As a long time tactical wargamer I have been looking at getting Retro for awhile. I own a number of other Minden titles and they all fall solidly in the "Light" wargame category. That is not a bad thing and most of their games are either designed solo or very solo freindly which suits my playing habits well. I am not going to go deep into the mechanics of Retro and I encourage anyone unfamiliar but interested to go to the boardgamegeek.com page which has some excellent reviews and rules discussions. Rather, I am going to focus on "who is Retro good for?"
Ok, Actually I am going to start with "who is Retro not good for?" The answer is "someone who is looking for a game with meticulous detail about World War II tactics and weaponry." In my understanding, Retro was created specifically to eliminate rules minutae and provide a quick and fun experience that still maintains tactical choices and WWII "chrome." I think Retro does this particularly well...
So, who should get Retro? Anybody who wants to play WWII tactics solo or face to face in a reasonable amount of time and with minimal rules referencing. There is one very important caveat however, Retro does not provide boards or counters, you use Retro with the components of another WWII tactical game you own. Retro was designed to be played with Squad Leader or Advanced Squad Leader components but can be adapted to any other tactical system with minimal tweaking.
So should you get this if you don't own any other WWII tactical games? Maybe... I think Retro still has value if you are interested in reading a well written and clever set of rules or maybe you want to try WWII tactics but ASL is too daunting an entry point. You could pick up an ASL starter kit relatively cheap and use Retro to get you feet wet. Retro is also great for VASSAL type games or PBEM if that is your jam.
However, where Retro really shines is with people like me...I have almost every SL and ASL product produced by Avalon Hill but I haven't played a face to face game of ASL in almost 30 years. With Retro I can put the (literal) closet full of ASL game on the table and have fun again. For 20 bucks I can enjoy hundreds (thousands?) of dollars of ASL, now that is a bargain.
If Minden would just do the same thing for World in Flames...
[5 of 5 Stars!]