Jim010 gave me the opportunity to try out his Pacific at War game over the summer. This game mates with his Europe at War game already for sale at HBG. If you have not yet checked it out, do so http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/Europe-at-War_p_703.html. On the surface, it appears this is just another person’s take on an A&A style game about World War 2…
It’s anything but. The entire movement and combat system is unique to this game. He has taken almost nothing from A&A in an effort to develop this into it’s own system. Having mechanics much more similar to hex-and-chit games, at first the rules seemed they would be overwhelming and cumbersome. But I learned the first step to playing this game was to turn off my brain’s “A&A mode” and read the rules as though I’d never played A&A. That opened up a new world that I want to share with the rest of you.
The game introduces some more complex aspects of theater warfare that A&A simply can’t address. Jim010 has included terrain effects, convoy routes that require protection to send supplies and retrieve resources, more realistic port and airbase operations, multi-turn build cycles, and rules simulating the difficulty of mobilizing an entire army. I liked the detail but was afraid the bookkeeping would be tough. Turns out though, with the proper counters and markers, and playing through half a dozen rounds, I really was enjoying this!
The turn sequence is interesting requiring both players to move before combat occurs which is far more engaging. The mechanics for this are very clever utilizing a simple initiative system that rewards the more successful army. The naval rules are like nothing I’ve used before. Ships operate out of a particular port and can be intercepted by enemy ships. They perform their mission and return home somewhat like A&A aircraft rules. The player must spend “RP” points to move ships to other friendly ports in a recovery phase. Tactical planning is far more crucial in this game.
If you have been looking for a more detailed A&A style game that will truly push the limits of what little plastic pieces can do, you’ve found it. Don’t under estimate this game though. This is not for the casual gamer looking for a 2-hour match of 1941. This is for the player who wants to take his G40 group to a deeper level of complexity. This is for the hard core out there who can put down the A&A rule book and have the courage to try something completely new.
Available soon through HBG.