A couple games have appeared at the club lately. First up was our trial of In Her Majesty's Name (the photos of which I still haven't looked at,) and a new(ish) boardgame, Nuklear Winter 68.
One of Scott's finds, it's an alternate history/Weird War Three tactical boardgame, played through a series of thematically linked scenarios. The rulebook starts with a surprisingly comprehensive history of the second world war. Briefly, Hitler is assassinated, Himmler takes over, builds bunkers for the Thrird Reich to hole up in, Allies nuke Germany, build a wall round it to keep people either in or out, nuclear winter for a few years, radiation levels start to dissipate, Third Reich reappear, Mutants appear, chaos ensues. Three factions are available in the game, each scenario dictating who fights whom; The Third Reich, NATO (with added Russians) and The Black Hand (the mutants from the nuclear wasteland.)
It has a random sequence of platoon activations mixed in with some, normally random, events; not all your units are guaranteed an action every turn, there's a nice balancing mechanic which essentially means most of your units will probably activate each turn.
The core combat mechanics is fairly familiar (stat + 2D6 +/- modifiers to beat a target number,) but with an interesting twist. Each unit has three states, shaken, reduced, dead. Attacks can reduce this piecemeal or with one powerful attack. Although this can make the game a little dicey, it's still suitably difficult to kill something in one shot - a good thing.
Now, this isn't really the type of game I usually would go for, (I usually go for a bit more bling on my boardgames) but the theme and execution here really drew me in. The board is both large wonderfully detailed, especially considering it's of a nuclear wasteland. There are plenty of units available for each faction, including aircraft, artillery and the occasional nuclear mutant, and each unit acts appropriately to it's type, digging infantry out of urban areas is suitably sloggy.
I've had a loan of this copy for a couple weeks now and have played through about half the scenarios. Almost all appear well balanced, although the smaller games suffer from flukey dice rolls (looking at you Mr Brown.) We're planning to run one of the three player scenarios soon, all three factions are fighting to control the crashed alien spaceship, what part of that doesn't sound fun. Frustratingly for me, the first print run of the game itself is currently out of print, although the author is taking preorders for an expansion.
Btw, If anyone knows where I could get a copy or if you have a copy for trade, please get in touch using the link on the right.