We have had a few very strong months to start this year with many new games being published or placed on pre-order. January got us off to a slow start with just 8 games but February warmed up quickly with 18 games, March found 20 games and April continued that torrid pace with 20 games. I am not sure we can match the numbers of those first two months the rest of the year but we did in May and found 23 games to share with you with 7 of those being offered on Kickstarter. Three of the games were all included in one Kickstarter so it was a bit of a cheat to get to 23.

If you missed the April Wargame Watch, you can read that here at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/04/01/wargame-watch-whats-new-upcoming-april-2021/


1. Great Sieges Series Game Bundle (including 1759 Siege of Quebec, 1565 Siege of Malta and 414 BC Siege of Syracuse) from Worthington Publishing Currently on Kickstarter

Solo games are huge right now, partly because of the pandemic and the inability for many to find players to play games with, but also because solitaire gaming is fun, can be done at your own pace and you don’t need to link up with others to game. With that in mind, Worthington Publishing has launched a new Kickstarter campaign that focuses on 3 games, 1 being a 2nd Printing and two others being new designs that are either solo only wargames or have both a solitaire mode and a 2-player mode. The games includes 414 BC Siege of Syracuse The Athenian army lays siege to the great city of Syracuse, 1565 Siege of Malta  The Turks versus the Knights of Malta in the last battle of the Crusades at the dawn of gunpowder and 1759 Siege of Quebec – The siege that won North America for the English.

From the Kickstarter page, we read the following:

The Great Sieges Series highlights command decisions for players against a solitaire game engine opponent. They have been designed for easy set up and quick game play. Game unit placement is shown on the game board and units are wooden markers representing troop and ship formations. 

Each game was developed for solitaire play. In 414 BC Siege of Syracuse and 1759 Siege of Quebec there is also a two player version of the game. Both sides require you to make great decisions based on good strategy, keep your wits about you when orders do not turn out well, and press on to victory.

All three games use a common set of rules for game play but each game has it own set of unique rules related to specifics of those individual sieges.

Frankly, these look right up my alley, Well designed solo and 2-player games with some great looking art and components on an interesting subject.

We have posted interviews on the blog with Dan Fournie covering 414 BC Siege of Syracuse and Maurice Suckling covering 1565 Siege of Malta.

If you are interested in the Great Sieges Series Game Bundle, or if you just want to purchase one of the three games, you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1456271622/great-sieges-solitaire-game-series

As of May 1st, the project is funded and has raised $71,098 toward the modest $1,759 goal from 471 backers. The campaign will end on Saturday, May 8th at 5:00pm EDT.

2. Piacenza 1746 from Europa Simulazioni

A new publisher that I know nothing about is always a good find as it provides some different perspective to our hobby and also gets me to understand different conflicts than the ones that we seem to churn over and over again. This new publisher I found is Europa Simulazioni and they have an interesting looking game called Piacenza 1746.

From the game page, we read the following:

The War of the Austrian Succession (1740 – 1748) was a dynastic war, initiated by the European powers to counter the legitimate claim of Maria Theresa Habsburgs (1717-1780) to maintain control of all her family possessions, when her father, the Emperor Charles VI, died in 1740.

Federick II of Prussia was the first to act. He invaded Silesia as he wanted to reach a glorious military success and the beginning of his reign. Maria Theresa reacted promptly, and two alliance sides formed for the war with all the major European countries and many minor states involved.

In 1745 war extended to Italy where France and Spain were in arms against Austria and and her ally, Savoy. After a sound defeat near Alessandria, the following year the Austrian side soundly defeated the French-Spanish army at the battle of Piacenza, which marked the end of the French-Spain attempts to defeat Maria in Italy: “I want to hope that this event will dispel from the minds of my enemies the desire to totally banish myself from Italy”

The game is a regimental-level game about warfare in the Age of Reason and has a highly interactive sequence of play, focused on maneuver, when formations moved in a “linear mode”, the typical way of fighting a battle at that time.

If you are interested in Piacenza 1746 you can order a copy for $40.00 from the Europa Simulazioni website at the following link: https://italianwars.net/NewSite/piacenza_1746.html

3. El Gran Capitán: Campaigns of the Italian Wars 1494-1530 Volume 2 from Europa Simulazioni

Another game that caught my eye on the Europa Simulazioni site was El Gran Capitán: Campaigns of the Italian Wars 1494-1530 Volume 2.

From the game page, we read the following:

This second volume includes all the major campaigns fought in Southern Italy during the period of 1494-1530 including:

– Ferrandino’s War, 1495-96, the Aragonese, with the help of El Gran Capitán, retake the Kingdom of Naples to the French.
– The fight for the Kingdom of Naples, 1502-1503, the French and Spanish, led by El Gran Capitán, fight for the Kingdom of Naples. This campaign historically included the two most famous battles of Cerignola and Garigliano (1503), where Cordoba gained the title “El Gran Capitán”.
– Lautrec’s last chance, 1528, the unfortunate campaign of Lautrec to conquer Naples once again.
– The crusade of Charles VIII (a what-if scenario), 1495-96, what if Charles VIII would have not decided to come back to France soon after his conquer of the Kingdom of Naples?

The game an operational-level treatment of warfare in the 16th century and has a highly interactive sequence of play, focused on maneuver and careful planning. Battles include various forms of combat such as major battles, skirmishes and sieges.

If you are interested in El Gran Capitán : Campaigns of the Italian Wars 1494-1530 you can order a copy for $47.00 from the Europa Simulazioni website at the following link: https://italianwars.net/NewSite/el_gran_capitan.html

4. Great Battles of the American Revolution: Volume X Battle of White Plains from GMT Games

You know that I have a passion for the American Revolution. It has always been my go to historical period when reading or watching documentaries. The struggle for independence and American experiment have always been fascinating to me. I have as of yet played any of these Great Battles of the American Revolution Series games. I know that I should. I know that I will enjoy them. And it is not for a lack of interest, but more a product of trying to play new games each year. In fact, I actually own the American Revolution Tri-Pack that includes Guilford, Saratoga and Brandywine and Volume IX The Battle of Rhode Island. But, as of yet, I have not played them.

Now there comes the next volume in the series Volume X Battle of White Plains. From the game page, we read the following about the general obscurity of White Plains in the history of the campaigns of 1776:

White Plains is among the least written-about battles of the American Revolution, an oddity when one considers the scale of forces engaged. Most secondary sources give it a passing mention in the larger discussion of the New York campaign while among the scant primary sources there is considerable disagreement as to key details. Source maps are scarce and often contradictory as well. To bring you Volume 10 in the Battles of the American Revolution Series, exhaustive research was conducted in the sources and on the ground to bring to life the most accurate battlefield map possible.

Likewise the order of battle was painstakingly reproduced from scraps of information: memoirs, General Orders, casualty lists, pension records, compilations of the Westchester County Historical Society, journal articles, Blogs, secondary-source histories, firsthand accounts, and a little intuition. As usual when studying the American Revolution, British records are more complete. American records less so. Where specific unit placements are known the corresponding units are placed accordingly. Where specific deployments are not known, deployments are notional but stand up to the litmus test of brigade and divisional integrity.

The game includes a few different scenarios, the historical fight for Chatterton Hill, an October 31st that explores what might have occurred if General Howe had pressed his assault that day as planned and a full 4-day campaign game spanning 42 game turns beginning with the arrival of the British army on the field on the morning of October 28th and culminating at 5:00pm on October 31st.

In Volume 10 of the Battles of the American Revolution Series, players command two titanic armies: Washington, desperate to salvage something from the otherwise disastrous defense of New York, and Howe seeking a coup de grâce against the “Old Fox.” You will have to manage your forces over the span of four days with lots of inclement weather to contend with. Can you, as General Howe, break through the American line to deliver a decisive blow and end the rebellion? Can you, as General Washington, hold your own on superior ground, hampered as you will be with some 6,700 militia of dubious quality—fully 46% of the total American force?

I know how passionate Mark Miklos is about the history behind these games and this one looks to explore some very interesting elements about this early battle in the new days of the revolution.

If you are interested in Battle of White Plains you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $55.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link:  https://www.gmtgames.com/p-924-battle-of-white-plains.aspx

5. Fast Action Battle Series #5: Dubno ’41 from GMT Games

I have also never played a Fast Action Battle Series game. The FAB Series is a block wargame system that focuses on speed and playability with low unit-density while keeping the history both accurate and exciting. The system delivers a new blend of units and decisions to the block game genre as player’s forces are a mixture of wooden blocks and counters. I have always wanted to get into FAB, with FAB: Sicily being the title that I am most interested in playing, but as of yet have not had an opportunity to do. We did cover FAB: Crusader North Africa 1941 with an interview with designer Michael Gustavsson. This new volume is focused on the Battle of Dubno on the East Front during 1941.

From the game page, we read the following:

The time is set for Operation Barbarossa and the largest tank battle of all time: more than 3,000 Soviet and nearly 700 German tanks and assault guns will clash in Soviet occupied Southern Poland. Known as the Battle of Brody-Dubno-Lutsk, that bloody triangle saw the direst straits of invading German forces in Barbarossa as they struggle for a week to repel the massive Soviet armored counterattacks to the flanks of the spearhead formed by Ewald Kleist’s 1st Panzergruppe.The German invasion force was aimed towards Kiev, and the Kiev Special Military District was the better armed and prepared of all Soviet Fronts stationed on the Western borders of the USSR, with a full array of Soviet Mechanized Corps, equipped with hundreds of the brand new KV and T-34 tanks.

The launch of Operation Barbarossa generally caught the Soviets unprepared and the game focuses in on that aspect.

As the German player in Dubno ’41, you control two powerful German armies: the 6th and the 1st Panzergruppe. The Soviet player will control the Northern flank of the Southwestern Front—formed by the 5th and 6th all arms armies. Blocks are mostly divisions with some regiments/brigades and German Kampfgruppen.

In Dubno ’41 (with a minimum of new rules), you will see the Soviet unpreparedness for war in June 1941 as they desperately struggled to defeat the German invaders. The Soviets had a huge amount of low-quality units with powerful but fragile armored forces against the Wehrmacht at its peak of quality and efficiency. This is not a one-sided battle, as some might think when considering the whole of Operation Barbarossa. The Soviets can accomplish their mission and defeat or at least stop the invaders.

This one looks very interesting and from reports of playtesters it appears to be a bit more wide open as to maneuver and capability which is a bit different than many East Front games we have played.

If you are interested in Fast Action Battle Series #5: Dubno ’41 you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page from the GMT Games website for $50.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-925-dubno-41.aspx

6. COIN Series Volume XIV The Pure Land: Ōnin War in Muromachi Japan, 1465-1477 from GMT Games

You read about this one in my introduction but I have been following for a while now on Twitter as the designer Joe Dewhurst has shared pictures of the design as it has made progress. I love the COIN Series but I also have a great interested in wargames set in Feudal Japan. I lived there for a few years and loved the culture and history, especially those of the Samurai and their Daimyo. The Pure Land: Ōnin War in Muromachi Japan, 1465-1477 is Volume XIV of the COIN Series and focuses on the 15th century civil war that began the 100 year long Sengoku Jidai. This entry in the series is not just your run of the mill game that doesn’t take a chance. This design is definitely introducing some new elements and I couldn’t be more excited. First off, the four factions are as follows from the game page:

The Hosokawa Clan represent the political establishment and must encourage support for the Ashikaga Shogunate while also maintaining the loyalty of the other major clans.

The Yamana Clan also want to encourage support for the Ashikaga Shogunate but at the same time must gain control of enough population to establish themselves as the dominant military power.

The Jizamurai, minor nobles and merchants, can encourage peasant revolts to build regional autonomy, while also trading to increase their own independent wealth.

The Ikkō-ikki can preach to reduce support for the shogunate and to spread their religious beliefs, while also radicalising the population to eventually overthrow the established order.

Aside from the new factions that typify this civil war, the game tries to incorporate some new mechanics to better tell this story.

An innovative clan loyalty system that creates a dynamic political geography. The Hosokawa and Yamana factions form alliances with other clans, which can then be disrupted by political intercessions, peasant revolts, and assassinations. A tight peasant-based economy that forces all factions to compete over limited resources. Peasants generate resources for the Jizamurai, which are then taxed, tithed, or confiscated away by the other factions. A new approach to religious insurgency and peasant revolts using the COIN system. The Ikkō-ikki faction slowly spread their religious beliefs and are hard to eliminate, while both the Ikkō-ikki and the Jizamurai can trigger peasant revolts to further their own goals. Two competing ‘government’ factions that must nonetheless cooperate to ensure the survival of the Ashikaga Shogunate. Support for the Ashikaga dynasty is a shared goal for both the Yamana and the Hosokawa, but only one faction can control the Shogunate and claim victory!

I definitely look forward to playing this one and experiencing a COIN experience set in the Sengoku Jidai.

If you are interested in The Pure Land: Ōnin War in Muromachi Japan, 1465-1477 you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $64.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-923-the-pure-land-nin-war-in-muromachi-japan-1465-1477.aspx

7. Combat Commander: Europe 5th Printing from GMT Games

If you have followed our blog from the beginning, you know how much we love Combat Commander. We started with Europe, playing through nearly all of its scenarios before moving to Mediterranean and some of the battle packs. From the game page, we read the following:

Combat Commander: Europe is Chad Jensen’s award-winning card-driven board game immersing players in tactical infantry combat in the European Theater of World War II. One player takes the role of Germany while another player commands either America or Russia. These two players will take turns playing one or more “Fate” cards from their hands in order to activate units on the mapboard for various military functions.

There is no strict sequence of play to follow in Combat Commander: each measure of game Time is divided into a variable number of player Turns, each of which may consist of one or more “Orders” conducted by the active player. “Actions” may generally be conducted by either player at any time. “Events”—both good and bad—will also occur at random intervals to add a bit of chaos and uncertainty to each player’s perfect plan.

There is a lot to like about the system and its playability. The cards are what you rely on to take actions and if you do not wisely manage those cards, you may not have the card you need, such as a fire or advance, when you need it! Some would complain that this is randomness and doesn’t belong in a strategy game but I disagree. I have never been in the service nor had to participate in a battle, but I can only imagine that there is chaos. This chaos changes all of the best laid battle plans and there are certain factors that contribute to that chaos, such as running out of ammo, your guns jamming, being pinned down by a sniper or having your units morale drop leaving them hugging the ground and keeping their heads down, that make battle difficult. The cards represent this part of the chaos and is a genius addition to the game. I also enjoy the way the designer chose to address rolling using the dice printed at the bottom of each order card. This is a very solid way of handling this necessary random determination of combat.

Here is a link to our review for Combat Commander: Europe and you can see that I was very passionate about it from the beginning: https://theplayersaid.com/2016/05/17/i-was-already-playing-combat-commander-before-it-was-even-invented-a-preview-of-combat-commander-europe-by-gmt-games/

If you are interested in Combat Commander: Europe 5th Printing you can pre-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-928-combat-commander-europe-5th-printing.aspx

8. Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs 2nd Printing from GMT Games

We played this one last year and it is a very solid game with lots of ability to play with various multiplayer sets. In fact, we played this for the first time as a 4-player experience and then had a large 8-player game set up for WBC until the pandemic cancelled that plan. The cards are well done and the system is both interesting, fast playing and a bit crunchy, as we all know that most tank games are. We really liked this one and would definitely give this one high marks.

From the game page, we read the following:

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

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

If you are interested in Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs 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: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-929-tank-duel-enemy-in-the-crosshairs-2nd-printing.aspx

9. Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition 8th Printing from GMT Games

One of our first ever experiences with GMT Games, which led to Combat Commander and then Churchill. This game is a very tense back and forth tug of war style game that uses cards and their events to influence the leaning of various countries throughout the world during the Cold War. This game is excellent and should be played by everyone, whether you like historical games or not.

Plus this is the 8th Printing, which should tell you something about how good it is if it has lasted this long.

From the game page, we read the following:

This Deluxe Edition of Twilight Struggle seeks to capture the feeling of  that earlier era. Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States. Using the card-driven game mechanics pioneered in such award winning games as We the People and Hannibal: Rome vs. CarthageTwilight Struggle recreates the conflict between the most powerful nation states the world has ever known. The scope of the game covers the entire world as it was found in 1945.  Players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower. As with GMT’s other card-driven games, decision-making is a challenge; how to best use one’s cards and units given consistently limited resources? Twilight Struggle‘s Event cards add cover a vast array of historical happenings, from the Berlin Airlift, to the Vietnam War and the U.S. peace movement, to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This Deluxe Edition of Twilight Struggle marries world-class components, with the sort of world-class game play for which GMT is already known.  We cannot think of a better way to commemorate this vital piece of world history. 

If you are interested in Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition 8th Printing you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $49.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-927-twilight-struggle-deluxe-edition-8th-printing.aspx

10. 2nd Edition Update Kit for The U.S. Civil War from GMT Games

I own and have played The U.S. Civil War once. And it was with a non-wargamer and we had a good time. I have since wanted to get it back out and play with Alexander but just have not had the time. This game is very good and is another well designed game by Mark Simonitch. This offering simply will update your 1st Printing copy with the updated rules and charts.

From the game page, we read the following:

This item will update your 1st printing of The US Civil War with rules and charts that have been updated for the 2nd printing. specifically, this kit includes: Basic Rulebook (36 pages)Advanced Naval Rulebook (16 pages)2 (identical) Player Aid Cards (11×17″)1 x Union Setup Card (8.5×11″, 2-sided)1 x Confederate Setup Card (8.5×11″, 2-sided) 

If you are interested in 2nd Edition Update Kit for The U.S. Civil War you can pre-order a copy on the P500 game page for $17.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-932-the-us-civil-war-2nd-edition-update-kit.aspx

11. 1979: Revolution in Iran from The Dietz Foundation Currently on Kickstarter

Dan Bullock is a designer that will take on any topic, no matter how obscure or difficult, and will turn it into a playable simulation that is not only interesting but will teach you something about history and help your paradigm in its shifting. So is the case with his newest game called 1979: Revolution in Iran. This card driven wargame deals with the history of Iran, starting with Mossadegh’s appointment as Prime Minister, continuing through his removal in a US/UK-backed coup to the years of control by the Shah of Iran and culminating in the uprisings of 1979 which resulted in the Shah’s removal and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini to power.

From the Kickstarter page, we read the following:

As a card-driven game (CDG), players take turns playing cards from their hand.  These cards let the players take actions (based on the number printed on the card) or they can be used to trigger real-life events which helped shape the Iranian political and social landscape.

There are two aspects of 1979: Revolution in Iran which make it different than many other CDG about events of the Cold War era:

First is that the two players are not the typical Cold War sides, Americans vs. Soviets.  They are not the focal point of the game. Instead, 1979: Iran in Revolution pushes them to the periphery.  Instead, the two players represent Iranian royalists and reformers.  They will work with and manipulate all of the factions which played key roles in shaping modern Iran–they are all here.

Second, 1979: Iran in Revolution offers a new twist on its mechanics for players already familiar with card-driven games. Rather than be dealt a hand, the cards are placed on the table between the players and the cards for the next turn are drafted into their hands instead. There will be few surprises since the players will know what cards are in play for the turn.  When picking cards, players will have to decide whether to take an advantageous card or select a card to deny an opponent a specific event.

The other interesting thing about this one is that publishers is a not-for-profit organization that has greater ends in mind than just the price of games and profit. The Dietz Foundation is the only non-profit game publisher in the world.

By helping the game get printed, you’re saving us a ton of money–and the money saved will go to help with education in a number of ways–it may be book and game donations, it can go to helping teachers learn how to use non-traditional teaching methods (the blog has examples), and eventually, the goal is to begin endowing scholarships for students wishing to become teachers.  We want to make a difference–and we can do that with games.

So not only is the game an interesting looking experience with some novel ways of dealing with the card driven game mechanic, your purchase will help in other ways.

We were able to post an interview on the blog with the designer Dan Bullock getting a look inside the game and its mechanics. You can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/04/15/interview-with-dan-bullock-designer-of-1979-revolution-in-iran-from-the-dietz-foundation-currently-on-kickstarter/

If you are interested in 1979: Revolution in Iran you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1032467202/1979-revolution-in-iran

As of May 1st, the project is funded and has raised $17,337 toward the $8,900 goal from 261 backers. The campaign will end on Wednesday, May 5th at 10:57am EDT.

12. Napoléon 1815 from Shakos Coming to Kickstarter May 5th

A few months ago, we were contacted by Shakos, which is a smaller but growing French publisher. They wanted us to take a look at their upcoming Kickstarter for Saladin and Border States and we posted interviews and a preview video. Through the experience, we also played Napoléon 1807 and we liked the system so much that it found its way onto our Top 10 Wargames of 2020 lists.

They now are moving ahead with the next game in their Conquerors Series called Napoléon 1815. In general the ruleset is exactly the same as Napoléon 1806/1807 except for the following:

1. 3 player Variant : The main addition to the game. In this version, on coalition side, one player will play the anglo-allied, the the other one the Prussian. During the initiative phase, each Coalition player will draw a card to determine who will be the “leader” of the coalition during this turn. The leader will decide who will play a stack for this turn, the Anglo-allied or Prussian, and who will benefit from certain events. The two players can’t communicate, share or exchange cards except thanks to a specific event card. Playtests feedbacks are very very good for this variant, and it is very frustrating sometimes to have to stick with the decision of your partner!

2. Invasion Cards : The game will use invasion cards. The French player will decide when he will invade Belgium. Players will have a limited number of cards till the French enter Belgium, and the coalition player(s) will have movement restrictions. So the French can plan when and where they want to enter Belgium and to really start the campaign. It is a very good way as well to make the campaign game replayable.

3. Fortified Farm : We couldn’t avoid these! You suffer -2 fatigue to the results of combat thanks to the fortified farm AND there is a one-shot reinforced marker on them, the Coalition player can use to avoid a retreat if they lose a battle there.

The highlights of the design also include 5 scenarios such as Waterloo, Ligny – Quatre Bras, The central position, Waterloo historical campaign, Waterloo free setup campaign, various specific events directly linked to the campaign, like Cambronne, and exclusive new art for each of the cards made by Ulrich Stahl.

If you are interested in Napoléon 1815, as of May 5th you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shakos/napoleon-1815-when-the-game-meets-history

13. Against the Odds Magazine Annual 2011 – Beyond Waterloo The Deluxe Reprint Coming to Kickstarter Soon

Against the Odds Magazine will be running a Kickstarter campaign to reprint the 2011 Annual which contained Beyond Waterloo designed by John Prados and Lembit Tohver near the 200th anniversary of Napoleons death. The reprint will include updated rules, an expanded map, more counters and upgraded quality cards and additional expanded scenarios. Due to some being concerned about Kickstarter, Against the Odds is allowing the game to be pre-ordered on their website up until the Kickstarter.

From the game page, we read the following:

Beyond Waterloo is a two-player strategic level simulation of the Napoleonic Campaign of 1815. Players take the sides of France or its opponents, a coalition of Allies. In its long form the game opens with Napoleon’s arrival at Paris following his return from Elba. It encompasses his efforts to restore France to a war footing, the Allies’ struggle to revive their anti-French coalition, and the military operations that ensue. Beyond Waterloo is played on a mapboard that includes France plus relevant portions of the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Where most games on this period focus in on the famous Battle of Waterloo, Beyond Waterloo takes in the full scope of the politico-military possibilities inherent in the 1815 situation. The Allies must re-defeat Napoleon. The French must avoid that outcome.

The game has somewhat of a different focus as you just read where the game starts with Napoleon returning from Elba. This provides real opportunity for players to explore some alternative history.

The game involves military, economic, and diplomatic paths, and totally new design elements. Because of the complexity and “newness” of many approaches, the game offers a layered approach, beginning by teaching players a new way of having combat that is both strategic and nuanced for the era. And yes, you can fight “just the Battle of Waterloo” if you wish! At the next level of instruction, we get to the “Basic game.” (Yes, when have you seen “phase 2” in complexity called “the Basic Game?” ) Here the players begin to deal with strategic issues, economics, administration systems, and other factors scarcely deal with in any game, much less one on the 100 Days. As players work up to the Advanced Game, they include diplomacy, force mobilizations, politics, and how each of these impacts and molds grand strategy.

If you are interested in Against the Odds Magazine 2011 Annual – Beyond Waterloo The Deluxe Reprint you can go ahead and pre-order a copy of the magazine without waiting for the Kickstarter from the game page on the Against the Odds Magazine website at the following link: https://www.atomagazine.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=174

Here is a link to the Kickstarter page which became live as of May 4th: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/waybeyondwaterloo2/beyond-waterloo-2-revised-and-expanded-reprint?ref=3atkxg

14. Campaigns of Ozz from Fastplay Wargames Coming to Kickstarter May 7th

Mark this one up as unusual and not the normal game that we cover. But, it does look interesting. Campaigns of Ozz is designed by Peter Schutze and developed by Bill Molyneaux (Bloody Mohawk and Savage Frontier from Lock n’ Load Publishing) and makes a wargame out of the cute and cuddly races of the Land of Oz(z added for copyright purposes).

From the game page, we read the following:

Campaigns of Ozz is the strategic board wargame companion to the Wars of Ozz miniatures game. Campaigns of Ozz recreates the battles and campaigns for the control of the post apocalyptic Land of Ozz. Players control the armies of the four main nationalities of Ozz including Munchkins, Quadlings, Winkies and Gillkins plus a wide variety of mercenary units. While Campaigns of Ozz is designed to be played as a stand alone board wargame, it is fully compatible with the Wars of Ozz miniatures game system by John “Buck” Surdu and the Old Glory miniatures figure line. This is not your parents land of Ozz but rather a much darker and more dangerous land where the threat of invasion and conquest is ever present. This is reflected in the wide range of historical battles and campaigns included which chart the blood soaked recent history of Ozz.

The game includes many different types of units including flying monkeys, witches, ostrich cavalry, pumpkin men, scarecrow infantry and many more. If you like something different and a bit lighthearted, you might want to check this one out.

Here is a look at an unboxing video on the game from Chris Schutze:

You can check out Campaigns of Ozz on the Adventure Game Source website, which is the printer for the game, at the following link: https://www.adventuregamesource.com/product-page/campaigns-of-ozz

Look for the Kickstarter information once it is shared and I will update this post once that Kickstarter link is available.

15. St-Lô Normandy 1944: The Breakout Begins from Compass Games

Things have been a bit quite on the Compass Games front for new pre-orders lately but I found this one on the last day or so before I finished this post. St-Lô Normandy 1944: The Breakout Begins is a classic wargame that is being revived and looks very interesting.

From the game page, we read the following:

This is Joseph Balkoski’s design from West End Games brought up to date with new rules and MUCH improved artwork. Players have 5 infantry divisions to work with, improved Victory Conditions favoring the Americans (the original game was not as balanced as it should have been) and an updated order-of-battle. Joseph is the retired Historian of the 29th Infantry Division which is the key Allied unit in the game – he literally wrote the book on its history in Normandy during World War II. The Germans have a Luftwaffe Division as well as regular infantry. See what it is like running 5 Divisions in World War II and that is the real charm to the game. Joseph is also the designer of The Korean War: June 1950 – May 1951 from Compass Games.

This appears to be a HEAVY GAME with the mounted board and one needs to carefully open the game map. St. Lô marks the return of a true wargaming classic by Joseph Balkoski. St. Lô simulates the key town where the Allies would break out from the Normandy beachhead and was first published in 1986.

If you are interested in St-Lô Normandy 1944: The Breakout Begins you can pre-order a copy for $59.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/joseph-balkoski-st-lo/

16. Hollow Legions 3rd Edition from Multi-Man Publishing

This one is a BIG wargame. Lots of stuff in that box and the price reflects that. It is also ASL, which I have been told is a lifestyle. This is not a complete game though and you have to own the Advanced Squad Leader Game System to use this module.

From the game page, we read the following:

This updated version of HOLLOW LEGIONS includes the complete contents of the original (the entire Italian order of battle and Italian Chapter H—now updated, two desert boards, and eight scenarios), plus all the scenarios, boards, rules, and Desert parts from the now-superseded WEST OF ALAMEIN, plus Soldiers of the Negus, and 29 out-of-print scenarios.

Additionally, HOLLOW LEGIONS now includes the rules and scenarios from Soldiers of the Negus, originally published by our friends at ELR that expands the Italian theater to East Africa and the Second Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935-36. This was Mussolini’s war of aggression to conquer Ethiopia (Abyssinia) from Emperor Haile Selassie’s largely tribal armies and is widely seen as a precursor to WWII. A full complement of counters for both Ethiopian and Eritrean (allied with Italy) forces is included.

If you are interested in Hollow Legions 3rd Edition you can pre-order a copy for $129.00 from the Multi-Man Publishing website at the following link: https://mmpgamers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_4&products_id=324

New Release

1. Our God Was My Shield: Jackson’s Valley Campaign from Hollandspiele

Hollandspiele always makes the most interesting games, and they even make really good wargames as well. This month I noticed that they have a new title called Our God Was My Shield from designer John Theissen that focuses on Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Valley Camapaign.

From the game page, we read the following:

Our God Was My Shield is the first game in John Theissen’s American Civil War Operational Series (ACWOS). This series of streamlined card-assisted operational sandboxes builds on Mr. Theissen’s work in titles such as More Aggressive Attitudes, Objective Shreveport, and Hood’s Last Gamble. Those games had slightly different and not entirely compatible rulesets – each one needed to be learned from scratch. But titles in the new ACWOS share a common core ruleset: learn one game, and you’ll know how to play the rest of them. This ruleset is flexible enough to allow each game to have its own geographic and temporal scale and Combat Results Table, as well as special event cards unique to that campaign.

I love series, especially when they share a common ruleset and simply add chrome to address the unique elements of the title battle or campaign. But this game has some really interesting elements to its gameplay that cause for some tension and a lot of maneuver and evasion. As mentioned, the game focuses on Jackson’s famous 1862 Valley Campaign, which saw him eluding and harassing three Union armies through a combination of boldness and deception. That campaign seems to be the perfect choice to model this new system with its emphasis on maneuver, bluff, and nerve.

Specific units and their strengths are hidden from your opponent as you perform a tense dance of cat-and-mouse maneuvers. When you attack your opponent, there’s always a chance they might slip away – or, they might be able to concentrate additional forces, turning what you thought would be an easy victory into a near-run thing, especially if your own forces fail to coordinate. Knowing when to attack and when to hold back, when to run and when to make a stand, are paramount, and as ever, subject to the fortunes of war.

This one looks very interesting and I am definitely looking forward to playing it.

Here is a link to a video produced by Hollandpsiele and voiced by Amabel that shows the concepts behind the game as well as an overview of the Operational Games of John Theissen:

If you are interested in Our God War My Shield: Jackson’s Valley Campaign you can order a copy for $50.00 from the Hollandspiele website at the following link: https://hollandspiele.com/products/our-god-was-my-shield

2. Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 DELUXE EDITION – 2nd Printing from Compass Games

Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 is widely regarded by many as the definitive game on the Spanish Civil War. I have not played it but it does look intriguing for sure. The game just came off of a successful Kickstarter where they are giving the game the deluxe treatment and they are ready to send it out to backers and offer it for sale at retail.

From the game page, we read the following:

Crusade and Revolution pulls together enjoyment, playability and historical simulation. It uses the traditional card-driven system, adapting it to the specific circumstances of the Spanish Civil War.

Each player has his own deck of strategic cards, which are the heart of the game, and must make difficult choices on their use through-out the game. Each card has four possible uses, but only one of them can be chosen each time the card is played! The possibilities are:

Recreate a Historical Event: Each card shows a historical event that affected the course of the war. They include political, military, economic and even social events, as well as the reinforcements that flowed to both sides through-out the war both from within Spain, and from foreign powers Germany, Italy and Russia.

Conduct Operations: Each card has an operations value that is used for activating units on the game map for movement, preparing fortifications, or attacking.

Strategic Redeployment (SR) of Troops: Each card has a Strategic Redeployment value that is used to move units great distances on the game map, or to bring units out of Reserve to shore up a threatened flank.

Replacement Points for Reforming Your Army: Each card has a Replacement Point value which is recorded and used for repairing damaged or rebuilding destroyed units at the end of the turn.

The greater impact the historical event of a card has on the game, the greater its Operations, SR and Replacements value. As such, a player is often faced with a dilemma while playing each card: use an important event, launch an offensive in a vulnerable zone, move units from one front to other, or accumulate replacements to recover from losses? Combine this with “Combat cards” that bring tactical benefits, and a player faces has a myriad of choices with each and every card.

Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 Deluxe Edition is being updated with a mounted map board, new components and some minor updates. The game is based on Ted Raicer’s Paths of Glory. Each player takes command of one of the sides in the struggle, either the Nationalists or Republicans, and looks after all the aspects that involve a war: mobilization, recruitment, movement of troops, offensives, construction of defenses, etc. There are also historical events that must be taken into consideration, such happenings as the foreign military aid, international policy, change of Republican Government, etc.

During the Kickstarter, we were able to get an interview posted on the blog with the designer David Gómez Relloso and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/04/05/interview-with-david-gomez-relloso-designer-of-crusade-and-revolution-the-spanish-civil-war-1936-1939-deluxe-edition-from-compass-games-currently-on-kickstarter/

If you are interested in Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 DELUXE EDITION – 2nd Printing you can order a copy for $109.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/crusade-and-revolution-the-spanish-civil-war-1936-1939-deluxe-edition/

3. NATO: The Cold War Goes Hot Designer Signature Edition from Compass Games

As you know, Cold War games going hot are all the rage…and all the cool kids want to play them, design them and publish them. Seriously there have been at least 6-8 of these type of World War III games over the past couple of years.

NATO: The Cold War Goes Hot Designer Signature Edition is not necessarily a new one, as it was originally designed in the 1980’s but it is being revived.

From the game page, we read the following:

NATO, Designer Signature Edition marks the return of a true wargaming classic by Bruce Maxwell. NATO simulates a potential NATO/Warsaw Pact conflict in Central Europe during the Cold War years of the 1980’s. First published in 1983, this game was Victory Games best-selling title, purchased by over 75,000 gamers worldwide. This new edition is based on an exhaustive two-year study by the Designer of the records that have come to light since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The game combines highly accurate information on the forces the Warsaw Pact actually had with now de-classified reports from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency regarding what satellite surveillance and HUMINT revealed about their actual plans. The map has also been extensively updated with new satellite geography. Finally, the game system has been reworked to better reflect the fluid, fast paced and deadly nature of modern warfare, while retaining the original intention of simple and intuitive play. Here is the ultimate Cold War game, remastered, and playable in a single sitting.

NATO is a division/brigade level simulation of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. The game map depicts the area from Denmark to the Swiss Alps, and from France to Poland.  The time frame covers the first 14 days of war, after which one side or the other has usually run out of an army. The game offers four different Scenarios, covering 1) a surprise attack from a standing start, 2) an attempt by the WP to quietly prepare without tipping NATO off beforehand, 3) an extended buildup of forces by both sides before war breaks out, and 4) an introductory scenario covering the invasion of Denmark.

The game also is getting a face lift with the Designer Signature Edition, which means new components as well as updates to rules, known errata and some new things as well.

This Designer Signature edition of the classic Bruce Maxwell game has been upgraded with new units, new scenarios, new terrain, new tables and new player aid cards. Additional enhancements introduced in this edition include:

Super-sized components feature 9/16” counters and two game maps with larger hexes

Game map information has been updated and includes all-new map artwork

New units have been added, unit information has been updated and all units produced with new artwork

Existing scenarios have been updated and two new scenarios added

Orders of Battle are provided for all Scenarios both 1983 and 1988, allowing players to see the impact of the Reagan Era rearmament programs

The game system has been redesigned and the new rules include extensive illustrations, examples of play and Designer’s Notes to aid clarity

Each rules section now begins with a summary, allowing experienced players to skip many rules sections that embody classic game mechanics they already know

Rules details and restriction have been summarized graphically in Player Aids for faster reference and easier play

Enhanced ergonomics are provided for Scenario set up and Reinforcement charts

A new set of Designer’s Notes contain a wealth of historical information on what the West discovered after the Warsaw Pact collapsed and most of its members joined NATO.

If you are interested in NATO: The Cold War Goes Hot Designer Signature Edition you can order a copy for $65.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/nato-designer-signature-edition/

4. A Kingly Fight: The Battle of Bouvines, July 27, 1214 from High Flying Dice Games

Another very interesting looking game is new this month from High Flying Dice Games called A Kingly Fight: The Battle of Bouvines. This game is set following the Third Crusade as things in Europe were becoming unsettled.

From the game page, we read the following:

Following the Third Crusade tensions among the monarchs of Western Europe was at a new high. Otto IV, King of Portugal and newly crowned Holy Roman Emperor was facing revolt in the German provinces, many of whom were actively supported by the French King, Philip II, The Emperor had also garnered the enmity of Pope Innocent III soon after he was crowned when Otto claimed the Kingdom of Sicily, which he then attacked in 1209, which caused the Pope to excommunicate him. English King John, was also involved with a growing conflict with the French, who were steadily taking lands along the border with Normandy. Indeed, John had only recently assumed the thrown following the death of his older brother, Richard (the Lionhearted) during a siege to retake one of the castles the French had captured earlier while the English king was on crusade. Tensions boiled over to outright war when the Pope authorized King Philip to launch a crusade against the upstart Holy Roman Emperor and his allies. The Battle of Bouvines, fought near the city of Tournai, was one of the largest ever fought in the Medieval period, and its outcome would affect the course of history for centuries.

If you are interested in A Kingly Fight: The Battle of Bouvines, July 27, 1214 you can order a copy for $15.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link: http://www.hfdgames.com/bouvines.html

5. Hood Strikes North: The Tennessee Campaign 1864 from Multi-Man Publishing

You know a series is good when it has reached its 12th volume. The newest game being shipped from Multi-Man Publishing is a classic American Civil War struggle in the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War Series called Hoods Strikes North.

From the game page, we read the following:

Hood Strikes North is the latest design in the award-winning Great Campaigns of the American Civil War (GCACW) series. It depicts the desperate offensive undertaken by General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee in November 1864 through central Tennessee in an effort to capture Union-held Nashville. Union forces defending the critical Nashville-Chattanooga corridor, led by Maj. Gen. George Thomas (“The Rock of Chickamauga”), were initially scattered and ill-prepared to meet Hood’s thrust. But under Thomas’ prudent and patient leadership, the Rebels were stopped at the gates of Nashville and then thoroughly defeated by a Union offensive in mid-December. 

Hood Strikes North will include a single map, two countersheets, and limited special rules, thereby making it a highly suitable game for newcomers to the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series. The game is designed by Joe Balkoski (the original GCACW series creator), Chris Withers, and Ed Beach. Based on mid-19th century Tennessee county maps, the game map will adhere to the high graphic standards of its predecessors, with map design executed by artist Charlie Kibler—whose work on the series dates back to its creation in 1992.

Hood Strikes North will use the latest version of the GCACW Standard Basic Game Rules that all other games in the series use. After more than a quarter of a century of refinement, these rules are extremely well organized and relatively easy to learn, even for series newcomers. The Advanced Game rules will cover situations specifically applicable to the November – December 1864 timeframe.Hood Strikes North includes eight Basic Game scenarios and one Advanced Game campaign, all extensively playtested

A single map is always welcome to me as we simply do not have the room, nor the table space to place much more. And even though it is a smaller game footprint wise, it still is a large and involved game that gives you the feeling of eating some satisfying steak

If you are interested in Hood Strikes North: The Tennessee Campaign 1863 you can order a copy for $100.00 from the Multi-Man Publishing website at the following link: : https://mmpgamers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=92

Another big month. In fact, the month that had the most games so far in 2021 and I think that there were others that I could have added but I always have to put a stop somewhere. Please let me know if you know of any games out there that I missed. Enjoy your gaming!