AdSense1_728x90_as

Monday, July 31, 2017

Men of Iron (2005)

Men of Iron (2005)

Ratings

6.82952 out of 10 with 488 ratings
Board Game Rank: 2284
War Game Rank: 418

Description

(from GMT website:)

Men of Iron covers the re-emergence of infantry in the early 14th century, along with a more perceptive understanding of the value of combined-arms warfare especially with good use of defensive terrain. The scenarios highlight the key elements that made these battles so fascinating: the defensive power of the longbow, especially when used in coordination with dismounted, or even mounted, men-at-arms. Given the right deployments and forces, the inability to take advantage of the marvelous abilities of the vaunted knights, the finest mounted force in Europe, became something of a surprise to many "experts."

Men of Iron is designed for quick learning and easy play. Game rules are short, there are no "turns" - play is Continual, with ample opportunities to steal play from your opponent - and combat resolution is a single dieroll. Playing time is about 1 hour per battle. Really!

Men of Iron is also GMT's gift to the gamer who enjoys playing solitaire - the system is designed for both individual and face-to-face play without any loss in insight or Fun - to see what happened in these famous battles and why.

The battles included in Men of Iron are:


Falkirk - Scotland, 22 July 1298 - Wallace's great disaster, despite his massive schiltron. Good infantry is fine, but it needs support. The ultimate solitaire scenario.
Courtrai - Flanders, 11 July 1302 - The Battle of the Golden Spurs The Flemish shock the elite French army with one the earliest displays of the power of solid infantry using defensive positions.
Bannockburn - Scotland, 23-24 June 1314 - Robert the Bruce's famous triumph over a numerically superior but literally bogged down English army.
Crecy - France, 26 August 1346 - The first great battle of the 100 Years War. It showed that infantry, supported by archers, could defeat the best knights in Europe.
Poitiers - France, 19 September 1356 - The French fight dismounted this time and almost win. But the longbow, and solid English infantry prevail again.
Najera - Castile, 3 April 1367 - The Black Prince goes to Spain with a marvelous combined arms force to further English plans of "expansion".



The units feature longbows, crossbows, men-at-arms (mounted, dismounted, and unhorsed), hobilars, genitors, nasty Scots with axes, and even a couple of bombards! And the commanders! The great English King, Edward III and his son, The Black Prince, Wallace and The Bruce, Captal de Buch, and a host of kings. Each and every one a Man of Iron.
Components:

3 counter sheets (700 total)
Two 22x32 inch mapsheets (six game-maps)
Battle Booklet
3 Play Aid Cards
Rule Book
Two ten-sided die




DESIGNER Richard Berg
DEVELOPER Jack Polonka
MAP ART Knut Grunitz
COUNTERS Rodger B. MacGowan, Mark Simonitch, & Mike Lemick

  • Designer: Richard H. Berg
  • Artist: Knut Grünitz, Mike Lemick, Rodger B. MacGowan
  • Publisher: GMT Games
  • Year Published: 2005
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 12
  • Playing Time: 180
  • Suggested Ages: 12
  • Language Dependence: Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Medieval, Wargame
  • Mechanic: Hex-and-Counter
  • Family: Men of Iron Series
  • Alternate Names: Men of Iron

Reviews

By
GMT, Mint, unopened.

7 out of 10
By
Updated from 6->7, the rules for this were initially atrocious, until the 2nd volume in the series (Infidel) came and fixed/clarified alot of the issues. It is now quite a fast paced low complexity GBOH'ish game. Would get a higher rating if the battles were not so one sided (great for historical learning tho).

By
2009 Xmas gift from Margo.

By
D'loaded the rules so I could play the C3i Agincourt battle module. I can see how the system would lend itself to solitaire play. A new P500 of this one would be nice.

5 out of 10
By
Nice looking game, which plays fairly smoothly. I really don't care for the large number of die roll modifiers required for combat. The scenarios are all unbalanced and the special rules tend to make them more so, rather than balancing them out.

By
Bought direct from GMT in the States, May 2009.

8 out of 10
By
Solo only so far. Infidel is more balanced, but this is simpler and faster. I don't like Courtrai. Attempting to attack through the gap in the ditch leads to a very very slow battle.

7.3 out of 10
By
My first proper hex and counter wargame. Underestimated the setup time. Boy, does this take long to set up... The "simple" and short rules leave much to be desired, a lot of common situations - multiple attackers, charging - are vague or underdeveloped. Definitely not easy to slip into. [Rating system: 1st digit "objective" value, decimal place "want to play"]

7 out of 10
By
Fairly easy and fast paced game easy to master in its general rules. I'm personally fascinated by the warfare in medieval age and I think Berg has done a good job in rendering the general idea. I wish the maps were bigger and game had a larger scale, overall. The system of the standards works well. The position and defense of the standards is crucial for the game. Combat (fire, shock and charge) are fairly easy to learn. The game takes inspiration from some rule of Great Battle of Ancient History. Thus, gamers familiars with that series will find Men of Iron both easy to play and enjoyable on a medium/high standard.

By
v

6 out of 10
By
The system is a Simple GBOH of Simple GBOH, the problem is most battles are one-sided if played per historical rules, such as that they were. And you don't want to play 'em non-historically, do you?

By
Rules are fairly simple although there are a lot of changes to the rules to be found in the living rules. After a first play longbow men seem very powerful - they can take out strong defensive units at a distance. Anyone on foot stands little chance in engaging them because of reaction fire.

By
From Kublacon 2015 Auction Mania for $20, punched. Have been looking for a punched copy to try out with Aaron. This one has the C31 no 22 Agincourt exp but no copy of the scenario. Will need to locate my copy.

4 out of 10
By
Interesting game and good graphics, BUT TOO MUCH LUCK in the activation die roll. My army was smashed since my opponent activated units about 5 times more than I did (and leader activation rates were similar). I only stood there when my opponent was getting fun kicking my units around. This is not funny... nor historical... :-( Maybe better if activation rate is used as drm for both the gamers rolling an activation die. Even better if a minimal activation is guaranteed (for example one activation bonus if other player's leaders were all activated in a row).

By
(G)

8 out of 10
By
This game system has become one of my favorites. The back and forth nature of activations, along with all of the Reaction Fire, Return Fire, and Counter-charging going on makes for a game with a lot of player interaction, unpredictability, and excitement. Bring on the sequels, Mr. Berg!

6 out of 10
By
+ Short & simple version of Berg's real games - Some rules make no sense. Units activation is a mess.

9 out of 10
By
I've only played solitaire, but I'm really enjoying this so far.

8 out of 10
By
rules in spanish

1 out of 10
By
Not really deserving of a 1 - but I doubt I will ever play it again. The system is almost too simple, and gameplay is so harsh to the attacker that play feels stilted. Taking the extra time to learn GBH seems a better choice. Might be a good choice for solitare play.

6 out of 10
By
A fairly fun, fast game. The defender usually has little to do beyond readjusting their line to allow for units that break. As a solo game, it is fairly strong and provides a nice look at this age of combat. [b]Chain of Generosity:[/b] Grognard Chain, received Empire of the Sun

By
Sold on Geek Market.

6.25 out of 10
By
Interesting game, I love the theme but am not enamored with the game play. The activation system seems a bit clunky and the rulebook needs some serious work, but fun and not to heavy.

By
Hve yet to play, but looks to be a simple-ish medieval tactical warfare chit game.

5 out of 10
By
Units feel way too maneuverable for my taste.

7 out of 10
By
A good simulation. Beautiful parts/maps. Gameplay is quick and bloody. Clear and easy rules. Scenarios are a bit un-balanced though. and ach! The Scots are almost unplayable. Setup is a little long winded and overly complicated. Good game though.

4 out of 10
By
Six scenarios, none balanced. Fiddly maths to determine fiddly modifiers to die rolls. Poorly-worded rules with too many ambiguous passages. SPQR Deluxe is better, even if it also replicates many of the flaws of the game and adds a pile of its own. Sold to GGH.

By
UNPUNCHED

By
2nd copy, punched

By
3rd Copy, Shrink

By
Just bought, on the way!

7 out of 10
By
Medieval wargame - now you don't say that very often. Scenarios weighted to run similarly to the original result, but there's optional rules to make that more or less the case. Simple combat system and a nice activiation system for continuing / ctealing command activation. Played the Agincourt map so far, so I need to get some of the scenarios from the game proper to the table.

By
Agincourt

7.6 out of 10
By
Good game, works well solo

By
I don't do RHB games.

By
Unplayed so far

6 out of 10
By
Own Agincourt battle module. Solo session to learn the rules. I like the activation mechanic and could see it being implemented in a miniatures game like WFB. Series Battles: 7

7 out of 10
By
Beer and pretzels (by my definition). Battles roll along with a relatively simple rule set, leaving most of your concentration on game play instead of rule look up. However, the battles themselves are often not that interesting with bungling knights hitting fixed infantry positions. Rally to banner positions instead of a designated mapside is quite interesting; something seen in later designs of GBoH (of which this is not).

7.5 out of 10
By
Looks interesting, can't wait to play. Have played Falkirk solo - a good introductory solo game (the Scots have no chance admittedly). Things I loved - The historical sweep of the situation. Berg is rightfully regarded very highly for this sort of game, and I love the history that is crafted into this game. It really gives you an appreciation of the work that has gone into it and provides an interesting perspective on the history itself. Enjoyable - I am glad I own this as it is a very solid short and straight-forward war game. Good fun. Update: Played Courtrai, I can only reiterate what I have already said - this is a solid little game that seems a fine introduction to this style of historical simulation game. I like it a lot.

8 out of 10
By
Great system.

10 out of 10
By
Men of Iron is a very good game of medieval tactical warfare. It has some very surprising mechanics, but no complaints. It adapts to solitaire play very easily. The complaints about scenarios balance might be true if you are too ridged and competitive. If you use some of the variations suggested in the scenarios, it works great.

5 out of 10
By
I don't think the system fits the subject.

7 out of 10
By
Picked up used. Punched and clipped.

6 out of 10
By
I had to fix the activation rule in order to obtain something a little bit more realistic and some scenario specific rules are sometimes flawed. Otherwise it's a quite simple but not unpleasant game.

6 out of 10
By
This does play well and easy to play . . . once one understands how the issue of turn initiative works. I don't agree that this takes only an hour to play, nearly everyone will use double that or more to finish. I would love using this game system on other battles of the era.

6 out of 10
By
Sort of GBOH lite, which is probably what you need for this era. Looks nice and plays quickly, but unconvinced by the battle choices

By
adquirido 02 marzo 2010. Cambiado a Nino (Eslovenia) agosto 2017

By
Part of my collection of Scottish-themed games (Bannockburn scenario).

8 out of 10
By
This game is a great simulator of Medieval combat, not much of a game though. A great 1 player game, especially for fans of Medieval history!

5 out of 10
By
I would give 6 as a solo game.

7 out of 10
By
Easy to play and actually pretty easy to teach, Men of Iron is a good "starter" wargame that has a lot of core hex-and-counter concepts as well as an appealing, interesting subject matter. The system is surprisingly clean for a Berg design and tremendously playable. Overall, a solid and attractive wargame that really deserves more table time.

9 out of 10
By
After playing my first Men of Iron scenario (Poitiers -- and losing really bad as the English; my opponent was unbelievably lucky on activation rolls), this has become a must-have. The game is simple without being simplistic. The rulebook is fairly clear (except shock and charge combat, which make more sense once you've seen the tables for them), and it's filled with interesting (and snarky) historical notes from the designer. Scenarios can easily be played in an evening (which is a big plus), and it looks like most of them would also be ideal for solitaire play. July 16th, 2008 -- I played Nejara as the English last night and, despite losing to the Spanish, I greatly enjoyed the battle. Men of Iron is a fun, tense game that's not too complex nor too simplistic. Highly recommended. My rating stands. 9/10

8 out of 10
By
This one game that can surprise the panzer-pusher in your life that not all great armored combat games have treads. Light rules, plays in half an afternoon, solo-friendly, and equates the longbow with the American Express card--don't leave home without it! Just good times through and through. My recommendation on the historical version of the Falkirk scen ... play a portion of it solo once. Don't waste time setting up the whole Scottish formation. Just form up one schiltron, subject it to longbow fire, then shock/charge the distrupted remnants with some foot and horse units. That'll give you sense for the rules--then move on to the other scens.

7 out of 10
By
Un jeu plaisant avec un système qui semble simple mais qui demande de la pratique pour bien maîtriser les finesses. Les interactions entre les différentes "troupes" sont indispensables pour pouvoir l'emporter, et ce n'est pas un élément intuitif et évident à saisir. Les batailles sont un peu frustrantes car les règles spéciales sont trop nombreuses et sont destinées à a reproduire les résultats historiques...Crecy, Azincourt et Falkirk en particulier. Les autres batailles sont plus disputées, ma préférée étant Bannockburn. A noter que les indications sur les camps favorisés sont parfois à mon avis fausses...Par exemple, les Ecossais à Bannockburn ne sont pas du tout si puissants que cela...

6 out of 10
By
Excellent job capturing medieval battle warfare but rules could be better written. Brevity is not always clarity.

By
Shrink.

By
Good rules set. Miniatures rules without the figures

2 out of 10
By
Not sure what Berg thinks he is adding to the gaming industry except more mediocre titles that unwary gamers have to trudge through in order to find those few rare gems out there. Biggest complaint is the activation/continuity system, which makes for lopsided play (a Poiters battle I played saw the French activating 6 times in succession and basically destroying the English line before the English had their first activation).

By
En el club

8 out of 10
By
Very good game and system. One of my favorites by RHB.

3 out of 10
By
Activation system is ludicrous.

4 out of 10
By
The game is almost very good. Almost because it doesn't include time. Time does exist. Without it, why should the French attack at Crecy? There is no reason for them to do so. The game needs some serious house rules.

By
Purchased 19 June 2011 via eBay.

By
Wargame Táctico. 2 Iniciación. Edad media. Hex and counter.

3 out of 10
By
Tipically Richar Berg product: balance is bad for most scenario's.I wanted an operational level wargame, I have one. But honestly I do not realy like the operational ones.

2 out of 10
By
A period of history I do enjoy, but this game left me flat. Kind of surprising, because I ususally see a gem after you get over the rules in Berg's games.

By
Soloable wargame in under an hour and a half!

6 out of 10
By
2 player wargame

7.5 out of 10
By
Difficult to rate, this one is. The system is fantastic, and probably deserves a 9 or 9.5 rating. It's simple, intuitive, plays quickly, and still retains a good period feel. There is chrome in just the right amounts. In play, it is a tad simpler than the Simple GBoH rules set. The designer's commentaries are great as usual. The only problem is the battles themselves, which are brutally lopsided, thus probably best played solitaire. I might try this using a rout point bid system.

6 out of 10
By
Fun system, not too complicated.

7 out of 10
By
Nice system, but decidedly one-sided scenarios, which I guess is the point. The problem with the 2-player game is the continuation mechanism. One side can keep going, turn after turn. If your opponent does that, you're sunk! Go solitaire on this one. One other problem is that the rules are unclear on several points, including what the facing of your target is if you attack down a hex spine.

6.8 out of 10
By
Would play at the request of another, but probably wouldn't recommend it myself. Most games seem to devolve to a Do-er against a Done-to. Most players know what happens when Heavy Cavalry charges a shield-wall of pikes, or massed long-bows,and so few of the scenarios play out as history did.

By
Unplayed & Unpunched

9 out of 10
By
The system is definetely very interessant and quick to leanr/play, but deep enough for historins! I was able to make my own scenarios (Bourghteroulde for Normans and Muret). Very good!

7 out of 10
By
Period: Medievel Scale: Tactical Battle Publisher: GMT Note: Good game of the period. There were some rules ambiguities and I had some trouble with the set ups of one scenario.

8 out of 10
By
Im a fellow sGBOH fan boy, and medieval ages are a second passion of mine next to Ancient time period warfare. So if your looking for a game that will both give you insight to that time period in terms of warfare AND a bit of a history lesson, then look no further because you cant go wrong with a Berg designed war game, period. Now lets move on to the components: GMT does great jobs with that so kudos to them for another excellent looking game. The Battles: almost all the battles are on an "offensive, defensive" posture. So one side is definately fortified up (with fewer units), while the offensive side has more units (more so that losing a few won't hurt them as much). But the thing is, after playing thru all the scenario's (including agincourt), the "losing" team historically can definately pull victories here. Its not as hard as many make it seem. All you have to do is analyze where the "weaknesses" are in the terrain where the defensive side is posted, and use it to your advantage because you already have the higher number of units (being on the offensive), so its only a matter of smart tactics + sheer dice rolls (of course) and you can make it happen. Even if your luck is horrible, victory is still attainable. The game like Great Battles of History series, will reward strategy and numberical superiority in combat (flanking, greater numbers, etc.) The only reason why i didnt rate this game higher is due to the fact that its rule mechanics dont reach the perfection that is sBGOH (simple great battles of history). However its damn close. Outside of the minor quips with the rules (one in particular that states that not all units have a ZoC which i think should be changed because flanking an enemy is too easy...) the game itself is great. Again minor quibbles but it doesn't deteriorate from the fact that its a wonderfully designed game that gives you a nice glimpse into a fascinating time period. Solid 8.

By
Note to self: as I don't find GBoH's activation system at all realistic, avoid this one.

4 out of 10
By
Seriously, fuck modifiers.

By
need to play this at some point

6 out of 10
By
Could give more but I dislike the no turn system

7 out of 10
By
Excellent game system on medieval combat. But the scenarios are horribly unbalanced.

By
unpunched and unplayed

By
Ordered from GMT (November 2007).

8 out of 10
By
Creates a good medieval battle feeling.

6 out of 10
By
Relatively quick-playing scenarios. Rules are short, but should have been a page or two longer to clarify some situations. Nice counter and map artwork.

6 out of 10
By
Six battles in one box, straight-forward rules, lots of period flavour. I like this game.

7 out of 10
By
Bannockburn

7.5 out of 10
By
Warfare in the Middle Ages. Each scenario can be played in about 1 to 2 hours. Fun game.

7 out of 10
By
Great easy to play game. Once rules are learned, very quick playing.

8.1 out of 10
By
Sept 22, 2007 - Feels like GBoH lite. 2 plays. 7/10. April 2008 - Additional plays. The scenarios are becoming a real hoot to play, Those Chivalrous (read:stupid) French are a blast. Increasing rating to an 8/10

6.5 out of 10
By
I'd be interested to see this game expended to cover the following battles: Mons-en-Pévèle (the re-match for Courtrai), Bouvines (birth of the French nation), Bonnegarde and Taillebourg.

By
Agincourt scenario only

8 out of 10
By
Simple game that streamlines the best parts of the Great Battles of History Series into a visually pleasing package, even if the rules are ambiguous in several places. It has enough chrome to evoke period flavor but not enough to make you look through a rulebook for arcane rules and special modifiers. I would rate it higher but the scenarios, while playable and generally accurate, are not what I'd call espcially fun. Most feature a large horde attacking a well placed defender. This is in keeping with the theme, but not usually my idea of a fun wargame session. In other words I can play this game a few times a month but a steady diet of it would create indigestion.

8.5 out of 10
By
Great game, good choices for demonstrative scenarios, some have criticized scenario balance, but from my studies, most medieval battles were pretty unbalanced. Love the flow of the game, now how about some Swiss battles in this system, Richard!

By
MN

5 out of 10
By
The Men of Iron system is guilty of being dynamic and totally bogus. Basically, despite the hundreds of die-rolls per game, the key rolls are all about command, either keeping it (via continuation), or taking it. If these rolls go against you or for you, you with occasionally win or lose not because of skills or abilities, but rather just because of luck. However, that's not the greatest problem. The greatest problem with the system is that down-time is hopelessly down. There is no use planning your move because you may not get the next move. So, your moves cannot be pre-planned which means downtime is worse than it might otherwise be. The actual clash of arms...one unit against another, is excellent, easy to calculate, and fun to resolve, but loss of initiative can cause whole flanks to become extremely porus without there being any effect to the unit. Not enough redemption for fun. This title is probably the worst game in the series. Any game that emphasizes how powerful massed slow boring infantry are against interesting cavalry attacks will inherently be less fun.

6 out of 10
By
Decent game, but slower than expected. Not as elegant as Commands & Colors: Ancients but nice to tinker with. I like the many the clever, turn-less activation system, and the many different troop types and formations. The English longbow is particularly devastating. The battles turn into a entertaining chaos of shock attacks and counter-charges, but it can be a chore (and boring) to keep track of all 2 and -1 modifiers. It works as a 2-player as long as you don´t play the strictly historical setups. The last big battle, Najera against the Spanish troops is the most entertaining, IMHO. I would have liked it better with bigger counters and sturdier maps. Worth picking up in a trade or if you can get it for a reduced price. The battle histories are a good read, probably the best thing in the game.

7 out of 10
By
just played an ahistorical agincourt: very fun! simple, effect oriented mechanics are the core of this game system that try to depict the problems faced by top ranks military commanders on the late medieval battlefield, expecially those related to morale effects and arms interaction. the design allows for an interesting amount of interaction between the players, nevertheless the absence of game turns not coupled with some mechanics limiting the activation of commands produce a notable distortion in the performance of the better commanded units. The scenarios chosen by berg in Men of Iron, in my opinion, aren't really interesting.

7 out of 10
By
Men of Iron has a very concise 12 pages of rules (maybe 1 or 2 more pages with each scenario) that recreates something akin to 14th century combat. There's a good amount of historical "flavor" in the rules. Scenarios are imbalanced but so were the actual battles.

7 out of 10
By
Light enough to be enjoyable. I found Musket & Pike to be a little too inaccessible for me but this one is lower on the complexity scale and benefits from it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...