Fresh from the bag after a long wait Victory Point Games 20 series is one I have read much about but never played.
Jena 20 beckoned me as a magazine play from C3i magazine.
After playing 800 Heroes from Battles Magazine, Streets of Stalingrad from MMP’s Operations and some others hopes were high.
First off…ouch those italics renderings of Unit designations are super hard to read.
A sure sign of age right!
Very tight rules, clear turn, morale and reinforcement tracks, nice maps and terrain.
There is not much to the system. It reminds me of the old SPI Battle of Waterloo. ZOCs, attack units adjacent, but rather than odds you tally the difference in attack versus defense factors.
With modifiers for Terrain, and a few other things. Roll a die and check the result. Retreats, Breaks, Routs. Each combat you may spend a Morale point (once you reach zero you lose) to increase your modifiers for combat.
There are cards for each player to draw each turn, which might have an impact on play, things such as +1 movement for Cav for this turn, or an auto Rally opportunity for the French.
I was in a fair amount of pain today, so I was looking for lightness. Well I went too light. I was not paying attention and forgot to move units, and neglected the use of some cards. Thats my excuse I am sticking to it.
Here is a typical combat:
In turn 1 the Prussians attack, with +1 AF v DF but the French pull in reserves and add +1 to make the modified AF v DF equal. The French reduce morale by 1. The Prussians roll a 6. Routing the unit anyway. Advance after combat is allowed, and the French roll a die (5) for the retreat. They run! Due to the ZOC, the advance is thankfully stopped next to Jena.
A little legal zig zag saves some hexes. This routed unit is toast unless we pull a card or make it to might fall.
In Turn 2 the Prussians attack again, almost surrounding Jena. Their first attack is repulsed but costs another morale point.
The French are down to 5 already.
Turn 3 and the French elite unit is forced to make a hazardous retreat out of Jena, it survives but Jena falls.
Morale drops to 4.
Hmm, I need to reset. I’ve neglected cards and units. I dont think I’m able to concentrate today. It is more than just being overloaded on complex games. My old bod hurts and it is distracting.
We will re visit this and compare again to Battle of Waterloo, which I played recently. This appears to be a nice light passing distraction of a game, with some variability , which adds replay value from the cards. No real period feel, at least not until we get some cavalry on the board.
note. Played Sept 14th 2012.