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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Undaunted: Battle of Britain

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Undaunted: Battle of Britain is a two-player deck-building wargame played over a hexagonal map based around the Battle of Britain that took place during the Second World War.  One player controls the RAF, whilst the other manages the Luftwaffe.

Undaunted: Battle of Britain has a setup time of approximately 10-20 minutes.  Laying hex-tiles into the set pattern, as well as sorting the cards and counters that players will need for each mission, can be time consuming.

Anyone who has previously played any of the other Undaunted games will be instantly familiar with the format.  Each player has a deck of cards, from which they draw at the beginning of each turn to form a hand of five cards.

Initiative is determined by players bidding using a card from their hand; the player who plays a card with the highest initiative number goes first.  The initiative bidding is an elegantly effective mechanic (the more powerful the card, the higher the initiative number), but it also means the card is then unavailable during the player’s turn.

During each player’s turn, they will play the cards in their hand until all have been played.  The player’s units are moved across the map by playing the appropriate card.  However, maintaining squadron cohesion is a must.  The units in each squadron need to remain within a set distance of each other, otherwise they need to regroup.

There is an escalating complexity to the rules as the campaign is played through.  These additional rules introduce new elements to the game that the players need to consider in their tactics, hence ensuring the game does not become repetitive.

The rulebook is concise and well laid out, but the rules can be unclear at times.  This is especially true in regard to the movement and actions of units. Watching how-to-play videos can alleviate this, but it can be frustrating when wanting to just start playing the game.  The artwork is wonderfully atmospheric throughout and offers a faithful representation of the time.

The campaign also has a neat touch in how it mirrors the Battle of Britain.  It is not as historically accurate as it could be (this is not The Campaign for North Africa), but it does make for an interesting story based on historical events.  The modular aspect of the game, using different units, tiles and cards for each mission, means that there is the potential for new missions to be created.

With so many board games being playable with four or more players, Undaunted: Battle of Britain feels restrictive with being limited to two people.  However, this is true of most wargames, and it would be fair to say that Undaunted: Battle of Britain feels like the combination of a wargame and board game.  It would have been interesting if there were possibilities for more than two players.

Overall, Undaunted: Battle of Britain is a satisfying tactical boardgame that recreates an iconic moment in history.  However, watching how-to-play videos is recommended as the rulebook is not as clear as it could be at times.

Peter Ray Allison
Peter Ray Allisonhttp://www.peterallison.net
Science Fiction: the final frontier. These are the articles of the freelance journalist Peter Ray Allison. His continuing mission: to explore strange new realms of fiction, to seek out new genres and new visions of the future, to boldly geek where no one has geeked before.

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Whilst the rulebook is not as clear as it could be at times, Undaunted: Battle of Britain is a satisfying tactical boardgame that recreates an iconic moment in history.Undaunted: Battle of Britain