$35.00
Recent gaming: Mr. President, Port Royal Expansion, TV Wars, Battle of Britain, Eagle Day
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Mar 28-Apr 3, 2016

On the weekend's SoCal Games Day (our 66th!), I pre-arranged some older games that wouldn't have made it to the table otherwise. Also met with a gamer friend who'd been away for years. As you'll see, I'm also making progress on my Battle of Britain subject for the next Wargames To Go podcast series. I'll be recording the first episode in that miniseries pretty soon.

-Mark

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1. Board Game: Mr. President [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3774]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Someone walked by & said we were playing an old Avalon Hill bookcase game. Not true! We were playing an old 3M bookcase game. AH later acquired many of these titles (such as Acquire!) for their leisure line, but I guess they didn't get this one. Too bad, because I think it's one of the best election games around. I've got the 1971 edition with the variable popular vote counts for different states, and we play it at least once every presidential election cycle. I know some geeks have made updated files to bring the game from the 1960s era issues & state political leanings to the 21st century--I still need to try those.

In this game, my normal debate strategy backfired badly, and I lost many votes through bad debate performance. That pushed me into a big state strategy that limited my campaigning in the smaller states of the country...which meant my opponent had a big advantage when it came to distributing the absentee ballots at the end. It was a landslide victory for him. Jason played up his fundraising ability, getting more millions to spend on advertising. Very effective. Can't wait to play again, hopefully with 4 players so we can include VPs.
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2. Board Game: Port Royal: Ein Auftrag geht noch... [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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I'd separated the expansion from the base game, but some newbies at Games Day wanted to jump right in and play both for their first time. Well, ok, though it led to some misunderstandings and blowout wins for the ones who knew how to maximize the new stuff. I still love the base game, and I really enjoy the expansion, too. But in the beginning it makes more sense to just play with the base game. It's not like it's a complicated game, but there really is a fair bit going on. Especially if you like to play this one quickly.
 
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3. Board Game: TV Wars [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:11109]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Those 2 stars are an accurate reflection of the game itself, but not really my delight in playing this old monstrosity. I'm not the only one who has been wanting a game to cover the awesome theme of competitive network TV programming. TV Wars was Avalon Hill's attempt to do it in 1987...and they have both good ideas and some lousy ones in there. The good ones are the sweeps weeks/ratings wars, counter-programming & lead-in bonuses, as well as the value of having those TV programs that aren't good, but still bring fill out the schedule & bring in revenue. The bad parts are the roll & move, the "chance" cards, and some other outdated design elements. Not to mention AH's wargame-inspired rules that aren't necessary here. I'd honestly play this again.
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4. Board Game: Battle of Britain [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:4559]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Another oldie from 1990, after the time when TSR took over SPI and was still making some wargames. In this case, it's Richard Borg (and others), who designed a light wargame with miniatures. Sound familiar? It's not a euro-wargame hybrid, though. This is 100% wargame, just a lighter variety. It has some unusual mechanisms & high level modeling of the strategic situation, with plastic planes representing entire flights of aircraft (fighters & bombers), whose contents are determined by a stack of cards. Custom dice, and simple (strange?) rules for movement & fuel limitations. The plastic planes are nice, but the cards are terribly cheap & disappointing, reminding us what American hobby boardgames were like before Mayfair & Rio Grande showed everyone a better way.
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5. Board Game: Eagle Day: The Battle of Britain [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:8568]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Another light wargame about the Battle of Britain, this one a folio ziplock game from Decision Games. I'd played the sister game of the same series, Cactus Air Force, a year or two ago. I think Eagle Day works better. There's still suspend-your-disbelief thing going on with the timescale. Counter stacking is kind of a hassle here, especially with the poorly punched counters. Nothing my Oregon Laminations Corner Rounder couldn't fix, though.
 
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Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
mbmbmbmbmb
robotrobotrobot Online boardgaming robotrobotrobot

Can't Stop I'm never as fond of this one as everyone else, and especially not online.

Maori One of my standards.

Thurn & Taxis Just a wonderful, polished gem of a game.
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