Great War by PSC

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Great War by PSC

Postby Hastati » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:33 am

I did the KickStarter for the latest incarnation of Richard Borg's Commands and Colours game system: Great War. This is the WW1 version and is produced by PSC, better known for their WW2 plastics. Overall, the KS was handled very well and the game shipped with only a few weeks delay. However, there are a couple of small niggles I have with the game. First, the packaging was totally inadequate and some KS additions were simply placed on top of the game box and then the whole thing was scrunched into the shipping box. As a result, my gamebox top is severely concave. I have heard other backers noting serious damage to the their box and the plastic figures as a result of the very poor packaging.

Speaking of the plastic figures, which are 15mm hard plastic, they are a bit of a hit an miss. While the sculpts themselves are fine, the British sprue has an attachment point on the bayonet of the figures and it is impossible to detach the figures from the sprues without having some casualties, even using sprue cutters, scalpel, and great care. I got away with about 8 broken bayonets, but I know that non-gamers/modellers have in some cases wrecked quite a few of their figures as the plastic is incredibly brittle and unforgiving. This is a major problem in my opinion and highlights why using wargames figures in a mass market boardgame was a bad idea. Your average person would have no chance getting this game prepped for play without a lot of damage to the figures. I intend to get some custom sabot bases made and store the figures in plano type boxes. I don't think those bayonets will survive long stored loose in a ziplock bag.

However, the other components (dice, board, terrain tiles, rulebook, cards) are all topnotch and sturdy. As expected, the rules are clearly written and well illustrated. 16 scenarios are included as well. What really saves this game is the gameplay. The system has been tweaked over the years and is certainly more complex than some of its predecessors (in particular Battle Cry and Memoir 44). There are bog standard infantry, bomber units, trench mortars, and machine guns. This version adds in Combat Cards separate from the command cards and players have to manage resources via scarce HQ tokens to use reserve artillery and play the Combat Cards. As a result, gameplay is more nuanced and players need to make more decisions than in previous incarnations. I found there is a slight increase in playing time as result, but that's not an issue for me. The game is set to be expanded in the future with tanks, aircraft, stormtroopers, etc.

Overall I'm glad I backed this and I think it is probably my favourite of the C&C games so far (Ancients was my preferred version). Hopefully, a second edition will address the plastic figure issue or at least include instructions on how to remove the figures from the sprues to help non-wargamers/modellers.
When I die I want the Arsenal players to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time.
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Re: Great War by PSC

Postby MartinR » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:48 am

So you think it is OK? I had a look at a friends copy and I was distinctly unimpressed by the inclusion of only four unit types in the standard game. I suppose we should play it a few times before passing judgement, but having seen what he got, I'm actually very glad I didn't pitch in with the KS.

"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" Helmuth von Moltke
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