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Kampen om Norge får stadig oppmerksomhet utenfor våre egne landegrenser. Denne gangen er det våre danske venner som tar spillet i nærmere øyensyn. Den danske brettspillsiden papskubber.dk har testet ut Kampen om Norge og publisert en flott omtale av spillet på sin nettside idag.
Helle Perrier gir leserne en innføring i spillets grunnleggende mekanikk og konkluderer med noen hyggelige betraktninger …
Kampen om Norge er et spil, der oser af kærlighed til historien. Der er lagt utroligt megen omhyggelighed i især kortene, hvor der er faktiske historiske billeder på.
… og videre …
Jeg invitererede tre historieinteresserede til at spille Kampen om Norge, og de var vilde med det. De var alle enige om, at det var et spil, der var produceret med stor omhyggelighed og med kærlighed til historie og fortællingen om anden verdenskrig. Og det er nok her Kampen om Norge virkelig kommer til sin ret.
The most recent issue of Paper Wars magazine has a very positive and thorough review of Kampen om Norge by Lou Coatney, over two whole spreads. Editor of the magazine, John D. Burtt, also lists the game as his second favorite game of 2013 in his editorial, which is a real honor.
To quote Burtt:
Kampen om Norge – the real surprise of the year. The Norwegian designers […] have put a really neat game together of the 1940 German attack on Norway using cards and plastic soldiers to make the three sides of the conflict – Norwegians, British/French, and Germans – play separate, but interconnected games. Seemingly simple mechanics, but […] gamers get into the battle quickly.
Bigboardgaming.com gives a video overview of this issue of Paper Wars, and the KoN review, here.
Here is the conclusion of Coatney’s review:
In summary, I give Kampen Om Norge – straight out of the box, even! – my most enthusiastic recommendation to fellow wargamers and look forward to more games from the impressive game design team of Bækholt & Vetlesen.
Capsule Review Rating (1 is the worst, 5 is the best) Rules: 5 I don’t read Norwegian, but the English translation is available, and they look to be well-organized and as beautifully illustrated and clearly instructive as anything I’ve seen in the hobby. Graphics: 5 – no question. Ease of Play: 5, even with the «advanced» game rules, and it is highly interactive and just fun. Solitaire Play: 5, with all the variability and possibilities of the campaign historically and of this game of it. Historical Realism: 5 for overall simulation of the campaign. Lower, regarding an unhistorical possibility or two, even if minor. Game Balance: 4? The game is so variable it is still too early to tell. The Germans may (or may not) have an advantage, but «D-Day»-like game-wrecking solutions have not been found. Time of Play: 5 A comfortable evening’s game – around 3 hours – with experienced players for the advanced game. The basic game must be much faster, but – except for much younger players – why bother with it?
We are very happy that both Lou and John like our game so much. Following the release of Paper Wars #78 we have had orders for the game from almost all corners of the world (USA, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Italy and Sweden), to our great astonishment. Also another great review on Boardgamegeek was posted from a gamer that bought KoN after seeing the Paper Wars review.
Kampen om Norge (Battle of Norway) was recently given an excellent review by Mark Rivera at Boardgames in Blighty. We hope to meet some new KoN gamers at SPIEL in Essen later this month. Hopefully the people who play it there will feel the same way as Mark. We can also reveal that we will bring a fully functional prototype of a brand new game that we are developing to the fair. It is based on the same game engine as KoN, but deals with another WW2 conflict.
People planning to go to SPIEL in Essen can pre-order their copy of KoN here.
Here are a few quotes from the review:
I spotted this game on the Boardgamegeek Essen 2013 list and thought, I’ve got to play!
The first thing that you notice is the production quality of the components of this game. The artwork is very nice indeed. […] The map looks lovely and is clearly marked with the areas for movement.
There are shorter campaigns included with the rules which can be played, and in fact I recommend this so that you can learn how to play. The short campaigns are excellent in themselves and an interesting challenge.
ITS ALL ABOUT THE CARDS – The coolest part of this game is the card system. The cards for all three armies are the engine for getting things done. […] This is a very clever, and user friendly system which gives the players a feel for the options available to the commanders during the Norway campaign. The system is very easy to use and the clarity of the green/red system aids the players and allows you to keep the game flow moving. The cards are used for specific operational actions or can be traded in for reinforcements.
The basic game rules are plenty to get stuck into. They work very well and come together smoothly. There is a similarity to Axis & Allies – type games which if you are familiar with them will make this game a breeze to learn and get into. The card system is the stand-out feature of the game.
Did I enjoy Kampen om Norge?
I can comment for playing Kampen om Norge with the the basic rules and say that I think that it is a brilliant game. The design is clean, and well structured. The rules are clear and its pretty easy to get into. The subject matter is not found in many games at all yet, it is very unusual due to the the mix of military factors involved and the challenges for the combatants. You really get a sense of the risks involved for all sides and that this campaign could have gone either way. It feels very tense with victory on a knife edge. The game looks great and you don’t feel overwhelmed as you might in some of the Axis & Allies games as there are a limited amount of units in play.
The card system is a master stroke and really gives you operational options which are interesting and pushes you to think through how best to use your cards. Having said that, the game turn plays pretty quickly and with a limited amount of units, moves along nicely.
This games avoids the “death by chrome” problem found in far too many war games and gives you just enough historical elements, and most of this is resolved in the cards and when you play them for a specific effect. Really nice. The ability to use card effects during your turn or your opponent’s turn is an interesting and clever mechanic and gives you some interesting choices. The relatively limited amount of spaces and limited movement means the crunch points will be combat led. And yet, its not a static game due to the spread of areas of conflict.
Overall, Kampen om Norge is a lovely game, nicely designed, with nice components. It is a game you can pull off the shelf for a quick game using the scenarios or crack open for a longer game for the main campaign and advanced rules which I suspect don’t add too much complexity and time but do add a deeper coverage of the wider elements in what is a very interesting campaign. I am itching to get this to the table soon and also to read up on the campaign and those two points alone tell me that I can wholeheartedly recommend it.