Game Title : Argeria
Publisher : Fiery Dragon
Game Designer : Brian Train
Game Thema : Argerian independence war 1954-1962
1 game map, 3 counter sheet, rulebook, charts and tables, 2 dice
“Argeria” is not a popular topic at least in Japan.
The reason why I picked this game was that this game is designed by Brian Train. I like his design “Battle for China” published on Command Magazine Japan.
I’d like to start to describe the first impression. The first thing I noticed is the game box is really compact. The map is smaller than I expected and still covers the whole Argeria. But, it is not familiar type of map. It is a kind of point to point map. And each point has a set of boxes. These boxes are Patrol box, Mission box, Mission complete box and Underground box. This is a first important difference from usual wargame and actually the most important point of this unusual game.
The game describe the guerilla warfare. Due to its unusual nature, this game uses very unique missions’ game system. There’s no regular movement rule, no regular combat rule. Instead, you must understand how variety of missions works to implement your tactics.
I think we must start to understand how to get the victory in this game.
Basically, the victory is determined by political support level. Each player has his PSL. And if one side’s PSL is reduced to zero, then the game would end as the other side’s victory.
Based on this scheme, you must understand how to get your PSL and how to reduce enemy’s PSL.
In case of FLN, he can get PSL by doing Propaganda missions. And once his PSL goes over 100, the excess could not be stored instead be deducted from French player’s PSL.
On the other hand, French player can directly attack FLN’s PSL by Pacification missions. Though, this mission can directly reduce enemy’s PSL, this mission costs French player’s PSL simultaneously.
For Propaganda mission, FLN player can do this mission only once in each area in one turn. And he must have units to do this in that area. So, the important thing is how to get reinforcement units and deploy them into many areas as soon as possible.
The reinforcement of FLN must be mobilized by spending APs. APs can be got from FLN controlled areas and his current PSL. So, gaining the control of areas are important, and again for this purpose, he must mobilize reinforcements and deploy them into areas.
I think now you can understand this process is somewhat self-reproducing. Once he has many areas controlled, this would give him more reinforcement and accelerate his missions.
This mechanics demand that French player must stop this sequence early enough to become this process uncontrollable for French player.
Fortunately, the size of FLN organization is small at start.
So, French player has enough chance to react this FLN’s self-multi-prizing sequence.
Due to the scheme above, now you can understand another important tactics. Eliminating FLN units are very effective to stop or at least to slow down their self-multi-prizing. As described before, in this game you cannot attack enemy by regular attacking procedure such as moving adjacent and then declare the attack. Instead, you must do the same thing by very different mechanics. The most effective direct attack is done by Flush missions. Flush missions can be conducted by French static units in that area. So, first you must deploy French static units in the area where FLN units are. This is somewhat tricky. As you can estimate from its name, static units cannot move in regular way. You must mobilize it and deploy it in the target area during reinforcement procedure. This fact gives FLN player a big advantage, that he can easily predict French player’s attack. But, fortunately their counter attack ability is strictly limited. Basically they can attack French units only by strike mission which can be conducted only in urban areas. In addition, strike missions damage FLN’s PSL as you can imagine that terror attack in urban area is usually not supported by people.
So, both sides are strictly limited in their ability to resolve this warfare. And very different type of warfare you will see in this game. I believe this is really a clever design of guerilla warfare.
Though this is not a easy game due to its uniqueness, I strongly recommend this game for wargamers who would like to know the nature of guerilla warfare. I strongly believes that guerilla warfare become more common and important in recent days. So, this game might be a very attractive choice for many wargamers recently.