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Subject: First session of Tide of Iron. rss

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Harrison Chadd
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Since my group may have been the very first people in the world to purchase TOI at retail (4pm Sydney, Australia time on Tuesday May 15; that’s GMT +10, so feel free to e-mail in your challenges to this assertion), we decided that we owe the greater gaming community a session report, at the very least. A big hi to the folks in Germany who demanded one!

We played a few games on Tuesday night, and I’ll provide the highlights of games One & Two here. I’ll try to keep rules explanations to a minimum – the rules are online if you don’t own the game yet, and I’m sure someone will review them in excruciating detail sometime soon.


SET-UP

Needless to say, we were excited. I enjoy lots of bits with my games – they tend to provide me with the happy illusion that it’s worth spending that much money on toys. “But look, honey – you get so much stuff in it!”

I didn’t feel that TOI has quite as many bits in it as the other FFG “big box” games do. TI3 had more stuff, and WOW had to be the emperor of chrome – but then, a lot of WOW’s bits were annoyingly extraneous. It’s better to get the right amount of useful pieces, I think, than tons of needless fluff and fill. The majority of the physical weight of the game has to be in the boards, which, well, you’ll understand when you open your copy. You’ll grin like the happy kid that you know you are. Quality of cards, counters, etc, is as you’d expect – games are mostly all of such high quality these days that a discussion of components is really only warranted if they’re noticeably sub-standard. So, ticking that box and moving on. The infantry figures are nice, if a little blandly generic. The vehicles are great. They’re chunky, solid, altogether satisfying little pieces of plastic.

TOI is a scenario-driven game, with fixed terrain and units for each scenario. We played scenario 1 twice before moving on to scenario 2. (Both of these scenarios use 9 of the 12 total double-sided boards.)

Setup is kinda lengthy. Arranging the boards and tiles is okay, but the assembling of units may test the patience of some. For those who don’t now, you can customize your own squads thusly: each base has four slots. Single infantry, officers and elite infantry all take up one slot, while MGs/mortars take up two. You can construct your squads any way you choose, using the figures provided by the scenario. For our first game, we did what seemed logical, splitting the MGs up over different squads, keeping the elites together, adding officers to regular squads, etc. I’m sure there are many other tactical possibilities, but our initial force deployment seemed to work fine, and it stayed pretty much the same over all the games we played.

There are also specialist tokens that can be added to squads by sticking them onto a little plastic hook on the back of the base. Specialisations are: medics (increased protection against offensive fire, chance of regenerating dead men), engineers (can dig trenches and destroy razor wire), flamethrowers (super deadly at close range and neutralise most types of enemy cover bonuses), and anti-tank (gives infantry a chance against armor).

And so…. by the time we’d been through all of this setup, we must have been at it for an hour. Some of that is because of the learning curve and constant rules cross-referencing to make sure that the choices we were making weren’t either illegal or stupid, but this game does have a heavy front end.

And it’s here that I’m gonna digress for a little rant:

The whole concept of adding and removing figures from the bases, and interchanging weapon teams/officers/elite troops is such a wonderful thing in concept, and was one of the things I really loved from the first time I read about it on the official web site, but at this point I’ve gotta express my doubts about the practicality of it. There’s just a little too much fidgeting for my liking – and I’m a person who doesn’t mind a good fidget. I’m also extremely careful with all of my toys, and I have very delicate girlie digits, but I still despair for the longevity of the pieces. I predict with great confidence that at some point in the near future I’m going to be beating one of my friends to death with a tire iron because they snapped the feet off of one of my GI’s. I think there’s a delicate tension between the thrill of customization, and the inevitable frustration that comes with things that are too fiddly; I’m not sure which side’s gonna win out in regards to TOI. I think I’ll be able to deliver the final verdict on that when the novelty has worn off.

Rant over, and game one about to begin.


GAME ONE

We got off to a slow start, as you can imagine. My group is more likely to spend extra time in deliberation than jump right in and learn from trial and error. My best bud and I shared the US forces, which are deployed in defensive positions in Scenario 1. To win, we had to prevent the Germans from ending a turn with three units inside our defensive perimeter before turn eight. This suited us fine, as we’re both cautious, defensive players (read: boring).

The Germans seemed to have their work cut out for them in this one; our troops were all in cover, had more heavy weapons, as well as a continuous line of entrenchments and razor wire around our position. We also had access to medics and the reinforcement deck, which was a major factor, because we could replenish losses and buy new units, whereas the German player could not. Reinforcement deck rules!

(Pause for rules/mechanics: there are around 10 different decks of cards, each with a different theme; reinforcements, artillery, morale, air support, ground support, etc. The scenario book dictates which decks each side gets in each battle. You get a certain number of cards at the beginning, and receive a new random one from your deck each turn. Cards have various effects, some one-shot and others semi-permanent, which must be paid for with command points that you earn for holding certain objectives at turn’s end.)

So, we just dug in and started shooting. Mortars and MGs chewed up some German units before they really even got into range to return fire. It became very evident, very early in the game, that COVER IS IMPORTANT. I mean, duh, this is WWII squad-based combat, but we were all a little stunned by the ease at which units in the open just melted. The Germans took cover in a tree line that ran parallel to our entrenchments and began to return fire. Their shooting was initially not so effective, because they were advancing to take up positions and firing on the move (in TOI your unit’s movement is reduced by one hex and your overall firepower – that is, number of attack dice rolled – is halved when you move AND shoot in the same action).

The Germans regrouped under fire and tried to implement a pincer strategy. Unfortunately for them, the front wasn’t quite wide enough for it to be viable, and one of the US flanks is kind of denied by sheer virtue of the board edge. On our left flank we had a clear fire zone of two to three hexes, and the Germans were just too afraid to try crossing it. We had zoned-in mortars pounding them along the tree line, and two MGs constantly raking back and forth, and the two units that did try to break cover (including an elite engineer unit) were both wiped out. The Panzer IV wasted a bit of time moving between flanks, and the German player seemed a little afraid to expose it to fire by moving to a better firing position. You know how it is – you often value your best unit so much that you only tentatively commit it. Of course, he didn’t make the same mistake twice, as you’re about to see.

By the time he gave up the assault on the right flank, having sustained heavy casualties whilst trying to destroy the razor wire protecting my entrenchments, it was all but over. Turn 7 began, and it was clear that there wasn’t enough time for him to get three units into my lines by the end of turn 8. We called it (all of us believe that throwing men into a meat grinder as a last ditch effort is totally dishonorable), and decided to play the same scenario again straight away.


GAME TWO

There were a few things we didn’t really understand the value of in the first game. For example: suppressive fire. It just didn’t seem all that effective, and actually concentrating fire to kill men seemed to be the best strategy. Pinned units recovered automatically at the end of the turn, and officers sped up the recovery process just with their presence in the hex. To actually rout a unit with suppressive fire required doing just as many hits as it would take to eliminate them with good old-fashioned direct fire, and if you were reducing their numbers while doing so, then so much the better, right? Plus, the Germans had quite a lot of elite troops, and they provided even more bonuses towards resisting suppression. My co-commander was scratching his head and saying “why would you bother? We must be missing something.” Turns out we were. Big time. We also hadn’t been using op fire (overwatch) at all. And we also discovered that we were handling the strategy cards rules incorrectly. First time blues. Nobody likes to be a virgin.

So, with a much better idea of the rules and mechanics, we started up again.

The Germans, damn their black hides, didn’t conveniently line up and let us shoot them down in the open this time. They presented basically no targets for us for the first two turns as they maneuvered for position. It looked like they were going to try a similar two-pronged assault to the previous game, but this time with much better timing and organisation. We hunkered down and waited.

Something cunning that the German player did over these two turns, and we stupidly never really cottoned on to what he was planning, was to build up a massive initiative superiority.

(Pause again for rules/mechanics: those “command points” that you earn every turn, the ones you use to buy/activate strategy cards, can also be put into an “initiative pool”. They stay there permanently. Whoever has the most tokens in their initiative pool gets to go first each turn.)

None of us really paid much attention to this in the first game, and in game two we Americans again ignored it, being too busy building up an arsenal of – in hindsight, largely unhelpful – strategy cards. Before we realised what was happening, the German player had seven tokens in his initiative pool, and this ended up being integral to his strategy.

On turn three, the Germans had built a solid line across the entire front. Of course, we could see what was coming, and had set a few units on op fire in anticipation, including most of the MGs in our centre. We thought it was going to be like WWI trench warfare. Mass assault, machine guns mowing them down…. you can see it, right? But here’s where all of those little details I’d been missing before rose up and slapped me in the face. The Germans, with their lock on initiative, got to go first….

Spotters called in long range mortars on our MGs – suppressive fire. We had two MGs in one hex, covering a choke point, and mortars have area effect, which hits everything in the hex they’re targeting. This attack successfully removed their op fire tokens and pinned them (and in one case, caused a disruption). Then, German MG42s (which, incidentally, have better firepower ratings than American MG crews) opened up and pinned infantry units on either side of the pinned MG crews. That was just for starters.

We returned fire on the flanks, hoping to dissuade the Germans out wide from exposing themselves. I was very concerned for our right flank, which had only a one hex safety buffer between our lines and a thick wood. There were several German units massing at the tree line, including two engineers, and it wouldn’t take them much to breach the defenses and leapfrog a couple of squads right into our lines.

The Germans, acting again, convinced me that I was right, and poured heavy fire into this flank. For the next few turns, a fierce firefight ensued, but with both sides in cover casualties were low. We also shifted some of our centre reserves out of position, in order to reinforce the right flank. At this point, our left flank was held by really only two squads – a regular squad with an officer and a medic, and a mortar team.

Then the Panzer IV trundled out of the woods opposite our centre and put a round into our HQ building. Grinning, the German player pointed out a special rule that we’d never noticed – tanks have “concussive firepower”, which in the Panzer IV’s case, boosts its firepower from 6 to 9 against targets in buildings. Boom. One squad of GIs plus officer reduced from four to one man in a single hit. My co-commander may have actually urinated down his trouser leg at this point. To make it worse, a squad of Wehrmacht troopers then killed the sole remaining officer where he stood.

Hmm. Turn over. We bought reinforcements – two squads – and ignored the initiative pool. Probably shouldn’t have. But we figured that getting into an initiative arms race with the Germans was pointless – they were already six ahead. Oops.

Turn four. The Germans repeated the tactics of the previous turn. Three of our four MG teams ended up pinned or disrupted before we could do anything. Realising that suppressive fire was actually really really useful, we replied in kind, but the German centre was heavily stocked with elite troops who can shake off suppression like a duck shakes off water.

At this point we started to worry.

Those same elite troops who were dodging our bullets so effectively then broke cover en masse. And here they REALLY came into their own. On the move, they were still firing with the same dice as a static regular unit. So they moved straight towards our centre, pinning units as they came, engineers in their midst.

We continued to worry.

We had very little left in the centre that wasn’t pinned or disrupted or lying dead under the smoldering ruins of a building, so we opened up on the right flank again. They were still threatening there, and a brief exchange of fire from both sides of the wire left several men dead and a couple of units pinned. The German player used a strategy card that removed all pinned/disrupted tokens in one hex (it was from the morale deck – “Niiiice!”), and suddenly had two fresh squads sitting right across the wire from all of our fatigued GIs. We shifted the fresh reinforcements in that direction, but as they were firing on the move they had no effect. The Germans in turn disrupted another unit.

And just to rub salt into the wound, some long range shooting from Wehrmacht in the centre managed to push two separate MG crews from disrupted to routed – they were removed from the table!

We began to panic.

Turn five. German mortars silenced our machine guns. German MG42s pinned the centre of our line. German engineers sitting right outside the wire. Unwilling to retake CP, as Panzer IV sits just outside the dining room windows.

We refused to give up. Reserves moved to reinforce the centre and plug the gaps made by the dying MG crews. Troops on the right flank did okay, taking out an enemy squad and damaging another. We crossed fingers and prayed that we’d be able to hold on another three turns.

But then the Germans in the centre abruptly turned right and charged our weaker left flank. There was a one hex gap in the wire, and with the units we’d set to guard it lying dead in the ruins of the chateau, the Germans easily charged through. We hadn’t tried the close assault rules up until this point – hell, nobody had ever been close enough to the enemy to do so – and it was a huge gamble for the Germans. Of course, being elite troops versus our regulars, and with us suffering lessened firepower due to the fact that mortars can’t contribute to an assault, the combat went their way. The GIs retreated, the mortars were destroyed, and nothing stood between the Germans and our central CP.

Turn six and seven. Having now perfected their “infantry blitzkrieg” tactics, the Germans proceeded to roll us up. Going first, the mortars and MGs pinned everything they could, the regs plinked away at the pinned units and occasionally disrupted or routed, and the elite units continued their relentless advance, firing as they moved. The central CP fell on turn six, meaning we would score zero command points from then on. The Panzer rolled closer and pounded away at our green reinforcements at short range. The Germans on the right flank, deployed as a mere diversion (we realised way too late, alas), added insult to injury by eliminating another GI squad. On turn seven, it was all academic. The Germans already had two units behind our lines – in our CP, dammit! – and at least four others poised to move in and be the third required to win. A last minute rally by the sole surviving American officer, who led an assault on the enemy-held CP, was doomed to failure, and the SS troops inside not only repelled the assault but also managed to kill over 50% of the three full squads sent against them.


GAME OVER, MAN, GAME OVER

TOI got a big thumbs up from all involved. It was fun, exciting and satisfyingly detailed. We all loved the way the strategy decks worked, and it’s easy to see these decks as infinitely expandable (kind of like the expansion packs for Runebound). There’s some real tactical depth to the game too, particularly in terms of squad construction, command point expenditure, and fire-and-maneuver options.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that TOI is a true two player game (expandable, of course). This is especially welcome in my house, where everything we love seems to need at least three, but really plays better with five plus.

We did feel that the fiddliness of unit construction/hit allocation would maybe wear thin. In fact, towards the end of game two, when everything was tense and we were eager to resolve the next attack, we started just placing dice next to squads to indicate losses, instead of actually removing figures. And I reiterate my earlier comments about the inevitability of broken bits.

But still, it’s easy to be excited about the future of this game. As long as new scenarios keep coming, it’ll keep my interest.

We're going to play a lot more over the coming week, and if I think I have something more of value to say, I'll post a review with more detailed rules analyses, and with a discussion of the inevitable comparisons that will be made to Axis & Allies miniatures, Memoir 44, etc.

Thanks for reading, if you indeed got this far (or even if you skipped the middle bit and just landed here).

Signing off.
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David Spangler
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Excellent report! Thanks!
 
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Mike zebrowski
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Wow, that was a fun read.
 
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Bryan Pravel
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Great report, I loved it!
 
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Nathan Johnson
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Great Report.

I was borderline going to get this...and now...I am definately going to get it!

Thanks for the turn by turn examples/report i now have a much better feeling of how the game turns go and tactics involved.

 
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Mark Guttag
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Quote:
The whole concept of adding and removing figures from the bases, and interchanging weapon teams/officers/elite troops is such a wonderful thing in concept, and was one of the things I really loved from the first time I read about it on the official web site, but at this point I’ve gotta express my doubts about the practicality of it. There’s just a little too much fidgeting for my liking – and I’m a person who doesn’t mind a good fidget. I’m also extremely careful with all of my toys, and I have very delicate girlie digits, but I still despair for the longevity of the pieces. I predict with great confidence that at some point in the near future I’m going to be beating one of my friends to death with a tire iron because they snapped the feet off of one of my GI’s. I think there’s a delicate tension between the thrill of customization, and the inevitable frustration that comes with things that are too fiddly; I’m not sure which side’s gonna win out in regards to TOI. I think I’ll be able to deliver the final verdict on that when the novelty has worn off.


I saw a prepub copy of Tide of Iron being played at the Games Club of Maryland Game Days Convention and had similar thoughts. One thought I had was possibly sticking a circle of thin foam rubber of the type available in arts and crafts stores:

http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?produc...

I haven't tried this yet, but if this works, it would allow you to just stick the pieces in the foam without having to find particular holes or exerting significant pressure. The foam sheets are cheap, so you can just replace them when they wear out if you adhere them to the stands with two-sided tape (that can be peeled off). The trick may be finding the proper thickness.

Mark
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Barry Kendall
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Excellent report. How about giving us another one from the next game now that you've gained a healthy respect for those initiative points?

One thought I've had re the figures is that it should be fairly easy to replace them with Axis & Allies Miniatures infantry and MG teams on individual bases if the game-supplied figs and bases don't work out.

I was concerned about the photos showing those tiny locating pins. However, I've been told by a FFG customer service person (and a very nice lady she is) that this is a new plastic for FFG which meets European environmental standards and should be quite durable. I suspect that FFG will be very good about replacing damaged bits should it prove necessary.

Also great to hear that the boards are so . . . well, board-like. Very promising indeed.

Still hoping for Crusader tanks for the British in the North Africa expansion . . .
 
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Craig Maksimik
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Outstanding session report!

I really enjoyed the way this game captures the tension of battle through its mechanics. I discovered the value of suppresive fire very early on as well. Getting mowed down by machine gun fire will do that to you...

One question I have about the vehicles. Do the trucks have their frames bent up in the middle? This is something I found in the early bird games that I was curious if they were just early mold issues or if the mass retail game would be the same. Also would like to hear about how the tanks look as well. They seemed also like they were pulled from the hot mold too soon in the early bird games.
 
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David desJardins
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hjchadd wrote:
Then Panzer IV trundled out of the woods opposite our centre and put a round into our HQ building.


Did you set up the map wrong? I think there's a very limited range of locations from which the American HQ building is even visible. It's mostly blocked by trees.

This image seems to have the scenario set up all wrong:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/196081?size=large

There's a stream where there should be a road, and clear spaces that should be trees. Unless I'm really remembering it wrong.

If you take those trees away, the scenario is much harder for the Americans!
 
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Harrison Chadd
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Mark: yes, I understand what you mean about the foam, and you’re right – it probably would work. But I just think that with the technology we have access to today, and the experience that FFG have with gaming, that this could have been designed better. Not that I have any suggestions myself, or any clue as to how you engineer these things. And so, in keeping with my philosophy of “quit bitching unless you’re providing alternate, helpful solutions”, I’m shutting up about it from here on in. I liked your suggestion, though.

Barry: Ah, you read my mind! What are you doing that for? Get out of my mind before you uncover something that’ll get me arrested! I refer, of course, to A&A minis – they’re a natural substitute. In fact, we’re already using the A&A barbed wire, tank traps and pillbox minis – they’re much better than the counters that come with TOI – easier to see under the horde of counters that end up on the board, and of course, much more visually stimulating. I just hope that Christian Petersen doesn’t send the Fantasy Flight ninjas to my house to poison me in my sleep for committing heresy like that. Also: I may very well scribe a version 2.1 of the above report. After reviewing the rules and going over the scenarios in preparation for another session tomorrow, I think I may have a very different experience of it. Watch this space.

Craig: Yes, I didn’t mention that specifically in the report, so I guess I’ll point it out for those who haven’t read the rules or played yet: Machine Guns, when placed on op fire, can make unlimited numbers of op fire attacks. This makes them as lethal as they should be, and explains why my German opponent continually blew his wad trying to pin my MGs. And in response to your question, yes, my trucks are bent upwards slightly. Maybe they’ve been upgraded to offer greater protection against roadside bombs and IEDs.

David: The final scenario book that comes with the game specifies that you cover the tree hexes on all but the bottom right two hexes with clear tiles. So, the HQ is exposed to fire from the North, North-East, North-West and West. Maybe they changed that before going to print?

And to all who replied: Thanks very much for all of the positive comments. May your rashes be scarce and your harems full of booty.
 
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Dead Eye Dick
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Thanks for that very thorough, very engaging report!!

I pre-ordered sometime ago, but you've really ratcheted up my anticipation.

Also, you deserve full credit for the following:

Quote:
First time blues. Nobody likes to be a virgin.


I am going to repeat that line to anyone I ever teach a game to.
 
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David desJardins
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hjchadd wrote:
David: The final scenario book that comes with the game specifies that you cover the tree hexes on all but the bottom right two hexes with clear tiles. So, the HQ is exposed to fire from the North, North-East, North-West and West. Maybe they changed that before going to print?


Maybe I set it up wrong.

I'd say this makes the scenario seem really tough for the Americans. I thought it favored the Germans even with those woods hexes in play. I guess there's an advantage from being able to use that building as a fire base. But it seems outweighed by losing several other hexes as potential defensive locations. It seems very hard to keep the Germans from occupying hexes that you can't realistically occupy yourself (because they have no cover).
 
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Doug Epperson
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Gooday Mate to you All

God...I luv Aussies!

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie! Oi! Aussie! Oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!

shake

True Allies indeed!
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Mike zebrowski
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hjchadd wrote:
David: The final scenario book that comes with the game specifies that you cover the tree hexes on all but the bottom right two hexes with clear tiles. So, the HQ is exposed to fire from the North, North-East, North-West and West. Maybe they changed that before going to print?


My printout doesn't show that. Are you sure that there is a clear overlay there? All overlays have red borders. The yellow bordered hexes are not overlays, they just mark which hexes you need to take.

Mike Z
 
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Doug Acker
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Thank you for a brilliant session report. This should stand as a model for session reports, communicating both the feel of the game and the savage passion of victory, or bitter agony of defeat.
 
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Matthias
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That was a great report! A big THANK YOU from the guy in Germany who "demanded" one!

You have a very vivid style of writing, reading that report was like reading a summary of a real battle. I could picture the whole battle in my mind while reading your report. Way to go! And, yes, it sure made me wanting this game even more!

And as a guy who doesn't mind setting up Axis & Allies, I'm also looking forward to assemble my squads. I don't call it setup, I call it 'mental preparation'... ninja
 
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Jim Cote
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Awesome session report!

hjchadd wrote:
I’m also extremely careful with all of my toys, and I have very delicate girlie digits, but I still despair for the longevity of the pieces. I predict with great confidence that at some point in the near future I’m going to be beating one of my friends to death with a tire iron because they snapped the feet off of one of my GI’s.


If the figures wear or snap often, it might be nice to be able to order small bags of extra men as replacements. Then I wouldn't feel the need to be quite so careful.
 
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Sean D.
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Excellent report! You really brought the game alive. Dang, now there's one more game I will have to buy that I don't have time to play!! Cheers.
 
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Ronster Zero
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Wow, thanks that was great report.

I'm waiting for this to be shipped out to me....now impatiently.
 
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Mark Guttag
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Quote:
Mark: yes, I understand what you mean about the foam, and you’re right – it probably would work. But I just think that with the technology we have access to today, and the experience that FFG have with gaming, that this could have been designed better. Not that I have any suggestions myself, or any clue as to how you engineer these things. And so, in keeping with my philosophy of “quit bitching unless you’re providing alternate, helpful solutions”, I’m shutting up about it from here on in. I liked your suggestion, though.


Harrison: Oh, I agree with you completely that the the basing for the figures should have been designed better. I was just trying to figure out a work around for what FFG has provided.

My own thought is that they could have done a variation of the Trivial Pursuit pieces. For example, imagine a Trivial pursuit piece in the shape of a square as opposed to a circle and with receptacle for 4 square instead of 6 wedges. This piece could have been used as the base. Then you could have put a cube at the base of each figure instead of a pin, and just set the pieces in the 4 receptacles in each base. Very simple and no wear from pulling the piece in and out.

My solution would probably require a slighly larger base, but that would be no problem given the size of the hexes.

Mark
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David desJardins
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iplawyer wrote:
My solution would probably require a slighly larger base, but that would be no problem given the size of the hexes.


I don't think you can make the squads any bigger and still fit three squads per hex. I found that the map does get pretty crowded when everyone swarms in close proximity.
 
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If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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VonEpp wrote:
Gooday Mate to you All

God...I luv Aussies!

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie! Oi! Aussie! Oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!

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True Allies indeed!


Sweet Office reference.
 
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Universal Head
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Quote:
I’m also extremely careful with all of my toys, and I have very delicate girlie digits, but I still despair for the longevity of the pieces. I predict with great confidence that at some point in the near future I’m going to be beating one of my friends to death with a tire iron because they snapped the feet off of one of my GI’s.


I've got a copy too and I have to agree with you on this point. A few of the figures made a nice little 'click' when they went in, but most needed a bit of twisting to sit in properly. But twisting is far preferable to pushing, because the legs are so thin that it seems they won't be able to take much before breaking.

If they just went in once that would be fine, but considering they'll be in and out all the time, I'm worried about how they'll last. But mainly, it is damn fiddly. I'm sure we'll be getting lots of complaints from those with pork sausage fingers!

The 'Trivial Pursuit' concept is a great idea. Or something with slots. Here's hoping cheap replacements will become available, at any rate.

I certainly won't be painting these little guys though, I can assure you of that! That way lies madness ...

The boards are wonderfully thick however.

PS Excellent session report!
 
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Rich Trevino
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Harrison, your great session report just sold me on this game. Thanks.

Richard Trevino
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I haven't had the opportunity (obviously - I live in the US) to check out the game, but it's obvious that now that the boards have been reinforced (apparently with steel), the big concern on everyone's mind is the soldiers and how they plug into the base.

Most people are prognosticating doom; there will be widespread casualties and the living-room battlefields and countless dining tables will be littered with bodies of the fallen.

I am very curious to see just how poorly the use and overuse of snapping-in and out will be. FFG, IRC, has made a point about how they selected a more flexible/resilient plastic for this very reason.

Are they gonna break out of common use? I'll be very curious to see what the failure rate is like once the game goes into wider distribution. If the concerns are merited, I like Ekteds idea of securing bags of the soldiers.
 
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