From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns
What a great day, I opened my door to find a package that weighed roughly 12 pounds sitting on my porch and puzzled what on earth it could be. To my great surprise it was my pre-ordered copy of Decision Games remake of SPI’s old War in the Pacific board game.
Of course I spent the past few hours pouring over all the goodies inside the box and figured I’d post a first impressions thread here for everyones perusal. As I mentioned above my very first impression was the sheer weight and size of the game.
12 pounds is the heaviest game I’ve ever owned, and I’m not kidding about the weight. I placed it on my bathroom scale and it weighed in around 13-14 pounds. Given the low tech bathroom scale I figured I’d be conservative and state it was at least 12 full pounds.
The game box is at least the size of two of the old SPI boxes laid side by side, probably larger. Definitely not a bookshelf box, this puppies going to have to go on a top shelf somewhere.
Inside are 8,960 unit counters and seven 34”x22” beautiful colored maps. But to my great surprise there are also twentyfour 11”x17” Tactical maps that display EVERY single island and atoll (it says over 300 on the game box) in the entire Pacific (including places like Corregidor or Hong Kong) in much smaller detail than the 40-60 nautical mile scale of the larger strategic game maps. The tactical maps range from 0.5 – 10 nautical miles per hex in scale allowing you to play out the longer battles on places like Guadalcanal that lasted for months without the worry that one retreat result will lose the entire island for you in one phase.
Of course there are tons of charts and tables and log sheets. I’d estimate if all were stacked on top of each other they’d equal three or more inches in height. The rules books and chart books also would exceed 3 inches themselves. All in all, this game is massive.
The game box itself is very heavy gauge cardboard. At least twice as thick as the thickest game boxes I’ve ever seen. I feel confident the box will stand the strain of such heavy component parts much better than game boxes I’ve seen fall apart in the past.
I perused the rules books (there are 2) and noted there have been quite a few changes to the original games design. I’m no where near competent enough on the changes to make any specific comments, but gone are the old supply rules where you were required to keep track of supply on map with actual counters. Instead there is a new command point rule that abstracts supplies in general by limiting the number of actions units can take by the available command points assigned to their parent HQ’s.
So basically if you spend the command points to activate units for a single cycle (13 cycles a year with 4 action phases per cycle), it is simply assumed the required supplies needed are already on hand. Of course merchant shipping is still present, but everything is much more abstracted than before. At least that’s my impression so far, I’ve a lot of reading to do before I can really speak with anything but generalizations right now.
Here’s a screenshot of the terrain key for the tactical maps. I had to reduce the image by 50% to get it within the forums size limitations, but I think it still gives a good impression of how things look.
Now if I can just find some dedicated souls in or near central California who want to give up 2 or 3 years of their lives to play this beast.
Lucky you. I'm still waiting for my copy, although I did see my credit card has been billed so it should be here anytime. At Origins last July, I saw a copy of it and had the opportunity to check it all out. Can't wait! My son graduates from high school in 1.5 yrs and will go to college. He has the biggest bedroom in the house, much bigger than my current war room. It's big enough for this game. That'll give me plenty of time to cut out and sort all the counters.