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EastFront II» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Eastfront Sucks. rss

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David Jackman
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Damn you, Eastfront.

See, I HATE this game(hear me out).

Components.

Its too big. It is two 22' x 34' maps, place against each other longways, for a total play area of 44' x 34'. Whats worse, is that a full 1/3rd of the play area ISNT EVEN USED. The middle east and portions of north africa are included, but only used in the monster mashup of Eastfront and Westfront, Eurofront. I can only assume that Eurofront is equally hate-able and awful, but x2 or 3 of my current hate level for Eastfront. Shameful.

The map is too pretty and functional. Forest, Hill, Marsh, River, Mountain, Clear, Sea, Railroads, Cities and Towns are FAR to easily discernable, while still not exactly following hexsides, so the map actually looks like a map, not a bunch of hexes with different colored centers and hex-sides. One saving grace is that the lines that denote the borders of countries and scenario front lines are thankfully hard to read and discouraging.

The blocks are huge and easy to read and feel like cigarettes in my hand. They fit in the hexes, albeit just barely, and I am thankful that sometimes it is a pain to have ongoing 8 block fights. At least this discourages me from getting this game out. A little bit. Sometimes.

Rules.

The one saving grace is that it has quite a steep rules overhead. Initially, the game seems intimidating. Due to the interaction of the supply, control, and movement rules, individual movements seem like they would be extremely confusing. Unfortunately, this isnt the case in practice - once you get rolling, you see that the rules interactions are only very occasionally complex, and generally pretty easy to see on the fly. You dont need markers to check control. You dont need to use the railhead markers to denote supply points. Its all fairly obvious. Which SUCKS.

Gameplay.

Here is where most of the problems lie.

This game is so fun it makes my girlfriend bitch about the size and length of the game, converts my dining room table Eastern Russia for entire weekends at a time, and infects me with sleepless nights of figuring out how the soviets should defend the Ukraine from a decisive Axis push in Summer '41.

This leads me to another fault. It SHOULDN'T be fun to play the Soviets in the opening scenario. It should be mostly tears and blood and boredom. BUT IT ISN'T. So far, I LOVE playing the Soviets, even when horribly unprepared, outgunned and outnumbered.

You have far too many important and interesting decisions to make:
Who should i try to extradite from the front lines?
Where should my eventual defense, come the onset of winter, be?
What is worth fighting over? Moscow? Stalingrad? Leningrad? Stalino?
How in the heck can I defend what IS worth fighting over?
When should i cut and run?
What river lines will prove feasible and worthwhile to hold?
How can i trick the axis into being stalled in indefensible positions come the Winter?

And these are just your STRATEGIC considerations. Deciding what units to use where, what to reinforce and what to rebuild can prove even MORE difficult. You have to think a lot, and it can make the hourse fly by.

I can only hope that some of the scenarios end up being more boring. Hopefully my interest will stall out in 1943 or so. Maybe then I can sleep.

I was relieved at first - the playtime seemed like a hurdle, like i wouldn't have to play so often because of how long a session can be.

NOPE. EASTFRONT WINS AGAIN.

The learning game was 5 hours. Thats pretty long. Subsequent sessions have been at a FAR too reasonable 2.5-3 hours. And, in a way, it is almost EASIER to just play the campaign, and record it after every session, because then you dont have to worry about where you will place your units at startup.

In short: It is really, really, dumb how accessable and easy it is to play the campaign over multiple sessions. I dont even have to leave it set up! This is getting to be rediculous.

Eastfront:
Don't you know I have other crap to do?!


This game is stupid. And YOU are stupid if you play it, unless you are independantly wealthy, unemployed, or for whatever reason have actually WANT to become horribly addicted to very playable, very strategic, very fun, game.

Also, I am pretty sure Eastfront owes me a beer. See, in one of my first sessions, I had opened a Bells Hopslam. A delicious, delicious brew. Before I knew it (2 game months later) I hadn't even TOUCHED this 4 dollar beer, and it was warm and gross. I blame Eastfront for this, and if Craig or Tom ever head to Indianapolis, I demand a full refund for my ruined alcoholic beverage. It is only right.








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Piero
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Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
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This review SUCKS so much I'll give it gold!
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Home Mixer
United States
Brooksville
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I too am struck with how much suck they managed to stuff into this game. So many wasted sucky afternoons.... curse you, EastFront, curse you!
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David Jackman
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Icedanno wrote:
I too am struck with how much suck they managed to stuff into this game. So many wasted sucky afternoons.... curse you, EastFront, curse you!

Yep. Coming soon: Class Action lawsuit and a 'Eastfront II made me lose my job/wife/sanity' Facebook group.
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Randy C
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Chicago
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Ahhh, sarcasm in print. Hard to pull off but you did it. Well done.

At the risk of pushing you over the edge, have you considered getting Computer EastFront?
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Chris McDaniel
United States
Washington
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I actually played this game once at a local game store and EastFront Rocks..!!! We played for like 4 hours if not longer but what a Blast...!!! SUCKS...You bet it does...it dont get any crappier than this game...!!!
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David Jackman
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Calxx55 wrote:

Ahhh, sarcasm in print. Hard to pull off but you did it. Well done.

At the risk of pushing you over the edge, have you considered getting Computer EastFront?

Much of my love of boardgaming is the tactile experience. I work in IT, so having social time NOT in front of a monitor is a must.

Also, if Eastfront is Nicotene, Computer Eastfront would be like electronic cigarettes: Sure, you can smoke em anywhere, but you'll get even more addicted from the accessability.
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Rob Frank
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“"To Aetius, now consul for the third time: the groans of the Britons ... The barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea throws us back on the barbarians: thus two modes of death await us, we are either slain or drowned".” ―Gildas
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Rubbish review for a rubbish game.

This game is so rubbish I sometimes get it out and play it ON MY OWN just to remind myself how BLOODY RUBBISH IT IS!
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Seth
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Noord Brabant
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A good attempt at a "I hate it so much I love it" theme of writting a review. You try to write opposites (I think) of what you really seem to think about parts of the game, but it seems that sometimes you didn't manage to be consequent about it. That can be confusing. This: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/529567/twilight-struggle... is a good example of what I like.
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Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
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An interesting and unique feature of this game's criticism is that the online experience is the exact opposite of what I get face=to-face.

For example, in March six ex-AHIKS members were talking about games at The Swan at Bucklow Hill. The Eastfront discussion wasn't really, as each of us in turn mentioned a different area of design failure before moving on.

Perhaps the middle ground is "electronic voice", telephone or Skype, where I'm usually told "its a fine game with many good features but...", and no one plays the Blue scenario, indeed everyone always plays Barbarossa in order to have some movement.
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Karsten Klint
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West Chester
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Eastfront:
Don't you know I have other crap to do?!



[/q]

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Great line!
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Nick Banta
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Ive been looking for a sucky game to waste my free time with. If you're still in Indy I may hit you up as an opponent/instructor/mentor/good beer drinking buddy.
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David Jackman
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evilchode wrote:
Ive been looking for a sucky game to waste my free time with. If you're still in Indy I may hit you up as an opponent/instructor/mentor/good beer drinking buddy.

I like all of these things!

Currently Eastfront has been engulfed by Eurofront, but I will be done with that game by the time the holidays are over. Shoot me a geekmail - We could meet at the Arsenal or something sometime.
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