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Subject: A Little Piece of Paradise rss

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Michael Taylor
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When you first open the box, it’s like paradise. Really. The way my copy of Wilderness War was packed, the first thing you saw when you opened the lid of the box was the map. That really set the tone for the rest of the components. So what else is in there and what is it like? Well here we go.

Also in the box are a couple of countersheets, two player aid cards, a rule book, and a play book. Also included are many leader stands and a deck of cards. Two dice and several baggies make up the rest. Most of it is standard GMT quality. The cards are of the same quality as Paths of Glory or Washington’s War. The counters are very attractive. My one complaint is that some of the round counters that represent auxiliary troops are difficult to get out, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll rip them. Likewise with the leader counters, when you go to put them in the stand, take care or you’ll pull one side.

The mapboard is luscious. Some areas represent cultivated areas, some are wilderness, and some are mountain. All have a different effect on movement and combat. Regular drilled troops don’t move well in the wilderness without irregular troops to act as guides. Irregular units such as rangers and Indian units don’t move well in the civilized areas. The game makes the case for combined arms; to have forces that include both types. But back to the map. It is a standard point-to-point map, but it looks really appealing.

The rulebook is well put together and easy to read. The play book has the scenario setups, examples of play, an extended example of play, and substantial notes. One section of the playbook is devoted to a narrative of how the war went. While it isn’t exactly a definitive version of the war, it does the job of showing how events in the actual war make an appearance in the game. The extended example of play takes you through a whole year of game time. All are very useful.

The game plays like many CDGs. The number of cards you get in a hand can vary depending on what you and your opponent play. Events in Europe (like the Battle of Quiberon Bay) are depicted through cards. Cards can be used for movement, construction, or the actual event on the card. Reinforcements arrive through cards. On the map, you can construct stockades and forts for defense. Some cards can be used in combat or right before an enemy movement.

I’ve seen suggestions that the frontier war consisting of Indian/irregular troop raids into civilized areas as sort of a minigame. I would say that it is a smaller part of the whole. A successful raiding strategy by the French player can throw off the whole strategy for the British player. The British player is forced to build new forts/stockades and garrison areas to prevent raids. The French can do a lot of damage for very little spent.

So how does the game actually play out? I only have one full play and a little bit of a second, but it seems really quick. Turns roll by and are rather exciting. This is a very busy game. You have lots to do and generally not enough cards or time or troops to do it all. While this is common in all CDGs, it seems really prevalent in this one. You really have a lot to accomplish. There are many fronts to defend/attack from. Ohio Valley, Mohawk Valley, Lake Champlain, the coast lines, Louisburg, Quebec, there are so many areas to account for and take into consideration when making plans. The French player has to rely on some skill and luck to make Louisburg hold out against the British so that some of the troops in Quebec can be sent inland. There is a lot of strategy and choices that have to be made. I don’t think that I’m making it very clear here, but trust me, you’ll be involved in every step of the war.

I only have a couple of gripes at this point. One of them is the counter issue that I stated above. The second is that I wish there was an Operations Queue ala Washington’s War. I’ve had a couple of hands that at the end were nothing but a couple of 1 point operation cards that I couldn’t do much with. An Operations Queue would allow the player to get a bit more use out of crap cards.

This is a really great game that I would recommend to any wargamer. I can see myself playing it many times for quite a while. At the present, I have rated Wilderness War a "9".

Mike
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Dan Conley
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Nice review, Michael! I just got my mounted mapboard last week to kick up my first edition copy a notch. I'd like to get this to the table SOON!
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Lee Massey
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Nice review! I got Wilderness War recently and it looks good! Haven't played it yet but will do so soon. I think the components are top notch. This will get played alot!!
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Andrew Stingel
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Nice review :)

I'm not a big wargamer but after loving GMT's Leaping Lemmings I decided to take the plunge and I have Wilderness War on order - it'll hopefully arrive by the end of this week and I'm looking forward to playing it.
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Richard Young
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freelunch wrote:
Nice review

I'm not a big wargamer but after loving GMT's Leaping Lemmings I decided to take the plunge and I have Wilderness War on order - it'll hopefully arrive by the end of this week and I'm looking forward to playing it.


I'm sorry, but I have to ask...

What?
 
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Andrew Stingel
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Bubslug wrote:
freelunch wrote:
Nice review :)

I'm not a big wargamer but after loving GMT's Leaping Lemmings I decided to take the plunge and I have Wilderness War on order - it'll hopefully arrive by the end of this week and I'm looking forward to playing it.


I'm sorry, but I have to ask...

What?

I think my post is pretty clear so I'm not sure how to clarify it for you. I liked the review and I'm looking forward to playing this game, which I ordered after enjoying a different game from the same publisher.
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Richard Young
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Well, ok - pretty much what you said originally. I was curious how a light, multi-player family game which you say you "love," coupled with the admission that you're not a "big wargamer," would make you interested in this war game based on this review.

If you really wanted to be sure you might like card-driven war games, given what you've told us, I certainly hope you have looked farther into CDGs in general, and this game in particular, than what this rather skimpy review has provided.

I think it is a very good game, don't get me wrong, but it is hardly an entry level war game which I think you might have prefered to begin with. Card driven games tend to be more demanding than standard hex and counter war games and Wilderness War is one of the more complex CDGs.

If you feel inclined to dip your toe into the CDG genre I would suggest either Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage or We the People/Washington's War (preferably the former).

However, if you've already taken the plunge, I hope you do enjoy the game. But it sure won't be anything like Leaping Lemmings...
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Andrew Stingel
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I don't expect it to be like Leaping Lemmings which I "love" because it has been a hit with my family and with the other folk I've played it with (mostly kids)

After being impressed by LL I visited GMTs site to see what else they publish, and of everything on offer Wilderness War looked most interesting. I read as much as I could about it a few weeks ago and placed my order. I've played and enjoyed Warlords of Europe and Dust and I expect this one to be significantly more complex - I'm "taking the plunge" into a deeper wargame and looking forward to the experience :)

I'd already made my decision, placed my order (and received my shipping notice from GMT) before reading this review, which I thought was a nice review, hence my post.

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Michael Taylor
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Thanks to everybody for reading, I appreciate it. Andrew, take the time to fully read and understand the examples that are included, they will really help you get over the learning and complexity curve.

Mike
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Andrew Stingel
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Thanks Mike, will do.
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Jack Smith
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freelunch wrote:
I don't expect it to be like Leaping Lemmings which I "love" because it has been a hit with my family and with the other folk I've played it with (mostly kids)

After being impressed by LL I visited GMTs site to see what else they publish, and of everything on offer Wilderness War looked most interesting. I read as much as I could about it a few weeks ago and placed my order. I've played and enjoyed Warlords of Europe and Dust and I expect this one to be significantly more complex - I'm "taking the plunge" into a deeper wargame and looking forward to the experience :)

I'd already made my decision, placed my order (and received my shipping notice from GMT) before reading this review, which I thought was a nice review, hence my post.



CDG's are not really tricky to learn at all really, they are quite intuitive and working through the play book examples really help. I found the rules to Agricola and all FFG games considerably worse than Wellington (my first CDG by GMT)

There does seem to be a perception that these games are hard or not for beginners but it's not true in my experience. All of my children have been playing these kind of games from the age of 8 and my wife, who is a casual gamer, has no problem playing them too.

There's also a lot of posts about WW, including rules questions, at http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?50@340.7p9RaEvgzuk.3@.ee6e2... which you may find useful.

Buying from GMT based on a game you enjoyed from them makes a lot of sense, it is a very good game company.
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Dan Conley
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freelunch wrote:
I don't expect it to be like Leaping Lemmings which I "love" because it has been a hit with my family and with the other folk I've played it with (mostly kids)

After being impressed by LL I visited GMTs site to see what else they publish, and of everything on offer Wilderness War looked most interesting. I read as much as I could about it a few weeks ago and placed my order. I've played and enjoyed Warlords of Europe and Dust and I expect this one to be significantly more complex - I'm "taking the plunge" into a deeper wargame and looking forward to the experience

I'd already made my decision, placed my order (and received my shipping notice from GMT) before reading this review, which I thought was a nice review, hence my post.



Well, it IS true that there are no actual lemmings in Wilderness War.

You made a GREAT decision in ordering this one! It's a fine game design, not overly complex and, as someone pointed out earlier, there's plenty of help to be had here on BGG. I personally doubt that you'll NEED any of it, but it's good to know it's there.

The only potential downside of your decision to order WW is that you COULD get hooked on GMT Games!!! And the only downside there is the lightening of your wallet...
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tiger tiger
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Bubslug wrote:
Card driven games tend to be more demanding than standard hex and counter war games and Wilderness War is one of the more complex CDGs.

If you feel inclined to dip your toe into the CDG genre I would suggest either Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage or We the People/Washington's War (preferably the former).


Really? I wouldn't blanket statement that CDGs are more demanding. Hex and counter games tend to be harder spatially, CDGs tend to be point to point, constricting movement.

WW isn't much more complex than Hannibal, I would put it in the same class. Its not Paths of Glory hard, if the period interests you more, go for it. Enjoy Andrew, its a great game. And If you like WW and want a mulitplayer game, Sword of Rome is similiar and excellent as well.
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Andrew Stingel
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Thanks :)

a game of this type I'll mostly play two-player, but I have been looking at Sword of Rome as a possible future purchase..
 
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Clay Stuart
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Bubslug wrote:

If you feel inclined to dip your toe into the CDG genre I would suggest either Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage or We the People/Washington's War (preferably the former).


Can you elaborate on a comparison between H:RvC and Washington's Wars.
 
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