DVG News 08-21-2014
DOWN IN FLAMES SERIES
MODERN NAVAL BATTLES SERIES
DOWN IN FLAMES SERIES
MODERN NAVAL BATTLES SERIES
DOWN IN FLAMES SERIES
MODERN NAVAL BATTLES SERIES
It might have been expected from an individual who belabors months to perfect his products, and from a veteran of combat. You've made a very professional product, which just arrived today. (I'm just a 2 year Navy pediatrician, 1975-1977, with a brief stint at Keflavik, an American Soviet sono-buoy base and fly-through NATO spot). And, thanks for having my name on the box and spelled right too.
One thing you can tell, when a game is well done, is that the box is hard to open. The box is calibrated just so exactingly that the game opens with a bit of negative pressure created within. That was, once more from DVG Games, the experience with opening TAL.
The quality of the components are uniformly excellent, including beautifully crafted sturdy counters, a direction folder in quality glossy paper, color illustrations and example game, a solid modular board design a la Twilight Imperium, and even a laminated promotional brochure!
With very few people would I have waited in faith for an order for which I was charged in May 2011. Your word is your bond. And that's about as important as it gets. You get my salute. Congratulations.
-Ronald B., LCDR, USN, Pediatrician, 1977
For Field Commander Napoleon...
Okay, I've played through the entire monstrous campaign.
The components are all top-notch - thick, easy-to-read, beautiful counters, attractive mounted mapboards with the set-up info and charts handily located right on the boards, a nice battle-mat display (unmounted if you didn't pre-order, which I did not, but printed on thick, glossy stock and plenty functional). The rules are in full color with plenty of examples of play and illustrations. Dan really went all out on the components, and they are excellent.
Now for the nitty-gritty... how does it play? Veterans of previous FC titles will recognize the fundamental elements of the FC system, but there are a myriad of improvements and customizations to it for Napoleonics. It is as different from the previous two FC games as they are from each other, but still distinctly part of the FC series. There is a little more meat to combat now, as combat is played out on the battle-mat, and troops must move tactically during battle as well as fight. All three arms are represented appropriately (inf, cav, arty). The battles are the heart of the game, and work very well for the most part. My one niggle here is that Nappy's enemies use random battle-order draws, and therefore their battle orders are often incompetent. The game is balanced around the expectation that the enemy tactics in battle will be less than brilliant however, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't present a problem. Just feels a bit awkward sometimes when an enemy column goes into line formation when they are in their own reserve zone, far from the front line of the battle.
All of Nappy's major campaigns are included - 11 in total - played out over 7 mapboards (some boards host 2 campaigns). EVERY campaign is unique and presents the player with different challenges. Every campaign has it's own special rules that give the campaign flavor. And every campaign is well-designed and well-balanced, such that none of them are easy to win but all are possible to win. There are multiple approaches to victory in most of them. IMO, this is an amazing achievement by Dan. It's rare that you find a multi-scenario game where even half of the scenarios are well-balanced and unique. In this game, all of them are. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. This game was obviously a labor of love, and I believe the time and care put into it really show through, and paid off in the form of a great game.
Alas, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that there are some typos and repeated words in the rules, mostly isolated to a couple of small rules sections that unfortunately didn't get proof-read well enough. It is generally not too difficult to figure out these rules sections even with the typos, but it was a bit annoying and made it a little more difficult to learn the system. Overall, I think this is a minor quibble, as once we got going we had no trouble with the rules.
In conclusion, this game looks absolutely stunning, but when you dig deeper you find it plays as good as it looks. It is full of new ideas for the system, and almost all of them work very well. Many publishers would have split this into 3 games, to milk the system for more profit. I appreciate that Dan didn't do this, but rather offered it all in one comprehensive (and monstrous) package. It is expensive, yes, but after playing it I consider it one of the best values on my gaming shelf, and possibly my most treasured single game.
- Mark H.
I just picked up FC:N at my local game store. Great artwork, nice use of mounted maps, all in all a top notch game.
- Robert T.
I just wanted to add my voice to the many comments congratulating DVG on the recent publication of Field Commander: Napoleon. Sorry if I am being redundant, but the game is an aesthetic triumph and the gameplay on offer is excellent and rewarding. Beautiful artwork of this caliber is not a requirement in my wargames, but it is a definite plus. Also, the service I have received from Dan and DVG has been top notch. I needed a minor replacement piece and Dan responded to my email on a Sunday (not what I expected at all!) and shipped my component immediately without question. This goes above and beyond on all counts. I already own Frontline:D-Day (which I love) and now with FC:N in my hands my anticipation for future DVG products has grown exponentially. I can't wait for U-boat Leader and Battle for Stalingrad among others. Thanks for your great games and service!
Just received the counter sheets for the missing counters. Once again DVG lives up to their excellent reputation for customer support; only equalled by the quality of their games!
Received FC Napoleon in Italy! Another voice added to the choir: magnificent product!
Dan: great game, great design. This really takes the Field Commander games to a new level.
Gorgeous components, seemingly easily-digestible rules and a weekend to get to grips with them. I'm happy to forgo food and those prosthetic nipples I need in order to keep this game.
I just got my copy of Field Commander Napoleon. Holy Mother of Battles this is one big box of awesome stuff. It's an incredible game and value for the money. Seriously, my first reaction was "I think I may have just unwittingly ripped off Dan Verssen." There's too much stuff in the box for the price of the game. I have a feeling this game will become an instant classic, player's game and collectible in the hobby. I would imagine this game will sell out and then skyrocket on auction prices. The boards and counters and rules...simply amazing. Top quality all around. Wow. And putting the name of the preorderers on the box, great idea. Thanks to all those guys too.
Another gorgeous production from the folks at DVG! The only thing that frightens me is the inevitable question: How is he going to top this one?
- Angelo D.
Field Commander Napoleon showed up in Pennsylvania today. It looks AWESOME!!!! The box reminds me of the old SPI Soap Boxes (but much thicker/heavier.) and with the Avalon Hill Mounted Boards (best of both worlds.). Thanks for the great product!!!!
Just opened my FC Napoleon...and it is magnificent! A great rollicking bouncing beauty of a game! (Apologies to Blackadder) A deal at list price, a steal at the pre-pub cost! Great job Dan!
Really enjoying my first game of FC Napoleon. In the first battle the Piedmontese nearly ovewhelmed the French. I thought Napoleon might die before ever gaining great fame. I'd help back a Cav unit to try the Sweep that's in the example of play, but kept blowing the roll. Finally with no one left but the Cav I had it perform a Charge that destroyed three weakened enemy units and saved the day. I'm really liking the details of the tactical system. There are a lot of options and some great choices about how best to use your force.
If you did not order Field Commander Napoleon, do it now! The counters (unbelievably thick), the 7 maps (mounted & not warped a bit) and the instruction booklet are all beautifully presented. I am truly happy I took an expensive chance on this baby. If your wife threatens to divorce you for spending $99 on another d*** game, not to worry. After you show the divorce court judge this work of art, he (or she) will rule in your favor! Seriously, DVG has hit a visual grandslam with Field Commander Napoleon. In closing, given the track record of DVG games, I have little doubt it will be a blast to play. The only downside is that I think I wrenched my back lugging this monster into my apartment.
The mailman rang the bell yesterday and left a large box from DVG. While picking it up, I was attacked by a Puma. Luckily, the box contained my copy of Field Commander Napoleon which I used to dispatch the Puma handily. Yes, it is one big beautiful game! Thanks for the consistent outstanding quality Dan!
For Hornet Leader - Carrier Air Operations...
I really enjoyed Hornet Leader, Dan. It's a game that I'll for sure be playing the rest of my life. I'm really excited about TAL as well!
- Steve K.
Yep, the quality of the components for DVG games is fantastic. And you will find that the gameplay is awesome too.
- Rich D.
Really this is one benchmark for the quality of boardgames out there (games now are "as pretty as HL" or "not so pretty as HL".
- Marcelo P.
I just picked up Hornet Leader and finished my first campaign (IRAN 2014, USMC Long). The game is outstanding and I look forward to many more hours of enjoyment as I play through the various campaigns. I love the addition of the extra pilot cards so the player can chart a pilots career over time from "Newbie" to "Ace". The art work is outstanding and all the cards, counters, and campaign sheets are top quality. The mounted tactical sheet is also a nice addition to the game. Hornet Leader is worth every penny and then some! So far I have Phantom Leader, Hornet Leader, and Frontline and I love all three. Keep up the great work and thanks for putting out such great products.
I just finished my first game of Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations - I played a short campaign (1991 Iraq) and I have to say that I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun and got so caught up in the narrative of a game!! During the 5 missions I had 4 planes shot down, with 2 pilots MIA and it was heart-wrenching - I really cared about my guys and was gutted when they got shot down and weren't rescued. And although the mechanics of the game play seem fairly straight forward and easy to understand, I am really impressed with the amount of decision making and the depth of the game. Which pilots do I choose? What weapons do I load up onto the aircraft? How do I approach the target? are just a few of the questions that I have found myself wrestling with. And I definitely still have a lot to learn! At the end of this campaign I thought I'd done pretty well - with 4 out 5 missions completed successfully. Unfortunately for me, the 4 downed aircraft and 2 MIA pilots meant that I finished with only 2 VP and got a 'dismal' rating. I cannot wait to get home from work tomorrow night and start another longer campaign. What a fantastic game !!
- Rich D.
Bottom line: this is another winner from DVG. They have taken the Phantom Leader system and enhanced it making it even better than before. From making the components even better to making more detailed rules for targets, the system presents a challenge that will keep the player coming back for more time and again. I myself am currently working through all the campaigns playing the short version for each and so far I am showing no signs of fatigue. I think this is because of the variety of planes you can use as well as the combination of more events and targets which makes each campaign a unique experience. For players who are not mainly tactical in nature (like me) this game system is fantastic in that it gives you all the complexity and intensity of the subject matter without getting bogged down in details. So in the end, this game is another must for both the solitaire gamer as well as those who have enjoyed Phantom Leader.
- Tim B.
Hornet Leader landed here last week. I'm just floored at the beauty of this one. I'm almost afraid to desecrate it by punching the counters.
- Mike R.
My copy of Hornet Leader arrived today and all I can say is - WOW!! OK, maybe a little bit more than WOW. The production quality is top notch! The gloss finish on the counters should help them stand up to repeated plays. I like the thicker counters. Having all the experience levels for all of the pilots is a real plus too.
- Steven C.
This is one gorgeous package! I am thrilled with the deep box, as I won't have to leave the cards loose inside, even when I put them in sleeves. Thanks for a great game!
- Theodore B.
HL arrived yesterday. Fabulous! I can only ditto with enthusiasm what others have already raved about.
- David S.
Got my copy of HL2 yesterday. Beautiful components; congrats Dan!
- Tony M.
WOW what a beautiful game! Big box, great art on the cards and playaids.
- Rick W.
My copy arrived today and WOW! Is this one fantastic looking package!!! The thicker counters and the nicely laminated cards are absolutely fantastic! Great job, Dan!!!
- Joel T.
As an avid fan of DVG since the Hornet Leader II series, I just wanted to say that your company makes some of the best games on the market today, not only in terms of the quality of the game play, but also the counter quality. I bought Phantom Leader as soon as it appeared in my FLGS, and I'll be doing the same with the new Hornet Leader too. And, I've just acquired a copy of Down in Flames: Aces High, which I have yet to try. But I think it'll be a big hit with my boys (they're 15 and 9). The Field Commander series is fantastic too.
In an era when there are so many game choices, from so many companies, I never have to think too long about whether I'm going to buy the latest DVG games. Just keep making 'em Dan, and I'll keep buying 'em!
- Jared W.
For Field Commander: Alexander...
I have been playing FIELD COMMANDER ALEXANDER for several weeks. So far, it is one of the best solitaire games I have ever played.
- Steven A.
Dan - Kudos to you, Holly, and the rest of the DVG gaming family for a wonderful "Sophomore" Field Commander splash with Alexander. I just got it in the mail and "wow".
I have Rommel, but the production value here is tremendous. The artwork on the counters is amazing and the pressed campaign boards are awesome. If you ever decide to reprint the Rommel boards this way, let me know! Haven't played any of it so far, but just wanted to take this moment to say "Thank You" for producing a wonderfully looking product.
Oh, and my wife and kids thought Daddy's name on the box was pretty cool. I trust the game play won't disappoint either. Looks similar to Rommel, which I liked a lot.
Keep it up and looking forward to "Junior"!
- Rick Y.
I picked up Alexander a few weeks ago, and all I can say is "WOW!". The production values of this game may be the best I have ever seen. Four mounted maps?! Are you kidding me?!!11!!? Glossy rules? Check. Ample play examples? Check. Nice, thick glossy counters? Check. Solid, indestructible box? Check. I haven't had a chance to play yet, but the reviews of BBG are high across the board (cool pun!) so I'm sure it will be a blast. A very happy customer, and one who is looking forward to buying more of your products. Woot!
Field Commander: Alexander arrived today, and I all can say is "wow, wow, wow!" It looks fantastic.
- Paul A.
Kudos for DVG!!
I just wanted to drop a note here to let any frequent lurkers who are thinking about buying from DVG but aren't sure about quality or customer service.
A few Fridays ago I received a call on my cell phone from DVG saying they had incomplete information for my address and needed it to box up my copy of Modern Naval Battles for shipping. I called back and none other than Dan Verssen the man, the myth, the owner answered the phone. I gave him my address info and Dan was even nice enough to chat for a few minutes during what I assume was a very busy time.
Bottom line is customer service doesn't get any more personal than the owner of the company/designer of some of the coolest games going calling to follow up on missing info. Order their games. You are in good hands.
- Mike R.
For Modern Naval Battles...
So far I like Modern Naval Battles quite a bit. Just what I was looking for.
- Alan K.
Got to try out the latest DVG version of MNB this last weekend and was most pleasantly surprised by the tactics and strategy involved with such a clean fast-playing system. To be honest, I had expected a dice-heavy (i.e. luck heavy) game which was light and fun but not likely to retain much interest. Instead I was pleased to discover a challenging card management and attack optimization game perhaps a level deeper than GMT/Dan's Down in Flames series. I especially like the various nations and their very different fleet/ship differences which lead to different play styles/setups and tactics. Recommended.
- Don S.
For Field Commander Rommel...
WOW!! In an amazing two weeks I went from barely knowing about this game to thinking it is one of the best war games I have. The rules for your game are top notch. They are the best rules I have ever read for a war game. They are detailed, organized and provide clear examples. The game box is sweet. (I just wish I knew about it earlier and got my name in print.) The game pieces are nice and clear. I absolutely love the maps. They are a perfect size.
- Keith N.
When I get a new game, I usually take out the rules and skim them to get a feel for the flow, look at the counters and map, and then put it away until I have more time to really learn the system. I did that yesterday with Rommel, but after skimming the rules realized, "Hey, I understand this enough to play it!"
- Paul A.
Btw, great solitaire game, it's just a lot of fun to play! I have found the Battle Plan choices to be the heart of the matter, and my style evolved into a 2 Panzer unit attack w/the Assault Plan, hit 'em hard and fast, just like Rommel!
- Action Jackson R.
Seems like a very easy to learn system, and so far it's very enjoyable, even in humiliating defeat.
- Brian Y.
Upon receipt, I found all components present and easily identifiable, some very fine counters, and also appealing and clear maps. The game should play easily, but offers many variations and variables to work out in real play. It is helpful that you space your print out in the rules, and that you give give colorful appealing examples. Another great DVG product!"
- Ron B.
Dan, congratats, on an excellent box layout. The cover art is great, the description is classic. I especially enjoyed the Rommel quotations on every side of the box. We will play this weekend, but so far, presentation gets an A+.
- Ben H. – The Original Game Shop
Finding this game advertised on Consim-World home page, right when it was just starting to ship, I read all the rules and the examples of play provided on the company home page. I was hooked. Three interesting Campaigns for Solitaire play: 1940 France Ghost Division, North Africa 1941 & D-Day 1944. This is a Solitaires Wargamers dream.
The game arrived with top notch components, I mean top notch! The box is very well done and pleasing to the eyes and my game shelf. The laminated maps, all three of them are excellent, with most of the information you need to play printed right on them. Even the Players Log & the Rules are laminated and in full color. The counters are fantastic, such excellent quality and also protected with some sort of lamination. The Axis all have the Flag on the left side of the counter, the Allies Flag is on the right side of the counter. The counters all have silhouettes of vehicles or soldiers, which I really enjoy and again very pleasing to the eyes. All very well thought out.
There are 6 National Symbols or Flags, Allies: Belgium, France, United States, United Kingdom and the Axis: Italy and Germany. But really some of the UK counters in the Desert campaign also represent: India, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa & Free French.
The Rules are very easy to read and the Solitaire Decision making: deciding how to move your forces, while managing the supply resource and the time, not to mention, random drawing of Battle Plans for both side, makes repeat play with different out comes, almost limitless. I could see many more campaign based on this game system, like: Patton and Zhukov being excellent candidates to hopefully follow. This game is really like getting three excellent games for the price of one, in the same box.
I highly recommend this game, 100% thumbs up! This will most likely be one of the best War-games produced in 2008 and beyond. It will be come a classic, no doubt in my mind. Thanks DVG."
- Jay T.
Every rule question I had I was able to find in the rulebook - very well written rules with helpful examples and an index to boot. I got crushed my first two plays and just got bogged down my third time. However I spent most of the next day thinking about different openings and battle assets purchases which is always the mark of a good game. I look forward to many more games in the series.
- Wray F.
I thought I'd take the time to offer kudos to DVG for what I see as a pre-order program done right!
Not exactly sure how I became aware of Field Commander: Rommel but probably as a result of the Geek. I checked-out the website, signed up for the DVG newsletter and then queried DVG about its pre-order program (using a credit card, I would not be charged until the game went to the printer). So, on 27 June 2007 I pre-ordered Field Commander: Rommel. I was notified on 30 Jan 2008 that my credit card account would be billed, and I received Field Commander: Rommel 31 Mar 2008.
In between 27 June 2007 and 31 Mar 2008, DVG emailed me at least 15 updates on the progress of Field Commander: Rommel and kept its website current through that entire period. In addition, during that same period I sent 10 email inquiries related to the game's status or my account to DVG; I received 10 responses: 4 within one day and 6 in the same day.
When Field Commander: Rommel arrived there was a shipping problem, i.e., the box got smushed in the mail and within 4 days of notifying DVG, I had a replacement box in hand, shipped in a much more durable packaging. Note that I received my game before any distributors did. And, there was one other small perk, as one of the people who pre-ordered the game, my name is emblazoned on the outside side of Field Commander: Rommel's box bottom.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with DVG's pre-order process and have already pre-ordered the second game in the series: Field Commander - Alexander the Great.
Thanks DVG and Dan Verssen!
- David K.
A first-class solo design in a nice physical package, FCR offers a surprisingly effective opponent in three different campaigns. Fans of WII or solo games will want this one.
- Ted R.
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