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Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
Kasserine does a great job of filling in between von Borries' excellent but very large Barbarossa: Army Group North and similarly excellent but small and so perhaps a little predictable Invasion: Sicily. The system plays a lot more smoothly and easily than it might seem on first impression, and anyone familiar with any of his previous designs should slide quite easily into Kasserine. von Borries has done an excellent job of focusing in on crucial stuff (ground combat, movement, combat coordination) and abstracting the rest in a way that gets the right effect without bogging down the main event at all (air power, supply). This is a great system that gives the players a lot of choices and control over important areas. Plus, it avoides the major pitfall of similar operational games (such as the Gamer's Drive on Paris or Sicily) of too much downtime with a fairly interactive sequence of play.
Kasserine is a great situation, too, with lots of replay value. Kasserine has a very solid range of scenarios, and even the smallest one is good for a number of plays, which is a plus - somthing where a lot of wargames fall down.
There have been a few complaints about the amount of die-rolling, which I must admit I just don't get - you roll the dice a fair amount, but it's hardly going to aggravate your RSI, and it gives the combat resolution a very nice, realistic uncertainly reminicient of the Gamers' OCS (von Borries has clearly been paying attention to that excellent system and has integrated some of the better ideas into Kasserine). While these things might bog down a huge game like Barbarossa, they work very well here and give the game an excellent feel for what must be the uncertainties of combat - but doing it in a way that allows players to manage their risks in various ways, so the game doesn't seem simply random. The effect is well worth a few more die rolls.
Throw in the fact that Kasserine sets a new standard for graphically attractive *and* functional wargames, blowing away most of the competition, and this is a highly recommended medium-weight game.
Let me start out by relating that I was one of the final rules editors for this game, but otherwise had no participation in its presentation or design.
Having said that, I do find Kasserine to be an entertaining title that is marred by too many die rolls for too many game functions. The Allies have a tough time early on trying to stem the German juggernaut, and the system encourages big stacks of units on both attack and defense. The rules aren't that intricate (medium complexity), and I can say that the game plays very well solitaire. As a side note, it's a beautiful looking product.
But all those die rolls! With the next game in the series, and some streamlined development (including several rules changes), I'm confident that a retrofitted Kasserine will be a much more appealing title.
As an aficionado of WWII North African campaigns, Kasserine does fill a niche for me. It's not the first game that I reach for off my gaming shelf, but, when the mood strikes, I certainly won't mind returning to it in the near future.