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Board Game: The Forgotten War: Korea
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Subject: How not to forget. rss

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Joe Lott
United States
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So my secret santa sent me this, and I like the naughty boy I am have already played two games of it with friends. It is part of the quad game series, but only has 3 battles. More on specifics of them later.

Here is my initial fealings on the game:

First a break down of the game:

Component wise: Well pretty old school components here. The pieces puched well with out any problems, the map is really plan and kinda ugly in that degree, but it will do. Not much to really rave about, but not quite something to complain about, except, and this is a big one... the player aids. The player aids are the most horribly designed ones I have ever seen. One them are 4 tables, 2 specific to only one of the battles, the other tables, stuff that should be exchanged for the COMBAT tables, which are printed on two of the maps. So what does this mean? You have to crane your head while playing the battles to read the combat tables. ALSO, the 1st battle DOESN'T HAVE A CRT printed on IT, so you have to pull out a 2nd map and use it like a player aid. Who ever designed this should be fined at least. MY GAWD what were they thinking.

Rules: These are pretty strait foward and well designed. Not many questions to be asked. What little errate there is, was already answered in the rules, and the 3 misprint counters, are not really misprints of any signifigance, just entry times are mismarked, and explained in the rules clearly. No problems.

The scale is platoon sized units. Time is a day, and hexes are variable based on the battle. In Chipyong-Ni how ever, are not day turns, but 8 hour turns. Matters little, because in all three battles all units expect non-combat units have 10 move, and play is not really affected by the 'length' of the turn.
The turns play quick, a modified IgoUgo system. There is prep fire (artillary, air strikes and other indirect fire), followed by moves. There are no zones of control in the game, so its a very fuild move sytem. Stacking depends on terrain, types of units, and side. Chipyong-Ni is slightly different (Chipyong-Ni has the most expections). There is strat moves, which double move as long as you don't end, or passby a opposing unit during the move (you can start next to, you just have to move away.)
After move is defensive fire. The defender gets to fire all his weapons, at you. I will now talk about fire. It's pretty strait foward. Direct fire (by units becides arty and mortars and stuff) it's into adjacent hexes (Chipyong-Ni: UN units can fire either 2 or 4 hexes). Fire is pretty simple, which is the only thing from keeping me being totally pissed at this game for not putting the combat tables on the player aids.
A unit has a rating for fire combat, 1-9. The player designates a target, rolls the die, and compares to the table. There are precious few die roll mods. Only 1 really matters, and it simply a +1. When you roll on the table, you roll 2 dice. The first, the white die, is compared to the table, there can either be a # result (including 0) or nothing. If you hit the target unit takes the # of steps equal to the # (every unit has 2 steps). If you hit even for 0, the second die is consulated. Once again, there is very few mods, most quickly memorized, if a player rolls less than 4 with mods, the unit must fall back. Otherwise nothing. Area attacks which affect all units in the hex, require a seperate roll for each at the str of the attack.
As one can see, fire attacks are very quick. They are also not simul. You declare one and then roll it. If the result desired is not achieved, and another unit can make an attack on the same target, you are allowed to attack again. (A unit may be the target of multipule attacks).

After defensive fire there is offesive fire, which is the same, expect that when a unit is forced to retreat or destroyed, the firing unit may advance. Since all attacks are seperate, this means that at most in the fire phase only one unit can advance into a hex (if it's not vacant after the attack can't advance.)

After offensive fire, the attacker may now move into close combat. Simply advancing units into the hex of enemy units. After all advances then close combat occurs. (Including possibly close combat that did not result in a complete victor in previous turns.) All close combat is voluntary including continuing close combat. In movement, you are allowed to move out of close combat with out penetaly. Close combat, is simply, the totatal close combat str of the attack-def. Roll, very few mods once again. Results may result in one side retreating, and step losses (unlike fire combat, both sides may be damaged in close combat.)

After close combat, the second player goes, and repeat till end of game.

A few extra rules: Replacements in Naktong for both sides, and in Chosin for the chinese. A very few other special rules, with the most in Chipyong-Ni, due to the change in scale.

Victory in all three battles is for the most part by casulties. In Naktong, the commies, get bonus for units over the river and the UN for with drawing certain units before certain turns, so that they can be used in other areas. In Chosin, the UN gets bonus for getting units off the map (retreating to re-group.) In Chipyong-Ni, it's pure body count.

A quick description of each scenario: (3 battles each being a seperate scenario)
Naktong, is a meeting engagement on the Pusan Perimiter. The commies trying to form a bridge head.
Chosin, is a fighting withdrawl for the marines, as they are assaulted by overwelming force.
Chipyong-Ni, is an assault by the horde of CCF units against a small but much superior and dug in UN force, a strait out slug fest.

So how does it all come together? Good, I would say. It plays fast, and turns don't last that long, so your never waiting. Combat is bloody, with a high level of attrition for both sides. The two battles I have played: Chipyong-Ni and Naktong, were both intresting. Naktong, being a meeting engagement, has lots of intresting play. First the UN must hold out against desperate odds, but as their reinforcements roll on they go from defense to offense, while the commies move from trying to crush the UN to trying to hold onto their bridge head.Chipyong-Ni is not quite as intresting. There is very little manuever, as it mostly is a MASS assault by the CCF. It's a turkey shoot for the UN. About 3 turns in, the UN has to make a few intresting choices as how to adjust their defense, but mostly comes down to target choices.
Chosin, promises to be very fun.

The gameplay is fast, and furious, and despite the mess up with the CRT's, the fire table at least, is quick and easy to memorize. The lack of zones of control, and the non-simul fire with defensive fire, makes players have to plan carefully how to make their assaults.

I recommend it for the following people:
Any gamer who is intrested in the Korean war.
Any wargamer who is want a ligthish tactical.
Any newbie wargamer.

7.5 Rating (not a super game, but good, looses a .5 for the player aid debacle)
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