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Here is some graphics stuff for download:
Artillery counter labels
(168 kB, zipped PDF file, FreeHand7 source available on request)
4 sets of labels, each set are 8 labels: Red coastal battery, field battery, flak (AA) battery and bunker, plus the same for the blue faction. The labels are an alternative for the generic art'y provided in the "elite" counter set.
Built by engineers as by the standard rules, but can be taken over by regular infantry. Any turn after the building turn an infantry unit is placed flatly on the engineer unit. In the next turn, the engineers are free to leave and the infantry continues to secure and operate the airfield.
There are 4 types of artillery that replace the generic AY counters provided in the "elite" counter sets:
This is one in the series of "block" games, so called for the wooden block counters (approx. 20x20x10 mm) that are usually employed in an upright position (as shown in the page logo), thus hiding their identity from the opponent. They are revealed only in battle and may bring dire surprise to a dashing enemy. The block system has been developed and tried in a series of games like Rommel in the Desert, East Front/West Front and their companions, Dixie, Napoleon and some others.
In Victory, each counter represents an entire army corps (4 divisions), or a naval battle or carrier group, or an air wing of about 400 planes. Thus, the scale is definitely strategic, players have a High Command view of events. All units are consistent with WWII technology.
The maps are 40x28 cm, with a 45-mm-hex grid and a scale of 100 km per hex. They are almost all isomorphic, i.e. hexsides link together seamlessly to form large maps. The exceptions are a few all-sea and all-land hexsides on extension maps which are needed to form convincing ocean resp. continental terrain.
The rules are just 8 pages and are quite well-organised and easy to read, no problem for any player who is ready to take say, half an hour to get an introduction to the game. The basic game mechanics are quite easy to grasp. Initiative is determined per turn, then units move either a limited tactical distance or in a larger strategic relocation (the latter may not lead into battle). When units of different factions occupy the same hex, a battle is fought.
Units have a fixed sequence to go into action (planes first, then navy, then army), and the defender has the first fire in each unit class. Each unit has a combat value which determines the number of six-sided dice it may roll (usually 1-4), and an attack value (usually 1-3) that differs on the target type- e.g., a fighter has a higher attack value against air units than against ground units. Roll as many dice as the CV grants, and each roll of the attack value or less is a hit. A hit translates to one "step loss" of the target, i.e. the target block is rotated to show the next-lower CV.
After 3 rounds of battle either one faction is eliminated, or the attacker has to retreat. To escape destruction, units may retreat in their turn of action instead of firing.
Damaged units may be brought to strength again in cities that have a production value (1-3), and the occupation of a certain number of those cities usually is also the victory requirement of a scenario.
While the game is in essence a two-player-game, more players may participate by either playing a "free for all" scenario or by dividing forces of a faction (by region, or by service).
The game has a unique feel to it. In a way, I would describe it as the "German game" among wargames for its simple yet sophisticated rules, good-quality material and high replay value. It is definitely no "hack-and-slash" wargame, neither is it a nit-picking simulation full of nifty but ultimately irrelevant details.
Au contraire, it has rather a chess-like quality, and you can see players ponder over their moves to employ their ever-to-few resources. Also, the game provides a tactile pleasure no cardboard counter ever can give; the way some players handle their counters resembles the way a Go player picks and places his pieces.
Each of those is a valuable asset, to be sure. The art seems to be to manoeuvre you forces into strong positions without opening obvious opportunities to your opponent, and to pounce when the chance is ripe. If you can wrest one or two important production centres from him and cut the supply of some of his units, he is in dire straits indeed.
4 maps and 2x50 counters come with the game. Columbia Games has also begun to publish a series of extensions: Additional counter colours, new units, new maps, and it seems they are not through with it for some time to come. Which is something I applaud to, for while it reeks of exploitation of us poor gamers in fact we need successful publishers if this hobby is to survive. Production quality is superb, and CG offer a very fair value for the money indeed. Maybe this kind of game can survive in a market in which other "hex-based publishers" went belly-up.
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, last change 2011-03-12