Monday, June 29, 2009

Frontline and Phantom

The AARs for Phantom Leader and Frontline are up on the DVG site!

For me, these two games cover some interesting ground in gaming that has only been rarely touched upon…

FRONTLINE (1 to 4 players) – A WWII tactical infantry combat game. Tactical, means small in size. In this case each card is one soldier. Here’s what makes the game unique. There are a lot of WWII land combat board games. Most however, look at the battles on a much larger scale. In those games, each piece represents hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of soldiers. Rarely do games get down to the individual soldier level.

Another unique aspect is I’ve drawn on my CCG design experience to make each soldier card an individual with personality worked into the cards through game stats and flavor text. For example, your riflemen are not all the same. They have different skills, and you can get a feel for their story and personality from the flavor text. This gives the game a strong Band of Brothers feel.

We have also refined the design to be quick playing and action-packed. Most tactical games are slow moving, with lots of complicated rules. Just the opposite of what you’d expect from such a game, but there it is. Frontline can be played in under an hour. For tabletop gaming of a tactical situation, this is huge!

Finally, the art is amazing! Wan has done a great job of capturing the style and period of WWII.

PHANTOM LEADER (1 player) – This is a solitaire game that places you in command of a squadron of US jet fighters flying missions during the Vietnam War. First, Vietnam is kind of a forgotten war in gaming. Yes, there are a few games, but not very many.

Phantom is also designed to let you get to know your pilots. Each pilot has unique skills and handles the stress of combat differently. As you fly missions they build-up experience, which will improve their skills. This puts you in a position to make some tough choices. Do you keep flying your good guys, until they’re too shaken to fly? Or, do you give your new guys a chance, rest the good guys, but have a harder time completing missions?

Phantom also takes into account the political supervision of the war. During the war, the military leaders had their planning dictated by political issues back home in the US. They were not free to attack whichever targets made the most military sense if it would hurt the political situation. This made their missions tougher because enemy defenses that could have been destroyed were left intact. High value targets were ignored, while low value targets were attacked. Frustrating? Yes! But, this was part of the war, so it is part of the game. As a side note, some of the young officers who endured this in Vietnam later went on to be some of the US’s greatest commanders during Desert Storm in 1991.

Okay, on to the pre-ordering pitch...

Pre-order now! I want to get these games printed and share them with the world, but the only way to do it is to get about 60-70 more pre-orders for each game. This is a small number of pre-orders, and these are some of the best games to come out of our company.
If you'd like to see more info and art on either of these games, their titles above will take you to their pages on our web site.

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