Heute ausnahmsweise mal auf English, da ich einfach zu faul war den Originaltext nochmal zu übersetzen. Sorry. 🙂 Nächste Woche geht’s wieder auf Deutsch weiter.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this review is based on prototype material.
My story with [thing=316691][/thing] is that the Publisher, Markus, announced the KS-Campaign in a German board game forum and I decided to ask him for a small interview. Since I’m still looking for a solitaire submarine game that fits my wishes I decided to try the PnP variant of the game when Markus offered to send me a prototype. Well, here we are.
Right after you open up your package you’ll see and smell the laser-cut wooden components that are an important factor for the immersive experience of this game. Be aware that you might leave the punchboard out in the fresh air for some time, depending on how much this bothers you.
You start with punching your pieces out oft he plywood. Here you have to be very careful since both surfaces of plywood aren’t the sturdiest.
What I experienced while punching the pieces was the fact that either splinters will remain on the punched piece or (if you punch it the wrong way) splinters will be broken out of your piece and will leave ugly grooves on the piece. Maybe you should start on small pieces that won’t be that visible like the fuel barrels or the sliders or you take an exacto knife and cut the pieces free.
Building the components for the game isn’t that hard. Most of it is very well designed. You just have to be patient and maybe use some wood glue and you’re fine. The building was quite fun and it didn’t took that long.
The components are great and look good but I still have some minor complaints and one bigger:
-the ammo box is not big enough to hold everything. Maybe I sorted them the wrong way but the warheads are more than the box can hold and the box for your support crates could be a bit bigger to hold them both without them raising above the edge of the box.
-The torpedos and the warheads are a really tight fight and I’m afraid I might break them. Maybe the holding clamps can be a bit less grip-y?
– I find the sliders to be a bit fiddly and if you don’t align them 100% straight they won’t slide properly and instead block inside the slot or with the neighbouring sliders. But I do like the design and the idea behind it.
—you have to glue a small disc to the backside of the target disc holder (I really love it that you get a seperate tool to place that small piece correctly) where you can place the target disc. Great idea. But what I dislike is that, at least for my copy, the small disc is such a tight fit to the traget disc that it can’t be rotated and that I’m somewhat afraid, that the small disc will come loose at some time, although I used a high quality very strong wood glue.
And when you rotate the discs then the small holding disc won’t hold a target disc anymore. This needs some retooling, I guess.
Ok. So, that was the component part. But what about the game?
Spoiler: I don’t like the game but I do like it. Makes no sense? Let me explain…
I wanted it to be an submersive (pun intended) experience with something more to do than to just roll dice like in The Hunters. Unfortunately, although Hunters is widely credited to be the best U-Boat solitaire game out there, it fell totally flat for me and was the ultimate bore-fest: „rolling dice, reading charts, repeat for hours“ is no fun form e.
In the interview before I played the game Markus explained that it Type 7 is more like The Hunters and less than U-Boat Leader (which I find more appealing because of the tactical display but still it didn’t click enough for me that I’m still afraid of getting and playing it). Nevertheless I gave it a try and here is what I like and dislike:
-Like I said for me it is too much dicerolling and not enough happening.
-The dice rolls feel too random or it doesn’t have enough to mitigate the luck of the roll. In the beginning you are a bit too much at the dice’s mercy and later IF you survive and manage to build up some experienced crew members it almost gives you the feeling that nothing can stop you besides incredibly bad luck.
-My comlaints about the components (I mentioned them above) are nothing too critical but I wanted to mention them here in the list as well.
-Disclaimer: The next point is easily mitigated since this is based on prototype material: The rulebook needs restrucuring. It felt not really well written and kind of mixed up. The missions are could be a bit more diverse, but I heard in a video that Markus has some great ideas fort hem. Hopefully he implements them. Oh, and don’t forget the player aid at the backside of the rulebook.
Not that much negative, right? Unfortunately my gameplay issues kill the game for me. But now I’ll give you the reasons what I liked.
+The campaign brings you from the beginning to an alternate history after the historical end of the war and even gives you different tech and other nifty things to play with.
+I love the fog of war disc sighting mechanics. They are really well implemented and give you a perfect feeling of the situation. This feels like the app-driven UBOOT but without the app. Well done Markus. Chapeau.
+Ease of play: As soon as you worked through the rulebook the game runs very smooth and single missions play very quickly.
+I like the tactical board since it allows you some kind of movement. Not enough for me but still better than only working with counters indicating two ranges.
+2 Player mode although at first it doesn’t feel originally implemented this is where the game really shines, form e. It gives you the possibility of hunting as a wolf pack. Two U-Boats going after your targets. Great. Especially since you both move on the same tactical board which gives you the chance to move „around“ your targets and attacking from two sides. This doesn’t have a big impact on the gameplay, which is a shame and which should be reworked, but it gives you a great feeling for the subject. More fluff than mechanic but a good idea, that could be a bit redefined.
+Even if I have the gampeplay model, which has many spaces for torpedos (I’d love to see a printed display model), the boat and the pieces look stunning. A great showcase piece.
Like I said, the game is not made for me, but I do see enough in the game to know that this will have its fans and if you are a fan of The Hunters, The Hunted, Silent Victory and others alike then this is the game for you and you’ll have a lot of fun with it.
If your taste is similar to mine, give the Print and Play files a go and try it. It might suit your needs. Especially the Two-Player-Mode (Please Markus, polish that a bit.)
Befehl zum Abtauchen.
(Thanks to 3D Artlab for the review copy)
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