2021 Holiday Tournament: Round 2 Tactical

#1 Team Yankee  vs #3 Fire Team

We’re at the point now where all four remaining game titles are veritable mirrors of each another; Tactical land combat between NATO and Warsaw Pact platoon and company-sized units in West Germany at some point in the mid- to late 1980s. The devil will be in the details when it comes to scoring.

Team Yankee: Pros– Sound game system that is not overly complex. Easy to play and an excellent introductory game for newcomers .Product familiarity, meaning you’ve likely heard of Team Yankee in some regard already.  Cons: Very bland map and counters. Game was unique when released but has not aged well, mostly due to uninspiring scenarios, no depth and limited playability.

Fire Team: Pros-Excellent implementation of tactical unit command and control. Activation system adds a degree of unpredictability and variety to each scenario, enhancing playability. Cons- Very basic map and counter designs. Game sides restricted to US Army and Soviet Army. No other NATO allies included unfortunately.

Concluding Thought: This one could’ve easily went either way. But Fire Team edges out the victory.

Winner: Fire Team

#4 World at War: Eisenbach Gap vs 2 MBT

Two very similar games, but the fact that 25 years of time has passed between their publishing dates has trimmed some of the similarities away. WaW Eisenbach represented the birth of a new generation of tactical games while MBT, in many ways, represents the pinnacle in NATO-WP tactical game designs.

WaW Eisenbach Gap: Pros– Learnable, fairly straightforward mechanics and rules. Cons– Counters have issues with color and thickness, meaning they’re very susceptible to damage. Map could use more of a professional look. As it stands at present, it is very cartoonish.

MBT: Pros– Clear rules with options for Basic and Advanced play. Detailed, realistic play emphasizing tank versus tank. US, British, West German and Soviet forces represented. Cons- Detailed, realistic play (double-edged sword that cuts both ways) Strange counters such as for turrets (buttoned down, open hatch)

Concluding Thought: MBT has aged quite well. To the point it has spawned a second edition with many improvements. WaW, on the other hand, spawned a series of titles that is essentially just much of the same.

Winner: MBT

Author’s Note: I was going to do Tactical and Central Front Operational in this entry but my day is sort of getting past me. So tomorrow I will post Central Front Round 2 and then come Friday we’ll get into the semifinals. –Mike

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