Billy Riley, 18 May 2023 ~ #UnboxingDay
This is my first Vuca Simulations purchase. I’ve kept an eye on their page and there are games that interest me. I’ve also seen the quality of their products – it really seems to be of a high standard, and this shows true in this game.
I don’t know what drew me to this. I think I saw a video of it on Youtube…that’s normally how these purchases happen. Yeah – I remember seeing the map and thinking it was pretty cool looking. And then I heard the mechanics and they sounded interesting. So the normal happened…I headed over to BGG to read up on it.
I liked what I saw.
Looks like the Russians are leaving Panthers in their wake
click images to enlarge
The back shows details about the game, including a complexity of 4 and a solitaire suitability of 9. Those suit me just fine
The Rule Book
The manual is a 15 page semi gloss book in colour. There’s actually 8 pages of “game play” rules…so removing the notes on game components, player aids etc.
The last two pages are dedicated to historical notes and a piece on Erich von Manstein.
There are some nice detailed colour examples.
There are 3 counter sheets holding a total of 303 counters – all of which are 5/8” and ¾” in size…though I’d say fairly thin. Thinner than I recall seeing. They punch easily and cleanly too, leaving only the tiniest nub on the sides of the counter.
Two 6 sided die come with the game.
Player Aid Cards
There are four player aid cards – 2 Player Aid Card A and 2 Player Aid Card B.
Oddly – these are thicker card stock than the counters.
Player Aid Card A shows a summary of the Sequence of play with a detailed list of steps on one side and various charts on the other.
Player Aid Card B shows what appears to be a summary of important rules with the rule number handily displayed
There are two maps – 20.7” x 28” in size. Whatever I tried to do, I could not get them lined up exactly. I believe there’s a slight flaw in the print. It’s not bad and may be of slight distraction.
Once you get one edge lined up – and I started at the top (though top may well be subjective – more on that in a moment) and pinned one side down to ensure it was flat. I then edge the other map over it to align the hexes which I did…and as I moved down the map I could see that the hexes were “out” by a few millimetres. If you try and move the map so the hexes line up, the features start to unwind.
Like I said, it’s not terrible.
The map is excellent quality. I love the look and its not standard paper. It seems to have a very slight textured feel to it.
Onto the orientation of it. I think this is where it gets messy. Some of the admin boxes are facing me and some are facing the other way. I understand that this is a two player game – but it makes no sense in my view. They haven’t done the same for the hex numbers. They have done the same for the towns – sort of – two different spellings of the same towns and cities litter the map.
I like it – I do – but I do wish the admin boxes were facing the same way to assist solo players.
However – that’s maybe where this little nugget comes in. It’s a heavy card piece showing what appears to be the admin stuff for both sides, but in a handy cut out…and it identifies itself as the Solitaire Track Sheet…
So in short, they’ve oriented the map for two player but provided a nice handy cut out for solitaire play – thank you.
It really is a beautiful map.
And that’s that. I seem to have gone from having no games on the Eastern Front to having about 6 in a relatively short period of time.
This looks nice, has a chit pull system and a simple ruleset…can’t wait.
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With trembling hands and eager zeal,
I unbox a wargame with great appeal.
Countless components I behold,
Strategies yet to unfold,
In this box, a battlefield surreal!