Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sergeants Miniatures Game - A++

  I know, I know, this has nothing to do with 40k.  Well, not every day is a 40k day, and with all the talk about Malifaux, Warmahordes and all the others, I thought I would give this a review for you. So...  Sergeants, Day of Days

If you need a break, or side game from 40k...

If you like or are even interested in WWII  (That's World War II for you Albuquerque Public School folks)


If you like GREAT, simple gaming...

RUN, do not walk, to go get this game.

  This game is beyond a lot of fun, it's a hoot.  My wife learned it in about 10 minutes and is playing a great game.  Anyone can learn this game quickly, and it will not push out any of the W40k brain cells you have trained.  It really is easy and fun. 

  Now, I am a veteran of years of ASL, ATS and even Combat Commander.  I rate it higher than ASL, since ASL is simply broken and is just a game, not a simulation.  It's more fun than ATS and easier than Combat Commander.  Bang on good times!

Pros

-- The miniatures are painted already.  Yes, they are 20mm scale, so they don't fit with other WWII mini games that well, but that is not a factor.  More later.

-- The map is dead easy to set up.  It's laser cut wood heavy cardboard that feels just as heavy and durable as wood. (I was corrected, sorry) and fits together like a puzzle, each tile is double sided and geo-morphic, so no two games will ever have to be the same (After you leave the printed scenarios and design your own).  The options are incredible. 

-- There is ONE over-arching game mechanic, and that is how to count distance and compute the modifiers for the look/shot/cover attempt.  Once you figure out that, the entire game is playable in 2 minutes.  It is really easy.

-- The figs have stands that have a lot of info and keep them in good order when you put them in a box/plano/whatever container you have.

-- The game is card driven (and action oriented).  Once you have gone through the first turn, you will "get" the system and how it plays.  There is now convoluted wacky systems to learn that 'don't quite' work the same as everything else.  Everything works the way you think it should.

-- NO DICE!  everything is resolved using the action cards

-- Soldiers have identities, you get to know them, you feel their pain, live their glory, you live vicariously through your men!  (ok, got carried away there.)  But really, there is a story in every scenario, and it's a blast watching it play out.

-- Soldiers are not 'cookie-cutters'.  They are all unique and have different values and 'stat-lines' if you will.  Each one brings his own set of abilities and foibles to the table.  You can build your squad with a hodge-podge of soldiers, or tailor make a unit for objectives you need to achieve.

-- (Added) it's also all made in the good ol' US of A, Maryland to be exact.  

Cons

-- I don't think any of them have arrest records, so no cons...  LOL... sorry couldn't resist.

-- Expensive game.  Yes, there is big Dollahs here, but come on, we pay GW top dollar and the components in this game are 20 times the value.  Painted miniatures, laser cut maps and components,  Full vivid color everywhere, great card decks.  You get a lot more than you pay for with this one!  (I kinda made that a pro... not a con...  ok, I'm jazzed about this game.)

The Game

   Gameplay is pretty straightforward.  You chose your squad from the available pool of VPs in the scenarios.  The printed scenarios may also list certain soldiers or Sergeants you have to take.  You add the Action Cards for each soldier (They all have 7) to your deck. shuffle up and deal yourself a hand and get ready.

  The Story Cards control the action directly.  Of the 4 actions in the game (Look/Move/Shoot/Hide), the story cards each have only two.  You turn over three story cards for each turn.  On your own display, you have to play action cards in each phase that match one of the two actions on the story card.  After you have done that, the turn starts and you resolve all those actions.

  The uniqueness of the game is how the Story Cards dictate the action, for both players, since you each have to respond to them, and how the Action Cards tell the story during the turn, controlling how each soldier behaves and interacts.  It makes for a highly balanced game where tactics and knowing how your soldiers will perform win games, not dice rolls or charts.

  Right now, there is the basic game (Day of Days) and some expansions, as well as a few extra squad and leader boxes out there.  The new set (Red Devils) is on the way soon and it sure to be a hit as well, after all, they're adding Brits to the mix!

Overall

  Again, if you like WWII games, or even just FUN games, this is something very much worthy of picking up.  I was at ConSimWorld last week and got to speak to the designer and even learned the game from him.  I was totally impressed and everywhere this game seems to go, it hits like wildfire.  You will simply not go wrong if you want to do something on the side that is not W40k.

  And the mini's are already painted, how Freakin' cool is that????