This wifeless weekend just gone also saw me punching and clipping the counters for Drive on Metz which came as a cover game in the latest issue of C3i. It's an introductory game from Jim Dunnigan the veteran designer of SPI in the 70's. I have happy memories of playing his Napoleon at Waterloo in school lunchbreaks (and more recently at hexwar.com) and this game is very much in the same mould - if enything even simpler and with even fewer counters (about 20!). It's a very simple ruleset with a completely bloodless CRT, which gives the game a strangely puzzle-like feel. This is not the place to go to quickly satisfy your wargaming bloodlust (try Up Front for that!) The carefully thought out victory conditions enhance this abstract feel - JD's experience clearly shows here, and it's a lesson many designers would do well to attend to. How many otherwise impressive wargames are let down by sloppy victory conditions (Paths of Glory - why all those VPs in Italy? Von Manstein's Backhand Blow - where's the incentive for the Soviets to overextend themselves?)
So, not a thriller (it's not Breakout Normandy!), but a possible gift to my potential wargamer nephew, or a quick lunchtime game if you're lucky enough to have an opponent at work.
PS C3i also included 4 new scenario cards for Commands and Colors:Ancients, and an excellent article on the Trafalgar campaign, which makes it £11 very well spent for me.