We have been doing this Wargame Watch Feature now for four years this month. I remember when I had the thought to start it because I remember how hard it was then to find information about what games were upcoming and when they were actually available, partly because there are so many different publishers and some are not great at sharing regular updates on the development of their designs. Those first few entries in the series were pretty sparse, with only 5-8 games included in each. But then, I got more skilled in knowing where to look and became more familiar with the various publishers out there. While there are still publishers that elude me, I generally know the same 15 or so that regularly publish games and simply visit their websites each month to see what is upcoming. Facebook is also a fantastic resource with regular updates on the progress of designs. I am proud to see this feature for what it has become now 4 years later, a repository for all that is shipping and that has just be announced on pre-order either through publisher’s sites or on Kickstarter.
With that, I was able to find a total of 20 new games to share this month to share with 7 of those being offered on Kickstarter.
If you missed the March Wargame Watch, you can read that here at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/03/01/wargame-watch-whats-new-upcoming-march-2021/
1. A Most Fearful Sacrifice: The Three Days of Gettysburg from Flying Pig Games Coming to Kickstarter
Over the past year or so, Hermann Luttmann has released a new series of games using a new system similar to his famous Blind Swords System to model combat in the American Civil War. The first game with this new focus was The Devil’s to Pay!: The First Day at Gettysburg from Tiny Battle Publishing.
Now comes this big game, which will take a look at the entire 3 days of the Battle of Gettysburg called A Most Fearful Sacrifice.
From the game page, we read the following:
A Most Fearful Sacrifice is an epic two-player wargame with over 15 square feet of playing area and 526 playing pieces depicting the fighting that occurred during all three days of this decisive clash. The game utilizes a new ACW operating system called the Black Swan System, which is closely related to the popular Blind Swords System first introduced in the game The Devil’s To Pay! by Tiny Battle Publishing. This version of the system is specifically designed to handle larger-scale battles yet keep rules overhead low.
One of the reasons for the development of the system was to allow for larger scale games with lots of units to be more playable and to cut down on the time it takes to play. I know that some of your are groaning at this but to me this is a good innovation that will get larger games back to the table for additional plays. How is this shortening of the game done with out taking out units and formations? The elimination of chit pull.
Players can simulate huge encounters in a reasonable amount of playing time. This is accomplished in one way through the use of card draws rather than chit pulls. Also, players will trigger activations by Corps instead of by lower-level formations but they still have tactical decision-making choices by needing to determine which Divisions get activation priority. Though at a grander scale, this system maintains a tactical feel about it and still emphasizes the three “FOW’s” of war … the Fortunes of War, the Friction of War and the Fog of War. Players will be challenged to deal with a constantly developing battle situation, never quite sure of what the Gods of War will throw at them, and thus they must always be prepared to deal with historically realistic “Black Swan” events.
Here is a link to the rules posted on the game page if you are interested: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5vt69dwpd1em1x/A%20Most%20Fearful%20Sacrifice%20Rules%20V2_Print_Ready.pdf?dl=0
I am very interested in this new system and to see how it will change up these large games. I do love the chit pull mechanic but it does take a while to pull off, especially later in the game when there are more and more formations and event chits being placed into the draw cup.
The game is scheduled to come to Kickstarter on April 6th. I am also working on an interview with Hermann Luttmann to be posted near the kickoff of the campaign.
If you are interested in A Most Fearful Sacrifice: The Three Days of Gettysburg you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/markhwalker/435798807?ref=4scqjr&token=52d2952d
2. 1815, Scum of the Earth – The Battle of Waterloo Card Game from Hall or Nothing Productions Currently on Kickstarter
Another very interesting looking game is on Kickstarter from Hall or Nothing Productions called 1815, Scum of the Earth. They have published two previous games which are in the same system and also have gorgeous art on their cards. The first was 1066, Tears to Many Mothers: The Battle of Hastings Card Game and then followed by 1565, St. Elmo’s Pay: The Great Siege of Malta Card Game. This entry is the third in the Historic Epic Battle System series of games.
From the Kickstarter game page, we read the following:
18th June 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte is determined to rise back to power and claim all of Europe as his prize, but is stopped in his tracks by the might of the forces led by an unassuming yet undefeated Arthur Wellesley and his charismatic Prussian ally Blücher.
1815, Scum of the Earth is an asymmetric, competitive, tactical card game. Each player, as either the Duke of Wellington or Napoleon, musters troops and resources to overcome the various obstacles in their path before their armies clash in an epic battle over three farms forward of the ridge at Waterloo: Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte, and Papelotte.
If you are interested in 1815, Scum of the Earth you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tristanhall/1815-scum-of-the-earth-the-battle-of-waterloo-card-game
As of April 1st, the project is funded and has raised $83,361 toward the $21,964 goal from 1,071 backers. The campaign will end on Friday, April 16th at 6:59pm EDT.
3. Clash of the Ardennes from Elwin Klappe Currently on Kickstarter
Do we need another Bulge game? Well, this one is definitely not your typical Bulge game. Clash of the Ardennes is a lite 2-player tile laying game that is something that I don’t believe that I have ever seen nor heard of. I know that this game will not be for most of you but I added it because it just looks interesting.
From the Kickstarter page, we read the following:
Clash of the Ardennes is a turn-based, tile laying board game for 2 players. You and your opponent will have to fight for every corner of every street and forest road. Get ready for an immersive World War 2 experience and make sure you have packed your gloves, because this winter all hell will break loose within seconds! Now it’s on!
The game is situated during the Battle of the Bulge. A historical moment that tells the true story of two colliding armies, the Allies (Americans) and the Axis (Germans). Both players have 7 streets in front of them. By placing your units strategically and tactically in the desired streets you try to reach the other side in one piece. Keep in mind that your opponent will try to prevent this from happening. Clashes appear on the battle field and the most clever, opportunistic and daring General will win this battle!
If you are interested in Clash of the Ardennes you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elwin/clash-of-the-ardennes
As of April 1st, the project is funded and has raised $23,179 toward the $7,024 goal from 662 backers. The campaign will end on Saturday, April 3rd at 9:58am EDT.
4. Warfighter Battlepacks Expansion Wave 3 from Dan Verssen Games Currently on Kickstarter
If you know nothing about Warfighter, you need to because it is simply a fantastic solitaire and 2 (or more) player experience that gives lots of tension and decisions about how to attack your enemy and how to traverse difficult terrain to reach your objective before the timer runs out. Warfighter is a tactical card-based game for one to six players, where players will select and equip a squad of soldiers, and then attempt to execute the mission assigned by fighting your way to achieve the objective. There are both Modern and WWII era games and each of the various expansion sets adds to the deep game play narrative with new cards for your Loadout. Some of the expansions even bring in the Undead (Zombies) and make the game a lot more fantastical as you wield Holy Water and other interesting weapons to kill the Undead before they can eat your brain. But enough on that subject. this new Kickstarter from DVG is the 3rd Wave of Expansion Battlepacks containing 14 different expansions for you to consider. I have said it before but more Warfighter is a good thing!
The Kickstarter contains all different type of Battlepacks including Modern: Hostage Rescue Team: Skyscraper, WWII Pacific Force 136/Malayan Resistance, WWII Europe Battle of Saint-Lô, Shadow War Desert Storm Operation Granby, WWII Pacific Guadalcanal #1 and #2 and WWII Europe Pegasus Bridge to name just a few.
If you are interested in Warfighter Battlepacks Expansion Wave 3 you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danverssengames/dvg-warfighter-expansion-packs-wave-3/description?lang=es
As of April 1st, the project is funded and has raised $34,956 toward the $10,000 goal from 352 backers. The campaign will end on Wednesday, April 14th at 3:00pm EDT.
5. Battles for the Shenandoah: A Death Valley Expansion from GMT Games
Great Battles of the American Civil War is a long tenured series that seems to have a great following. Anytime a new volume is introduced, it seems to shoot up the P500 list and makes the cut fairly quickly. Why is that? It could be the tension the game generates through its Fog of War mechanics. It also cold be the large number of tactical options a player may call upon. Some really like the scale and the map detail. And the system creates some wild swings of fortune and always create a compelling drama. This volume is not a new battle, but simply an expansion of the battles covered in Death Valley from 2019.
From the game page, we read the following about the four full battles that are included:
McDowell, May 8, 1862 McDowell is considered the first battle of Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign. After his loss at Kernstown, Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson retreated up the Shenandoah Valley, finally stopping at Swift Run Gap to rebuild his army. By May of 1862, the threat from the north had diminished when two of the three Union divisions under General Nathaniel Banks were redeployed to support the Union advance on Richmond. However, there was another Union force, led by Brigadier General Robert H. Milroy, approaching the critical town of Staunton from the west. Jackson planned to drive the Union from the Shenandoah Valley and help relieve the pressure on Richmond by consolidating several scattered Confederate forces and defeating the two Union armies in detail. The first step was to move his army to join Brigadier General Edward “Alleghany” Johnson’s Army of the Northwest and defeat Milroy. The Confederate armies were consolidated on May 6 and begun advancing on Milroy’s Union force. Milroy retreated before them until May 8th, when he was reinforced with a brigade under Brigadier General Robert C. Schenck. That afternoon, the aggressive Milroy turned to attack the Confederate forces arriving on the heights overlooking the hamlet of McDowell.
2nd Winchester, June 13, 14, and 15, 1863 2nd Winchester is the battle that cleared the way for Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign. In June of 1863, General Robert E. Lee finalized his plans for his second invasion of the north. The supply line was to be routed through the lower Shenandoah Valley, then primarily occupied by a Union garrison at Winchester with smaller garrisons at Berryville and Martinsburg. Lee assigned the task of clearing the Valley to Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell, now in command of II Corps after Jackson’s death at Chancellorsville in May.
The Union garrison at Winchester consisted of the 8500 men of the 2nd Division, VIII Corps, commanded by Major General Robert H. Milroy. Milroy had made extensive improvements to the fortifications around Winchester and was confident that he could hold the position against anything the Confederates could throw at him. He was so confident that he ignored orders to abandon Winchester. On June 13, he discovered that Ewell had arrived.
Piedmont, June 5, 1864 Piedmont was the first Union victory in the Valley since Kernstown in 1862. The Confederate loss compelled Lee to send Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s II Corps to retake the Shenandoah Valley, effectively ending any hope Lee may have had for offensive operations around Richmond. After New Market, Union Major General Franz Sigel was replaced with the more aggressive Major General David Hunter, who made another move up the Valley with a larger and better organized army of 12,000 men. Hunter’s move caught the Confederates by surprise. Initially, the only opposition was a brigade of Confederate cavalry led by Brigadier General John D. Imboden. Every able-bodied man in the area was called to the Confederate colors, including miners and militia reservists. Two brigades of infantry under Brigadier General William E. “Grumble” Jones and a cavalry brigade led by Brigadier General John C. Vaughn were rushed by rail from the Trans-Allegheny Department. The combined Confederate force, commanded by Grumble Jones, numbered about 5000 men. On June 5th, the Confederate cavalry skirmished with the leading Union cavalry, delaying the Union advance long enough so that Grumble Jones could deploy his newly arrived troops and begin fortifying a new position near the hamlet of Piedmont. Hunter’s infantry arrived at this new line around noon.
Cool Spring, July 18, 1864 Cool Spring is a battle from Jubal Early’s 1864 Valley Campaign. During his retreat from the drive on Washington, Early moved into the Shenandoah Valley through Snicker’s Gap and crossed the Shenandoah River at Castleman’s Ferry. His Union pursuers, formations from VI Corps, XIX Corps, and the Army of West Virginia led by Major General Horatio G. Wright, were close behind. Brevet Major General George Crook, at the head of Wright’s column, was ordered to “cross if practicable and attack” with his Army of West Virginia. When a cavalry probe of Castleman’s Ferry was easily repulsed, it was decided to move downstream, cross the Shenandoah River at Island Ford, and then turn south to catch the Confederate defenders of Castleman’s Ferry in flank. Crook’s 1st Division, led by Colonel Joseph Thoburn, began the crossing in the middle of the afternoon after waiting for the lead division of VI Corps to arrive in support. The fords appeared to be lightly defended by the Confederates, but a captured skirmisher revealed that the divisions of Brigadier General Gabriel Wharton and Major General Robert Rodes were nearby. The lateness of the Union move surprised Early, but he had issued orders the night before to contest any Union crossing, and Wharton and Rodes were both moving within the hour.
As was the focus of the Death Valley design, this game reflects the development of the cavalry and the changes in infantry and artillery organization and tactics from 1862 through 1864.
If you are interested in Battles for the Shenandoah: A Death Valley Expansion, you can pre-order a copy on the GMT Games P500 game page for $55.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-919-battles-of-the-shenandoah-a-death-valley-expansion.aspx
6. Vijayanagara: The Deccan Empires of Medieval India, 1290-1398 from GMT Games
As you know, I love the COIN Series and anything associated with it. This new game is not a COIN Series game but it shares some of the same elements. In Fall 2020, there was a game design contest held called Consim Game Jam where designers had to repurpose a COIN Series game and make a new playable game in about 48 hours! The game that won the competition was called Vijayanagara: The Deccan Empires of Medieval India, 1290-1398 The game is an asymmetric 1-3 player game depicting the epic, century-long rise and fall of medieval kingdoms in India over two dynastic periods.
Vijayanagara is also the first game in a new Irregular Conflicts Series. The Irregular Conflicts Series attempts to bring some of the mechanics of the COIN Series to conflicts that are just outside the Counterinsurgency-based model of COIN. If you want to better understand this new series, read the InsideGMT Blog post by Jason Carr at the following link: http://www.insidegmt.com/2021/03/what-is-the-irregular-conflicts-series/
From the game page, we read the following:
Vijayanagara is where…players will take on the asymmetric roles of the Delhi Sultanate, the Bahmani Kingdom, and the Vijayanagara Empire, navigating event cards and unique action menus as they contest to write themselves into medieval Indian history. Players will rally local amirs and rajas to their cause, construct epic temples, forts, and qasbahs, and battle for supremacy over the Deccan plateau.
And even if you have never played a COIN Series game, you don’t have to worry as this series uses similar mechanics and is designed to ease you into the genre.
Vijayanagara is intended for players new to asymmetric wargames and veteran COIN players alike. The factions have distinct capabilities and each is faced with different strategic decisions, offering a very high degree of replayability. The game is streamlined: all player actions and most rules are visible on the table on player aids and cards. Gameplay and turn order is organized around a deck of unique event cards. With each new card, factions have the option to carry out the event or to select from faction-specific Commands and special Decrees; Commands such as the Conscription of new troops, Governing in Tributary Provinces, and Migration to begin life anew, and Decrees ranging from Demanding Tribute, Conspiring with Delhi’s Governors to betray the Sultan, and forming new Alliances with minor regional powers.
I for one am very interested in this one and cannot wait to get more information as they work on the game. I will reach out to the design and development team and try to get an interview pretty quickly. I also would love to highlight some of the cards used in the game on the blog as we have done with other games in the past.
If you are interested in Vijayanagara: The Deccan Empires of Medieval India, 1290-1398, you can pre-order a copy on the GMT Games P500 game page for $54.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-918-vijayanagara-the-deccan-empires-of-medieval-india-1290-1398.aspx
7. Cuba Libre: Castro’s Insurgency, 1957-1958 4th Printing from GMT Games
Any time a game is in its 4th Printing that should tell you something right there. The game is interesting. The game is fun to play. The game teaches some really great history. Well, in the case of Cuba Libre, all of the before are true and then some. The 2nd game in the COIN Series, Cuba Libre is the smallest of the series in map spaces although All Bridges Burning comes close. This game is usually put forward as a good starting point for the series for new players and we would wholeheartedly agree with that, although I would say even above that is that you should have a passion and interest in the history first and foremost.
From the game page, we read the following:
Following up on GMT Games’ Andean Abyss, the COIN Series next volume, Cuba Libre, takes 1 to 4 players into the Cuban Revolution. Castro’s Marxist “26 July Movement” must expand from its bases in the Sierra Maestra mountains to fight its way to Havana. Meanwhile, anti-communist student groups, urban guerrillas, and ex-patriots try to de-stabilize the Batista regime from inside and out, while trying not to pave the way for a new dictatorship under Castro. Batista’s Government must maintain steam to counter the twin insurgency, while managing two benefactors: its fragile US Alliance and its corrupting Syndicate skim. And in the midst of the turmoil, Meyer Lansky and his Syndicate bosses will jockey to keep their Cuban gangster paradise alive. Cuba Libre will be easy to learn for Andean Abyss players—both volumes share the same innovative COIN system. Like Volume I, Cuba Libre is equally playable solitaire or by multiple players up to 4—and with a shorter time to completion than Andean Abyss. But Cuba Libre’s situation and strategic challenges will be new.
If you are interested in Cuba Libre: Castro’s Insurgency, 1957-1958 4th Printing, you can pre-order a copy on the GMT Games P500 game page for $49.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-920-cuba-libre-4th-printing.aspx
8. Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition 2nd Printing from GMT Games
This game is still on our Shelf of Shame! I know that is preposterous and we should be embarrassed but we have just not been able to get to it….quite yet! But, soon I promise as we set some goals for the year to play some older games and shoot video reviews in 2021. This is one of those that we committed to.
From the game page, we read the following:
Paths of Glory, designed by six-time Charles S. Roberts Award winner, Ted Raicer, allows players to step into the shoes of the monarchs and marshals who triumphed and bungled from 1914 to 1918. As the Central Powers you must use the advantage of interior lines and the fighting skill of the Imperial German Army to win your rightful “Place in the Sun.” As the Entente Powers (Allies) you must bring your greater numbers to bear to put an end to German militarism and ensure this is “The War to End All Wars.” Both players will find their generalship and strategic abilities put to the test as Paths of Glory‘s innovative game systems let you recreate all the dramatic events of World War I.
If you are interested in Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition 2nd Printing, you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $50.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-921-paths-of-glory-deluxe-edition-2nd-printing.aspx
9. Malta Besieged: 1940-1942 Deluxe Edition from Worthington Publishing Currently on Kickstarter
Recently, Worthington has been releasing new Deluxe 2nd Editions of classic wargames, including the famous States of Siege Series games, that were originally published by Victory Point Games. In July 2020, they started with In Magnificent Style: Pickett’s Charge designed by Hermann Luttmann, followed with Soviet Dawn: The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 designed by the Godfather of the States of Siege Series Darin Leviloff in November 2020 and then in January 2021, they Kickstarted Keep Up the Fire!: The Boxer Rebellion designed by John Welch. Next up in their campaign to resurrect these classic games with the deluxe treatment is Malta Besieged: 1940-1942 designed by Steve Carey.
From the Kickstarter page, we read the following:
Malta Besieged: 1940-1942 is a solitaire game covering the pivotal World War II years in the often overlooked Battle for the Mediterranean. You are placed in the role of the Commonwealth Commander in the theatre, and must utilize every resource at your disposal to fend off unrelenting Axis attacks in order to ensure the survival of the island of Malta.
Malta Besieged features both familiar and innovative game play. Supply was the key element in the Mediterranean Campaign, and so it is here as well. Players will have to safely shepherd vulnerable convoys – and their valuable cargoes – in order to effectively wage war. With the ability to trade Supply for extra Actions at the most crucial moments, this places an additional emphasis on that precious resource and also creates extremely tense convoy battles which will resolve as the game progresses.
This game has a lot of different focus points and makes for a very interesting playthrough as the player has to stay on their toes to keep up with the various moving parts.
North Africa is not treated as a mere sideshow; indeed, the struggle with Rommel, the “Desert Fox”, holds the ultimate key to victory… if Malta can hold out against the constant pressure. If a fortified Tobruk manages to stubbornly delay the vaunted Afrika Korps long enough, then General Montgomery and his battle-tested 8th Army can possibly make a final dash from El Alamein to capture Tripoli and secure a glorious triumph.
We also reached out to the designer Steve Carey for an interview and posted it on our blog at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/03/17/interview-with-steve-carey-designer-of-malta-besieged-1940-1942-deluxe-edition-from-worthington-publishing-currently-on-kickstarter/
If you are interested in Malta Besieged: 1940-1942 you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1040417273/malta-besieged-deluxe-edition-1940-1942
As of April 1st, the project is funded and has raised $45,707 toward the $1,940 goal from 561 backers. The campaign will end on Wednesday, April 5th at 9:00pm EDT.
10. Duel Pack: Saladin and Border States from Shakos Currently on Kickstarter
As I stated last month in the March Wargame Watch, I was contacted by a newish small French publisher called Shakos about taking a look at their upcoming title Saladin. Saladin is the first game in a new series called “En Ordre de Bataille” (In Order of Battle) which will present a famous medieval leader and two battles in which he has fought and shown his abilities. The game is anticipated to come to Kickstarter sometime in Mid-March (or later) and we are working on playing and providing them with a preview video to use as a part of the campaign.
I also reached out to the designer Denis Sauvage and posted the following interview on the blog: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/03/23/interview-with-denis-sauvage-designer-of-saladin-from-shakos-coming-to-kickstarter-soon/
From the Board Game Geek page on the game we read the following:
Saladin is a game intended to recreate the famous battles of Hattin and Arsuf where Saladin was opposed by the crusaders troops of Guy de Lusignan and then to those of Richard the Lionheart. With Saladin taking charge of one of the armies that fought each other. Order your horsemen to harass the crusaders ranks or launch a devastating charge with your heavily armored knights. Saladin is an epic game for history and strategy fans.
Saladin is a historical wargame for 2 players. Having chosen one of the two battle scenarios and set up the game, each player, in turn, will order one of their Banners. He will make them fight in order to disorganize those of their opponent. For this it will be necessary to spend Order tokens, the number of which will decrease at the beginning of each turn. The player who manages to preserve the cohesion of his troops by retaining the precious Order tokens will be declared the winner.
To me, the game appears similar to the W1815 Series from U&P Games or something like Table Battles from Hollandspiele as the player places little formation sticks on the board and then orders those with various cards and tokens. The cards appear to represent the various historical leaders involved in the game and have abilities listed at the bottom of the cards that can be used by spending some of your scarce Order tokens. I think that the art is fantastic and the presentation of the game is amazing.
We also posted a preview video on Saladin on our YouTube Channel:
The 2nd game featured in the Duel Pack is called Border States.
From the Board Game Geek page on the game, we read the following:
Border States is a tactical game for 2 players where each player takes control of one side. You will have to fight battles and win crushing victories in order to influence the Border States and try to rally them to your side. Bluffing and guessing will be your best assets to lead your Generals to victory in around 45 minutes.
There are two ways to win the game: control enough States markers to win by sudden death, or be the player with the most victory points at the end of the 5 turns.
I also reached out to the designer Stéphane Brachet and posted the following interview on the blog: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/03/31/interview-with-stephane-brachet-designer-of-border-states-from-shakos-currently-on-kickstarter/
So two games that look very interesting from a newish company that I am taking a keen interest in after having played Napoleon 1807 and Saladin.
If you are interested in either Saladin or Border States, you can order a copy of the game on the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shakos/duel-pack-saladin-and-border-states?ref=5yelh5
As of April 1st, the project is funded and has raised $19,138 toward the $8,194 goal from 353 backers. The campaign will end on Thursday, April 15th at 2:59pm EDT.
1. The Lamps are Going Out: World War 1, 2nd Edition from Compass Games
There are some games out there that people just think very fondly of when they are brought up. This one is one of those and I have no experience with it so I cannot really comment on how good it is. I hope that I can get a copy and try it out so that I can join the conversation. Maybe now is the time? There is now a 2nd Edition of The Lamps are Going Out: World War 1 that you can pick up from Compass Games.
From the game page, we read the following:
The Lamps Are Going Out is a game simulating World War I at the grand strategic level. Many of the economic and military factors have been simplified to make game play as easy as possible, while still accurately portraying the balance of forces, strategies, constraints and ultimately the grand decision-making involved. This is a game pitting the Central Powers against the Triple Entente and spans the entire war from August, 1914 until November, 1918. All theatres are represented on the area control map from Europe to the Near East and East Africa, as well as the naval war in the Atlantic – from the British blockade to the German U-Boat campaign. The core of the game is the conducting of movement and offensives of field armies in an attempt to deplete, breakthrough, and force retreats of enemy armies to gain territory and/or eliminate opposing forces. Mobilizing new armies and supplying depleted armies requires the allocation of Production Points, a scarce commodity that varies from nation to nation and represents the industrial capacity for war as well as the manpower, logistical capacity, and training of each country’s military. Each side also races for the next technological breakthrough in order to gain an advantage on the battlefield, from advances in aviation and artillery to U-Boats and poison gas. Event cards for each of the four game factions provide for political developments, leadership, friction, and military developments particular to the nations involved. Technology cards allow players to invest in and research advances along several branches. In The Lamps Are Going Out, players are free to employ whatever strategies they feel will best help them win, but the geography, manpower, and resources available within the game will lead to many of the same dilemmas felt by the historic leaders. Playable in an evening, the simple yet realistic production and combat system allows the war to unfold with historic fidelity while allowing the players great latitude to employ varied strategies to direct their forces and allocate their limited resources in order to keep their armies ready for action amidst the attritional nature of the conflict.
If you are interested in The Lamps are Going Out: World War I, 2nd Edition you can order a copy for $75.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/the-lamps-are-going-out-world-war-1-2nd-edition/
2. Walking a Bloody Path: The Battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794 from High Flying Dice Games
At the end of 2017, we highlighted two smaller games from High Flying Dice Games including Kekionga!: A Dark and Bloody Battleground, 1790 and St. Clair’s Folly: The Battle of the Wabash River, 1791 in our Monthly Wargame Watch feature. We also played and reviewed Kekionga which was a great time! Both of these games focus on early battles between US forces and various Native American tribes in the area of the Old Northwest Territory, which includes the present day states of Ohio, Indiana (my home), Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. This war was characterized by massacres and atrocities, which seemed to follow one upon the other, and in 1790 the new US Government authorized its first war against the Native Americans for control of the region.
The next game in the series Walking a Bloody Path focuses on The Battle of Fallen Timbers which was fought near present day Maumee, Ohio on August 20, 1794.
From the game page, we read the following:
Following defeats in 1790 and 1791 in the Northwest Territory the US Government authorized the creation of a standing army to invade and subdue the area. Appointed in overall command of the force was Revolutionary War here, General Anthony Wayne. Nicknamed “Mad” for his impetuous and daring attacks against the British in that war, General Wayne instead elected for a methodical and remorseless campaign against the Native Americans. Dubbing this new US army a “Legion”, it was divided into for “sub-legions”, each of which was a combined-arms force of regular as well as militia infantry, dragoons, artillery and engineers.
The Legion drilled extensively after forming near Pittsburgh. The force then traveled down the Ohio River and after disembarking in Cincinnati began its march north into the heart of the Native American territory.
We also reached out to the designer Paul Rohrbaugh for an interview and posted it on our blog at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2019/05/15/interview-with-paul-rohrbaugh-designer-of-walking-a-bloody-path-the-battle-of-fallen-timbers-august-20-1794-from-high-flying-dice-games/
If you are interested in Walking a Bloody Path: The Battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794, you can order a copy for $12.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link: (the link was not available at time of publication)
3. 300: Earth and Water from Nuts! Publishing
We have played a few games from Nuts! Publishing, which is a small French publisher, and they always have good games. One I am trying to get played is FITNA, but we have not had the opportunity as of yet. This past week, I was on their website and saw this very interesting looking Card Driven Game called 300: Earth and Water that focuses on the Greco-Persian War.
From the game page, we read the following:
300: Earth and Water is a wargame for two players. One player controls the Greeks, gathered around the Athenians, and the other controls the Persians, fighting for the hegemony of the eastern Mediterranean. Through all five expeditions, each player aims to control more cities than their opponent.
The game engine is a “card driven” system. Players raise armies and buy cards during production. Cards can be used to play an event or move an army or fleet. Events can provide advantages in battles or interfere with the enemy, but military action is paramount to win. Moreover, each game will change dramatically according the order the events occur.
The rules are simple and the playing time is short, but both Greece and Persia have a wide range of strategies, so victory will challenge both players.
The game looks simple and has some really nice looking components. I really like Card Driven Games so I am very interested in this one. There is a nice video on the game page but unfortunately I don’t speak French and it is in French. Here is that video:
If you are interested in 300: Earth and Water, you can order a copy for $30.0 from the Nuts! Publishing website at the following link: https://www.nutspublishing.com/eshop/300-en
4. 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 order a copy for $68.00 from the Revolution Games website at the following link: http://www.revolutiongames.us/
5. Lepanto 1571: A Sea Turned Red by Blood from Acies Edizioni
Naval battle wargames seem to be pretty scarce and I have always enjoyed them each time we have played one. One that hit my radar this month is from Acies Edizioni and is called Lepanto 1571: A Sea Turned Red by Blood. A pretty catchy title that pulls no punches about what it is.
From the game page, we read the following:
The calm Aegean Sea is going to be, once again, the scene of one of the most important battles in history. The fleets of the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League, created by Pope Pius V, are ready to clash in the waters in front of the little town of Lepanto. At the end of the day, after one of the fiercest battles in the long history of naval combat, the Ottoman fleet breaks away following the loss of more than 150 ships and 30.000 men. Now the sea is red, a sea turned red by blood.
Not a lot of information on the game on the publishers website but there is a bit more information on the Board Game Geek game page as you can download the rules, check out the playbook with some great examples of play and also check out an unboxing video.
Here is a link to the unboxing video for the game:
If you are interested in Leponto 1571 you can order a copy for $88.00 from the Acies Edizioni website at the following link: https://en.edizioniacies.com/product-page/lepanto-1571
6. The Korean War: June 1950 – May 1951, Designer Signature Edition from Compass Games
I really have enjoyed the few wargames that I have played on the Korean War and these Designer Signature Editions from Compass Games are pretty great as they upgrade the maps and also fix all known errata. Plus they are really good designs that deserve a new version. Joe Balkoski’s The Korean War is such a DSE that is now available form Compass Games.
From the game page, we read the following:
The Korean War: June 1950 – May 1951, Designer Signature Edition, marks the return of a true wargaming classic by Joseph Balkoski first published in 1986, faithfully remastered and updated with this all-new, supersized edition. Hailed by many as of the premier games covering The Korean War, this two-player operational level simulation covers the first year of the Korean conflict, from June 1950 to May 1951.
This edition of The Korean War features a super-sized map and larger counters and is another Classic Reborn! by Compass.
During this period, the United States found itself involved in a bitter struggle in a remote Asian land that many Americans had not even heard of. Amid the debacles and stunning victories of the first year of war, the very foundation of the American military system — so recently triumphant in the Second World War — was severely shaken. In a war that few Americans understood and which historians have tended to ignore, the foundation of future American diplomacy in the face of communism was laid.
You notice that the description mentions a new super-sized map. Here is a look at it:
If you are interested in The Korean War: June 1950-May 1951, Designer Signature Edition you can order a copy for $72.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/the-korean-war-june-1950-may-1951-designer-signature-edition/
7. Atlantic Chase: The Kriegsmarine Against the Home Fleet 1939-1942 from GMT Games
When I first saw this game offered on the P500 a few years ago, I immediately thought about Ticket to Ride as the game uses small matchstick style blocks to represent trajectories of ships as they travel from port to port on the map. The game is really very colorful and immediately drew my interest.
From the game page, we read the following:
Atlantic Chase simulates the naval campaigns fought in the North Atlantic between the surface fleets of the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine between 1939 and 1942. It utilizes a system of trajectories to model the fog of war that bedeviled the commands during this period. Just as the pins and strings adorning Churchill’s wall represented the course of the ships underway, players arrange trajectory lines across the shared game board, each line representing a task force’s path of travel. Without resorting to dummy blocks, hidden movement, or a double-blind system requiring a referee or computer, players experience the uncertainty endemic to this period of naval warfare. This system also has the benefit of allowing the game to be played solitaire, and to be played quickly.
The German player’s task is clear: sever Britain’s lifeline to its overseas colonies and allies. All hangs on the fate of convoys. Ultimately, success or failure in Atlantic Chase will hinge on the Kriegsmarine’s ability to breakout into the Atlantic and find convoys while frustrating British attempts to catch his raiders. The game chronicles the development of the Royal Navy’s strategy to contain the German fleet by pitting players against each other in five successive operations that comprise a Campaign Game. Seven additional scenarios treat specific historical actions, including a Sink the Bismarck scenario, a PQ17 scenario, and the Channel Dash. The game features battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, convoys, and pocket battleships, while U-boats, elusive armed merchant raiders, and air assets play an important role too. Operations during the Campaign Game and stand-alone historical scenarios each take 1-2 hours to play.
We posted an interview with the designer Jerry White and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2018/08/20/interview-with-jerry-white-designer-of-atlantic-chase-from-gmt-games/
If you are interested in Atlantic Chase, you can order a copy on the P500 game page for $69.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-706-atlantic-chase.aspx
8. Bayonets & Tomahawks: The French and Indian War from GMT Games
A good game on the French & Indian War is always welcome on my table and this one looks to be pretty damn good. Bayonets & Tomahawksis a two-player grand strategic game depicting the French & Indian War, which raged from 1755 to 1760 and in which France’s North American empire was conquered. The players will take command of either the French or British to fight all facets of the conflict including army maneuvering, diplomacy with indigenous nations, raids, battles, construction, naval operations, sieges, and more. With scenarios varying from a single year to the whole war, as well as rules for team play, Bayonets & Tomahawks is perfect for new and experienced wargamers alike.
There are cards in the game as well as they are used during the Action Rounds to take either the printed events or to use them to take any number of actions. The thing that I find very interesting is that the units have non-traditional shapes, like hex or triangle counters, and represent the different type of forces engaged. Having different shapes bypasses the decoding process inherent with classic wargames. You don’t need to read a counter or scrutinize its graphics to know what it is. For example, light units act fundamentally differently from other pieces (they move faster, can raid, can use paths). They were the first to get a distinct shape the designer settled on a triangle because it made him think of a vector or even an arrow. Brigades (standard pieces) remain square with forts having an octagon shape for them (same shape as a stop sign because they don’t move), long rectangles for fleets (inspired by Fighting Formations’ vehicle counters).
The map is also absolutely stunning (if you didn’t know Marc is also a graphic designer and cares very much for the look of a game) and the game uses custom dice for combat with symbols rather than numbers (reminds me of the dice system used in the Birth of America Series from Academy Games).
We posted an interview with the designer Marc Rodrigue long ago in 2017 on the blog covering the design and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2016/09/28/interview-with-marc-rodrigue-designer-of-bayonets-tomahawks-by-gmt-games/
If you are interested in Bayonets & Tomahawks: The French and Indian War, you can order a copy on the P500 game page for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-598-bayonets-tomahawks.aspx
9. 7 Days to the Rhine: Objective Kassel in Modern War No. 53 from Strategy & Tactics Press
We have been covering a new series focused on the classic Central Front Series from SPI from days of yesteryear over the past year designed by Ty Bomba and now we come to the fourth entry in the series called Objective Kassel. These games are pack-in games in Strategy & Tactics Press’ Modern War Magazine but are pretty large and have all been designed to play together when completed.
From the game page, we read the following:
Objective Kassel is a two-player alternative history wargame intended to investigate the operational parameters that would have been in place during the first four days of fighting in that border area of West Germany had the Soviet Union decided to try to attack sometime in the early 1980s. It was during that timeframe the Warsaw Pact achieved a possible decisive “correlation of forces” between their militaries and those of the West.
This game is the fourth volume of the AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe) Series. Each single-volume game uses the same system and will be playable alone or mated to other games in the series. Each hexagon on the map represents 2.5 miles (four kilometers) from side to opposite side. The Warsaw Pact regiments, while the units of maneuver on the NATO side are battalions. Air power and electronic warfare counters and rules abstractly represent, the effects of one side or the other gaining temporary superiority within those sub-realms of conflict. Each day of real time consists of one nighttime and two daylight turns.
We are currently working on an interview with Ty Bomba and should have that on the blog in the next few weeks.
If you are interested in 7 Days to the Rhine: Objective Kassel in Modern War No. 53 from Strategy & Tactics Press you can order a copy for $39.99 from the website at the following link: https://shop.strategyandtacticspress.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MW53
This month had lots of good new titles and as always I had a good time searching for them. It seems that there are lots of Kickstarters this month but as I have mentioned before this is a good thing as it gives us an opportunity to get these great games at a deep discount. Please let me know if you know of any games out there that I missed.