April 20, 2024

#UnboxingDay ~ Brotherhood & Unity by Compass Games

Zachary Grant, 21 December 2023 ~ #UnboxingDay

This month I took advantage of the holiday sale at Compass Games and purchased a game I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years. It is Brotherhood & Unity (2020) designed by Tomislav Čipčić. When looking for information about Brotherhood & Unity on the ACD’s website, I was surprised there wasn’t an unboxing. I found a very good analysis of the game by Barry Setser, so when you’re done reading this unboxing, take the time to read Mr. Setser’s article too.

Game Box

The box is your standard Compass Games 2” box. It is sturdy and fits together nicely. The cover art is an image of a street in the Grabavica neighborhood in Sarajevo, which I think sets the tone of the game very well. No glorious images here, just the destruction and desolation of war.

bu box front

click images to enlarge


The back of the box has the standard fare of game description and images. The most interesting pieces of information are: The game can be played by 3 players and there is no combat results table. What??!?! How can it be a wargame without a CRT!

bu box back


Inside the box

I’m going to forego the “group image” of all the components and go straight to the individual items. What’s that you ask? Did I forget to take the group photo? Why yes, yes I did.

Let’s start with the counters. There are 260, 9/16” counters and they have pre-rounded corners. Yup, that’s correct, no counter clipping required, if that’s something you do.

bu counters 01


bu counters 02


Next are the cards. This is a card driven game with 96 cards consisting of three decks: Bosniak (green), Croatian (blue), and Serbian, (yellow). Each deck has their nationality name and symbol on the back, with various images and easy to read text on the front. They are standard card size and have a nice finish. The images are generally in color and add to the quality of the cards.

bu cards 01


bu cards 02


Up next are three d10 dice, colored blue, green, and yellow.

bu dice


There are three identical player aide cards. From what I can tell, they contain most of the information you need to play the game. The payer aids are made from quality card stock and the text is clear and easy to read.


Now to the rulebook, and it is amazing! There is a table of contents, an index, an appendix and a bibliography in addition to the game rules. The rule book is 8-1/2” x 11”, has a saddle stitch binding, and has color photos and illustrations. The font size is good and the rules are organized in an SPI case fashion. The appendix gives a short history of Bosnia and Hertzegovina starting pre-WWII and ending with the aftermath of the 1992-1995 war. The appendix also contains notes for each of the cards which is a superb way to learn about who or what is on each card.  Finally, scattered throughout the rulebook are designer notes explaining the reasoning behind different rules. To me, this is the sort of rulebook other games should emulate.    


Finally, we get to the map and what a wonderful map it is. It is a mounted map that measures 22” x 34”. The heft to the map gives the entire game box a very substantial feel. The map is constructed using a six-fold method to allow it to fit into the gamebox. The quality of the hinges are good and it folds out and back together without difficulty. The map is easy to read and it looks great.


I’m glad I decided to purchase Brotherhood & Unity. It looks fantastic and from everything I’ve read, it should help me understand this terrible war better than I currently do. If this has piqued your curiosity about the game, take some time to watch Kev from BigBoardgaming interview Tomislav Čipčić about how he designed his game.


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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The Armchair Dragoons with glee,
Unbox games for all to see.
With dice and cardboard so neat,
They strategize, can’t be beat,
In their world of tabletop glee!

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