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World at War: Operation Garbo» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A nice expansion for the WaW Series rss

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Matthew Lohse
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Disclaimer; I am a playtester for a number of LnLP products including ones in the WaW series [although not this expansion] and the related NaW series, so I am clearly a fan of this series and thus am probably inclined to view this product favorably. So you have been warned.

Compared to World at War: Death of the 1st Panzer, Garbo contains a ton more in the box for and I hope is the format that will be used for future WaW expansions. Garbo comes with all the unit counters/maps needed for its scenarios, but you will need to have World at War: Blood and Bridges for the information counters and the rules [using the World at War: Eisenbach Gap rules would present a problem for airstrikes but otherwise might work in a pinch].

So what is in the box... well there is a full counter sheet of Swedish and Soviet units, which look as pretty as I have come to expect from LnLP. There are a few errors on the counters [wrong back on a couple, missing values on a couple of others] which is a bit annoying, but overall they are nice and the errors shouldn't cause major problems during play. There are two maps [both fairly thick], a player aid card, and six scenarios. Plus, it comes in a box so I don't have to find a way to fit it in my already full WaW game boxes.

Garbo adds a lot of interesting units to the game. Some of the Soviet formations are similar to ones from EG, but they also get a large airborne unit [BMDs and ASU-85s] as well as several naval infantry units [PT76s, naval infantry]. The Swedish get a mix of units [S tanks, older Centurions, tank destroyers, infantry units, some reserve units] to play with as well. Adding the Soviet airborne/naval infantry and the Swedes to the game are probably the biggest pluses in this game... not only for the scenarios in the box but I would guess for ones people will write in the future as well. As noted here at BGG and over at CSW, a few of the unit values seem a bit odd [the Swedish infantry seems a bit more powerful than other infantry and the PBV302's [APC] assault value seems high at 3^4] but I don't know how that will affect play and I may end up nerfing them a bit if they seem too powerful. Still, I look forward to using all the new toys that Garbo has added to the series.

The scenarios cover a range of topics... a pair of hasty counterattacks against invading airborne or marine forces, a pair of battles between more modern armored forces [T72s vs S tanks], a small scale battle between mixed forces, and a big battle between Soviet marine units and Swedish reserve forces..... in other words a whole lot a variety. As always, having more than six scenarios in the expansion would be nice but having been involved with other LnLP products, I realize a lot of effort goes into playtesting the scenarios and I do prefer that approach to throwing a lot of poorly or untested stuff in a box. And as I noted, the scenarios that are in the box cover a range of battle types and make good use of the counter set,

Overall, I am very happy with Garbo. It looks like the counters might have needed one more round of proofing to pick up the last few errors, but the errors don't render the game unplayable. There are a lot of neat new units to use [even if a few seem a bit overpowered] as well as the new maps. Compared to Dot1P, I have to rank Garbo as superior in every way [which is good... I am happy that LnLP seems to improve with each new WaW game/expansion]... of course that means I am going to have very high expectations for the Paris is Burning expansion. I imagine Garbo will get a lot of use... both for its scenarios and for future scenarios that I am sure will use components from it.
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Matthew Lohse
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Based on some of the discussions in related threads, I want to add a bit more on the topic of some of the unit values.

The PBV302's [APC] assault value seems high at 3^4, but looking at other IFVs it isn't totally out of line [the M3 has a 3^4, the BMP2 on a 3^5] although still maybe a bit generous.

I do agree with the people who suggest that the S tank should probably not have moving fire capability... I will probably assume it lacks it when playing. Ditto with the Centurion.

I think the biggest issue would be the Swedish infantry units [3 AP/HE dice rather than 2 for pretty much every unit]... which do seem too powerful. As I have though more about it, I may assume they get 2 dice or use the augmented firepower rule [reroll one miss].

Of course, none of these issues are deal breakers for me as pretty much all of my WaW play is solo, so I can change the values as I want. If this is an issue for you [or might cause disputes in two player games], then it might be worth waiting for an official ruling/erata.
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Christopher O
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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Thanks for the early review.

My delivery notice arrived yesterday, so I'll be able to pick the game up after work today. Looking forward to getting a chance to open it up!

 
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