Recommend
47 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Hell's Highway» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Initial review of the game and its concepts rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The game might be a bit long to someone nowadays but the study pays. The shortest scenario lasts 8 turns, simulating the first three days of the XXX Corps Breakout in an attempt to relieve 82nd and British 1st Airborne Divisions. The other two scenarios, The Beiseged and Operation Market-Garden Campaign scenario both lasts 26 turns. There are three Campaign scenarios. One historical deployment scenario, one hidden Airborne Reinforcement (i.e. variable drop zones for the Airborne arriving after turn 3) and one Free Deployment. Altogether, there are five scenarios to choose from, exploring almost all the historical options to the Allied Commander.

A very special feature of this game is the way to handle movement and combat actions. It is more complicated than some other WW2 wargames I have seen. There are quite a number of different types of units and each can enter into “Travel” mode. While all the units have movement allowance of six, the terrain cost differently when they are in different modes. Needless to say the unit moves faster if it is in travel mode along a road. The terrain is very mixed in the combat areas depicted by the beautiful horizontal maps, with forest, rough and mixed terrain types dominating. One very unique rule here is the “exploitation column” – units are organized into column in travel mode. They can move after the lead unit, which is also in travel mode, through the just vacated hex by the enemy units in a retreat as a result of fire combat. All motorized units in column therefore can move through the same hex and follow the lead unit as far as it can through the major road hexes, and there are quite a few of major roads in Holland. Road congestion is reflected in that a unit in travel mode cannot pass through another one in travel mode, nor can it stack with another friendly unit who is also in travel mode.

There is also a distinction between light and heavy zone of control a unit can exert into its six surrounding hexes. Unit with heavy weapons in “Combat” mode, i.e. when a unit is not in “Travel” mode, exerts heavy control except into city or across a river or canal hexside. Enemy unit can only leave heavy zone of control by paying three additional movement points and cannot move directly into another hex in heavy control. Enemy unit has to stop at the hex in heavy control but need not stop if it enters a hex in light control. A unit can move out of a hex in light control by additional two movement points but can enter into anther hex in light control, however upon which the unit must stop.

Fire combat is basically a strength-based, locating the correct column by the total no. of combat strength participating in the combat. Dieroll modifiers mainly come from HQ support, anti-tank or engineer support. Combat is always voluntary and you can choose not to attack an enemy unit in your unit ZoC. A player always declares which units to attack and what are the target defending units. But before the offensive fire is resolved, the defending player has the opportunity to declare and resolve defensive fire first. This is particularly an advantage to the German many anti-tank units spreading across the towns and rivers lightly defended. They are fully capable to disrupt the attacking units and thus stop their attacks. At strength of 1 or 2, a defending anti-tank unit behind a river rolling a 5 or 6 with a dice can disrupt the attacking units as it benefits from terrain fire modifiers. Other fire table results are 1 or 2, meaning the no. of step losses inflicted onto the enemy units. For the result of 1, a defending unit is disrupted and can satisfy a step loss by retreat one hex. An attacker unit receiving defensive fire result of 1 cannot convert such a step loss by retreat. For the result of 2, the target unit (attacker or defender) must become disrupted, loose two step or retreat one hex and lose one step.

Sounds intriguing? Yes, one must master the tactics of movement before playing good the game. You have to know where to stop and when to attack. A commander has to know how to deploy his units best and in what posture – attack or travel. He should plan well ahead even long before engaging the enemy. A good formation should keep every other intact and closely, and should be within the HQ to benefit from its support. If you do everything right, the final result would be a blast to the enemy.

I played a trial game of The Besieged scenario for a few turns. The 1st, 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions began the game to drop into the landing zones, a specific hex number on each unit counter of these divisions and its six surrounding hexes. During the Air Phase of Game-Turn 1, the Allied player performs the Airlanding Procedure, in that half the time the airborne unit would become disrupted, sometimes with a step loss too according to the Airlanding Table. The terrain in which the unit is dropped into modifies the dieroll result.

There are many more features in the game apart from the above: Supply and Isolation, Prepared and Entrenched Positions, German Reserves, Bridge Demolition and Repair etc. They are not that hard to absorb and they add significant historical flavors to the campaign. All the efforts are justified with a game that is well researched. The rules make sense. They are all there for a good reason. The game develops the historical way and you could imagine you are sitting right there next to General Eisenhower as his aid-de-camp, overlooking the combat map while the units are battling out. It can be said of what is an authentic operational study of the campaign when you are playing the game – or the simulation itself.

As complex as it can be, it is more playable than the old SPI monster classic "Highway to the Reich". John Butterfield's design is far more solitaire friendly than any other "Highway" airborne/ airdrop game. The game map is very coloful and functional. This is a rather intensive study on the campaign. Immense joy is derived from the tinkering of the rules in mind. An excellent game choice for 2 hard core players. Time is very well spent and I enjoy every moment of the game. I feel I gained a lot of insight into the Market-Garden Operations. I am proud of the designer making it such a game accessible with the right amount of chromes. It is definitely a game that worth to be played again and again, especially for those who are interested in this Allied campaign, fighting it out hard and tenaciously.
46 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Martin
Canada
flag msg tools
I've played this game several times and enjoyed it.

However, I think the air landing rules are too harsh for a game of this scale. The actual landing casualties for the first day were only about a company per division. Moreover, units disrupted on the first landing lose the equivalent of six hours of movement.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The counters, the counters why did they make the print so small?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Paradis
Canada
montreal
Québec
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very nice game. I must own 3 copies I think.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Riley
United Kingdom
Bridport
Dorset
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The counters, the counters why did they make the print so small?
Played this recently and its terrific. Yes, the counters are appalling - actually they were printed incorrectly but it was too late to re-do them - but if you go onto CSW's forum for the game some kind soul has published a completely revised downloadable counter set. Just print them and stick them over the originals
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Paradis
Canada
montreal
Québec
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
goatleaf wrote:
Played this recently and its terrific. Yes, the counters are appalling - actually they were printed incorrectly but it was too late to re-do them - but if you go onto CSW's forum for the game some kind soul has published a completely revised downloadable counter set. Just print them and stick them over the originals


Indded. Somebody should post them here... whistle
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, we play the game with the updated counters. They are much better than the original.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Drake
United States
Springfield
Missouri
flag msg tools
WHAT DO WE WANT?
badge
When do we want it"
Avatar
mbmbmb
licinius wrote:
goatleaf wrote:
Played this recently and its terrific. Yes, the counters are appalling - actually they were printed incorrectly but it was too late to re-do them - but if you go onto CSW's forum for the game some kind soul has published a completely revised downloadable counter set. Just print them and stick them over the originals


Indded. Somebody should post them here... whistle

Here is the page on CSW
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?7@76.TIclbFeODnI.134@.ee6ce...



Scroll down a little to find the links.
7 
 Thumb up
1.00
 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.