17 February 2022
The back-up we’ve been waiting for
This article originally appeared in issue 63 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here.
The Undaunted series has racked up two Must-Play ratings from this magazine in the past. It’s a simple fact that there’s few tabletop wargame experiences that come close to hitting exactly the right notes as this series has. A mix of dice chucking for combat resolution, deck building and winnowing to represent your forces, and a traditional scenario-based approach to setting the game up make it something that nearly everyone should try. That is, if you have a games night that’s a twosome, or your partner doesn’t mind trudging around the to-be-muddied battlefields of Normandy for an evening. Ultimately the only complaint people could really have with Undaunted’s previous outings was that only two people could play it.
Well, here comes the cavalry. Not literally of course. Instead, we’ve got the introduction of David Digby and Dávid Turczi to give us further ways to play the game in solo and four-player modes.
But first, there’s a production note that needs adding here. The box for Reinforcements is exactly what this reviewer personally wants for expansions. The box is a little bit taller on the same footprint, but has exactly the right amount of room to contain all of the new stuff, plus the entire previous two games. It comes with dividers and slots for literally everything. While this is a very small thing in the grand scheme of a review, simply having Osprey offer this as the new box option, freeing your shelves up, is a gift.
The new stuff includes some tanks for Normandy, some mines and aircraft for North Africa (yes, you’re going to get peppered with bullets from the sky now) and a handful of new units. The mines for North Africa are an interesting choice. They will, if triggered, cause huge damage to anyone unlucky enough to be in the way. This, depending on the scenario, can lead to situations where players are turtling around each other as the field of battle becomes a bit of a slog. The new scenarios are, for the most part, excellent additions. It’s simply nice to have even more options – even if some of the scenarios can feel a little bit like digging in and taking pop-shots at one another.
The four player mode is a kind of split shared hand deal that works and will get more players to the table. The third and fourth players have less cards, and take normal turns after the first and second players of opposite teams do. It’s a simple implementation that worked seamlessly.
The solo mode uses a huge bunch of new order cards that works a little like a flowchart. It’s simple enough to implement and feels mostly like two-handing the game, but with the annoying cognitive load of playing against yourself removed. It can occasionally get fiddly, and your early sessions will have you returning to the rulebook to affirm what you believed to be correct. It fills in a gap in a game that feels like it should have always had a solitaire mode.
And that’s the biggest feeling we got from this expansion – a huge exhalation of relief. There wasn’t any danger of it going wrong, but more that, Undaunted: Reinforcements makes the game complete.
Christopher John Eggett
For those who already enjoy the other games in the series, this expansion is a guaranteed hit. For those coming to it for the first time, pick this box up alongside the others, it will give your game night the flexibility it needs to have a good old war.
An obvious choice, but this is the final piece of the puzzle for this series of games.
Designer: Trevor Benjamin, David Thompson, David Turczi, David Digby
Publisher: Osprey Games
Time: 45 minutes
What’s in the box?
- 13 LRDG force cards
- 3 LRDG combat counters
- 14 Italian force cards
- 3 Italian combat counters
- 16 US forces card
- 3 US vehicle combat counters
- 1 US spawn token
- 16 German forces card
- 3 German vehicles combat counters
- 1 German spawn token
- 8 mine tokens
- 2 Command tokens (for four player games)
- 4 Objective markers
- 4 Rough terrain tokens
- 150 Solo cards
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