In praise of BGG wargame reviewers.
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
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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1. Board Game: Normandy '44 [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:1390]
Board Game: Normandy '44
Steven Goodknecht
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Adam Parker
Australia
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Great game design makes the complex simple, replayability maximum, and abstraction credible.
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Twenty-seven reviews, mostly of wargames. Adam writes a very good review that touches all the bases and he has hit several home runs. The featured review is a good example.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/574036/no-deception-meas...
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2. Board Game: Flat Top [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1849]
Board Game: Flat Top
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Mike Charves
United States
Olive Branch
Mississippi
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Six wargame reviews. Mike writes a good shorter overview.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/5072/user-review
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3. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:1839] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles
Steven Goodknecht
United States
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Illinois
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Seven reviews, four wargames. Shorter reviews with the emphasis on Matt's opinions and impressions of the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/728641/band-of-brothers-...
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4. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:542]
Board Game: Washington's War
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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With 25 reviews currently, Judd has certainly been prolific. A nice mix of older and newer games and even a couple of obscure games.

Oh, and in addition to the Revolutionary War, I think he's also a sports fan.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/523589/updating-and-impr...

Wargame reviews:
Judd has provided a list of his wargame reviews below and with links.
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5. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2731] [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Alan Paull
United Kingdom
HUNTINGDON
Cambridgeshire
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Thirteen reviews, a few are wargames. Alan touches all the bases in his reviews. Nicely done and informative.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/467544/pocket-battles-hi...
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6. Board Game: Russian Front [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:2438]
Board Game: Russian Front
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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alex w
Singapore
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Other than writing 21 pretty good reviews (mostly wargames) to date, Alex keeps a fairly low profile on BGG. I think he deserves some attention so I’m going to shine a light on him.

He writes a very competent and informative review. I hope to read more by him in the future.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/642982/tell-me-about-the...

Wargame reviews:
Stratak Wars: Der Auftatk/The Beginning - STRATAK Strategie
Omaha Beachhead - Victory Games
Target: Leningrad - VPG
Borodino 20 - VPG
Strange Defeat: The Fall of France, 1940 - Avalanche
Test of Fire: Bull Run 1861 - Mayfair
Russian Front - AH
The Kaiser's Pirates - GMT
Advanced Squad Leader - AH
Pickett's Charge - Yaquinto
Field Command: Singapore 1942 - Worldforge (Three reviews)

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7. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:8590]
Board Game: Lincoln's War
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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So far, twelve reviews. Michael lays the game out in sections, includes some pictures and delivers an informative review.

The showcased review here is of a game not yet published. Michael is a playtester.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/701472/marching-on-towar...
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8. Board Game: 7th Fleet [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:3329]
Board Game: 7th Fleet
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Matthew Lohse
United States
San Francisco
California
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Very prolific with 57 reviews, all wargames. Matthew writes a shorter review. A heavy bias for naval wargames.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/514796/probably-my-favor...
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9. Board Game: Bonaparte at Marengo [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1548]
Board Game: Bonaparte at Marengo
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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NSW
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Six reviews, four are of wargames. Well done, well organized reviews. Nathan lays it all out in good fashion.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/138183/some-insight-for-...

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10. Board Game: Texas Glory: 1835-36 [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:5100]
From gallery of riks
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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John Griffey
United States
Houston
Texas
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Four wargame reviews. Yet another reviewer who keeps a low profile on BGG. J.Griffey's reviews are shorter and they mostly impart impressions of the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/362533/texas-glory-1835-...
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11. Board Game: Nations at War: White Star Rising [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:3701]
Board Game: Nations at War: White Star Rising
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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A.T. Selvaggio
United States
Webster
New York
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A.T. Selvaggio writes a very solid review laying out his pros and cons of the game nicely. He presents the reader with all the information needed to make an informed decision about whether or not the game is one they would purchase.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/639566/the-goldilocks-of...
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12. Board Game: JENA! [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:7741]
Board Game: JENA!
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Magister Ludi
Australia
Fremantle
Western Australia
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Six wargame reviews so far. Covers some lesser-known games. Good coverage, informative, fun and entertaining to read. What more do you need?

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/577949/you-say-gina-i-sa...

Wargame reviews:
Africa Orientale - 3W
The Road to Vicksburg: The Battle of Champion Hill - TSR
Jena! - CoA
Operation Grenade - SPI
South Africa - SPI
Dien Bien Phu - Critical Hit
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13. Board Game: Wings of War: The Dawn of World War II [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1918]
Board Game: Wings of War: The Dawn of World War II
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
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Five reviews, three are of wargames. Great overview of the game with some depth. I especially liked the featured review and so did many who commented.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/185780/comparison-review...
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14. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:224]
Board Game: Here I Stand
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Eric Landes
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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A total of nine reviews, mostly wargames. Eric lays out a nice description and then gives you his summation of the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/103352/standing-tall-ove...
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15. Board Game: Quebec 1759 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2562]
Board Game: Quebec 1759
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Gregory Bay
United States
Kernersville
North Carolina
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Only a few of the 27 reviews are wargames but they are well written. Gregory does a very good job describing the games.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/429270/a-great-entry-lev...
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16. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:816] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Manoeuvre
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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John R
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Five wargame reviews. John lays out what he likes, doesn't like and sums it up in a succinct review.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/398094/first-impressions
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17. Board Game: Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:2371]
Board Game: Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Severus Snape
Canada
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Non-professionals tend to review games they like. However, like his alter ego, Severus Snape, Mr. bentlarsen does not subscribe to the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice…” He has strong opinions, is not shy about expressing them and his case is usually well presented. If he likes a game you’ll know why and the same goes for a game he finds disappointing.

It is refreshing when a reviewer admits that he is less than enthusiastic about a popular game and is willing to suffer the slings and arrows. But look out, he shoots back!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/621821/hellenes-a-dull-a...

Wargame reviews:
Case Yellow, 1940: The German Blitzkrieg in the West - GMT
No Peace Without Spain! - Compass Games
King Philip's War - MMP
Lost Battles - Fifth Column Games
Unhappy King Charles! - GMT
A Few Acres of Snow - Treefrog Games
Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War - GMT
Richard III: The War of the Roses - Columbia
Warriors of God - MMP
Pursuit of Glory - GMT
Pax Romana - GMT (Two reviews)
War of 1812 - Columbia
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 - AH/Columbia
Age of Napoleon - Mayfair/Phalanx
EastFront - Columbia
The Russian Campaign (fourth edition) - L2
Drive on Stalingrad - Decision (Two reviews)
Autumn of Glory - CoA
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18. Board Game: Prussia's Defiant Stand [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:5967]
Board Game: Prussia's Defiant Stand
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Ondřej Vašíček
Czech Republic
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Four wargame reviews. A bit shorter reviews. But you'll still know what the reviewer likes and doesn't like, and why.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/414433/minireview
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19. Board Game: Athens & Sparta [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:6363]
Board Game: Athens & Sparta
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Brian Sherry
United States
Great Falls
VA
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Four reviews, three are of wargames. What Brian calls a 'quick' or 'short' review covers quite a bit of territory. Read the featured review and I'm sure you will agree.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/293584/a-better-history-...
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20. Board Game: Battle of Britain [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:6435]
Board Game: Battle of Britain
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Seven reviews, six are of wargames. Mike writes a very comprehensive review. The featured review even includes strategy tips for both sides. A great review.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/395211/tsrs-battle-of-br...
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21. Board Game: Napoleon at Waterloo [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3932]
Board Game: Napoleon at Waterloo
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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Seven reviews, most are of wargames. Dan writes an entertaining, easy-to-read review that is also very informative. Always fun to read.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/179391/abba-nappy-at-wat...
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22. Board Game: Trenchzone [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:8273]
Board Game: Trenchzone
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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simon thornton
United Kingdom
Liverpool
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Three wargame reviews. All of Simon's reviews are good but I think the featured review is his best.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/548000/memoir-1914-trenc...
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23. Board Game: Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:592]
Board Game: Squad Leader
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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しんぶん赤旗
New Zealand
Christchurch
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Five reviews to date. The featured review is a well executed enthusiastic review.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/496390/squad-leader-revi...
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24. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:133]
Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Boots
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Five reviews, four are of wargames. The featured review just posted is excellent. The reviewer clearly lays out what he likes and doesn't like in an informed manner. The consequent comments and discussion are also reasonable and intelligent.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/780986/why-ive-given-up-...



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25. Board Game: Rebels & Redcoats: Volume I [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:11720]
Board Game: Rebels & Redcoats: Volume I
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Richard Berg
United States
South Carolina
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Seven reviews, not all wargames. The first wargame reviews I ever read were written by Richard in SPI's Moves magazine some 35 years ago. I enjoyed his reviews then and I wish he was still writing them today.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/285518/brog-in-revolt

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