Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944
Little Insurgents: Warsaw 1944
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As Filip Milunski explains in a designer diary published on BGN in October 2009, when he started getting into modern games, he was surprised to find no worthwhile games that focused on activities in Poland or Polish life. A trip to the Warsaw Rising Museum got him thinking about the children who delivered orders to groups of insurgents in Warsaw in 1944, and Mali Powstancy is the result.
In the game, players each have three scouts who can deliver orders to various locations throughout Warsaw. New orders are revealed each round, with 20 for four players, 16 for three and 12 for two. To move a scout, you play a movement card from your hand; each player has cards numbered 1-5, and you take them back in hand once they're all used. You can divide the movement points among your scouts, or use the movement to jump one scout from a location to an adjacent location. When you reach the first location on an order card, you mark it with a scout token to show which scout is trying to complete this order; each player may have a scout work on the same order. If you reach the location first, you claim the order and its points, while all the other scouts get nothing.
After all players move each round, a "German solider movement phase" takes place, with either the soldier moving toward whichever scouts are closest to it -- possibly putting them in prison for a turn -- or the player who has a scout closest to the soldier getting additional movement points. You then move all the orders down one level on the order chart. If an order falls off the chart, then it can no longer be delivered as the players took too much time; as a result, one route leading to that location is marked with a German troop token, which prevents all players from using that route in the future.
If players deliver all the orders or all the orders leave the chart, then the game ends, with players counting their points and the high score winning. If a fourth German troop token enters play, however, the game also ends, but with defeat for all of the players.
An advanced version of the game adds extra powers during the movement phase and quickens the pace of play. The movement cards numbered 1-4 each have a power on them that can be used either before or after the regular movement, with those powers being things like swapping two of your scouts within the same district, rearranging orders and peeking at the order deck. These extra abilities are balanced by the order chart having one fewer row, which means that orders fall off the chart more quickly and the German presence in Warsaw escalates more quickly, too. Players also have three secret goal cards which give them points if they deliver orders to 4-6 districts or deliver the most orders to a particular district or deliver the most valuable order.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com