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World War 2 Chest

C'mon boys! The latrines are that way! Surplus army meat taco night won't keep these troopers grounded!

You might recall a game from last year by the name of War Chest. Designed by Trevor Benjamin and David Thompson, War Chest was lavishly produced but fell prey to the same problem that plagues many modern abstract games. Namely, it lost sight of the joys of outmaneuvering an opponent by focusing too heavily on attritional tit for tat.

Undaunted: Normandy, by the same design duo, also tends to dwell on matters of attrition. In some ways it feels like an exploration of the same design space, despite differences of setting and even the lion’s share of its underlying systems. Here is another game by Benjamin and Thompson that features a flexible but finite pool of units, which might eventually become so depleted that they’re left sitting on the board with nothing to do but absorb another hit.

But here’s the thing — Undaunted: Normandy works. In fact, it’s a masterclass in how to put attrition front and center without strangling a game’s momentum.

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