December 6, 2023

#UnboxingDay – Bear Flag Republic

Brant Guillory, 21 October 2021 ~ #UnboxingDay

Usually when I’m playing wargames that take place where I’ve lived, it’s a Cold-War-goes-hot-in-Europe game in the 80s over in Germany.  So this one caught my eye online when the artist was showing off some works in progress, and I took advantage of a sale at Quarterdeck International to snag a copy.


The game comes in a bag, with most of the game inside another bag, but the cards splayed out here are separate from that bag, with the rest of the contents.

click images to enlarge


The ‘guts’ of the game.  A rulebook, a large map, the countersheets (in their own bag) and cards (also in their own bag).


The rulebook is clear and well-illustrated.


The card are not heavy playing card stock, but seem sturdy enough for casual play.  They are in sheets of 8 that you must remove yourself.

The two sheets of counters are on substantial stock, and are individually cut and pre-rounded.  The illustrations are definitely period-evocative, but the flags in the background are pretty heavy and make some of the counter detail tough to distinguish.  They might have been better-served by having a lower opacity so they don’t obscure the nice figures on the counters.



This is a long, tall map.  It’s also on some seriously-heavy-duty paper.  It’s slightly textured, but also significantly thicker and more tear-resistant than pretty much any other folding wargame map you’ve ever seen.  It far exceeds what you’d expect from a bagged game, and it nicer than those in many boxed games.


These parts of the map are basically a tour of “places Brant got drunk in the ’90s”.  If you want to hear any of the stories, though, you’re buying a round first.



Two pairs of identical double-sided reference cards.



The scenario set-up cards are very well-illustrated and include a nice visual layout of what’s needed for each scenario.  Those flags are still pretty heavy in the background, though.


All in all, the production values definitely exceed what you’d expect from a bagged game.  The number of bags exceeds what you’d expect from a bagged game, too.  Most notably, that map is niiiiiiiiiice.  It’s big.  It’s beautiful.  It’s nearly indestructible.  It’s going to get used, soon.

Thanks for joining us for #UnboxingDay this month with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you got your rocks off ogling our new toys.
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, like Origins.

Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

View all posts by Brant G →

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