Moe's Game Table Review: The Battle for Ramadi Solitaire
The Battle for Ramadi is a solitaire game from Tiny Battle Publishing that depicts the climactic seven day assault on this key town by the ISF. As commander of the Iraqi Security Forces, you are tasked with capturing the Government Complex to secure the political victory, but your ultimate objective is to liberate the city and its inhabitants.
In my review, I give an overview of the game and my thoughts on how well it plays, along with some suggestions for house rules to increase the enjoyment and challenge.
As an additional note, I omitted a couple of small things from my video overview.
I did not mention that when the Attack asset is drawn, it is put aside to be used for the ISIS attack resolution and is replaced by another Asset counter drawn from the cup. If a second Attack counter is drawn during the OP phase, it is replaced with another Asset counter drawn as well. I also did not go into detail on the US SF Advisers. Using them as support for an OP gives you variable strength support. To determine their value, roll 2d6 and take the highest number. That gets applied to your other troops strength in the same fashion as the other assets with stated values. I didn’t mean to have the video be a comprehensive rules explanation but an overview, so that I could discuss my thoughts on the game overall. Apologies for the omissions in the video!
Along with the ideas that I mentioned in the video for house rules, I had some other ideas to increase difficulty that I didn’t add to the video, since I didn’t want it to ramble on any longer than I already did. I’m including them here in written format so that you can refer to them when playing the game yourself.
One of the other changes I’ve been toying with was to alter the Attack Asset counter up a little. When you draw an Attack Asset counter currently, that counter is put aside to be used in the ISIS Attack Phase and another Asset is drawn for the current OP. If a second Attack Asset counter is drawn, it also gets replaced but doesn’t count towards an attack against ISF units during the ISIS attack phase since there can only be one. My idea is to now use that second Attack Asset for an additional attack on any Objective hexes controlled by ISF, with the Government Complex taking precedence, since it’s a win requirement and an important objective for both sides. This attack would not follow the ISIS attack rules but be just like a normal combat OP with some adjustments.
When pulling the three counters for this new ISIS Attack on an Objective Hex, it runs like a normal ISF OP. However, if an Emir is drawn he has a greater effect. If drawn, an Emir swaps out the ISIS force counter for a 3 strength Local SF, if you have already drawn that 3 strength unit, the player draws a replacement IED counter. This could potentially give ISIS a 9 strength attack, a stronger attack is what I would expect if they are attempting to take back a key objective.
The intent here is that he’s a local leader, and as such can potentially rally stronger forces to him. He’s also one of the counters that can be removed from the game permanently by a successful ISF OP roll of 4 or greater. So, this effect is variable with each game, if he’s run into in other OPs and removed. It’s another way to incentivize the player to run further operations in the hope that they can remove the two Emir counters.
It also forces the player to maintain stronger forces on the objectives, rather than using the weaker units only to secure them. This makes managing your assets a little more interesting and you feel a greater strain on them, rather than just charging through everyone with paired CTS assets or paired armor, which when coupled with air and ground assets become very strong and tougher for ISIS random draws to defeat.
Also, without that local leadership, ISIS is more fragmented and less likely to run strong attacks of their own against objectives once they’re lost to the ISF. This stays thematic and challenging while adding to the grind of urban combat but can also swing in your favor with the removal of the Emirs. These were all thought up on the fly while I was playing the game, so I’m still kind of toying around with these ideas, and will continue to test it with more plays. The intent is to stay thematic and increase the challenge, without increasing complexity.
Note: A copy of this game was purchased by me for this review.