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Wargames On Your Table - April 2012
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Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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April in Paris...
Kaiser is laughing...
His troops are relaxing under the trees.

(OK, I'm reaching here -- a (bad) wargame-based spoof of the old Johnny Mercer song).)

It's that time again: April! What wargames are you playing? Who are you playing with? If it is ongoing, how is the game going? How did you enjoy it? Inquiring minds want to know!

Now to promote some Geeklists:

Looking for an online opponent? Is there a game you really want to play but can't find an opponent? Go to the
VASSAL/Cyberboard/SKYPE request list.

Help the BGG Database of Wargames:
Check out this Geeklist and look through the list of war games that do not have a review. If you are willing and able, pick one out and get it on the table if need be, or write a review for it

Help a traveling wargamer:
Know a good store that sells wargames? Add it to the War Games FLGS Directory, so when others are there, they can support the store.

To subscribe to this list, go here.
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1. Board Game: Scratch One Flat Top [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:5381]
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Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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I have this one set up on the table for my solo play. It has a short solo scenario. I'm hoping that like last month with Asia Engulfed, it can lead to a VASSAL PBEM game. I posted it on the VASSAL request list.
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2. Board Game: Asia Engulfed [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:1248]
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Speaking of Asia Engulfed...
I got on Charles (Tanks A Lot) Facebook VASSAL page and asked about getting a game of this PBEM. So I'm playing with Jordan (jk12559). I really like this one. It's not anywhere near as heavy as Empire of the Sun, but it fits a nice sweet spot for an in-depth PTO game that doesn't require you to stare at the board for an hour before making a play. It's kind of like Pacific Victory on steroids.
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3. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:673]
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Speaking of Empire of the Sun...

Last month, Kevin and I switched sides, so that I could take the Japanese in 1942 and focus on the fundamentals while he showed me what you are SUPPOSED to do with the Allies. After a few turns, I had the gist of it, so we switched back.

So here we are, early 1942: The Dutch East Indies fell early in 1942, but he set out to focus on that. Thanks to a break in Europe, FDR sent more units my way, and I was able to lock down the Australian Mandates and New Guinea. He quickly took out the Philippines and Malaya, taking advantage of a flub in how I placed my HQs. I laid down quite a force in Burma, but he has his sights set on Rangoon and North India.

The game is clicking with me now. This thing is really a beauty. I study each move harder in this game than any 3 games I have ever played (put together), but it is so rewarding! Also, I've learned a lot from past mistakes and have been a big-time nuisance, which is what the Allies need to be in early '42.

Anybody who knows me, knows Washington's War is my favorite game, but this one is Mark Herman's masterpiece.
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4. Board Game: Julius Caesar [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:439]
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Barteus and I started this last month and after some initial hiccups working out a PBEM system and learning the module, we are off and running. I am Caesar. He is Pompei. This is his first game and my second (I was Pompei last time I played).

Great game. I think it takes a lot more skill to play Pompei, though. I cornered Pompei in Syracuse, won an incredibly lucky naval victory to keep him from pulling a Dunkirk, and then lowered the boom on him.
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5. Board Game: Hold the Line [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1222]
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Barteus and I have been working through scenarios in this one. We are trying out the Hobkirk's Hill scenario. We'll take turns and if we finish it before the end of the month, we'll try Trenton.
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6. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1293]
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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This is the 3rd PBEM game I am playing with Barteus. We play 3 pretty easy games, so it is easy to turn out all 3 plays and kick them out in the same e-mail. We finished up the "So few led by so many" and he worked over my Germans. Now we are trying the "Easy Peasy" scenario and I'm the Americans.
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7. Board Game: Shifting Sands [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1194]
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I am playing 2 games at once, both as the Axis. Lars and I started up game #2 after I hit him with the brutal combo of Code Book Stolen (plays his cards face up), Balkan Campaign (remove 3 divisions and an armor battlegroup), Unternehmen Irak (Iraq Revolts was already in play), and Italian Fleet (for the win). That was his first game. Knowing what to expect from Mr. Rommel, in game 2, he has better secured his Egyptian front, already cleared out East Africa and the cards have not been nearly as kind to me this game.

In my other game with Felipe, we are in early 1941. He got a great roll to take the 2nd fort in East Africa ahead of schedule, so it's time to start harassing Egypt. Mr. Rommel just made his appearance.
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8. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:260]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
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24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
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Will be playing this several times over the next two weeks with multiple opponents.
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9. Board Game: Axis & Allies Europe 1940 [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:619]
 
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Well, we just finished our most recent campaign of A&A 1940 Global, and so, naturally, we are setting the next campaign. Each of the four of us is taking a turn as the Axis against the other three playing the Allies. Dan just finished his turn 'in the box' as the Axis, and it was brutal. He actually beat the historical Axis, holding 4 victory cities at the end of 1945 versus the historical Axis total of 3. Still wasn't enough to win, of course, and he didn't beat my mark of holding 8 VC by the end of my game as the Axis (which also wasn't good enough to win outright as the Axis). A full session report to follow soon.

Next 'in the box' is Jeremy - let's see if the 12 year old can beat three degreed engineers, one with a PE and the other two with MBA's (hint - I wouldn't bet against him - I think he's smarter than all three of us!)

After Jeremy and Rick do their turns as the Axis, we will be moving up to a combined game of Europe Engulfed and Asia Engulfed.
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10. Board Game: Into the Bastards!: First tank battle [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:4288]
Pete
Australia
Fitzroy North
Victoria
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BOOM!
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Just started this.

Edit: Finished with an Allied victory.
Review here.
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11. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:242]
Val Ruza
Canada
Elmira
Ontario
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Last month I started teaching a number of my friends ASL, because friends don't let friends not know how to play ASL. We played the first two scenarios of Starter Kit 1. This month we will complete the last four scenarios and they will all be masters of infantry ready to continue on into Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2 next month!
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12. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:46]
Carsten Bohne
Germany
Duisburg
NRW
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I've got three games going on in parallel, all in the early stages of the war.

#1 - My kind teacher Lars agreed to start a second game, this time with me as the CP. Our first game ended late last month with him finally putting approx. 90% of the Russian army OOS. At least he let me get to turn 9 and enter Total War...

#2 and #3 are both restarts of games with fellow newbies, both with me as the Allies. I'm not as kind a teacher as Lars is - in my defense, I was just too fascinated by the things a few well timed moves can do, winning the first games by setting large portions of a front (the GE army in France/Belgium in one, the AH army in Russia in the other game) OOS. Still feeling kinda cheap for it...
Anyway, we're off to second games now and things go along nicely. In one game we're using the alternative setup (one additional corps each for the Russians and Austria-Hungary to avoid the early Tarnopol encirclement) and there the Russian front has remained quiet. The Germans have won most of Belgium though. I've just gained a little breathing room by way of a high risk attack on Sedan...
In the other game, the CP has left the poor AH army in Tarnopol to their fate, falling back to a maintainable frontline, which has enabled a few early VPs for me in the East.
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13. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:446]
Carsten Bohne
Germany
Duisburg
NRW
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A four player game to help with the desicion of preordering this as it's still in P500, scheduled to ship in the summer.

I'm the Government. After some not too aggressive opening moves, the FARC is in a nice position while the AUC and Cartels are complaining that I should do more against them. As one of my PoG opponents has noted: 'If they're complaining you must be doing something right.'

...and lookie here, the AUC has just now begun to join the fight against the FARC...

I must say that I'm a bit overwhelmed by this game. It's quite a step from Labyrinth to this one...
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14. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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"Memoir 1980"

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15. Board Game: FAB: Sicily [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:2435]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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Played it one time with wrong rules, however. We played it that Italian morale would virtually never fade so Allies had it really hard to break the lines.

Still lots of fun, though.
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16. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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Two games played by Vassal. TS is a great simple game with lot of tough choices. I love how, during the gameplay, the focus moves from one area to another. Great, great game.
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17. Board Game: Fury in the West [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:4268]
Michael Lavoie
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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This is the next game in my ongoing project to game American Civil War battles on or around their 150th anniversary. I didn't realize until now just how few games I have on Shiloh; other than this, the only treatments of this battle that I own are in Blue & Gray (which I'm not really interested in playing right now) and in Across 5 Aprils, which I've already played recently (for 1st Bull Run and Pea Ridge). There's also Battle Cry, but I wanted something with just a bit more history.

Fortunately, this old J. Stephen Peek design, originally published by Battleline (I have the Avalon Hill edition) is a pretty good game. I haven't played it in at least 20 years, but I remember enjoying it when I did. The emphasis on straggling makes it unique. The anonymous reviewer who covered this game in The Complete Book of Wargaming called the straggler rules "sheer folly!" I rather like the challenge that this poses.
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18. Board Game: FAB: The Bulge [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:876]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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A Vassal game with a fellow war gamer from Qatar.
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19. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:780]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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An introductory FtF game with a fellow war gamer in a local game club.
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20. Board Game: Stonewall in the Valley [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:1703]
Michael Lavoie
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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Another game that I'm looking to play this month. After Shiloh there's a bit of a lull in gameable ACW 150th anniversary battles (at least in my game collection), so I want to get this game on Stonewall Jackson's spring 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign onto the table to whet my ACW appetite. While I don't have room for the full 3-map campaign (either in space or time), I can get in one of the one-map scenarios. It probably won't be close to the actual anniversary of any of the battles, but I'll take any excuse to play a game in this fine series.
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21. Board Game: Texas Glory: 1835-36 [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:2947]
Paul Franklin
United States
Fargo
North Dakota
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I'll be playing this on Thursday night. I'm hoping it meets my expectations.
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22. Board Game: Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:1425]
Volko Ruhnke
United States
Virginia
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Returned to this after a year away from it and still love it. Scripted history and some card effects don't seem to me to evoke their titles. But otherwise what a clean and elegant communication of the strategic story!
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23. Board Game: Rebel Sabers: Civil War Cavalry Battles [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:6574]
Gastel Etswane
Canada
Peterborough
Ontario
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Re-read the rules last month. Playing this month. The dust and mold smell was pretty strong when I opened the box, so I had to air it out for a bit and wipe it down.

Excited.
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24. Board Game: 5th Fleet [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:2224]
Gastel Etswane
Canada
Peterborough
Ontario
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Just opened the box yesterday for a quick re-glance at the rules. Will do a more thorough read through this month and hope it hits the table by the end of the month.

Never played this one past a move or two, so I was thinking of making Memoir '44 type cards for the units with special effects listed. This might make the management of the game simpler.
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25. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Carsten Bohne
Germany
Duisburg
NRW
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Oh, right, there was Twilight Struggle ftf. We kicked things off in March but finished in April.

The US (me) won with an unimpressive 4 points after a 16 point USSR lead halfway through Mid War. It helped a lot that the Mid East and Asia scoring cards weren't included in the Mid War shuffle...

I must admit that the end game lacked real tension as my opponent didn't feel he could do a lot - his position in Asia and the Middle East was good, he didn't have a chance in the Americas and lost the fight in Africa. When he wasn't able to keep Europe as well, it was game over.

To be honest, technically I lost the game in Mid War when I played We Will Bury You at Defcon 2 for a battleground coup attempt while Nuclear Subs was in effect. I was totally fixated on the fact that the coup attempt didn't affect the Defcon Status, so I forgot that my opponent's event degraded Defcon one level... whistle He gracefully let me take that back...
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