Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Hold the Line» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Quick Review - Father and Son Hold the Line rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Keith Mageau
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Check out my blog at www.rollingboxcars.com
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hold the Line

Preface:

I should start this out by saying I have never played the predecessor to Hold the Line. My comments are based purely on this game and not the earlier game. However, I do see some similarities to the Commands and Colors system designed by Richard Borg. Additionally, I have only played the basic rules as my 7 year old son and I just acquired this game and we are putting it through its paces.

Components:

The components for Hold the Line are top notch. They include large thick counters. Each counter represents two steps out of a possible four total steps per unit; depending on the unit type of course. The counter mix includes British regulars, elite units, light units, dragoons, artillery, and leaders. The American have include regulars, light units, artillery, militia (2 color schemes), and leaders. The board is a nice heavy mounted board, much in the same vain as other games that have a similar generic board (I’m not naming names here). The terrain tiles are nice and think.

The artwork across the board is excellent and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

My only argument about the counters is the "steps" issue. I know this issue has been addressed in the past. In all honesty, I am not sure if blocks would have been a better choice. I am not a fan of blocks so, with that in mind I can deal with the counters.

Scenarios:

The scenario selection is excellent. The game contains eleven scenarios including one that took place in South Carolina. Since we are from South Carolina my son picked up on the Eutaw Springs Scenario right away. The layout is very similar to other games that have variable board setups. Terrain and unit types are designated on top of the basic board layout in each scenario. The Scenarios are laid in chronological order for easy reference as well.

Mechanics:
The mechanics of the game are very simple. Each nationality starts with a base number of action points available to spend each turn. At the start of the turn the active player will roll the "blue" die to determine additional random action points available only for the turn in question. The active player will them proceed to use his action points to move (1 or 2 points), fire a volley/artillery (1 point), close combat (2 points), and in the case of leaders - rally a unit. This is a nice resource management aspect that makes each turn of the game unique.

Fire a volley/artillery is a very simple process:
1. Spend action point.
2. Select firing unit and target unit.
3. Roll three dice and based on range and type of unit will determine if you successfully score any hits.
4. Target unit will reduce steps as needed.
5. Check for leader loss as applicable.

Close combat is almost as simple:
1. Spend 2 action points.
2. Designate attacking and defending units (must be adjacent).
3. Defender rolls for retreat determination (on 1d6 must roll less than current step level or retreat after combat. This is after absorbing any step losses) .
4. Attacker rolls 3 dice (scores hits on 4-6).
5. Defender will take step reductions and check for leader loss as needed.
6. Retreat one hex as needed. Unless I missed something in the rule book there is no "battling back" or counter attack option.

All the mechanics of the basic game were very easy to grasp and my son was able to understand them with little to no coaching,

Winning:

The game is one by a variety of victory conditions. Many of which are the standard - reach "X" victory points in "X" turns. Victory points are earned through eliminating enemy units from the game board, exiting units off the board as outlined in the scenario, or taking control of victory point hexes as outlined in the scenario. In almost all cases one player will win by default if the other player cannot meet their primary victory condition.

Conclusion:

Overall this was an easy system to learn and very light and fast to play. Although simplistic in nature, there is a real sense of game tension when you watch you 4 step elite British unit get peppered from volley fire from multiple hexes in a turn and get whittled down to nothing. I think the variable action points are critical to the every changing ebb and flow of the game. I think this helps to represent some historically accurate command confusion that was commonplace on the battlefield. I hope to get into the advanced rules in short order!

If you want an easy to learn and fast playing Am Rev game, this is a good choice. I am glad I was able to acquire this through a trade. It has already started to pay dividends for me and my son.
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review! My son and I have been playing this too. The scenarios in the game are well thought out and lots of fun. The ease of "always rolling 3 dice" and for the most part "attack or move, make starting the game very easy to learn as a new player. Im hoping to start playing the french indian war as well, and I see they have a Tex Mex expansion in the works too. This is a great period of history I totally underestimated until I started playing this game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith Mageau
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Check out my blog at www.rollingboxcars.com
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for the kind comments. My son and I are rally enjoying this one. He likes the idea of venturing into more traditional war games like I play with my war game club.

Should you ever get down to Charleston we'll have to play!

Keith
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Im a member of your yahoo group. Your group is one of the few groups Ive found that really likes to play the games I like as well. Heck of a drive unfortunately. Im a huge CC style game fan. Battlecry, Mem 44, CC Ancients, Hold the line and all the expansions.
Maybe one day Ill get down there
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
Friesland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I'm currenlty working on a list of games to order.
Now usually I would be limited to what I run into, but via internet I've found a shop in the UK that has it all and at prices that, compared to 'local' shops, make it worth the extra postage.

So as I'm spoiled for choice so decided to go and find out more about my current short list of games I still have to decide on.

FLINT LOCK
HOLD THE LINE
LIBERTY
NAPOLEON.wich I believe is the only block game in this list.

Your review has made me look with extra anttention at this game.
I'm still a bit on the fence where chit games are concerned.
My fellow gamers (i.e. wife and kids) seem to be more interested in miniatures than chits, so that sort of makes it risky to buy those.

But when I read you actually can play the game with a 7 year old, that sort of sold it to me.
That's the kind of games for me, I reckon.
Having said so, it being fun to a 7 year old (and keeping in mind having fun playing is the most important thing) is it still challenging enough for you.
Is it a case of 'playing with one arm tied on your back' or can you play full out and have a good battle.

You mention something about a step 'problem'?
I wondered does this mean the chits are used like blocks, (not that I've got any block games as yet, but BOBBY LEE migth be on mylist) so you turn them to indicate losses?
please explain.

thanks for the review.






 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Klein
Germany
Schoenaich
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sagitar wrote:
Having said so, it being fun to a 7 year old (and keeping in mind having fun playing is the most important thing) is it still challenging enough for you.

This game is definitely challenging enough for adults. And if you think you have mastered the base game, just add the expansion and you will be astonished how differently you have to think and play once the rangers or natives enter the game...

sagitar wrote:

You mention something about a step 'problem'?
I wondered does this mean the chits are used like blocks

They are somehow used similar to blocks. If a unit at strength 4 is hit, it is reduced to strength 3. But since you only have 2 sides per counter, you have 2 counters per unit (one with 1/2, one with 3/4). Of these one is on the board and the other one is in the box and you swap them when necessary.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
Friesland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Hm, sounds interesting...

I may actually go and buy this one.

Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree about the chits. I dont like having to swap them out but they do look good. Personally I would love to convert this to a miniatures game like memoir. Ive often thought about converting this, it would look very good.

Almost every scenario Ive played so far has been fun. There is only one I didnt like (Ill let you be the judge), and the advanced rules even add more fun to the game. I played the last of the standard scenarios today with a good friend online, and it was an exciting match down to the wire.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Keith. Same to you. How many PBEM's have we played now? And its still fun. The progression through the scenarios and the move the FIW has certainly changed the game a bit huh.
How many games have you had where you switch opponents and you just cant follow a natural progession of scenarios or expansion packs. It certainly is nice to have a fun player on the other end, and the PBEM for this game is really good.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.