Wargames on your table - April 2018
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Hello friends! Welcome to another month of vicarious wargame thrills. The weather is clearing up (in theory) so let us all know how you are kicking off the campaigning season. It doesn't matter if it's solo or opposed, face-to-face or digital, trad or fangled. If you can crush your enemies, we want to hear about it!


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1. Board Game: GD '40 [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:4777]
Malcolm Cameron
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Playing the first scenario solo (the initial German attack on Stonne) to try to get fully immersed in TCS.

I have even drawn up op sheets in pretty colours.

The more I play TCS the more I like it. It is almost the antithesis of ASL (which I love). It does well the things ASL is not so good at (hello command and control!), and even though it lacks some of the edge of the seat tension of ASL the strengths of TCS make it worth a look.
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2. Board Game: Pax Renaissance [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:638]
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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I can't believe I would love a card game like Pax Renaissance had it not the subject on a period I am so interested in: the Renaissance. This is all what Medieval, almost with the same rectangular map cards that lay out the whole of Europe, was meant to be. It is almost a classic text book on the Renaissance period, and who are the boss behind the developments and history in Europe. The bankers (or the house financiers) are the movers behind the conspiracies inside the royalties, overtaking kingdoms and powers with republics (a form of government more favorable to commerce and bankers), imperial and territorial expansions (riches that come with land and new discoveries), peasant revolts and religious wars, holy victory with supremacy in theocracies chosen, bishopric inquisitions of the heretics and the trade voyage that goes east or west. There are many more, perhaps as I didn't come across all the rules and mechanical subtleties in the game. What's not to like? A game for every Renaissance students.
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3. Board Game: Battle Hymn Vol.1: Gettysburg and Pea Ridge [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked]
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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Join the crowd that has already played and reported on this game. So far I am very impressed with game, it easy to learn and feels “right”.
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Jason Lewandowski
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Missed out on these when they first came out. Very excited to see this tri-pack! Saratoga is on the table right now.

(Here’s hoping GMT does something like this for the first three Great Battles of the American Civil War that I missed out on).
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5. Board Game: The U.S. Civil War [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:1563]
Krister Dahlgren
Sweden
Gävle
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Second try for this one after the first game had to be abandoned - table needed for other things...

Really liking it so far but I find that I have a hard time disconnecting my head from the For the People rules and mindset.

I have read several comments that the rebel cause is hopeless but that is far from my very limited experience. As in FtP, an aggressive CSA player can really put pressure on the Union. Only turn 3 in the game, but the south is still hanging on to west Virginia, threatening Pittsburgh and Harrisburg in the east (although strong USA forces are approach from the west), marching into Kentucky in the west and... well, not doing too much in the trans-mississippi except from hanging into south Missouri, which is good enough I guess. The union has landed some small excursions on a couple of islands but not been able (no naval/any cards) to launch any larger invasions or take out any coastal forts.

Really liking forward to play this to the end!
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6. Board Game: Nevsky [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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I have my playtest prototype for Nevsky on the table - the Teutons trying to take advantage of Mongol-beset Novgorod, very rude of them...
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7. Board Game: Churchill [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:503]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Our PBEM game approaches the end; Germany long conquered but Japan still holding out. Looks like the Soviets will finally invade Manchuria; then we just need to put the final touches on the bomb to conquer Japan...
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8. Board Game: Tunisia II [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:4286]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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We are up to April 19 in our vassal game; things look tough for the Germans and Italians, but do the Allies have enough high-quality troops to offset German panzers and take both Tunis and Bizerte for a win? I'm guessing not.
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9. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:485]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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I'm just trying to make Cuba safe for sleazy gambling joints, and these other idiots are all bombing and fighting each other. What's an independent businessman to do?
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10. Board Game: Operation Musketeer [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Nigel Swan
Ireland
Dublin 18
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11. Board Game: Victory in Vietnam [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:7473]
Jakub Kircun
United States
Woods Hole
Massachusetts
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Dusted off my copy of this rather rough, but also very intriguing, strategic level game on Vietnam. Unlike a lot of games on this subject, this one includes the whole of Indochina!

End of Fall 1964: The VC in South Vietnam are masters of the Mekong Delta, and also manage to take possession of several other towns in the central highlands. When ARVN troops arrive to confront the VC they simply retreat back into the hills, but not before gaining some VPs. By Khe Sanh three augmented NVA divisions surround and assault the town. A US special forces brigade is sent-in to reinforce the defending ARVN division there, but in the end the base cannot hold. A rather disastrous turn for South Vietnam, and the US will have to commit ground forces to hold back the communist tide...
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12. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:292]
Andreas Kaiser
Germany
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Fourth game in the row going on via Vassal here. Still playing the Jihadists. Slowly getting into the game.
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13. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:1195]
Andreas Kaiser
Germany
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And I have a two player Vassal game going on with this one here as well. Me playing the soviets in the USSR 1941-1944 two factions scenario.
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14. Board Game: Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:2263]
Mike Stoddart
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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I'm still reading through the rules but I'm looking forward to getting into SCS.
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15. Board Game: Mollwitz and Chotusitz: Battles of the First Silesian War [Average Rating:8.97 Unranked]
Michael McCalpin
United States
McKinney
Texas
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It's 1000 at Chotusitz from my game begun last month. The infantry engagement has taken center stage, in part because both sides' cavalry wings have beaten one another into poor shape. It's not clear that the "winners" of either flank cavalry duel will have enough power to affect the infantry battle.

The Prussian reinforcements keep feeding onto the battle, deploying, and engaging, while the Austrians press forward. Both sides have for their own reasons decided to primarily stay at one hex range and engage in a firefight rather than close to a decision. For the Prussians, the knowledge of their superior firepower and that there was no second line behind their first made the downside of close combat too risky compared to the comfort of standing off and engaging in musketry. Ironically, the Austrians figured on standing and shooting precisely because they had a large numerical superiority: even if the first line buckled, the second line would fill in any opportunities.

Thus far, the Prussians are, as expected, getting the better of the firefight, but the Austrians are still holding in there for now.

There have been a few fun incidents along the way. The Prussians overestimated their ability to use their cavalry to protect their infantry flank near the village of Chotusitz and they also overestimated their ability to shuffle troops to build a second line and firm up their flank. Then the Austrians got a special event offered them a second activation for a command. They selected the infantry that then advanced and was about to bring about a potentially crushing close combat onto the exposed Prussian left, when....they totally whiffed their morale checks and the whole thing came to naught.

Further to the right, a big Prussian stack of cavalry was approached by the Austrian infantry and similarly failed its morale check. It then failed to rally at the end of the turn, so they are leaving themselves as a very tempting target for Austrian gunfire next turn.

This is a really fun system: very complex but intuitive enough once learned. My only complaint thus far has been that I have had really poor rolls for the Austrians for Army Morale in these last two games, and that is one die roll that has far-reaching effects for the battle and is unlikely to be balanced out by a larger population of rolls.
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16. Board Game: Ball's Bluff [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Andrew N
United States
Rochester
Minnesota
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I just soloed this for the first time today. It's a piece of cake, but with a really minimal ruleset it still captured the feel of the battle really well. There's a lot of chaos (chance) involved, and it's a relatively short game, so I think it should replay well, too.
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17. Board Game: The Arab-Israeli Wars [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:3289]
Steve Lopez
United States
Maryland
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I purchased my first "hardcore" wargame, PanzerBlitz, 45 years ago this month. PB and its sister games, Panzer Leader and Arab-Israeli Wars will always have a place in my collection.

I bought AIW about a year after release, but it never seemed to hit the table very much. It was always shoved to the side by newer, shinier games (Squad Leader, Sword & Sorcery, Commando, various mini-games) or even just crunchier ones (Tobruk, Red Star White Star 2e). So I've decided to give it a few plays and see if I can recapture the feeling of what originally drew me to the hobby.
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18. Board Game: 878: Vikings – Invasions of England [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:1050]
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 have this one out an taking a look at the expansion rules as the base game was very easy to master. This is a nice, light, fun, intro type game. I told my wife it will be ideal someday with our expanding family as we can each take one of the boys on our team to indoctrinate introduce them to the wide world of wargaming
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19. Board Game: Raiders of the Deep: U-boats of the Great War, 1914-18 [Average Rating:8.93 Unranked]
Josh Conner
United States
Medford
Oregon
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Built on “The Hunters” system, this great game focuses on an under represented aspect of World War 1. I’m greatly enjoying it, and the designer offers fantastic support of his game.
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ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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Set up while I read the rules. Lovely map.

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21. Board Game: Last Blitzkrieg [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:3789]
Tonny Wille
Belgium
9310 Meldert
Oost-Vlaanderen
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We recently finished the St-Vith scenario and are now going to fight the campaign. Should keep us busy for quite some time while I'm waiting for Brazen chariots
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22. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:428]
Tonny Wille
Belgium
9310 Meldert
Oost-Vlaanderen
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Another game that is going to start this week. It will be my first game ever (playing the British) so I hope I don't mess up to much.
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23. Board Game: The Greatest Day: Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches [Average Rating:8.66 Overall Rank:3432]
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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My brother Scott and I completed the 2 turn introductory scenario #6, On to Bayeaux, which we did on Vassal via PBEM over the past 2 weeks. It was our first time using PBEM, which was more enjoyable than using Skype, because it eliminated the analysis/paralysis downtime. And our livers thanked us because there was a lot less drinking going on with the PBEM.

He took the Brits, and I was the Germans. In this great little scenario, we each had to choose one of three objectives to take, which made the game a complex set of choices on where and how to defend and to attack. Scott had the stronger and more numerous forces, with lots of tank units, but I was able to use the bocage with great effect to assist in my defensive scheme. My plan was to get as far forward as I could and set up a defense in depth to slow down his powerful and fast tank units. It worked very well, and he was never able to get near his objective, shifting late in the scenario to try to prevent me from holding mine, which I had raced to get early. In the end I achieved my objective and he didn't, so it was a rare victory for me.

So now we are moving on to the 4 day intermediate scenario #6 "Nemesis," which covers the Canadian landings on Juno and their push inland and fierce engagements with the 12th SS Division ("Hitlerjungend"). I also have a solo game going and another PBEM with someone from the Vassal Wargamer's Facebook group who kindly offer to help me explore the system.
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24. Board Game: Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942 [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:2099] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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After playing Pendragon I have moved on to learn the Wing Leader series and am playing the first scenario for the first time. The Japanese bombers have dropped their bombs and are headed off the board. So far the Japanese have 3 loses and one straggler but the Allied have two loses. It seems like a neat game and want to try the first scenario again after getting a handle on it and seeing I made some mistakes.
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25. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – The Pacific 1942 [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:2228]
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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Soloing scenario three. I have to say, the scenario design has really been interesting so far, and CoH really hits the sweet spot in terms of the number of pieces to maneuver and the tactical problems to work out.
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