Tag Archives: World War II

Tiger Leader

Tiger Leader. Dan Verssen Games, 2015. $90. Designed by Rick Martin. 1 tactical display sheet (mounted), 1 headquarters sheet (paper), 1 rule book, 240 cards, about 400 counters, 12 terrain tiles, 1 player log sheet, 1 10-sided die. 1 player. 30+ minutes for a single battle, 2+ hours for campaign.

In Tiger Leader, a player creates and commands a combined arms German World War II Kampfgruppe. Starting with choosing a campaign (out of 9 ranging from the 1939 invasion of Poland to the final days of Berlin in 1945) and objective, players build their KG by using “Special Option” points to pick specific types of units available in the campaign time period. Units include infantry, armor, and artillery and range from Panzer I to King Tigers. Each command has cards representing six skill levels from recruit to ace.

Your enemy, played by the game system since this is a solitaire game, is represented by battalion cards. Your goal is to gain victory points by reducing or destroying as many enemy battalions as you can with the force that you have in the time allotted by the campaign you’re playing.

Each week of the campaign, you’ll assign units and commanders to attack specific enemy battalions. Then you setup a battle, including special conditions and events and a small board created from randomly drawn terrain hexes that can be used to create desert, European or winter landscapes. Units are represented by counters on the board. Battle turns then play out the action as the game’s AI uses the allied units to move and attack while you counter with your German units which may be damaged or stressed, decreasing performance.

After each week, your units and commanders have a chance for repair and recreation as well as spending experience points to improve before the next week’s assignments.

With so many campaigns, objectives, enemy battalions, units and commanders, each campaign may be highly varied which gives this solitaire game high replay ability. The artwork on the numerous cards and the level of detail give the game a good “feel” for commanding your force and it’s easy to gain stress yourself over your favorite commander being wounded or killed.

The tactical battle game is very simplified. There are few differences between units of different enemy nationalities. And allied units of the same type within a single nationality are classified the same (a tank is a tank) though they may sometimes be modified in different campaigns.

The AI is very random and sometimes feels like it’s not making the best move. Specific questions have arisen concerning details within the game rules and there is word that DVG is preparing errata and/or an expansion to improve the rules and the tactical game.

Overall, this is a fitting addition to DVG’s Leader series. The campaign concept and creating and managing your Kampfgruppe provides an interesting challenge. Unfortunately the tactical system seems very light and sometimes confusing. With rules being discussed in online forums and hopefully being changed and improved, I wish I had waited for a revised edition.

This review was written based on a privately purchased retail copy. No compensation was involved.
c2015 by Richard A. Edwards

Quartermaster General

Quartermaster General. Griggling Games, 2014. $50. Designed by Ian Brody. Card driven world-wide World War II game. 216 cards, 55 wooden pieces (Armies and Navies), 7 markers, 1 board, 1 rules booklet. 2-6 players. Ages 12+. 90-120 minutes.

The very quick and easy setup includes handing out card decks for each of six nationalities (Germany, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union), placing one army on each nation’s home space, and placing both sides’ (Allies and Axis) Victory Point markers on the track. All six nations must be played and they are divided based on the number of players. Each nation has a unique deck of cards tailored for that nation’s historical wartime abilities. The game board divides the world into a relatively small number of land and sea spaces. Each space will only ever contain one side’s units and each nation only has one unit per space.

With a hand of seven cards, this intriguing game revolves around the difficult decision of which single card to play on your turn. Supply spaces control where you can build new units and units out of supply will be removed at the end of each turn. Each nation starts with its home supply space and builds outward from there, with some notable exceptions due to particular cards. The key to winning is holding supply spaces which provide victory points every turn. Cards come in three main types: immediate effects, response cards (which are played face down and kept until a triggering event occurs), and status cards (which are played face up and have ongoing effects). The sequence: playing one card, checking supply lines, adding victory points (to your side’s marker, the Allies or Axis win or lose as a group), discarding cards (or not), and then drawing to fill your hand, repeats for only a seemingly short 20 turns.

Every card is powerful but you can only play one per turn! The cards present each nation’s historical options but the player must choose which to use and timing is everything. Is it time to use submarines to attack a nation’s economy? Or is building a new army more critical? Or attacking a neighboring navy to clear a sea space? The decisions, tense and difficult, make this an outstanding game.

But if you are looking for a board game with masses of units and dice rolling combat or historical unit counters, this is not that game. The units are abstract symbols of controlling land and sea spaces. Combat is resolved solely by playing a battle card which automatically removes the enemy force, unless some other response card in play can save it.

Quartermaster General is a strategic level World War II game that’s quick and easy to play for a wide number of players and yet every single turn is fraught with historical, perilous decisions that can win or lose the war. Highly recommended.

This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.

c2015 by Richard A. Edwards