Wargames on your table - December 2017
James
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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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51. Board Game: Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:8318]
Board Game: Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu
This database entry actually covers two games which were published in a single issue of Against the Odds and which are both "Islands of the Damned".

Both are solo games of the battle for a single Pacific Island.

The game I am not playing (yet) is subtitled "Given Up For Dead". It covers Wake Island in late 1941.

The game I am playing is subtitled "Utmost Savagery" and it covers the late 1944 invasion of Peleliu.

It is a simple, quick playing solo game which is quite addictive. I am just starting my third attempt to capture the island after two ignominious failures.

Here is how it looks early in the game:

From gallery of Malcolm C


From gallery of Malcolm C


From gallery of Malcolm C


From gallery of Malcolm C


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52. Board Game: Age of Napoleon [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2259]
Board Game: Age of Napoleon
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Back to Napoleon after trying some lighter games to play with my wife(Nations: The Dice Game – Unrest and Alexander's Campaign. The latter title I would describe as Field Commander: Alexander light for those who may be interested.

I have a couple of ideas for managing the cards for solo play and I'll share my thoughts after I give them a spin My first impression of this game leaves me feeling like it's a sandbox type game which is very cool as I enjoy all those "what ifs"
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53. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:325]
Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow
Vez A
Germany
Kiel
Germany
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I’ve had this for a few years but, apart from a few games online, I never got into playing it really.

That was until my 8-year old pulled the game out of the shelf and wanted to play. Say what!? This can be the beginning of something beautiful!

He gets the game mechanically. It’s not complex. Strategically, well, we’re both learning still.

I’m the British but struggling to get my economic engine going. At the same time, the son’s French have been making a fortune in fur trade. His army is a little larger than mine, so I’ve lost a siege or two.

Looks like my best chance is to quickly get my villages or towns onto the map to end the game, although the French raids are becoming a bit of a nightmare now. I just lost the village cube in New York of all places as well!

I made the mistake of governing away that location card —St Mary maybe— that is the Brits only way toward the lakes, so my expansion is slow. Not going to make that mistake again...

This is the board state right now:

From gallery of masil
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54. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:532] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1
Tankboy
United States
Haslet
Texas
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Played S05 Clearing Colleville FtF at the North Texas ASL Club monthly meet-up yesterday. Getting S06 - Unleashed from the East ready for Solo (hopefully get started on it later today).

From gallery of Fly by Night
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55. Board Game: Baptism By Fire: The Battle of Kasserine [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:5157]
Board Game: Baptism By Fire: The Battle of Kasserine, February 1943
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Our battle of Kasserine is going on. After few initial activations of manoeuvrer, Germans started to dig in through Allied defenses--despite their fatigue, they managed to push Allies towards Sbiba. Below you'll find snapshot of situation in the eastern part of theatre of operation:


From gallery of grouchysmurf
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56. Board Game: Last Blitzkrieg: Wacht am Rhein, The Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:3885]
Board Game: Last Blitzkrieg: Wacht am Rhein, The Battle of the Bulge
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Tutorial scenario of Last Blitzkrieg proved to be more challenging then I previously assumed. With limited resources, highly challenging terrain and defenders not really willing to give up the ground, Germans are having hard time pushing west. I managed to accomplish minor breakthrough, exposing myself for a counterattack.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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57. Board Game: Normandy '44 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1432]
Board Game: Normandy '44
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My favourite. How one can fancy yer standard hex and counter game? I don't know. But here it is--I could play it ad nauseam so I couldn't turn off proposal my worthy opponent from October gaming sessions made few weeks ago. We swapped sides so I am playing Allies. It is day #4 or #5 and we slowly, despite stormy weather, making progress towards south.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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58. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:898]
Board Game: Andean Abyss
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Two PBEM games of AA--it was my first COIN game and still remains my favourite only now being challenged by A Distant Plain.

In both games I am the govt. The other has just started, in first we are after second, as far as I recall, propaganda card.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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59. Board Game: The Caucasus Campaign [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:2551]
Board Game: The Caucasus Campaign
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I am about to lose Caucasus Campaign as Soviets. Note the sky-scraper made out of Russian casualties.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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60. Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:1588]
Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge
Łukasz
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Introductory game of Ardennes'44. This is a game that would fit monster definition in my book--it is BIG and requires a huge amount of work to complete a turn. Vassal module could also use few improvements.

It is turn #6 (out of 22) and Germans managed to make a minor breakthrough in the central part of frontline.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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61. Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:1851]
Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden
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Learning game of Holland 44. I am playing Germans and as you can see from 30th Corps performance, I don't have an effing clue on what I should be doing. Learning game, as I said.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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62. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:782]
Board Game: Wilderness War
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Two PBEM games of WW. Both coming to their conclusion, in one I still have a slight hope of winning, the other is lost, I am afraid.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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63. Board Game: A Distant Plain [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:813]
Board Game: A Distant Plain
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This is third COIN I've ever played (AA being first and my favourite, followed by FitL which turned out to be... odd, so to say and maybe a bit too complicated, with the casualties and patronage concepts). ADP hits perfect spot between complexity, theme and playability. Too early to judge as this is my first play and we have just made it past first propaganda but it is definitely growing on me.

In game from which the below screenshot was made I am the coalition.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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64. Board Game: Field Commander: Rommel [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2191]
Board Game: Field Commander: Rommel
Played the D-Day scenario twice today. Lost both. Haven't had this on the table for far too long. I really like this game, I only wish it was less luck based.

From gallery of de_la_poer
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65. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:369]
Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
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Two introductory games of Labyrinth of which only one is played at reasonable pace.

If I were to pick my favourite wargame designer, it would be Volko Ruhnke. Thanks, Volko.

From gallery of grouchysmurf
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66. Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:1588]
Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge
Michael McCalpin
United States
McKinney
Texas
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It's a little disingenuous to list Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge here, because the real excitement for me is not what is on the table, but the table itself. To put it another way, Ardennes '44 was the first game I ever bought knowing that I did not have room to set out the whole map. Now that we have moved back to the States and have rearranged our living space, I finally have room for a 36"x 60" (91 cm x 152 cm) table dedicated for gaming, so it seemed only right and proper for Ardennes '44 to be the first to grace the table. Having previously only had room for the east map, I think I'll try out the Patton's Counterattack scenario. Our last weeks in Europe were spent in part driving around the Ardennes, so I will see if I can add to the collection of wrecked Panthers strewn about the landscape.
From gallery of mmccalpin
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67. Board Game: Stonewall: The Battle of Kernstown [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:7055]
Board Game: Stonewall: The Battle of Kernstown
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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and I brought out Stonewall: The Battle of Kernstown. This is probably one of our favorites in the GBACW series. After last week's play of Drive on Washington, of the same series, we were anxious to return to this one. Not that Drive on Washington was a bad game, but this one is clearly better (IOHO - In Our Humble Opinions). Steven took the Confederates this time. I took the Federals.



From gallery of jwquinn

This is an early photo. The Confederates are crossing the creek and getting ready to move up the left side of the map.

This game presents the Confederates with about three main choices; all having to do with exiting the opposite side of the map. The options are to go up left, center or right. From the orientation of the photo, the historical approach was the right side of the map. Steven and I have played this game enough that each of the options have been attempted.

Special rules and circumstances include: no supply wagon for the Confederates. Any loss of ammo will be permanent unless they can capture the Union supply wagon (I cannot see any good excuse for the Union player to allow his wagon to be captured). Also, the Union have a morale tally which is added to each turn but then whittled away by losses, routs and activating brigades to move. If their morale drops too low, bad things can happen.


From gallery of jwquinn

The Union's Sullivan is being forced back by the Confederate artillery on the top of the hill across the creek as well as the units pressing them having crosses the creek. While things were going well for the Rebs early on, they are incurring some losses as they inflict losses. The Union also has artillery firing long range from Prichart's hill toward the center of the map. limbered artillery and enfilade shots make them fairly effective.




From gallery of jwquinn

At this point, both Steven and I are experiencing losses. He will send his cavalry (center) around to flank me and charge my defenders. The reason? Tyler, in command of his brigade in the rear area, is activating. Though the morale cost is heavy, his brigade is strong and can easily cut the Confederates off from exiting the map if they get through Sullivan.

Sullivan does a great job in defending (in our game, he earned the nickname "Stonewall Sullivan", or, at least would have if I had thought of it). Because of the losses incurred by the Confederates, including the loss of their cavalry, Steven decided that he was not going to make it off map. A couple turns after this last photo, he called it a game.

We really like how this one plays out, with each side under pressure to, other than inflict losses on the enemy, do quite different things to achieve victory.
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Board Game: Silver Bayonet: The First Team in Vietnam, 1965 (25th Anniversary Edition)
Jakub Kircun
United States
Woods Hole
Massachusetts
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In preparation of an upcoming face-to-face game, I'm awkwardly stumbling through a solo play of Silver Bayonet. I'm really enjoying it, and the components are a pleasure to look at!

Board Game: Silver Bayonet: The First Team in Vietnam, 1965 (25th Anniversary Edition)
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69. Board Game: Operation Pegasus [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:12629]
Board Game: Operation Pegasus
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United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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Attempting to blast open Highway 9 to Khe Sanh in Operation Pegasus.

Using this cool map:
From gallery of TedW


made by this guy:
David Little
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Elgin
South Carolina
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Also, testing out some new casualty tracking sheets and a detailed sequence of play. Will post in the files section if they pass muster.

Had the pleasure of reaching out to Perry Moore for a couple clarifications. Had to reach back into his memory bank as this was his second design..... in 1980!

Cool game......

P.S. For frame of reference, here is the original map circa 1980
Board Game: Operation Pegasus
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70. Board Game: Dead Reckoning [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Dead Reckoning
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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I just bought the PnP a few days and finally got done putting it together. (Though, you can make it easier on yourself and just buy the game as well.) The designer is Herman, the same guy who designed Dawn of the Zeds. It's basically a pretty simple zombie wargame. Technically it's 2 player, but it's easy to play both sides or just play the humans, and play the zombies as zombies are want to do, which is shamble to the closest humans and eat them.

The game has an interesting and unique Initiative system and combat system. The human player in the game is just trying to get their refugees off the other side of the board before the zombies eat them all.

From gallery of patton55


From gallery of patton55


From gallery of patton55


From gallery of patton55


From gallery of patton55
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71. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2716]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Aranubis
Austria
Vienna
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From gallery of Aranubis

Just finished the vassal version of my game so, i had to try a mission.
It was quite successful. Destroyed one target, shot down two MiGs and made it heavily damaged back to base.
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72. Board Game: Clash of Giants: Civil War [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:6603]
Board Game: Clash of Giants: Civil War
Sam Smith
United Kingdom
Newport Pagnell
Buckinghamshire
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Late afternoon, 2nd July, and as the shadows lengthen over Cemetery Ridge the battle hangs poised at a tipping point…

From gallery of samwise46


The Confederate Divisions of McLaws and Johnson are surging up the lower slopes at the ridge’ southern end. If they get much further, they may be able to cut entirely across the Taneytown Road, the Union’s line of supply and retreat, either that or perhaps pivot North and roll up the flanked Union troops strung along the ridge. Maybe both.

But all may not be quite lost for the men in blue. Syke’s tardily-arriving V Corps have been rushed over from their reserve position near the Baltimore Pike. Even now they are trying to bridge the perilous gap that has formed between the main Union mass on the North end of the ridge and Dan Sickles III Corps, who have fallen back in some disarray towards the Round Tops, narrowly avoided encirclement by Hood’s Division (just out of shot of the top of picture). But the last of Syke’s brigades on the road – Vincent’s – is lagging and a big hole remains, if only the Confederates can seize the moment …

So it’s the start of Turn 10 and very tense, as so much hangs on the order the activation chits come out of the cup. Could Lee actually do it this time? Well, sober realism would say that if any of the Union I, II, IV or VI Corps come out before those two Divisions of Johnies then all could be well for Meade, the gaps should be progressively plugged and the centre should hold. Indeed, looking the other way, the Confederate centre looks pretty weak (though Pickett is coming up), so is a counter-attack there out of the question? Or maybe against the Rebels cheeky toe-holds up North, on Culps Hill (when and how did that happen? - a story for another time…).

But hang on just a minute. I forgot to mention the Confederates ace-in-the-hole. They haven’t used the Longstreet special activation chit yet – the one which lets his whole Corps move first in one turn. This is the time to use it – though the most it can do at the key point on the ridge is give McLaws the jump. He still needs to brush aside those pesky V Corps blue bellies who just arrived to his front.

Enjoying this game – it’s turned out pretty exciting for a first full solo play-through (not counting the one I had to abort on 1 July when realised I’d got March and Road movement all messed up…)
(And yes,I know I’ve got the unit of the Confederate Corps all mixed up, which slightly bugs me too, but they are where I needed them at the time! The rules mean you pretty much need to keep Divisions together though..)
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73. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1679]
Board Game: Conquest of Paradise
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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I've owned this since the first printing, but it's sat in my unplayed pile the entire time. Finally breaking it out to teach myself the game solo.
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74. Board Game: Saratoga 1777 AD [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Saratoga 1777 AD
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Robert Laird
United States
Kankakee
Illinois
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And I played Saratoga 1777 AD yesterday evening. This game is by Turning Point Simulations as one of their series “Twenty Decisive Battles of the World”.

Here we are at turn five

From gallery of jwquinn


It’s a pretty good game. I think the system is good. There is variable initiative each turn, morale and command control. Units have four steps. After movement there is combat, but before firing there is “combat movement” where units that are going to attack can move up to 3 more MPs but must then be adjacent and attack. The fire is back and forth based on a units morale with the highest morale defending units going first and then alternating...
.. like the Colombia block games.

The board is small, as are the units. While a small footprint might be advantageous in some circumstances, I think the board (and hexes) should have been larger. Though stacks are not large, it is sometimes difficult to pick up units without disturbing their neighbors. Also, the color choice of some of the colonials (left wing - see photo of Benedict Arnold’s units on left - words and factors in black ink on dark blue backgrounds) was not the best design choice.

But I rather liked the system. The goal is to break the other army’s morale through inflicting losses. The British can also instantly win by exiting 4 full strength units off a road in Colonial control.

The playing of this game made me wonder how other games in the series might be.
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