October 06, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: The Great War by PSC Games (MTSC BEST OF 2015)


On the occasion of the centenary of World War I aka The Great War commencing in August 2014 and lasting until 2018 there has been a wealth of hobby products being released to commemorate this cataclysmic event with historical war gaming being no exception.
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The Great War
Designed by Richard Borg, Published by PSC Games aka Plastic Soldier Company

This is a a Command & Colors style game made popular by such titles as Memoir '44. This is a really good game with great components including a range of 15mm plastic figures and artillery that are of same high quality that you would expect from the Plastic Soldier Company but what rally makes this game stand out is the implementation of Richard Borg's Command & Colors system. New players will love it but the game provides plenty of opportunity for older, experienced to play with and explore the the strategies of trench warfare on the western front. The game provides plenty of scenarios to keep you playing and a Tank Expansion is on the way (see below)...


The Great War, the latest adaptation of Richard Borg's Command & Colours system, brings the epic battles of World War I to the gaming table, allowing players to portray important engagements throughout WWI history. The battles, included in the scenario booklet, focus on the historical deployment of forces and important terrain features of trench fighting in scale with the game system. The scale of the game is flexible and varies from battle to battle. For some scenarios, a few infantry units may represent an entire wing of a larger battle, while in other scenarios a unit may represent just a few brave soldiers going over the top.

The Command card system drives movement, creates a "fog of war", and presents players with many interesting opportunities, while the battle dice resolve combat quickly and efficiently. The Combat cards add an element of suspense and will challenge players to coordinate their use in a timely manner. Overall, the battlefield tactics players will need to execute to gain victory conform remarkably well to the strengths and limitations of the various types of WWI units, their weapons, battlefield terrain, and written history.

In this core game, the main focus is on a number of WWI trench warfare battles. However, a series of expansions, which will feature early war, Eastern Front scenarios, tanks, airplanes, other national armies, plus more special personnel figures, are already in the planning stage to enhance your WWI gaming experience. 


The Great War contains:
- A double-sided hex gridded game board, folding out to approximately 28” x 23”
- Seven terrain and accessories boards which include 58 double sided terrain hexes depicting countryside, forest, buildings, hills, rubble, trenches, shell craters, mine craters and barbed wire sections
- 58 Command cards
- 40 Combat cards
- 8 Battle dice
- 5 Targeting dice
- Rule book with 16 scenarios
- 2 Unit and Terrain Summary sheets, and some handy re-sealable poly bags in which to store components
- 162 15mm (1/100th scale) plastic figures.


A quick review by Paul Davies-
The Great War is designed for two players, but this can be increased by purchasing more terrain boards and figures. Having played the two Opening Action Great War scenarios which are designed to introduce players to the game system, I found the rules are easily learned after just a few rounds, but their comparative simplicity doesn’t detract from the tactical challenges or the re-playability of the game. And it wouldn’t be difficult to generate your own scenarios to open up even more gaming possibilities.

Command and Tactic cards are used to introduce variables into the game play which I prefer to everything being controlled by the roll of a D6 which I find too random for my taste. With the Command and Tactic cards, you don’t have total control, but there is plenty of opportunity for good generalship to be rewarded. The use of these cards is controlled by HQ cards which you collect during the game… but use them with care. Run out and your great offensive may not happen!

Determining the fall of shot from the off-table (reserve) artillery is achieved by first placing the special targeting template over the target hex. D6 targeting dice are rolled and positioned on the appropriate hexes surrounding the template. ‘Doubles’ indicate an additional hit on the target hex. You then roll the appropriate number of Battle Dice for each hex, and the results are determined depending on the images on the upper face of each dice. The specially designed battle dice are a good idea too, as a single roll of the dice can result in several different gaming possibilities. Victory in the game is determined by gaining Victory medals which you earn by completing pre-determined mission objectives and eliminating enemy units. 

THE FIGURES
You get a lot; 162 in all. The Allies and the Germans each get 48 infantrymen in six distinct poses, 3 Special Personnel bomber figures, 3 machine guns and teams comprising gunner and 4 crew, and 3 Mortar teams also with 4 crew. The figures are 1/100th scale which in this case means that they measure 15mm from sole of boot to eye level.







The Great War Tank Expansion


Tank! is the exciting expansion pack for Commands and Colours: The Great War by Richard Borg. This expansion pack contains 6 highly detailed and pre-assembled  1/100th scale World War One British and German tank models, 2 German artillery pieces and 8 crew figures, 2 A4 punchboards of tokens and new terrain tiles and a booklet of additional Tank special rules including  bogging down and "tankschrecken" and 18 scenarios to enable players to recreate the iconic first tank battles amongst the trenches of the Western Front in 1916-1918 such as Cambrai, Villiers-Bretonneux. 

The Tank Expansion set contains:
32 double sided terrain tiles
9 fortified/wire double side markers
4 bridge/damaged bridge double side tokens
20 British/German double sided tank silhouette tokens
15 bogged down/ditched tank markers
4 captured tank tokens
6 WWI tank models, 2 x British MK IV male tanks, 2 x British MK IV female tanks
- 2 x German A7Vs tanks
2 x German 105mm Howitzer models and 8 crew figures
1 rule & scenario booklet with 22 WWI battles
2 unit and terrain summary sheets






Available to order on our website HERE

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