Broke out Sherman Leader today. Learned the rules and played the first week (2 battles) in a 3-week North Africa campaign. Thoroughly enjoyable game.
It’s got a Hollywood style solitaire combat system where 1 effective hit on a German unit kills it, but US units can end up taking a good 5-10 hits and still function. Realism tossed to the winds, but as a game-play mechanic it works out fine.
And the game certainly has a backgammon feel to it, so I think Tom’s RNG criticism’s are justified. You can make good moves and still lose, or just slam into the enemy and get better rolls and win. You’re consistently playing the odds, but I feel like there is enough strategy and ways to mitigate damage that I’m enjoying the strategy element to playing.
Most of all, it feels like a game that generates fun stories. In our first battle, Sergeant Cruz’s anti-tank gun got pinned down by German armored cars while some German rifle squads advanced on their position. The German’s pounded their position. Cruz ended up wounded, their cover got torn apart, and by the end of the battle Cruz’s stress rating was through the roof. But they held together long enough to take down two of the German armored cars and swing the encounter in our favor.
In our second battle, Lieutenant Jacob’s Sherman was a star, knocking out a Panzer III, a Panzer IV, and an armored car to stall the German attack. Jacob was wounded and their Sherman’s hull suffered extensive damage from a Panzer IV shell.
Oh, I also wanted to mention: Kudos to the designers for the diversity in their commander cards. It’s nice to be able to select people of color to lead your units.
We’re now heading into the second week, but we’ll need to pick up more victory points this week to have a chance at a solid victory.