Brant Guillory, 16 September 2021 ~ #UnboxingDay
Hey look! Another modern-era hypothetical ground combat game!
click images to enlarge
This hasn’t exactly been a “grail” game for me, but it is a another US vs the Red Horde shootout. The caveat is that it’s a bit of a contrived scenario for the US to face off with the Russians in… hmmm… Syria? Really, Syria? Like that would ever happen!
Lots of detail on the back of the box explaining what you’re in for. The TCS series is not a 3.5/5 on the complexity rating. It it definitely more than that.
Holy acronyms, Batman! Anyone wondering if this a game for them will only have to read this section to see if they understand enough to know what’s in the game.
There’s 2 maps, three books, a bunch of counters, and a weird, long trifold set of charts.
The series rules show you how the op sheets work, as making your plan before executing it is central to the design of the game.
There’s a nice detailed set of instructions for the op sheets in the rules.
The charts are just black & white, and specifically say to remove from the book.
The designer’s notes are interesting and candid, and note the need for “mature judgment” – which ought to rule out about half of the likely intended audience.
The table of contents for the modern expansion hits you with the acronyms all over again. If you got to this point, you can’t say you were surprised getting here.
More charts for the modern expansion.
The specific rules for this game.
It’s nice that there are specific ‘teaching scenarios’ but are the others really ‘historical’?
Some blank op sheets for your to doodle on. With only one map configuration, this is definitely easier.
The scenarios are not very detailed, but there are a lot of them.
That tri-fold sheet full of charts share does look like the kind of charts you’d find in a late-70s issue of Dragon Magazine.
The map is functional & utilitarian, but not overly attractive.
Seriously, it’s kind of boring.
The turn chart gives you 20-minute turns on the clock for the days you’re playing.
Hey look, another big chart of stuff!
The terrain chart is interesting in that it’s not on a map, nor does it include effects with the graphical ID of the terrain.
There’s some color, but it almost feels accidental.
Not sure why they’re advertising 860 counters on the box when there’s 80 blank white ones just hanging out on the main sheet. There are more admin markers / blanks than there are actual units in the game.
Detail of the Soviet units, with some registration issues.
Detail of the US units, with some serious registration issues. This is reason this one never got punched / played. And because I got it second-hand, it’s not like I could call up The Gamers 30 years later and say “hey I need a new countersheet!”
Yep, a lot of blanks. There are entire games that ship with fewer total counters than this one shipped blanks.
A whole sheet of nothing but admin counters.
The inserts, which are always fun. There’s a nice ‘thank you’ card (far right) from the company. The big page on the left is a ‘catalog’ that tells you just how long ago this way based on how few games The Gamers had released at this point. The top middle isn’t just any customer mail-in card. It’s for PREFERRED customers!
Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.
You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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