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Subject: Spearpoint 1943 Review rss

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John Brader
United States
Centreville
Virginia
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I was pleasantly surprised by the depth, playability, and aesthetics of Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943. The one word I would use to sum up the game is “elegant.”

The mechanics of deploying your forces, determining targets, and executing combat are straight forward. As one would expect from an abstracted war game, there aren’t several tables to lookup info or much record keeping; instead all the stats you need to play the game are contained on the cards. This consolidation of required information makes the game play very quickly, and after only the first two games, my opponent and I were able to play without referencing the rules (well, a little rule reading to make sure we were doing things right). Combat is intuitive and only requires the values listed on the cards and some dice rolling.

Since damage is only cumulative during a single combat turn, there is little to track from turn to turn. We did find it useful to have a few 20-sided dice to track damage during a given combat phase, especially if there were multiple attackers against a single target. Aside from this numerical damage tracking, one of the best mechanics of the game is associated with the damage card draw. When your forces have taken damage equal to or greater than half their total available damage, you must draw a damage card. The cards provide specific damage to a given force and contain modifiers that affect future combat. The design of the damage cards allows them to be “stacked” with the impacted unit but still provide the needed information – again, elegant and well designed.

Although it doesn’t directly affect the playability of the game, I must give kudos to the outstanding photos on the cards. This adds significant flavor to the game-play, and I especially appreciate that the designer has included the photo sources. (Great resource for the amateur WWII historian and miniature maker)

In addition to the cards, there are scenarios, aka situations, which can be downloaded. These situations seem well thought out, and after playing two of them, add a more concrete rational for a given combat engagement, as opposed to a simple German vs. America encounter.

The overall game is outstanding; however, I have a few suggestions if you plan to pick up a copy and start playing. One: the box is very small, so if you plan to sleeve your cards, you should pick up a few deck boxes, as the sleeved cards won’t fit back in the original box. Two: include some glass stones or other counters to mark units that have fired. Three: include some extra dice to track damage during a turn and any turn limited events, e.g. aircraft fuel allotment. Four: if there are too many units on the playing surface, it can get a little confusing as to what unit is pointing (engaging in combat) with what unit – a set of markers will help this. (Note, I believe the designer is planning to include such markers in the upcoming expansion.)
I highly recommend trying this great game. It plays fast; it’s intuitive; there is enough depth for re-playability; the cards and their contained information is very well designed; and, it’s fun.

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j b Goodwin

Lynchburg
Virginia
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johnbeapirate wrote:
The overall game is outstanding; however, I have a few suggestions if you plan to pick up a copy and start playing. One: the box is very small, so if you plan to sleeve your cards, you should pick up a few deck boxes, as the sleeved cards won’t fit back in the original box. Two: include some glass stones or other counters to mark units that have fired. Three: include some extra dice to track damage during a turn and any turn limited events, e.g. aircraft fuel allotment. Four: if there are too many units on the playing surface, it can get a little confusing as to what unit is pointing (engaging in combat) with what unit – a set of markers will help this. (Note, I believe the designer is planning to include such markers in the upcoming expansion.)
I highly recommend trying this great game. It plays fast; it’s intuitive; there is enough depth for re-playability; the cards and their contained information is very well designed; and, it’s fun.

Agreed, with both the overall approval and the suggestions, especially the larger box; mine has a four-way rubber band on it to keep it from exploding.
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Mark Stricker
United States
Universal City
Texas
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http://frontlinegeneral.com/html/sp43_village_and_defensive_...

For anyone who likes Spearpoint 43, please consider pre-ordering the expansion. I got to play it at a local gaming convention and it was great. It adds a lot more depth to an already fun game. It also has counters that will solve some of the issues you talk about.

Mark
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Byron Collins
United States
Suffolk
Virginia
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Thanks very much for the review and the suggestions, John! Glad you are enjoying the game.
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