Into The Bastards

[Edit it appears the images….have disappeared. I cannot find them locally on my hard drive either. Pity really, quiet a nice looking game]

Ok, where to start?
Firstly perhaps with the blurb :

Sounds interesting! Plus it is WWI. In fact my first WWI game. After my experience with 800 Heroes I was looking forward to trying this game with an Aussies contingent playing a key part in the battle.

This shot above was my initial first turn. What had happened here was I felt like I had ‘moved’ too far. Which indeed I did. The 4 units

penetrating deep had not moved correctly. An enemy ZoC costs one to move into and so does an enemy trench. This adds to the slow down of Battalions on the move.

Nice map, good artwork on it, the fonts are terrible to read on the counters in anything but bright light. splitting the hex designation across the icon is ANNOYING!

Note – no combat factors! No movement rates. No CRT on the map. Man this should be a really interesting game.  In fact there are several cool mechanics. See the video down page regarding medals and movement/combat.

The number of Medals defines the # of things you can do in a turn, move, fight, shoot, withdraw, infiltrate. The number of medals also determines how effective or powerful you are.

Combat fire for instance gives 1d6 roll for each medal. On a 4,5,6 you make a hit. +/- DRMS (trenches etc).

End of Turn 1. I should not have played in low light.  Occasionally I had to retrace steps as the medals to MP’s issue cropped up and necessitated starting over.  Reading the counter text is nigh on impossible in low light – I’m sure my eyes are not that bad.  The Red and Blue units are Allied. The German objective is to capture the main town and secure other villages on the map.

The sequence of play goes with arty for both sides first. – roll to not scatter, then roll again if you do, to determine direction.

Roll again for each hit unit 1d6 greater than the # of medals = eliminated. When a unit is eliminated you roll to see if it returns later in the game, as a  reinforcement or similar.  1 is a fail and they are eliminated permanently. 2-6 means a return, great than 6 is also eliminated permanently ( a # greater than 6 via DRMs for the type of action that caused your destruction in the first place i.e. attacking or being attacked).  As you can guess above the German arty was effective generating 4 kills. Which opened a hole in the Allies line.

Then the Germans move or activate.

The Germans move, Each assault they conduct increases the Battle Intensity. As this goes up the track it eventually meets the Chaos marker. This is where the game would become interesting. As it moves from a UGOIGO method to chit pull until the Chaos/ BI track resets. All sort sof cool things now happen, Heroes emerge, different numbers of units are activated for players and the battle devolves into a truly chaotic thing. The first two turns feel much like a structured planned fight.  The Kaisers men trot out, get shot at and shoot back.  They assault and make gains in orderly fashion.

Once the Chaos hits the fan, boom its like a very different game.

But you have to get there first. At the end of turn one I had rolled 1d6 60 times total for both side. In Game Turn 2 the Germans had pushed deeper towards the outskirts of the objective city and the Allies were eying the reinforcements that were to come with hope, as well as the BI index, as that would break up the game.

Another 40+ rolls.

Turn 3 saw the BI index pop and chits were used.  Whilst this was indeed fun, it was too late. The shine of the potential was taken away by the insane amount of die rolling for the first two turns.

Reluctantly I realized I would never see turn 7. The Aussies would not make it the field. What a shame.

A final note. The rules organization is so poor with tables scattered everywhere that I had to write a rules summary for myself.  The rules are well written just poorly organized. Lesson learned don’t have high hopes of a magazine game, just be pleasantly surprised when it works.

I can’t say I’m a fan of this game. I really wanted to like it, there a lot of cool ideas here that attempt to create the feel of WWI, and the insanity of battle, but the combat resolution is too painful and roll intensive.

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