Saturday, January 16, 2016

Airborne Commander - Game Review

I received my copy of Airborne Commander in November.  This is a solo deck building game that I backed through Kickstarter.

I read through the rules and managed to play a few games and thought I would share my thoughts.

The Artwork
The art on the cards is very nice.  I love the look of it and I think it adds a lot to the game.

Component Quality
The game has 2 decks of cards; the Mission deck and the Allied deck.  The Mission deck represent the German forces that your will be facing off against.  The Allied deck represents the American forces that you will be able to use in your attack.

The cards are decent quality and thickness. I had one card that "stuck" to another and is slightly marked, but the rest of the cards look great.

Game Play
The game play is pretty straight forward.

There are 4 enemy cards placed in the battlefield.  These can be terrain cards, objective cards, armor, infantry, or static defenses.

You get a hand of cards that you can assign to battle any or all of the enemy cards.  Instead of using the cards to battle the enemy directly some cards can function in supporting roles by providing suppressing fire, fire support, or recruitment points.

Unlike most deck building games I've played, if you don't use all of the cards in your hand you can keep them and save them for the next turn.  This is an interesting mechanic that can bite you in the butt, but can also open up some interesting options.

To resolve the battle you will compare the attack value versus the defense value of the cards in each battle.  You have to beat the defense of the card with the attack value to kill it.  If your troops are killed, they are removed from your deck, so be careful, you don't want to lose to many of your troops.  You set aside the German cards that you kill and they are worth points at the end of the game.

Any enemy cards you don't defeat are removed from the battlefield (except static defenses that stay on the battlefield) and you get new cards in the next phase

If you decide not to engage any cards in the battlefield, then they run through your lines and cause havoc.  This forces you to add a disorganized card to your deck.  If you get to many of these cards, you will be drawing lots of these into your hand and you won't be able to get much done.

You lose the game in one of two ways:  if all the disorganized cards have been placed into your deck or if there are 4 or more Static Defenses in the battlefield.

You win the game if your reach the end of either the Allied or Mission Deck without losing.  You then determine how well you did by adding up the points you earned for cards you captured or destroyed and subtract for the disorganized cards in your deck.

Overall Thoughts
This is a quick playing game, but it is rather challenging.  I have not quite figured out the right tactics to achieve a victory, but I continue to try.  It is nice that the game plays so quickly because you can play several times in one session.

I have not gone to the web to seek out strategies yet, but I might have to do that soon.

Overall this is a fun game with some interesting options available.  If you are into deck building  or WWII games, you might want to check this one out.

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