Game Title : 800 Heroes: Defense of Sihang Warehouse
Publisher : Formosa Force Games
This game is published as a second issue game of a new Taiwan’s game magazine “Zhanqi #1”.
Game Designer : Wei-Cheng Cheng
Game Thema : Battle around Sihang Warehouse from 1937 10 / 27 to 11 / 1 in Shanghai
Shanghai incident occurs after the Manchu invasion by Imperial Japanese force. The hardest fight was done over the Sihang Warehouse for 4 days. This warehouse located riverside and could be seen from English concession and filmed from the settlement and reported overseas. Thus, this was very important battle for Nationalist China on diplomacy.
1 turn = 1 day ( 6 turns )
1 small map containing 9 areas
Please believe me, that the counters are mounted and map is laminated. It really looks like the quality of professional boxed games.
Briefly speaking, this game uses a modified version of “ Storm over ” game system.
One game turn is consisted with
1: reinforcement placement
2: initiative determination
3: alternative actions by both players
4: action point recovery
In one action, the player determines the units inside one area which act this time.
He can do one of Movement / Attack by those units.
The units has have action point allowances on them which varies from 1 to 3. This limits the number of actions it can take in every turn. Every turn, they start their full allowance. And every time they act, they use one of their allowance by rotating them to show the remaining allowance.
In case of Movement, they can move to adjacent area. In case of Attack, they can attack the enemy unit in the same area or adjacent area. To resove the attack, the player rolls 2 dice and compare the sum with the defence value of the target unit. The defence value varies from 6 to 9. If the player attack more than one unit, he can get +1 die roll modifier for every additional attacking unit.
If attack is successful, the target unit will lose one action point if it still have and retreat back to their HQ one area. If the enemy player don’t like to retreat, or the unit cannot retreat for some reason, it must lose one step. Most of the units have 2 steps (front and back).
Though the game only have 17 units, there are enough number of the special units. Machinegun unit can roll twice for its attack. Mortar unit can only attack the adjacent area, but it can attack all units in that area. Artillerly unit can only attack the adjacent area or area in 2 areas and attack all units in that area. Japanese Light Tank unit has +1 modifier for its attack. Chinese commander unit can give their action point allowance to the friendly unit in the same or adjacent area.
Challenge for players
Though the game is small and it uses the similar game mechanics as “Storm over”, it still has new excitement and its own taste.
Since most units have more than one action point allowance, one turn is much longer than the original “Storm over” system in which every unit has basically only one action point in every turn. This fact makes the game as mating problem. If the enemy has active potentially danger unit, you can first strike it and take its action point and make it retreat back before it can use its potential ability.
In general, Japanese side has more number of strong special units like light tanks and artillery. But, the victory condition demands them hard job. Japanese army must advance to the warehouse and clean it up until the end of the game.
On the other hand, Chinese side has averagely weaker units. But, he has some interesting units which has very flexible ability like Chinese commander. Also, note that some Japanese units are very fragile nevertheless their strong attacking special ability. Thus, if you act like clever fox, it is really interesting to fly like butterfly and to sting like bee on the battlefield.
As a conclusion, I believe this game is very exciting even though it looks very cheapy because of its size. I’m really looking forward to see the future issue of this new game magazine.