Lots of activity this month for sure on the wargaming front. Things have heated up as summer has progressed, even though it is not hot outside. We are already working hard to put our schedule together for the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) in Pennsylvania at the end of the month. We have tentative meetings set with Tom Holliday and Joe Chacon to get a look at The Greatest Day: Utah Beach from MMP, Joe Chacon to discuss Front Toward Enemy from MMP and Ryan Heilman to look at White Eagle Defiant amongst others (we definitely want at least half a day with our friend Greg Smith to talk about what ever he is cooking up). We are excited about this year and look forward to all the new games we will get to highlight in future Wargame Watch posts.
That being said, I think this edition of the Wargame Watch was the easiest one I have written this year as it just seemed to come together on its own. Overall the list has 15 games, 5 games from GMT Games, including 3 new pre-orders and 2 new release titles, 4 Kickstarter campaigns, a very cool looking Peloponnesian War hex and counter hybrid as well as a tactical game of the Greco-Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, two new PTO WWII games and…a partridge in a pear tree! Well, not quite, but there is variety for sure.
If you missed last month’s Wargame Watch, here is a link: June Wargame Watch
1. Watch on the Rhine: The Siegfried Line Campaign, 1944-45 from Canvas Temple Publishing Coming to Kickstarter
We have interviewed designer Ty Bomba about a dozen times and he makes games at a very workmanlike clip. When I saw this game announced on Facebook a few months back, I was immediately interested and reached out to Ty for more information. Watch on the Rhine: The Siegfried Line Campaign, 1944-45 is a two-player (solitaire adaptable) historical simulation of the final operations of World War II in northwest Europe.
From the Canvas Temple Publishing Facebook page, I found the following:
Scale: Each hexagon on the map represents 10 miles (16.2 km) from side to opposite side. The units of maneuver are almost all divisions or brigades or their ad hoc equivalents. There are two corps-sized units representing the First Allied Airborne Army when it’s used in paradrop operations. Each full game turn represents 10 days to one month of ‘real time,’ depending on the time of year.
I also found info that stated that stretch goals for the campaign will include a Cobra expansion and others. Here is a quote from Facebook from Canvas Temple Publishing on the game:
This will be one of our super-size games, designed specifically with us older grognards in mind, with large pieces, large hexes and big print.
We also have some very interesting ideas to expand the game via stretch-goals. These include adding a third map that would attach to the northwest quadrant of the base game’s two maps, thereby extending play over to the base of the Normandy peninsula and providing an earlier start date (Operation Cobra). This would also include another sheet of counters. Another stretch goal would add Bohemia and Moravia and their environs, along with another two sheets of counters. Used in conjunction with the two base game maps, it will allow for the play of a “1938 Sudetenland Crisis Scenario” in which the French attack into Germany on the two western maps while the Germans drive against the Czechs and Soviets in the east. We have several others in mind as well.
We recently published an interview with the designer that gives some good insight into the design and the history of the campaign as well.
If you are interested in Watch on the Rhine: The Siegfried Line Campaign, 1944-45, you can secure a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link (Now live!): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ctp/watch-on-the-rhine-the-siegfried-line-campaign-1944-45/
2. Freezing Death: Finnish Winter War 1939-1940 from Linden Lake Games Coming to Kickstarter Soon
In early 2017, we played a prototype copy of a CDG from a new Finnish designer called 1918: Brother Against Brother and really enjoyed the system and the interesting historically focused cards. That same publisher has now created another CDG focused on the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939-1940 at the outset of World War II called Freezing Death: Finnish Winter War.
From the game page we read the following:
The game is a two player wargame of the Winter War fought between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1939-1940 as well as preparations that lead up to the conflict.
The map is abstracted and shows three fronts where the main battles took place and where the Soviet player tries to advance their troops along while the Finnish players’ units, underequipped but more accustomed to freezing conditions, try desperately to stop them. The game also uses an Intervention Track that gauges the Western Powers deliberated intervention, and is manipulated with Event cards and die rolls and can be the source of victory points and an automatic victory for the Fins.
The game has more than 50 action cards (each with a unique historical picture of the era and are color coded by year for ease of play) that are at the heart of the game. Cards can be used either as action points to build units, move units or increase their strength or events. Events include Russian troops encouraged by vodka-rations, diplomatic efforts of worlds first female diplomat Madame Kollontai as well as sympathy Finland has built in the US in pre-war years by being the only nation not to default on its debts. The game is fully bi-lingual (English and Finnish) including two different decks of action cards and rules.
You can check out the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/llg-ludibooster/freezing-death-finnish-winter-war
3. Old School Tactical Volume III – Pacific War 1942/45 from Flying Pig Games on Kickstarter Now
We love Old School Tactical and have played Volume I (East Front) and Volume II (West Front) and had a great time with both of them. Now comes the series take on the Pacific Theater and I’m so excited! Why you might ask? I have always been drawn to a good PTO game as there are always interesting mechanics, such as amphibious landings, star shells, caves and Banzai charges, and there is something that I have always found interesting about the terrain of the Pacific (kunai grass, jungle, caves, swamps, and beaches that make for some interesting tactical challenges and disadvantages.
From the Flying Pig Games website, we read the following:
Old School Tactical Vol III brings the popular OST system to the Pacific Theater of World War II. Fight in the jungles and on the beaches against both the Imperial Japanese Army and Naval (Marine) units. Unlike other OST soldiers, the fanatical Japanese have no Gut Check number, preferring death to dishonor. The Japanese also come with the new tank-killer units and, of course, rules for the famous Banzai attack. The Americans answer with canister rounds for their Stuart tank, the famed Marine firepower and discipline, and plenty of armor and artillery support.
The game will ship with 16 scenarios, that include Alligator Creek (Henderson Field), Edson’s Ridge (Guadalcanal), In the Coconut Grove (Bougainville), First Clash (Guadalcanal), and more. New units include Chi-Ha and Ha-Go tanks, Japanese Sappers, Type 99 LMG, Type 92 HMG, Type 89 Mortar, and more. On the American side there are LVTs, flamethrower tanks, Marine rifle units, Army rifle units, 37mm ATG, to name just a few.
I included this picture of the proposed expansion called “Hell Bent” (if you have backed any of the other previous OST Kickstarters, you know that they have done expansions such as Stalingrad and Airborne) but I unfortunately don’t have any further details at this point on what it includes except that the cover simply nails it.
If you are interested in Old School Tactical Volume III – Pacific War 1942/45, you can secure a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/markhwalker/old-school-tactical-vol-iii-the-pacific-theater?ref=project_build
As of this post, the campaign is fully funded raising $27,858 of their $18,000 goal with 341 backers. The campaign will conclude on July 27th.
4. Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 from PHALANX
PHALANX has been killing it over the past two years or so as they have really branched out into the wargaming realm with games like Hannibal & Hamilcar (2018), UBOOT (2018) and Freedom! (2019 Kickstarter). Now, they are dipping their toe in the mighty Pacific Theater of World War II and remaking one of the definitive games on the subject.
From the pre-order page, we get the following summary of the game:
Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 is a two-player game of strategical rivalry and tactical responsiveness set during the Pacific War, which stretched from the Pearl Habor attack on December 7, 1941 and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki obliteration in the atomic hellfire in August 1945. During 16 phase-based turns, you will attempt to conduct successful attacks on your opponent’s units, break loose from the sea siege or simply outsmart your enemy so craftily that his willingness to carry on would be crushed. You cannot forget about logistics – spend your transportation points wisely and supply your units with oil or they will end up as unarmed sitting ducks, easy prey for enemy dive bombers or destroyers.
We love a good game on the PTO and this one looks intriguing. I know that there isn’t a lot to go on in the description but frankly for the price, what do you have to lose?
If you are interested in Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945, you can pre-order a copy for approximately $40.00 on the PHALANX website at the following link: https://phalanx.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders/185085?fbclid=IwAR0ST7OthidFu7Yy0YXFOpebzmyOTpcRxytAD0PrL6niB9vkNO7Bfi_lVLg
5. Storm Over Asia: Prequel to A World At War from GMT Games
One game that we took a pass on recently on the P500 was A World at War. It wasn’t for a lack of interest on our part. It was simply because it intimidates us and we don’t have a place to leave a monster game like it set up as we play through it over a few months time.
I am now regretting that decision. Especially since a prequel was added to the P500 this month. From the game page we read the following:
Storm Over Asia is both a companion game to GMT’s A World at War and Gathering Storm, and is a game in its own right, with its own victory conditions. Starting in 1935, Japan, China, Britain, and Russia prepare for war without being sure of just what is coming. Japan must balance its expansion in China, an impending confrontation with the United States and Russia, and the impact of the Pacific theater in a global war. China, Britain, and Russia must try to resist immediate Japanese expansion, while at the same time laying the groundwork for the successful prosecution of war in the Pacific. These short-term and long-term goals will often be in conflict, and misjudgments in either direction may have dire consequences.
Considering A World at War is a monster, we now have a mini-monster that can prep you for an entry into that system along with A Gathering Storm which is also a prequel but focused on the European Theater. One other thing that is interesting to me is that the game explores several what ifs including the following which are listed on the game page:
Storm Over Asia allows players to explore what might have happened if:
Japan had prioritized naval expansion, even though it antagonized the United States.
Japanese admirals had focused on submarine warfare in the impending war with the Allies.
The Japanese had taken the American submarine warfare threat more seriously.
Japan had committed to jets, advanced submarines or rockets.
Synthetic oil technology had been developed by Japan.
Japan had developed a strategic bomber for to use against China … or Russia.
Japan had prepared for a direct attack on the Soviet Union, rather than first trying to eliminate the Chinese threat to is flank.
Nationalist China had defeated the Communists before Japan invaded.
Communist China had expanded its territorial base and armed forces.
The United Front had formed early, allowing China to confront Japanese aggression more effectively.
Australia and India had been better prepared for war, including by building Australian aircraft carriers or an Indian air force.
It also appears that Storm Over Asia may be played as a separate game in a single session, with its own victory conditions, and may be played alone or in tandem with Gathering Storm, the other pre-war game set in Europe. Storm Over Asia resembles Gathering Storm in many ways, and both games have a structure consistent with A World at War, allowing for a seamless transition to whatever alternate war the players planned – or stumbled into. There are many similarities between Storm Over Asia and Gathering Storm, and Gathering Storm players will have no difficulty in playing Storm Over Asia. I unfortunately have not played Gathering Storm so this won’t be my experience as I’ll have to learn the system from scratch. That’s alright though. I have Alexander in my corner and his amazing wargame rules learning superpower. I for one am always interested in a good looking Pacific Theater game and will most likely add this one to my growing P500 list.
If you are interested in Storm Over Asia, you can pre-order a copy from the GMT Games website for $72.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-774-storm-over-asia.aspx
6. No Retreat! Battles: 1942
There are a few series that are iconic from GMT Games and when their name is mentioned your mind immediately goes to quality components, fantastic game play mechanics and interesting strategic choices. The COIN Series, EFS and No Retreat! to name a few. I own a 2nd printing deluxe edition copy of No Retreat! The Russian Front and I love it.
But this No Retreat! Series is different. No longer focused on a single front or area of the conflict in World War II, this entry focuses on great battles in an entire year of the war. From the game page we read the following:
This new No Retreat! Series of games will each cover one year of the World War II conflict, starting with 1942. The series will ultimately consist of seven titles. In each game box you’ll get between three to six battles covering some of the most decisive encounters for that war year.
In No Retreat! Battles, no more Russian, French, Italian, Polish, Western or African Fronts; you’ll get close and personal with smaller-scale engagements. Critical Battles like Iwo Jiwa, the Capture of Berlin in 1945, Battle of the Bulge, Kasserine Pass, Kursk, Casino, Tarawa, and dozens of others.
Another hallmark of the No Retreat! Series is low counter density and a generally small play area such as one map. This system generally is also low medium complexity and very understandable in their systems and sequence of play. One of the reasons I like the system so much.
The map will be small, usually half a regular GMT playing surface, and the counters just numerous enough to have a good game without been swamped by game pieces. The games will also be relatively quick playing, and fast to set-up. A good example of the size of a NR Battle game is the Crete bonus mini-game included in No Retreat! The African Front.
Another great feature of the series is that it is very solo friendly as some of the battles offered in each box will have specific solitaire-play rules when this it is deemed possible to offer gamers an interesting play experience and a challenging contest, using a special set of “Artificial Intelligence” order cards reacting to your moves and mistakes. Usually one or two solitaire titles will be included in each game.
Here is a list of the battles included and a bit about each of them from the game page:
Battle for Velikiye Luki: This Battle simulates the Soviet Offensive thatwas executed against the Wehrmacht’s 3rd Panzer Army during the Winter Campaign of 1942-43; with the objective of liberating that city as part of Operation Mars. Called « The Little Stalingrad of the North » it saw a German Garrison desperately trying to break out of the embattled northern fortess. After a bloody see-saw battle, only a hundred defenders were able to escape. The variety of units fighting is quite bewildering : Ski troops, German Paratroopers, Panzers, Soviet Guard Divisions, rocket brigades, Estonian troops, Fortifications etc…
Battle for Stalingrad (Solitaire/Two-player): This Battle showcases the famous cityfight, one of the turning points of the war. The game will focus on the urban battle in and around Stalingrad. The Player will take command of the Axis forces assaulting the city; the game AI will control the Soviet defenders. Time is of the essence to achieve complete control of the city before winter! A hidden unit system will be used to simulate the low level of local battle intelligence and difficult terrain the attackers encountered battling through the blasted ruins of the city. The game can also be played two-player.
Battle for Gazala: This Battle covers the dramatic Afrika Korps counter-attack, lead by Rommel, against the prepared positions and minefields of the British 8th Army in North Africa, culminating in the capture of the Fortress of Tobruk and dramatic advance towards Egypt. Open desert terrain and quick movement abilities will make this a wild and woolly contest of will between the well-rained German Panzers plus their Italian Allies, and the British coalition troops of a dozen different nationalities. Special “Tactical” Event cards are used to put more detail into the battle strategies used by both sides’ units.
Battle for Guadalcanal: This Battle was the first major Allied offensive against the Forces of Imperial Japan. Surprised by the attack, the Japanese made three major attempts in 1942 to retake the position conquered by the US Marines around Henderson Field. A linked scenario will cover each attempt; Event card play can also influence the outcome of the seven major naval battles, but at a cost of precious resources and Victory Points. This is the first No Retreat! Game to cover the WW2 Pacific war, and effectively three games in one.
Battle for Dieppe (Solitaire): This small, quick-playing bonus Battle will put the player, controlling Canadian forces, against the insurmountable odds of gaining a foothold in the well-defended French town of Dieppe during one of the first Amphibious landing attempted by the Allies in Europe. The game AI will take gradual control of more and more German forces as time passes, so speed of execution of the mission is key. As with the Stalingrad game, the Enemy forces will be hidden at start, to be uncovered as the game advances.
If you are interested in No Retreat! Battles, you can pre-order a copy from the GMT Games website for $50.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-773-no-retreat-battles-1942.aspx
7. La Grande Battles Napoleonics: C&C Napoleonics Expansion #7 from GMT Games
If you’ve been following our YouTube channel lately you see that we have been playing lots of Commands and Colors, dipping our toes in all the different iterations from Ancients to Medieval, Red Alert to Napoleonics. I’m here to tell you that my favorite has been Napoleonics and now it appears we have a new expansion.
La Grande Battles Napoleonics is the seventh expansion for GMT’s Commands & Colors: Napoleonics game system. The expansion features as many as 10 La Grande Battle scenarios, 10 EPIC engagements, and a number of standard-sized battles. The La Grande Battles battlefield is 11 hexes deep by 26 hexes wide, and there are two La Grande Battles mounted map boards (left and right) included in the expansion. The EPIC battlefield is 11 hexes deep by 20 hexes wide, which is almost double the size of the standard scenario battlefield of 9 hexes deep by 13 hexes wide. Two EPIC battlefield map sheets (left and right) are also included.
From the game page we read the following about what is included in the expansion:
Players will find a number of new units, including Polish French allies, British highlanders, KGL infantry and cavalry, plus all the unit blocks and rules needed when fielding these units in a battle.
The expansion also includes a number of Leader of Honor blocks. Leader of Honor blocks have a portrait of the Napoleonic leader and were first mentioned in the Generals, Marshals & Tacticians expansion #5. A Leader of Honor orders more units when a “Take Command” Command card is played. Please note, the number of Leader of Honor blocks for the various Napoleonic nations will vary and are determined in scale with each Napoleonic Army’s field commander status history.
This expansion also presents new rules for Iconic Commanders that are recommended for all EPIC and La Grande Battle scenarios. For example: When Napoleon is in command, because of his excellent grasp and flow of a battle, after the play of a Scout Command card, the French player, when drawing two new Command cards, can keep both cards and discard one Command card from his hand. When Wellington is in command, because of his keen eye for terrain, the British player prior to the battle may redeploy up to 4 hexes of units. For example: One unit could redeploy up to 4 hexes or two units 2 hexes each or four units 1 hex each, etc. Other Napoleonic nations also have their own unique Iconic Commander rules.
You will also be pleased to know you will find that a scenario of EPIC Napoleonics will play out very well with just two players. It is highly recommended players give the EPIC scenarios a try, playing one on one. The only really bad point is that in order to get the most enjoyment out of the expansion, you will need to play using the Command card and Tactician card decks that were part of the Generals, Marshals & Tacticians expansion.
It is important to also note in order to play most EPIC Napoleonics scenarios, players will need a copy of the Commands & Colors: Napoleonics core game and many of its expansions (Spanish Army, Russian Army, Austrian Army, Prussian Army, Generals, Marshals & Tacticians, EP).
If you are interested in La Grande Battles Napoleonics, you can pre-order a copy from the GMT Games website for $59.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-772-commands-colors-napoleonics-exp-7-la-grande-battles.aspx
8. Stalingrad Besieged from Worthington Publishing on Kickstarter Now
Stalingrad Besieged is a game designed for 1 to 2 players to refight the campaign for the City of Stalingrad in 1942, using three different mediums; cards, blocks, or counters. The player literally get to choose and all three play generally the same way. The game plays in 1 hour or less.
From the Kickstarter page, we read the following:
The game depicts the battle in the city of Stalingrad itself. This is a street fighter’s game, just like the campaign. Intense block to block battles defined the Stalingrad siege and the game reflects this within its design. The game board uses a German map from 1942, with grids defining key locations in the city. The grids are used for movement and combat in the game. Combat is frequent and each side battles back and forth regardless of who moves.
Because of the dynamics of tanks, artillery, and infantry and the variability of the Russian ferry points and the arrival of reinforcements, no two games will play the same. This adds to a great replay value, and to the solitaire play value as well. PLUS, it comes with and allows players to play with the components of their choice; CARDS, LARGE WOODEN BLOCKS, OR OVERSIZED COUNTERS.
If you are interested in Stalingrad Besieged, you can secure a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1456271622/stalingrad-besieged?ref=project_facebook
As of this post, the campaign is fully funded raising $10,209 of their $1,500 goal with 166 backers. The campaign will conclude on July 8th.
9. The Earth as Their Memorial: The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC from Conflict Simulations Limited
CSL has been putting out some very interesting games since coming on the scene late last year. Ray Weiss is pushing the design envelope with some very interesting mechanics (see our thoughts on his Procedural Combat Series in 1950 The Forgotten War). So is the case with their most recent pre-order offering in The Earth As Their Memorial: The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC as it doesn’t appear to be just another Ancient Greece game but uses some really interesting mechanics to represent operation planning, logistics, use of mercenaries and slaves and more.
From the game page we read the following:
The Earth As Their Memorial: The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC is a hybrid strategic/operational scale game what covers the 30 year brutal campaign of attrition waged between Sparta, Athens and their respective allies, bringing a violent and destructive end to the golden age of Greece along with Athenian hedgemony in Hellas (Greece).
Players will elect leaders and plan operations during the Assembly Phase, and then randomly pull those operations performing them in the drawn order during a joint Action Phase. Leaders can either retain their commands, be removed, or even be exiled. Different operations include Land Campaign, Naval Campaign, Combined Operations, Mobilization, Fortification and more.
Each turn is approximately 1 year and players can either play through the whole war, or the individual phases. The game should also play relatively well solo given the method of activation. No CRT is used, instead a system similar to 1870 is used where SP ratios determine Die Roll Modifiers, and then die results will determine the scope of results between 2 forces. Both players will have to manage the unique challenges of commanding citizen hoplites, slaves and mercenary forces in order to force their opponent into surrender.
If you are interested in The Earth As Their Memorial: The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC, you can pre-order a copy for $34.99 on the Conflict Simulations Limited website at the following link: https://www.consimsltd.com/shop/the-earth-as-their-memorial-pre-order
10. The Jaws of Victory: Battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket January/February 1944 from New England Simulations
This one was not on my radar, and frankly I wasn’t familiar with the publisher, until I came across a post by WargameHQ about how he was going to focus on them in 2018. I have looked at this company and they have a slate of very interesting wargames and The Jaws of Victory just looks great.
From the website we read the following on the game, which is based on one of their previous designs Killing Ground:
The Jaws of Victory: Battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket January/February 1944 is a 2-map simulation of the January-February 1944 battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket that took place in the Ukraine. It’s a classic pincer movement by two Soviet Armies that pocketed two German Korps. The Germans soon counterattacked with seven Panzer divisions in an attempt to relieve the pocket. The relief effort came close to success, but ultimately failed. The trapped units eventually broke out while incurring significant losses.
As I don’t know anything about Killing Ground, but you possibly do, I have also provided this nifty comparison to the two games:
Combat System: Combat system is similar to Killing Ground
• Germans must hold continuous front along the campaign start line until released
• German J & K bridges (for heavy tank river crossings)
• German Operation “Wanda” extra air availability
• German breakout: Every man for himself
• Panther & Tiger bridge collapse
• Panther reliability
• Special Soviet artillery barrage
• Soviet minefields
• Ukrainian partisans
• German rail reinforcement
• German Korsun air supply and air drop supply
If you are interested in The Jaws of Victory: Battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket January/February 1944 you can pre-order a copy on the New England Simulations website at the following link: http://carpatina.com/nes/jov_homepage.html
Here is an important note from the publisher on the special Early Bird Pre-Publication Offer: For a limited time, we are offering a special pre-publication discount price of only $75.00 (USD), a $40 savings off the regular price! This “Early Bird” offer ends Midnight, July 1, 2019. Afterwhich, the regular Pre-Publication price of $80 will be offered until a week befrore the game is released (projected to be in early September).
If you want to save that extra $5, you will need to act fast!
1. Shields & Swords Ancients: With It or On It from Hollandspiele
Another great looking game from the mind of Tom Russell. He just knows how to make very interesting games. With It Or On It is the first game in the Shields & Swords Ancients series. I love the very classic look of the counters and the battles included are very interesting indeed. Battles such as Marathon, Plataea and Tanagra.
From the Hollandspiele game page we read the following:
Like its medieval era cousin Shields & Swords II, this series takes a broad brush approach to simulating battles, this time of the ancient period, with an emphasis on speed and playability. While the basic philosophy and the core system of using Command Markers to activate Wings remains the same, each game in this Ancients line is designed from the ground-up to incorporate elements specific to its period and style of warfare.
This first game looks at six battles fought during the Greco-Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. Hoplite units that are attacking may use the Combat Class of the best hoplite in the line, giving them an advantage over heavy and light infantry formations. As a result of combat, units become exhausted, but these results may be distributed elsewhere in the line – a break occurs when there are no fresh units that can satisfy the result. Break the enemy line at the right time in the right place, and it will crumble in a disastrous rout. Maintaining pressure on the enemy while managing the morale of your own men is crucial to deciding the battle, and with it, the fate of empires.
If you are interested in With It or On It, you can order a copy for $40.00 from the Hollandspeile website at the following link: https://hollandspiele.com/products/with-it-or-on-it
2. Bar-Lev, The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Deluxe Edition from Compass Games
I love a good deluxe edition treatment of a classic game. Bringing it back to life with new components, upgraded maps and included rules changes and errata. Its like getting a facelift for a beautiful building or work of art…it just looks better! And Compass Games seems to do a very good job with their editions. This month you can finally purchase a copy of the classic Bar-Lev: The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Deluxe Edition and man it looks great!
From the game page we read the following about the new edition:
Bar-Lev: The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Deluxe Edition, represents an updated game treatment of the GDW release originally published in 1977, faithfully remastered and updated with this all-new, deluxe edition. Either of the two fronts (the Golan Heights and the Suez Canal) may be gamed separately, or both can be linked to simulate the course of the entire war.
This deluxe edition of the classic Frank Chadwick game goes beyond a mere reprint of the original game; it now features an updated order of battle and revised, expanded rules that fully integrate the air and air defense systems into the rest of the game, featuring a re-engineered sequence of play to provide a much more immersive experience for players. Operational planning is up to the players – you decide who to mobilize and where the hammer blow is to fall. A great solo, 2-, 3- or 4-player game!
Some of the enhancements made in this edition include:
- Redesigned 9/16” counters featuring BONUS option for tank battalions (two sets of counters; one with NATO symbols and one with representative AFV side view)
- Game map information is updated based on research and includes all-new map artwork
- Supporting charts convey more information at a glance for ease of play
- Updated the Order of Battle based on new information and analysis
- Resolution converted from a d6 to d10 for all game purposes
- Fully-integrated air and air defense systems; re-engineered sequence of play
- Updated rules treatment backed by many illustrations, an index, and clarifications and examples of play to reduce potential questions
If you are interested in Bar-Lev: The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Deluxe Edition, you can order a copy for $119.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/bar-lev-the-1973-arab-israeli-war-deluxe-edition.html
3. Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917-1947 from GMT Games
No secret that we love the COIN Series and will be collecting each new volume, even if they get to 25+. In fact, I love the fact that the series is willing to branch out from traditional counter insurgency conflicts to stretch and cover more non-traditional affairs. So is the case with Gandhi as the game incorporates the series first take on non-violent resistance.
From the GMT Games game page we read the following about the game:
Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917–1947 is Volume IX in GMT’s acclaimed COIN Series. Exploring one of the world’s most prominent experiments with nonviolent resistance, Gandhi takes us to the subcontinent of India, the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, for a detailed look at the final decades of the British Raj. 1 to 4 players compete to determine the future of India; will the transition to home rule be a peaceful one, will India be split apart by partition or civil war, or will it remain firmly in the grip of empire?
Gandhi offers a fresh perspective on the history of insurgency with the addition of a new type of faction to the COIN Series, the Nonviolent (NV) faction, while retaining the multi-faction, asymmetrical, card-assisted system of earlier titles in the COIN Series. COIN veterans will be able to jump right in.
We published a few interviews with the designer Bruce Mansfield and you can read those at the following links: Initial Interview and Follow-Up Interview We also posted an unboxing video that you can watch to get a great look at the stunning components and that gorgeous map.
If you are interested in Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917–1947, you can order a copy for $81.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-630-gandhi-the-decolonization-of-british-india-19171947.aspx
4. Peloponnesian War from GMT Games
Solo game focused on the ancient Greek Peloponnesian War…and designed by “The Herman”. Yes please, where do I sign up? Been looking forward to this remake of his classic game since it was announced nearly 2 years ago and now it is finally here.
This is a unique solo game and rather than me trying to explain it to you, I will use Mark Herman’s words:
Most current solitaire systems on the market today have the player take one side for the entire game. This pits the player against a random ‘Bot system, even the best of which have some difficulty giving you the same challenge as playing against a human opponent. In Peloponnesian War, you get to play both sides, pitting yourself against the best that YOU can offer. If the game system is winning, the player is forced to continue with the losing side. Success, on the other hand, will eventually force the player to change sides and recover the losing side’s fortunes. The duration of the war and the player’s performance determine victory. In this manner the player competes against himself in the classic tradition of the Greek tragedy.
If you are interested in Peloponnesian War, you can order a copy for $65.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-710-peloponnesian-war.aspx
5. Bleeding Kansas from Decision Games
If you’ve followed us for a while now, you know that we enjoy a good game designed by the great John Poniske. He recently retired and appears to now have more time to design games, which I see as a good thing for all of us as we can get more good games. I saw this one on Consimworld and immediately was intrigued, even prior to knowing it was designed by John. From the Decision Games web page for the game we read the following:
Bleeding Kansas is a two-player game portraying the politics and violence in pre-statehood Kansas. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 gave new territories the right to “popular sovereignty,” allowing residents to choose whether or not to allow slavery. Within months the stream of settlers to Kansas was swelled by parties of sponsored abolitionists and pro-slavers, all more intent on fighting one another than building a new state. Bushwhacks and gun battles punctuated maneuvers by rival legislatures elected through massive fraud. It would not die out entirely until statehood in January 1861. The new state’s senators swung the US Senate irretrievably against the South, ensuring the continuation of secession started by the election of Abraham Lincoln.
The core of the game is the card system. Each card describes an important event, person, or factor in the conflict, and triggers associated actions in the game. Players alternate card play to influence settlers, build forces, control counties, sway politics, move friendly forces, disrupt or attack opposing forces, burn or rebuild towns, encourage migration, or request Federal intervention. The sequence of cards played not only determines the outcome of the game, but creates the narrative of this dramatic conflict.
If you are interested in Bleeding Kansas, you can order a copy for $69.00 from the Decision Games website at the following link: https://shop.decisiongames.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1907
Whew! I made it through that. 15 games. That is a lot of games…and there really doesn’t seem to be a slowdown on the quality front either. I actually ended up leaving at least one Kickstarter off this month because I was unsure that it would get started by the end of July, so you’ll have to wait on that one (Until the Bitter End: Airborne from Matt White). What games did I miss? Why am I stupid enough to leave that one off the list? Let me hear it. Until next month, have some great table time!