Saturday, October 29, 2022

Fire in the Lake - first look

I finally had the time to pull the shrink wrap off of Fire in the Lake, 3rd edition, from GMT games.

It's beautiful.

The manuals are nice and crisp, with very clear writing and on high-quality matte paper.

The map board and cards are equally nice.

And the pieces are attractive but admittedly a little small. I need to take an inventory before I lose an ARVN unit or a VC base.

The counters are heavy cardstock and mounted. I need to find a good video showing how to best cut them free. I'd like cleanly punched counters.

I've started to read over the materials. I'll admit it's hard to not just look at the book in awe and leave everything as-is. I need to find some space to set the game up and then start to work through the tutorial elements included. There is just so much here. This isn't the ideal starting point into the COIN series. I've been told that Cube Libre is a good place to start, and I'm deeply fascinated by Andean Abyss. But nothing has quite grabbed me as much as the Vietnam War. It's such a refreshing idea to think of the VC, NVA, ARVN, and US as different groups with different goals, instead of the usual "NVA with VC henchmen" vs. "US with cruddy ARVN allies." It's not 1 vs. 1 but rather 1+1 (but actually 1v1) vs. 1+1 (also actually 1v1). It's going to be hard to play this solo but I think that's all I have for now.

Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase and I plan to play this ASAP. That won't be too soon, but can't be soon enough. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far, and I came in with high expectations.

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