this design does a very good job as a playable simulation with good mechanics. The rules are fine.
2005-12-31*
Owned
Allen Doum
United States
Orange County
California
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9
Dec 2005*
Complex, with high chance factor. Both justified by the topic.

This is a landmark game in the development of CDGs.

Some comment on "gamey" tactics have been corrected in the v1.4 rules.
2005-12-31*
Owned

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