Wargames on your table - December 2017
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Hello friends! For the final time this year, it's time to ask the eternal question: What wargames are on your table this month? As usual, it doesn't matter if it's solo or opposed, online or face-to-face, hex & counter or cubes & cards. If you can crush your enemies, we want to hear about it.

According to the aggregator we have played 1530 games between us so far this year. Not bad, not bad at all. High fives all round. This list is still my favourite part of BGG, so many thanks to you all for continuing to make it so rad.

Now, get off my lawn.


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European wargame chain of generosity

Wargamers paying it forward

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1. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:1391]
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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7pm day 1. I don't know man, I feel like I've not been aggressive enough. I need to get his line to collapse before sundown. Open things up a bit.
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Emanuele Santandrea
Italy
Milano
MI
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https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1880545/aar-prototype

Eager to see the prototype alive a day!



What do yout think?

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3. Board Game: Charlemagne, Master of Europe [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Travis Hill
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Received yesterday.
Punched yesterday.
Rules read yesterday.
Setup yesterday.

Playing tonight.
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4. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:572]
alex w
Singapore
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Ok. I lost all 3 games at the bulge to my son. Big deal. zombie

I’ll crush him in the wilderness! The Brits will walk all over him! I’m sure of it.

The battle starts this weekend.
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5. Board Game: D-Day (3rd edition) [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:6701]
alex w
Singapore
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Last month battle was interrupted. We could not concentrate due to work commitments.

We are going at it again.
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6. Board Game: All Quiet on the Western Front [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:6593]
Piergennaro Federico
Italy
Milano
Unspecified
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We are on the turn 5. British morale holds but Germans and Brits had a high loss rate and the British are likely to finish before.
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7. Board Game: Tet Offensive [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:9984]
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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Planning a comprehensive review of an interesting game which is often misunderstood.



Next month will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.
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8. Board Game: La Bataille de l'Ebre, 1938 [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Piergennaro Federico
Italy
Milano
Unspecified
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This old VV is on the table.
In the first turn the Republicans are devastating, but now it seems that slowly the nationalist reinforcements (and the aviation) allow to recover ground
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9. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:165]
ER Bickford
United States
Auburn
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10. Board Game: Battles on the Ice [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Lorenzo Chiappini
Netherlands
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Playing Lake Peipus tonight! And I may as well add some time to watch the 1938 movie before that...
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11. Board Game: Julius Caesar [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:717]
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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A rematch with

Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Steven and I returned to our recently played game of Julius Caesar. Steven wanted another chance to play Pompeii so I took Caesar again.



Caesar's forces are dark brown; Pompeii's forces are light green. Here we are three turns in. Unlike last game, this time Pompeii withdrew from Italy to Sicily leaving Rome uncontested. He is strong in Hispania. Caesar has again swept eastward across Europe, taking Athens and Byzantium. Caesar's forces have landed in Asia Minor by sea. So, while Pompeii's position is much improved from last game (see last month's report on that), he is still behind in points. Caesar (me) is feeling very confident about this.






End of game. I was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

Pompeii attacked a weak unit guarding Byzantium across the straight. He did not know it was weak, but it was either that or attacking Ephesus where he knew, given our relative strengths, that he had less than a 50/50 chance of winning. It had not helped that Steven Pompeii was very subversive and caused some of my Caesar's troops to betray me Caesar leaving Byzantium so weakened.

Caesar tried in vain to get it back but could not get enough strength and was defeated.

Caesar is defeated! Long live the Republic!
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12. Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden [Average Rating:8.42 Overall Rank:2917]
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Dan and I will embark on our latest campaign, Operation Market Garden, via GMT's "Holland '44" this Thursday. Currently, the game is on the table, I've printed down the various player aids I found here at BGG, plus the latest errata (11/27) from Consimworld, and the counters are 2/3rds punched and clipped. I'm reading the rules now and hope to knock out a few solo turns this weekend for teaching practice. I will report our progress here.

I will command the Allied forces, Dan the German forces...

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13. Board Game: The Caucasus Campaign [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1917]
Matt Irsik
United States
Clearfield
Utah
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Still trying to figure out how to win as the Germans, especially when things don't go well the first turn on two on the combat rolls. This game is very interesting, especially with the weird Russian units, but it seems like a lot rides on the German die rolls on the first few turns. In my current game I had a lot of EX and A1/D1 rolls, which has depleted the German armor/mech units. I'm not sure it's worth continuing at this point as I don't think the combat power is there to meet the timeline.
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14. Board Game: Absolute Victory: World Conflict 1939-1945 [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:6558]
Jim Howard
United States
Bakersfield
California
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Clipping & prepping this;



Looks really cool, will get it on the table this month!
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15. Board Game: The Lamps Are Going Out [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:3364]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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I enjoyed playing The Lamps Are Going Out so much the first time, I wanted to play it again for a second time. The Central Powers took out Serbia and took Belgium and the Somme in turn one. Hope to get to turn two tonight.


Maybe Mark Herman or someone can design a game of what is going on in Knoxville with the head football coaching search. There are rumors that the former coach Phil Fulmer was sabotaging the searches in hopes to become the next athletic director. It all seems like a Machiavellian plot come to life since John Currie was let go. And I can add now Fulmer was appointed interim AD.
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16. Board Game: Frederick the Great [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2923]
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
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Still working my way through the grand campaign variant. So far, Frederick is in the drivers seat but, I must admit, not without a lot of help from the Russians who suddenly switched sides in 1758. Good fun and I have started a session report on the campaign covering 1756-57.
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17. Board Game: Israeli Independence [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:5484]
Frankie Bones

Montana
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Syrian forces advanced into Jerusalem. Almost made it through the deck and was surprised I made it as far as I did. Seemed like I was pulling all the right cards at the right time but ultimately, I could not hold off the Arab armies and Israel was defeated.

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18. Board Game: Brandywine [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:3486]
Ron Campo
United States
Columbia
Illinois
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Now into game 2 of the Tri Pack and my quest to learn more about our Revolutionary War, on which, as I wrote last month, I know more about the Crusades...which is pretty sad.

Anyway, last month finished up Saratoga, which was great....Brandywine has far more units and much more strategy to consider, but so far on turn 3, it has been an interesting learning experience, both the game and the battle.
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19. Board Game: Old School Tactical: Volume 2 – West Front 1944-45 [Average Rating:8.52 Overall Rank:6716] [Average Rating:8.52 Unranked]
Rory McAllister
Ireland
Derry
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Preparing to play Scenario #2 with a mate tomorrow. Three buildings to take and random fog effects over the course of the infantry firefight. Looking forward to it!
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20. Board Game: Table Battles [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:5095]
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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Soloing the Battle of Ivry, and so far it has been an even affair, with the odds tilted slightly towards the Catholic League. It's such a smart design, but I don't think it plays that well solo, as you constantly need to keep track of when a side reacted and so is unable to attack.
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21. Board Game: WO Bonus Pack #7: ASL Scenario Bonus Pack for Winter Offensive 2016 [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Magister Ludi
Australia
Fremantle
Western Australia
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Just got a heap of ASL action packs and WO packs in the recent MMP sale. Normally they might sit for a while before being played but I'm setting up my Japanese defense in Scenario WO18- "A quick strike" for play tomorrow evening....I just need to clear my head after being forced to play Pokemon with my son.

Lots of extra board goodness in this lot.
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22. Board Game: Arquebus: Men of Iron Volume IV [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:5833]
Edwin S
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Playing the intro scenario, Cerignola. Some rules questions initially (mostly around the ditch) but I think we've got it sorted now.

First play of this game. Very different flavour to Blood & Roses, because the majority of units now have inherent missile fire capacity (crossbows or arquebuses), but the effective ranges are much shorter than longbows. In this scenario at least it's much easier to rely on missile fire than try to shock attack, mostly because of the big rampart on the Spanish side of the map.

Not much tactical subtlety here on either side - we're just running through the rules before hopefully playing some of the bigger scenarios. Still, my cav are starting a flanking move at the bottom of the map, having driven off some Spanish Genitors. I think my centre is close to breaking. Oh yeah, and the Spanish powder wagon blew up at the top.
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23. Board Game: FAB: Sicily [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:3109]
Sam Carroll
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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A face-to-face game against
Jim P.
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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.

I know the system well, having played vol 1, "Bulge" several times - including twice against Jim. However, I've only had one real play of this volume, and Jim had no experience with it.

Jim took the Allied side, opting for the (safer) historical deployment. I think he took all his beaches on turn 1, with the Italian garrisons doing almost nothing. I attempted a German counterattack against the 81st Airborne, which was by itself in the forefront of the battle, but wasn't able to eliminate it.

On turn 2, he took the southernmost battlefield VP area - which is also an airfield - and immediately drew the second Fading Italian Morale chit from the cup. However, after this things started to go sour for him.

Jim kept pushing forward, as the Allies should, but couldn't draw his American release event, so all his units were confined to the eastern half of the island - this meant that I pulled everyone out of the western half, leaving Palermo empty, and formed a strong line. Even with my Italians getting disordered every combat, I was able to mostly halt his progress. We discussed afterwards that perhaps he should have burned a Special Action to release one good division and force me to defend west of the river - I think that might have made things easier for him.

On turn 3, Jim left some weaker areas in his lines, and on my half of the turn, I hit them with everything I had, using both good German divisions. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to kill any of his blocks - that huge supply of Allied assets just keeps absorbing hits. He firmed things up, but by that time we were pretty well stacked up, and I had two Italian units perform way above expectations in defense.

We had to call the game at the end of turn 4, due to time pressure. At that time, I might have had a slight advantage, but it was still anyone's game. He finally drew the release event on the Axis half of turn 4, so turn 5 would have seen him storming the east half of the island, virtually unopposed.

We discussed afterwards that perhaps he should have burned a Special Action to release one good division on turn 3 or so and force me to defend west of the river - I think that might have made things easier for him.

A good time - the historical and alternate deployments definitely feel very different to me. Historical is closed play, rather like a queen's gambit in chess, while the alternate is much more open.
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24. Board Game: Drive on Washington: The Battle of Monocacy Junction, July 9, 1864 [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:7747]
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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and yours truly took another item in the Great Battles of the American Civil War series on a test spin. Drive on Washington: The Battle of Monocacy Junction, July 9, 1864 is in that series, though Steven questions whether it belongs. Maybe in a series called MBACW (Mediocre Battles of the American Civil War) or LTGBACW (Less Than Great Battles of the American Civil War)... or something like that.

I think this game might be a good game to use to teach someone the GBACW system. There are not a huge amount of units and it plays pretty fast. Steven's appraisal was "It doesn't grab me" (Personally, I appreciate not being grabbed, but to each his own). I do see what he means. While I did not dislike the game (except for the times Steven rolled the dice - he was unbelievable!)it was not as fun for me as Cedar Mountain or Kernstown or Pea Ridge.

Steven took the Confederates. I took the Union. Things went downhill for the Union from there.

Turn 2



Lets see. How many things can go wrong? Off the top of my head, by turn 2, pretty much everything. Confederate forces outnumber the Union by quite a bit, but the Union has great defensive terrain and high morale and better weapons. The Confederates must be activated by Early who isn't even on the map. But, he arrived (randomly)on turn 2. I was hoping for a little more delay. But, in addition, the Rebels find the ford on the second turn (top left corner of map). This will enable some of their cavalry to cross early, forcing me to pull some of my units back from the river. Then, his artillery gets extremely lucky causes losses on my infantry and my artillery on the hill overlooking the wooden bridge and Monocacy Junction (slightly left center of the map). Lew Wallace is helping to blow the wooden bridge, but fails on both turns 1 and 2... and... well... for the rest of the game. He has a 50% chance each attempt! I guess he was busy writing the prologue to his novel, Ben Hur. Down on the bottom right, Early will activate these, the first of the Confederates to charge the river.



Turn 5



Things have proceeded more or less the same. Steven says something like, "I need a six" and rolls a six. Then he says, "I really need another six" and rolls another six. Then he says, "I am even feeling a little guilty!"

The Confederates have reached the River at the lower right and next turn will cross it in force after having driven the defenders off. In the middle, the wooden bridge still stands and the Confederates will draw adjacent next turn. They will suffer some losses. but so will the Union, and the Union just does not have the manpower to afford it. The last units are being activated by Early at the top left. Note also how Confederate cavalry have ridden hard to the very left side of the map, ready to circle back on those defending the river bridges.

Its all over. Perhaps Wallace will still write Ben Hur in a prison camp. I can see this game playing quite differently depending on how quickly the Confederates roll for Early's arrival and how quickly they find the ford. Things worked extremely well for them this game. Congratulations to Steven!
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25. Board Game: Holdfast: Atlantic 1939-45 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:7908]
Russell Miller
United States
Fairmont
West Virginia
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I've been in a Holdfast gaming mood for some time now. I purchased this and Holdfast Pacific from Miniature Market. Watched a Marco review and was good to go.
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