When I started writing the Wargame Watch feature in 2017, I couldn’t have imagined how well the series would do. It has grown every month since the first edition and is now garnering around 3,200 views per month. It has actually become our largest regular monthly post and I really have enjoyed doing them each month as it is really a good time hunting down all the new titles for inclusion.

There was no slow down this month as I found 20 games to share with you with a whopping 8 of those games from Compass Games. They had an explosion of new pre-order games this month and I didn’t even include all of them. Looks like we can’t exhale yet and our wallets will not be allowed to regenerate.

In case you missed last month’s Wargame Watch here is a link to that post: https://wordpress.com/post/theplayersaid.com/63109


1. Amerika Bomber: Evil Queen of the Skies Strategic Bombing of America 1947-48 from Compass Games

As you know, Gregory M. Smith is an evil genius when it comes to designing very good solitaire simulators for an array of periods and wars. He has designed games on submarine warfare, airwar during both World War I and World War II and now he takes his system and talents to a post WWII alternate history subject on the German bombing of America in 1947-1948 with Amerika Bomber: Evil Queen of the Skies.

From the game page we read the following about the game:

Amerika Bomber: Evil Queen of the Skies is a solitaire, tactical level game which places you in command of a hypothetical, yet historically-based bomber aircraft during a frightening look at what might have been in World War II. Each turn consists of one sortie, during which the player will fly a mission to bomb the mainland of the United States. As the player progresses, he may choose to upgrade to even more advanced bombers in this alternate history game. Amerika Bomber is based on the popular, action-packed B17: Queen of the Skies system and pays homage to Glen Frank’s original system, but with streamlined routines and a few twists. It builds a strong narrative around the pilot as you look to earn skills, rise in rank through promotion, receive awards and survive a dangerous year above America.

These solitaire air games from Greg are just fantastic as we have played and really enjoyed Nightfighter Ace and are anticipating the follow-up effort Interceptor Ace. I really enjoy the skills aspect of the game and “leveling” your pilot as they progress through sortie after sortie gaining experience points to be spent on new skills. We were able to do an interview with Greg late last year on Amerika Bomber and you can read that here.

Amerika Bomber Mat

If you are interested in Amerika Bomber: Evil Queen of the Skies, you can pre-order a copy for $54.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/amerika-bomber-evil-queen-of-the-skies.html

The game page mentions that this game will be released in November 2019, which is just next month. Should be a lot of fun!

2. Rogue State from Tiny Battle Publishing

Tiny Battle Publishing has been doing some really interesting game over the past few years and their newest offering simply looks fantastic. Rogue State is a solitaire game that focuses on South Korea as the player takes on the role of the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the end of the Korean War. Sounds very interesting although it is always a little tricky for me mentally to take on the role of such a dictator. But this game is very interesting looking and is sure to be done tastefully.

From the game page, we read the following:

Your primary objective will be for your regime to survive from 1953 through the year 2030. Your secondary objective will be to maximize adherence to the Juche ideology by progressively achieving national self-reliance and global influence. Juche points are earned by advancing your nation’s military strength, industrial production, nuclear weapons development, and assertively responding to events while minimizing lingering foreign debt. Victory over your imperialist oppressors will require you to carefully manage scarce resources, strategically evaluate risk, and develop a keen awareness of the interaction between the world situation and your decisions. Each turn represents approximately seven years on the timeline of the DPRK.

The game description lists out the various elements that players must focus on as follows:

As Supreme Leader of North Korea, you will be responsible for:

  • Managing the state budget to strategically emphasize critical initiatives

  • Building heavy production capacity to fuel your nation’s economy

  • Investing in infrastructure, agriculture, and your military

  • Maintaining diplomatic relations with your national allies

  • Intimidating and purging members of your Cabinet to motivate performance and discourage sedition

  • Managing risks associated with world events and critical threats such as revolutions, coups, and foreign military action

  • Negotiating for foreign technology to build your nuclear weapons program

  • Threatening and extorting your imperialist enemies with threats of nuclear force

  • And (if necessary) ordering a preemptive nuclear strike on the West and its puppet allies.

Rogue State Board

Looks like a very interesting and thematic roleplaying experience as well as an exercise in juggling various resources and tasks to meet the desired outcome. I am very interested in this one as I really like solo games recently and this is an interesting topic to focus on as a simulation.

If you are  interested in Rogue State, you can pre-order a copy for $30.00 from the Tiny Battle Publishing website at the following link: https://tinybattlepublishing.com/products/rogue-state

3. 1985: Deadly Northern Lights from Thin Red Line Games

World War III games are hot right now! I don’t need to tell you that. I received a copy of Less Than 60 Miles, which is the 1st module for this fictional 1985 tussle between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Germany, a few months ago and have clipped the counters and read the rules but we have not had a chance to play yet. I am really interested in trying the system out and getting into it. I will admit that I am a fair bit intimidated but we will figure it out. The system debuted in 1985: Under an Iron Sky and was followed by Less Than 60 Miles and now the fighting moves to Scandinavia.

There is not a lot of information out there on the game but if you want a copy of 1985: Deadly Northern Lights you will have to reserve one at the following link on the Thin Red Line Games website by leaving a message: https://trlgames.com/2019/09/15/1985-deadly-northern-lights/

4. Vorwarts!: A Crowbar Expansion from Flying Pig Games

Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc is a solitaire wargame (with two-player and cooperative variants) which simulates the dangerous Pointe du Hoc assault on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with the player taking the role  of the attacking Rangers. The game system traces its parentage to the popular In Magnificent Style and mirrors its speed of play and tough decision-making. Now, before even really being released for general public consumption, there is an expansion for this solitaire game called Vorwarts!

From the game page we read the following:

Vorwarts! is a complete, boxed expansion for Crowbar: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc, June 6, 1944. The expansion includes a sheet of new counters, including Ranger machine gun emplacements, German offensive units, and much more. Also included are six beautiful new scenarios including a shortened main scenario, smaller scenarios for each of the Ranger companies, and two counterattack scenarios in which you play as the Germans, counterattacking the Ranger positions. The expansion also comes with a rules booklet and a pretty box to keep it all safe.

I think it is cool that this expansion allows you to play as the Germans on the counterattack and look forward to how this works. We were able to get a look at Crowbar! during Origins 2018 and talked with the designer Hermann Luttmann. Here is our video interview for you to watch to get a feel for the game.

Vorwarts Counters

If you are interested in Vorwarts! A Crowbar Expansion, you can pre-order a copy for $30.00 from the Flying Pig Games website at the following link: https://flyingpiggames.com/products/vorwarts-a-crowbar-expansion


5. Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East from GMT Games

We had a plan to play a 5-player game of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea a few weekends ago but it fell through. I really think that this system is interesting and will make for a fun play. I don’t think that you can go into it though thinking that you will pick a strategy and dominate the game. There are lots of random elements in the form of card events and barbarian invasions that can stop you in your tracks as well as take that from your opponents that can strike you at anytime. I think you just need to go into this one thinking that its a game and I am here to spend a few hours with my gaming friends. In the Monthly Update email a few weeks ago they announced the 2nd game using this series called Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East.

From the game page we read the following on what is being added to the system used in this new edition to the series:

Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East (ACME) is brought to you by the same team that created Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea —designers Christopher Vorder Bruegge and Mark McLaughlin with developer Fred Schachter. ACME is not a sequel nor an expansion but a stand alone game using the same multiplayer and solitaire systems as its predecessor with many new and exciting features to intrigue its players, including:
  • Deities. Instead of building The Wonders of the World, here you get to establish the Deities of the Biblical era (including “you-know-who,” the one who demanded, “Let my people go!”)!

  • An all-new deck of 110 cards, many of which allow you to inflict disasters and defeats of, well, BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS upon your opponents! One civilization can even capture the Deity of another and take its statue back to its capital to demonstrate its military and theological superiority.

  • Rugged Mountain Areas (with blocks to signify strongholds)

  • Fertile River Valleys (where even cities or a single disk/camp could grow population)

  • Vast Deserts (where stacking is severely limited and growth prohibited)

  • And, of course, the rolling plains and churning seas found in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea

ACME is a game of the chaos that includes interactions with the gods. But, the chaos can be managed and survived allowing each player to guide their chosen civilization through to victory. The games spans the ancient world from the Hellespont to the Indus, from the Caspian to the Red Sea, and from the early Bronze Age to the Hellenic Age and includes a total of 16 civilizations to choose from.

The great thing about this series is that each civilization has its own unique characteristics and plays very differently. In this edition, there have been some new elements added, such as being able to take captives rather than loot from a captured city to increased abilities in siege warfare. Here is some information on how the game can play if the group so desires:

A War Game Only If And When You Want It To Be

If you want a War Game, you got it. If you want a friendly game, this is it too! As in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea, Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East can be all about war, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a friendly game of exploration, city building, trade, and faith. Players (solitaire, a group of up to six, or even a mix of live players with a system-driven civilization of two or more) can make of ACME what they wish or imagine. Competition can be martial or cultural, warlike or friendly, or a combination of both—how the game unfolds depends entirely on how the players want it to play. The duration of the game is also up to the players: from a multi-hour odyssey of all four Epochs to a pre-arranged shorter contest of an hour or two or to an agreed Sudden Death Victory Point threshold.
For Those Who Want A War Game, There Is Plenty Of War To Be Gamed
Historical War Game Scenarios are just that—fun and entertaining scenarios that recreate wars from the dawn of civilization to the conquests of Alexander the Great (and more!). Take on the role of Agamemnon as he sacks Troy, Solomon as he builds the Temple, or Ramses as he leads his chariots on the plains of Kadesh. Become the great law-giver, Hammurabi, the inspiring Persian empire-builder, Cyrus, or the legendary hero, Rostam (and more!). There are even double-sized (twice the usual number of disks) civilization options for those who want to conquer the world of Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East and become—as Assyrian kings Akkad and Sumer claimed—the king of the four corners of the world.
Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East Babylonian Play Mat
The game also has a fully developed solitaire system that will challenge players with different types of AI. If you are interested in Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East, you can pre-order a copy for $63.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-836-ancient-civilizations-of-the-middle-east.aspx

6. Dawn’s Early Light: The War of 1812 from Compass Games

We love the Card Driven Game mechanic and find it absolutely fascinating how it can lead to very interactive, tense and tight games. Each system uses the mechanic differently and I am always interested to see how new iterations use it to enhance game play and create the tension. As a part of the “Preorder Palooza” by Compass a few weeks ago, they added 8 new titles and this one was the one that drew my interest immediately.

From the game page we read the following:

Dawn’s Early Light: The War of 1812 is a two-player card-driven grand strategy game: a quick-playing, high-level abstract recreation of the entire conflict encompassing the territorial, naval, political, and economic competition between the two sides. Players will appreciate the high-production quality of the components which includes a MOUNTED game map and large, 5/8″ size punch-out counters.

Players take the role of the United States or Great Britain over a four-year period spanning the war and its prelude, with game cards for events and operations that offer players the tools to remix the entire scope of the conflict. Events such as “Andrew Jackson,” “Old Ironsides,” “Laura Secord,” “Tippecanoe,” and “Dinner at the White House” recreate the characters and moments that shaped the war, while operations such as recruiting, campaigning, privateering, raiding, and shipbuilding let players take it in their own direction. Each side earns victory points for capturing the enemy’s towns and territory, outcompeting them at sea, and outmaneuvering them in politics and public sentiment.

The game is designed to be played in about 2 hours and offers some really interesting opportunities in the outcome. I also like the look of the board and notice that the score track is one of those back and forth affairs, which I really like. You will also notice that there are tracks for Public Opinion, Economy and Diplomacy and my guess with this is that certain cards will be unable to be used for the event unless you have met the prerequisite number on one of these tracks.

Dawn's Early Light Map

If you are interested in Dawn’s Early Light: The War of 1812 you can pre-order a copy for $54.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/dawn-s-early-light-the-war-of-1812.html

Coalition Cover7. Coalition!: The Napoleonic Wars, 1805-1815 from Compass Games

Everyone loves a good Napoleonic game right? This one looks to be pretty awesome as it is a designed for 2-6 players. I can almost see the glorious struggle it will most assuredly be for the British player as they have to work with lots of other players to get on the same strategic page to face the forces of Napoleon.

From the game page, we read the following:

COALITION! is a game about the Napoleonic Wars (1805-1815) for two to six players that can be completed in a single evening. The scope of the game is grand-strategy with some operational components (as the execution of maneuvers as Marching to the Sound of the Guns), being the British player launching successive Coalitions to destroy France and his Empire. You will remember and reenact this flamboyant period handling historical Generals, Armies, Fleets and Event Cards. Prepare to fight from Austerlitz to Waterloo in just one evening!

The British Player will launch successive Coalitions of allied countries to destroy the French Empire, and the French player will try to survive and win the game by earning Gloire and Victory Points or by surrendering Great Britain through the Continental Blockade. Also, in the 3-6 players version, every individual player will control a Major Power with his own agenda, trying to win the game also through their own Victory and Gloire Points…


If you are interested in Coalition!: The Napoleonic Wars, 1805-1815 you can pre-order a copy for $52.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/coalition-the-napoleonic-wars-1805-1815.html

8. Russia Besieged Player’s Guide from Compass Games

I do not own nor have I ever played Russia Besieged. I generally am not a huge fan of East Front games but know that they are extremely popular in our hobby. This month Compass Games offered a Player’s Guide for Russia Besieged and I thought it was worth sharing as I am sure there are many of you out there that are big fans on this game. I really think the Player’s Guide is a great idea as it gives some new counters and a few optional rules to shake things up a bit.

From the game page, we read the following:

A 64-page magazine describing the history of the game, from its design inspiration and origins to the game Russia Besieged has become today.  This 64-page companion guide, complete with a half-sheet of counters, will unlock even more value to your copy of Russia Besieged by making more variant and optional rules available. Variants include a Rudel counter, one of Germany’s most famous pilots, Fortification counters, an option rule “What If” that presupposes Italy not attacking Greece, allowing Germany to invade Russia one turn early. Also, included in this package are the counters and setup cards needed for a Historical Variant developed by Paul Popejoy. As an added bonus, errata counters are included to correct a few omissions/errors in the printed version. Fans of the game will also enjoy the Gamer’s Guide section that has examples of play, analysis of mechanics and techniques to enhance not only your understanding of the rules but will further develop your style of play. If you are a serious fan of Russia Besieged, this package will intensify your East Front gaming experience.

Russia Beseiged Counters

You do need a copy of Russia Besieged to use this Player’s Guide.

If you are interested in the Russia Besieged Player’s Guide you can pre-order a copy for $30.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/russia-besieged-player-s-guide.html

Imperial Tide Cards II9. Imperial Tide: The Great War, 1914-1918 from Compass Games

I had to use the above and below graphics of cards as my images for this upcoming game as there is no other art available. I did get to see the prototype of Imperial Tide at WBC with Gregory M. Smith and it really looks good. If you liked Pacific Tide, this is more of that system just used to cover a game on World War I. To quote Greg, “Think Paths of Glory except the design objective is the whole war. 2.5 hours or so with a small footprint.”

From the game page we read the following:

Imperial Tide: The Great War 1914-1918 is a 2-player strategic level game which places you in command of either the Allied or Central Powers during The Great War (World War I.) Each turn consists of a year, during which multiple card plays occur. These give the players movement, combats, entrenchments, and other actions. At the end of each year, players must make critical decisions on which cards to re-buy in an attempt to win the war outright or to win by placing the other side in a disadvantageous position by 1918. Imperial Tide is based on the popular, action-packed Pacific Tide game system by Gregory M. Smith, with many combat and strategic decisions to challenge players in just a single evening’s game.

If you are afraid that this game is simply a clone of Pacific Tide and that nothing new is being included in the design, think again. There are new elements. From the game page we see the following:

One new mechanic in Imperial Tide is the option to conduct “Attrition Combat” instead of regular combat. By using Attrition Combat, you are not attempting to take ground – you are merely attempting to inflict casualties on the enemy and wear him down. This type of combat automatically causes both sides to take losses.

Another new key mechanic in the game system is the use of Resource Points. Each nationality has a set amount, and there is an option to buy an extra point each year.  Although mainly intended to replace infantry strength, they are extremely flexible in that they can be used in limited amounts for movement and combat operations. They can be thought of as a sort of “operational reserve” and should be used judiciously by players.

Imperial Tide Cards

If you are interested in Imperial Tide: The Great War, 1914-1918 you can pre-order a copy for $50.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/imperial-tide-the-great-war-1914-1918.html

10. Devil Boats: PT Boats in the Solomons from Compass Games

A few months ago I did an interview on a small format game from High Flying Dice Games that focused on PT Boats called Profile in Courage: PT-109 – The Campaign of PT-109 in 1943. We did an interview with the designer Rod Bauer and it really looks like an amazing game with a very interesting and unique premise. Lo and behold this month we see another title about PT Boats called Devil Boats: PT Boats in the Solomons and I just think this one will be amazing.

From the game page we read the following:

Devil Boats:  PT Boats in the Solomons is a solitaire, tactical-level wargame. You, as commander, will lead a squadron of four US Navy PT boats on nightly missions against Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands during the summer months of 1943.

Sleek, fast, and heavily-armed, US Navy PT boats were soon given the nickname ‘Devil Boats’ by Imperial Japanese forces for their ability to suddenly show up out of nowhere, inflict heavy damage, and then quickly disappear again under the cover of night. From General Douglas McArthur’s evacuation from the Philippines in 1942, throughout numerous bloody South Pacific island naval battles, and finally upon the eventual return of US forces to the Philippines in 1945, US Navy PT boats played a small but important role in the South Pacific Campaign during World War II.

Devil Boats Map

The game focuses on the months from July to September 1943 which was the most active months during the campaign against Japanese forces in the New Georgia Islands area as US forces advanced northward. The player will act as a PT Boat commander and will  lead up to four PT boats on nightly patrols from your PT base on Rendova Island. The primary goal of the nightly missions will be to sink as many IJN barges as possible in an attempt to prevent them from transporting troops and supplies to the surrounding islands. This will be no easy task though as the IJN barges were heavily armored and very tough, requiring hundreds or even thousands of PT gun shell hits to sink.

The game doesn’t just focus on combat and sinking barges though as you may occasionally be assigned a special mission, such as picking up a downed Allied airman, dropping off supplies to a coastwatcher, or even shelling an enemy supply dump. You will also have to handle other hazards such as bad weather with heavy seas, reef collisions, and multitude of random events.

Devel Boats PT Boat Board

I love these solitaire games that focus on the crew and give players the opportunities to improve the men under their command as they progress through a campaign. The game offers the following for crew advancement:

Devil Boats:  PT Boats in the Solomons models 12 individual PT boat crewmen that may be injured, killed, or even come down with Malaria. But if they do survive long enough, their skills will improve. The game also models individual PT boat equipment and components, such as radio, radar, engines, guns, bilge pumps, etc. These components may be damaged or destroyed, perhaps forcing your PT squadron to break off the patrol early, or maybe even disabling one of your boats. Also modeled is PT squadron management, allowing you to conduct PT boat assignments and repairs.

As PT squadron commander, your ultimate goal is to survive the 3 months and destroy as many IJN enemy forces as possible without suffering too many squadron losses yourself. But be careful- play recklessly and lose too many PT boats and you may find yourself relieved of command and sent back to the States, or even court-martialed! But do well and you will earn well-deserved medals, and maybe even change the eventual outcome of the war for the better.

If you are interested in Devil Boats: PT Boats in the Solomons you can pre-order a copy for $45.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/devil-boats-pt-boats-in-the-solomons.html

11. Enemy Action: Kharkov from Compass Games

I have yet to play Enemy Action: Ardennes but know that it is a game with a very rabid following from a great designer. I met John Butterfield at WBC by the way and he was a fantastic person. We didn’t get a chance to sit down and discuss this game but I really wish we had. Enemy Action: Kharkov is the second game in John Butterfield’s acclaimed Enemy Action Series of card-driven games simulating pivotal battles in World War II, playable by two players or one player controlling either side in the conflict.

From the game page we read the following:

Enemy Action: Kharkov portrays the Third Battle of Kharkov, the key Eastern Front battle in which the German Army ended a string of Soviet victories begun at Stalingrad. In the late winter of 1943, Soviet Operations code-named Star and Gallop drove the Germans from the city of Kharkov and threatened a complete breakthrough, only to be driven back by the German counteroffensive known as Von Manstein’s Back Hand Blow.

Each volume in the Enemy Action series features:

  • Two-player competition with low complexity and constant decision points for both sides;
  • Solitaire play of either side with systems governing all aspects of enemy command and tactics;
  • Card-driven impulse system, with multi-purpose cards played to activate formations, implement command events, or gain tactical advantages in combat.
  • Diceless and chartless combat system – players draw combat chits that build a narrative of each combat.

The solo games add fog of war to the experience.  Many enemy unit locations in the solo games are unknown until your forces move to contact.  Enemy units behind the front line often disappear to reappear elsewhere, within realistic movement limitations.

Enemy Action Kharkov

If you are interested in Enemy Action: Kharkov you can pre-order a copy for $82.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/enemy-action-kharkov.html

12. Verdun 1916: Steel Inferno from Fellowship of Simulations

I saw this on the Wargamers Facebook page recently but can’t find a lot of information about the game. Here is what I could find on Facebook but it is translated from French:

Verdun 1916: Steel Inferno is a simple wargame to zones and led by the maps, which covers the fights around verdun in 1916 (illustrations from the comics).

Presented by Author Walter Fsim on the fellowship of simulation booth. Pre-order and release scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

Pontiac's Uprising Map13. Pontiac’s Uprising, 1763-1766 from Compass Games

Here at TPA we love John Poniske and his great card driven wargames. He is simply a very solid designer who puts a lot of thought into not only the OOB’s and maps for his games but tries very hard to integrate the challenges of the period, including politics, events and other difficult to model elements. His newest game, that we got a chance to see while at WBC this year and shot a video interview with him about the game, is Pontiac’s Uprising, 1763-1766.

From the game page we read the following:

Pontiac’s Uprising, 1763-1766 followed on the heels of the French and Indian War which ended in 1763. Thanks to Indian resentment over the French surrender of their lands and the harsh policies of General Jeffery Amherst, governor-general of British North America, 20+ Indian nations rose up under the charismatic leadership of the Ottawa sachem, Pontiac and the Lenape Holy Man, Neolin. When the powder-smoke cleared, 450 British soldiers and countless Indians had lost their lives. Two thousand settlers were either killed or captured and 4000 more had been displaced. Moreover, Britain’s foreign conflicts had put the Crown 140 million £ in debt. These expenses led directly to a series of unpopular taxes in North America which in turn led directly to another uprising, our colonial revolution.

Pontiac’s Uprising attempts to recreate the reaction of Indian leaders to British mishandling of frontier politics and the impending colonial crisis it presaged. Building on the point-to-point system and loose Indian alliances used in King Philip’s War and Blood on the Ohio, this design expands frontier conflict using Battle cards to introduce combat chaos, British expenditure on troops, Uncertain Indian Armssupply, siege rules, the capture of prisoners, French interference and trader influence.

John had another release last year about the newly formed United States of America and their wars with the Native Americans after the end of the Revolutionary War and it appears that this game is using some of those same design elements while adding some new rules on sieges.

More from the game page:

The game offers five short introductory scenarios (15-30 minutes), three one-year campaign scenarios (2 hours), and one three-year grand campaign (5-6 hours). Although not a solitaire design, it is solitaire friendly. Players will appreciate the high-production quality of the components which includes a MOUNTED game map and large, 5/8″ size punch-out counters.

If you are interested in Pontiac’s Uprising you can pre-order a copy for $72.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/preorders/pontiac-s-uprising-1763-1766.html

New Release

1. Live Free or Die: Three Battles for America from Micro Game Design Group

I love a good alternate history and/or near future game and this one looks pretty interesting. Live Free or Die: Three Battles for America is new from Micro Design Group, which is a company that I know nothing about.

From the game page, we read the following:

Following the successful deployment of missiles on Cuba in 1962, the Communists gained much ground in Latin America. Western Europe became less convinced of American commitment to defend the continent. This led to the NATO alliance being dissolved and replaced by a neutral bloc.

America was now alone!

Live Free or Die is an alternate history simulation of battles associated with a Communist invasion of continental USA. Live Free or Die is a game set consisting of three independent games:

  • Asian Invasion captures the Peoples’ Asian Alliance landings in California;

  • Remember the Alamo covers the Organization of Central American States drive into Texas; and

  • Southern Discomfort focuses on a Warsaw Pact invasion of Florida, Georgia.

I love these games about future invasions of the United States. Reminds me of one of my favorites from my childhood Fortress America.

More from the game page:

The Basic Game focuses on ground combat, providing a quick, entertaining game. The Advanced Game introduces air and naval units as well as additional specialized units like cruise missiles, laser defenses and political troops. And beware, there are rules for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare!

The three 11″x17″map boards represent battle grounds in California, Florida, Georgia and Texas. The 480 1/2″ counters (die-cut and back-printed) show brigade and divisional level forces of the US, the Warsaw Pact (Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland and Czeckoslovakia), the People’s Asian Alliance (China, North Korea and Viet Nam), and the Organization of Central American States (Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua).

If you are interested in Live Free or Die: Three Battles for America you can order a copy for $40.00 from the Micro Game Design Group at the following link: http://microgamedesigngroup.com/LFOD.html

2. Breaking the Ice: The Great Lakes Winter Fleet 1942 from High Flying Dice Games

I love designers and publishers that take a look at lesser known topics and conflicts. There is a lot of great history out there that simply needs to be brought to life. Paul Rohrbaugh and High Flying Dice Games is doing this and doing it very regularly. There newest available game is a look at the Great Lakes winter fleet during World War II. Bet you didn’t even know about this?

From the Breaking the Ice game page we read the following:

Breaking the Ice is a solitaire play game on the Great Lakes “Winter Fleet”. The player will have to allocate valuable resources and deploy the car ferry ice breakers to support the ore fleet in the mission of delivering the most ore to the production ports as possible, with a minimal amount of damage to the fleet as possible. Can you do as well, or better, than your historical counterparts?

The game actually breaks their mold as it is a bigger game that comes with a box and has 241 counters. As it is a solitaire game, it should be really good and be able to be played regularly with easy setup.

If you are interested in Breaking the Ice: The Great Lakes Winter Fleet 1942 you can order a copy for $35.00 (boxed) or $30.00 (poly bag) from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link: http://www.hfdgames.com/bti.html

img_4100.jpg3. Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs from GMT Games

We did an interview with the designer Mike Bertucelli and his main Developer Jason Carr on this one last year. The game uses cards to represent the actions of Soviet and German armor on the East Front during World War II and simply looks really fun and very playable. In fact, you can actually play the game with up to 8 players. Talk about a lot of fun! I can’t even imagine the trash talk that would be ongoing with this one at that player count.

From the game page we read the following:

Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs is a card-based game for 1 to 8 players that depicts tank-to-tank warfare on the Eastern Front of World War II in the early to mid 1940s. It attempts to convey the claustrophobia and urgency that tank crews experienced in this bitter conflict, utilizing a simple Action system to keep the action moving at a rapid pace. Players will issue commands with the use of Battle Cards and attempt to score Victory Points by claiming Objectives and eliminating their opponent’s tanks and crew.

The game also comes with a well developed solo system:
Tank Duel comes with a full solitaire system allowing one player to test their skill as a Tank Commander against devious “bot” controlled tanks. The “bots” are straightforward to run but use the Battle Deck in innovative ways to surprise and delight players on every turn.


If you are interested in Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs you can order a copy for $78.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-615-tank-duel-enemy-in-the-crosshairs.aspx

If you hurry, you can actually order this one at the special P500 price of $55.00 but I don’t know how long that will last.

4. War Room: A Larry Harris Game from Nightingale Games

This one is a monster game! Look at all those components of which there are well over 1,000. War Room was on Kickstarter last year and I passed on it because I don’t believe I will be able to get the players for this one to the table. Larry Harris, renowned Axis & Allies designer, and Nightingale Games are making this one which is a deluxe global World War II board game for 2-6 players with 4 scenarios. The web page states that this one is “Over five years in the making, this is Larry’s magnum opus”.

War Room Strategic Planning

If you are interested in War Room you can order a copy for $240.00 from the Nightingale Games website at the following link: https://shop.nightingale-games.com/products/war-room-a-larry-harris-game-core

5. War of the Ring Ultimate Bundle from Ares Games

What can I say about War of the Ring that hasn’t already been said. We love this game and have had a great time with it. Ares is now releasing a reprint of the game along with its expansions and a copy of one of their newest Lord of the Rings games. The bundle includes the following:

  • TREEBEARD Promo Card & Miniature
  • TIDINGS & BURDENS Promo Card set


In case you don’t know much but are interested, I wrote a post about a year ago on The Best 3 Games with…The Lord of the Rings and you can imagine what my #1 was.

If you are interested in War of the Ring Ultimate Bundle you can order a copy for $165.00 from the Ares Games website at the following link: https://ks.aresgames.eu/product/the-war-of-the-ring-ultimate-bundle/

img_5725.jpg6. The Last Vikings from Strategemata

I don’t know anything about this one but caught it on my Facebook feed and it look intriguing.

From the game page we read the following:

The game The Last Vikings recreates events of two battles – at Kliszów in 1702 and at Fraustadt in 1706. In both cases the Swedish army was a winner. Of course on board a result could be different.

Basic rules are similar to published in 2016 game Bloody Fields of Mollwitz. The distinctive features of this system are the activation of army parts and resolution of fire and melee based on the morale of the involved units. Thinking about unique events during this battle, Designer added rules about Polish hussars and infantry using cheval de fries. A tremendous education value is very interesting and detailed historical introduction.

Using game elements, players can check if events could go in other way. What would happen, if Polish army fully engaged in the Battle at Kliszów? What would happen, if Russians received at Fraustadt more support from Saxon cavalry?

The game looks interesting and seems to cover some very interesting history about the Vikings. The game comes with 652 die-cut counters, 2 map boards of size 84 x 60 cm (one double-side printed sheet) and a 24 page scenario book. The game is designed for two or three players with a play time of 4 – 6 hours.


If you are interested in The Last Vikings you can order a copy for $60.00 from the Strategemata website at the following link: http://strategemata.pl/en/25-the-last-vikings.html

7. Monty’s Gamble: Market Garden from Multi-Man Publishing

Any game on Operation Market Garden is a must have for me. This one is a reprint of a classic that simply looks really good. From the game page we read the following:

Monty’s Gamble: Market Garden is a reprinting of MMP’s highly acclaimed area movement game on Operation Market Garden simulating the Allied attack in Holland and the German response. The Allies must land paratroopers, seize key bridges, and get XXX Corps up “Hell’s Highway” to relieve the British paratroopers in Arnhem, all while the Germans are attempting to break the supply line.

As I have looked into this one I am intrigued by the movement system and can see that this would really make for a blow-counter blow situation.

Monty’s Gamble: Market Garden features a semi-simultaneous movement system which provides maximum interaction and requires players to make tough choices as every move they make may be countered by their opponent. Both players will have pressing needs up and down “Hell’s Highway” but may only address one at a time—hopefully before the variable turn length causes the turn to end!

And not only is the game a reprint but they have added some new and interesting material as well to make it even better:

Also included in this all new updated version of Monty’s Gamble is Fortress Holland: 1940. Originally published in Operations Special Magazine #2 this expansion contains 100+ counters and rules and depicts the German invasion of Holland from May 10 to May 12 1940.

If you you are interested in Monty’s Gamble: Market Garden you can order a copy for $60.00 from the Multi-Man Publishing website at the following link: http://www.multimanpublishing.com/Products/tabid/58/ProductID/276/Default.aspx


Another month…another list of great games! I wish I had a money tree so I could buy all of them and then a time machine so that I could play them all. I do know of a couple of games that will be hitting the list next month, including one Kickstarter from Thomas Lee and Little Bighorn Games called The Battle of Britain.

Please let me know if there are games that you know about coming out this month that somehow eluded my grasp. Thanks for reading.