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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

North Wind Rain (2003)

North Wind Rain (2003)

Ratings

6.58857 out of 10 with 35 ratings
Board Game Rank: 9533
War Game Rank: 1958

Description

(from the publisher's web site:)

North Wind Rain, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria is an operational/strategic level game covering one of the great 'what ifs' of the Second World War – a Japanese attack against the Soviet Far East. This attack, pitting the elite Japanese Kwantung Army against the full-strength divisions of the Soviet Far East Armies was not simply a hypothetical scenario, but one that the Japanese prepared for and seriously contemplated.

Two variants are offered: a 1941 attack roughly concurrent with the German assault against European Russia in which the Kwangtung Army faces some of the best units of the Soviet Far East Army and a 1942 scenario in which the Kwangtung Army, reinforced by a large mechanized force, squares off against a still large, but not as strong, Soviet Far East Army garrison.

Complexity - Medium
Solitaire Suitability - Medium

  • Designer: Mark Stille
  • Artist: Craig Grando
  • Publisher: Against the Odds, LPS, Inc.
  • Year Published: 2003
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 0
  • Playing Time: 360
  • Honors: 2003 Charles S. Roberts Best Magazine-Published Boardgame Nominee
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Wargame, World War II
  • Mechanic: Dice Rolling, Hex-and-Counter
  • Family: Magazine: Against The Odds
  • Alternate Names: North Wind Rain

Reviews

By
Promising

By
2008.

By
Not played yet. Outstanding Map & counters by Craig Grando.

By
ATO #5

By
From Ebay for $16 on 12/11/09. Sealed. 2nd copy from Kublacon 2010 flea market for $5.

By
Reprinted in 2007

By
A nice map -- finally!

By
Articles read.

By
Just acquired 9/2008.

By
Complete and in excellent condition. Counters neatly trimmed, sorted, and bagged. Includes errata counters from later issues. In ATO-style "deluxe" box.

6 out of 10
By
Not bad but not very exciting neither. some flaws in the rules but they are easy to deal with.

By
unpunched - deluxe edition

By
Deluxe edition includes counter tray/magazine storage

By
#5

9 out of 10
By
Outstanding map, fine operational system, intesresting topic : could I ask for something else ?.

By
Plus later Nomonhan expansion counter/card from ATO

By
Deluxe version with tray, unpunched

7 out of 10
By
Fun game on an obscure topic - good what if scenarios.

By
UP

By
ATO #05 New counters are included in Suleiman the Magnificent, Against the Odds issue #9. A variant titled Early North Wind is included in A Fatal Attraction: The Gallipoli Campaign, Against the Odds issue #20. Contains 2 pages.

7 out of 10
By
Excellent Alt his game, a little marred by a number of missing counters(which is later found in later issues of ATO, I made my own). Has a nice, excellent simple system, easy to learn and smooth play. Hard for the Japanese to win(especially in the 1941 scenario). Very bloody for both sides and the Soviets have the edge in staying power(numbers) & firepower(armor & artillery) and the fact that the VP requirements have the Soviets defending behind excellent defensive terrain. Not really redressed by Japanese quality(higher proficiency) & slightly better mobility(amphibious landings). Not a preety job for the Japanese. Anyways I like the game. Great stuff.

9 out of 10
By
Excellent game. Rules are clear and concise. Graphics are outstanding. Models the situation very well with a slugfest around Vladivostok and a race against time in Western Mongolia. Fun and easy to play. Always seem to come back to it. Have questions about the accuracy of the Soviet OOB and would like to have had a semi-historical set up for the combatants. Otherwise, no complaints whatsoever.

8 out of 10
By
Nice game with a fairly easy system to learn and master. Can be a tough slog for the Japanese in the 1941 scenario, but still a fun play. Graphics are excellent.

By
-Never played

By
ATO #5. 2007 Reprint. (July 2007)

7 out of 10
By
Despite the dull Japanese soldier hemlet on the mag cover, the map is the most gorgeous I have ever seen utilising very well computer graphics and techniques. Counters are designed with elegancy but not the usual factor ratings as in the other game - they have attack-defense at the top of the icon and without a slash or stroke between the two, just the attack number is slightly larger than the defence. So you sometimes misread a 4-4 counter as a 44 something. Nonetheless, the mag is meant to be breaking some of the new wargaming concepts and traditions. Why not the try? As to the system, it is still waiting to be seen to stand the test of the time.

4 out of 10
By
2012-02-02: Played this a long time ago. Still could see myself getting back to it, but never have managed to, which I guess says something. One of the best maps I have ever seen, workable counters (slightly marred by the silly decision to put the values at the top, no big deal but why??), and a potentially interesting situation. I say potentially because as you set it up you have to do a lot of thinking - history cannot be a guide to you here and the game gives no guidance on what to do. So in a sense, this is a truly intriguing situation, you can explore a campaign completely unimpeded. Unfortunately you also keep wondering if it's worth the effort. It's not such a marvelous joy to play that this alone fuels the interest, and historically, well, Khalkin-Gol put an end to all such plans. It's not just that the Japanese chose not to do it, they knew it would be a dumb idea (apart from the fact that there was no readily accessible oil as there was in the West Indies). In a way, very well showcases the promise and curse of the alt-hist game. Update (2014-06-23): After a ten-year hiatus, played another round of the 1942 scenario, after playing Strike North from World at War fired up my interest in a more detailed treatment. Actually liked the game better this time around - having played Strike North I had a clearer idea of the strategic situation. Pros: good system, fairly tight rules, you get the feeling that it represents the fighting well. Still one of the best maps I have ever seen. Cons: The slugfest around Vladivostok decides everything. I played with the solitaire guidelines and these mean that rather than falling back and attriting the Japanese, the Soviets will gut themselves defending the border and then the Vladivostok/Transsib area. The setup is an enormous pain due to the tiny unit IDs and IDs being used for setup specifications even though the individual units are generally cookie-cutter and their individual positions have no meaning (this being an alt-hist game). And finally, the counters [i]did[/i] significantly interfere with play - I caught myself repeatedly using the proficiency rating, which is stupidly placed in the lower right corner, as the movement rating (and then had no idea how long I had been doing this). These counters are [i]stupid[/i]. So, gameplay opinion improved, counter and setup opinion went down, rating stays the same. Update (2014-06-26): I also played the 1939 scenario that was provided later, and it's a fun little game, much faster than the big ones. Unfortunately it bears no resemblance to the historical Nomonhan incident. First, it is essentially impossible to replicate the historical Russian response (50,000 troops) to the Japanese incursion of a mere border hex. Second, there were about 55 days of preparation on the Russian side between the Japanese incursion and the Russian counterattack. That's eleven turns in game terms. But the scenario, though variable in length, ends after ten turns. So the scenario sadly fails to capture either the strategic or the tactical realities of the situation it purports to represent.

8.5 out of 10
By
I like this game. ATO grpahics are top notch and they often tackle less known subjects. This is an hypotheticla game, but a really nice one. It quickly shown both the opportunities and the difficulties shown in a Japanese northern trust and after having played it you understand why they haven't tried this option.

By
hex-and-counter

By
Traded for Not War But Murder.

By
ebay 122007 23U

5 out of 10
By
Fantastic looking map, average counters (although seeing unit values across the top makes for some adjusting), and short / simple rules. Gameplay has a simple flow and plays out quickly, but to me only offers an average to slightly below average replay value.

4 out of 10
By
Odd game, pretend Russo-Japanese war of 1941 or 1942. the counters tend to concentrate in one corner around Vladivostok - the capture or holding of which decides the game - with vast empty spaces across Siberia Manchuria and Mongolia as their towns are worth little in comparison. Decent one off game system, but little replay value unless interested in the subject.

By
Good map.

By
World War II > China Theater > Hypothetical Campaigns

By
mint

7 out of 10
By
A solid hex & counter war game covering a hypothetical WW II battle. IMO, ATO has the best looking mapsheets and counters of all war game publishers.
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