Theme&andn’What is it?
War rages on… will you decide the outcome?
It is the mid-1940’s and World War II is raging in Europe. The Allies battle the fearless Axis powers across the land, sea, and air. Tanks, planes, and men vie for control of every inch, let alone mile, of territory hoping to find the chink in the other’s armor. In this game, you command either German or American forces during some of the important confrontations of the war. Who will win? Only you can decide.
Couple of strikes so far…
This is a game based upon a video game (one I haven’t played) and so I didn’t have much hope for it given the numerous games that I have played based upon other video game IP translated to board games. It was also about World War II and a wargame of sorts so, again, not high on my eagerness.
Confusion sets in early…
The goal of Panzer General – Allied Assault is to achieve the victory conditions of the scenario being played.
Arrange the tiles and compile the Unit and Action Card decks, and place the tokens for Home Base, Home Row, and Controlled tiles in accordance with the scenario. If playing solo, place the NPC units as well. Each player draws their starting hand, including the Bluff card. The scenario will also determine who is the first player.
Each turn of the game consists of Draw Cards, Operations, Count Prestige, and Victory Determination. All the parts of the turn are completed by one player and then the second player or NPC. Except for the first turn of the game, each player may draw 4 cards for free and may purchase additional cards at a cost of 4 Prestige per card, up to 10 cards.
During Operations, the current active player may play an Operations Action card from his hand at the cost of the Prestige on the card. The player then moves, digs in, or initiates combat with each unit on the board. Once each unit has completed its actions, the player tallies his Prestige from the tiles he controls and increases his current Prestige score by this amount.
Finally, the player checks to see if he has met the victory conditions. If not, play proceeds to the other player or NPC. If the second player or NPC completed their turn, advance the turn token.
Durable but use care
The game consists of cards, tiles, tokens, and a scoreboard. The cards are made of an okay card stock. They are stiff and difficult to shuffle while the finish is somewhat glossy but wears a bit.
The tiles and tokens are cardboard and both sides are used for game play to create a varying landscape for battle. They still retain the connection points to the punch out, making the side bumpy and irregular.
The scoreboard is made of cardboard but flimsier than the tiles and tokens.
War pretty — greens and browns and greys
The art of the game is what you would expect from a war game — depictions of various terrain styles on the tiles, a variety of unique tokens for tracking states of a unit or control, and a lot of photos from WWII itself on the Unit and Action cards. The style for the card info arrangement felt cluttered to me but was functional.
Down with the dirty…
This is a war game, there is only one way to have fun: beat down the bad guy.
Older than it appears
The age range for this game is 10+ but it is easily 12 or older. The video game may have been this young but I believe the theme and complexity of the rules requires a more mature player. There are a lot of things to remember each turn, not to mention constant awareness of the types of units you have, your opponent has, the terrain they are on, how you might use your cards best, etc.
Does enough but with too many fiddly actions
Panzer General – Allied Assault is a game that is a decent reduction of other war game mechanics to make it more palatable for casual or hobby board gamers. There is a bit of strategy but the luck of the draw is there too when determining random elements of the battlefield but no gobs of d6’s to roll for those who care. I can’t say whether it is a good adaptation of the video game because I haven’t played it.
There are rules both for solo and duel play with pregenerated scenarios for each. There are some typos and flow issues regarding just picking up the game to play; it took me a while to read and re-read the rules let alone the switching between them and the scenario to ensure I was playing it correctly.
As for some advice for those of more modern habits, first consider sleeving the cards because they would make it easier to shuffle. Also, given the amount of card stock, paper, and cardboard, keep the game out of humid storage areas so they don’t warp or bow (the game I have has some pieces that were warped).