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Israeli Independence» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Israeli Independence Review rss

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John Clocherty
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Introduction
As a long time solitaire gamer, I have tended to find that over the years, as much as I like wargaming, I find it hard to get around to playing board games too often. Partly due to choice, and also due to circumstances, (unfortunately) I usually find it a lot easier to turn on a computer to get my gaming fix, rather than spending the time to setup and play a physical game.

Recently I decided to look at investing in some solitaire wargames, and I stumbled on Victory Point Games here on the ‘geek. Here in Australia, I do not think that their games retail in local game stores, but thanks to the internet, ordering direct from the company is a breeze. Taking the plunge, I bought a bunch of games, mostly solitaire. Israeli Independence is the first one that I have tried.

Components
The game comes in a small plastic bag. The components are attractive. The map is a 'pretty' full coloured representation of the Israel and its surrounds, using sturdy paper. The map contains a couple of charts, holding boxes and tracks. Basically the game can be played in a small space, which is useful. There are only a handful of counters. These are fine, if nothing special. There are a number of cards to facilitate play. They are quite good, but are printed on paper that is just a little hard to shuffle. The rules are basically on a single sheet of paper, but again are attractive.

Assessment - Good

Rules
The rules are short, and rather simple. They are well structured, well written and in full colour. Cards and counters are clearly illustrated. Given that the rules are relatively short, there probably should be minimal trouble conveying all the essentials. Indeed, the rules are clear, and I was able to begin the game after a quick scan.

Assessment - Good

Gameplay
The game is structured around five tracks that represent each of the combatants that fought against Israel in 1948. Play is driven by the card deck. Play consists of revealing a card, advancing or retreating Arab armies, and conducting Israeli offensives. Play finishes after the card deck is depleted, or Israel is defeated.

The game is lost if any of the Arab nations manage to advance four spaces down their track to reach West Jerusalem. The game is won if Israel manages to last for one full run through the playing card deck of 22 cards.

The challenge in the game is to try to hold off the Arab armies, by reviewing advances mandated by the cards, and then conducting offensives to try to push the Arabs back. The number of offensives and combat modifiers are dictated by the cards.

There is quite a bit of luck in the game. In the games that I have played, I have generally lost, but have managed to win one or two games. I do think that as you play more games, if a victory is not achieved, at least the games generally become tighter. That said, in my last game, I was defeated after 6 card plays, a HUGE decisive defeat. I suppose in many ways, luck can be an issue, but winning relatively few games makes me come back for more.

The game plays very quick, maybe in about 15 mins. It can be much less, if unlucky such as in my last game. I see the playing time as a real positive.

Assessment - Very Good

Depth
There is not a lot of depth to the game. As the designer states, it is intended as an introductory game, so this is probably to be expected. Strategic moves, planning and counterattacks are very abstract. It should be noted that each playing card has historical notes that add flavour to the game, but have no direct influence.

Assessment - Fair

Replayability
Assessment of replayability is perhaps a little contentious. I am finding it hard to win; this makes me come back for more. That said, the range of strategic options, and the depth of the game makes this just a little less attractive.

Assessment - Good

Value for Money
The game retails for about $15USD, less of you buy the game in a bundle. While the game is small, its pretty good value (lucky for me the Aussie dollar is strong at the moment!).

Assessment - Very Good

=============================================
Overall Assessment - Good

Israeli Independence is a fun little game. It is intended to be introductory in nature, so it is not going to be earth-shattering in its impact. I am a gamer who has played his share of detailed wargames. However, for a quick wargaming fix, this game has worked for me, and I will be playing it again. I look forward to the next Victory Point game that I play.
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Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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We'd love to have our games carried in Australia. If you know any retailers there, please send me their contact information and I'll see if I can get them signed up.

I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I agree with your assessments. Its not a super deep game, which makes sense as its an introductory game, and I've still played it more times than a lot of games for which I paid 3-4 times the cost.

And I still lose a lot.

Joshua Gottesman
Business Manager
Victory Point Games
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