A Review by S. De Young

Hey all, I figured I would get the ball rolling with my review and see what others thought of the full edition of the Face of Battle:

Layout: Excellent! Wonderful idea to have the rules 3/5 ring punched. Great layout that allows for additional items to be inserted into the rules very easily. I must applaud your (Meramic's) forethought to actually end the pages of each section on an even number so each section can be pulled from the rules and not have an overrun of a different section in another area (something EZ8 never did with their rules and vehicle data sheets, very messy!). The lettering of each section is actually broken up so that the last portion of rules is not immediately followed by the German TO&E, this allows for extra National data, or other items to be placed into the appropriate areas. Personally I placed the TO&E's in a different binder, and I can still keep the sections in alphabetical order. My only issue with anything having to do with layout and such is the fact that the scenario sheets are not punched. I can see certain rational behind not punching them but I would rather see them punched so I can place them in another 3 ring binder to keep them organized. Hell, I'm picky, some folks might like them unpunched to be used in other formats, but I had to find something I didn't like about the layout! (sarcasm). I really like the way that the scenario sheets are layed out with playing time and such.

Pricing: The pricing scheme on the rules is also very fair for such a comprehensive set of rules. At $29.95US this set is a great deal. Since the bundle comes with all the templates, markers, cards, charts(multiples of), etc. there is nothing else needed to start play. Even the movement reference cards have marks on the sides to eliminate rulers at most points (movement measurements). Its nice to finally see a set of rules come out that are complete. I would hazard to say that my only issue here is the fact that the templates are on white paper and not clear acetate, again I had to find something to complain against (more sarcasm). But in defense of Mike Ball, the TFoB website has the templates online so you can print them from your computer directly onto acetate, so that issue is easily resolved. I also realize what the cost jump would be if the rules came with clear plastic templates, so there is no need to correct me on the factors of pricing and the economy. (even more sarcasm)

Content: These rules have just about everything you could imagine. Very comprehensive! I even tried to think of certain items that are alittle off the wall but not drastic and they were in the rules. Even the detail for mountain/ski troops is handled very well. Most of the rules have a detailed picture or chart to help explain a certain rule. Even the pictures are not the typical dark and brooding type, they are clear and crisp. The graphics that are used are also done in a very professional manner, not a scratched up line drawing. At 220 pages the rules are very clear and simple enough to start play immediately, then adding on additional rules in the future is easy. Oops, I almost forgot to add in something I didn't like about this section........ No rules for field stripping cigs!!! I know,I know.. I'm grasping for straws!

Things I would like to see in future additions or on the website as support: templates that are not already supported, I haven't checked the website and the rules but I think they are all there. additional scenarios and house rules or a user submitted section for items along this line. possibly a tentative list of future supplements and what they are to include (I know the next two planned are the scenario book and the VC supplement)

I have only found one rules error in the book so far, with no typos. So I just want to say that this is the type of rule set that should set a new standard for comprehensive skirmish rules for the future. It is truly a quality product and I will be a customer of Meramic for along time. I would recommend this set to anyone interested in WWII skirmish games, or for anyone writting a set of rules that would like to see how a quality product is put out!

Steve D.