Designed by Carl Paradis and published by GMT Games, No Retreat! French Front is the most recent game in the No Retreat! series. Also including games set in Italy, North Africa and the Eastern Front, the series is noted both for it’s low counter density plus its combination of classic hex and counter and card based gameplay.
No Retreat! French Front features twin in-game currencies in the form of Initiative Markers and Cards used, either as events in their own right, or to pay for other in-game effects. These Card and Marker systems, plus secret ‘plan’ cards, allow the players significant freedom to explore alternative strategies despite the simulation aspect that could so easily have resulted in an inevitable victory for the German player.
These interlinking systems carry substantial rules overhead, however. No Retreat! French Front isn’t a beginners game by anyone’s standards. That rules overhead is worth taking the time to navigate though because, once done, there is a fantastic exploration of a rarely gamed topic waiting to be discovered.
I’ve now played the full historical campaign three times and (finally) feel like I’m coming to grips with the game. Two of those campaign games were solo games in which I played both sides as best I could. While this is certainly achievable, No Retreat! French Front’s card system, like so many other card assisted games loses something when compared to the two-player game.
I’ve had a great deal of fun with No Retreat and created the video above to help newer players get to grips with the rules. Please bear in mind that this is not a detailed rules overview, however, I hope the video helps you to learn the ‘flow’ of the game. If it does help you do this (and even if it doesn’t) please like, subscribe and comment to support the channel.
Join me as I learn to play No Retreat! French Front, a card-assisted hex and counter war game simulating the German invasion of France in 1940.
Until next time…happy gaming!