Review of Mali Powstancy: Warszawa 1944
By Egmont Polska and designed by Filip Miłuński with art by Maciej Szymanowicz
Please note that a review copy was provided by Egmont Polska
The Warsaw Uprising against the heroism of the Polish resistance against the Nazi oppressors and also a story of betrayal of the Poles by the West. Politics aside though, this is a game dedicated to the courageous Mali Powstancy or “Little Insurgents” of the Polish Scout Association who worked as a couriers delivering letters and orders between squads of rebels, running through the underground sewage canals of Warsaw. Many of them died on that duty. This game was developed in cooperation with Polish Scout Association (ZHP) and the Warsaw Rising Museum.
First and foremost, this is NOT a wargame so you Grognards take note. If you are looking for conflict simulation or military strategy and tactics, look elsewhere.
This is a simple, yet subtle pick up and delivery game for 2-4 players ages 8+ where the pressure is on for the young mail carriers to deliver their messages to the resistance before the Nazi’s cut off their routes. Essentially you have a team of three little insurgents, represented well with cardboard pieces in plastic stands. They move using a set of numbered cards. The mail routes are worth varying amounts of victory points and you gain these as you complete the routes a la Ticket to Ride. Trouble is, it’s a race against the clock as you only have a limited amount of time before the cards representing the routes drop off the active list and the Nazi’s intervene, blocking routes and imprisoning the couriers. So the players need to cooperate to a certain extent or end up having useful routes blocked off and the Nazi’s (run by the game system) will win. Extra advanced rules give the players more options in actions they can take.
Mali Powstancy has very nice components including a very nice map of Warsaw with clear lines of travel using a point to point movement system. English rules come with the game and are also available on Boardgamegeek and makes the game pretty much language independent
Did it work for me?
This is a very strong, effective design all the way through. It is simple yet subtle as you try and figure out the most effective routes. There is a strong emotional element to the game as in a very simple way, you realise just what these kids must have gone through (including prison) and how heroic they indeed were. A nice example of a simple history lesson for the family. I am a real fan of this game and will always be willing to bring it out to the table.
This game deserves wider distribution without a doubt so listen up Rio Grande, FRED, etc…!
Absolutely but I would say for at least 8 years old as I think that there is an important history lesson for children to learn in the game.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 9 out of 10