As the year winds down, it looks like the number of new games isn’t following suit, even without last month’s Pre-Order Palooza from Compass Games. This month I found 23 total games to share with you and there are 4 Kickstarters that I know of that are starting this month.

If you missed the October Wargame Watch, you can read that here at the following link:


1. Brothers at War: 1862 from Compass Games

We have definitely played more ACW games over the past few years than ever before and there is a new one upcoming from Compass Games that packs a whole lot of punch into one box. The classic concept of the quadrigame is making a comeback and this one looks very interesting. From the game page we read the following:

Brothers at War: 1862 is a quick-playing, tactical wargame exploring civil war brigade command. This is a quadrigame or set of four games, each featuring a full-size, 22×34″ game map and covering battles from 1862: Antietam, South Mountain, Mill Springs, and Bloody Valverde.

Command rules are simple and abstracted. There are no combat results tables. Combat and all checks are resolved using six-sided dice, in which results of 5-6 mark success, and 1-4 failure. Brigades activate via chit pull, with their constituent units moving and fighting individually. Stacking is limited to two units per hex. Massive 1.5” hexes allow two 3/4” units to fit side by side… no information is obscured!

Distinctions are made between formed and unformed infantry, deployed and limbered artillery, mounted and dismounted cavalry. Unit facing is not an element of play. Instead, unit deployment in adjacent hexes can trigger pass-through fire, which simulates flanking fire, or fire on compressed lines (both dangerous situations for civil war units).

The game uses cards and they appear to be event style that simply add benefits to activated units or as reaction to several things such as retreat or taking a hit in battle. The game also provides a track of sorts for the player to keep up with the condition of each of their formations.

If you are interested in Brothers at War: 1862 you can preorder a copy for $74.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link:

2. Napoleon’s Eagles 2: The Hundred Days from Compass Games

Christopher Moeller has been a busy guy as this is his second game on this list this month. Napoleon’s Eagles 2: The Hundred Days is the second game in a series covering all of the great battles of the Napoleonic era. Following the first game in the series Napoleon’s Eagles: Storm in the East, The Hundred Days covers the Emperor Napoleon’s Belgian campaign in 1815 including four battles that culminated in one of the most famous conflicts in history: Waterloo.

From the game page we read the following:

Featured are the final four battles of the Napoleonic age: Quatre Bras and Ligny (June 16, 1815), and Waterloo and Wavre (June 18, 1815). Two campaign games allow the battles of the 16th and 18th to be played together, as well as a grand campaign that combines all four battles.

While there are multiple scenarios presented in the game, each with its own special rules and conditions for victory, most battles are won by inflicting nine demoralizations on an opponent’s army, before they do the same to you. Combat is a back and forth affair, using specially designed decks of playing cards. Combat is simple, fast and straightforward, but has a number of subtle wrinkles that you’ll discover during play. Combat units, featuring glorious period artwork, represent infantry and cavalry formations, massed artillery formations, and those leaders operating at the highest levels (Wing and Army command).

If you are interested in Napoleon’s Eagles 2: The Hundred Days you can pre-order a copy for $39.00 on the Compass Games website at the following link:

3. Great Battles of Julius Caesar Deluxe Edition from GMT Games

Two classic games in one package, similar to what was done with SPQR last year, Great Battles of Julius Caesar combines Caesar: The Civil Wars published in 1994 and Caesar: Conquest of Gaul published in 1996 and reprinted in 2006, into a single package along with the battles that were published as separate modules.

The scenario book features 20 different scenarios. That is a lot of game in one box. From the game page, we read the following:

The scenarios vary in size from four large battles using 1 1⁄2 game maps to six small battles on a half size map with the remainder using one full size map. In addition to the Roman on Roman contests, the battles showcase the Romans facing off against a colorful array of non-Roman opponents- the Numidians, Germans, various Gallic tribes, and the Hellenistic style armies of Pontus. The counter mix includes 43 distinct cohort style legions, a host of specialty type auxiliary units, numerous tribal infantry and cavalry units, and some old favorites from SPQR – Elephants, Chariots, and even the double sized Phalanx. Along with the typical set piece battles, several battles feature the use of fortifications, one an amphibious invasion Roman style, and one a full blown naval battle.

The original maps will be updated to the latest GMT graphics standard and have the same look and feel across all the battles. The set will include a “blank” map for use with the Cirta and Bay of Biscay scenarios and new map for the Nicopolis battle – no more drawing in trench lines. The counters will be updated to the latest production standards and will be similar in style to those in SPQR. Additional counters are included to minimize the need for counter substitutions in those battles featured in the originally published as modules.

If you are interested in Great Battles of Julius Caesar Deluxe Edition you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $69.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

4. Hubris: Twilight of the Hellenistic World from GMT Games

Get ready to get your Ancients on. Hubris: Twilight of the Hellenistic World covers the fifty five years from 220 to 165 BCE, i.e. roughly from the Third Syrian War and its famous battle of Raphia between Antiochos III and Ptolemy IV, to the Third Macedonian War and the battle of Pydna between Perseous of Macedon and the legions of Consul L. Aemilius Paullus, as well as the subsequent bizarre episode of the Circle of Popilius on the beach of Eleusis in Egypt. Players will lead the three leading Hellenistic kingdoms: the Ptolemies, Seleucids, and Macedon, guiding their dynasties through these tumultuous decades. Rome, Pergamon, and other major and minor powers of the age are handled by the game engine, with various degrees of influence possible for the three player kingdoms.  

From the game page we read the following:

Rather than a hand of cards, each player kingdom has a Court, with the king and his Friends represented by Leader Cards. Each Leader has from one to three Capabilities with assorted ratings among Campaign, Diplomacy, and Admin and is rated for his Loyalty, Intrigue, and, when earned, Renown. Many Leaders also boast Special Abilities, which range from military bonuses or diplomatic connections to unique actions only available to them.

Although monetary and human resources are essential to the ability of kings to wage wars and prosecute their policies, no action is possible in the game without being entrusted to an able and available Leader, and its success is determined by rolling against their appropriate rating.  
Because each Leader is limited in their number of activations each turn and the size of a court is better kept reasonably small to be manageable, players must be able to leverage their Leaders’ abilities and manage their ambitions and foibles in order to further the interests and future of their dynasty. Not only do Leaders have various abilities, they also present challenges in their personal loyalties and ambitions. Send this competent general too often to war, and his Renown may reduce his Loyalty to such a degree that he may consider rebelling against your rule. Pack your Court with too many gifted individuals, and you risk turning it into a hotbed of conflicting intrigue and ambitions of which you may lose control…  

You will be pleased to learn that the game isn’t just about the conflict and battles of the time but takes into account an aspect of kingdom and economic management. From the game page we read the following:

Thankfully, war is not the only way to advance your agenda, as kings can send diplomatic missions to sway the many cities in the game, or raise additional taxes to finance their war effort or hugely expensive public buildings. The relationships with most cities and tribes are another critical dimension of the game’s politics. Kingdoms have the option to impose garrisons or prefer a softer approach through alliances, with consequences both in terms of stability and tax revenues. Garrisons are more secure and allow full taxation but are deeply resented by all Greek cities and will at some point represent a potential casus belli with Rome once the Republic positions itself as the guarantor of the freedom of the Greeks…  

I am very interested in this one and look forward to bringing you a written interview on the blog with Morgane about the inner working of the design.

If you are interested in Hubris: Twilight of the Hellenistic World you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

5. COIN Series Volume XIII Red Dust Rebellion from GMT Games

I love the COIN Series. And I love that it is now being taken in a new direction with its first volume that is not based in history but has a Sci-Fi setting on the red planet. Red Dust Rebellion, designed by newcomer J. Carmichael tells the story of a future in which Mars has been colonized and forms its own government called the Martian Provisional Government. The game delves into the conflict of a fictitious Martian revolts of the 2250’s and the rise of Martian nationalism. Up to 4 players will take part in this game and control of the four factions.

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

The Martian Provisional Government (MG) believes it has the best interests of Mars at heart. Made up of bureaucrats appointed from Earth and locally-elected officials, they are walking a political tightrope of representing Earth interests while keeping the local population happy. They need the support of Martian locals to effectively administer the planet. The MG has the backing of Earth and access to their resources, but Earth is far away, and shipping is a time-consuming process, so they will need to manage their flow of resources carefully. They will rely on their sometimes-allies the Corporations to help stabilize Mars and protect against raids from the Church of the Reclaimer.  

Mars is the future for humanity, and with rampant climate change events on Earth, the push to further colonize and terraform Mars is growing. The Corporations (CORP) are Earth-controlled companies with vested interests in Mars. And while they have a bottomless amount of resources to commit to the conflict, they ultimately have to answer to their shareholders. This means that profits are their primary motivation. Replacing units costs money, so they want the Mars Government to fight their battles for them. The Corporations also wish to extend their infrastructure to ready the planet for eventual terraforming.   

Native-born Martian workers form the backbone of the Red Dust (RD) movement. The so-called “Dusters” demand a government for Martians, by Martians, without Earth interference, and they are willing to take it by force. Nominally a worker’s movement, the Dusters are an organized and determined force within the labyrinths of Mars and must rally the unions, guilds, and various popular assemblies to their cause to force the Earthers out and secure a free Mars for Martians.  

And finally, many look at the mistakes of old Earth and do not wish to repeat them. We have poisoned our home world and are planning on poisoning another. Human history is a process of making the same mistakes over and over again. These ideas have created The Church of the Reclaimer (CR). A post-humanist faith, they seek to adapt humanity to Mars, not the other way around.  And they are opposed to all terraforming and further colonization on Mars. While the moderates of the faith seek to block this progress using peaceful protest and political action, the more extreme elements are not above using violence to achieve their goals—a Mars returned to its natural state with human impact kept to an absolute minimum.   

Just in case you worry that the game is not well thought out and developed, there appears to be a whole lot of thought put into the challenges of such a conflict on a strange alien world. From the game page, we read the following:

A hostile world – Dust storms will appear and block access to different regions for extended periods of time. Fighting in the densely-populated labyrinths can end up damaging life-giving infrastructure. And the vast surface of the planet means forces can just disappear in the dust.   

The unpredictable raiders – The CR does not use Resources or appear on the standard order of activation. Instead, they use a new system to the COIN series that allows them to interject and decide when they wish to act, allowing for less frequent but sudden moves.   

The Aldrin Cycler – Earth is a long way from Mars. Many COIN supplies and replacements will take a long time to get from Earth to Mars, forcing those factions to plan for the long term.  

Multiple battlefields – Red Dust Rebellion takes place across 3 major theaters on Mars: The Noctis Labyrinthus, The Hellas Basin, and Arabia Terra. Between these areas is the vast wilderness of Mars, largely unpopulated with barren wastes as vast as the total landmass of Earth.  

Satellite warfare – The COIN forces control a network of surveillance satellites, but there are rumors that some are equipped with mass drivers and orbital assault pods as well.    

Everything is connected – All of the major cities on Mars are connected by spaceports. If you control both locations, you can freely move forces back and forth, allowing for sudden changes in the complexion of each theatre.   

The Earth Governments (EG) form a 5th faction that maintains elite forces and an extensive satellite network. Control of the EG forces changes between the MG and CORP based on how much Earth trusts the Martian government to manage the rebellion.   

Here is an introduction video from the designer on the game:

If you are interested in COIN Series Volume XIII Red Dust Rebellion you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $66.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

6. Next War: Taiwan 2nd Printing from GMT Games

The Next War Series of wargames from GMT is very popular and also very large and detailed. We still have been able to get our copy of Next War: Korea to the table yet but one day we will. Now in its 2nd Printing, Next War: Taiwan is up for P500 and will be identical to the first printing with the exception of corrections to all known errata.

From the game page we read the following:

Next War: Taiwan,the next volume in GMT’s series of Next War games and the follow-on to Next War: Korea, allows players to fight a near future war in and around the island of Taiwan. In this sequel, the communist state of China, the PRC, has decided that its time to end the rhetoric and posturing and bring the breakaway republic back into the Socialist Harmonious Society.

If you are interested in Next War: Taiwan 2nd Printing you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

7. Panzer Expansion #3: Drive to the Rhine – The 2nd Front, 2nd Printing from GMT Games

World War II Western Front always gets my interest as the forces of the Americans and British push against the streel menace of the German army trying to push into Berlin and end the war. This one has lots of tanks and for those that love tanks, that is probably all you needed to hear.

From the game page we read the following:

Panzer Expansion #3 shifts the action to the Western Front where the US and British forces drive the beleaguered German units across Western Europe and into the very heart of Germany.

The Reference & Scenario book includes a host of new optional rules covering Suggested Initiative, Spot Removal, Delayed Reaction, Bocage Country, Defensive Fire, and many others including complete rules and reference tables for airborne and glider operations. A few new special units, like the Churchill Crocodile flamethrower tank, stoke up the action to a new level.

You will find no less than twelve versions of the Sherman tank in both US and British livery, Cromwell tanks, Hellcat, Jackson, and Achilles tank destroyers, Greyhound and Humber armored cars, anti-tank guns, four new aircraft and many others. The Germans are also well-represented with the Marder III, StuH 42, Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger, Hetzer (including the flamethrower version), SPWs, PSWs, and more.

The ten scenarios include seven historically based and three actual historical scenarios that cover a wide range of action on the Western Front between US, British, and German units including the two clashes between the British 7th Armoured Division, Panzer Lehr, and the SS Tiger tanks at Villers-Bocage.

If you are interested in Panzer Expansion #3: Drive to the Rhine – The 2nd Front 2nd Printing you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $55.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

8. The Deadly Woods: The Battle of the Bulge from Revolution Games

I know what you are asking. Do we really need another Bulge game? I don’t know that I have the same question because each of these games is by a different designer and there will be different ways that they deal with the battle. The game uses a chit pull system that has been used by the designer Ted Raicer in his The Dark Valley. From the game page, we read the following:

Specifically, award-winning designer Ted S. Raicer has taken a modified version of the chit pull system pioneered in GMT’s The Dark Valley: The East Front 1941-45 and brought it west for an exciting new take on this classic wargame subject.

The scale of the map (which takes up about 2/3rds of a standard 22” by 34” map sheet, the rest given to tracks, charts and tables) is at 3 miles to the hex. Allied units are mostly regiments and brigades, ,with most German armor and infantry divisions divided into two kampfgruppen (battle groups), German artillery, Greif commando teams, infantry trucks, and the Von der Heydte paratroop unit are included as Asset markers, as are Allied artillery, scratch units, and engineers.

The game runs from December 16 1944 to January 16 1945 when the Allies reunited their divided front by recapturing the key town of Houffalize. Each turn through December 31st equals 2 days and the turns in January are three days long. The full campaign lasts thirteen turns while a scenario for just the German offensive is six turns long. But with The Deadly Woods chit system and its multiple Action Rounds, a lot can happen in only six turns.

Each side gets a number of Action Chits each turn, which vary both in number and type. These include multiple Reinforcement chits which determine the arrival Round (but not Turn) of Allied and German reinforcements. There are German Logistics Chits which introduce historical supply effects. There are Movement or Combat chits which allow a player to choose. There are also Movement chits and Combat chits which limit the Active Player to the capability listed on the chit. And there are special chits, such as the German 5th Panzer and Allied Patton chits that allow some combination of Movement and Combat.

After the Initiative Player chooses the first chit played, the remaining chits are drawn randomly from a cup. A player may draw up to two consecutive chits and then enemy player must get the next chit.

If you are interested in The Deadly Woods: The Battle of the Bulge you can pre-order a copy for $56.00 from the Revolution Games website at the following link:

9. Help Arrives! Spanish Civil War from Draco Ideas Currently on Kickstarter

This one snuck up on me and was a very interesting looking game. The War Storm Series is a series of rules that deals with World War II but has been adapted to deal with the situation in the Spanish Civil War.

From the game page we read the following:

Help Arrives! is a tactical strategy game, the fifth in the War Storm Series (WSS), covering the Spanish Civil War and the international units that participated in the conflict: CTV, international brigades, the Condor Legion and Soviet aid and much more.

We published an interview with the designer Nicolás Eskubi and you can read that here at the following link:

If you are interested in Help Arrives! Spanish Civil War you can back a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link:

As of November 1st, the project is funded and has raised $35,977 toward the $17,731 goal from 507 backers. The campaign will end on Thursday, November 5th at 3:00pm EST.

10. ASL Rising Sun from Multi-Man Publishing

The rabbit hole that is ASL! The reprint of the Pacific Theater modules has been long awaited and now you can get it and at a deeply discounted pre-order price as well.

From the game page we read the following:

Rising Sun is Advanced Squad Leader’s long-awaited return to the jungles, islands, and atolls of the southwest Pacific. Multi-Man Publishing has combined the original ASL modules Code of Bushido and Gung Ho! into one monster package. Rising Sun includes the entire Japanese, Chinese, and United States Marine Corps orders of battle; a 2nd edition of Chapter G, which covers the unique rules needed to play ASL in the Pacific Theater of Operations and incorporates all the current errata; and an updated Chapter H for the Japanese and Chinese vehicles and ordnance and for landing craft. Also included are 32 updated scenarios, combining the original Code of Bushido and Gung Ho! scenarios with 16 out-of-print PTO scenarios that originally appeared in the pages of the GENERAL, the ASL Annual, and the ASL Journal. From the ASL Annual ’93b comes the Gavutu-Tanambogo campaign game (Sand and Blood), a new 17˝×22˝ Gavutu-Tanambogo map, and Chapter Z pages. Scenario errata have been incorporated, and new errata have been issued for the older scenarios to reflect the balancing changes made to the updated scenarios. The package is rounded out by seven 8˝×22˝ geomorphic mapboards (boards 34-39 and 47) and dozens of overlays, all updated to match the latest style of boards.

This reprint of Rising Sun will also include the map and five scenarios for the Hell’s Corner HASL which originally appeared in Operations Special Edition #3.

Rising Sun is not a complete game and ownership of the Advanced Squad Leader Game System is required to play the scenarios.

If you are interested in ASL Rising Sun you can pre-order a copy for $168.75 from the Multi-Man Publishing website at the following link:

11. D-Day and Beyond from Tiny Battle Publishing

Tiny Battle Publishing has really stepped up their game and are starting to do more boxed games. Their newest game called D-Day and Beyond is their largest boxed game to date and includes a 36″ x 28″ game surface, 352 counters and comes in a 9″ x 12″ box.

From the game page we read the following:

D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history, opened the final chapter of the war in Europe with the landings on four Normandy beaches.  For almost a year, General Eisenhower balanced Allied resources and clashing subordinates as he slowly drove back Field Marshal Karl von Rundstedt’s forces, who struggled with Hitler to command his theater forces. In late January 1945 the Rhine was breached and the end of the Third Reich drew nearer.

D-Day and Beyond is a tense, two-player operational board game covering the European theater from the French Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts to the dense German forests, the Siegfried line, and the Rhine River.  The Allied player faces the tough decision about where and when to land troops, what scarce air and naval resources to employ on offense or defense, and struggles to keep a coherent supply line to his forward troops.  The German player has to throw the landing(s) off the beach, if able, and failing that, fight a retrograde war that requires balancing holding key terrain, slowing the Allied advance, and preserving units.  Additional rules showcase the Resistance, rail movement, airborne operations, carpet bombing, the release of German reserves, and the infamous Wacht Am Rhein offensive known as Autumn Mist. 

If you are interested in D-Day and Beyond you can pre-order a copy for $49.00 from the Tiny Battle Publishing website at the following link:

12. Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms from Dan Verssen Games Coming Soon to Kickstarter

David Thompson is one of the busiest yet most productive designers I know of and has another game coming to Kickstarter in November. Volume 3 in the Valiant Defense Series is called Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms and tells the story of the assault on the Post Office in the Free City of Danzig on the first day of World War II as German forces moved in to seize Polish installations. Two of the installations were on alert and under orders to hold out: the Military Transit Depot on the peninsula of Westerplatte and the Polish Postal Office No. 1. The personnel of the post office repulsed repeated assaults, and were forced to surrender only after a day-long siege, when the post office was doused with gasoline and set alight. Though German propaganda cast these acts of defiance as futile and a failure, they were viewed by the Polish people as symbolic of their stand against a materially superior aggressor.

In Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms the player will control the valiant defenders of Polish Postal Office No. 1 in the Free City of Danzig on the first day of WWII. Under your command, the defenders must fend off relentless attacks from the Danzig Schutzpolizei and two German SS units.

The game is scheduled to hit Kickstarter on November 17th and I am currently working on an interview with David Thompson as well as playing a prototype copy of the game and shooting a review video with my thoughts. We did post an AAR from the designer showing how the game works and I thought this would be an interesting and informative item to bring to you. You can read that AAR at the following link:

Here is a link to a very early preview page that doesn’t appear to have much information at this point:

13. The Longest Trench from UGG Currently on Kickstarter

I know that this is a card game but it looks interesting and covers the First World War. From the game page we read the following:

The Longest Trench is a strategic hybrid board/card game about the first World War for mainly two players. The game recreates World War I in a historical series of land and sea battles. The Central Powers (Germany and its allies) wage a war against the Entente (Great Britain, France, Russia and their allies).

As a supreme commander you try to defeat your opponent by sending your troops and ships to the right front and by providing them with support (with planes, mines, trenches, etc.) at the right time.

The Longest Trench is a low-complexity historical card game for 2 to 4 players. Actually the emphasis is on the 2 player game, but both sides can be played as a team of 2 players. 

If you are interested in The Longest Trench you can back a copy on the Kickstarter page at the following link:

As of November 1st, the project is funded and has raised $3,672 toward the $3,533 goal from 115 backers. The campaign will end on Thursday, November 19th at 1:00pm EST.

14. Soviet Dawn: The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 Deluxe Edition from Worthington Publishing Coming Soon to Kickstarter

Darin Leviloff created the States of Siege Series with his Israeli Independence which was published in 2008. He followed that game up with Soviet Dawn which originally appeared in C3i Magazine #27 in 2009. That game is now being given the deluxe treatment by the guys over at Worthington Publishing with a Kickstarter campaign that is set to kickoff on November 7th.

We read on the Kickstarter preview page the following:

Soviet Dawn Deluxe Edition brings Darin Leviloff’s novel States of Siege Series back for a much larger storytelling adventure covering the Russian Civil War from 1918 to 1921. With several enemy “Fronts” converging on Moscow, the fate of the revolution and the prestige of international communism rests on your ability to manage and resolve every crisis that the “Whites” can assail you with.

As the headlines unfold, you draw upon military and political resources to help you, or try to reorganize the Red Army for special abilities that can greatly enhance your position. Who knows? You might even capture the Imperial Gold Reserve!

Can you deal with the great crises of that time and defend the revolution? Will you withdraw from the Great War (WW1) or exercise the Bukharin Option and fight on? Can you execute the Czar in time, or will the Whites rescue him? Will you fortify Petrograd or press your offensives home? How will you deal with internal and external dissent? Play Soviet Dawn and see!

If you are interested in Soviet Dawn: The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 Deluxe Edition you can check out the Kickstarter preview page at the following link:

We are currently working on an interview with Darin but as of the posting of this list it was not finished.

New Release

1. Aurelian: Restorer of the World from Hollandspiele

I have really enjoyed this series of solitaire games from the great mind of Tom Russell including Agricola and Charlemagne. These games use a 3 Draw Cup system that represents the feeling of the local populace to the players efforts and these cups can be manipulated to act in the favor of the player but it is very tricky. The newest entry in this series is set in the Roman Empire after it is broken and left splintered by the crisis of the third century and the decades-long fever dream of civil war, plague, and economic ruin. This new volume follows Aurelian who only reigned for 5 years but was able to bring back the Empire from the brink of ruin.

From the game page we read the following:

Aurelian, Restorer of the World is a solitaire game from Tom Russell, the designer of Agricola, Master of Britain and Charlemagne, Master of Europe. Like those titles, three cups are used to represent shifting attitudes toward Aurelian’s rule; actions you take will move chits from one cup to another. This game is shorter and faster than the two previous games, lasting a maximum of six turns. It’s also more difficult. Beyond marching around the map, quelling revolts, and smacking down usurpers, you must manage monies, maintain a strong defensive line along the Danube, make war against Germanic tribes, build up city defenses, and spread the cult of Sol Invictus. You do not have nearly enough time or resources to do all of these things equally well and will need to make hard choices. If you succeed, you will earn the title afforded to Aurelian by the senate: Restitutor Orbis, “Restorer of the World”.

If you are interested in Aurelian: Restorer of the World you can order a copy for $40.00 from the Hollandspiele website at the following link:

2. Nightmare Island: The Battle for Biak Island from High Flying Dice Games

Another interesting looking smaller format game is Nightmare Island: The Battle for Biak Island from High Flying Dice Games.

From the game page we read the following:

The invasion of Biak island was the culmination of General MacArthur’s New Guinea campaign that began nearly a year earlier with Operation Cartwheel and the reduction and bypassing of the Japanese fortifications at Rabaul and Truk. MacArthur’s campaign had earlier stumbled out of the gate, with bloody battles at Buna and Sanananda along the Northeastern coast of New Guinea in late 1942 and early 1943. Shocked at the butcher’s bill run-up in those fights, MacArthur initiated an “island hopping” campaign that bypassed Japanese strongholds and not attacking the dug-in defenders head-on. From mid-1943 to early 1944 the US and Australian forces outmaneuvered their Japanese opponents, reducing and cutting the supply lines to the massive defensive works of Rabaul and Truk. This trapped thousands of badly needed Japanese defenders who would spend the rest of the war amid growing squalor and mounting privation. However, a risk run with each island “hop” by the US would be if the Japanese navy and air forces mounted a sustained counter-attack that would cut-off the American spearhead. Such an operation by the enemy could turn the tables and change MacArthur’s bold gambit into a costly defeat.

By early 1944 General MacArthur feared the upcoming US Navy offensive to take the Marianas to the north could lead to a strategic switch in offensive operations that would jeopardize his ambition and promise to retake the Philippines (as well as taking away the spotlight his operations commanded to this point in the war). In early 1944 MacArthur proposed the capture of Biak Island to not only end the New Guinea campaign, but also to provide a forward base of operations for his planned return to the Philippine archipelago. He also argued his attack and capture of Biak would provide valuable protection and early warning along the navy’s “southern flank” in the Marianas, giving a base for operations against any moves by Japanese naval and air units based in and around Borneo.

The plan to take Biak island was accepted over the objections of the US Navy as only a handful of ships could be spared from the Marianas offensive to support the Army’s attack. Expecting only light opposition two regiments of the US 41st Infantry Division landed on May 27th. After a relatively easy landing the GIs encountered fierce opposition by the veteran Japanese 36th Infantry Division, supported by garrison troops and tanks. Things for the Americans quickly went from bad to worse. Perhaps you can do as well or better?

If you are interested in Nightmare Island: The Battle for Biak Island you can order a copy for $17.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link:

3. Operation Jubilee: The Raid on Dieppe from High Flying Dice Games

Following along with yet another very interesting looking game from High Flying Dice Games is Operation Jubilee: The Raid on Dieppe.

From the game page we read the following:

By 1942 the British Admiralty was increasingly fearful of losing control in the skies over the English Channel. Earlier in February the German’s Operation Cerberus saw the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gniesenau, as well as the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen sail up the channel to ports in Germany, beneath the very noses of the RAF and Royal Navy. New German radar and anti-aircraft and shore batteries installed along the north coast of France were making life more dangerous for Allied shipping as well as increasingly dangerous for their bombers crossing the channel to conduct bombing raids in occupied France, Belgium as well as Nazi Germany.

In May it was decided to conduct a raid on the channel port of Dieppe. Vice-Admiral Lord Louis Mountbattan, commander of the British Combined Operations Center, was charged with planning the raid. It was hoped the raid could cause serious damage to the German’s defenses, demonstrate to the Soviets that the Allies were earnest in their desire to quickly take the war to the Germans on the European continent, as well as demonstrating the feasibility of large scale amphibious operations. The RAF was counting on the Luftwaffe also rising up to aggressively defend the skies above Dieppe in a battle the RAF leadership was confident they could win. It was also hoped that intelligence agents, that would land with the 5,000 Canadian and 1,000 British assault troops (along with 50 US Rangers), could perform “pinch” operations to capture German code books, samples of their new radar technology, and perhaps an Enigma code machine (this aspect of the raid was overseen by Ian Fleming, the future author of the James Bond novels). An earlier raid to be launched in July, dubbed Operation Rutter, was cancelled but the raid was resurrected in the first week of August and called Operation Jubilee.

Can you do as well or better than your opponents? Learn and enjoy!

If you are interested in Operation Jubilee: The Raid on Dieppe you can order a copy for $20.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link:

4. An Attrition of Souls from Compass Games

I was made aware of this game about a year ago from the artist Bill Morgal as we sent out a call for playtesters. This game takes a look at World War I at the Strategic scale that uses a tile draw system. It really is a very interesting looking take on The Great War.

From the game page, we read the following:

An Attrition of Souls is a light, fast-paced wargame at the strategic scale covering the Great War, designed with a high degree of replayability—no two games play alike. This deluxe game with mounted mapboard and large game counters features a unique tile-placement system to simulate the First World War. Each turn, you will randomly draw tiles from a pouch based on your industrial points and use them to the best of your ability. Game strategy is key due to the unforgiving combat system capturing the horrific attrition of this conflict; the dice offer no bloodless victories or reprieve for either side.

Surrounded by enemies on all sides, the Central Powers must strike aggressively at the outset of the war. The Central Powers player will be forced to decide whether to hurl the lion’s share of his forces across the Belgian border, or take an a-historical path eastward to crush the Russian bear. Keeping momentum is key as the war must be fought on enemy soil if you are to have any chance of victory.

Initially outgunned and outclassed by the German army, the Entente player must choose where to hold the line and where to cede territory. The vast hinterlands of the Russian Empire offer you some defense in depth, but Russia, susceptible to attack by the Germans, Austrians, and Turks, has the potential for sudden collapse. New allies will join your cause over the course of the conflict, but if they declare war too early, before they are fully prepared, they may turn into nothing more than additional land for your opponent to devour.

An Attrition of Souls Map

We published an interview with the designer Scott Leibbrandt about a year ago and you can read that at the following link:

If you are interested in An Attrition of Souls you can order a copy for $55.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link:

5. From Salerno to Rome: World War II – The Italian Campaign, 1943-1944 from Dissumula Edizioni

A few years ago we did an interview with a new designer doing his first Kickstarter named Sergio Schiavi. That game called Radetsky’s March funded and really showed off his talents. Now he has taken on the task of designing a World War II game focused on the Italian peninsula.

From the game page we read the following:

From Salerno to Rome allows you to simulate the first ten months of the military campaign in Italy during World War II, from the landing in Salerno (September ’43) to the liberation of Rome (June ’44). The game starts with the American 5th army that has just landed in Salerno and the British 8th army advancing in Apulia, while the Axis powers gather their forces to hit with a powerful counter-offensive one of the two allied armies…

The game enables you to fight the battles that took place in Italy from September ’43 to May ’44: Battles like Salerno, Cassino, Anzio, Ortona.

The game uses a point activation system and each activation can be used to move units and attack of take other actions such as reinforce, call in air support, etc.

From the game page we read the following:

The game lasts 10 turns, each representing one month. Each turn is divided in a varying number of impulses, during which both players always have the opportunity to react to their opponent’s moves, alternating within an extremely flexible game structure.

When a turn starts, each player gets a certain amount of activation points he can use to put under command his forces during impulses. These formations, single divisions or whole army corps, once activated, can move and fight, move strategically in a different sector, can be put in reserve and so on.

Activation points can also be used for other operations: air cover, landings, strengthening defensive lines, recon, ULTRA, etc.

I really like games that use this type of activation point system because it lends itself to create a little tension and uncertainty during the game. Players that are prone to careful planning and creation of a strategy that they stick to will be aided in their decisions.

If you are interested in From Salerno to Rome you can order a copy from the following link:

6. 1918/1919 Storm in the West from GMT Games

I have said it before, but World War I has never been a war that I was really that interested in. I think the main reason for my lack of interest was an incorrect, pre-conceived notion I held that the war was nothing more than a large muddy stalemate with little in the way of excitement such as maneuvering, tactics, etc. I thought the war was simply fought in trenches and was characterized as slow and plodding. I have since found out that my perception was not totally accurate. I also experienced a really well done World War I game from GMT Games. You probably have heard about it. Fields of Despair: France 1914-1918 designed by Kurt Keckley.

Storm in the West Command Magazine

With that in mind, when I saw this game and saw that it is focused on The Great War, I was immediately interested, but not quite yet hooked. 1918/1919: Storm in the West is designed by one of the greats in the industry who has designed such games as Paths of Glory1914: Glory’s End/When Eagles Fight (also both focused on World War I) and The Dark Valley

From the game page we read the following:

Storm in the West is a remake of a game published in Command Magazine in 1992. The game covers the last 9 months of World War I and includes Ted’s follow up design Plan 1919. The game includes many elements that help to make the game more playable than a traditional continual slogging trench battle as there are tanks, cavalry and air support. The game features, at least for the 1918 scenario, a vast number of highly trained trench warfare specialists in the form of Stosstruppen.

The game is marketed as being simple to play but not simplistic and states that it can be played in one session, which to me usually means 4-5 hours or so. I am definitely interested in this game but have not yet pulled the trigger on it as I want to do some further research. The game is a bargain and comes with 1 1/2 counter sheets and a backprinted 22×34″ map.

If you are interested in 1918/1919: Storm in the West you can order a copy for $49.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

7. A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge from GMT Games

I love monster wargames….they don’t really always love me but I love them. They are glorious, huge and domineering. A Time for Trumpets designed by Bruno Sinigaglio is a monster that has been unleashed and I just have to have it. With no less than 5 maps (that’s right, I said 5!) and 12 sheets with over 1,600 counters, this game is big.

The Battle of the Bulge is one of four major battles from World War II that seem to have the most designs out there. Those battles include Normandy, the East Front, North Africa and the Bulge. And, I have played a few Bulge games and seem to always come away dissatisfied. A few years ago we played Winter Thunder designed by the incomparable Brian Train and really enjoyed the design, especially the chit pull system and the attack matrix that uses a double blind draw. Delicious design that really left us wanting more! But even with those great elements, the battle is a difficult one to make a playable game. As we all know, the Germans simply spend the first 5-6 rounds running over the poorly supplied defending Americans (and British) and then the reinforcements show up, their resolve stiffens, the weather clears giving more air support and DRMs for combat and they begin to win back some of the ground that they gave up.

Here is an excerpt from the game page to give you an idea of the different concepts included in the design: 

HQ activation status (active or resting), fatigue and exhaustion, command and control, formation supply, supply by air, German fuel shortages, American supply dumps,  ground conditions, atmospheric conditions, air strafing and interdiction, construction of defensive positions and bridges, demolition, sacrosanct formation boundaries, limited winter movement across rivers and streams, strategic movement, infiltration due to limited visibility, over-run of vulnerable units, German night combat advantage, Kampfgruppe Peiper Breakout, German Nebelwerfer Operations, German FA Operations, Allied FA Operations, Time on Target, terrain effects for ground combat, weapons effects on ground combat, exploitation after combat, etc.

I’m ready to learn some history and take my turn commanding forces at the Battle of the Bulge.

If you are interested in A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, you can order a copy for $149.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

8. Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul from GMT Games

Mark Simonitch is a very talented designer! (understatement I know but its very true). His talents have given us many great games including the ’44 Series (Normandy ’44Ardennes ’44 and Holland ’44) and the great Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and many others (The U.S. Civil WarFrance ’40, etc.). I am always amazed by his talents and the way he mixes a bunch of great mechanics together to make a very playable and enjoyable simulation of historical events. Well, he is now back to the Ancients after doing several World War II games and I couldn’t be more excited.

From the game page we read the following:

Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul is a fast-playing, easy-to-learn, two-player card-driven game on Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. One player plays Caesar as he attempts to gain wealth and fame in Gallia at the expense of the Gauls. The other player controls all the independent tribes of Gaul as they slowly awake to the peril of Roman conquest.

Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul uses many of the core rules and systems used in Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. Players are dealt 7 cards at the start of each turn and use their cards to move their armies and place control markers. Players familiar with Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage will quickly learn this game.The game covers the height of the Gallic Wars, the period between 57 BC and 52 BC when Caesar campaigned back and forth across Gaul putting down one rebellion after another and invading Germania and Britannia. Units are individual Roman Legions or Gallic Tribes. Each turn represents one year.As you know, I am a huge fan of Card Driven Games (CDG) and this one looks to be right up my alley. And this one professes to be a fast playing CDG, which is always a welcome thing. As is usual for Mark and his designs, he has chosen some key points from the history of the campaigns to focus on in the design. These interesting Special Rules include the following:

  • Gallic Spring Muster
  • Roman Winter Attrition
  • Leaders
  • Fortified Towns
  • Uprisings
  • Invasions of Germania and Britannia
  • Devastation

The map also is a thing of beauty and deserves to be placed in a frame and hung in a conspicuous place in my game room.


If you are interested in Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul, Gallic Wars 57-52 BC, you can order a copy for $60.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

9. Next War: Vietnam from GMT Games

I’m going to be honest here. I have yet to play one of the many Next War Series games. Alexander owns Next War: Taiwan but we just have had other games to play. This one may be the title that gets me off the bench though and into the game. I love a good Vietnam wargame! This is a statement that I typically say about a Vietnam wargame set in the 1960’s or early 70’s. But I am intrigued by a modern war set in the same jungles as well.

From the game page we read the following:

Next War: Vietnam is the fifth game in the Next War Series. This game returns the action to Asia and the powderkeg surrounding the South China Sea. This time the Chinese don’t intend a limited, punitive expedition; they intend to squash the burgeoning threat from their southern border once and for all and prove, through force of arms, that the South China Sea is theirs. Building on the naval rules showcased in Next War: Taiwan, players will have a chance to fight over the Spratly and Paracel Islands once again, as well as the mountainous jungles of North Vietnam. 

If the U.S. gets involved, it might finally land troops in Haiphong Harbor and march on Hanoi, albeit as a relief force and as an ally to its former enemy. The question is what will the rest of the region do? Will they join a side or stay neutral?

Next War: Vietnam will also allow players to play a combined game with Next War: Taiwan, and with the rules in the latter game, adding on Next War: Korea as well for what would amount to the Pacific Front of World War III. 

There are several Standard Game scenarios. Some are small and focus on limited objectives, while at least one will be a campaign game encompassing the entire map. Similarly to previous games in the series, the Advanced Game scenarios will be divided into various starting points representing different levels of build-up before the game begins.

If you are interested in Next War: Vietnam, you can order a copy for $89.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:

Finally, we have come to the end of this month’s Wargame Watch. Lots of great games from great publishers. Let me know what games I missed so I can check them out. Thanks for reading!