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  Frontier Wars by Draco Ideas  We grognards have a love hate relationship with toy soldiers. As a group, we look longingly back in time to ...

Frontier Wars by Draco Ideas Frontier Wars by Draco Ideas

Frontier Wars by Draco Ideas

Frontier Wars by Draco Ideas






 Frontier Wars


by


Draco Ideas




 We grognards have a love hate relationship with toy soldiers. As a group, we look longingly back in time to when we played with them. However, to introduce them onto our tables, where hex and counters reign, is another thing altogether. Some of us are elitists; I am guilty of this at times, where we long for just sixty to 100 page rulebooks and an Ardennes map where each hex represents fifty yards. You know, games where we will only get to play them once or a few times during our lives. I am here to tell you that I was wrong and so was our thinking on games. The smallest footprint game can have great gameplay. A game that is short enough to play four times in one evening can still be a great game. Can a grognard play a game that has plastic toy soldiers? The answer is a resounding yes, as long as he manages to rise above his stuffy thoughts on what a wargame MUST be behind. Chess is the world's oldest and most beloved wargame, and guess what it has: toy soldiers. We must also forget our rulebook mania. A simple game can be a great game, and guess what guys, it might just bring new blood into this elderly hobby. Face it people, we grognards are not getting any younger, and if we really love the hobby we will want it to continue to thrive. So, I am removing myself from the soapbox, and onto the review. 




Here is a blurb from Draco Ideas about the game itself:

"Frontier War" ("Guerra Fronteriza" in Spanish) allows you to take control of one of the four most relevant factions in World War 2.
Choose which role you want to take in the fray: United States, United Kingdom, Germany or Russia in games for 2 to 4 players.
Recreate battles of the largest military clash in history.
Learn how to manage your resources, make bold tactical movements with your troops: infantry, tanks, artillery and airstrikes.
Make alliances that meet your interests, but remember, your allies can stop being so at any time!
Fight Smart and never cease exploring your options, since the end of the battle can arrive at the most unexpected moment.
The game includes 100 fully detailed miniatures, a modular battle field for new and different games each play, as well as 90 cards that will make each game unique.
We’ve worked hard to give the game easy mechanics and a quick learning without losing a high tactical complexity, all of it within the frame of fast, dynamic games.
Are you ready?"



 This is what comes with Frontier Wars:

100 Cards

100 Miniatures

 30 Double-Sided tiles

 4 Army Boards

 3 Game Boards

 100+ Tokens

 Rules and Scenario Book




 In the basic game there are three sets of cards. These are: Attack Orders, Defense Orders, and Tactical Orders. These all have the same backs to them. On the front of the cards is their explanation and usage along with various photos taken during World War II. The action that the cards describe are straight-forward and do not need to be deciphered. There are four types of miniatures in the basic game: Artillery, Infantry, tanks, and airplanes. These are small, but very well done. For their size they are very robust. The tiles are hexagonal, and very large at almost 4" across. There are many different tiles to play the scenarios on. These are:

Neutral Tiles
City Tiles 
Airport Tiles
Strategic Point Tiles
Starting Tile
Water Tiles
Swamp Tile
Port Tile
Fleet Tile
Desert Tile

 Some of these give you extra Resource Cards, Victory Points, or increase your card hand limit. The Army and Game Boards are also large and easy to read. The Tokens are done in very thick cardboard. All of the components are built to last through many games. The Rules Book is thirty-one pages long. It is in full color and is done on magazine type paper. The rules only take up nine pages with a further two pages+ with Optional Rules. The game comes with thirty scenarios. These go from beginner to advanced. They are also from two to four players in size. Some are historical, while others are completely made up for the game. You get a very large bang for your buck with everything that comes with the game, and how well the parts were constructed.



 The game is easy to learn and play. I believe Frontier Wars is a great game in its own right. It also bridges the gap for new players from  simpler wargames, or just games, to more complex games. I mean, that is what we grognards are all about, isn't it? We entrap new players and then feed them a simple diet of beer & pretzels wargames. Slightly more complex games follow, until they start noticing hexes in their everyday life. Then when they least expect it we force them to play an entire weekend of Fire in the East or something similar. Okay, maybe other people do not do that, but I would love to have a dungeon full of hex and counter playing slaves. Enough of that. Frontier Wars is an easy to learn and fun wargame. This is the Sequence of Play:

 Turn Order
 Drawing Resource Cards
 Reinforcements
 Actions
 Tactical Phase
 Arms Race
 Upkeep
 
 Frontier Wars is a game that has a small footprint, is quick to play and learn, and most of all it is fun. Draco Ideas did add an expansion that includes France and Japan to the mix. You can also buy trucks with new rules for them. They were nice enough to send me the Solo Rules and the Weather Cards that add a lot to the game. These come with large double-sided fold out player aids that explain in simple terms how to use the Weather cards and play in solo mode. Any game that comes with a built in solo mode nowadays is sure to get my vote, especially if it is as easy to understand and play with as these are. Thank you Draco Ideas for letting me review this sleeper of a game that seems to have slipped under most peoples' radar. 

Robert

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