15 December 2010

Toe to Toe Review

First up, I can't believe this purchase arrived within 4 working days, including postage from the US to Australia and during the Christmas rush!  Champion service VPG, many thanks.

The "Big Board" - Toe to Toe map cleverly inserted into a Dr Strangelove still: Great work! (pic from BGG)
This game is a a A5 sized game, packed in a self sealing plastic bag and perfect for travel.  Its very much a home made product- all good stuff but not a glossy, professional finish.  No less playable, but a little less WOW factor that you might normally expect.  That said, I think its the best $15 I've ever spent on a game.  In comparison, less than a single GW character figure.
Its simple, disturbingly fun and the Dr Strangelove theme is enmeshed in everything right down to quotes on the game cards.  This is truly a labour of love. and it shows.
B-52 lined up ready for Ingress on the "Green Route" (pic from BGG)
How does it work?  Choose 1 of 4 targets and the associated ingress/egress routes on the "big board'.  Load up your B-52G with nukes (max payload of 60Mt) and take off.  Manage your height and fuel, and you have a selection of defensive systems from chaff, flares, the odd AIM-7 or a AGM-27 HOUND DOG.  Each sector may contain a threat (fixed SAM or MiG Defence) and a randomly selected Soviet Defence counter which could be more SAMs and MiGs, or random events via event cards.  SAMs have a varied to hit roll (d6) depending on threat level and altitude, but inflict fixed damage. MiGs have a fixed to Hit roll, but variable damage (all the roll targets are on the big board too, so no flicking back to the book at all - very neat design). Acquire 25 points of damage and you're toast.  Along the way present Uncle Sam's nuclear regards onto primary, secondary and tertiary targets for varying VPs, then get home (you'll need to manage your fuel for this) and tally up the VPs. 
B52 status board - easy tracking of your status with amrkers.  The Coybow hat is for VPs! (Pic from BGG)
Lots of fun (AARs to follow) and takes approx 10-20 min per sortie, or play a campaign with all four missions.  Nowhere near the die rolling of B-17, but only having four missions may be a bit of a replayability issue.  VPG have lots of other expansions for their games though, so I can see a new map and cards being available soon.  There is also lots of capacity for more Soviet/Warsaw Pact targets or perhaps even flying into China or North Korea to fry up other Commies - Ye-ha!

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