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Play Matt: Undaunted North Africa Review

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29 Jun 2020 01:00 #311469 by Matt Thrower
As a veteran of Normandy, I’m familiar with Undaunted’s combination...

After so many years in the gaming game, I don’t often get excited by new boxes anymore. But when Undaunted: North Africa lands on the mat, mail quarantine goes out of the window. The original, Undaunted: Normandy was one of the best games of last year and an instant classic. On go the thick rubber gloves to open the box and get at the uncontaminated contents. 

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29 Jun 2020 08:30 - 29 Jun 2020 08:32 #311471 by Sagrilarus
So I’ll go straight to North Africa.

Are these new designers? I’ve not heard of them before this.
Last edit: 29 Jun 2020 08:32 by Sagrilarus.

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29 Jun 2020 11:30 #311477 by Matt Thrower

Sagrilarus wrote: So I’ll go straight to North Africa.

Are these new designers? I’ve not heard of them before this.


Fairly, but this isn't their first game to make a wave: they did War Chest early last year. Wasn't entirely to my tastes but was pretty popular.

David Thompson has also made a couple of pretty innovative wargames in Pavlov's House and Castle Itter.
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29 Jun 2020 12:40 #311480 by Michael Barnes
It’s such a tremendously great system- I just need to get over my allergy to anything WWII to really enjoy it.

Blackwells has it for $23, free shipping to the US. Guess I’ll go in for it!

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29 Jun 2020 19:20 #311493 by Andi Lennon

Michael Barnes wrote: It’s such a tremendously great system- I just need to get over my allergy to anything WWII to really enjoy it.


This past weekend I played three games of the Normandy edition and I think the biggest thing I took away from it is just how important theme is for me. The system is ingenious, the tactical decisions engaging and the amount of playtime/content you get for your money is awesome. And yet...although I had fun, the theme and art are so very pedestrian that it simply didn't excite me in a way that's going to see it hit the floor very often.

The much praised 'human element' simply comes down to a few names written on the cards and I'm sorry but I didn't weep for any of them. That may have been compounded by the fact that I was far too busy doing a ridiculous German accent and screaming ACHTUNG at every given opportunity. ( I bet $50 you'll do it too however, we're only human.)

Now give me this same system with some Emperors of Eternal Evil theming and we're in 'game of the year' territory. Alas, I simply don't give a fuck about Sergeant Chuck Applepie or Fritz Von Strudel and yet another tedious re-telling of America's last true hurrah on the world stage.

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29 Jun 2020 19:36 #311494 by Michael Barnes
Osprey has the 2000AD license...dip this shit into a vat of Rogue Trooper paint! Or hell, make it a Block War game!

The Boomer obsession with WWII needs to die. I just do not give a flying fuck about playing another WWII game. It’s more overplayed than “renaissance trader” or “impress the king” ever were. FFS just make some shit up and base it on WWII- like the old GW Battle for Armageddon- it was basically Battle of the Bulge but in 40k. And it was not BORING AF.

I love this game though, I really do. I just rebought it and the new one at that Blackwells price so I’ll grit my teeth and bear it.

I do like the illustrations- I like that they are stylized comic drawings instead of photos or some fucking boxes with Xs in them or whatever.
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29 Jun 2020 20:07 #311496 by Andi Lennon
Block Wars would be awesome. It'd be a simple re-theme for them to do. Or hell, go hog wild with it, make it about a psychedelic dreamscape where disembodied neuroses are manifest and do metaphoric battle with chemical compounds and beads of insight. Set it in an unexplored pit of the Mariana trench where translucent organisms shoot phosphorus jets at one another in an attempt to procreate. I dunno- anything, anything other than more vanilla Greatest Generation revisionism.

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29 Jun 2020 20:13 #311497 by OhBollox
The asymmetry is what was missing in Normandy, this is what the game should have been from the start.
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