Wargames on your table - March 2018
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Hello friends! Welcome to the March list, where we will again be asking the eternal question: What wargames are on your table this month?

As usual, it doesn't matter if it's solo or opposed, face-to-face or digital, trad or fangled. If you can crush your enemies, you're good.

So, let's get on with it.


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Board Game: No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Murfreesboro, Dec. 30, 1862 to Jan. 2, 1863
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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I've been enjoying having CWBS on the solo table recently and I'm continuing with Stones River.

2 hours in and the Confederate surprise attack on the Union right is well under way. Sheridan is meant to be the guy who get's into a position to prevent to collapse of the right from turning into a complete catastrophe but he got a loose cannon result on an initiative roll and took his division forward to attack the centre of the rebel line, rather than wheel round and protect the rest of the Union army. He might still be able to get back but this might end badly.

From gallery of moujamou


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2. Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden [Average Rating:8.37 Overall Rank:1881]
Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Dan and I are playing the full campaign, with Dan running the German defenders and myself commanding the Allied forces. So far, we have completed 5 of 20 turns, having just completed the night turn of September 18, 1944, thereby finishing D+1.

To date, my Allied forces are doing fairly well and are roughly paralleling the historical progress. XXX Corps has reached the 101st in Eindhoven and has moved through the town heading towards Grave. The 82nd is holding their perimeter near Nijmegen but they will need XXX Corps muscle to capture that town. Finally, the British 1st Airborne has a strong position west of Arnhem, though they had to give up their toehold in the city itself. Overall, over twenty German formations have been removed from the Axis order of battle, but German strength is growing near Arnhem and Nijmegen.

We are really enjoying this game, which got my vote for the Golden Geek Wargame of the Year. Mark Simonitch has created a masterpiece here.

From gallery of desertfox2004


Now we just have to find more time to play. So far we have had five weeknight sessions playing one turn per session, at around two hours per session. Our plan is to find a Saturday morning where we can knock out three turns in one sitting.
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3. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:310]
Board Game: Maria
Sam Smith
United Kingdom
Newport Pagnell
Buckinghamshire
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Another very enjoyable game, playing as the Prussians/Saxons/Pragmatics. The Austrian player gave the French a little too much room early on - despite my highly partisan promptings - and needed to be slightly more defensive-minded. He depleted his hand in some early battles (mainly with the Prussians) some of which he initiated voluntarily and then had to face the French who had a pretty full hand and bashed him decisively. The French played very well and looked close to winning on both sides of the board, even after I offered the Austrians peace. Despite this ganging up against them they won it towards the end of the 3rd year, just in time before I broke the truce and swept up a bunch of Austrian VPs – the Saxons had just changed sides but it would have been too late to help him much.

Mind you, I can’t really offer a critique of other people’s play as I went into the game telling myself to play patiently and look for weaknesses. Instead, I had a rush of blood to the head/got tired of waiting and piled in quite early, decisively winning a battle but leaving one Prussian army with enemies on three sides smack in the middle of an area for which I had precisely zero of the right battle cards left. The outcome was interesting in terms of the psychology of these things. I expected my rashness to be punished, with the army being pinned and eliminated on the next Austrian turn. But he took counsel of his fears – where I saw an over-extended salient ready to be pinched off he saw a powerful and dangerous penetration of his lines and backed off (and I know he had at least one card to finish me off).

I like this game a lot – simple rules but tricky, ever-changing decisions, the politics track adds some good chrome, nice components and theme, truly playable with 3 and Eurogamers will give it a go. As a wargamer the caginess and the ability to avoid decisive defeat and pull away (by taking a loss of just 1 or 2) seems authentic to the period, though there are no siege rules.

The one abstracted aspect that gives me slight pause is the card play in battle: you have a big hand of different suites of cards, the map is divided into corresponding zones and you need the matching cards to battle in a given area. On the one hand this provides a really fun game within a game with lots of scope for one-two combinations and bluffing. However, personally I’d like a satisfactory rationale for what it is representing in military terms. The answer I give myself is that it’s some combination of morale/fatigue/depleted supplies –an army which has depleted all its Clubs but moves to a Hearts area has recovered those things through the passage of time (given a turn is a season). However, if the same army had stayed in Clubs it’d have stayed pretty weak unless the palyer got very lucky on his next draw. And what about the situation where all your armies are fresh but you have no/few Spades in hand – what’s that representing – better enemy tactics or use of terrain? But I realise this is Groggy nitpicking: I do really enjoy the card battles and understand some abstraction is needed if you want things kept fairly simple.
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4. Board Game: Drive on Moscow: Operation Typhoon, 1941 [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:9377]
Board Game: Drive on Moscow: Operation Typhoon, 1941
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Going through my second play now. The first did not go so well even though I captured Kursk which is usually the toughest city to capture if you go for the capture all cities but Moscow approach to victory.

Board Game: Drive on Moscow: Operation Typhoon, 1941
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5. Board Game: A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:1265]
Board Game: A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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After having spent another month wrestling with the solitaire mode for Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 and getting nowhere, I've decided that I'll probably need to play a face-to-face to better help me understand the interactions between the factions. I've shelved the game and will probably pull it out again in a few months time to try again with a fresh perspective.

Meanwhile, I realized that it's been WAY too long since I played a hex-n-counter "real" ( ) wargame. Looking through all the unplayed games on my shelf, I decided to get some low-hanging fruit off my list. I've now clipped the counters and will read the rules and set it up tonight. If I'm lucky, I might even get my son interested in trying it out with me.

Pics to come.
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6. Board Game: Space Infantry [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:4181]
Board Game: Space Infantry
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I accidentally picked this game up in a recent mathtrade. Although it looked interesting, I was worried that it was simply a story generator, similar to The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43. I set up the game one evening and tried a single mission. My worry increased, as I felt that there were really so few decisions involved in the mission.

Before resigning the game to the trade pile, I read the advanced rules, the optional rules, and the campaign rules. For fun, I set up a campaign and played through the first mission (which happened to be the same mission that I'd initially played). Wow! What a difference those extra rules and campaign setting make to the game. There are actually significant decisions involved;

- which units of your squad to deploy
- when to burn ammo
- how to use command points
- what to spend XP on

This month I'll be exploring the campaign system a little more to experience everything it has to offer.

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7. Board Game: Tunisia II [Average Rating:8.47 Overall Rank:3909]
Board Game: Tunisia II
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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We are ready to start the April 12 1943 turn in our game. If the Allies get to go first, well that would be really, really bad for the Axis.
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8. Board Game: The Korean War June 1950-May 1951 [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:2729]
Board Game: The Korean War June 1950-May 1951
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Turn 8 of the game - winter. The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming! I don't think the UN forces will reach the Yalu...
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9. Board Game: Fields of Fire [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:1273]
Board Game: Fields of Fire
Brent Gaddie
United States
South Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Failed the first WWII mission because there was one German platoon in the second row. Starting the re-attempt to get them removed and hope for no German counter attacks.
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10. Board Game: Crète 1941: Opération Merkur [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:12903]
Board Game: Crète 1941: Opération Merkur
Piergennaro Federico
Italy
Milano
Unspecified
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We have on the table this old issue of Vae Victis
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11. Board Game: The Lost Cause: The American Civil War, 1861-1865 [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:6297]
Board Game: The Lost Cause: The American Civil War, 1861-1865
Wayne Hansen
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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Lee suffered a grievous injury in early 1862, which combined with some of the unluckiest rolls I've ever made resulted in a Rebel defeat. When Richmond is lost that early, forget about it.
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12. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2 [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1002]
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2
Tankboy
United States
Haslet
Texas
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From gallery of Fly by Night


Getting S17 A Ridge too Far prepped for tomorrow cool
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13. Board Game: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:955]
Board Game: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection
alex w
Singapore
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First solo on this COIN.
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14. Board Game: Warriors of God: The Wars of England & France, 1135-1453 [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1414]
Board Game: Warriors of God: The Wars of England & France, 1135-1453
alex w
Singapore
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Been awhile since. Will game with a good Friend this weekend.
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15. Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1327]
Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men
Ron A
United States
California
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This is probably the messiest game I'm in right now:

http://www.youplay.it/play/ws_GameMove.asp?GameID=785798

Half the ships involved are tangled in a Sargasso-like jumble, with less than half a dozen left with full movement (out of 16 we started with).
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16. Board Game: Barbarossa Deluxe: The Russo-German War – 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Board Game: Barbarossa Deluxe: The Russo-German War – 1941-1945
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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This just arrived today and is already on the table. I picked it up mainly because 1. I like the scale. 2. The scenarios including a 1942 start of war and 3. I like the system which plays easy and allows the player to focus on strategy.

Since I have been looking a lot lately at Kursk offensive I am going to try the Manstein Gambit scenario first and go from there. At first I wondered why there is no ZOC but one look at the map answers that
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17. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader
ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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This, all weekend at the Heroes tournament in Blackpool.


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18. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:492] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
Just started a new 2 player PBEM of this on here.
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19. Board Game: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:955]
Board Game: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection
And I am still playing this one here via Vassal. 4 players, me playing the british side.
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20. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:371]
Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
New month and a new game of this one as well. I'm playing the Jihadists. Slowly getting used to the game...
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21. Board Game: Wild Blue Yonder [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:4254] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Board Game: Wild Blue Yonder
Magister Ludi
Australia
Fremantle
Western Australia
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Just started a campaign of Rommel attacks. I have wanted to get into this system for a while and have had Zero! sitting on the shelf unplayed for a very long time...WBY has a nice set of components and a friend has learnt the rules and rolled it out ( always a bonus when some one is prepared to teach)

I am Axis and in the first mission won in a 11VP to Nil recon mission. I got bounced by 4 Hurricanes on the next mission however and the scoring was allies 10VP to Nil, so now I am only 1 point up as we set up the next mission...
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Board Game: The Greatest Day: Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches – Battle for Normandy: Volume One
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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"Tenacity, Dick. Stay with the bastard until he's on the bottom." LCDR Mush Morton to LT Richard H. O'Kane, USS WAHOO (SS 238)
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I have two games going of “To the Sea,” the scenario of the 21st Panzer’s brief counterattact against the British 3rd Infantry Division on June 6th. One is my first attempt at PBEM — quite the learning experience!
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23. Board Game: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:5872]
Board Game: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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"Tenacity, Dick. Stay with the bastard until he's on the bottom." LCDR Mush Morton to LT Richard H. O'Kane, USS WAHOO (SS 238)
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More Grand Tactical Series goodnes in progress, this one solo on Vassal. Death ride of the Fallschirmjaeger!
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24. Board Game: Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Battles of Bull Run [Average Rating:8.55 Overall Rank:3091] [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked]
Board Game: Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Battles of Bull Run
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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"Tenacity, Dick. Stay with the bastard until he's on the bottom." LCDR Mush Morton to LT Richard H. O'Kane, USS WAHOO (SS 238)
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I’ve been itching to dive into the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War, and this is my first attempt. Playing one of the All Green Alike scenarios solo on my table. Good to push some counters around with my fingers rather than a trackpad.
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25. Board Game: Angola [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:2076]
Board Game: Angola
jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
Spain
Madrid
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I'm playing my first game of this (through PBEM).

I am really enjoying the game - we are in our first turns, and for everyone it's the first game, so we make some rule errors, but it's being very nice.

I enjoy specially the asymmetrical aspect of the game. Each faction has some special rules regarding reinforcements, blank cards, etc, and even the entry point of reinforcements change the game a lot.

I am playing as MPLA. For my very limited experience, I think that the key to a victory is always going to be Luanda. My strongholds are in the east, so I have tried finishing every trace of enemies there. That way I will be able to defend Luanda

Its' being a very nice game, and the other players are always playing on time and are very nice, so it's being a fun ride.
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