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Red Poppies Campaigns Volume I: The Battles for Ypres by Compass Games     Ypres, or to the British troops &...

Red Poppies Campaigns Volume I The Battles For Ypres by Compass Games Unboxing Red Poppies Campaigns Volume I The Battles For Ypres by Compass Games Unboxing

Red Poppies Campaigns Volume I The Battles For Ypres by Compass Games Unboxing

Red Poppies Campaigns Volume I The Battles For Ypres by Compass Games Unboxing



 Ypres, or to the British troops 'Wipers', was either the seminal battle where the British Army found out how to win the war, or just another 'Blood Tub'. There are probably as many books written about the battles of the Ypres salient as there have been about the Battle of the Somme. This is a relatively new game from Compass games. I have been looking at this title longingly since it was released. I picked it up during Compass Games winter sale. This is just going to be an unboxing instead of a full review. I will do the full review when time permits. 

 The rulebook is in color, and also is printed in large print. It has only fifteen pages of rules. For such a large game with many pieces, I was somewhat surprised. Considering that it has rules for off board artillery and creeping barrages, among many others, it came as a pleasant surprise. The rulebook also contains three pages of examples of play. Then comes a half page of more instructions for playing the scenarios, followed by two and a half pages of rules for playing the campaigns. The following ten pages are taken up by the setups and instructions for each scenario and campaign. These are:

Scenario I, Eating Fire at Gheluvet - 1914
Scenario II, The Volcano In Flanders - 1915
Scenario III, Unfrozen at Frezenberg - 1915
Scenario IIII, Hot Time at Houge  - 1915
Campaign Game I,  Gheluvet - 1914
Campaign Game II, Fezenberg - 1915
Campaign Game III, Menin Road - 1917

 The rulebook ends with a nice touch. It has three pages with both the front and back of all of the counter sheets.

 The game comes with two, two sided terrain charts with a sequence of play breakdown on the other side.

 The turn record track is its own sheet, and not on the map.

 The games counters are well designed to be able to see and read the information quickly. There is no embellishment to them, just very utilitarian in their look. I am not knocking them, only explaining how the counters look. For a game about the death machine that was WWI, they fit the subject fine. These are the counters:


 The game has some novel rules that help it simulate WWI battle. They have a 'Mass' rule that facilitates command and control and a rule about 'Blobs' that deals with infiltration tactics. As mentioned, there are rules about off board artillery, onboard artillery, and mortars. The later scenarios also have rules for gas, and everything else you would expect in a WWI game.

 The game follows a novel approach in that the three maps are all of the same area, just shown differently for the three years of 1914,1915, and 1917. As you view the maps through the years you actually see the effects of the war on the landscape until you get to the almost frightening 1917 map. The Ypres salient was one of the few places even in the trench system that had major battles in different years. For those of you who read about the battles I wanted to showcase some of the places from the maps that we all know. The maps are all 22"x34", and they are of the open hex-side type.

                                         Hooge 1914  

                                              Hooge 1917

 The game is playable by one to two players with a rating of eight out of ten for solitaire play. The innovative rules of the game look to be some of the best to represent the real tactical challenges of WWI. I am looking forward to playing the 1917 campaign first. I will also be doing a review of the actual game play.


1 comment :

  1. thanks for doing these articles, i especially like that you show use all the parts.