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Subject: Even I Misunderestimated This One. rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
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8th Army – Advanced Rules

 


Two-player Simulation of the North African Campaign, 1940-1943
Designed by the Unknown Englishman
Published by Attactix Adventure Games (1982)


The astute amongst you will notice that I have already written a review of this game. I have to admit that while I stand by the comments made in that review, it was written after having played the basic rule-set and having simply read the other rules. This review concentrates on the advanced rule-set after having played the advanced game.

I have to say that the advanced game has a lot about it that I really like – I doubt that, in future, I will play any level but the advanced. It is relatively easy, quick and fun to play. It seems to have enough verisimilitude that is appropriate for its scale and it plays in a relatively short amount of time (less than five hours).

There is chrome but it fits into the game unobtrusively and in a non-distracting way. Air and naval power is done in a fairly abstract way. Each player makes high level decisions in regards to how to use air/naval resources which may have a significant impact upon the land campaign which is the focus of the design.
The game is very well designed and has a set of rules that make the game actually fairly easy to play. The game also has a high level of tension which makes it exciting to play.



Supply
Supply points are difficult to come by, especially for the Axis player. This is realistic and a severe limitation. Supply is so short that it makes the Axis player seriously look at using their troops in a way that allows supplies to be used in the most economical way. Each player has a supply head (either their own base or Tobruk). The further away troops are from the supply head the more supplies have to be spend to move your forces and the more expensive it is to launch attacks. Supplies are paid for movement/supply fro all units at the start of your turn and then during the combat phase each attacking stack pays additional supplies at the start of each attack.

Movement
Units have relatively small movement factors for a game of this type and at this scale. I like this feature as it makes people less likely to spend an enormous amount of game time pondering over movement possibilities. The hexes are large – at El Alamein the board is only two hexes wide. There is room for manoeuvre further west but due to the small number of units and the small movement rates outflanking provides a threat that must be taken seriously but is normally only a realistic possibility when the enemy forces have been reduced in number.



Counters
Both sides have only a small number of units. This makes it easy to play the game quickly. It also makes where you place each unit very important and also makes both armies rather fragile. As time goes on, the number of Allied units increases at a faster rate than the Axis. Both sides can win an automatic victory by eliminating a significant number of enemy units. In the first few turns of the game the Allies can be very vulnerable, especially when Churchill sends troops to Greece.



Combat
Because there are a relatively small number of counters combat is important. Combat cost supplies and so you have to be very selective about how and where you attack. Combat modifiers are very important as if the attacker gets a high enough combat roll (after modification) that stack can make another attack without having to spend more supplies. The possibility of the attacker having a second attack with a stack makes defending difficult – the implication is that having a solid front line may not be the best option. Picking a strong position and stacking it high and then have your next set of forces further back seems to be the best option.

But the real situation is that combat requires some serious thought and creates a high degree of tension.

To win the game you either have to capture your enemy’s home base or have the enemy replacements at level 16. Each time you eliminate an enemy unit the enemy replacements increase by one.

Again, this is a relatively simple game, even at its advanced level. It has enough in it to make it an interesting and enjoyable game. I find it far superior to my most recently reviewed North Africa Game, Blood & Sand.


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Gary Barr
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Hi

Nice review

A title ripe for a reprint ?

Of course finding the 'unknown Englishman' might be a problem

I liked all the Attacktix games as nice light intro Wargames with 8th Army being the most 'complex' of the bunch.

Cheers
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Graham Lockwood
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This is, of course, what gaming buddies are for. It's always nice to produce an 'oldie but a goldie' that gives you a fresh insight into a mutualy enjoyable game. I'm glad you endorsed my suggestion to play this game.

Conversely, we've both been introduced to good games by each other and have ended up buying a copy for our own use.

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Roger Hobden
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Many thanks for reviewing this game.

It makes me want to buy it, except for the small fact that it is long OOP, and also unavailable not only on the BGG marketplace but also on eBay.
 
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Gary Barr
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[q="Mallet"]
Many thanks for reviewing this game.

It makes me want to buy it, except for the small fact that it is long OOP, and also unavailable not only on the BGG marketplace but also on eBay. [/q

There is a copy up on UK eBay at present don't know what postage costs would be but fairly light in weight

Item no 110921777206
 
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sunday silence
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can you explain a bit about how that map of the Medit. works? It looks like there are arrows for the air power as well as blue lines for sea trasnport. How does that tie into the supply system?
 
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David G. Cox Esq.
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sundaysilence wrote:
can you explain a bit about how that map of the Medit. works? It looks like there are arrows for the air power as well as blue lines for sea trasnport. How does that tie into the supply system?

The both players have ships to carry supply points. The Axis player has limited oil points to allocate to move his ships. The Axis ships may be destroyed by Allied air/naval points. The naval phase is quick and revolves around when and how to allocate the points. For the Axis player it is sometimes better to not send supplies one month so as to be able to send a larger convoy the following month so as to conserve naval strength - timing is a factor.

Air points can be used to support land combat and to interfere with naval movement. Air points move along lines on the strategic map. There are airfields on the tactical map that indicate whether they can be used to support combat. Again, the air is abstract and doesn't bog down the game - it revolves around where you want to use the points.
 
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sacha cauvin
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i sold my copy a few years ago while moving houses and quickly realised my mistake! i bought another one...

i also enjoyed d day and arhnem by attactix
 
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michael white
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Do not dismay Roger...with the passing of time you can now see two listings for sale ...one here at BGG £15 and one on UK Ebay £14.95 ....I'm not the seller or his agent..lol...just thought ,as a BGG buddy I'd give the heads up......Now it so happens I do have some WW2 warfare games for sale....message me if you are interested in land or air combat...
Cheers,
Michael
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John Graham-Leigh
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sundaysilence wrote:
can you explain a bit about how that map of the Medit. works? It looks like there are arrows for the air power as well as blue lines for sea trasnport. How does that tie into the supply system?

It's really all about Malta. The stronger Malta is, the fewer Axis supplies get through to Africa. The Axis can use air units to neutralise Malta; the Allies can send convoys to build it up again. The Axis can intercept convoys with the Regia Marina (which costs oil points which are hard to replace), "light forces" (which are automatic) and air units. The Allies have to choose between small, heavily-escorted convoys and large, lightly-escorted ones; the Axis have to allocate air units among bombing Malta, attacking convoys and supporting Rommel. It's a very simple but highly realistic mini-campaign.

The Axis get a one-off opportunity to invade Malta. This is highly chancy (I've never seen it attempted) but if it succeeds the supply situation in Africa dramatically improves. If the Axis choose not to invade, they get a couple of extra infantry units (grounded paratroops) to use in Africa instead.
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Kim Meints
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I've enjoyed all of the Attacktix games even including Interstellar War as being great fast,easy playing games but still lots of decision making. When bought new 8th Army and the others at first were barely even played(not really know the reason why now,maybe the style of the rules writing) but I have found now in the past few years these games are filling in my need to the lite wargame when wanting something simple.
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