RockyMountainNavy, 20 July 2023
Undaunted: Battle of Britain by David Thompson & Trevor Benjamin from Osprey Games (2023)
The dynamic game design duo of David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin sortie forth with the newest entry in the Undaunted-series of war games from Osprey Games. Undaunted: Battle of Britain uses the same basic hand-management, deck-building game mechanisms of previous Undaunted games but with a few new twists as this edition takes to the air.
One of my favorite war movies of all time is the Battle of Britain released in 1969. We can argue forever about the historical authenticity of the movie, but one cannot argue that it is entertaining.
Through the years there have been many Battle of Britain wargames. My personal collection includes designer John Butterfield’s RAF from West End Games in 1986 and Lee Brimmicombe-Wood’s The Burning Blue from GMT Games in 2006. The latest to join them on my gaming shelves is Undaunted: Battle of Britain by David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin from Osprey Games.
Undaunted: Battle of Britain comes in the same sized box as Undaunted: Normandy and Undaunted: North Africa. Personally, I appreciate the return to this more reasonably shelf-sized game after the Goliath-sized (and priced) Undaunted: Stalingrad.
Opening the box of Undaunted: Battle of Britain you find it is full to the top.
Unpacking Undaunted: Battle of Britain a bit you find a nice insert storage tray for the tiles, cards, and other bits.
The rulebook and scenario book for Undaunted: Battle of Britain are a bit larger than digest sized (making it a bit smaller than comic book size) printed on nice paper with not too much gloss. Both are well illustrated.
The heart of the game mechanism in Undaunted: Battle of Britain is driven by the cards. Each side gets its own deck (51 RAF and 65 Luftwaffe). In the BoardGameGeek forums one can find a “discussion” regarding the use of the red back on the RAF cards. Personally, I would think the Luftwaffe player would welcome the “Target” appearance on the RAF cards!
The fighter cards in Undaunted: Battle of Britain include not only the information needed for play, but also feature portraits of actual combatants thanks to the work of illustrator Roland MacDonald. A nice historical touch that helps immerse players in the theme of the game.
Whereas previous Undaunted titles use square tiles, Undaunted: Battle of Britain adopts the hex. The hex-tiles can still be used to create many unique game boards for play as all are double-sided and easily identified for set up. Not shown here are other tiles used for anti-aircraft or barrage balloons and ships.
Aircraft are the main combatants in Undaunted: Battle of Britain. The teardrop-shaped counters not only have useful information but the shape itself helps keep track of heading (an important factor in play).
Set up of any scenario of Undaunted: Battle of Britain is very easy taking just a few minutes thanks to the easy-to-read and understand scenario book.
Gameplay is Undaunted: Battle of Britain is quick and easy. Without getting into a deep review here, suffice it to say that hardcore Grognards will likely find this game a bit on the lite side for them. Undaunted: Battle of Britain tries to be a very family-friendly title; for instance the goal in many scenarios is to “neutralize” enemies. Indeed, I don’t think I found the phrase “shoot down” anywhere in the rulebook but instead found words like “neutralize,” “Out-of-Action,” “Grounded,” or “Suppressed.” That said, you can “destroy” ships or structures.
Players of previous Undaunted titles should find it very easy to learn this new Battle of Britain edition. New players should find it equally easy to learn and play thanks to a proven game system and well laid out (and edited) rulebook and scenario book.
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IF YOU ENCOUNTER A COUNTER CASTING A HEX IN A HEX
AND YOU COUNTER THE HEX WITH A COUNTER-HEX IN THAT HEX DURING THE ENCOUNTER,
AND YOU HAVE TO COUNT HOW MANY HEXES ARE IN THE HEX DURING THE ENCOUNTER
ARE YOU PLAYING A HEX-AND-COUNTER WARGAME?