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B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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I was never a wargamer. Sure, I played Command and Colours: Ancients, I own and love BattleLore, but it’s more of a swing then a lasting relationship. Furthermore, a am a definite anti-fan of the Napoleonic era warfare. So why the hell did I leave the local store with a modest green box tucked under my shoulder? I am actually writing this review, to find out myself.

Now, I will just try to give myself (and, possibly, some other Geeks) three good reasons for doing what I did.

Reason 1

I could say that the local store owner hypnotized me. I went there only to buy Shadows over Camelot: Merlin’s Company (and I did), but I was ambushed by the sinister Lord of the Shop. We talked for a moment and then he asked me if I had some time, so he could show me a nice little game he just got. Then, the hypnosis begun.

I saw some really plain terrain tiles, randomly chosen and put on the table. I was given eight little chits and a deck of irritatingly small cards, then a very short introduction and… the battle started.

I lost. To be quite exact, I learned the rules, got the hang of the game, kicked some ass (not too much, just enough to perish honourably) and was defeated in… 45 minutes! Damn, wasn’t that a breath of fresh air!

What I got out of this short interaction was a profound feeling that the game is more than meets the eye and… well… the game itself.

Conclusion: It’s really easy to learn. Yes, that easy.


Reason 2

When I got home, I decided to spend a moment, studying the rules. Like I said, I’m not a wargamer, but still, it seemed to me that some of the rules were oversimplified. For example, why can cavalry charge straight into the forest? Why a unit hidden there gets the same benefit while defending from rifle fire, from artillery and from a mounted charge?

Questions arose and I felt some doubts creeping up on me. I went to the kitchen for a cigarette and decided to give the game a chance by playing a Me vs. Me battle. Just to get a better hang of it. Since it had taken me only 45 minutes the first time I played, I thought I would not waste too much time fiddling with the game.

Next thing I remember was checking my wrist watch at around 2.00 AM. After five or six battles, I think. Just sitting there and being happy with the simplicity and all the possibilities the armies and the random terrain gave me. I went to bed, studying the strong and weak points of every army, and then dreamt about all the fun things an army was able to do to its enemies.

Conclusion: There are many possibilities. Yes, that many.

Reason 3

I brought my new game for a game night. Well, all my friends were disappointed – because I told them, I had had no time to even take a look inside the Merlin box. Since they are not wargamers as well, it seemed for a moment that I will end up on the business end of an angry lynch-mob. However, they decided to give my and “that crappy little box of mine” a chance.

About 50 minutes later we had two extra people phoned and coerced to come to us, so that there would be eight of us. Enough for four consecutive battles. No, you are not mistaken. A single box allows that (well, it does involve some dice-passing, unless your gaming friends also happen to be roleplayers, in which case, even this mere inconvenience evaporates as it was never there).

Conclusion: One box equals an eight-player tournament. Yes, one box.

Now, tell me, can your average game do that?

Reason 3.5

I won the tournament.

Conclusion: I am as cool as this game. Yes, that cool. cool
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Marcus Fries
United States
Quincy
Massachusetts
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Great review.

I think you may have hypnotized me in the process. I feel I may end up leaving my FLGS with a copy of this in the bag some time soon.
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B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Get hypno'ed!
Thanks

If you do end up with the "crappy little box" (which is, by the way, much less crappy than some of the boxes I own), you will not regret it.

I mean... I just can't stop playing the game, and I'm a guy who loves diversity during his gaming nights...
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Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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As a Polish American I can now understand where my fanatical love of this games came from!

It's awesome and I'd love to do a tournament sometime!
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B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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denverarch wrote:
As a Polish American I can now understand where my fanatical love of this games came from!


You lost me here, mate. Do you really think it has something to do with our *whispers* Polish spirit?

Cheers
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Dan Scott
Canada
Port Perry
Ontario
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Great review of an excellent, underrated game!
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"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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PsyJam wrote:
Great review of an excellent, underrated game!


I'd hardly call an average rating of 7.71 underrated! arrrh
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Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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denverarch wrote:
As a Polish American I can now understand where my fanatical love of this games came from!

It's awesome and I'd love to do a tournament sometime!


As a Puerto Rican"american" I too love this game it must be all nationalities that start with P. And I too would love to do a tournament.
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Mark Jimenez
United States
San Francisco
California
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irondeav wrote:

Conclusion: There are many possibilities. Yes, that many.


I was just thinking about the possibilities.

Someone please correct me if my math/logic is off here.

Number of possible board placements & orientations (from a player's perspective):
(24*4)*(23*4)*(22*4)*(21*4)= 65,286,144

Number of nation combinations:
8*7 = 56

Number of possible unit placements per side:
(16!)-(8!) = 518,918,400

Add more factors if you allow chosing any 4 sides of the board placement.

Multiply the whole lot together for number of possible opening setups:
Very huge number
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tim
United States
hudsonville
Michigan
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I was going to buy this at GenCon Indy this past weekend based almost entirely on this review. I saw it at Troll and Toad. They had an ok price on it. I wrote it and a few other games down. I wandered the rest of the show comparing prices. I did not see it anywhere else. I then went back to Troll and Toad and it was gone. Now it's on my list to watch for and buy when the opportunity arises.
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Frank Prisciandaro
United States
Long Island City
New York
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If you are in the US and have a credit card try this website, I was just there and ordered a copy of the game, furthermore they donate a portion of there sales to Veteran Services, I'm a veteran, therefore I felt obligated to place an order http://www.wargamedepot.com, they were having some problems with the site so I ordered it by calling them on the phone, maybe by the time this comment is read they would have the site repaired, Good Luck.
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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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irondeav wrote:

Conclusion: I am as cool as this game. Yes, that cool. cool


I found this review to be deeply moving and is a tribute to your humility.

Is the game really as cool as you?

I think not.

May your enemies be run down by a truck full of hubris.


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Phil Sauer
United States
Willow Street
Pennsylvania
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da pyrate wrote:
irondeav wrote:

Conclusion: I am as cool as this game. Yes, that cool. cool


I found this review to be deeply moving and is a tribute to your humility.

Is the game really as cool as you?

I think not.

May your enemies be run down by a truck full of hubris.

While I understand your sentiment, this is a game my stepson loves. I will never turn down an invite from him to play this one, and he cleans my clock seven times out of ten.

Well worth it... and a nice review, even if I'm a bit late to the thread.
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