List Price: $55.00
Your Price: $44.00
(Worth 4,400 Funagain Points!)
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The battlefield is unfamiliar, a clear valley dotted by copses of trees and cultivated fields. The town at the valley's center is the strongpoint of your army's defense, held by stout infantrymen against two massed enemy assaults already this morning. Now, having fought off the enemy, you prepare the counterattack. Your lines, populated by more hearty infantrymen, extend away from the village on both sides to the foothills on the flanks, where your elite cavalry brigades await your word to attack. Your plan is "feint in the center, envelope the flanks, then, as the enemy's resolve begins to weaken, crush the enemy with a massed infantry assault by your Elite Guard reserves..."
...And you have the cards in your hand to make the plan work! But what cards is your enemy still holding? Will he play REGROUP to rally his center and hit you again? Or a SUPPLY card or a LEADER to coordinate a spoiling attack on your cavalry wings? Or will his GUERILLAS harass your advance and impede your flow of reinforcements? What if he has his cavalry positioned to WITHDRAW and then turn on you with a COMMITTED ATTACK? Or has he prepared a nasty AMBUSH on your route of march? So many "what if's...," but time is fleeting -- the time to Manoeuvre is now!
Manoeuvre is a fast-playing game of battlefield command, set in the early 19th century. Multiple geomorphic game maps provide the chessboard-sized battlefields over which eight different armies of the period move and fight in one-on-one battles. As the commanding General of a nation's army, you have at your command units and a 60-card national deck which represents your army's specific troops and unique strengths. Your job is to utilize those assets and manoeuvre your forces to achieve battlefield supremacy.
The only reason Manoeuvre does not receive five-stars is that I reserve that rating for the true classics (think Settlers of Catan, etc), but if I could I'd say it's 4- and-one-half stars. It's a real gem that largely flies below the radar.
The learning curve is fairly short; the rulebook is only 10 pages or so. However, this isn't to say the game plays poorly. Quite the opposite. The varying armies have their own strengths & weaknesses both straight up (unit strength) and by way of Action Cards. Add to that the varying terrain each game, and you get a chess-like feel with a much more known-and-unknown feel to the gameplay.
I've found a lack of great, under-90-mins-to-play 2-player games that I want to replay as soon as a game ends. Manouevre scratches this itch perfectly. What's nice too is that you don't need a ton of space to throw down piles of cards or pieces (like say Dominion or 7 Wonders).
Another fun element is adding tournaments if you have more than 2 players. Have at it!
This game suffers from the same plague that afflicts many recent games printed in China: it stinks. The fumes are overpowering and nothing I did made any progress towards reducing them. Aside from the effect this has on play (the smell so unpleasant that it's impossible to get through the rules), there's the question of whether there are adverse health effects.