April 19, 2021

#UnboxingDay – RAMBO by Everything Epic Games

Michael Eckenfels, 18 March 2021 ~ #UnboxingDay

When I bought my first Everything Epic game last year – Big Trouble in Little China – I had such a great time with playing it, that I bought the expansion as well (Legacy of Lo Pan). The game was immersive, brought back all the memories of that fantastic movie, and made me feel as if I were in that universe for a short while. I didn’t like the movie when it first came out – full disclosure – but it grew greatly on me.

In that game box was an insert from the company, which advertised Rambo: The Boardgame. Now, being an impressionable teenager in the 80s, I found First Blood to be a very enjoyable movie, and even went to the theater to see Rambo II, which I liked as well. Rambo III was okay; not the greatest, but okay. All of this flooded forth at once when I saw this ad insert and thought, ‘holy crap, they made a board game out of Rambo?’

Never you mind the kiddie cartoon from the 80s (Rambo: The Force of Freedom). Yeah, let’s ignore that one for now. I checked out the game on BGG and thought how great it was to get to try out experiencing the events of the movie in a board game format, but was somewhat disappointed to learn I was incorrect. The fact is, Rambo: The Boardgame covers missions set in Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Rambo III, but not Rambo: First Blood. That first movie is depicted in a board game that Everything Epic does separately, which is something of a solo version – so of course, look for that one to find its way into my collection soon, I hope, so I can cover it here as well.

 

click images to enlarge

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The cover pretty much says it all. I totally missed in the lower right corner where it says “Part II” and “Rambo III,” and says nothing about First Blood, but that’s on me.

 

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The back cover looks legendary. Lots of cool minis, terrain, character cards, and other information.

 

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Right away, a page tells you that a few suggestions for organizing the cards would be a good thing to follow, which will become apparent in a moment (there’s a LOT of cards in this box).

 

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Upon moving that page out of the way, you come face to face with the Core Rulebook, sporting art with a lot of characters from the movies – some I am not aware of. Or, possibly, they could not secure likeness rights?

 

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The rule book is big but not too long, and it sports a lot of pages like this, with plenty of illustrations to help explain game concepts – always a good thing.

 

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Looks like you can choose your loadout as well, which is very interesting. So you’re not limited to just an M-60 machine gun as Rambo?

 

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Just from this one page, you can tell there’s a lot in the box. Cards alone number above 400, I think.

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And it looks like it has a bit of depth to it, with stances, actions, and other considerations.

 

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On the back of this rule book is this – an interesting touch, awarding ribbons for accomplishments in the game.

 

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Next in the box is the Mission Book, which lists all the – wait for it – missions you can play.

 

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The back of it shows quite a bit of iconography. Hopefully, not too much to be overwhelming, but I won’t know for sure until I dive into the game, of course.

 

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Here’s the first page from the first mission. I won’t spoil things by going and taking more pictures of this book, but suffice it to say I think it has you do things that didn’t happen in the movies, which I’m perfectly fine with. It expands on that world and makes it more in-depth, but we shall see once I run a few missions. It also has pages like this throughout, to give you a bit of immersiveness from the movies.

 

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Here’s the six characters you can play that are NOT Rambo. Trautman is of course well known, or should be if you’ve seen the movies. I think the Bao character was in Rambo II, but the likeness is not the same actress. The other three, I don’t recall at all, so I’ll have to re-watch the movies (perish the thought).

 

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And here’s the four characters that ARE Rambo. It looks like there’s one for each movie (II and III) and then two extras that are promos; I’m not sure if you can choose which Rambo character you can play, but it’ll be interesting to find out.

 

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A lot of the weight of this box are these terrain tiles – they’re all double-sided and very detailed. Since Rambo II and III are covered, these are all desert and jungle tiles, but they have a lot of variety.

 

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Here’s something from the Rambo III side of things. I’m guessing. Not many deserts in Vietnam.

 

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More desert terrain – a village, which is visually interesting due to the textures and shadows throughout.

 

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Here’s a couple of tiles from the Jungle side – rushing river, a waterfall (don’t go chasing it), and lots of thick underbrush.

 

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There are even bunkers and what looks like tunnels.

 

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I didn’t take a picture of the markers – trust me, there’s a lot of them – but this was more visually interesting. This combat knife cut-out is what you use to mark the rounds in the game with (the bullet apparently fits in the numbered notches). A very Rambo-esque touch, though unwieldy unless you have a lot of space (because I think this knife is the same size as the ‘real’ one in the movies).

 

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Player references, giving an overview of the flow of the game.

 

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And here’s the cards – I don’t dare open these up as that’ll mean at least twenty more pictures for this article.

 

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And lo and behold – the miniatures!

 

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Here’s all of them organized for your viewing pleasure. Please ignore the dust bits.

 

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Here’s a close up of Rambo in a very well-known pose.

 

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Here’s a few more of the heroes. Interesting sculpts here with good detail. The only thing missing is, I wish they’d have some kind of label on the underside of the base. The D&D board games, as well as a few others, did this to help easily identify pieces.

 

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A few more of the heroes.

 

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And here’s the Hind helicopter, from Rambo III I believe.

 

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And here we have a Huey, with good detail (it’s a bit fuzzy, sorry – but you can clearly see the gun poking out of the side there). I believe this was from Rambo II.

 

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Some of what I’m guessing are bad guys. There’s a lot of Soviet and NVA sculpts, here.

 

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More bad guys.

 

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And these are the NVA minis, I believe, from what I see of the helmets and the AKs they carry.

 

Thank you for checking this out along with me. I will be reviewing this title and hopefully also be able to check out the other game, First Blood, also from Everything Epic Games.


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.
The regiment also occasionally musters on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and occasionally at a convention near you, once we’re allowed to hold them again.

Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

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