Thursday, September 3, 2009

Out of the Box: Caesar's Gallic War

Julius Caesar famously started his history of the Gallic War by observing that Gaul was divided into three parts, so it was gratifying to see this new Worthington Games product dutifully divide Gaul into three regions with slightly different characteristics.

Worthington Games has vacillitated in its presentaion over the years, without settlinga s of yet into a specific style. It's first few games resembled Columbia Games products, with card stock maps, stickered blocks, glossy but sparsely illustrated rulebooks and sleeved bookcase boxes.

Then a couple of years ago Worthington went euro, with German-made game boxes, mounted maps, lavishly illustrated rules and sometimes thick cardboard counters.

Gallic Wars represents a retreat from pure euro, but still nicer quality than Worthington's earlier efforts.

The map is onec again cardstock, functional and attractive, if a bit plain. The blocks and stickers are similar to what Worthington has done before and comparable to Columbia or GMT products. The game includes a set of order cards, functional if not beautiful, and a straightforward rule book. The box is nice, but not deluxe. Overall, the presentation is no advance over last year's Worthington products, although still within the mainstream of block wargames.

I haven't played yet, but the game appears to resemble Hammer of the Scots, with the number of moves controlled by card activations, with the loyalty of many blocks changeable and the usual block-style combat system. Some influence from card-driven games is also evident, as the cards can play several different roles, activating movement, triggering special events or political actions.

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