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Petroglyph knows how to double-dip

April 20th, 2010: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Petroglyph knows how to double-dip

Panzer General: Allied Assault is a card-based wargame, on the abstract end as these things go, for Xbox Live Arcade (published by Ubisoft). Also, it’s a card-based wargame for… cards and a wargame. Both are developed by Petroglyph Games, and the interesting bit is that Petroglyph doesn’t appear to have bought out a tabletop publisher, or subcontracted anything, or… even redesigned the game. That’s right – we now live in a world where an Xbox developer can make a board game, and use the proceeds to make a board game. I mean, I could be wrong but these cats do not look like dabblers to me (and if there’s one thing I’ve seen a few of, it’s dabblers).

The sequel, Panzer General: Russian Assault, is paper only, out in September. Another card-based game, Guardians of Graxia, will hit simultaneously in summer for tabletop and PC. I’m glad to see them branch out beyond WWII theming, which doesn’t really float my U-boat, but I’m also (weirdly enough) glad to see them stick close to home gameplay-wise… this seems like a rich vein.

7 Comments »

7 comments

  1. John says:

    Too cool – PG was a GREAT computer gaem for its time. A board game of this would be great, and if it is as easy to play as the computer game, it should be a nice introduction to the genre.
    Oh, and this blog is the only place I saw this notice, so thanks for mentioning it!

  2. The board game really is totally different from the computer game, although it does borrow the concept of prestige. It’s fine though that it’s not the same as the computer game, as it stands up quite well on its own. If you’ve played the old CCG The Last Crusade, it sorta plays like that but with a diceless combat system.

  3. misuba says:

    One point of confusion here may be that if you remember the old Panzer General computer game from the ’90s, that is NOT what Petroglyph made for the Xbox. Apparently it’s a “thematic sequel,” e.g. just a brand that Ubisoft owns and was waiting to apply to anything vaguely wargamey. So while I haven’t played the Xbox game, it certainly looks, er, less than totally different from this board game.

  4. John says:

    Sounds like you folks have played it.

    So, can you say if it is “easy” to learn (easy, to me, means “risk/axis and allies” level of easy, squad leader is relatively hopelessly complex)? And would it be a good intro to wargaming? does it balance fun, realism and gameplay?
    Thanks!

  5. misuba says:

    I haven’t played, but they have a rules PDF up.

  6. John, it’s relatively easy to learn (and yes, I’d put it about the same as A&A). About the only annoying thing about it is that because of the diceless combat system the number of steps to figure out what the combat results are seem like they take forever to go through. And at first it will take a while, but as you get used to the system combat will speed up.

    It’s an abstract system so I wouldn’t classify it as very realistic beyond the fact that unit ratings reflect their real world abilities, so it’s a step up from Memoir ’44 (e.g. there are actually different types of tanks). I enjoyed it and think there are enough decisions to be made in a turn that it has a high replay value.

    Oh, the game also gets bonus points in my book for including solo play right out of the box.

  7. John says:

    Thanks for the info guys. I got the PDF and am looking it over.

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