This afternoon I went into town to pick up a parcel that was waiting for me; it was either text books or a new board game… Fortunately for this blog it was the latter.
Fire in the Lake: the latest installment in GMT Games COIN series had arrived (great price and service from IGUK). This one is the fourth that they have produced- see my earlier post on the Afghan and Colombian games. I was quite excited to see what was in side so I ripped off the cellophane and rummaged through the rather heavy box.
The game is up to the usual high standards the GMT Games always seems to achieve- great heavy duty board, solid pieces and plenty of reference sheets too. The four game able factions are: ARVN, US, VC and PAVN. It will be interesting to see how the rivalry between the latter two factions plays out given that they are ostensibly on the same side. One of the notable features of the game is that any of the factions can be gamed via the mechanics if there are not four players in the game. A rather detail;ed flow chart system is used, though it is quickly picked up in game. It does provide a tough game too so nothing is lost in the game experience if you don’t have a full set of players.
For those that have not played any of the games in the series they all use a card driven mechanism to determine player order in each turn, this can lead to a player either taking the event on the card or taking another action. All of the cards have been drawn from the history of each war, though they will often come out in an ahistoric order; Fire in the Lake for the first time introduces a mechanism that classifies the cards by year so that they event better fit the scenarios in question (so no references to Linebacker 2 when game time is 1966 I’d imagine) again something else that I’m looking forward to exploring when I get round to playing it.
I’ll probably get Brian round to run through the games introduction first before I jump into a full game… watch this space for a fuller report.