VPG press release – Franco-Pru​ssian War 40 released!

VPG press release – Franco-Prussian War 40 released!

August 1870 – March 1871

“Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.” – Carl von Clausewitz

New from the father of VPG’s Napoleonic 20 series, renowned game designer Joseph Miranda, the von Clausewitz series brings you the great campaigns of what historians call “The Long 19th Century” — that period between the French Revolution and World War 1. The series seeks to faithfully demonstrate how war was thought about and waged during this epoch. It features quick, streamlined gameplay, simple but not simplistic mechanics, card play, and the fog of war.

Unique to the series, and following the theories of Clausewitz himself, players must be aware that many of their actions will build Friction Points — which a wily opponent can then use against them to sabotage their best laid plans. Careful management of reserves and reinforcements, clever card play, and knowing when to throw caution to the wind to strike at an opponent will win the day.

The first game in the von Clausewitz series is Franco-Prussian War 40. Two continental heavyweights duel for supremacy in the conflict that smashed the French Second Empire, triggered the Paris Commune, and birthed the German Reich, with fateful consequences for Europe and the world. Will the war end in the streets of Paris, or Berlin? The fate of Europe hangs in the the balance!

Click here for all the details and to order Franco-Prussian War 40.

Review – U-Boat Commander from DVG Games

Review – U-Boat Commander from DVG Games

Designer – Dave Schueler

Art – Val Nunez

A copy of this game was provided by DVG games

No, I don’t like being convide in close spaces which means I would have never volunteered for the submarine service although I surely tip my hat to those who did and continue to do so. I just don’t know how anyone could do it, but they certainly did. The Battle for the North Atlantic during World War II was typified by the German U-Boats hunting for convoys, and causing havoc until the Allies were able to develop parity and greater numbers and resources. Although I don’t know a lot about the history of that expect of the war, I know enough to have a sense of what went on. Films like Das Boot, certainly the best submarine film I’ve seen, give a view from the German side of the conflict, and it was certainly harrowing for the sailors to say the least.

When it comes to playing war games, I’m a land lubber really. The only submarine game I’ve ever played was the old SPI game, Wolfpack  so it was certainly interesting to see how things have moved on in the design and development of submarine games with U-Boat Leader. I’m not a tactical fan either but I can see the attraction for war gamers who enjoy playing at that level of conflict. So I went into playing this game a low level of interest. I did some checking and the DVG Leader series of games is pretty well regarded so I thought that at least the pedigree of U-Boat Leader was good.

What you have here is a solitaire game, for age 12+, which means it will be a systems anchored approach to playing it. In other words, the system was the thing as in may solitaire games and a good solitaire system shouldn’t be something you are fighting with, in fact the more seemless it moves from stage to stage, allowing the story to command your attention, the better.

Unboxing

Inside the sturdy box you get –

165 full colour cards – representing Merchant ships, Escort ships, Naval ships, U-Boats, Events

264 die-cut cardboard counters representing U-boats, other ships, torpedoes, and other bit and pieces

4 campaign sheets

2 player sheets – Tactical Display and Help Sheet

a 10-sided die

1 Player log sheet

The components are pretty typical war game fare and are very functional. The information is laid out for you, the solitaire gamer in a way that you can get a hold of easily enough and thankfully, they are presented in a concise way without tons of tables, charts, etc. The artwork is very effective and accessible and I found it all very appealing. There have been some comments about the lack of mounted Tactical Display and Help sheet and I would have to agree that for the price, that would be a reasonable expectation, although, I have no real problem with them being on sturdy cardstock.

U-Boat Leader includes the following type of U-boats:
Type IIB/C coastal submarines
Type VII A/B/C Atlantic submarines
Type IX A/B/C long-range submarines
Type XXI Elektro-boat

U-Boat Leader includes four campaigns covering different stages of the Battle of the Atlantic:

The Battle Begins: covering operations at the start of World War II to about mid-1940.

The Happy Time: covering the period from mid-1940 to mid-1941 when the U-boats and wolfpacks dominated the seas.

Operation Drumbeat: covering operations off the American coast and in the Caribbean in early 1942.

The Hunted: covering the time period when the tide starts to turn against the U-boats.

The campaign structure makes things manageable  and allows you to pick up and play in short time settings. Very nice.

Gameplay

As a solitaire game, U-Boat Commander has a system that takes you through each campaign. Dave Schueler has put things together in a reasonably easy to follow set of rules, which at first, seemed a bit much, but were actually fine for me to go through and get playing. I haven’t played any other games in the DVG Games Leader series so I can’t compare, but from what I’ve read, this game fits in well alongside the others in the series.

Helpfully, the rules start by giving you the lay of the land by walking you through the components.
The important Campaign Sheets are divided into areas and you place your U-Boats in these areas and move between them. They also provide information on Ports, Patrolling, Number of movement cards you can draw, Number of enemy contacts, Searching, and special Missions.
The Help Sheet holds the Merchant, Naval and Escort Ship cards to make things nice and accessible.
The Tactical display is cool as this is where the tense action takes place as you resolve combat using U-Boat and ship counters as well as torpedoes in status counters to reflect you tactical decisions.
The U-Boat cards give you information on U-Boat ID, Captain, Class, Years in service, Special Ops cost, Skill rating, Experience, Special Abilities, Crew Stress
Event cards indicate what happens as a U-Boat moves during the relevant year Campaign year.
Convoy cards show the ship types the U-Boat encounters as well as how to deploy them, the type, and any special conditions.
Merchant, Escort and Naval cards detail the ships in the convoys. Details include – Name and type, Tonnage, Speed, Victory Points, Experience cards, Torpedo and U-Boat Gun Hit numbers, and Surface Attack numbers. Escort Cards also have Detection values and Surface and Submerged Attack numbers.
Set-up
You start by choosing a Campaign sheet from which you will choose the Campaign length, how many Patrols you will make, how many Special Operations points you have. You will also set up the card decks and Select your U-Boats.
Sequence of Play
Strategic Segment – You may Expend Special Operations Points on Air Search, Supply ships to refit (reduce stress), Intelligence to improve Contact results, Priority R&R  (to reduce crew stress), Advanced Torpedoes, Radio Call to try and form  a Wolfpack. You may also assign Special Missions – To place Mines , Attack enemy units, Aid a German Surface Raider.
Operations Segment – Very simply, this is about moving your U-Boats across the Campaign map (resolving Event cards and Special Missions) and then you can choose to end your patrol once you enter a Port box.
Tactical Segment – During the Contact phase, for each U-Boat you determine if there is a contact, and then, the number of them. Then you draw a Convoy card to see what the contact is. If you don’t choose to retreat, you set up the convoy and your U-Boat on the Tactical display. Then you can see if you can form a Wolfpack!  Combat is resolved through movement on the Tactical display, revealing targets, dealing with Escorts before they get you, firing torpedoes to hit enemy shipping, firing with your deck gun, causing enough damage to sink the enemy, dealing with their counter measures by taking evasive actions, etc. There’s more but you get the picture.
The Post-Combat Resolution Phase is where you Add Stress to surviving U-Boats (I really like this as it talks to the human element which tends to be missing from these types of games), Reloading Torpedoes, Recording experience points, Recoding Victory points. If there are Contacts remaining, you can do nothing, return to the Contact phase and have another go for different Contacts, Re-Attack the Convoy  or take one last shot at a heavily damaged ship (which will be a juicy option if you’ve taken out the Escorts),  or end the phase for that U-Boat, choosing another to carry on with.
During the Refit Segment, you can promote U-Boats to the next experience level (so there is a progression which gives you more of a stake in your U-Boats’ survival), determine if you have reached the patrol limit for this Campaign, Recover Stress, restock in Port, Reload at sea, and reset the Campaign map markers.
Lastly, you have the Campaign outcome where you add up your victory points to see how you’ve done.
On top of all this, there are optional rules for different types of U-Boats, Snorkel, and Linked campaigns.
Yes, there is a lot here, but it is reasonably followed as you track through the rules phases. Its all explained pretty clearly, with some supporting example illustrations. Interestingly, and to the credit of the design, unlike many other war games, no one aspect of the rules is complex or difficult to follow in its own right. On top of this, the mechanics reflect the feel of the U-Boat war rather than the technical effects which to me, makes it very playable and not a simulation exercise. A very successful of a design for feel approach by Dave Schueler.
Did it work for me?
Having said up front, that tactical games aren’t really my thing, I found that I enjoyed U-Boat Leader for a number of reasons.
First, it’s actually not purely a tactical game. Yes the tactical aspects are there when you get into the fight but this is a stripped down view and approach which I appreciated. It didn’t feel like I was dealing with very technical aspects and not simulating being a U-Boat captain but gave me enough for my level of tolerance. Also, you have the operational and strategic aspects of the war and campaigns which broaden the picture nicely and make things very interesting indeed.
Next, the rules were pretty good to go through to play the system. I didn’t feel that I was struggling and it came together for me without too much effort. The rulebook is done rather well and reasonably user friendly which helped me learn the game.
Third, the information I needed was readily available through the cards and Player aids. I didn’t have to refer to myriads of charts and subsets of rules. U-Boat Leader was easier than I expected it to be, if I’m honest, although it by no means is an easy game that I would recommend to newbies. I would say moderate complexity is accurate as you do need to invest the time to familiarize yourself with how the system works.
Overall, this is as deep as I would care to go with this type of game. A very interesting experience which was enough to give me a feel for the key aspects of this aspect of the War in the Atlantic without burning my brain up and worse, boring me with the technical details found in more simulation-type games. I found it to be just the right mix in depth, strategy, and most importantly, fun, and it all comes in this very nice game from DVG Games. A nice production and a good alternative for those who like me, don’t like tactical simulations.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10
Family friendly?
Nope, its a solitaire war game
For more information, go to – http://www.dvg.com/

Review – The Barbarossa Campaign from Victory Point Games

 

Review – The Barbarossa Campaign from Victory Point Games

Designer – Gary W. Graber with additional development and design by Alan Emrich and Carl Paradis

Art – Alan Emrich and Tim Allen

A copy of this game was provided by Victory Point Games

There are a ton of games out there on the Russian Front during the 2nd World War. The Barbarossa Campaign is a solitaire game for age 14+, and is a re-implementation of the original game published by Minden Games in 1999. I’m more of a Western front fan myself in my gaming choices as I feel like the Eastern front has been kinda done to death but I’m alway interested in a different take and on the surface, it looks like Victory Point Games had a bit of a unique game in this one so let’s have a look.

This is very much a strategic game which looks at the huge struggle on the Eastern front but all in a small package compared to other games covering similar. The original version of this game by Gary Graber has very little information on Boardgamegeek but it looks like a much more basic game. If anybody can get this huge struggle from its basic form into a game that rocks, and still in a small concise package, its Victory Point Games so let’s see how they’ve done.

Unboxing

– a 11″ x 25.5″ color map ( larger than the usual VPG maps)

– 5 Scenario displays (the main campaigns are available to play as smaller games)

– 3 Economic display maps (this is about grand strategy, not just about the boots on the ground)

– 1 Events tables card

– 100 double sided 1/2″ square pieces

– 40 color 5/8″ square pieces

– 90 color 1/2″ round pieces

– 56 color 5/8″ round pieces

– 40 Event cards

– 16 page rulebook (this is a big rulebook by VPG standards which surprised me but as a solitaire game covering a fair amount of aspects of the Eastern front, it’s to be expected I guess)

The map is central but has a number of supporting tables and displays. It is presented very well. The counter artwork is serviceable which is sufficient for the needs of the game. This isn’t a game about particular units but all about the big picture so it seems to me that the artistic decisions seem to work very well. Just keep in mind that there is a lot here to take in.

Gameplay

As this is a solitaire game, you are playing through a system. So there are a number of aspects to the process.

Setting up the game, each side has a single contiguous line of units from north to south, adjacent to the enemy front line, representing the front which must be maintained throughout the game by adding or taking away units. Very interesting and pretty different to other games I’ve played and it certainly keeps things focused and simple. It becomes very clear that the front lines are the be all and end all of the movement of forces.

Game sequence

Events – Consult the game turn track Events if any and draw 1 or 2 (in summer turns) event cards which provide information about an event. They also have information about Soviet initiative attacks and Soviet City capture bonuses. the rules cover in detail what the Events are.

Economics – during this phase, Economic counters are drawn to track Armor production, Industry and Lend-Lease and this will have an effect on Initiative

Axis Redeployment – you can reposition your units between hexes on the Axis Front line

Axis Blitz Combat – Panzer and Luftwaffe supported German non-Panzer units may attack (skipped on winter turns). The combat results are mostly about advancing so the Front will continually have an ebb and flow to its shape.

Axis Regular Combat – similar to Blitz combat. All uncommited Axis units can perform combatregardless of supply status (normally on turns when the Axis are not in “collapse”.

Axis Encirclement resolution – All of your isolated units are eliminated unless: they are in Major Cities, they are Axis units in Minor cities and can be air supplied by the Luftwaffe, they are Axis units on the Baltic coast or Soviets on the Black sea coast.

Receive Axis Winter Build-up (winter turns only)

Soviet Counter-attack phase – The most engaged Axis units are attacked first, and then so on (cool AI mechanic this one…)

Soviet Initiative Combat phase (another nift mechanic) – only conducted on turns when the Soviets have the initiative. In effect its a Soviet land grab. The cards are used to show where the hex captures take place, pushing back the front line toward Germany.

Calculate initiative Index – this may include markers giving bonus initiative points caused by Tenacity, Experience, Partisans, etc. The victory Point track is then adjusted

Set the Axis Strategic Mode – this is set according to which side has the initiative and each mode has effects

Housekeeping

I have to say that I was a bit concerned about all the steps needed but II found that as I got into it, things moved smoothly and the feel, is that of the strategic leadership having all aspects of total war. What’s more, it feels to me like an ios game with solid AI that punches its weight. The tendency may be to take on the whole war but it may be a good idea to try the scenarios first just to become familiar.

The system is pretty solid by all accounts. There is a lot of depth here for a solitaire game and it takes you beyond the mechanics to give you a feel of the strategic process. Its all about the big picture and the mechanism give you a very good view and feel for the flow of punch/counter-punch on the Eastern front.

A very nice design, clever in its implementation with a nice feel where you don’t just feel you are playing a system on rails.

Did it work for me?

The Barbarossa Campaign is a very good solitaire game. You have plenty of decisions to make, the system takes the strain to help you enjoy the experience, feel the tension of the shifting initiative, and manage the strategic picture with key focus beyond the Front line. Withinn 2-3 turns you will find yourself becoming comfortable as the games engine starts to purr along. The AI is strong and pushes you, stretches you and slaps you (but in a good way).  I wouldn’t call it elegant as there is a fair bit to go through but it works very well.

A very nice design with just enough strategic meat and mechanics that work nicely together. What seemed a bit daunting at first, turned out to be a hidden gem. And its darn good fun!

Attention Alan and Co. at Victory Point Games! This game should be a great opportunity for an  IOS game. I would really welcome the opportunity to try an IOS version.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 8.5 out of 10

Family friendly?

Nope. Its a war gamer’s game.

For more information go to – http://victorypointgames.com/

Review – Hero of Weehawken from Victory Point Games

 

Review – The Hero of Weehawken from Victory Point Games

Designer – Robert Leonhard

Art – Tim Allen

Victory Point Games provided a review copy of this game

A horse of a different colour you might say. Yes, Victory Point Games are prepared and able to take risks as this is built into their business model and ethos. Thank goodness for them and other companies like them.  If not, we wouldn’t have the chance to play games like Hero of Weehawken.

“Unusual” would be an understatement when describing this game. I mean, a solitaire game (age 12+) in which you take on the role of President Thomas Jefferson as you are seeking to uncover a grand conspiracy to invade Mexico, detach the Western United States or even stage a coup d’etat against your administration led Aaron Burr. Who in their right mind would take a risk on such a game? Well, er…, VPG has.

This is a game of investigation and deduction. Neither are my favourite, but I was willing to have a go. To win, you will need to 1) determine Burr’s real plans, as opposed to the rumours, 2) find and arrest Burr before he executes his plan, and 3) gather sufficient evidence to convict Burr at trial.

Unboxing

The components are VPG pretty standard, paper, card and die-cut counters, with nice, effective and thematic artwork.

You get –

1 8.5″ x 11″ map

2 8.5″ x 5.5″ mats – Plan and Trial

1 8.5″ x 11″ Player aid sheet

32 5/8″ square game pieces

60 event cards

An 8 page rules booklet

 

As you can see, there is a fair amount of information needed to play this game and its all presented pretty effectively. The space on the mats, player aid, cards and counters is easy enough to read.

Gameplay

As with other solitaire games, the process is king and it really matters. Even with 8 pages, there is a lot here but if you follow the process, you will be fine.

There are a fair amount of administration tasks to look after set-up is pretty straight forward as you place Federal Agents in Washington, Conspirator units, set up counters to track prestige points and agendas, place James Wilkinson in his start space and organize the Conspiracy cards. You will also set aside three conspirator cards, as the true conspirators. The idea is that you should deduce by the cards played, who the true conspirators are.

Operations stage – using the USA map

Reveal a conspiracy card – you may have the option to reshuffle into the deck

Adjust Prestige and Plan Progress points – you need Prestige points to take actions so you will have turns where you will stock up on them

Event phase – these are performed as indicated

Redraw phase (as appropriate) – the redraw symbol on a card ends the turn

Burr/Agenda phase – if Burr is revealed, he advances towards New Orleans if not, you can your lowest value Agenda. The Agendas can help you win if they are achieved

Jefferson phase – You may perform actions

New Orleans phase – Aaron Burr’s and then James Wilkinson’s effects are resolved

The Operations phase ends  – 1) Burr is captured or killed, 2) when Borr’s expedition is launched, or 3) you decide that Burr is no threat and you simply let him go

The rules clearly lay out how the mechanics of this phase works and although it seems like a lot to go through, I was surprised and relieved to see that it came together reasonably well. There are also details describing each phase, the event cards, the Conspirator counters, etc. After a few turns, you will find yourself moving through the turns pretty quickly. This is a good thing as I was concerned at first that it would all be rather tedious but actually it wasn’t bad at all.

Trial Stage

Once Burr is arrested, the Trial stage begins, abstractly simulating the Grand Jury indictment and subsequent trial. Effectively, you will charge Burr with a crime, and then argue the case, using the Evidence and Defence cards, trying to win consecutive arguments and secure a conviction. all of this is done, using the Trial Mat.

Trial and Evidence cards are at the core of the action in this stage and I would have to say that you do need to become familiar with them so as to help you to deduce the charge you should go for and ultimately, who the true conspirators are.

Basically, results are determined by die rolls and added modifiers from Evidence and Defence cards, so it is all quite abstract and fast playing.

Charge phase – Here you deduce which of the three Conspiracy cards you think were set out at the beginning of the game  and the charge you will try Burr on (based on what you learned from events, conspirators investigated and arrested)

This is followed by –

Argument phase including a Prosecution segment, Defence segment, Prosecution rebuttal segment

Reveal Conspiracy and Adjust Verdict – the 3 set aside conspiracy cards are revealed

Score Victory Points to determine your success or failure

I will say that although the system is very prescribed (it needs to be) you have enough thematic events and feel in the game that it doesn’t feel that you are playing a system on its own. The system is a means to the end of taking you through the historical experience. Having said that, the process comes together as long as you stick with it. The game system is structured well and really is pretty clever.

Did it work for me?

As a design, I think that Robert Leonhard has done quite a job really, filtering all of the historical information into a system which to be fair, is a concise and structured journey. This is a very clever game and very interesting on the historical side, on the one hand, yet, on the other hand, I just found it rather dry for me. I guess, interesting history doesn’t always translate into an interesting historical experience. I think that this is due to the abstraction of so many elements of the history into mechanical processes. Interesting as individual parts, maybe less so as a whole.

This is more about me not being a fan of abstract games which this ultimately is, or feels like for me. Added to this, is the deduction element and the randomness which I found not to my personal taste. For example, I was frustrated twice to find that one of the true conspirators was Aaron Burr’s daughter, who if  chosen as a true conspirator, means Burr is automatically not guilty. What??? Historically correct I assume, but irritating.

I generally don’t like, nor am I any good at deduction games so it was a problem for me. It doesn’t make it a bad game, just not my style. I do admire the way the whole game works actually. So ultimately, this is a game that I can see others enjoying, just not me so much.

If you like abstract games and deduction games, I would highly recommend Hero of Weehawken, as its a well designed, interesting game, but its simply not suited to my taste as much as other games.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6 out of 10

Family friendly?

No, its a solitaire game

For more information go to – http://victorypointgames.com/

Review – Leipzig 20 from Victory Point Games

Review – Leipzig 20 from Victory Point Games

Designer – Lance McMillan

Art – Christopher Magoun

Victory Point Games provided a review copy of this game

Victory Point Games seems to be growing in their ambitions, spreading their wings, etc. as they are clearly moving into some larger, more complex games. One of their flagship games series is the Napoleonic 20 series and with Leipzig 20, they have taken a step up in scope and complexity, beyond the smaller engagements covered in the series. After all, the Battle of Leipzig was a huge fight lasting from 14-19 October, 1813.

This is a game that experienced war gamers should be able to pick up and get into without much problem, especially if you’ve played any of the Napoleonic 20 series. This is a particularly interesting situation for a game as it has Napoleon falling back to his supply base at Leipzig as Four Allied armies converge to trap him. More than half a million troops were involved in what became known as the battle of Nations.

Unboxing

Victory Point Games has produced the largest game of the series which comes with –

– a 17″ x 22″ paper map which is very nicely illustrated show the main terrain features and a superimposed hexagonal grid

– 96 5/8″ die cut counters

– 24 5/8″ die cut markers

– 24 event cards

– 4 player aid sheets

– an 8 page rules booklet with standard and optional rules for the Napoleonic 20 series

– a 6 page booklet booklet with exclusive rules for this particular game

The map is very attractive as are the counters. A very nice job and it all looks great. The markers are functional and that’s fine. Some of the nicest art work I’ve seen from VPG.

Gameplay

The standard game process is as follows:

First player random events phase – a card is drawn from the Events deck. This is one of the great aspects of the Napoleonic 20 system as the two-tone cards provide a variety of events which add some spice to the game as well as some unpredictability which means you can’t absolutely plan and have to make do with events and react the best way you can. To me, this adds a lot of reality to playing a war game.

First player movement phase – standard stuff with movement regulated by movement factors and terrain effects

Second player reaction phase – the 2nd player can use his cavalry to react to enemy movements through counter-charging or retreating before combat

First player combat phase – combat is mandatory when units are in the enemy’s zone of control and this is based on a combat differential system with the results of the combat found on a combat results table

First player night operations (night turns only) – eliminated units may be rallied, morale is adjusted subject to line of communication

2nd player turn – repeats these

There are optional rules for hidden units adding to the fog of war, cavalry penetration, artillery support, additional rally locations, routed units, unit reduction, and unit breakdown and buildup

The Exclusive rules are specific to Leipzig 20 and cover initial unit starting positions, reinforcement arrival, specifics about random events, French command limitations, Allied Front morale, and morale recovery from night turn rest.

Winning is based on Morale and Demoralization. Morale is used like a currency and gained or lost during the game through various actions/costs.

Optional rules cover the Prussian II Corps, Unreliable troops, Light Infantry, Bridge demolition, Fatigue, and Leaders.

The remarkable thing in all of this is that the rules are so concise and they work. No surprise, as the system has had enough games to have worked out the bugs. So the system works very well and in Leipzig 20, adds more to think about, so another layer of depth, but managed in a user-friendly way. Lance McMillan has done a great job creating the system and stepping it up for Leipzig 20. It’s been a while since I had played a game using the system and it took me little time getting back into it. The feel of the rules makes sense, is manageable and gives you a strategic sense as Napoleon has a heck of a problem on his hands.

If you are new to war gaming, I would suggest trying one of the earlier games in the system as an introduction. Leipzig 20 is bigger and has more to consider, as it is a longer game.

Did it work for me?

Having played and reviewed Grossbeeren 20, I felt that I liked the mechanics of the Napoleonic 20 system. It was a very nice step beyond the old SPI Napoleon at Waterloo system without bringing in a lot more complexity, but enough to give you more of a sense of a Napoleonic battle. But, the limited amount of units and map size is a little bit of a down side as your options are more limited. Compared to the old SPI system, I preferred the higher unit count and larger maps which gave more of a grand sweep to the battlefield.

So with its larger counter density and larger map, Leipzig 20 is a real step into a meatier and grander scope. Huge battle, desperate situation for the French, the Allies desperately trying to corner them. 4 allied armies which need to be managed, Napoleon fighting to defeat each in detail without losing too much morale. And it all works very well in a tried and true system. You are really put into the Emperor’s boots for the French and the combined leadership of the allies. its much more an operational level game which I find much more interesting than a more confined, battle. Its really a series of smaller battles combined into the whole and you can play scenarios or the larger battle altogether.

You also have strategic decisions to make such as whether to abandon or defend Dresden, choose when to activate Napoleon which will impact your reinforcements. The optional rules, although adding more complexity, do not bring in so much as to make it a tougher game to play. In fact I recommend using them, especially the Leader rules for a better experience.

Ok, the limitations of Victory Point Games production may put some off as they are more “budget” games with card and paper components, compared to a number of games available today but they have sure made some great games and I would warn you not to dismiss them.

Leipzig 20, in fact, for me has quickly become one of my favourite games from Victory Point Games. This game is simply awesome in my view and I believe will be the flagship for the whole system.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 9 out of 10
Family friendly?
No this is not meant to be  a family game.
For more information go to –http://victorypointgames.com/