Wargames on Your Table - September 2014
Judd Vance
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Fall approaches. Fall Blau? What's on your table? What's on your virtual table? Who you playing? How's it going? Liking the game? 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.

Looking for an out of print game?
Looking for an out of print or hard to find game? Let your fellow wargamers know and we'll let you know if we find it. Post your game here.

Pick up a game / Get rid of a game:
*Wargame flea
*BGG Wargame Chain of Generosity (USA)
*BGG Wargame Chain of Generosity (Europe)
*Wargamers Paying it Forward

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 find wargame stores:
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.

What rulebook is on your table?
Go here and share your reading material:

What Wargame did you just get this month?
Share your lack of discipline!

What's the Last Wargame you have Completed?
Share your success!

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1. Board Game: Fire in the Lake [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:423]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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My first new Mark Herman published game since Washington's War (2010). I've bought many of his past designs since then, but nothing published since then.

I can't wait to see what the greatest game designer does with Vietnam.
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2. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:6670]
Judd Vance
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I'm in two games of this. I'm also trying my Vassal module upgrades.

One game is with Larz. We are finishing up the first turn. My Rebs have held out well so far, turning back his attacks on Springfield (Mass) and Manassas, causing McDowell to be disgraced and Burnside to bite the dust.

In my other game with Jeff, we are in the second turn. My Rebs likewise turned back an attack on Springfield causing Lyon to be disgraced and Sigel to be wounded.

The Vassal upgrades have been working like a charm. I like this game. It is an interesting take on the war with the political angle. The combat system is really interesting too. Wade Hyett's rules upgrades are a thing of beauty.

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3. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:2066] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Judd Vance
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Kansas
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Sean and I started up the Bloody Triangle scenario. His German artillery laid down a smokescreen, allowing his first wave to move into position.
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4. Board Game: Operation Battleaxe: Wavell vs. Rommel, 1941 [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:5361]
Judd Vance
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Kansas
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Sean and I have been working through this. I think my British are getting clobbered. I keep messing up rules because it's close enough to similar systems, that I keep trying rules and strategies from those games. I'm going to have to learn from the school of hard knocks.
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5. Board Game: Not War But Murder [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:4358]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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I'm involved in two games of this. In my game with Sean, my Rebs have been racing him, trying to take up positions across the South Anna River. It's been hectic, but I pulled it off.

In my game with Mike, he DID get his Rebs behind it, and I'm about to experience some pain in trying to cross it.
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6. Board Game: Monty's Gamble: Market Garden [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:3061]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Mike and I are early in this game. I had a pretty good drop, but then he blew one the bridge connecting my 101st to Eindovan.
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7. Board Game: Age of Napoleon [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1695]
Judd Vance
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Rob and I are new to this so we jumped in and decided to stumble through it. Napoleon moved on Austria and kicked my rear, despite a good reinforcement. We got to winter quickly and Khutozov's division tried force marching through the winter to reinforce the Austrian capitol and it wasn't pretty.
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8. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:300]
Judd Vance
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Rob and I are playing the Corunna scenario. He's up 4-3 right now in a hotly contested battle.
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9. Board Game: Holdfast: Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:3005]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Rob and I are playing this gem. This is one of my two favorite games published this year that I have played so far (New York 1776 is the other).

My Wermacht was delayed in the north. We are at January. The weather has been favorable as the snow did not come until December. I guess using all of that fuel to overrun Europe created global warming or something

While delayed in the north, I have done really well in the south. Through some pretty slick maneuvering (if I do say so myself), my blitzkrieg shot through and captured Sevastopol unopposed and as the snow sets in, I'm knocking on Stalingrad's door. I have also captured Voronezh, so Moscow is also in trouble.

We are switching our game over to use my new Vassal module upgrades.
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10. Board Game: Napoleon's War: The 100 Days [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:3809]
Judd Vance
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We are finishing up our 2nd game with the Ligny scenario. The Hold the Line system has been a big hit with both of us. The original game and Frederick's War are exceptional. Larger scale games using the system, such as Gettysburg 150, Hold Fast, and New York 1776 are excellent as well. I have given all 5 games perfect "10' ratings.

This one is perplexing. The system is good. The results suck. I know very little about Napoleonic history, so I was shocked to learn that Napoleon won this battle. Rob won the first game 7-0 as the Prussians and I'm up 5-0 in this one.

I poured hours and hours into this Vassal module because I knew the game would be a winner, but so far, it has been one of the most disappointing games of my life. When we finish it, we are going to drop it from the Vassal rotation and go back to Frederick's War. I want to mess around solo with it and try house rules because the game is broken as it stands. It's not beyond hope. I think using the base Hold the Line rules with the cavalry charges from Frederick's War and the square rules of this game would work. I just need some time with the game to confirm it.
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Judd Vance
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Wichita
Kansas
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Terry and I plod on as my Soviets finally took the hotel and now I have my sights set on the gravel pits.
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12. Board Game: Festung Europa: The Campaign for Western Europe, 1943-1945 [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:7496]
 
Judd Vance
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Chris and I have been playtesting this.

This is the next evolution in the Paths of Glory system, and I'm really excited about what Michael Rinella has done with it. You can tell from the games I list that he's one of my favorite designers -- or one of the "Four Horsemen of the Awesomeness," as I call them.

This covers the WWII/Western Europe from summer 1943 (after the liberation of North Africa) through the end of the war. This game has been years in development. The historical allied invasion of Sicily has been thoroughly playtested. We are trying out the non-historical, yet feasible Roundup Invasion of Calais. Chris is the Allies. The idea is that the option SHOULD be there because it was on the table for Eisenhower, but you want the Allied player to take the safer, historical Operation Husky. With Roundup, it is "Go Big or Go Home." So far, he has made two tweaks based upon observations we have made from this.
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13. Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:4171]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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I've been plodding along in my game with Łukasz. This one was pretty much killed by horrific die rolling on my part to start the game rolling 2,2, and 3 with 2d6. That eliminated any historical breakout I should have made. My tanks are breaking down and I got nothing out of it.

Hey, them's the breaks...dogs of war, and all of that. He offered a re-start, but I like the challenge. I have a SLIM chance of pulling off a stunning turn 1 victory and if I don't, it's curtains. General Haig ain't going to be happy with my lack of progress.
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14. Board Game: Belleau Wood [Average Rating:6.46 Unranked]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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This is on my Vassal design table.

I got an e-mail out of the blue from the designer asking me if I'd be interested in making a Vassal module for the golden oldie from 1980. I checked out the game: it had pretty good comments from my Geekbuddies. It's hex and counter, and those are the easiest types of Vassal modules to create. There is also a Cyberbox module, so if the graphics look good in it, I can always pull them out.

Why not? He sent me a copy because I'm picky about respecting the copywrite. I will play a game on Vassal only if my opponent or I own the copy or if the rights holder gives me written permission. Therefore, I'm not interested in creating Vassal modules for games that I can't play. I wasn't really interested in getting a new game for a new game's sake. I'm still plowing through my unplayed games, trying to get to zero.

There was two reasons I decided to take this on. First, I knew little about the battle and this looked like a good way to learn. Second, I follow successful designers, and he's the designer of Grand Army of the Republic, which is a clever hidden gem on the Civil War that does the absolute best job of making you feel like Abraham Lincoln when it comes to feeling exasperated that you have buffoons for generals and trying to find a competent one among them. There is no "hiding Banks and waiting for Grant" that you see in nearly every other game. I figure a guy who can pull off that is a designer worth checking out.
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15. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:104]
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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The journey continues. Dan & I have finished with the Fall Of The West pack and I think we are both keen to play some games without the French deck.
Tonight, Italians & Brits in Africa.
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16. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1 [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:2254] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Rich Payne
United Kingdom
Barnsley
South Yorkshire
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Well, it's almost September 1st, and this list is already well underway, so...

Played S45 'Contested Settlement'. The Poles, unfortunately, were soundly beaten, suffering heavy casualties and a string of ELR replacements from a screen of Slovakian HS that conducted a fighting withdrawl onto the strongly held village. The Polish flanking group was cut up almost as soon as it entered the map, with only one squad surviving to roam ineffectually behind enemy lines. I called at T5 as everything the Poles had, other than the shattered flanking group and a few leaders, was broken.
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17. Board Game: Golan [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:10263]
Iain K
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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Our Old School exploration of modern warfare continues on the Golan Heights. This game is very like the Battle of the Bulge ... with SAMs that is. The Syrians make a lunge for Galilee, the rules require it, and if they fail, they scramble to survive the Israeli counterattack. I just failed as the Syrians but I look forward to trying again. I suspect that to win, the Syrian has to be a bit lucky and the Israeli a bit foolish. My one concern with the system is that units are so mobile that enemy units can make end runs around a flank before you can respond. But this always seems to be a problem for wargames focused on the 1973 war at this scale.

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18. Board Game: Burma [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:2168]
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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Nick and I finished our 2nd OCS game last month, but decided to keep going on as we learn this new to us system. This month we will tackle the jungles of Burma. I picked up a 1st edition for under $25.00 unpunched. I spent the weekend sick, so I binged watched Game of Thrones and punched, clipped and sorted all the counters.
As soon as our free time aligns, we will get this on his basement table, probably until Thanksgiving!

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19. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:935]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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The latest multi-commander play rolled on Friday night, starting at this position on Turn 9:

I resumed play as CSA West but ended the evening in the USA West chair when one of our number had a family emergency. The previous play saw Chattanooga almost fall, but this time the focus shifted to Memphis. Grant has both the Cumberland and Tennessee armies but can't break +5 with Lee and the CSA Army of Tennessee inside the fortress.

Not a single southern state has converted, so it's looking tough for the Yanks.
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20. Board Game: The Coming Storm [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:4015]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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My opponent and I plan to tackle the PULTUSK/GOLYMIN-24-25 December 1806 Daoy of Battle scenario. He's warmed up to the system and we expect the next few sessions should be much quicker than previously.
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21. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:475]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Last month I finally managed to play the "Beyond the Beach" scenario. I'm hoping to revisit the scenario again this month. It really feels different from the Beach scenario and Butterfield's AI truly shines as the enemy units probe the holes in my defenses. Uncanny!
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22. Board Game: The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:953] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I'll be wrapping this campaign up this month, and then playing out the rest of my scenarios without the use of Vassal. I don't know why but although the Vassal module for this game is excellent, it just didn't hook me. I'll stick to the board, counters, and dice now.
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Evil Bob
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I have another solo game planned for this month. I'll be taking on a scenario focusing on the 5th day. I've played this scenario before face to face and wanted to try out an alternative stratey.
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24. Board Game: Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:1205]
Evil Bob
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With two very successful sessions last month, I'm ready to try another one. I'm scheduled for a rematch next week. I'll try to get some pics and a small AAR. Really looking forward to it.
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25. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:1410]
Evil Bob
Canada
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My main GoG opponent is back from vacation and with the summer wrapping up we should be getting back to our monthly sessions of this wonderful game. I expect it'll be hitting the table later in the month.
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