Monday, April 29, 2024

Unboxing: France '40 2nd Edition (GMT Games)

This one arrived back in mid-March, and I just have not had the time to do an unboxing of it yet, so I wanted to do one now, and catch up on my GMT purchases for the year.

France '40 2nd edition is a game that covers a three week period during the Battle of France in World War II. This is an interesting topic, because France had a large, modern military, but was defeated in around six weeks, in a major coup to the Allied forces. It's an interesting bit of history to learn about, and likely very interesting to play.

I have two games on the subject already, both the very poorly rated Strange Defeat: The Fall of France, 1940 by Avalanche Press, and a quad pack from Against the Odds, Four Roads to Paris. This one is better rated than those two, and the components look great. The game is part of the ZOC Bond system created by Mark Simonitch, which is very well regarded, but I have no personal experience with yet. It contains two different scenarios, Sickle Cut (May 13 - May 22) and Dynamo (May 24 - June 4). There is also a combined game that has both maps in play at once, with the rules and situation of the game changing partway through. Really, really interesting looking game.

Anyway, let's take a look at the components, starting with the box:

Another great looking box from GMT. The title is nice and big (there have been some small complaints lately that GMT title text has been smaller than ideal), and the art is beautiful (I believe that's a Char B1 bis front and center). The back of the box contains much more information about the game:

There is a summary of the included scenarios, and some pictures of the components (which I'll show more fully in a moment). Both the complexity and solitaire suitability are listed at five. Having no experience with the game or system at this time, I can't comment how accurate I feel they are. Opening the box, we start getting into the game itself. We get two dice:

We get a beautiful, full color rulebook (which GMT provides digitally here):

We get a playbook, which includes an extended example of play, and rules for the combined campaign, and again is provided digitally by GMT here:

We receive two setup charts, with Sickle Cut on one side, and Dynamo on the other. Again, provided digitally here:

I definitely prefer this style of setup card- putting all your units on the card, first, to ensure you have everything needed for a scenario is vastly preferable to the typical "Unit XXX starts in hex XXX" chart in a book. Thank you for that, GMT.

Next are the two identical player aid charts, online here:

Two countersheets are included, with lovely counters. You would think this, at least, wouldn't be provided online. You would be wrong (sheet 1, sheet 2):

Finally, we get two maps. First, one for Sickle Cut (online here):

And finally, Dynamo (online here):

These connect, with the north of the Sickle Cut map and the south of the Dynamo map overlapping.

All of the components are very nice quality, as we've all come to expect from GMT. I also ordered the mounted maps for this game from GMT, and although I did not include pictures of them in this article, they are as beautiful as you'd expect, and for the two single-map games, these mounted maps will be a wonderful upgrade.

Of course, with every component available to view digitally, it feels a bit strange doing an unboxing, since you can see better quality images of everything I have shown. I probably could have skipped writing this, but honestly enjoy spending some time looking at, and enjoying, the components of the games that I hope to play someday. I figure it only takes a few minutes of my time to add some notes and put them online, why not share my interests? People will read it, or not, depending on their interest.

Anyway, whether or not this unboxing was strictly necessary, I'm glad to have spent a bit of time looking at the game and its components. There's a lot to like, and a lot to look forward to whenever I manage to get it on the table. Thanks for taking the time to read this as I went through it :).

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