Review: The Bulge 6th Panzer Army

Posted by James (admin) on 4th April 2014

6th Panzer Army game close-up‘Paul Koenig’s The Bulge: 6th Panzer Army’ (to use its full name) is a tactical, 2-player, World War II game with a hex map and counters.   However, it packs a massive amount of decision-making into such a small area, and with relatively simple rules.

One player plays the German army trying to break through the Allied lines by a surprise advance through the Ardennes forest (an event of major importance during the war), and the other player plays the Allies.  This means the two sides are quite different – the Germans have lots of units but also have  a lot of work to do as they need to advance to capture cities and get across the map; whereas, the Allied player has few units and needs to use these to hold up and disrupt the German advance.

The game ends after 7 turns when victory points (VPs) are assessed.  The Germans score VPs for capturing cities and getting mechanised units (tanks, etc.) across to the far side of the map or, even better, beyond it.  The Allies score VPs for cities not captured by the Germans.  In addition, both sides score VPs for destroying units although the Allies score more for them, which balances up the other VPs the Germans can earn.  When the game is over, the Allies win of they have at least 6 VPs more than the Germans (the Allies start with lots of VPs because no cities have been captured by the Germans yet). Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in 6th Panzer Army, Board Game Review, Board Games | 6 Comments »

Review: Old World, New World

Posted by James (admin) on 24th January 2014

Old World New World game

Old World New World is a fast-moving and simple game by Victory Point Games.  The winner is the first player to get 3 of their units to the scoring locations on the furthest side of the board from where they start, and each player is heading in a different direction to the other players.

Gameplay is simple: At the start of the game, the board is blank – consisting of just the card frame – but this gets filled-in with landscape cards as the game progresses.  Each card has 4 smaller squares on it showing land, sea or mountains – some land spaces have camps on them and some sea spaces have ports on them.  On their turn, a player has a hand of cards and can take two actions.  An action can be to place a card to fill in any empty square of the board, or they can discard a card to add new units, move existing units, or use a special card for its special effect.

There are a few important gameplay mechanics to mention.  First, all players’ units are double-sided (soldiers and ships) –  a player can move one of their soldier/ship units across land/sea by discarding a card showing a camp/port symbol respectively.  Second, when you move a unit, you can move it as far as you want in a straight line so long as (a) the move is all on land (soldiers) or all on sea (ships), and (b) it doesn’t pass through any other unit.  (Note that only soldiers units can only move into mountain spaces and must stop after 1 space).  Third, a unit that is on a camp/port can perform a free move without using an action.  Finally, a unit can be converted from a soldier unit into a ship unit if the unit is next to a port and the player plays a port card – this flips the unit over onto the adjacent space (and ships can be converted into soldiers in the same way using camps). Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Old World New World | No Comments »

On Location: Gettysburg – In Magnificent Style

Posted by James (admin) on 10th October 2013

Metagames In Magnificent Style at Gettysburg

In Magnificent Style played on the location of the actual combat. The top of the board shows Cemetery Ridge, and the real Cemetery Ridge can be seen at top of the photo.

For a long time, I have been interested in the American Civil War (which is slightly unusual for an Englishman).  I finally realised one long-held goal of mine to visit Gettysburg a couple of weeks ago.  If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I played Alhambra at the real Alhambra (which prompted a friend to play Carcassonne at Carcassonne) – so I departed for the US armed with a Gettysburg game to play at Gettysburg.  The game in question was ‘In Magnificent Style‘ by Victory Point Games – a single-player game set entirely on Pickett’s Charge – the infamous vast, brutal and final action of the Battle of Gettysburg.

[I want to say a huge thanks to Mark Rivera (Boardgames in Blighty blog) for lending me his copy of the game as I couldn’t get one in time for my trip.  He is currently launching his own game Luchador.]

However, rather than just play the game just anywhere around Gettysburg, I set my sights higher once I saw the battlefield and I actually got to play out Pickett’s Charge on the actual site of Pickett’s Charge!  This is a photo of the game ready to be played on location.  At the top of the board is the Union forces’ position along Cemetery Ridge passing the copse of trees.  In the background of the photo you can see the real Cemetery Ridge and the real copse of trees.  So, I was playing the game whilst sat at the position on the board shown by the top-right square of area 8.

The bottom of the board shows Seminary Ridge from where the Rebels launched their attack which, in the photo, is about 1 mile behind the camera viewpoint which you can clearly see when stood there. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Board Games, In Magnificent Style, On Location | No Comments »