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Subject: Salamanca 20 - first impression rss

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Rob Bottos
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I recently attended GMT West and had a great time and really enjoyed catching up with my friends I've made there over the last few years. While there this year I saw that my friend Steve Carey had a prototype of Salamanca 20, one of the 4 games, and in this case a new game, to be included in the upcoming Fading Glory.

I was surprised to learn that Steve was the designer of the game, and having previously done some testing of Steve's "We Must tell the Emperor" I was curious to learn about Steve's new game. I had never played the Nappy 20 series, and Steve agreed to teach me the system and so we arranged to get together on Saturday.

Before I go on, I should say that I had never played the Nappy 20 series, and to be honest I had actually looked down on it, and thought it might be too simple with too few counters. I had been watching people play this series over the last year, and after seeing my friends Mark and Mitch really enjoy it at Conquest BC, and then seeing a good review on YouTube, I thought I'd try it, and I'm pleased to say that I'm glad I did.

Despite being a small game, there is nothing small about the decision making tree of this game, and the pure gaming enjoyment makes this a great series, for both the new player, and experienced grognard. Even if you know nothing about the various battles of this series, you'll be able to get into it, and begin learning and enjoying yourself in a matter of minutes.

One thing that became obvious to me very quickly was that Steve Carey not only knew the rules of the series, he knew this battle, and was able to provide numerous interesting anecdotes as they related to the fight going on in front of us.

We opted to play the introductory scenario where the French player is trying to break contact from Wellington's Army and prevent themselves from being surrounded and wiped out. Without knowing the history of the battle, as Wellington, I was able to press the French, much as Wellington had done, and after a series of close fought battles, that would see key terrain change hands 3 times, Wellington's forces carried the day. My Spanish troops would play a pivotal role in defending my left flank, and when pressed, they stood their ground, and helped secure Wellington's victory.

I have a few shots of the game that I will post later today and I want to preface that they are prototype shots, and in no way represent the final graphics of this game. Steve was worried that playtesters could be put off by the graphics, but as I reassured him, if the mechanics are solid, a good player will stick around.

The mechanics of Salamanca 20 are solid. I love the various event cards, and the Combat Results table. The choice of when to use morale points to shift a battle can be very tense. The rules are straight forward, and the chrome that Steve has added all work to enrich the gaming experience.

This is a great little game. Despite being a small game, the gamer will be rewarded with numerous scenarios, and will always be challenged with the decisions that need to be made. This is definitely a gaming series that is hitting above it's weight class, and whether you're a new gamer, or an old grognard, you'll be well rewarded for having shelled out for this game.

I'm very glad that I was able to sit down with Steve, and put aside my reservations. It just goes to show, that you should never judge a game by the mumber of counters it has. I'm going to punch out my copy of Jena 20 and first chance I get I'm going to play it.
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Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
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Thank you very much for taking the time to post this, Rob.

The graphics indeed are prototype only as I needed a functional kit to be ahead of the curve before the design enters the VPG/GMT development cycle.

Playtest sessions like this one have proven to be not only valuable, but very fun as well.

For those who are interested, more info on the Fading Glory quad pack here:

http://www.gmtgames.com/p-345-fading-glory-napoleonic-series...

Thnx Again!



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Eric Lai
Hong Kong
Happy Valley
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Looking forward to this one. Good game when time is limited and perfect replacement for that hot cup of chocolate before bedtime!
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Having played Jena 20, this quad game is a must-have for Napoleonic fan! The designer simulates almost all important aspects of Napoleonic warfare at strategic scale!
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