Recently I put Paul Rohrbaugh's V-1 game, War with a Vengeance, on the table a couple of times. The game comes as a bonus with ATO's Campaign Study #3 Bradley's D-Day.
The game map includes the rules you'll need to play the game, but separate charts are supplied for the necessary tables. You'll need to download the updated versions from the ATO webpage!!! More on this later.
The player first needs to establish the at-start number of Spitfires and Tempests that will defend the UK against the uncoming storm of V-1 flying bombs. Next countermeasures like AA and barrage balloons are put in a cup to be drawn if a V-1 reaches its target to see if they stop the bomb from hitting its target. VP markers, Turn and Impulse markers are put into place and you'll be ready to go.
After the initial deployment the number of V-1's available is established and spread among the 5 available launch sites. You can assign Invasion Support forces to attacking the launch sites so they can launch a lower number of V-1's during an impulse to hopefully make interception easier. The game has 5 turns, each with 10 impulses.
The game is die roll heavy, one of the main criticism I had heard about the game. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to play the game myself. Now I must say that the remark about the number of die rolls was correct, but...
Every single move by the V-1's, so from launch to 'landing', is determined by a roll of the die. Even and odd rolling decides which way a V-1 will fly or if it is destroyed. Interceptions by fighters is determined by die rolling too, as is the availibility of those fighters. Did this distract me from enjoying the game?
I must say that at first I had to get used to rolling the die, a lot. Both a d6 and d10 are used. But during game play it kept me guessing what would happen next. At times I saw a large number of V-1's heading towards London, only to next see them turn away again or disappear due to malfunctions or interception by Mosquitos (which are not represented by counters in the game) I simply used a larger number of dice, rolling them all at once and next picking them up blindly from a small plastic container in which I rolled the dice.
This speeded up game play quite a lot. If a stack of 5 V-1's had to be rolled for, I simply rolled five dice, to next pick them up one by one while moving the V-1 counters along their course.
While seeing these V-1's moving along their tracks you try to position your fighters in such a way that they will down as many V-1's as they can. But after rolling some dice they could be in the wrong place or in an insufficient number to be effective, not mentioning some unlucky die rolls while going for the kill.
Conclusion is that the die rolls are indeed a prominent feature of the game, but at the same time they make the game tick. Since you play the interceptor's side and the system generates the V-1's and determines their movements you can try to think ahead the best you can but with a couple of bad die rolls you'll see Doodlebugs rain down on London in an alarming number. The VP count for the Germans starts to rise alarmingly, but next turn they don't hurt you as much as they would have liked.
I've seen both sides winning a minor victory and one game ended in a draw.
I'm sure that this game will not be everybody's cup of tea, but I liked the game. Sure, you'll need to roll the die a lot, but as I said, it makes the game tick and keeps you on your toes to try and think ahead. I liked it and am sure it will be played again in the near future.
Like I said above, you will need to download the charts from the ATO webpage and the addenda. The game suffered from some bad timing due to some external factors upon publication (I will not go into details here) which made the rules not as clear as they could have been in places. Some of the rules mention things, like the color of some of the boxes used on the map, that are completely wrong. This however is addressed in the addenda and no reason at all to not give this game a try and a fair judgement. Once you have taken note of these changes you will end up with a nice little solitaire game.
So, for me all those die rolls posed no hindrance to enjoy the game. Give it a try and see for yourself. Hopefully Paul will work out the variants soon to further enhance the game.