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Subject: Solitaire Review of In Magnificent Style rss

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Eric Lai
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Solitaire Review of In Magnificent Style


In Magnificent Style is the first of the new production VPG games I own and I think a reassessment of component quality should be in order. The counters are simply AMAZING, they are very nice handling, very thick and easy to punch. You can put away that Oregon Puncher, there are no nubs and even if there were the counters are made out of wood and so it wouldn't work any way. As for the rest of the components, such as the map & rules, the printing and binding is much better now and professionally done. No more flimsy A4 inkjet loose sheets for rules, its now a nice bind booklet. Unbelievable change.

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(One tip though, there is some ash left over from the laser cut process, so be sure to clean your hands after punching and half way through your first game. It will smear on some surfaces, like my cloth table surface.)

Does the components as they are now justify the cost of the game? I got it for $22 (not including shipping) and you can get Leuthen: Frederick's Greatest Victory 5 December, 1757 for $18. Its going to be subjective, so take this with a grain of salt, but (for me) its going to depend on the actual size/scope of the game, gameplay and personal interest. I think $22 is still a little marginal for a ziplock game (with no magazine & this many counters and these A4 size maps) but if it came in one of those GDW 120 little boxes with nice box art, it would've been a no brainer {hint hint}. The game itself (of which I will get to further on) isn't very big in scope, so it ain't going to win any CSR awards methinks. If it were just a couple of dollars cheaper at $19.95, it would've been even more attractive. BUT, its definitely a VAST improvement on how it was and Kudos to VPG for their much needed upgrades. If the original No-Retreat were done in this quality, I wouldn't bother with the GMT version!

Now for the game itself, In Magnificent Style is a light push your luck game of Pickett's Charge, you play the confederates trying to get across no man's land in the face of enemy fire, artillery and obstacles to destroy and take up positions on the opposite side of the board. I won't go into gameplay details, since you can get that from the excellent explanatory video VPG has put up already here:



The game is primarily solitaire game (with optional and personally untried 2 player rules) and as a solitaire game I think its done an excellent job keeping the player's attention and the game flowing with a good narrative. There is just enough chrome through random events and tactical decisions to paint the Pickett's charge theme on the mechanism, the chrome isn't very complicated and gets internalized very rapidly in a few turns of the game. The theme is very strong and it does feel like a real struggle to get to the other side and I can imagine dodging bullets as the confederates push on. I can feel the frustration when my push is stopped by heavy enemy fire.

The number of decisions the players face isn't too many, but just enough to feel that there is some semblance of control in the chaos of the battlefield. Things like: how should I use my Generals's bonuses to best effect? Where should I place these reinforcements? Where should I concentrate my artillery support? When should I push my luck, as my time is running out? Its not rocket science but the decisions does give the illusion of affect.

The game does rely on lots of dice rolls, so it does seem like the game is taking you for a ride sometimes and I don't think its for everyone. It can feel like Yahtzee as you are hopping across the battlefield hoping for certain die rolls, but no game of Yahtzee I've ever played was this much fun! The theme really takes off and the new artwork and components adds much to the experience.

The length of the game is around 45 minutes and in my first game I loss miserably having only 2 brigades making it to the other side, but in my 2nd game, I got a ton of lucky throws and I got 8 brigades across for a Minor Victory. It was very tense and satisfying. I liked this push your luck system more so than that of state of siege, it felt like you were making the preemptive decisions in this game, while in state of siege you were always on the back foot and responding to the situation as it is forced upon you by the cards.

Overall, I really enjoyed this title and it has me hankering to try again and do it better for the South. Well done and I'm looking forward to more games with these components and more games in this new series.

I am giving this game (on the patented Garfink's Small Game Scale) a 7.5 out of 10.

For more reviews of this elk ilk, let me direct you to this geeklist:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/71266/item/2226860#item222...
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Thanks Eric! Very well written and fair review. We do have a couple of more games in the works for this series. Hermann
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Tracy Baker
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Nice review, Eric. I got my copy the other day and am looking forward to putting it through the paces.

The counters are indeed awesome, but I wish the laser wouldn't leave so many scorch marks. Mine are covered in little brown burn spots and some look like toasted marshmallows. Still can't wait to see the rest of VPG's games done up this way.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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You know, those scorch marks kind of make them look all battle-scarred, don't they? I kinda like them!
Herm
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Jan van der Laan
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I've set it up, reading the rules and I LOVE the smell of the burned counters allready...

Can't wait to cross the field and kick some Union ass!

(And the counters ARE really great, worth every penny, no doubt!)
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Eric Lai
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I played it a 3rd time (a couple of days after writing the review), after I was eliminated from a gambling tournament at my place , I pulled it out for a quickie, this time 5 brigades made it across the line. What can I say, its a fun and easy pick up game.

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Kenneth Lury
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just for the record, the word is "ilk", not "elk".
Sorry for being a literacy snob.
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