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In praise of BGG wargame reviewers.
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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I enjoy reading reviews. Reviews of movies, books, music…and of wargames. The first thing I always do on BGG is check the game reviews. I don’t care if it’s a review of a game I own, used to own, have never owned or never will own, there is still a good chance I will read it. Sometimes I may disagree with a reviewer but I can accept an opinion that differs from mine and appreciate that the reviewer perceives the game differently.

BGG is lucky to have a large number of fine wargame reviewers. Many of the reviews are very well written considering that few, if any, of these people are professional writers. Sure, there are some who put more into it than others but they all perform a valuable service to the wargame community, allowing a potential game buyer to make an informed decision.

Why do they do it? I can assure you that it isn’t for the GeekGold. I suppose it’s for the love of the game or love of the hobby. Perhaps we’ll get them to tell us why in their own words. It would also be interesting to hear from them which of their reviews they like best and even their reviews they like the least, and why. I’m hoping these guys won’t be shy.

Of course there is the very occasional gushing 'fanboy' review, full of Hosannas and Hallelujahs, which I usually ignore. The reviews I like the least are of the apologetic type. The reviewer has problems with a popular game but immediately gives the impression that perhaps the problem is with him and not the game. If a reviewer has an unpopular opinion of a popular game, he should just state his opinion in a well-reasoned manner. The game’s fans won’t appreciate the negative opinion any more with or without the apology.

But I have no intention of featuring or even mentioning any reviews I don't like. I come to praise reviewers, not to bury them.

I’m listing people who have written three or more wargame reviews. The reviews I am featuring are not necessarily their best or the most thumbed. Rather, they represent what I like best about the particular reviewer.

What you, dear reader, can do:
1. Add a reviewer(s) with three or more reviews that I missed.
2. Add a reviewer with fewer than three reviews that you particularly like.
3. Add a favorite game specific review(s).
4. Add a review that persuaded you to buy a game.
5. Add a comment to my brief description of what you like about a particular reviewer.

In short, anything at all about wargame reviews or reviewers is appropriate and appreciated.

What isn't included in this list:
1. Fantasy and science fiction games. I feel they need their own list.
2. Foreign (to me) language reviews. Another category that needs it's own list.
3. Video reviews. Also need their own list.

Note: If you have written three or more wargame reviews and I inadvertently missed you, I apologize. I'm sure someone will correct my oversight or you can either add yourself or contact me and I will give you proper recognition.

UPDATE: All reviewers are now listed in alphabetical order by their username. Below is a list of all 232 reviewers. This list will be updated as new reviewers are added.

Page 1:
Adam Parker, ADM Mako, adorablerocket, airjudden, Alan Paull, alexisW, alsandor, aluredpopple, Amnese, AnimalMother, atsgamer, Aussie550, BagpipeDan, Basilius, baymonkey, BeatGuy, bentlarsen, Bivoj, Black Knight, blockhead, Bloodybucket, bluekingzog, bolter, Boots01, BROG.
Page 2:
buffmeister, castiglione, catosulla, charlescab, cheirisophus, Chris_Milne, cillmhor, Cleitus the Black, cfarrell, citizen k, cmontgo2, Commish, coyotelaughs, cratex, Dampenon, da pyrate, Darksan, dcooley, Derek999950, Dieroll Honker, Don Smith, dougielb, dracorex, duckweed, DukeofChutney.
Page 3:
DUMASCLUB, durchske, Dweeb, ehung, eker, elijah234, EndersGame, ericmwalters, fjordi, FlashPan, FNH1, foulksy, fusag, GameWhore, Gangrel, Garfink, garysax, gberry, general hoth, GeneSteeler, GeorgeHa, gertbert, gittes, goldenboat.
Page 4:
Gorgoneion, GreyLord, GROGnad, grognard, grouchysmurf, Gryfon, gvchief, Harae, Haring, Harkonnen13, haroldun,hezkezl, hohenlohe, Howitzer_120mm, hposner, Ibn_ul_khattab, isaacc, Itmurnau, jamesmckane, jcurtis55, jdakapluto, Jeff Schulte, jholen, jiminy, J.L.Robert.
Page 5:
Jim Marshall, jmlima, joe1013, JoeSteadman, johnbeapirate, John GL, JohnnyD, johnny5, jonbryon, jonocop, jormungandr, jrtracy, _Kael_, keethrax, kduke, kentreuber, Kingdaddy, Kodos666, Kozure, Kuhrusty, L4D2, Lawrence Hung, leroy43, LewisKenyon22, liberor13.
Page 6:
loquitur, luca marcolunga, Mad Archeologist, malacandra, mantooth012, marnaudo, marticabre, masaakunokouchi, MattDP, MaxVertigo, medievalbanquet, medlinke, MichaelLavoie, mickmick, mi_de, Mirsik, mkirschenbaum, mkozlows, Modoc, moly19, monkeyrobot, moonglum01, mozart827, mrbeankc, mrivera.
Page 7:
msouzafon, mtagge, mummykitty, mvonahnen, Myrdin T Sasnak, Natus, Neil Thomson, Neopeius, nicktaruffi, nicky longbranch, No Expectations, nomad001, normsmith, oneilljgf, ostrichjo, pacman88k, Panzer, papahoth, paulus22, perfalbion, Peso Pete, Pete Atack, petegs, pete belli, Philipp Klarmann, polate.
Page 8:
powwowdancer, pvi99th, radsailor, Raiyfe, rajungamer, RayGuns, Rob Doupe, Robert Lloyd, robvollman, rsjrev, rules_heretic, Russ G., Sandy Petersen, SatanicEssence, Scotty Dave, Silverwings, SimGuy, soltan gris, sos1, Sphere, Spielemitkinder, Sprydle, stampdog316, Steve Carey.
Page 9:
StevenE, stove, swandive78, sxmpxr, taragalinas, Teamski, TeufelHund, The Maverick, T-Mo, tomster, TomVasal, TracerBullet, voynix, Walt Mulder, wandererdog, wargamer55, wargamer66, WatchmanX2000, weishaupt, whac3, wifwendell, Wilhammer, WindowsMEXP, wrgplayer, wryone.
Page 10:
Wulf Corbett, XanderF, Xookliba, zautman, zeotter, zerosum, zuludawn, zzzz.

Over time, I plan to add a list to each reviewer's entry of all the wargames they have reviewed. I hope to keep it updated.
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26. Board Game: Jena 20 [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2602]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Iain
England
Elegantly Wasted
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Alumini of Dogwarts University - Double First : Engineering for Dogs
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Seven reviews, three are of wargames. Shorter reviews with a nice overview.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/362572/quick-review-of-j...
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27. Board Game: Origins of World War I [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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castiglione
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Very prolific with 37 reviews. Not all are wargames. Shorter, concise reviews but still descriptive. I especially like the featured review but others are equally good.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/79019/history-lesson-in-...
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28. Board Game: Field Commander: Rommel [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1229]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Tim Parker
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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With 43 reviews, all wargames, Tim is another prolific reviewer. The historical periods covered run the gamut from Ancients to modern and include land, sea and air games. Few reviewers are that all-inclusive.

The reviews are very well done and very informative, and include Tim's pros and cons. If it is a game you are interested in buying, Tim's reviews are a must-read. Also fun to read even if you have no interest in buying the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/321776/being-erwin-romme...
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29. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:140]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
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Seven reviews, mostly wargames. Shorter, but still descriptive reviews. Very well done.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/688452/a-few-acres-of-sn...
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30. Board Game: 1918 [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:7285]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Chris Salander
United States
San Jose
California
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Four wargame reviews. A couple are shorter reviews. I enjoyed the featured review of a game I was always planning to buy back in the day but never did.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/512283/review-of-1918-by...
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31. Board Game: Streets of Stalingrad (third edition) [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:2711]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Chris Milne
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Herts
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Four wargame reviews. What Chris describes as 'brief' and 'capsule' reviews seem much more detailed than many others I have read. Good reviews.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/162801/brief-review
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32. Board Game: Blood & Sand [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Alasdair Campbell
Scotland
Isle of Skye
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Alasdair writes a very good review. He describes components, rules and gameplay and provides his conclusions in a clear and concise manner.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/841175/a-reluctant-concl...

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33. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:120]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Andrew C
United States
San Marcos
California
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Twenty-one very well written and well-received reviews with a lot of insight into the games. Also, they are a pleasure to read.

Andrew's review of ASL seems definitive. Not that I have any personal knowledge about the game but I’m sure it pleased all of the ASL ‘freaks’.

I’m kidding!!!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/386060/an-attempt-to-des...

Wargame Reviews:
Lost Battles - Fifth Column Games
Advanced Squad Leader -AH
Command & Colors: Ancients - GMT
Iron Tide: Panzers in the Ardennes - Pacific Rim
Prussia's Defiant Stand - Worthington
Corps Command: Totensonntag - Lock 'N Load Publishing
Friedrich - Histogame/Rio Grande
Hammer of the Scots - Columbia
Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 - MMP
Combat Commander: Europe - GMT
Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge - AH
Bitter Woods (fourth edition) - L2
Clash of Giants II - GMT
Stalingrad Pocket (2nd edition) - The Gamers/MMP
Napoleon at Eylau - 3W
Proud Monster: The Barbarossa Campaign - XTR
Glory II: Across the Rappahannock - GMT
War Without Mercy - CoA
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34. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:145]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Chris Farrell
United States
Cupertino
California
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Currently 21 reviews, Chris also maintains a blog called Illuminating Games. The blog contains ‘Chris' thoughts, rants, and essays on the world of gaming ‘

Not all of his reviews are of wargames but enough are to qualify him for this list. His reviews are of newer games.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/741116/sekigahara

Wargame reviews:
Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan - GMT
Nightfighter - GMT
Waterloo - Phalanx/Mayfair
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35. Board Game: Spartacus [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:3788]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Iain K
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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Ten reviews, many are of wargames. Great reviews with some depth. The featured review was very well-received and generated a lot of discussion.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/386868/a-carthaginians-g...
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36. Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:2298]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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So far, Chris has written nine reviews, all wargames.

Here, Chris wrote an even-handed negative review. Usually this is met with vitriol by fans of the game. Instead, it produced an intelligent discussion of the pros and cons of Chris's review and the game which included the game's designer.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/432997/a-negative-review...

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37. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1202]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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D Bryant
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Four very thorough wargame reviews. The featured review was especially well done and well-received.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/209438/mmps-fire-in-the-...
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38. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:256]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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I somehow missed Dan the first time around but I'm happy to include him now. He clearly states upfront that his are reviews and not rulebook overviews. And that is exactly what he delivers. Very good reviews

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/515874/a-review-not-a-ru...
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39. Board Game: Panzer '44 [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:7526]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Steven Bucey
United States
Lancaster
Ohio
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Six reviews to date. Some reviews are shorter. In the featured review, Steven presented very good detail. His conclusions and the reasons for them were well presented.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/311083/panzer-44-a-game-...
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Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Dampenon Fabien
France
Paris
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Three wargame reviews. Dampenon writes a concise analysis with components, game system and a conclusion. Very well done.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/624378/my-dream-game
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41. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:561]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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At 233 (!) reviews, David is certainly one of the most prolific reviewers on BGG. It’s taken me a few minutes to post this so he probably has a couple more up by now.

His taste in games runs the gamut and many are wargames. He always delivers a very solid, informative review. Also, he reviews a very nice mix of newer and older games.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/482232/tense-torrid-terr...

Wargame reviews:
Alma - SPI
The Battle of the Alma - GDW
Ikusa - AH
Berlin '45: The Nightmare Ends - XTR
Napoleon on the Danube - NES
Victory in Normandy - XTR
Poland '39: The Nightmare Begins - XTR
Bull Run - AH
Glory - GMT
Sun of York - GMT
A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 - MMP
Grand Imperialism - Gametime Games
War at Sea - Three reviews of Jedko, AH and L2 editions
Warlords: China in Disarray, 1916-1950 - Panther Games
Russian Civil War 1918-1922 - Two reviews of SPI and Decision editions
Operation Typhoon: Barbarossa Denied - L2
Fury in the East - MMP
The Tide at Sunrise: The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 - MMP
To the Green Fields Beyond - SPI/Decision
Bloody Kasserine - GDW
Rossyia 1917 - Azure Wish Enterprises
Battle Over Britain - TSR
Napoleon at Waterloo - SPI
France 1944: The Allied Crusade in Europe - Victory Games
World War I - SPI
Blue Max - GDW
Beda Fomm - Two reviews of GDW and Consim Press editions
Battle of the Bulge - AH
Paul Koenig's D-Day: The Canadian Beach - VPG
Caesar XL - VPG
When Eagles Fight - XTR
Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921 - GMT
Grand Illusion: The 1914 Campaign in the West - GMT
Dark December - OSG
The Caucasus Campaign: The Russo-German War in the Caucasus, 1942 - GMT
The Russian Campaign - Two reviews of AH and L2 edition
Decision in France - Rhino Games
Desert War -AH
Air Bridge to Victory - GMT
Kasserine - GMT
Victory in the West - GMT
Hundred Days Battle - OSG/AH
Arcola: The Battle for Italy, 1796 - OSG/AH
Waterloo - AH
Angola - MMP
Marengo: Napoleon in Italy, June 14,1800 - SPI
Napoleon's Last Battles - SPI
Napoleon's Last Battles/Ligny - (Two reviews)
Napoleon's Last Battles/Quatre Bras - SPI (Two reviews)
Napoleon's Last Battles/Wavre - SPI
Napoleon's Last Battles/La Belle Alliance - SPI
Napoleon at War - SPI
Napoleon's Art of War: Eylau and Dresden - SPI
Wellington - GMT
Napoleon's Battles - AH
Napoleon's Battles: Module 2 - AH
Napoleon at Waterloo:Advanced Game Expansion Kit - SPI
Hell's Highway - Victory Games
Wooden Ships & Iron Men - AH
Russia Besieged - L2
The Desert Fox - SPI
The Russian Campaign: Southern Expansion Kit - L2
The Legend Begins - Rhino Games
Frederick the Great - SPI/AH
The Last Days of the Grande Armee - OSG
Rommel in North Afrika: The War in the Desert 1941-1942 - West End
Panzergruppe Guderian - SPI
Tet Offensive - GDW
Hitler's Last Gamble: The Battle of the Bulge - 3W
Blitzkrieg - AH
War of 1812 - Columbia
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 - AH/Columbia
English Civil War - Ariel
Thunder at Cassino - AH
Air Assault on Crete/Invasion of Malta 1942 - AH
The Drive on Metz (Second edition) - VPG/GMT
Operation Mercury - GMT
Modern Naval Battles - 3W
Naval War - AH
Fortress Europa - AH
Reds & Whites - Warp Spawn Games
Knights of the Air - AH
8th Army - Attactix Adventure Games
Empires at Arms - AH
Flat Top - AH
Lightning: Midway June 4th to June 6th, 1942 - Decision/DVG
The Barbarians - Yaquinto
Drive on Stalingrad - SPI/TSR
South Mountain - West End
War Between the States - SPI
Cromwell - SDC
Rise and Decline of the Third Reich - AH
Red Sun Rising - SPI
Phase Line Smash - GDW
Hue - SDC/Mayfair
Pacific War - Victory Games
The African Campaign - Jedko
Reich: The Iron Dream of German Unification - Chaosium
Caesar's Legions - AH
Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series - Nova Games
Conquistador - SPI/AH
Anzio -AH
Eylau: Napoleon's Winter Battle, 1807 - GDW
Hitler's War - AH
Kasserine Pass - Conflict/GDW
Cobra - SPI/TSR
Basic Training - Jedko
Machiavelli - AH
Bitter Victory - BSO Games
1776 AH
Major Battles and Campaigns of General George S. Patton - Research Games/Waddington
Fury in the West - AH
Leningrad - SPI/Decision
Emperor of China - Dynamic Games
RAF -West End
Age of Napoleon - Mayfair/Phalanx
Victory in the Pacific - AH
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42. Board Game: Roads to Leningrad [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1952]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Skip Franklin
United States
Oklahoma City
OK
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Three wargame reviews. Shorter, concise reviews. Good coverage.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/22745/user-review
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43. Board Game: Nightfighter [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:2224]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Doug Cooley
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Me rocking out with my band, which you can hear at www.raindriver.com
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Four wargame reviews. Doug writes some longer, in depth reviews with good insights.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/672292/first-impressions...
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44. Board Game: Korsun Pocket [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:4573]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Derek Gillam
United Kingdom
Bridgwater
Somerset
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Three wargame reviews. Shorter reviews but concise.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/621414/korsun-pocket
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45. Board Game: FAB: The Bulge [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:865]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Jon Gautier

Rhinebeck
New York
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Ten wargame reviews. Jon writes a very in-depth review. Very well done with lots of information plus his impressions.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/171882/another-bulge-gam...
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46. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:1067]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Don Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Don just submitted his third wargame review and now qualifies for this list.

Don reviews games that he really likes and does a good job of explaining why he is so enthusiastic. Read his reviews and catch the joy!

/thread/1050836/one-of-the-finest-wargames-of-all-time
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47. Board Game: Wacht am Rhein [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:3385]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Dougie LB
Wales
Bridgend
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One of the new kids on the block and very prolific. Five reviews in less than 60 days! But what I especially like is Dougie's enthusiasm for 35 year-old SPI monster games as witnessed in the featured review.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1018102/a-small-review-o...
 
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48. Board Game: Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1279]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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James Miller
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Four wargame reviews. Very well written and very well-received reviews. James puts some work into his reviews.

In this review, James compares Hellenes to Athens & Sparta

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/458789/hellenes-and-athe...

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49. Board Game: Drive on Moscow [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:5095]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Mark Mokszycki
United States
Snohomish
Washington
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Mark has done 18 reviews and a few of those games desperately needed to be reviewed. Several of his reviews are very solid overviews of the games. They give you enough information to make an informed decision about the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/269472/drive-on-moscow-a...

Wargame reviews:
Drive on Moscow - Decision
The Old Contemptibles - Decision
Crusader - The Gamers
Peter the Great - 3W
Panzer Grenadier: Semper Fi! Guadalcanal - Avalanche
Singapore - TSR
Drive on Stalingrad - Decision
Red God of War: The Soviet Operation Mars, 1942 - Avalanche
Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 - CoA
War Galley - GMT
L' Armee du Nord - CoA
Blood on the Snow: The Battle of Suomussalmi - Avalanche
Moscow Burning: The Next Russian Civil War - XTR
Shogun Triumphant - GMT
Chinese Farm - SPI
Yarmuk - XTR
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50. Board Game: Samurai Battles [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:2395]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Simon DeSmet
United Kingdom
Leeds
North Yorkshire
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The featured review is Simon's third wargame review and is very well done. He describes the components and the system and draws his conclusions.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/853166/a-review-focusing...
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