Another month has flown by and it is now February, which to me always seems to last the longest even though it is the shortest month of the year. Probably has to do with the short days and endless and cold dark. Well, I hope that the games I share with you this month can help you get through those days and look forward to something fun when the weather turns. This month I found 14 games to share with you and four of those are Kickstarters.

If you missed the January Wargame Watch you can read that here:


C3i #331. C3i Magazine #33 from RBM Studio

C3i Magazine is one of the premier wargame magazines out there and is always chocked full of new variants for existing games, strategy articles and a full game. In the new issue, which is Nr. 33, you can find a new game designed by Mark Herman called Waterloo 1815 Campaign that uses a similar system as his game in the magazine last year called Gettysburg.

The magazine also contains a new variant for Empire of the Sun which focuses on December 1941, a new scenario for Harold Buchanan’s Campaigns of 1777, alternative airborne landing locations for Holland ’44 as well as some great articles on other games including Fields of Fire, a new solitaire method for Campaigns of 1777 and Battles of the American Revolution both by Joel Toppen and more!

If you are interested in C3i Magazine Nr. 33 you can pre-order a copy for $36.00 from the RBM Studio website at the following link:!/C3i-Magazine-Nr-33-Pre-Order/p/163492264/category=30676727

Crusader Kingdoms Kickstarter2. Crusader Kingdoms: The War for the Holy Land from Worthington Publishing Now on Kickstarter

Crusader Kingdoms: The War for the Holy Land is a game for 1-4 players set in the era of the Crusades, where each player controls one of Outremer’s main Christian or Muslim kingdoms, with the goal of expanding it through intrigue and conquest. Designed by Jesús Peralta, there are four different games between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Crusades. The game allows cooperative, competitive, and solitaire game play.

From the Kickstarter page we read the following about how the game uses cards:

Comprised of two decks, one Muslim and another Christian. They can be of three types:

  •  Events: Have an explanatory text that describes its operation.

  •  Troops: Marked with a number that indicates their strength.

  •  Response: Depending on the text of the card, it can be played during the player’s round or during the round of other players; and can be used alone or in combination with other cards of any kind.

There are two maps included in the game and both maps are divided into regions that have a number inside a shield to indicate its Region Defensive Value. The Saladin and the 2nd Crusade board is used for 3-4 player games and the 1st and 3rd Crusades board is used for both the Solitaire and 2-Player cooperative versions of the game against a Muslim BOT player.

Crusader Kingdoms Board

From the Kickstarter page, we read the following about game turns:

The game is divided into 3 turns, with multiple player actions. Each turn has the following sequence:

  1. Each player draws an appropriate number of cards belonging to the player.
  2. Players can make one game action during their portion of the turn.
  3. The players perform actions consecutively until everyone has passed.

Available Game Actions

  •  Attack: The player selects a border region and announces the attack.

  •  Incursion: The player selects an opponent with whom he has a border and makes an incursion.

  •  Play an event: The player shows the card and proceeds according to its text.

  •  Discard: The player voluntarily discards one of his cards.

  •  Pass: The player announces that he will not do any of the previous actions.

If you are interested in Crusader Kingdoms: The War for the Holy Land you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link:

As of January 28th, the campaign is fully funded with 285 backers pledging $24,208 of the $5,000 goal. The campaign will end Saturday, February 1st at 4:30pm EST.

This War Without an Enemy Cover3. This War Without an Enemy: The English Civil War, 1642-1646 from Nuts! Publishing Now on Kickstarter

A few weeks ago I came across some very interesting pictures of a nice looking block wargame being played that covered The English Civil War. The game was This War Without an Enemy and was being designed by a first time designer named Scott Moore and published by Nuts! Publishing. I immediately reached out to Scott to do an interview for the game and really had my interest piqued. I then reached out to Nuts! Publishing and within a week or so we had a prototype to play and I really enjoyed this game.

This War Without an Enemy is a 2-player strategic block wargame on the First English Civil War. The Royalists fight for King Charles against the English Parliamentarian troops and their Scottish allies, in a struggle for political, economic and religious control.

This War Without an Enemy Components

From the Kickstarter page we read the following about the turns:

A year consists of 6 turns. At the beginning of each year both players draw a hand of 6 cards. A turn consists of the following phases:

  • Initiative Phase: each player plays a card to determine player order for the Strategic Phase.
  • Strategic Phase: each player, in turn, spends the action points on the card they played to move blocks and/or recruit (deploy new blocks or add strength to existing blocks).
  • Tactical Phase: battle and siege assaults are resolved.
  • Supply Phase: blocks which cannot be supplied are reduced in strength.
  • Victory Phase: if the marker on the Victory Track has reached 3 or more VPs for a player’s side, then that player has won the game.

The best part of the design is the combat system and the use of the battle board which requires players to make some very interesting and difficult tactical decisions about how to best utilize their forces. There are options for Infantry to fire their muskets at range before engaging in combat but they do so at a disadvantage with a harder to hit roll. Or you can just line up your troops and take your chances. I also really enjoy the Cavalry as they have interesting choices as well and some die rolls that will make you laugh as they are fairly difficult to control in battle. If they have success and defeat your enemies Cavalry, there is a chance they will pursue the routed units rather than stay on the battlefield and continue fighting.

This War Without an Enemy Battle Mat

Here is a link to our interview with designer Scott Moore:

Here also is a link to our preview video for the Kickstarter:

If you are interested in This War Without an Enemy: The English Civil War, 1642-1646 you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link:

As of January 28th, the campaign is fully funded with 254 backers pledging $17,700 of the $11,022 goal. The campaign will end Tuesday, February 4th at 11:00am EST.

Battle of Britain Cover4. Battle of Britain from Little Bighorn Games Now on Kickstarter

Last year, I came across some great looking historical based card games being developed and published by a small publisher named Little Bighorn Games. The designer of these games was Thomas Lee and he was more than willing to do an interview with us on D-Day Operation Overlord Battle Card Game, which successfully funded on Kickstarter. He now is moving ahead with another game focused on World War II but that covers the air war during the Battle of Britain.

The game plays over a series of rounds depending how long you want the game to last so at a minimum of 3 to a max of 7 rounds, with each round consisting of 7 battles.

There are 12 event cards in the game and they all reflect what happened in the actual historical battle. So for example, Operation Sealion Postponed, Eagle Day, Unescorted Bombers by Day, Short Range, Limited Ammo and Reserves to name just a few.

Battle of Britain Concentrated Firepower and Defence Tactic Card

Events are drawn at the start of the round, if a player wins a battle they can choose to change the current event if desired. An example of an Event Card is as follows, Night Attack All bomber cards +1, All fighter cards -1. This will affect your battle cards value and can really change the outcome of the round.

Here is a link to our interview with designer Thomas Lee:

If you are interested in Battle of Britain you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link:


5. Great Battles of the American Civil War Volume VIII Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh from GMT Games

Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh is the eighth installment of the Great Battles of the American Civil War (GBACW) series, which is an amazing accomplishment in this day of new systems and new games grabbing most of the attention. Under GMT, the GBACW rules system has remained stable, but at the same time has shown remarkable flexibility to allow each game to smoothly incorporate additional rules to reflect the specific elements of the historical battles that make each battle so unique. The series relies on interactive chit-pull mechanics to simulate the often chaotic nature of the 19th Century battlefield at the regimental level.

From the game page we read the following:

Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh includes ten scenarios. They range from division level contests on half sized maps to two-map battles depicting both the first and second day of the struggle. Experienced players will be able to play many of the scenarios in one sitting. The game reflects the Confederate surprise, the “greenness” of many units on both sides, as well as the unique role Albert Sidney Johnston played in the Confederate attack.

This one is a big game as it does include 1,120 counters and two huge 22″ x 34″ double sided maps. This game does have a new designer on the project but is supported by a veteran developer and co-designer in Bill Byrne who did such a good job on the Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah project.


If you are interested in Great Battles of the American Civil War Volume VIII Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh you can pre-order a copy for $40.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:


6. Fire in the Lake: Tru’ng Bot Update Pack from GMT Games

Many of our favorite multi-player wargames are difficult to get on the table to solo play as there are just too many factions to control. It can be done but less than ideally. Over the past few years, published like GMT have put a lot of time and resources into addressing this problem as they have developed a system of solitaire bots that control 1, 2 or even three of the factions in a game allowing us as players to focus on just one. They have now developed a more robust and functional AI Bot for Fire in the Lake and are calling it Tru’ng. This Bot was designed by Bruce Mansfield, the designer of Gandhi and it’s Bot named Arjuna.

From the game page we read the following:

Tru’ng is the name of a new bot system for Fire in the Lake. It follows in the footsteps of the innovative card-based bot system that was first developed for Gandhi, giving fans of Fire in the Lake more opportunities to get this great game to the table.

Tru’ng is quick to use and easy to implement, but is sophisticated enough to play the full Fire in the Lake game. When selecting Operations and Special Activities, cards are drawn from the Tru’ng deck—there are six cards for each Fire in the Lake faction. Each card examines the current state of the game and selects the appropriate action for the active faction. A single, faction-specific table then determines where that action will occur. The same table is used to select spaces for Operations, Special Activities, and Events, minimizing the need to flip between multiple player aids.


If you are worried about whether the solo bot feels right when playing here is a comment from the game page:

Playing against Tru’ng feels like playing against a human opponent. It is unpredictable yet responsive to strategic needs, it goes after its enemies while keeping an eye on its ally, and makes moves up to now limited to human players—like choosing a Limited Operation to block an opponent’s Event. Tru’ng can take the place of a human player for any Fire in the Lake faction, can be used with every Fire in the Lake scenario, and can be used in any combination of player and non-player setups.

If you are interested in the Fire in the Lake: Tru’ng Bot Update Pack you can pre-order a copy for $17.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

Chancellorsville 1863 Cover7. Chancellorsville 1863 from Worthington Publishing Now on Kickstarter

During the summer of 2019, we were introduced to Maurice Suckling and his very interesting design Freeman’s Farm 1777 from Worthington Publishing. In this wargame covering the Saratoga Campaign of 1777 during the American Revolutionary War, Maurice used this very interesting spatial focus for formations in battle and introduced a very cool mini-economy in the use of Momentum Cubes that were garnered from the play of Activation Cards to take re-rolls and purchase very interesting Tactics Cards that could be used to simulate or recreate some of the more interesting parts of the historical battle.

I really enjoyed that game and found the concepts very interesting and innovative and hoped that they would be used in future games. Well, looks like my wish came true as I found that Maurice was once again working with Worthington Publishing on a game covering the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863 during the American Civil War using a similar system but adding in some other interesting elements such as hidden movement.

The game isn’t just a rehash of Freeman’s Farm though as there are some major differences that I have seen after a conversation with Grant Wylie over email. The following is a summary of his comments. First the Confederates are division pieces while the Union are corps. The Union have 7 corps present while the Confederates have 5 divisions.

Second you are physically moving your division and corps on the board or the Hidden Movement Track, and combat occurs when you end up in the same location as an enemy piece. You can have up to 2 friendly formations in the same location. Now because you activate one formation at a time, you will be attacking with 1 formation at a time while the defender may have 2 formations in the location being attacked, and combat affects both defending formations equally.

Third, on the board are two hidden movement tracks, one for each side, so you don’t always know where the enemy is, and can end up with a surprise as you move into a location occupied by enemy units.  Maurice has locations on the board that if you move your formations onto, you must reveal them to the enemy player (this represents Jeb Stuart scouting the Union army, or formations moving into open ground that the enemy would have been aware of, such as when Sickle’s III corps saw Jackson’s men on their famous flank march as they moved through Hazel Grove). The system works wonderfully on the hidden movement as the enemy moves into and out of view during play.

Chancellorsville Hidden Movement Mini Map

Fourth, Maurice has designed a true bot engine that incorporates movement AS WELL as the hidden movement in the 2 player version.

Fifth, he now has multiple formations activated by the play of a single formation card.  The first formation on the card receives two activations (move and attack) for the expenditure of 1 cohesion point, while any other formations on the card receive 1 activation.

I am really interested in this one as I just really enjoyed the take on Freeman’s Farm and this one uses that similar system.

If you are interested in Chancellorsville 1863 you can order a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link:

New Release

Corrigedor-Cover_web1. Return to the Rock: Corregidor, 1945 from Revolution Games

I have played a couple of games designed by Mike Rinella (Patton’s Vanguard) and enjoyed their concepts which include area movement and a well designed impulse system. These elements are again at play with a new game from Revolution Games called Return to the Rock: Corregidor 1945.

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

The fortress island of Corregidor was the last portion of the American-controlled Philippines to fall to the Japanese in the opening months of the war in the Pacific in 1942. As the island was located in the entrance of Manila Bay, and because the island held considerable symbolic value, General MacArthur demanded its recapture when American forces returned to the Philippines in 1945. A combined amphibious and airborne assault—among the most difficult of modern military maneuvers—would be employed. American intelligence estimated some 600 defenders on the island. In truth there were more than 6,000.
This operation was called Topside and will surely test the players in this simulation. RETURN TO THE ROCK: CORREGIDOR, 1945 is a two-player game simulating the American invasion of the Japanese-held island of Corregidor in the Philippines between February 16 and February 22, 1945. One player commands the attacking American forces and the other player commands the defending Japanese forces. As you can see from the map below, the game is based on area movement and various key areas with red text are victory requirements.


The game includes various interesting elements such as both seaborne and airborne invasions and hidden units.

If you are interested in Return to the Rock: Corregidor, 1945 you can order a copy for $33.00 from the Revolution Games website at the following link:

2. Fury at Midway from RevolutFury at Midway Coverion Games

Originally publsihed in Japanese by Bonsai Games as Midway: Turning the Tide in the Pacific, Revolution Games has updated the game by making it a two map game, providing maps for each player which allows for some very interesting hidden information regarding air strikes, damage, and combat air patrol.

From the game page we read the following:

Four additional event cards were added to better cover the range of historical events of the battle. Anti-aircraft fire was reduced and rules for hitting the wrong carrier force were introduced. The map areas were expanded a hex row and the counter art was redone as well as many other small changes.

The game system is primarily one of air operations. When to strike and with what planes is the primary question of the game. This is balanced by how you defend your own fleet and the island of Midway for the Americans or the invasion fleet for the Japanese. The Japanese have to either take Midway or win the carrier battle to win the game and having two objectives really challenges the Japanese player to make a good plan while the American situation is simpler but his forces are not as well trained and errors in navigation, strike coordination, escort, etc can take a toll. Surface forces are not shown in the game except in their effects in AAA, bombardment, or the slight chance of an abstract night surface battle. This is a simple yet pretty accurate version of Midway that was a lot of fun during testing.

Fury at Midway Map

We really enjoy games in the Pacific Theater of World War II because of the use of Aircraft Carriers, naval operations and combat on the high seas. This one seems interesting and will be one that I will try to get my hands on.

Fury at Midway Counters

If you are interested in Fury at Midway you can order a copy for $39.00 from the Revolution Games website at the following link:

Admirals War Cover3. Admiral’s War: World War II at Sea from Canvas Temple Publishing

I truly love games that focus on air-naval combat, especially when there are Aircraft Carriers involved. Admirals’ War: World War II at Sea is a board game recreation of the strategic naval situation in WWII, from the early months of the Atlantic war to the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea in late 1944.

From the game page, we read the following:

Although all the major combat ships in the Axis and Allied navies are portrayed in the game, and although the board shows all the battle areas from the Barents Sea to Samoa, AW is only a basic simulation of the war on a strategic level, with most of the tactical details represented by simple game mechanics. The resulting game is fast-paced and fun to play, but it is not as realistic as many other simulations.

Much of AW is derived from mechanics used in Avalon Hill’s classic game Victory in The Pacific (VITP) (a game that I was able to purchase at GenCon last year but have yet to play) applying a modified version of that system to the sea wars in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, essentially combining that title with its older brother War at Sea (WAS), which was published in turn by Jedko Games and Avalon Hill.

I am very interested about this one as it combines action in both major naval theaters of World War II. It seems that most of these games tend to focus on only the Pacific Theater so this will be an interesting one for me. The game was successfully Kickstarted in early 2019 and has just been fulfilled and is available for purchase.

If you are interested in Admiral’s War: World War II at Sea you can order a copy for $119.95 from the Canvas Temple Publishing website at the following link:

4. Ostkrieg: WWII Eastern Front from Compass Games

Ostkrieg: WW II Eastern Front is a compact, strategic-level game covering the struggle on the Eastern Front during World War II by game designer, Mitchell Ledford. This game utilizes a unique and fast-paced, card-driven combat/build system first introduced in Pacific Tide revolving around ground and air operations. While extremely competitive as a two-player game, Ostkrieg can be enjoyed again and again in solitaire play format with its unique, “personality” driven bot system.

From the game page, we read the following:

Despite the strategic level of the game, there are operational and even tactical nuances including Axis Minor Restrictions, as players must decide when and how to commit their ground and air forces. The card-based combat/build system is a different take on the “normal” event/operations points driven systems. Separate card decks are provided for the Axis and Russian player. Each year, the players receive that year’s cards for free…but must use build points to repurchase older cards. This will cause the player a few agonizing moments, as he typically cannot afford to re-buy every card he needs (or thinks he needs). Players must also decide which aspect of cards to use – many have multiple but exclusive uses (such as, “Do A or do B”) and these uses sometimes give very different results based on operational or strategic needs at the time. To help ensure a tense and dynamic game, the system forces players to make many choices and decisions throughout play.


The game also has a solitaire mode with a specially designed bot. From the game page, we read the following:

As a bonus for solo players, Ostkrieg features a solitaire assistant – commonly known as a “bot” – which gives guidance to the player for either side during solitaire play. The assistant acts differently based on the “personality” it’s been given…aggressive, defensive, or balanced. All game cards have a rating which the assistants will prioritize differently for play. While extremely competitive as a two-player game, Ostkrieg can be enjoyed again and again in solitaire play format with its unique, “personality” driven bot system.

If you are interested in Ostkrieg: WWII Eastern Front you can order a copy for $59.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link:

SAC Cover5. SAC: All Out Nuclear War Against the Soviet Union, October 1962 from High Flying Dice Games

Inspired by the classic NORAD game (published in 1973 in Conflict Magazine) by Dana Lombardy, SAC is an alternate reality simple introductory wargame that assumes the Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t end well and all out nuclear was the result.

The US needs to destroy (“nuke”) as many target cities as possible with the B-52s and SSNs. The Soviet player is attempting to save as many as possible. There can be a fair amount of bluffing in face-to-face games for both players. The US player moves the B-52s (real and dummies) and places any the available SSNs. The Soviet player then moves their Migs and dummies. Where opposing units exist the Soviet player attacks (with the real Migs and SAMs if also present). B-52s also defend. Both players roll a die. A DR of 1 results in the target being shot down for no loss. A DR of 2 through 5 results in both the attacker and target being shot down. A DR of 6 results in the attacker being shot down for no loss. There is a variant Soviet “Coordinated air defense” rule that gives the Soviet player a -1 DR modifier if both a Mig and SAM are present in the same map area. After air combat is resolved a surviving real B-52 or SSN is turned up to reveal the nuclear mushroom cloud that destroys the target city. Play proceeds until all real B-52s and SSNs have attacked (there is no set number of turns to the game).

SAC Setup

Here is a link to our interview with designer Paul Rohrbaugh:

If you are interested in SAC: All Out Nuclear War Against the Soviet Union, October 1962 you can order a copy for $14.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link:

BINH_DINH_COVER_1024x10246. District Commander: Binh Dinh from Hollandspiele

You know how we feel about Brian Train and his famous games. We love them and always try to get our hands on as many of them as possible. Last year, we interviewed Brian on his new District Commander Series and took a look at the first game in the series called Maracas. We have played the game and really enjoyed it but didn’t shoot a review video because we feel that we need a few more plays to do it any justice as it is surprisingly a deep and involved game with lots of nuance that we need to explore.

This month, the next volume in the series is coming to light and we couldn’t help but try to highlight it here. From the game page we read the following:

Brian Train’s District Commander is a series of operational games on counterinsurgency situations. The players alternate activation of groups of units (stacks) to perform discrete operations (missions) through the expenditure of Task Points (TP). Some missions are Tactical Missions – straightforward military tasks such as performing patrols, ambushing or attacking enemy forces, or moving from one place to another – and these may be performed multiple times by a stack during a turn. Other missions emphasize the “non-tactical” end of the campaign, establishing friendly influence, control, and infrastructure in an area, reducing the enemy’s claim to the same, and recruiting or training troops. These missions take more time to perform and so unlike the tactical missions may be the only mission performed by the stack during the turn.

Binh Dinh Components

We felt that the most interesting part of the design was the carrying out of missions and their chits as they are drawn. From the game page we read the following:

Missions are resolved by play of secretly-held Chance Chits, each with ratings that are better or worse for certain types of operations. Chits are played simultaneously and the ratings compared, modified by units, assets, and the current board state to determine the outcome. Using the right chit at the right time – knowing when to save a good chit for later and when to use it, and trying to determine if your opponent is going all-in or holding back – will require steely judgment in an atmosphere of doubt and deception.

Now that you have an idea about the system and how the game works, here is a summary of what you will find in Volume II:

The second volume is District Commander: Binh Dinh, set in the jungles of Vietnam circa 1969. This is a period of transition that sees Government forces shifting their focus from pitched battles to providing population security and pacification. Mr. Train gives each player very different tools – here, we have rules for Agent Orange, the Phoenix Program, and the Ho Chi Minh Trail, among others – with which to pursue a sometimes shifting set of operational goals in a highly-customizable sandbox.

If you are interested in District Commander: Binh Dinh you can order a copy for $45.00 from the Hollandspiele website at the following link:

Death Ride Tarawa7. Death Ride Tarawa from Grognard Simulations

Hardcore hex and counter wargaming seems to best describe the products out of Grognard Simulations and I have long heard of the Death Ride Series. I caught this one out of the corner of my eye online and I do enjoy a good Pacific Theater invasion game.

From the game page we read the following:

This four day battle is one of the more gruesome fights in the Pacific Theater.  This game showcases a unique landing system.  While the fight to capture the island is not really ‘in doubt’, the Marines have a difficult time of wresting control of the place from the tough Japanese defenders.  The main battle campaign starts with the Marines aboard their transports.  From there they must move onto the landing craft and make their approaches to the beach.  The fire from the Japanese ashore is heavy and, as the Marines discovered to their dismay, the reef causes a major disruption in the landing plan.  It also creates plenty of easy targets for the Japanese player to hammer.  Once ashore the Marines are going to be hammering away with everything they have and the dug-in enemy positions are hard to eliminate.  Securing the island within 4 days is no picnic and playing it safe will not cut it.  The Marines need to be aggressive and willing to take casualties in order to move forward.

In the Landing system all Marines start on their transports.  When they become available on the Wave Chart they are loaded onto their landing craft.  From there they move to the Landing Craft Beach Chart.  From here the Landing Craft determine which hex row of the beach lane they will enter the map.  This can cause some serious traffic jams.  Then the landing craft make their run ins’ to the beach.  This is pretty exciting in itself, but then the Marines find wire and mine obstacles waiting for them in front of the sandy beach.  These cause major problems in landing.  The net result of all this is some very high nervousness about whether the Marines will get a solid bridgehead ashore.  The most problematic beach is RED 1.  The Marines here almost didn’t make it and it is where the ‘the Issue is in Doubt’ quote comes from.  You will do better I’m sure.

There are some small scenarios, focusing on 1 beach, an intro scenario of the 2/8 Marines attacking on 22 Nov, and a ‘what if’ scenario should the Marine player decide to try his hand landing on the ‘Black’ beaches.  These beaches were located on the seaward side of the island and were covered by extensive minefields.  Good luck with that.

Death Ride Tarawa Map

If you are interested in Death Ride Tarawa, you can order a copy for $175 from the Grognard Simulations website at the following link:


Thank you so much for following along each month and I hope you enjoyed the offerings on the list. A couple of really big games on the list this month in Admiral’s War and Death Ride Tarawa along with some very interesting looking lighter fare. If you are aware of any games that I missed or overlooked please let me know so I can look into them.