Friday 25 May 2012

Platoon Arrives

Anybody who has visited my blog for long enough to start reading this post will know that one of my favourite pastimes is collecting (and playing) board games. What might be less obvious is that I also love the movies.

Unfortunately, very rarely has a board game designer taken a movie I love and turn it into a game which is even passable in terms of quality. Most games based on a movie tend to be super-quick cash-ins with low component quality, and poorly written rules. The best you can normally hope for is a run-of-the-mill family game, probably involving basic roll-and-move mechanics.

However, when I saw a copy of Platoon for sale on ebay, I placed a bid, hoping that if any company can turn an excellent movie into an excellent game, it would be Avalon Hill.

Platoon board game

I'll be honest, I'm not much of a wargamer, and before seeing this for sale I never even knew that a board game based on Platoon existed; but a collector and his money are soon parted, and my love of the movie meant I was not prepared to let this one get away. I eventually won the auction for around £4 plus the postage, which wasn't bad.

When it arrived, I was a little disappointed to see the box was in a pretty bad way, as this was not obvious in the ebay photographs, and was not mentioned in the listing; however, the internal components were in very good, clean condition. Most importantly, the game was 100% complete.

Platoon board game box

As one would expect from an Avalon Hill game based on a war film, Platoon is a chit-based war game for two players. Furthermore, it deals with small-scale combat, with one chit being equal to just a single soldier (as opposed to representing an entire regiment). Each American soldier is even named on the chit, but the NVA soldiers are all nameless.

The game creates a "fog of war" situation by having all the chits held in little plastic stands with the faces hidden from the enemy player. Each side also has a number of "fake soldier" chits which can't attack but are used to confuse your opponent.

Platoon board game Elias piece

The game comes with only a single map (made up of two pieces, which are nicely mounted), and this map is used to play out one of four scenarios recreating moments from the movie. The scenarios dictate how many troops are on each side, and the liklihood of troops activating. It all seems pretty standard, but nicely done and nicely presented; and the rules fit on a single double-sided sheet, so its quite an accessible game

Platoon board game board details

I have to say, I'm quite pleased with my purchase; but obviously I won't know for sure until I've got it to the table.


  1. Did u get it on the table? I'd be interested in how u thought it played.

    1. Unfortunately not. I ended up getting rid of it. Here's a post that goes into a bit of detail on why:


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