September 23, 2023

#UnboxingDay ~ Brandywine by Fastplay Wargames

Brant Guillory, 19 January 2023 ~ #UnboxingDay

This one was a Kickstarter project that I backed on a whim.  Partly, it was trying help out a fellow wargamer get a game published (heya, Bill!) and partly it was the novelty of a “pocket edition” wargame.  The former was a resounding success; the latter…  eh ¯_(ツ)_/¯

click images to enlarge

The box is small, cute, and well-decorated, with the usual info on it.  The side-panels being illustrated with the counters from the game is a nice touch.



Contents of the box.  Really, it seems as though the countersheets and map were just cut into smaller pieces to fit a smaller box.  As we’ll see, this causes some issues.


The countersheets are cut verrrrry close to the edges of one row of counters, but it doesn’t appear that they actually clipped anything on the counter itself.  It’s enough to make you nervous, but doesn’t cost you any playable material.


Standard type of rulebook, thought light on the illustrations.  It’s very readable in spite of the size.


There are 2 each of the reference cards for terrain effects and scenario setups, and 1 each of each side’s counter info and the turn track.


The map art is pretty Photoshop-texture-heavy and very saturated.  It’s borderline garish, but the terrain is distinguishable and doesn’t seem to have much ambiguity in it’s function.

The map is chopped into 12 pieces and they are coded by row & column.  The edges are kind of easy because of the white stripes.  The 4 interior cards can be figured out by the labels on the back of map cards.  The edges line up cleanly, but you’re going to want some plexi or something on top of the map to keep it all in one piece.

However, cards C2 & B3 are labeled backwards.  You can figure it out by the way the terrain and roads fit together, but if you just by the labels on the cards, they’re wrong.



The Kickstarter edition included 3 additional scenarios in a separate ziploc bag.



Each game includes a single-page map, a scenario sheet, and a setup card.



Here’s the combo set for the Paoli scenario, that uses the same counters as the Brandywine game.


It’ll be interesting to see how the game plays.  The countersheet cutting is odd, but once they’re punched & bagged it won’t matter.  The chopped-up mapsheet however, seems problematic, and if that’s the tradeoff for the “convenience” of a pocket-sized game, I’m not so sure it’s worth it.


Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed a look under our hoods!  You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

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