Tannhäuser

Well, I have to say this is one of the wierder games I’ve played in a long, long time…

Set in 1949 it depicts a world in which World War 1 isn’t numbered because it isn’t over yet. The war has raged for 34 years and has gotten wierder. The Germans have come across obscure mystical weapons and powers and are using them to try and win the war. The Allies are also searching for super weapons to do the same thing.

Here’s a look at the game board. (click to enlarge)

The system uses marked spaces that you can move into. One really nice aspect of the board is that by looking at the color code of your space you can instantly tell if you have line of sight to someone else. We played a mission in the old mansion. A mission consist of objects that you have to reach as well as blowing away the enemy. There’s always that option. I believe it would be possible for both sides to avoid each other and make it a race to complete objectives but given how much gamers like to roll dice I am pretty sure that hypothetical situation would never occur.

Each character comes with a control card. By selecting special chits you can actually alter how the character is played in that scenario. There are several options to choose from. It makes for an interesting decision point in the pre-game and I kind of liked it. You get more mileage out of the figures that way.

The game pieces are rather interesting. They are pre-painted miniatures. The mold lines on some of the figures are pretty bad but not all of them. The paint jobs are… passable. I am not an artist but even a casual painter like me could do a better job. I’ve been ruined by the awesome paint jobs on the AT-43 miniatures. What can I say!

The important part is the game play. The game is very tactical requiring you to really think about how the enemy is going to react to your moves and what you can do about it. Some fights might take a while but some might be over in just a single round. You have to figure out what is it going to take to complete your mission without getting anihilated and that takes a lot of brains. It reminds me a bit of the harder mission in Space Hulk which really required a lot of deep thinking.

I’d definitely play it again and I look forward to it. I think the figures are the weakest aspect of the game require some X-Acto knife work and repainting. Game play is pretty quick with setup, play and take down all in about the span of an hour. Game play (after one game so YMMV) appears deep.

We have a theory on why they chose to extend WWI and that is that they wanted the look of German gear (let’s face it the Germans know how to make a fashion statement when engaging on a multi-front global war) but without Nazism being part of the product. I think it’s a good idea. It probably allows them to sell better in Germany.

So if you are looking for a game that follows the backstory of Raiders of the Lost Arc and some interesting game mechanics then give Tannhäuser a serious look at your FLGS.

Comments

  1. That makes sense. Thanks for the comment!

  2. “It probably allows them to sell better in Germany.”

    Actually, having lived in Germany for some years I can tell you that many (all) nazi related symbols etc. are illegal, so not only may it allow the game to sell better, but (blinks) to sell at all!

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