I only just recently bought this product, so I can only give a 1st impression review, but overall I am very happy with this product.
The game uses a scale where each counter represents 1 to 3 persons while combat resolution is handled per soldier within a unit. As such this hopefully will help speed up play by reducing the total number of counters on the board, while still retaining the ability to track injuries and losses (and their related effects on combat ability of a unit) on a per person basis.
Overall, although the game is print to play and as such the final appearance may depend on the printer that you use, the graphics in the boards and counters provided look very good. The use of geomorphic boards in a hexagonal shape is a very nice feature and would appear to provide many opportunities for variation in setting up scenarios. Also the inclusion in the rule book of photographs of real world samples of the terrain depicted on the map seemed very helpful to me in better understanding the difference between the different terrain types such as short grass, long grass and elephant grass, for example.
I also like the layout and overall style of the counters provided, as they seem to convey the necessary information in a usable format. And the overhead view of the soldiers/personnel on the counters seems well suited to the “eagle eye” view of the playing area provided on the maps, while also making it easier to me to readily figure out a units facing and such.
The game also appears to have an interesting approach to command and control that I am interested to try out.
Overall, the only two real down side that I have encountered so far are that I had a little trouble in initially printing a couple files, and, because the rules appears to have originally been written in French and translated to English some of the language and wording may be a little hard to understand at first (as well as some of the text in some of the images still being in French). Specific examples include where;
- “counters” appear to sometimes be referred to as “pawns”
- The term “movement potential” is used in place of something probably equivalent to “movement points”
- The term “minimum expense of PM” appears to be used as the likely equivalent of “movement point costs” (or something similar)
- “Valor” or “valeur” appears to sometimes be used instead of “value”
- “Potential of Vision” appears to mean something similar to “Observation Points”
- And reference is made to how certain types of terrain “don’t embarrass the movement to feet” or “don’t embarrass the Line of View” where I suspect the authors might mean that they don’t “hinder” or “inhibit” or may “restrict” these things
In general this is not too big a deal, but may result in the need to reread some of the rule a few time to try and make sure that you fully understand what they appear to be saying, and it may be a good idea to go over some of the issues with whoever you may be playing against to make sure that you are both “on the same page” with how you are interpreting things.
Finally, one thing that I really like about the game is that awhile ago I had bought one of those small books that you see on the rack at gaming stores discussing Infantry Actions during the Viet Nam War that discussed different small unit tactics for different actions and how the different forces involved sometimes organized their troops in different manners. This game appears to be very suitable for trying to recreate some of these different type actions as well as trying out different unit organizations.
Specifically, it seems like it should be relatively easy with this game to try out similar missions using either a three fire team USMC squad, a two fire team USA squad, or an Australian/Commonwealth based squad. Additionally, the unit size in the game appears to even allow a player to experiment with the specific order of his troops (such as placing his/her machine team or grenadiers near the front, middle or back end of a column, etc) while moving in different formations. As such, this game appears to potentially fill an interesting niche to me.
[5 of 5 Stars!]