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The Devil's to Pay!
by Wes S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2024 07:27:58

Print n Play version. It printed out quite nicely and I was able to make an attractive game that looks as good as it plays. The game itself is a chit-pull system that works very well. Units are half-Brigades, double sided and Artillery Batteries. Leaders (Corps and Division Commanders) are chits, rated by performance, and when their chit is drawn, they roll a die to see how many of their subordinate units can activate. Between the leaders and the tactics chits, units can activate multiple times in a turn. Step reduction combat system is not terribly bloody as it takes a few hits to destroy a unit but it simulates ACW combat as I envision it. Good game, worth the work put into the PnP version.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Devil's to Pay!
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Shattered Union: Conquering The Valley
by Srdjan J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2023 16:34:10

While the game is mechanically sound, quite balanced, and fun to play - more than The Hill of Death in my opinion - the production quality is unbelievably abysmal, hence a very low rating. There's no component type in the game that doesn't have some glaring issue, from several counters with missing art (!), player aids with wrong numbers copy-pasted from a previous game in the system to cards with errors, typos, and names such as "On to xxxxxx!" (unfortunately, that's not a joke). The list is quite long and also includes rulebooks, scenariobook, and maps.

It's painfully clear that Conquering the Valley didn't go through any kind of quality control, in fact, I don't believe anyone proofchecked the game in any manner whatsoever. It's a good thing I bought the PnP version; I know my way around Photoshop so I corrected all the errors I spotted and had an easier experience going forward. Had I bought a boxed version of this game, I'd definitely ask for a refund, especially considering its price. At any rate, I urge anyone considering buying this game in PnP version not to do so, not until the publisher addresses all the issues (which is quite easy here on Wargame Vault, all you have to do is update the files).

I'm typically quite patient with production issues in games since I work in the industry myself and know that these things tend to happen from time to time, but, trust me, this game went way beyond 'things happen' and 'from time to time'. Conquering the Valley should never have been released in the state it's currently in.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shattered Union: Conquering The Valley
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War Plan Crimson: The U.S. Invades Canada
by Ian N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2022 16:44:02

Great game for what was considered an absurd scenario (at least from the American perspective). With the optional rules, MLF expansion (where Canucks do a pre-emptive strike that was actually considered plausible and potentially effective except the UK would not have come to Canada's aid in reality), AND the updated Mk.II rules from Brian's blog, this game has enough variety to satisfy all skill levels and whet all cardboard-pusher appetites. Just remember, the TOWNS do not count toward 'morale', though, only victory points. Otherwise, the rules are smooth. Over all, another one of Brian's hidden gems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
War Plan Crimson: The U.S. Invades Canada
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Rifles in the Peninsula
by Antonio F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2021 14:09:11

Super!!! Rules are simple but complete and counters very impressive, now is launched a new expansion. You may play every napoleonic battle, not only in the Peninsula: French, British, Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies extend the ground in time and places. There are also irregulars and women, with duel complementary rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rifles in the Peninsula
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Aden
by Arrigo V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2021 08:31:24

Greg Porter achieved something extremely good here. Aden is indeed a very good game in a small ziplock. Contemporary urban combat game above skirmish are not very common, probably due the perception they are boring and unbalanced yet Aden proves this is wrong. There are plenty of scenarios inspired by the civil war in Yemen that shows both the dynamics and the problems of fighting in a large built up area with armies that often are nothing more than rabble. Its combat mechanic also aptly simulate the current tendencies in fire combat. The fact that you basically decide to pull out if you do not want to have losses and you have cover nearby is excellent. Modern combat can be either bloody or bloodless depending online of sight, and the game really get it right. Well done.

Disclaimer: Product received for free.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aden
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Rifles in the Ardennes
by Eugenio m. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2021 19:23:07

Un buon solitario, non troppo impegnativo e di durata contenuta. Ottimo lavoro



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rifles in the Ardennes
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In the Trenches: Doughboys
by David M. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 03:24:56

See Devil Dogs. In this, the Americans defend in the three scenarios. You do get tanks in this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In the Trenches: Doughboys
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In the Trenches: Devil Dogs
by David M. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 03:07:21

When I finally got through the rule book I loved this game. Note the rules are not difficult, some things are not where I expected them to be, so be prepared to read WELL and maybe a couple of times. The idea of activation, and getting completely exhausted by simply moving is really good. The game moves at a good pace but presents you with all the problems that the First World War gave



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In the Trenches: Devil Dogs
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The Devil's to Pay!
by David M. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 02:59:56

The precursor to the Longstreet Attcks seres by Revolution games. A beaurtiful Rick Barber map, chit pull mechanism which makes it ideal for solo play My only gripe is the combat system which seems a bit clunky at first. You need two rolls on two different combat charts. (the two rolls can be shortened by rolling different coloured dice together, suggested in the rules)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Devil's to Pay!
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Gaines's Mill
by David M. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 02:54:21

Good little game that I enjoyed. It is a nicely designed product with very pleasing graphics.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gaines's Mill
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Space Vermin From Beyond!
by Laimonas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2020 18:44:14

It's a good game for the price. Easy to assemble, fun to play. Some rules are a bit vague, but the game is more about a narrative than a deep strategic planning, so that's not a deal braker. I wish there were more scenarios though.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Space Vermin From Beyond!
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Space Vermin From Beyond!
by Stephan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2019 03:29:00

This review applies ONLY TO THE DIGITAL EDITION, not the physical edition!

i initially gave this game a 1-star rating because the digital copy was formated in a way which was effectively unusable for consumer-grade printing. The publisher addressed all of those shortcomings in an update on 2019-09-18, which changes my rating from an unplayable 1 star to the 5 it deserves as an innovative, compact, solo-play war game.

THANK YOU, TINY BATTLE PUBLISHING, for updating the digital copy!

Of the three games in the series, this one in my favorite for a couple of reasons:

1) It is slightly streamlined with regards to the marines: there are no Stunned or Paralyzed states. A soldier is either fresh or disrupted, making them symmetric with the aliens (the other two games are entirely asymmetrical in that regard). Also unlike the other two titles, recovery from being disrupted is automatic, so long as the unit is not adjacent to an enemy, removing the annoying tendency of disrupted units to stay that way for the rest of the game just because they can't roll a 5 or 6 each turn.

2) Despite the alien movement being ostensibly nearly completely random, the way it interacts with the elements on the two maps introduces a thoroughly convincing illusion of intentionally tactical action. i.e., it doesn't feel random at all - it feels like they're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing, yet without being entirely predictable/pre-programmed. This is a truly impressive feat of solo-play game design.

My one tiny nitpick is that the designer chose to "swap" the Landing Zone dice roll results compared to the other games and compared to the Jump Pack dice results, and it feels entirely/unnecessarily out of place (and the Landing Zone results are not recorded on the reference sheet, requiring a rulebook lookup from time to time).

i printed out the US Letter-sized rulebook in booklet form on A4 paper (so the booklet is A5 sized, taking up only 5 sheets of paper), and it's still crisp and readable, despite being relatively tiny. A millimeter or two of the front cover's edge were truncated via the process, but there was no loss/truncation of content.

=======(What follows is the original review from before the Sept. 2019 update by the publisher. Management Summary: it complains loudly about the (former) inability to print and assemble the game.)=======

i recently bought this title in digital form, along with the other two titles in this series, via the Bundle of Holding's "War on Everything" bundle.

The digital edition of this game is literally useless unless one has access to a printer capable of printing paper all the way to the edge of the paper (no margins). The maps are prepared in two formats: 18x12-inch and split into 8.5x11-inch chunks, but both sets cover the whole surface of their pages, all the way to the edge of the paper (i.e. no margins). On the 18x12-inch versions, it would be possible to print them out and lose a small bit around the edge of the map without actually breaking the map. On the more consumer-friendly 8.5x11-inch pages, doing so will lose parts of the map, such that the sections will not fit seamlessly together (hex numbers along the edges will get truncated, and those numbers are important during play).

Most consumer-grade laser printers cannot print all the way to the edge of a page because their paper feed systems require color-free edges of the paper to grip. Supposedly inkjet printers can commonly print all the way to the edge, but inkjet is "so 1990s."

One could, of course, print the maps at a smaller scale, but that would require printing the alreadytiny counters out at a corresponding size, making the components unplayably small for anyone without superb eyesight and exceptionally nimble fingers.

The counters, unlike those of the Attack of the 50-foot Collosi set, are mounted on a grid, so they can, with some effort and great care, be lined up front-to-back, but there are no guide lines along the edges/corners of the counters, to assist in this, nor a fold line between the two sides (which are on the same piece of paper), making it extremely difficult to align them properly if there's a piece of opaque cardstock between the two sides.

Currently the only way to get this properly assembled is to send it off to a professional printer which can print to the edge of a page (assuming they'll print copyrighted materials at all - i've heard tales of printers who refuse to print such packages).

On the plus side, unlike Attack of the 50-foot Collosi, this one has a printer-friendly rulebook, without a noisy/toner-wasting background image on every page.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Invaders From Dimension X!
by Stephan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2019 12:30:00

This review applies only to the DIGITAL version of this title, not to the physical version!

i recently bought the digital edition of Invaders from Dimension X along with its two sister titles, Space Vermin from Beyond and Attack of the 50-Foot Colossi. All three titles had fatal layout mistakes which makes print-and-play assembly effectively impossible using consumer-grade printers, but in September 2019 the publisher issued an update of the latter two which addressed those problems. This title, however, was left out of that update.

Management summary: the layout of the counter sheets is entirely unusable for print-and-play purposes. Sigh.

Details:

First off, the counters have no grid, but instead have "alignment lines" along the sides of each counter sheet (1 front, 1 back). These are not only unhelpful, they're downright useless unless one is assembling the counters solely from plain paper, in which case (A) light can be shined through it to help with the alignment and (B) they're uselessly thin for purposes of playing.

Once the top or bottom edge of a sheet is cut off, the corresponding lines are gone, making it impossible to get proper vertical alignment for cutting out the counters. Once the left or right edge are removed, getting proper horizontal alignment is impossible.

The fact that some rows of counters have an extraneous gap between them and some do not exaggerates the problem further.

Here's a photo which demonstrates these problems:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pzErVfPEA4jKVcWJ6

After importing these counters into graphics editors (Gimp and Inkscape) to attempt to create a grid for them, i discovered that the provided vertical alignment lines for the front and back sheets don't even line up 100% perfectly as-is (the horizontal ones do).

Secondly, the counter sheets use an exotic paper size: Arch A (9x12 inches), which is slightly larger than US Letter. The counters do not fit as-is on A4 paper (noting that A4 is far more widely-used than US Letter). Printing them in landscape mode, as intended, on A4 paper will truncate the bottom of the counter sheet. Here's a partial workaround: each of the two countersheet PDFs (one for front, one for back) includes two copies of that side of the counter sheet. Printing them in PORTRAIT orientation will print a full copy of the left-most block of counters and will truncate the right-side block. Printing both PDFs this way will result in 1.5 sets of counters (as opposed to the 2 sets which would fit on US letter). The major down-side to that approach is that the lines along the right edge of the countersheet, used for lining up the front and back sides, get truncated along with the right-most counters, so lining them up properly proves even more challenging.

i've wasted a full four pages of laser printer toner trying to assemble these counters and i give up. Unless one has superhuman patience, a superhuman eye for proper sub-milimeter alignment, and a superhumanly steady hand, assembling the counters for this game is effectively impossible. Without the counters, obviously, the game cannot be played. The one workaround i can conceive of is to hand-draw a grid over the counters before gluing and cutting them, but (A) that clearly falls under the aforementioned "superhuman patience" clause and (B) it's impossible to line up properly with A4 printouts because of the truncation problem described above.

Sigh.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Invaders From Dimension X!
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The Devil's to Pay!
by Campbell M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2019 03:07:42

Excellent game system, good looking and manageable print and play. Hope we will see more of the Blind Swords series done as a PnP.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Devil's to Pay!
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Attack of the 50 Foot Colossi!
by Alexander J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2019 13:26:52

Fast and furious tactical gameplay, very accessible and full of surprises and interesting situations. Every time I play it the game manages to challenge me, every time I think I found the perfect plan, the random factor destroys my confidence. I really like this game as it's easy to get into rulewise, but can be hard as nails to win. The whole art design is perfect, capturing the movie-like approach of the game. The two maps (with different objectives) and the randomness, thanks to a card-draw mechanic which controls the enemy, guarantee almost endless replayability. My favourite aspect about the game is the atmosphere it evokes. It manages to make me feel as if I'm indeed in the middle of a desperate battle against the giant monstrosities that gave the game its name. While these enemies are brutal and terrifiying, they are not just mindless brutes but have their own rules, their own strict hierarchy and their different tribes act according to different rules. That way the game manages to give me the impression that my enemies, while in reality nothing other than random factors, act purposefully and by following their own primeval logic and their rigid social structure. That's one of the most fascinating parts of the game for me. The now updated PNP-version is very easy to assemble and absolutely worth the price asked. I can only recommend this game to everybody looking for a fantastic solitaire-experience and gladly give it the full five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Attack of the 50 Foot Colossi!
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