A game for 2 players
Play time 30 - 90 minutes
Designer: Elwin Klappe
Artist: Elwin Klappe
This box contains the following components;
10x Battlefeld pieces
8x Special units (4 Allied and 4 Axis)
10x Anti-tank mine (5 Allied and 5 Axis)
18x Infantry (5 Allied and 5 Axis)
18x Tanks (5 Allied and 5 Axis)
6x Street markers (3 Allied and 3 Axis)
8x Objective cards
8x Victory cards
The Allied infantry, including the General (special unit)
The Axis infantry, including the General (special unit)
Let’s get it to the table
First we're going to setup the Battlefield puzzle. They will form the outer spaces of the Battlefield, it's not difficult to setup the field.
After this, both players choose who they want to play with, either the Axis or the Allies.
Shuffle the Victory cards and the Objective cards and make 2 separate decks. Both players then receive an Objective card. This card is your objective (goal) for this game, you have to complete it to win the game! So you also have to keep it secret from the other player.
Both players then place all units open on the table and next to or beneath the Battlefield. On my table I had to place them beside the Battlefield but when you have a large table you can place it beneath it.
Now we’re ready to play!
Really, that fast? Yeah we can start playing quickly :-)!
The game is played in different rounds till one of the player reach their goal.
Each round a player has 4 action points and may choose the following actions to play;
1 action point; Place any unit in any street
2 action points; Take any rear unit and place it to the front of the street where you have taken it from
2 action points; Retreat a leading unit and place it back in your stock
3 action points; Retreat a leading blocked unit and place it back in stock
Once you have used all your action points (you want) your turn ends and the opponent can start his turn.
Some important notes;
- When you place a unit on the battlefield, it always start from your own side. When moving a unit forward it has to be in contact with another unit;
- You can't start a second line of units once you have already units on the same street;
- Cards can never overlap, even if you conquer a street.
At some point during the game, your units will clash on the battlefield. Because your opponent will try to prevent you reaching the end of the street or you want to conquer the street and want to destroy the units on the street.
When 2 units clash, the strongest unit wil always wins. The unit that is the strongest will stay on the battlefield and the weaker unit goes back to the stock. When the attacking player still has action points, he can use them to fill up the open space and maybe attack again.
Who defeats who?
This is a fun part of the game, you can compare it with rock, paper and scissors. Tank defeats infantry, Infantry defeats an Anti- tank mine and an Anti- tank mine defeats a tank.
When you attack a unit and that unit has the same units in line or weaker units, then all units has to be removed from the battlefield also. So a little tip, don't place a lot of the same units behind eachother but separate them with stronger units.
What if both attacking units are the same?
When during a battle, both attacking and defending unit is the same, both of them are returned back to stock from the battlefield. In this case only both units will be removed, all other units will stay on the battlefield.
When you want to stop the opponent for example, you just got one more 1 action point left, you can place a strong unit in front of the line. Blocking is don't touching and attacking the other player. When you opponent want to play, he cannot place a stronger unit anymore and has to retreat an unit and then he can place a stronger one.
Conquere a street
When you reach the end of the street with any unit, you now have conquered this street. You cannot overlap the battlefield so you have to choose any unit that can fit i the open space on the battlefield. When you've conquered a street, you place one of your Street markers on the end of the street. Now you receive a Victory card.
Important note! When you have conquered a street, you can't retreat any unit from that street anymmore
In Clash of the Ardennes each player (Axis and Allies) have the same units, below I will explain a little about these units;
Anti- tank mines
The Anti-tank mines defeats all Tanks but can be defeated by all Infantry and the Spy
The Tanks defeats all Infantry but can be defeated by the Anti-tank mines and the Spy
The Infantry defeats all Anti-tank mines but can be defeated by the Tanks and the Spy. The infantry has
also different ranking units, From low to high ranking;
These are very cool but also very strong, both players got 4 different special units:
The General; The General is like other Infantry units but he is the strongest in command. The power of this unit is his length, he is 5 tiles long.
The Spy; The Spy is the most cunning unit in the game, it can defeat any other unit! He can only be stopped by another Spy, when they clash both units will go back to the stock. But like other stronger units, in this case he only defeats the first 2 units in line.
The Command Tank; The Command Tank behaves like a normal tank but he also can flank both streets on the left and the right of the streets directly next to it. It can only flank weaker units but when he attacks the lower unit must be removed from the game but also the units in front of this unit. Including any stronger units!
The Mortar; The Mortar has the special ability to attack from a distance. When placed on the battlefield you can only attack the lowest ranking Infantry unit on the left and that unit has also to be exactly 2 streets away (may shoot over a captured street). When the Mortar attacks, the lower unit must be removed from the game but also the units in front of this unit including any stronger units!
The rest of the special units like The Spy, The Command Tank and The Mortar. But also an example of a street marker.
The game ends after any player has reached the Objectives that are described on the Objective card. Then the Axis or the Allied player is the winner of this battle.
Both Generals and a few examples of the Objective and Victory cards. You receive the Objective card at the start of the game and a Victory card when you've conquered a street.
Final Conclusion & rating:
Weight: 1 / 5
My rating: 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲
Set up of the game
Set up Clash of the Ardennes is very easy, the puzzle pieces show exactly which piece should be connected where. But also on the basis of the images it is very easy to see which piece belongs where. After you have laid out the outside of the battlefield and shuffled the cards well, you are ready to begin the battle.
Quality of the components
The quality but also the design is very nice and well done. All components, except the cards, are made of wood. This makes it a very solid game but also a special one, I can't remember ever playing a game where everything was made of wood.
The artwork is also very cool. Both in the rules book but also the tiles are very nicely designed, the Spy is in my opinion the coolest next to the Command Tank. The inlay of the box is fine, everything fits well in the box, fortunately nothing is laying loose and you can quickly set up the game again.
Overall impression of the game
Clash of the Ardennes is a great 2-person game that takes place during the cold winter days of '44/'45 in the Belgian Ardennes. In the game you play as the Allies or the Axis. Setting it up is a kind of puzzle but when you start playing it is a very fun game. Especially the battle among yourselves with which street are you going to try to conquer or manage to block the opponent to complete your objective card and win the game. If you manage to conquer a street, you will receive a Victory card but be careful which units you use. After completing a street you are not allowed to take back units and use them again later.
We thought it was a really fun game, it was refreshing and really played differently than anything we've ever played before. It makes it very nice that you can't just use certain units, but also you can quickly start over again if you hit the wrong opponent. The quality of the components makes the game even more fun, wooden components that allow you to play the game endlessly. The game takes about 45 minutes but of course it also depends on the choices you make, am I going to block an opponent or do I choose to attack.
Clash of the Ardennes is definitely a game that belongs in your closet next to other great war games!
I want to thank Elwin Klappe for letting me play and review Clash of the Ardennes. If you're interested then you definitely have to check out the Kickstarter campaign and back this great new war game!