Moon Base Clavius Review
Review By W.G. Armintrout
The Space Gamer #52 (June 1982)
MOON BASE CLAVIUS (Task Force)
Designed by Kerry Anderson.
Bagged: one 18"x 21" map, 18-page 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" rulebook, 108 die-cut counters.
2 players; playing time 45 minutes.
It's those damned Commies again! This time it's the Sovyetskaya Lunaya Armia - that's Soviet Moon Army to us - making a sneak attack on our Air Force boys at Clavius Moon Base. Combat comes before movement, and units represent soldiers, moon tanks, and nuclear mortar teams. The combat system is unique: Attack strengths are added. The final number is checked against a terrain chart to obtain a "to hit" number; the attacker may make one die roll for each defender. There are three scenarios:"The Initial Soviet Attack," "The Siege of Clavius," "The Marines Land," and a campaign game connecting all three together.
The rules are well-written and clear. The combat system is not only new, but reflects nuclear warfare without complex rules. The game also provides a feel for lunar combat as troops hunker down behind the crater walls and blast the oncoming enemy.
However, the playtesters didn't do their job. The Americans will automatically win both the fust scenario and the campaign game simply by retreating two hexes per tum! The other scenarios favor the defender. Overrun rules should have been included - a line of mortar teams can stop the whole Soviet army. The map should have been more accurate and betterdrawn. Chrome units like. headquarters, engineers, and the monorail just clutter the game. The scale seems strange - maximum density is one man every six square miles!? A turn marker is provided, but there's no place on the map for it.
MOON BASE CLAVIUS is a simple, fun game. If it were balanced I would recommend it. It isn't, so I can't.
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