Alone Against the Whirlwind
A Review of Labyrinth’s Solitaire System
GMT’s recent effort, Labyrinth: The War on Terror has been getting quite a bit of table time at our gaming group on Long Island, NY, but no one here has spent much time evaluating the solitaire rules. A game that works well as a two-player “head-to-head” game and also makes a good showing as a solitaire game, is quite a score for a game design company. As game systems go, this is a difficult one to imbue with artificial intelligence because of the assymetrical nature of the contest. What’s logical, in a conventional sense, isn’t always what’s best at any given moment. An aversion to risk-taking will not serve you well in this game. Sometimes the Jihadist has just gotta go for the “Hail Mary”. It’s a tall order, yet these are the types of characteristics that a Labyrinth Artificial Intelligence (AI) system will have to exhibit. How well was GMT able to accomplish this? We shall see…
I understand that no one actually attempted to design an Artificial Intelligence engine here, but I’m just using the term because a good solitaire system should mimic player intelligence in some ways, plus it just sounds cool.
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The Tide at Sunrise, a recent release from Multiman Publishing, portrays the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 at a fairly high level (operational or grand operational), with most of the ground units representing divisions, hexes at 6.2 miles (10 km), and each game turn covering one month of real time. The game map represents the Liaodong Peninsula area of Manchuria where the war was fought. I won’t go into any detail on the history of the war (you can do that research yourself if you’re interested), except to say that the Japanese initiated the war mainly to prevent the Russians, who were expanding aggressively in the region of eastern Manchuria and Korea, from totally dominating Korea. In order to sustain an army so far from the Japanese home islands, the Russian fleet at Port Arthur, a much sought after warm water port for Russia, would also have to be destroyed.
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Player Aid for Victory Games Aegean Strike
Player Aid – Game Info Tracking Sheets
By Mark D.
The Aegean Strike Player Aid sheets provide a convenient location for tracking of the following important Aegean Strike information:
- Special Forces – Warsaw Pact – There are 30 Spetsnaz detachments to keep track of (for 30 full game turns), which is a considerable part of the force management the Soviet Player must perform. There are two sheets used to manage these detachments. Both are identical except that the first sheet tracks game turns 1 through 15 and the second sheet tracks turns 16 through 30. Space is provide to record the mission and, if required, the location of each detachment for each turn. For example, to indicate that 3 detachments are on a “Raid” mission in hex 1316, starting with turn 6, simply enter “A-1316” in the boxes next to the “1”, “2”, and “3” rows under the “GT6” column.
- Special Forces – NATO – Space is provided for up to 30 Game Turns of missions for all 9 Detachments of the U.S. 2/75 Special Forces Group unit. The coding is the same as for the Soviet Spetsnaz detachments.
- Missile Depletion and Replenishment – For the U.S. CV-69 Carrier and Battleship, this sheet allows you to “X” off ASM fires as they are used. Same for the Soviet CGH and CVH units. Boxes are also provided for tracking the maximum ASM missile replenishments allowed to Naples for the U.S., and Odessa, Sevastopol, and Fedosiya for the USSR.
- Naval Movement Determination – Each Action Stage (i.e. 3 times per Game Turn) the U.S. and Soviet players must roll dice to determine how many naval units may be activated that Action Stage. This section allows users to record the number of allowable moves each Turn/Action Stage.
Click here to download the Player Aid sheet in PDF format.