It was obvious that from the moment I unboxed the White Eagle Defiant, it would not take too much time to put this on the table. I was really interested to check how others perceive the historical events of my own country – namely, beginning of WWII. Would be great to see the way authors incorporated the Blitzkrieg tactics into the rules, the Soviet attack in the middle of the campaign, the static defenses, armor and panzer advantages over rest of the armed forces and many, many more early WWII specifics.
White Eagle Defiant is a two-person game but thanks to the chit-pull mechanism (which I really like!) it plays very well solitaire. Unfortunately, due to pandemic situation there was no way I can organize face-to-face game. Still, my two young sons (5 and 7 years old ones) love daddy’s games so they were promoted to the ranks of the bots 🙂 Of course, I was providing some options to them to choose from, but all in all they were commanding the attack and defense and of course, were in a full control of dice rolling and chit pulling – their favorite elements of the game.
I played 3 sessions that way which gives me decent amount of information and experience to share my initial feedback and impressions regarding the game. Let us see how the campaigns went!
As this was the first play of the game, everything was new to us. No preconceptions other then historical axis of attack. We were discovering the chit-pull mechanics, how the game depicts Soviet entry and familiarizing with the special events of both sides.
The game finished with German/Soviet victory on Turn 8 with 9 VPs. Warsaw was never conquered, the losses were staggering especially for Germans. And we definitely liked how the game plays!
Equipped with insights of the first game we started second session.
This time the fight was much more balanced and some unlucky roles for Germans (in high quantities) prevented them from progressing according to the historical schedule. That accumulated delay stopped Soviets from entering the Poland, allowed defender to beef-up defenses and in the end resulted in surprising Polish victory!
So far 1-1 as far as results are concerned. Let us see what happened in our third, final approach.
That was very close game, much closer then the result indicates. Poles managed to prevent Soviet entry for pretty long time, and even once it happened, was fighting bitterly till the last moment. A great, vert exciting session!
Let me share now my thoughts and experiences regarding the game:
- A small game as far as game length and counters density is concerned
- Very engrossing, designed in a way that keeps both sides engaged and on the ropes almost till the last turn
- A short set of rules giving broad variety of interesting strategic and tactical choices
- Good tokens quality – I really like them!
- Attention to detail – the font, colors, map, city names – all this elements are very much appreciated!
- Good high-level simulation of actual events – like Soviet entry (always a killing blow to Polish forces; just as in history).
- Chit-pull mechanics – which really makes the game interesting, with variable initiative where you cannot be sure what and in which sequence will happen
- Blitzkrieg doctrine – a very neat rule implementation which combines possibility for German forces to move always both armies but at the risk of their equipment breaking down
- Some luck factor stemming from dice rolls – but with the amount of them, it evens out with probability
I am really grateful that such interesting, well-thought and exciting game was created. For me this is of course not only a wargame, but a travel in own’s country history. As painful as it can be, I appreciate objective approach and attention to detail. Thank you Hollandspiele!