At Origins 2018 we got to sit down with Hermann Luttmann, designer of such games as At Any Cost: Metz 1870 and the illustrious Dawn of the Zeds series. You can head on over to YouTube and see a video interview we were lucky enough to do with him at Origins 2018 talking about Crowbar! coming to Kickstarter in 2018. But here’s a look at a pre-production copy of the game and what you can expect to get to the table. Remember – these are not final components and are subject to change at any time. But with that being said, they’re really nice and I’d expect them to not be too different.
Crowbar! is primarily a solitaire game that will be published by Flying Pig Games. With that in mind, as as you can see here, you know you’re going to get a very well made product. The game covers the Rangers landing at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day and their mission to find and put out of action artillery pieces that were covering Omaha Beach. You’ll go all the way through their mission, from riding in on landing craft and wading onto the beaches, firing grappling hooks, scaling the cliffs and then searching the fields and emplacements for the guns. Whilst the game covers not only D-Day but also D-Day plus one and two, you’ll pretty much need to get it done on the first day in order to succeed. It’s no good finding the guns after they’ve pounded the beaches all day and night.
The game can be played cooperatively as well, if you wanted, where you end up splitting the three companies between up to three players. When you do that it’s important to keep each of the companies in good supporting battle lines to gain bonuses. But let’s be honest, we’ll all be doing this one solo!
So, finding the artillery is the end goal, and atop the cliffs are an array of around 20 hidden counters, only a few of which actually house the guns you need to capture and destroy. The rest represent decoys, wasted resources and bad intel. This adds to the replay value, and also makes the task a little more daunting as well. Crowbar! is a push-your-luck style game as you throw units forward, risking wounds or getting pushed back. The hidden markers give a real edge to that risk as you might end up killing yourself to capture basically nothing. I’m excited for this dynamic, because I want my gambles to feel like real gambles.
Crowbar! uses a dice mechanism for movement. And before you groan at “roll-and-move” games, there’s more to it than that. There are three different dice, each with different odds on them. The green dice, is nice and safe. You’re less likely to take hits, but you won’t move nearly as much. Remember, time is of the essence in this one. So you might pick up that yellow, or red dice and risk taking much heavier fire but being able to bound forward toward the cliffs and the eventual gun emplacements. The other thing you need to remember is that you have rally points, which move up the beaches as your units do. It is from these rally points that you will move your units out. And to which they will fall back if necessary. So the game ends up as this cool simulation of trying to bring up proper battle lines, but doing it quickly and effectively. As with all of Hermann Luttmann’s designs, you can rest assured that with the dice rolling and hidden objective markers there is plenty of battlefield chaos to be had, which makes for a game that is highly replayable.
I’m very excited to play this one, and it’s coming to Kickstarter soon. Again, these aren’t the final components, but I think they’re quite close. Look for more on the game from Flying Pig Games coming soon!