The Box Covers of Nicolás Eskubi
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We wargamers live in a golden age. We have a number of wargame publishers publishing games from a ton of talented designers. It's proved to be a potent combination that's resulting in some wonderful games hitting our tables. There is however a third element working with these first two that makes this a golden age and that's art.

I remember when I first started wargaming in the late 70s. Most counters had simply the unit symbol and numbers for attack, defense and movement. Maps were often white backgrounds with hexes colored in for mountains or lakes. Pretty bare bones. Of course that's changed these days. What you would/could publish in the 70s and 80s art wise simply won't cut it today. That is because the art of wargame art has reached a new level. It's reached that level by the efforts of men like Mark Mahaffey, Rodger MacGowan and Mark Simonitch to name just a few. One artist I really enjoy and the subject of this list is Nicolás Eskubi.

Nicolás Eskubi is likely best known for his MMP box covers. Personally his box covers in my mind are second to none and as such I thought it might be fun today to showcase some of his box covers that I really enjoy.

A note about me. I like art. What do I know about art? Not much really. I never studied art or was much for art back home in California. Then I moved too Kansas City home of the Nelson-Atkins which is a world class art museum here. Suddenly I am seeing works by Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt. I still don't know a lot about art but I've learned about what I like (to twist an old saying) and what I like is my art with historic flavor. The result is my formal living room is decorated with works by civil war artist Don Troiani, my dining room with prints of early 20th century magic posters and my downstairs family room with Looney Toons...Ok, after getting the dining room and formal living room my wife got to do the family room.

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1. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:7458]
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His newest creation. This is not the final box cover but it's close. There's a lot going on in this cover. There's a map of the US, copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, a document on the slave population, soldiers both photographic of re-enactors and art from the period as well as of course Lincoln and Davis. I think it works.
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2. Board Game: Burma [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:2429]
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One of the things I like about his work is the use of color. Here the dark earth tone blends several iconic images of the conflict together making multiple images one smooth image.
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3. Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:4457]
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A great image here as the tank in the Battle of Cambrai took a much more important role than in earlier battle of WW I.
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4. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:2043]
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Personally I think the cover on this game is better than the game. Mind you this is perhaps my favorite box cover of all time. Very different from a lot of Nicolás' box covers. Most of his covers we see a bunch of different images blended together but here we simply see two images. The aircraft carrier and a lone plane meeting it's end. Sometimes less is more and in this case that old axiom is very true.
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5. Board Game: Afrika (second edition) [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:2250]
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Again the use of color to blend multiple images together to tell us about the game.
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6. Board Game: Case Blue [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:2541] [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked]
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Dean Essig plus a Nicolás Eskubi cover equals Case Blue.
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7. Board Game: Red Star Rising: The War in Russia, 1941-1944 [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:3622]
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I just love this cover. Again like with Fire in the Sky Nicolás draws is too just a single image leaving us to fill in the rest with our minds. In the case of Fire in the Sky it was the fate of one pilot. In this case it's the rising of the Russia army against Germany.
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8. Board Game: Storm Over Stalingrad [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:2096]
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The Barmaley Fountain. Six children dancing around a crocodile fountain surrounded by untold destruction. This was Stalingrad and it is the perfect image for a game on such a brutal moment in history. It reminds us that this was not just a battlefield but the home for hundreds of thousands of people. A home that became hell on earth.
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9. Board Game: Baltic Gap [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:2792]
 
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Another Eastern Front wargame.
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10. Board Game: Rock of the Marne [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:6069]
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The game is as good as the cover in my opinion. Great WWI game.
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