What is the Way of the Warrior (PnP)?

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Print and play, solitare titles aim to give you a complete game in a few sheets of paper and allow you to get through it by yourself thus avoiding the difficulties of interacting with other people. Way of the Warrior as though trying to bridge the gap between the adolescent nerds playing Wizards and Warlocks and the grown up nerds playing B-17 sees you  lead a small party deep into enemy territory but this time via parachute drop and equipped with flame-throwers and non-brand name rifles. So how does it play? Is this the kind of game that would see you through three weeks of the cooler? Or would you rather try an assault the guns of Navarone by yourself?

Okay the basics of the game are quite simple, you roll up the mission via various locations and number of guards and then assuming this is your first game, get yourself a crack team. To form your team you are given a number of points to spend with each man, level and weapon costing a set number of those points. Now the idea is that each of the countries you can choose from will vary slightly in how many men they can have running through the fields at once, how much they cost and so on.  Now for some reason you can play the as the Germans, the Fins or Russians, Italians and Americans but not the British. Now I know that I am slightly biased on this point but surely that’s a strange oversight. Battle of Britain, SAS anyone? Was Lawrence of Arabia a Fin? Now I appreciate the large selection of forces on offer and the idea that you can play as the Germans, who are so named I presume to avoid connection with the political party of the time, but even so I would assume that the British would get a mention before some of the others on offer I mean we were at least there for the beginning so surely we should get in above the Americans.

Anyway I am getting side tracked for it doesn’t really matter what team you pick and I assume nobody would complain if you made up your own, especially seen as how you are playing by yourself. Once this is done as I said you can embark on the mission which consists of sending your team along a track of various settings such as farm houses, open fields and town squares on the way to such objectives as freeing prisoners or controlling bridges. Along the way you will have to, well shoot a bunch of bad guys. Who no matter who you are facing will all act the same with a steady advancement and a constant stream of bullets.

Now don’t worry too much as the game works on a D6 system with a basic table for working out when you hit, when you wound and when you kill without bothering with rolling to save, or anything padding like that. This keeps the game nice a straight forward and simple. Well kind of.

You see to cut to the meat of the review the game gets a little boring after a while and so the game throws in a few twists like rolling for a parachute drop or checking the weather. Which like who you will be fighting against is all close enough to accurate as you can ask from a free print and play solitaire game. For instance the Russians aren’t going to be fighting the Americans or dropping from many planes but they will be tackling heavy snow quite a bit. But like the many landscapes you encounter and enemies you shoot it all boils down to the same table as you roll away and hope to hit.

Once you complete your objective you return home and get to level up with the points you’ve earned from your successful mission. This can be spent on replacing men lost in action, buying new weapons or promoting people to give them a better chance of hitting anything.

Now I said everything boils down to dice rolls and it does and that I don’t think is the problem the problem was where I mentioned that it all boils down to the same table, the same idea. Shoot until they’re dead and move on.

Now there are choices to be made in the game, such as squad makeup and whether you should work as a fire group or let each of them take their own shot, do you heal the fallen man or leave him behind and well that’s about it. The game wants to be a fully-fledged rpg but it falls down in the variety of challenges with no dexterity or intelligence checks to emphasise the different abilities your men will have and it lacks the simple efficiency such as games like Delve. In the end the game is too complex in rules to recommend to a true novice and too basic in gameplay to recommend to someone after a good solitaire game.

If you insist on your games having a world war 2 theme then as I said before Delve has a battle of Britain theme going but if you’ve played that to death then this isn’t a terrible choice and you could do worse.

Way of the Warrior is available for free from boardgamegeek

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