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Subject: Manoeuvre: Fun, Exciting Abstract Card and Dice Fest. rss

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Mark Paul
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Designer: Jeff Horger
Publisher: GMT
Year Published: Reprinted 2010

Components:

Alright, lets get this out of the way first. When Twilight Struggle was reprinted GMT did a good job of upgrading the mapboard and the components as far as cards and graphics were well done. This reprint was not so lucky. There are two-sided mapboards that you arrange to create an 8X8 chessboard with squares of terrians such as hills, marshes, forests,fields and towns in various squares. The graphics on these boards are cartoonish and very abstract. you don't have to worry that the boards will eventually warp because they come that way. When playing the game the sections of the battlefield will move unless placed under plexiglass or some other arrangement.

There are 8 thick double-sided counters for France, Britain, Russia, Spain, Austria, Turkey, Prussia, and the and the United States. Each counter also comes with a deck of 60 cards which are too small to shuffle unless you sleeve them and mix them up like Mah Jong tiles. These cards allow the specific units to attack, defend, redoubt, with special cards which allow for resupply,withdrawl from engagement etc.

Players start of by placing their eight counters on the first two rows of the chessboard. At the beginning of a turn you can discard unwanted cards, and restore their hands to five cards, move one piece, attach adjacent or bombard close units. And play tactics. There is a simple command system in which leader cards can help in combat or can command more than one units adjacent to a defending unit to attack or add to the combat strength of the attacking unit. If a unit receives a hit it is flipped over like the old game, "A House Divided". If not restored and gets a second hit it is out of play.

OBJECT OF GAME:

You need to be the first to destroy five of the enemy units, or if both players run through their decks it is nightfall and whoever controls the most squares on the opponents side of the board wins.

GAMEPLAY:

This is where the game really shines. Attacks are made on two eight-sided, two six-sided or one ten sided dice. Like Memoir '44 there is a large luck factor in the combat, but the decisions made are also crucial. Also, it can be of benefit to avoid conflict and maneuver your troops (Thus the name of the game) to go for control. In this the game compares well to the Command and Colors series for excitement and just plain fun.

Each country plays differently, other than the United States most cards are balanced. You can win with the United States, but you need to play a hit and run type of game which takes some experience.

Overall Impressions:

This is not a wargame, it is more abstract than the Command and Colors system and the nationalities put on the forces are simply window dressing. It is a good mixture of luck and tactics and the excitement and replay factor is high. I would score it an 8 out of ten. I would score it higher except the cheap production interferes with gameplay.

I wouldn't call this a "Must Buy", but it certainly is a "Good to Have." I will give it a lot of gameplay.



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Brandon Pennington
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fwiw, the boards are better than the first edition. I have not had any warping problems from my new 2nd edition.
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David Grim
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Quote:
the nationalities put on the forces are simply window dressing


Nice review, but I don't think the different nationalities are merely window-dressing; rather, it takes time and skill to play some armies against other armies, due to the asymmetrical aspects.

On another note, it would be really cool if GMT made some expansion armies with even more asymmetrical facets....
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Good review, but could use a little proofreading. Lots of small typos.
 
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Tanks Alot
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The "wargame" in this comes from the armies. It is not a scenario based/historical simulation but it is a fun way for a new player to explore the tactics used for infantry/cavalry/artillry and certain lightly based tactics of the napoleonic era. It is a game.. and its about war :)
Just sayin.... ;)

(When I first started playing this I didnt like the euro feel, but after playing the armies I really started having fun with this one)



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Karsten Klint
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Not a wargame? huh? It is a very light treatment of early 19th century warfare, but it most certainly is a wargame. Direct conflict between players, units for infantry & cavalry, leaders, terrain modifiers, lots of DICE, and killing enemy soldiers = wargame.

The more you play the more you appreciate the differences in each army and how you should use them. Try using the Spanish or Americans like the French against someone strong and watch your army die. It's actually a brilliant little system that gives a different feel and lots of replayability through the various armies.

Best filler wargame on the market imo.
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