I think that this year has been a great good year….I know we have still had some issues in the world, including supply chain problems, war in the Ukraine and inflation, but all that being said, on the wargame front it has been a good year! There seems to be no slow down in the new game department and we have lots of titles still on the way or unplayed on our shelves. But we will be getting to those before too long. Now, we hit 2023 and a fresh start with lots of great looking games incoming. This month, I was able to find a total of 17 games (with one entry accounting for 3 unique games in one), with one of those being offered on Kickstarter and one offered on GameFound.

If you missed the December Wargame Watch, you can you can read that here at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2022/12/01/wargame-watch-whats-new-upcoming-december-2022/


1. Heroic Stand Series – Rorke’s Drift – Men of Harlech, The Alamo – Final Assault and Thermopylae – The Hot Gates from Dan Verssen Games Currently on Kickstarter

Recently, I have seen some interesting looking images for a new series from Dan Verssen Games that deals with various heroic stands throughout history. The Heroic Stand Series of card games utilize hand management and deck depletion to re-create the numerically disparate engagement of each battle. The games can all be played either solo or cooperatively, which is a good thing as versatile games are always welcome. The games all share a similar rules set, with game-specific rules included in each box to tell that story. This allows you to switch from game to game without too much extra rules overhead.

From various sources, I have been able to round up the following information on the three games:

Rorke’s Drift – Men of Harlech – Re-live one of the most remarkable battles in history with Rorke’s Drift – Men of Harlech, another entry in designer Amos Burke’s new Heroic Stand Series from Dan Verssen Games! In 1879, a garrison of 140 British Troops resisted what should have been an overwhelming force of 4,000 formidable Zulu Warriors. Fresh from a Zulu victory against the British in the Battle of Isandhlwana, a new contingent of warriors marched into Northern Natal, to destroy the British outpost at Rorke’s Drift. Despite the Zulu’s dominating numerical superiority, the small British force used their rifles to their best advantage to eventually force the Zulu to withdraw. Can you duplicate the British success? Can you better it? Or will you fall to the unyielding Zulu onslaught?

Thermopylae – The Hot Gates – In Thermopylae, you take Leonidas and his Greek contingent of about 7,000 (300 Spartans accompanied by their Helots and other soldiers from various Greek city-states) and try to hold-off a massive Persian army (which historians number as somewhere between 120,000 to 300,000 strong) at the narrow pass of Thermopylae to give the rest of the Greek city-states enough time to prepare against the impending Persian invasion. The game is a card-game in the new Heroic Stand Series designed by Amos Burke, illustrated by Roch Hercka and published by yer pals at Dan Verssen Games.

The Alamo – Final Assault – Travis. Bowie. Crockett. Names that have since passed from history to legend. The Alamo. A famous last stand elevated to near-mythical status. The thirteen day Battle of the Alamo fueled the fervor of the Texas Revolution against Mexico and defined the identity of the fledgling Republic of Texas. This celebrated battle involved about 300 Texians against somewhere around 2,000 Mexicans at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio. Amos Burke’s third entry into the Heroic Stand Series, The Alamo: Final Assault, lets players recreate the final act in this classic David vs. Goliath struggle.

If you are interested in the Heroic Stand Series from Dan Verssen Games, you can back the project at the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danverssengames/heroic-stand-series

As of January 1st, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $14,442 toward its $20,000 funding goal with 154 backers. The campaign will conclude on Wednesday, January 11th at 2:59pm EST. 

2. December 1972 – Linebacker II: The Historic B-52 Strikes Against North Vietnam from Cadet Games Currently on GameFound

Last summer, I came across this interesting looking wargame from a new company called They Were Soldiers: Battle of the Ia Drang Valley that was heading to Kickstarter at the time. The game was a 2-player turn-based operational level design based on the battle for LZ X-Ray during the larger Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam, 1965. Since that successful campaign, Cadet has designed and completed another successful campaign for a game called Nguyen Hue ’72: The 1972 Easter Offensive in Vietnam. They now are putting a game out there on GameFound called December 1972 – Linebacker II: The Historic B-52 Strikes Against North Vietnam.

From the game page, we read the following:

Our next long-awaited Vietnam-battle title is Linebacker II – the historic B-52 attacks against North Vietnam that brought (temporary) peace and got the American POWs home.  A fascinating air campaign simulation!  134 minis including aircraft, SAMs, AAA – 22×34 campaign map – mission planning, event cards, attack wave layouts, SAM engagement board, airbase cards, rulebook, dice, roundels, chips and more.  This is a game that HAD to be made.

With the 50-year anniversary of the battle coming up, we at Cadet decided now was the time to get this game to the Gamefound crowd and onto game tables everywhere.  There really is no game dedicated to this particular campaign out there – and it’s about time.  Linebacker II is an incredible story – really interesting and important history – and this famous and decisive air campaign deserves to be brought to the tabletop along with the other great air battles of the 20th century.

The basic design features a main aviation chart map that includes a number of target boxes, covering the area involved in the historical campaign.  Players use miniature aircraft, SAMs, AAA batteries, chips and counters to simulate the historical raids, one wave at a time.  The NVA player sets up their air defense, then the US player puts together their raid wave plan layouts indicating how many bombers will attack which targets (and routes, altitudes, TOT, etc.). 

If you are interested in December 1972 – Linebacker II: The Historic B-52 Strikes Against North Vietnam, you can back the project on the GameFound page at the following link: https://gamefound.com/projects/kevin-talley/linebacker-ii?ref=search

As of January 1st, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $5,622 toward its $18,900 funding goal with 67 backers. The campaign will conclude on February 24, 2023 at 3:00am EST. 

3. COIN Series Volume XV: A Fading Star: Insurgency and Piracy in Somalia from GMT Games

A new COIN Series game will always take the headlines with me and get my juices flowing. And this month, there is a new COIN Series game being offered called A Fading Star: Insurgency and Piracy in Somalia. This volume is the 15th in the series, and really looks like it has some really interesting additions to deal with the very specific situation in Somalia and its capital city of Mogadishu. I love it when a designer takes the system in a new direction and adds elements that specifically tell the story of the subject conflict.

From the game page, we read the following:

A Fading Star: Insurgency and Piracy in Somalia is Volume XV of the COIN Series originally designed by Volko Ruhnke. The year is 2007. We reach the climax of several decades of civil war that have ravaged Somalia since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991. An African Union coalition, assisted by the Ethiopian army, enters Mogadishu to support a nascent but corrupt Transitional Federal Government.

They face a relentless and violent insurgency waged by Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, an Islamic group seeking both to expel the “invaders” and to transcend the traditional clan-based government structure of Somalia. In the middle of this power vacuum, minor clans and warlords organize themselves to administrate otherwise ungoverned regions, while others engage in large-scale piracy operations, painting their acts as a fight against foreign trawlers pillaging Somali fishing resources.


  • An updated take on contemporary aspects of insurgency and peacebuilding. The Al-Shabaab insurgent enjoys intelligence supremacy that allows them to conduct deadly out-of-turn ambushes, while facing a slightly less pronounced asymmetrical disadvantage than insurgent factions in previous volumes (due to the comparative weakness of the Transitional Federal Government). On the other hand, the African Union Mission’s logistical, kinetic, and peacebuilding capacities will evolve as contributing countries join or leave the coalition throughout the game.
  • Intense urban warfare is depicted in more detail through the struggle for control of the capital city Mogadishu. Controlling a majority of districts will provide the ruling faction with further legitimacy and enhanced capabilities. However, limited operational effectiveness, mobility restrictions, and the looming threat from a major Al-Shabaab offensive will greatly slow the COIN factions’ progress toward stabilizing the city.
  • A new ‘Clan Struggle’ interphase draws out some of the conflict’s unique uncertainties. All sides bid to forge new alliances with local clans, bringing new blood to the battlefield, while the African Union must deal with the consequences of delayed reinforcements or unilateral withdrawals by member countries, and the Pirate warlords collect lucrative tolls from roads and ports that they control. 
  • A unique piracy subsystem, inspired by the Traveler deck featured in Fred Serval’s A Gest of Robin Hood, debunks the Somali pirate mythos and explores how piracy stakeholders’ interests actually intersected with other local actors during the golden age of Indian Ocean hostage-taking.

Sounds really interesting if you ask me and I cannot wait to learn a bit more about the focus. I plan to reach out to the designer Yann de Villeneuve to do an interview but also possibly get a series of Event Card spoilers going on this one so we can see how the game unfolds while also learning a bit of the history of the game.

If you are interested in A Fading Star: Insurgency and Piracy in Somalia, you can pre-order a copy for $69.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-1021-a-fading-star-insurgency-and-piracy-in-somalia.aspx

4. Imperial Eagles: Air War in the Pacific 1941-43 from GMT Games

My only experience with the Down in Flames Series is our plays of Wild Blue Yonder in 2017. Wild Blue Yonder is an amalgamation of several classic World War II aerial combat games released over the past 20+ years in the Down in Flames Series. Starting with Rise of the Luftwaffe in 1993, followed by Eight Air Force: The Air War over Europe, 1942-1945 in 1995, Zero!: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Air Force in 2001 and Corsairs and Hellcats: WWII Air Combat in the Pacific Theatre, 1942-1945 in 2003 along with a host of other aircraft packs and inserts in C3i Magazine, this series has been beloved for awhile. It is great to see this revered series getting a new game and one that deals with the Pacific Theater of WWII at that.

From the game page, we read the following:

Imperial Eagles returns GMT’s Down in Flames World War II air combat card game system to the Pacific. Volume VI in the series is a stand-alone game in which you can recreate many of the air battles of the first two years of the war between the Japanese and the Western Allies. 65 different aircraft models (19 never before represented in DiF) are depicted with full-color cards, all rated according to the latest research.

As in Wild Blue Yonder, each side uses its own functionally-identical Action card deck to complete Missions lasting multiple turns. Fighters are normally played as Elements of two aircraft. The Leader of each Element has its own hand of cards, played both offensively during your turn and defensively when attacked by an enemy. The second aircraft is a Wingman, supporting the Leader in its attacks and defending the Leader when the Element is engaged. Unlike Leaders, Wingmen draw and play a few cards only when needed for attacking or defending—you’re never sure how effective they will be.

The game also has a solitaire campaign called Special Aviation Project #1 designed by Jerry White which offers players the chance to re-create the Doolittle Raid on Japan while making tough choices both in planning and flying the attack. Quick missions by just one or two B-25B bombers in the raid can also be played, either historically or randomly-generated.

If you are interested in Imperial Eagles: Air War in the Pacific 1941-43, you can pre-order a copy for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-1022-imperial-eagles-air-war-in-the-pacific-1941-43.aspx

5. Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-? 5th Printing from GMT Games

Labyrinth was the third game from GMT Games that I ever played after playing Twilight Struggle and then Wilderness War. At first I was a little bit overwhelmed by the mechanics and keeping it all straight but once it kicked in it became quite addictive and gave me some insight into a conflict that I had seen play-out on the television screen.

Labyrinth is a really interesting game from a mechanical standpoint. The game is a Card Driven Game that uses cards to allow players to take various actions or take the event which is usually very good. The cards are faction aligned and playing your opponent’s card triggers the event for them so the games boils down to how to manage the pain in your hand yet accomplishing goals like removing (or placing if you are the Jihadist) WMD’s or bolstering (or destabilizing) a new government to stabilize a region.

Where the game taught me something new and changed my paradigm was that each faction is completely asymmetrical, meaning that both factions use different actions to achieve their different victory conditions. At first, this was the difficult part in playing the game and playing it well as you really have to learn both sides to be any good. But, this asymmetry was a mechanic that felt really good and that I enjoyed playing immensely. Since 2010 there has been one expansion for the game published (Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010-?) and there is a 2nd expansion in the works that is nearing release (Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-?). A great system that has been very successful and that has changed the way I think about different sides and how they are represented in a wargame. A game that I also will never say no to playing…ever!

From the game page, we read the following:

Labyrinth takes 1 or 2 players inside the Islamist jihad and the global war on terror. With broad scope, ease of play, and a never-ending variety of card combinations similar to GMT Games’s Twilight StruggleLabyrinth portrays both the effort to counter extremist terrorism and the wider ideological struggle—guerilla warfare, regime change, democratization, and more. From the designer of the award winning Wilderness WarLabyrinth combines an emphasis on card-driven game play with multifaceted simulation.

In the 2-player game, one player takes the role of jihadists seeking to exploit world events and Islamic donations to spread fundamentalism. The other as the United States must neutralize terrorist cells while encouraging Muslim reform to cut off extremism at its roots.

Here is a link to a video review of the game in the early days (look at how young those two look):

If you are interested in Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-? 5th Printing, you can pre-order a copy for $55.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-1023-labyrinth-the-war-on-terror-5th-printing.aspx

6. Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, 5th Printing from GMT Games

The Commands and Colors Series is a simplified and introductory wargaming system designed by Richard Borg. The system is fairly simple and uses a deck of Command Cards, which can be classified as Section cards and Tactics cards, that are used to take actions with various groups of units on a hex board that is divided into 3 sections, including the Left, Center and Right. There are also custom Battle Dice that represent hits, retreats and special actions. The units on the field of battle are made up of figures or blocks. The series have volumes representing various different historical periods, including both modern and ancient, and I have found that there is something to like in the series for anyone’s taste. 

I will be honest with you, when we first played Commands and Colors, I was really leaning toward Ancients as my favorite one. But that all changed once we got the grand daddy of them all on the table in Napoleonics. To me, I really enjoy the added layers of depth to this one. It has six expansions for a reason as they have tried to capture the intricacies of each nation and their unique abilities and fighting styles to make for very highly stylized game.

Of all the C&C games this one is on the richer end of the scale, especially as you add in the expansions. The little bits of chrome make the combats more tactical. You can put your infantry into square formation to counter cavalry charges, but that comes with it’s own sub set of limitations. Each nation has their own special ability, and then each of their units have their own characteristics. An example of which are the Spaniards’ Infantry being straight up not as good as others. They roll dice equal to their number of blocks -1 for example. Each faction has strengths and weaknesses which gives you a little more to think about. Again, nothing overwhelming, and nothing you can’t handle but Napoleonics just has that extra richness and detail that brings the game to life and makes each play feel different from the last.

Here is a look at our video review of the game:

If you are interested in Commands & Colors: Napoleonics 5th Printing, you can pre-order a copy for $63.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-976-commands-colors-napoleonics-5th-printing.aspx

7. Traces of War from VUCA Simulations

If you haven’t noticed VUCA Simulations and their fantastic lineup of wargames, then you really need to put your phone/computer down and go check out their great looking games. Well, on 2nd thought you will need your phone/computer to go check out their site so just get off whatever site you are on right now (hopefully either theplayersaid.com or our YouTube Channel) and do it. You will thank me later I promise. We have played several of their games to date with the most recent being Donnerschlag, which is a fantastic low complexity hex and counter wargame that uses cards to activate units and is absolutely stunning to look at.

One of their newest pre-order games was just put up for pre-order on their website and is designed by Tetsuya Nakamura called Traces of War.

From the game page, we read the following:

Traces of War is a two-player game that simulates the intense
fighting between Axis and Soviet forces after the battle of
Kursk during August 1943 to March 1944. A major Soviet offensive is launched against a German mobile defense. Will
the breakthrough be successful?

If you are interested in Traces of War, you can pre-order a copy for $69.00 from the VUCA Simulations website at teh following link: https://vucasims.com/collections/preorder/products/traces-of-war

New Release

1. Siege of Queretaro from The Historical Game Company

We have played a few of the games from The Historical Game Company from designer Steve Kling and they are designed as nice little introductory wargames with low counter density, great looking maps and easy to learn and understand rules. We described them as games you could play with your dad over a holiday or be used to introduce a friend to wargaming. These games are also print on demand and are printed and shipped by Blue Panther LLC once you buy them. They will take about 10 days to get to you.

Their newest releases include an interesting subject on the Juarista siege of Queretaro in 1867.

From the game page, we read the following:

Siege of Queretaro is a low to moderate complexity tactical game on the Juarista siege of Queretaro in 1867. The game takes about 90 minutes to play. One player commands the Juarista forces and the other player commands the Mexican Imperial forces. Cards movement and combat lead to vary in play.

If you are interested in Siege of Queretaro, you can order a boxed copy for $40.00 or folio copy for $35.00 from the Blue Panther LLC website at the following link: https://www.bluepantherllc.com/products/siege-of-queretaro?variant=44065976582314

2. 55 Days at Peking from The Historical Game Company

The 2nd new game being offered this month from The Historical Game Company through their printing partner Blue Panther LLC deals with the Boxer Rebellion and the siege of the Legation compound by the Chinese in Peking in 1900. Similar to the game above, this a simple and easy to learn game with low counter density and easy rules. The other really nice aspect of these little games is they come with a nice canvas map rather than paper. They are nicely folded and placed in the box so they roll out flat and have no permanent creases or bends that cause issue with the counters.

From the game page, we read the following:

55 Days at Peking is a low to moderate complexity tactical game on the Chinese siege of the Legations at Peking in 1900 as a part of the infamous Boxer Rebellion. The game takes about 90 minutes to play. One player commands the Chinese forces and the other player commands the various Allied forces defending the Legations. Cards vary the game play.

If you are interested in 55 Days at Peking, you can order a boxed copy for $40.00 or folio copy for $35.00 from the Blue Panther LLC website at the following link: https://www.bluepantherllc.com/products/55-days-at-peking?variant=44065986969770

3. Land and Freedom: The Spanish Revolution and Civil War from Blue Panther LLC

This past summer, while attending WBC in Pennsylvania, we met and played a game with Alex Knight. He is an aspiring new designer, with a quick mind and rapier wit and he is doing a game that covers the Spanish Revolution and Civil War. The game is called Land and Freedom: The Spanish Revolution and Civil War and will be published by Blue Panther LLC. The game is set to release on January 23rd so be ready to get your copy while they are available.

From the game page, we read the following:

Right-wing Army Generals have rebelled against the Spanish Republic, aided by Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy! To save Spain, three factions – Anarchists, Communists, and Moderates – must put aside their differences and forge an anti-fascist alliance. But can you trust your allies when your agendas are directly opposed?

Every turn, the Fascists will launch attacks on the 4 Fronts and one Front will be particularly tested. Players will be rewarded for their teamwork in repelling those Attacks, but certain strategic defeats can be even more rewarding.

Players choose to play their cards either for the unique Events or add them to their Tableaus, building for more powerful turns in the future. Each player has 2 tracks to maximize, triggering bonuses and potentially earning Medallions which give immediate boosts or permanent upgrades.

One player will always have Initiative, depending on who controls the Government or if the Anarchist Revolution is even more powerful. At the end of every turn, the Initiative player gets to add one of their tokens to the bag of Glory. When each of the 3 years comes to an end, tokens will be drawn from the bag to add to the final score. If the war is won by holding 3 out of 4 Fronts for the Republic, whichever faction has the most Glory will win the game. If the war against the Fascists is lost… 40 years of dictatorship await, with death, imprisonment, or exile the only choices remaining.

If you are interested in Land and Freedom: The Spanish Revolution and Civil War, you can read more about the game on the Blue Panther blog on their website at the following link: https://www.bluepantherllc.com/blogs/news/welcome-to-the-bp-blog

Once I have information on where it can be ordered from, I will post that here.

4. Coral Sea Solitaire: An Original Bookgame from Worthington Publishing

Worthington has published several book wargames over the past year, which have been pretty well received. Their newest effort is called Coral Sea Solitaire: An Original Bookgame and is now available from Amazon.

The naval battle of Coral Sea in May of 1942 was the first carrier battle in naval history. Combat occurred with planes from aircraft carriers for the opposing sides. The involved ships never sighted each other.

At the time of the battle, the Americans were still reeling from Pearl Harbor and Japanese naval control of the Pacific. A Japanese invasion convoy steamed to Port Moresby to expand its control closer to Australia. The Japanese had 3 aircraft carriers against 2 for the Americans. The Japanese would sink the Lexington and damage the Yorktown, while the Americans would sink the Shoho and damage the Shokaku.

The battle was considered a tactical draw, but the Japanese were surprised by their losses and the American tenacity. As a result, the Japanese invasion convoy to Port Moresby was recalled, the first of the war to be stopped and a huge strategic victory for the Americans.

From the game page, we read the following:

Coral Sea Solitaire places you in command of American carriers in the Pacific in May 1942 against an opposing Japanese autonomous player side, referred to as the BOT side. The object of the game for the American player is to earn the victory points of the mission goal BEFORE the Japanese invasion convoy reaches Port Moresby.

You lead the aircraft carriers Lexington and Yorktown as they sortie into the Coral Sea to stop the Japanese invasion that threatens Australia. You must contend with 3 Japanese carriers roaming the Coral Sea determined to finish off the US Navy. The Bookgame contains 4 game sets, and each game set is against a different Japanese carrier strategy. There are 5 distinct missions within each game set for you to win and defeat the Japanese.

This Bookgame contains 4 game sets, and each game set is against a different Japanese carrier strategy. There are 5 distinct missions within each game set for you to win and defeat the Japanese. Making a total of 20 distinct game plays.

You will need to provide two 6-sided dice to play the game.

Coral Sea Solitaire can also be played cooperatively. For example, one player commands the Lexington, and the other commands the Yorktown.

If you are interested in Coral Sea Solitaire: An Original Bookgame, you can order a copy for $27.42 on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Coral-Sea-Solitaire-Original-Bookgames/dp/B0BNZ5TDF8

5. Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa from GMT Games

We have always loved Twilight Struggle for its historical setting and its back and forth tug of war style Card Driven Game mechanics. If you have not played TS, you need to get a copy and sit down because it is a tense 3 hours for sure that is very well done.

Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa is a two-player, stand-alone, card-driven game that builds on the award-winning Twilight Struggle.

From the game page, we read the following:

The year is 1974, and the Soviet Union and the United States have been locked in a life-or-death struggle across the globe. As so often happened during the Cold War, a relatively obscure region of the world suddenly took center stage. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, a bedrock U.S. ally in Africa, had grown old and increasingly dictatorial. In 1974, a group of young Marxist officers staged a coup and took hold of the the reins of power. This revolutionary leadership sparked a chain of events that upset the regional balance of power and unleashed all the familiar elements of Cold War competition in the Horn of Africa.

The game is much faster playing than TS but doesn’t lack for the opportunity for strategic decision making and strategy.

Twilight Struggle: Red Sea asks players to once more answer the summons of the trumpets and bear the burden of a twilight struggle, this time centered around East Africa, the Arabian Gulf, and the vital sea lanes stretching between them. Twilight Struggle: Red Sea is an addition to GMT’s Lunchtime Series and packs deep decision-making into a time frame that allows players to get in a quick game or explore different strategies several times in one session. With a more limited scope and much shorter playtime, Twilight Struggle: Red Sea is the perfect way to introduce new players to the Twilight Struggle system. And yet, this game maintains all the tension, decision making, and theme of the original classic. 

Playdek is also busily working on a digital implementation for Steam so you can look forward to playing this one online as well.

If you are interested in Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa, you can order a copy for $39.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-863-twilight-struggle-red-sea-conflict-in-the-horn-of-africa.aspx

6. Dominant Species: Marine 2nd Printing from GMT Games

We have always loved Dominant Species and when they announced that there would be a new addition to the series with a different focus I was very excited. Dominant Species: Marine, like its predecessor, is a game that models the titanic struggle between species but this time at the end of the last ice age and what that entails for the creatures trying to survive by adapting to changing conditions on the Earth. Players will control the future of one of four of the major species of aquatic-based animals of the time including reptiles, fishes, cephalopods or crustaceans.

Although the game is new, having come out just last year, it has already created such a buzz and sold so well that they decided to do a reprint.

Here is a link to my First Impressions look at the game which has many new features and feels similar but plays faster: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/06/15/first-impressions-dominant-species-marine-from-gmt-games/

If you are expecting this game to be just like Dominant Species, you will be pleased to learn that it is very different in its execution while using the familiar mechanics from the original. Just like any long living organism, the game has adapted and this game makes the system quicker playing without sacrificing what is great about the experience.

Here is a look at our video review of the game:

If you are interested in Dominant Species: Marine 2nd Printing you can order a copy for $85.00 from the P500 game page at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-943-dominant-species-marine-2nd-printing.aspx

7. Nothing to Lose: The Attack on Tan Son Nhut Airbase January 31, 1968 from High Flying Dice Games

Paul Rohrbaugh is a designer I love to follow. He is always doing games on smaller or lesser known conflicts and I just find his work to be superb and really draws me in. He has the ability to take some chances and do games on topics that normally wouldn’t really merit a game but somehow he pulls it off. This month I found Nothing to Lose: The Attack on Tan Son Nhut Airbase, January 31, 1968 and wanted to share the game with you.

From the game page, we read the following:

When the Communist forces of North and South Vietnam launched the 1968 Tet Offensive one component was an attack on the Tan Son Nhut airbase north and west if Saigon. This was the largest airbase in South Vietnam, with its aircraft ferrying men and material from the US, as well as basing combat aircraft that support military operations throughout all the region.

The Communist offensive was supported by the National Liberation Front’s 9th Infantry Division that had recently been rebuilt following extensive losses fighting the US and ARVN (Army of the Republic of [South] Vietnam) by the attachment of the 267th and 269th Main Force Battalions. The assault force would also include sappers attached to the division’s 1st Battalion of the 271st Regiment who were armed with satchel demolition charges used to destroy the base’s aircraft and air control towers, as well as the division’s mortar and rocket artillery batteries. The battle here would usher in a new phase of the Vietnam conflict. Can you do as well or better than your historical counterpart?

Plus the game has the graphic artist skills of Nils Johansson and simply looks fantastic!

If you are interested in Nothing to Lose: The Attack on Tan Son Nhut Airbase January 31, 1968, you can order a copy for $20.95 from the High Flying Dice Games website at the following link: https://www.hfdgames.com/tsn.html

8. The Charge of the 3 Kings: Navas de Tolosa 1212 from NAC Wargames

I was recently contacted by the designer of a very interesting looking game called The Charge of the 3 Kings: Navas de Tolosa 1212 from NAC Wargames. NAC is a Spanish company that is working hard to not only translate popular games into Spanish and Portuguese but to also design original wargames.

From the game page, we read the following:

An epic clash between Christian and Muslim armies with a dynamic impulse-based game system that will delight even the most demanding strategists.

In 1212, Alfonso VIII decided that it was time to take revenge for his defeat at Alarcos a few years earlier at the hands of the Almohads. They had come to the Peninsula from the Maghreb imposing their rule and strict religious norms on the Andalusians with plans to expand Islam into the Christian-held territories. At that time, the Peninsula was divided into fie Christian kingdoms: Castile, Leon, Aragon, Portugal, and Navarre. However, being bound by the same religion did not stop them from fighting amongst themselves, and by no means where they unified nor did they have the same interests. Alfonso VIII of Castile requested the bull of the crusade for his fight against the Almohads, which meant that if he could not get the other Christian kingdoms to participate, he could at least make sure he would not be attacked from behind as he advanced south. The Pope grants this endeavor the status of a crusade, which results in knights and kings from other kingdoms and places in Europe joining Alfonso’s campaign, in addition to his neighbors on the Peninsula.

Each player has 5 formations and a deck of tactical cards and a deck of strategic cards. During his turn, the player will receive tactical and strategic cards and will activate 3 of his formations, each in a different impulse and alternating with his opponent. In each impulse you can play a tactical card, even in the opponent’s impulse if the card is a reaction card. Additionally, during any moment of the turn, the player can play a strategic card.

Another strategic tool that each player has in his hand is the so-called “Command Point”, which also has two aspects: the “Ordinary Command Point”, to be used every turn by rolling the dice, and another of direct use, called “Single Command Point”, of a single use in the whole game and that guarantees automatic success. With this command point you can alter or cancel different situations of the game, such as cards played by the opponent, anticipate the opponent by moving consecutive impulses, cancel the opponent’s command points, avoid own defections, etc.

On each side there are units with heavy and light armor, both on horseback and on foot. The firing table discriminates the effectiveness according to the armor of the target, the weapon (crossbows, bows), the distance and whether the firing unit is mounted or not. Reaction shots are possible in the face of opponent’s attacks.

Cavalry charges and possible reaction charges are also represented and we can find identified different types of units with specific rules, such as spearmen, black guards, religious fanatics, military orders, ultramontane crusaders, azgaz archers, etc.

If you are interested in The Charge of the 3 Kings: Navas de Tolosa 1212, you can order a copy for $64.99 from the NAC Wargames website at the following link: https://nacwargames.com/shop/index.php?id_product=22&rewrite=charge-trhee-kings&controller=product

Thanks for reading along this month. I am very excited about a lot of these games and really look forward to playing them. Please let me know if you know of a new pre-order game, Kickstarter or new release that I missed.