Great Review by Richare Hutnik

Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhein) was the German code name for this counter offensive. I don't want to hear anybody complaining about the weather this winter unless you were in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944! I simply love playing this game. Check out the new combat system when you can.
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Great Review by Richare Hutnik

Post by Larry » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:34 pm

Richard Hutnik - Boardgame Geek Wrote:

This review is a praise bit for the game, which I managed to pick up and try. I played enough to get a basic feel for how it works, and to see how the innovations take place. I got interested in the game, after a wargamer I know who swore off Axis and Allies, was praising this game.
What can I say about it? Well...
1. The base system here definitely could serve as an engine to power other famous land-based battles during World War II. Of course, different ones would add more but it is all here. See below why I say this.
2. The combat system is unique. Rolling bunch of dice, but the use of the pull out tabs under the board lend to an interesting randomization of combat damage. Kudos for doing this. It marks a sufficient change from the past A&A in the right direction. They system randomizes damage in a clever way, while reflecting front and rear. Infantry get hit first, and more often, but that is not guaranteed. The tanks, then artillery, then trucks, then supplies and so on. Some odd events could lead to a lot of dice hits, but all ending up hitting one unit. And the use of D12's instead of D6's but a 50% chance each hits, and the number saying where the hit goes.
3. The game reminds me a bit of Breakout: Normandy. Supply is essential, and the tit-for-tat (I go, you go) combat is similar to in Breakout. This is a good thing. The I go, you go for each battle lends to agonizing decisions of how units fire back.
4. The game provides enough sufficient depth to lend to a lot of agonizing decisions as to where to divide up supply and how much. This is particularly true for the Allies, not wanting to create a depot that the Axis could take. But you don't want to provide too few. And the Germans will face logistic issues as they advance.
5. The moving front is an interesting twist I have not seen before.

All I can say here is that wargamers, do check this out. You owe it to yourselves to try to weasel someone else you know to get ahold of it so you can try it. You may find it fitting into your library as a lower complexity wargame that you would bring out when you have 3-4 hours max to for a game, and don't want to work too hard, but want enough to hold your interest. This game is one you would definitely want to consider, EVEN IF YOU DISLIKE AXIS AND ALLIES NORMALLY.

I personally hope the basics of this system does show up again in more battles. It sure beats past efforts.

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Post by Krieghund » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:44 pm

Congrats, Larry! Bulge has been getting a lot of good reviews on BGG.
A&A Developer and Playtester

"War is much more fun when you're winning!" - General Martok

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Post by Frimmel » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:00 pm

That is terrific. BOTB is becoming my favorite A&A game.

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