With the re-release of the classic war game Classic Warlord in a limited run I knew I had to get this game. I played the original game when I was in the army while stationed in Korea. It was tucked away in closet and once found it was played every weekend by my squad for the rest of the year (even beating out Golden Eye on the N64). So when I saw the thread for the article about this games coming back out I jumped for joy since now I could have a new copy and not the old beat up copy with the paper pieces we had to make as replacements.
So to begin here is the link to the game's website: http://classicwarlord.com/
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX
There is not much on the website on what comes in the box and what the map looks like. The free rules on the web site is the same ones that come in the box and it does list what is in the box.
So you do get 1,400 counters (200 counters per army and seven armies)
You get the 150 "Black Splats" counters which mark the regions that have been made radioactive.
Pieces for A and H Bombs
Small bags to hold all the counters
2 sets of the rules
1 booklet with the Q&As for the game rules
8 color map boards
Here is what it all looks like:
One of the baggies seems bigger that is because the baggie for the blue counters busted open during shipping. Oh well, all the pieces were there so no big loss.
His personal note to me that was in the box so he packed it himself
Map as a whole.
Close up of four of the map sections of Western Europe and North Africa.
HOW DOES IT PLAY
A friend of mine from work and I printed off the rules and played a few games with our own counters and a Risk Board just to get the rules down. There is a slight learning curve when it comes down to the movement and the combat. But after several rounds we were able to get the movement down pat and after a couple tries the combat because like second nature. The combat system is the bluffing that the website talks about and is what takes some getting use to. Since you never throw a dice it is a different feel from most combat in board games. Trust me in big games of 4 or more players it gets ruthless where players will gang up on one person and then stab their partner in the back by dropping nukes on them then taking their lands. A true wargame that gets better as the more people play.
A small game (2 map boards) takes about 45 minutes and add an hour for each two map boards added. Also, add in about 30 minutes for each additional player.
The attacker chooses a number of attacking armies which moves from an adjacent land to the enemy controlled land. Then the attacker takes the dice, chooses a number on it and hides it from view of the defender. Then if the defender can choose the correct number then the number of attacking armies are removed and that combat ends. If the defender fails then the defender loses one army and the attacker gains an A-Bomb right there and then that can be placed anywhere on the map controlled by the attacker. If there is no defending armies in the land then the attacker moves that number of armies into the land.
It is pretty easy once you get a hang of it. Trust me, print off the rules online and have them near you for the first couple games .Also, don't use nukes in the first couple of games till you get the movement and combat down. After that let them fly. Nothing like setting off a chain reaction the nukes half of Europe!
PRICE AND SHIPPING COST
This is the one turn off for the casual gamer or one not able to drop easily $150.00 or more to the USA. For me is was a worth a trip down memory lane but a new gamer or one with little disposable income this will hurt at first. The base game is 59.00 pounds UK
but it is the shipping that makes it expensive. I spent 36.60 pounds UK
just for shipping. In an email conversation with the developer he stated that he is going to get more shipping quotes so hopefully the shipping costs will go down.
Now, from the day I placed the order in the UK
to the time I picked it up from the USPS office in North Kansas City, MO
was 9 days which included a Federal Holiday. That is super fast and normally a package from the UK
is pretty ate up by the time it gets to me but it was in great shape. Here is a picture of the shipping package before I opened it up:
If the company is only going to produce 500 copies I can completely understand the higher price of the game but I hope that he has a go at mass producing the game for wider marketing at a good price to make it attractive to all gamers.
IS IT WORTH IT
In my honest opinion I feel the game is worth it. While the game has minor things done like a better board and quality pieces it is just like the original edition pre-GW
. My friend and I could see a host of possible house rules and add-ons that could be done to make the game even more fun. It is wonderful game and worth a gaming group to split the cost to pick a copy up. This game will not appeal to all wargamers since it is not as in-depth with history or resources, etc but that is not the point of the game. It is a good, down and dirty war game that once you get the hang of it the game will be favorite beer and pretzel game of gaming groups again.
I would give it Classic Warlord a
out of 5. It would have been a 5 out of 5 but the shipping costs overseas hurt it a bit.