It has been a hot minute since I wrote one of these Wargame Watch posts. In fact, the last one posted on the blog was in June 2021. The reason for my short hiatus has been a job change, started in my new position in July 2021 and really have become adjusted to it over the past few months, but also because I was feeling a bit of burnout being the only one in our duo doing any of the written content. But, over the past few months I have gotten back to doing somewhat regular content with at least 3-4 posts per week and I felt like I wanted to get some of these new games a bit more coverage.
With that being said, I was able to find a total of 10 games, with 5 pre-order games and 5 new release games to share this month with 4 of those being on Kickstarter.
War for America: The American Revolution 1775-1782 from Compass Games Currently on Kickstarter
I personally am very interested in the American Revolutionary War and it is one of my most favorite historical periods to game. If you didn’t know, last year I started a feature on the blog ranking the games on the American Revolution that I have played. When I heard of a new game on the subject I was immediately interested and did my homework to find out what Gilbert Collins was designing. But frankly, they had me at American Revolution. Another excellent looking offering from Gilbert Collins is War for America.
From the game page, we read the following:
War for America is a strategic game game based on the events during the American Revolution. It is a 2 player game that shows how the conflict, which began as a ‘civil war’ turned into a World conflict with a Great Britain that was greatly isolated. It features a new ‘Action Pulse’ and ‘Initiative System’ that keeps every turn of variable length and new.
This one attempts to approach the conflict from a bit of a different perspective as you will read.
The game is played at the Grand Strategic level and each strength point equals 1,000 men or less. Players will assemble forces to seize control of colonies and regions. When French recognition is achieved, during 1778, an entire new dimension is added to the conflict. France, Spain and the Netherlands will bring fleets into the waters of North America and the Caribbean, challenging Britain’s mastery of the seas.
The game utilizes the popular ‘point to point’ movement system but more carefully modelling the geography of North America. This is done by enhancing the movement of armies along the important water shed basins. Armies are not destroyed in single combat as many past games have shown, but will demonstrate realistic casualty figures with prevalent retreat and disruption results.
War for America attempts to show the conflict from the British perspective and how a ‘rebellion’ turned into a World War. Great Britain is alone, without allies, but the Colonies don’t have it easy either. Despite their inexperience and individual identities, they must come together to create and maintain a Continental army. This is a ‘large game’ but also contains a shorter scenario starting in 1778, taking about half the time to play.
We posted an interview with Gilbert on our blog covering the game in July 2020 and you can read that interview at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2020/07/28/interview-with-gilbert-collins-designer-of-war-for-america-from-compass-games/
If you are interested in War for America, you can pre-order a copy from the Kickstarter game page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/compassgames/war-for-america
As of March 1st, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $15,125 toward its $2,500 funding goal with 166 backers. The campaign will conclude on Wednesday, March 2nd at 9:00am EST.
1944 D-Day to the Rhine from Worthington Publishing Currently on Kicktarter
Dan Fournie is a designer that has come on the scene and created several very interesting games including 1944 Battle of the Bulge, 414 BC Siege of Syracuse and now 1944 D-Day to the Rhine among many other modules and expansions for existing games and systems. We played and enjoyed very much his 1944 Battle of the Bulge in early 2021 and now their is a follow-up game currently on Kickstarter that takes that same system, which is based on the HoldFast Series, to the Allied advance on Berlin. 1944 D-Day to the Rhine follows WWII on the Western Front from June of 1944 until March of 1945.
From the game page we read the following:
As the German player, you will set your defenses to meet the Allied landings. As the Allied player you will land and try to break out and drive across France as quickly as possible. Can you cross the Rhine and break through the West Wall before Christmas?
One of the most interesting parts of the game is the custom dice that are very hard to hit with but that mimic some of the challenges of the time in battles between tanks and infantry. The game also includes variable objectives that are picked before the game begins that create a sense of tension as neither player truly knows his opponents objectives before the game begins.
We posted an interview with Dan on our blog covering the game in February and you can read that interview at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2022/02/14/interview-with-dan-fournie-designer-of-1944-d-day-to-the-rhine-from-worthington-publishing-currently-on-kickstarter/
If you are interested in 1944 D-Day to the Rhine, you can pre-order a copy from the Kickstarter game page at the following link: : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1040417273/d-day-to-the-rhine-1944?ref=7lbbds
As of March 1st, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $37,856 toward its $1,944 funding goal with 358 backers. The campaign will conclude on Saturday, March 5th at 4:00pm EST.
Downfall of Empires and Downfall of the Third Reich from doit games Currently on Kickstarter
Several months ago, we were contacted by doit games from Barcelona, Spain about a new series of introductory level wargames that they were designing and would be releasing on Kickstarter on February 28, 2022. One of the games was covering World War I (Downfall of Empires) while the other covers World War II (Downfall of the Third Reich). The series is called the Downfall Series and is designed by Victor Catalá.
The games are intended to act as introductory wargames as we read from the game page:
Downfall of Empires and Downfall of the Third Reich are two strategic standalone games that cover the First and Second World War.
The designer, Victor Catala, has prioritized the following features:
Easy to learn, difficult to master: Short rules that can be read in 15 or 20 mins.
Moderate play time: about 3-4 hours per game in one session.
Multiplayer: 2,3 (4) players.
But that doesn’t mean that the games are basic but they do incorporate such things as technology development and players have to make tough decisions about how to use their minimal number of actions each turn.
We posted interviews with Victor covering Downfall of Empires and Downfall of the Third Reich and you can read those interviews at the following links:
If you are interested in Downfall of Empires and Downfall of the Third Reich, you can pre-order a copy from the Kickstarter game page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doitgames-downfalls/downfall-the-wargames-series/?ref=kicktraq
As of March 1st, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $23,537 toward its $8,916 funding goal with 196 backers. The campaign will conclude on Sunday, March 20th at 3:56am EDT.
Cuius Regio: The Thirty Years War from GMT Games
We have been collaborating with Francisco Gradaille a bit over the past year as we have posted interviews for his first published design Plantagenet: Cousins War for England, 1459-1485 as well as some game design and scenario articles. He now has placed his newest game on the P500 at GMT Games called Cuius Regio: The Thirty Years War.
From the game page, we read the following:
Cuius Regio explores the operational military aspects of the pivotal period in European history called The Thirty Years War and focuses on the maneuvers and battles that shook Europe for three decades.
The Thirty Years War unfolded in four main phases: the Bohemian Revolt from 1618 to 1625, the Danish intervention from 1625 to 1630, the Swedish intervention from 1630 to 1635, and the French intervention from 1635 to 1648. It concluded with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which finally established a new status quo in Europe, the concept of the sovereignty of states, and shifted the focus of continental politics from southern Europe to the northern states.
The game is an operational scale game and contains all the grandeur you would expect on such an interesting and compelling conflict.
For two players, Cuius Regio is played on an operational-strategic scale. Each turn covers one year, and each hex is approximately nine miles across. Infantry and Cavalry strength points represent approximately 1000 men each, and an Artillery strength point is approximately five guns. Each leader has a Leadership Rating that affects how many troops he can lead and his effectiveness as a leader. Players maneuver their leaders and their armies around Central Europe, conquering cities, engaging in battles, gathering supplies, and preparing armies for yearly campaigns to gain control of the cities of the Holy Roman Empire.
The game includes scenarios covering the Bohemian Revolt, the Danish intervention, the Swedish intervention, the French intervention, and a Thirty Years War campaign of 31 turns lasting from 1618 to 1648. Each scenario has a unique character, and the game can be played in as little as an hour and a half (for a short scenario) or can be a multi-session game for the full campaign.
The turns are divided into two seasons (summer and winter), and each turn has a variable duration that depends on the number of armies activated. In addition, armies can conduct operations several times but become less effective as they accumulate fatigue during each action.
Combat is an integrated system for field battles and sieges and is resolved by a die roll, modified by each army’s leadership, composition, and condition, on a simple Battle Results Table.
If you are interested in Cuius Regio, you can pre-order a copy from the P500 game page for $45.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-971-cuius-regio-the-thirty-years-war.aspx
The Third World War, Designer Signature Edition from Compass Games
With what is going on in the news recently, World War III continues to be a theme that wargamers cannot get enough of. One of the best regarded games on the subject has a new Designer Signature Edition from Compass Games called The Third World War designed by Frank Chadwick.
From the game page, we read the following:
The Third World War, Designer Signature Edition, marks one of the largest and ambitious game undertakings to date covering not one but FOUR true wargaming classics by Frank Chadwick, faithfully remastered and updated with this all-new, deluxe edition. Hailed by many as one of the finest and playable game series covering the NATO and Warsaw Pact, Third World War brings together all four games of the series into one, comprehensive package for all to enjoy.
This edition of The Third World War features many new enhancements and larger counters and is another Classic Reborn! by Compass.
The complete Third World War game series is included which is comprised of the following four games:
Third World War (subtitled Battle for Germany) is a game of the struggle for central Europe by the forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
Southern Front: Race for the Turkish Straits adds Bulgaria and Romania, reinforced with three Soviet armies and special-capability forces, face Greece, Turkey, and Yugoslavia, thinly reinforced with a few elite units from the U.S., France, and Italy.
Arctic Front: Battle for Norway covers the Soviet Leningrad Front, with its special airborne, amphibious, and arctic-equipped contingents, assault of Norway, reinforced with a few elite units from the U.S., Britain, Canada, and other NATO nations.
Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East includes a special “game within a game, covering the diplomatic, political, and military maneuvers by the Soviet Union and the United States in the Middle East before – and leading to – the general outbreak of the Third World War.
If you are interested in The Third World War, Designer Signature Edition you can order a copy for $175.00 from the Compass Games website at the following link: https://www.compassgames.com/product/the-third-world-war-designer-signature-edition/
Depths of Courage 9: Attack on Alexandria Harbor, December 29, 1941 from High Flying Dice Games
Little fast playing solitaire games on interesting and undergamed subjects are always welcome at my table. The Depths of Courage Series from High Flying Dice Games is such a series and finally has a new offering available.
From the game page we read the following:
Depths of Courage Volume 9 Attack on Alexandria Harbor is a solitaire game on the Italian mini-sub attack on Alexandria Harbor. The active player takes on the role of the commanders of the three, two-man crew S.L.C. (Siluro Lenta Corsa) Maiale (Pig) class mini-submarines. You must endeavor to overcome the Allied defenses and night-time visibility to inflict as much damage as possible before being killed, captured or escaping.
If you are interested in Depths of Courage Volume 9 Attack on Alexandria Harbor, December 29, 1941 you can order a copy for $9.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link: https://www.hfdgames.com/alex.html
Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh from GMT Games
Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh is the eighth installment of the Great Battles of the American Civil War (GBACW) series, which is an amazing accomplishment in this day of new systems and new games grabbing most of the attention. Under GMT, the GBACW rules system has remained stable, but at the same time has shown remarkable flexibility to allow each game to smoothly incorporate additional rules to reflect the specific elements of the historical battles that make each battle so unique. The series relies on interactive chit-pull mechanics to simulate the often chaotic nature of the 19th Century battlefield at the regimental level.
From the game page we read the following:
Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh includes ten scenarios. They range from division level contests on half sized maps to two-map battles depicting both the first and second day of the struggle. Experienced players will be able to play many of the scenarios in one sitting. The game reflects the Confederate surprise, the “greenness” of many units on both sides, as well as the unique role Albert Sidney Johnston played in the Confederate attack.
This one is a big game as it does include 1,120 counters and two huge 22″ x 34″ double sided maps. This game does have a new designer on the project but is supported by a veteran developer and co-designer in Bill Byrne who did such a good job on the Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah project.
If you are interested in Great Battles of the American Civil War Volume VIII Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh you can order a copy for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-855-into-the-woods-the-battle-of-shiloh.aspx
Plains Indian Wars from GMT Games
I have become familiar with the designer John Poniske and have really enjoyed several of his designs, most recently having played Bleeding Kansas from Decision Games. John is a very thoughtful designer who does his research and truly focuses on lesser known bits of history to help us all expand our minds. He has done several designs on the great Native American Nations and has now turned his focus to the conflict created with the expanding United States and settlers pushed in Native territory to carve out homesteads. I find this topic fascinating and have grown to love playing games on the American Indian Wars.
Plains Indian Wars takes a look at this clash of cultures and series of conflicts by breaking the conflict down into it most basic elements: A settler surge via long snaking wagon trains, the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, east and west, and the cavalry sent to protect them all. At the same time, Plains Indian Wars seeks to offer the Native-American player the opportunity to unite earlier, hold their own and perhaps even prevent European-American success. THe game is designed to be played by 1-4 players, but is best played as a two-player game. Game play averages 60-90 minutes.
The board centers on the Great American Plains between the Mississippi River in the east and the Rockies in the west, the Canadian border to the north and Mexican border in the south. The Northern and Southern Enemies are each defending 5 purple regions, The NPT and SPT are defending 12 regions each. Separating the NPT and SPT is the planned route for the Transcontinental Railroad. US Completion (linking the two lines) ends the game and earns the US player a bonus. The Indian player earns a bonus if this is prevented.
The game is not quite card driven but does use cards to drive the action with each of the major factions holding a hand of three cards. The 60 cards included represent a selection of leaders and events connected with the Plains Wars. There are two types of cards: War Party/Engagement/Migration cards tell players how many cubes may be drawn from the reserve box and placed in respective home areas and how far the cubes may move. Text cards allow for special circumstances and may act as reaction or endurance cards. There is only one play immediately card reflecting George Armstrong Custer’s hubris – its play could be positive for the Cavalry player but more often than not ends in disaster.
We posted an interview with the designer John Poniske on the blog in September 2017 and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2017/09/05/interview-with-john-poniske-designer-of-plains-indian-wars-from-gmt-games/
We also did a video review of the game after playing a prototype and you can watch that video here:
Finally, we shot a How to Play video that you can watch here:
If you are interested in ordering a copy of Plains Indian Wars, you can follow this link to the game page on the GMT Games website where it is listed for $65.00: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-654-plains-indian-wars.aspx
Salerno ’43 from GMT Games
We have played several of Mark Simonitch’s games and frankly when I see his name on a box I simply know it will be good. We loved Holland ’44 and Stalingrad ’42 and this new game uses the same ZOC Bond system that was made famous initially in Normandy ’44. In fact, Salerno ’43 uses the exact same map, unit, and time scales as Normandy ’44, providing an excellent way to compare these two invasions. Salerno ’43 also uses a modified Normandy ’44 game system but with a smaller size, the game will be easier to learn and play than its predecessor.
Salerno ‘43 is a regiment/brigade-level game on the Allied invasion of mainland Italy in September 1943. Two British and two American divisions land in the Bay of Salerno defended by the full strength 16th Panzer Division, which is soon reinforced by five other German mechanized divisions. For 8 days the survival of the beachhead is in doubt, and emergency measures are taken to reinforce the beachhead with the 82nd Airborne Division. With their counter-attack stopped and the British Eighth Army approaching from the south, the Germans withdraw their left flank to avoid being trapped. However, their right flank stubbornly holds back the British from pushing north to Naples.
The best and most interesting part about this one is that there are plans are to make this the first in a 3-part series that takes the U.S. 5th Army to Cassino and Rome. Here is a look at the linked maps from the game page:
We posted an interview with the designer Mark Simonitch on the blog in May 2021 and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/05/17/interview-with-mark-simonitch-designer-of-salerno-43-from-gmt-games/
If you are interested in Salerno ’43, you can order a copy for $42.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-868-salerno-43.aspx
Feels good to be doing this feature again as I just love scouring the interwebs looking for great games. Let me know what new pre-order and new release games you know about that are out there that I missed.