Review: Airborne Commander





Little known fact, I was born on June 6th.  So I have a slight, not so slight, affinity for D-Day games. I look at this as some sort of birthright that I should at least try them.

That attraction aside, I am also interested in solo games.  So this hit in two of my prime spot, I felt compelled to try it. And let's just cut to the chase, I really enjoyed this game.

I can't say I enjoyed ALL of it, the rules are often confusing.  I think this is a case where the rules needed to fit into a specific defined space, rather than having complete understanding by the player as the goal.  This happens sometimes when there is a total cost budget that is tight.

As proof that the rules are confusing, I watched a couple of YouTube videos of game play, and neither of them had it right either.  Having said that, I might have it wrong too!  But 3 people, 3 interpretation of the rules leads me to suspect that maybe the rules need work.

Along that line you can find a new revision to the rules here: Airborne Commander updated rules.  The changes are small but no reason to start with an older version.

Let's talk about the art, fantastic.  I really enjoyed looking at every card, such a great job of capturing the subject and showing it off well.  When you are playing this game at a convention or store, people will stop just to look at the cards.  That's true from my personal experience.

The game play, once you figure it out and understand the routine, is a lot of fun.  As soon as I'm done playing, I want to play again. I agree with the other reviews, this is not an easy game to win. If you find it easy, I suspect you are doing something funky with the rules.

Being accurate to the situation on D-Day, your units are scattered and sometimes appear at the wrong time, or the perfect time.  It depends on your point of view.

As you go through the game, you find yourself adding Disorganized cards to your deck when a unit is defeated, which basically block you from executing orders, which makes the game that much harder.

Once you have an entire hand of these cards, the game is over for you and you've lost.  This happens a lot, don't get discouraged.

By skillfully putting the right unit of yours against the enemy unit, you can navigate through the perils of D-Day to an eventual victory. I wish I could tell you some great strategy, but really it's about managing your resources smartly and get some good draws.

2nd Lt. Perry is one of the cards that you can add to your hand by recruiting him.  You can build your hand up by adding soldiers, at the cost of not having them for combat that turn.

One of the cool things you'll notice about the cards is the lack of framing to hold the various attributes. Sometimes this can be confusing, but in Airborne Commander, it works very well. One you lean what the icons mean, you don't have to look them up again and that speeds up game play.

Nicely done.

Overall I'd give this a B-. The rules take it down a peg, and there isn't recognition from the publisher that the rules need help.  Some game play examples on the site would take this game from it's current score, to an A. An easy A at that.

I'm glad I have this game, I think you will be glad you bought it. If you need to pick up a copy, click the link below to go to the publishers order page.


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