Wargames on your table - July 2019
Sam C
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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Soli Deo Gloria!
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Hello everyone and welcome to WGOYT, July 2019. I'm your host, Spartax! Let's have a big hand for moujamou, who is retiring from hosting the list after four years of sterling service.
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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From gallery of spartax


July has struck central Illinois with a heat wave. Are the battles heating up on your table? As always, we want to hear about whatever you're playing, whether it's solo, opposed, face-to-face, digital, traditional or newfangled.

Subscribe here to receive notification of the new list each month!

And 5 shiny GG to the first to post a comment identifying the battlefield pictured above.

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1. Board Game: Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Reprint Edition) [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:1602]
Board Game: Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Reprint Edition)
Sam C
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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I pulled this out for a solo run a few days back. It's my first play with the 2017 emendations and bonus cards. I notice Ed put in "Phony War" rules to nerf the "declare-war-on-a-minor-so-your-buddy-can-intervene-and-get-control-for-nothing" tactic. The New World exploration and colonization are also a little more interesting now.

I'm just about to start turn 4 . . . Ottomans aren't doing well. They negotiated for play of Julia Gonzaga last turn and then whiffed their piracy roll in the Tyrehennian Sea. Plus the Hapsburgs have pushed them all the way back beyond Belgrade. Charles V has also taken two western electorates from the Protestants. This leaves the Haps and the French in the lead - the English held Paris at the end of turn 2, but the French got it back and they've done well in the New World. Papacy is waiting for Paul III to come out so they have a chance on counter-reformations; they were also hamstrung by the Augsburg Confession last turn. Protestants are about to explode into France and England since Calvin and Cranmer are coming out this turn. English have had bad luck on the Pregnancy Chart so far.

Still anybody's game though . . . what an experience - even soloing it!
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2. Board Game: The War for the Union [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:7097]
Board Game: The War for the Union
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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I just got this last week. So I am clipping counters and setting up the first scenario (Bull Run). I reading through rules and pushing around the counters. I am enjoying this game a lot and can't wait to get a opponent.
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3. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:364]
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
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From gallery of dmartin1982
Wagram, 5 July 1809 scenario - French win 6-5


Paul Namie
United States
Crown Point
IN
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After getting back from a recent Eurozone vacation where I had the chance to visit Waterloo, some C&C Napoleonics was definitely in order. As Paul loves his Austrians, Wagram was first up.

We played the 5 July scenario. My French just barely survived the serious casualties inflicted by back-to-back plays of Bayonet Charge and Give Them the Cold Steel to win 6-5.
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4. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:364]
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
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From gallery of dmartin1982
Waterloo - French win, 8-4


Paul Namie
United States
Crown Point
IN
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Naturally, our second game of C&C Napoleonics was Waterloo. I've been feeling a bit sorry for l'Empereur since leaving that fateful field, so I elected to see if I could do a bit better for him. Paul had to don the role of Wellington and the Anglo-Allies.

After reading in David Chandler's book that the original battle plan called for the initial attack to go against Wellington's left (rather than Hougoumont), I decided to follow suit. Not unlike Marshal Ney, I decided the day would be won or lost by the French cavalry, and unleashed the same when I thought the moment was right. Aided by two Cavalry Charge cards and some good rolls, my gamble paid off. It also helped that Paul pulled his men out from some of their defensive positions in an effort to counter-attack—not a good idea!

The day ended in a French victory, 8-4. I couldn't help but think these guys would have been pleased:

From gallery of dmartin1982
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5. Board Game: Brave Little Belgium [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6535]
Board Game: Brave Little Belgium
David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
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From gallery of dmartin1982
The Schlieffen Plan prevails (twice!) in Brave Little Belgium


Paul Namie
United States
Crown Point
IN
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Paul and I also played two games of Brave Little Belgium, switching sides after our first go. The Schlieffen Plan prevailed in both.

The Entente have a tough go of it. My sense is that they definitely need a little more luck than the German player in order to win. But it is certainly a fun game that presents a host of challenges that must be surmounted along the way. Paul did a good job of thrashing my GE armies with the FR 5th, but he ultimately couldn't drive me back past the victory line by the end of the first turn in which victory is checked.

The two games played very differently, and I was in danger of losing via atrocities in my game, whereas Paul only had committed one by the time he won. I think the Entente player needs to keep either the Liege or Namur fort alive and fighting as long as possible. Not an easy task, to be sure. But probably critical in a way neither Paul or I fully appreciated when we played the Entente.
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6. Board Game: The Dark Valley [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:2769]
Board Game: The Dark Valley
David Brown
United Kingdom
Stockport
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About to start turn 4 of the campaign.

I'm soloing it and struggling to implement/remember all the scripting rules (i.e. cities are not really cities until turn three, and then only two of them until turn 7, mech units are double in def in clear terrain for turn 1-3, etc etc)
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7. Board Game: Burma: The Campaign in Northern Burma, 1944 [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:2882]
Board Game: Burma: The Campaign in Northern Burma, 1944
Scenario 1 set up. Been too long since I had OCS on the table. Playing this one solo, will see how far it gets before I've had enough.

I'd really like to play the long campaign. Soon.
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8. Board Game: Hube's Pocket [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:5803]
Board Game: Hube's Pocket
Tankboy
United States
Haslet
Texas
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Same as above. Been too long. Going the full Monty though.
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9. Board Game: The Halls of Montezuma [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:6199]
Board Game: The Halls of Montezuma
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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Last month my family and I went on a cruise to Mexico stopping at Cozumel and Progresso (Yucatan). After I got back I was inspired to get Halls off the shelf and give it a play again, it had been awhile. As of this post I am getting ready for turn three. The US has taken the Disputed Zone, repulsed the Mexican Army in Ft. Brown (Brownsville) but may be in trouble since the Mexican Army has since been rebuilt and the US has not, since war has not been declared. Seems I am enjoying the game more now than I did before. It is a very good game on the subject but suffering from a not so good rulebook.
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10. Board Game: (Unnamed Wargame) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: (Unnamed Wargame)
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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I will just call it "Colliers Encyclopedia Yearbook for 1956 Strategic War Game". Explanation forthcoming.

Just got home from visiting my mom who is 94 and lives several hundred miles away. Rummaging through a closet, I came across this wargame. I designed it and played it when I was 9 or 10. This was in the early 1960's. (let's estimate 1962)

From gallery of jwquinn


The only military strategy games I had played at this point was Risk, Stratego, and perhaps Dogfight and The Civil War (the latter two in Milton Bradley's American Heritage series - it was about this same time that they entered my life). I had never heard of Avalon Hill. It was still at least a couple years before my eyes would spy AH's Battle of the Bulge at the local hobby store.

I had some HO scale army men, complete with tanks, artillery and troop carriers. I painted the helmets on half of the army men black, as well as half of the tank turrets and parts of the artillery and troop carriers. Then, I cut ships out of cardboard viewed from top down.

I got our Colliers Encyclopedia Yearbook from 1956 (it was abut 6 or 7 years old by then)and used the map inside the front cover and facing page as my gameboard (see photo). I drew in and labled the starting positions for the ships (B) (stands for "boats" I guess... I don't remember for sure), infantry (M) ("man" I think); Tank (T); Amphibious carriers (A); Cannons (C). I never added air, but I remember abstracting it.

I drew dark lines to show which squares were traversable by land units. Boats were used to transport land units. There was production but I do not remember the details except infantry was cheapest. You could move diagonally. Units differed in movement and attack strength. Artillery had range (I know... at this scale?). Something like Tanks: attack 3 & move 2; Amphib carriers: attack 2 & move 2; Infantry: Attack 1 & move 1; Artillery: Attack 2 (range) & move 1. Ships Attack 2 & move 2. Those values I remember changing several times but this is what I ended up with, I think. Th attack was the number of Dice to roll hoping for a hit on a 5 or 6 (this was changed some too. I think this was what I ended up with).

It was neat running across this game I made which once was "on my table". Here we are and the map found its way to my table again. The pieces are long gone. As soon as I saw the old book I remembered what I had done inside over 50 years ago.
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11. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2866]
Board Game: Risk: Godstorm
The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Played against my kids. My son had fun concentrating on banishing as many gods as he could, whereas I concentrated on taking territory. You can probably guess how that turned out.

I think next game he’s going to focus more on grabbing territory.
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12. Board Game: Glory Recalled: Hong Kong 1941 [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
Board Game: Glory Recalled: Hong Kong 1941
Ronald EMCA LADD
Canada
Whitby/Durham Region
Ontario
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I played this with an opponent whom we generally play block or hex and counter games. This was his first game that uses cards as the primary mechanism for play. The last time I played this game was about 18 months ago, so it was a new experience for the two of us. We reviewed the rules, set up the game with myself as the Japanese military and my opponent as the British/Commonwealth military.

I started off with lots of activation cards for my three Japanese regiments, since we were both fairly new at the game, I was not as aggressive as I should have been and that would haunt me later in the game. My opponent had the opposite issue, he had lots of combat support cards, but, almost no activation cards. This continued pretty consistently for the first three turns.

My Japanese forces were able to push the British/Commonwealth forces off of the Gin Line on the mainland portion of Hong Kong, my opponent did suffer some casualties, yet, it was I whom seemed to be loosing more units. By the forth turn the Indian forces had withdrawn to Hong Kong island while the British forces set up a defensive position in Kolwoon protecting the docks. At one point during this the British right flank was completely open and exposed. My opponent gambled that I didn’t have a activation card for that regiment and of course he was correct. With my opponent’s ability to activate his British units, he was able to counterattack my generally immobile force. My Japanese did occupy some of the victory spaces to reduce the amount of victory points my opponent was receiving at the end of each turn, however, I could see he was gaining victory points much faster than I was.

At one point I had the maximum number of cards in my hand, fifteen, not one of them were an activation card. I frequently had to pass giving the initiative to my opponent. Finally on the turn just prior to a British/Commonwealth victory, I did receive an activation card, the last in the deck, as my opponent withdrew the remaining British units to Hong Kong island, my final movement was the capture of the Kowloon docks. This was the end of the game as my opponent had reached the British/Commonwealth victory threshold. I had lost about 40% of my units in the game.

Overall I enjoyed the game very much. I do agree of the frustration my opponent felt waiting for a card that allowed units to be activated. Yet, this was still a fun, enjoyable and interesting game. However, my opponent did not enjoy the game. He did state he was glad to have tried the game, yet, he would not play it a second time. It appears that I’m going to need to find a new opponent for this game as I’m not too sure how it would work playing it solitaire.

I must also add in that the game is self published and the components are first rate. Everything is high quality, the map is mounted, looks good and very functional. The counters are thick, they pop right out of the spruce and do not need any trimming. The rules are good, organised a little differently than I would have expected. This led to a few added moments of trying to find a rule that was looking for, but, at most this was a minor quibble.
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13. Board Game: Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:5006]
Board Game: Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain
Jason Lewandowski
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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I'm still exploring this.
Soon to get Thunder in the Ozarks: Battle for Pea Ridge, March 1862 back out again after.
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14. Board Game: Fortress Europa [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3630]
Board Game: Fortress Europa
alex w
Singapore
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I’m still at it. Takes abit of time due to work commitments.

At least the landing was a reasonable success. laugh
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15. Board Game: Crossing the Line: Aachen 1944 [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:6698]
Board Game: Crossing the Line: Aachen 1944
Gregg Keizer
United States
Creswell
Oregon
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From gallery of gkeizer


36th Armored Infantry Reg., Combat Command B, 3rd Armored Div. tries to hold off a German kampfgruppe from the 9th Panzer Div. (green-banded units). The latter had separated the Americans from their follow-on forces, then from the south assaulted the 36th as it defended Oberforstbach, south of Aachen.

Earlier, the 3rd Armored penetrated the anti-tank obstacles to the northwest but fierce combat broke out at its spearhead after it ejected German defenders from the village (worth 10 VPs, so worth holding onto). Casualties among the Americans have been severe: The 36th has lost nearly a third of it original effectiveness (started with 14 strength points, now down to 10) and is cut off from headquarters' command and control. And the 3rd's tank battalions -- especially 2nd Battalion, 33 Armored Regiment -- have been manhandled by the German panzers.

Action in this game moves in slow motion, but in a good way, as initiative switches unpredictably, and as you get deeper into a turn, operations must be kept on a short leash, as Operational Points are harder to come by.


I really like this.
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16. Board Game: Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-61 [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:3185] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-61
Adam Sena
United States
Cranston
Rhode Island
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I have a week at camp Yawgoog with the Scouts coming up. One of the other Scoutmasters is a gaming partner of mine and we usually take a few games with us. This one is easy to teach and quick to play, so if some of the Scouts want to learn it, all the better.
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17. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:750]
Board Game: Empire of the Sun
Bodhi Gray
United Kingdom
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Played through two games of the 1942 scenario with a friend. These were very much learning games and in both Japanese struggled to reach their historical goals, and so resulted in tactical allied victories.

In the first the Japanese threw caution to the wind in the last turn and tried to string a washing line of air cover across the Pacific to cut off US and Australia, but it was broken up by the US fleet.

Great game and we’ll be playing it again with greater competence.
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18. Board Game: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947 [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:2661]
Board Game: Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947
Bodhi Gray
United Kingdom
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Two solo games, the first four handed and the second playing as the Raj against the other three factions as bots.

Both times ended with historic outcomes, the Muslim League victory and the formation of Pakistan.

It’s a period and theme that I’m interested and enjoyed both games.
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19. Board Game: Hundred Days 20 [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Hundred Days 20
Marlin Back
United States
COLUMBUS
Indiana
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I find this game to be a nice go to when I am not in the mood for a heavy war game. Great components, easy rules and enough complexity to keep me interested.
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20. Board Game: A House Divided: War Between the States 1861-65 [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1239]
Board Game: A House Divided: War Between the States 1861-65
Marlin Back
United States
COLUMBUS
Indiana
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I also have this on my table this week. Always a good time.
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21. Board Game: Rise and Decline of the Third Reich [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1714]
Board Game: Rise and Decline of the Third Reich
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Busting out my 3rd edition copy to experiment with the "enemy in the East" options. I read the book by that title a few years ago and was surprised how in the mid 1930's Germany was trying hard to woo Poland into joining an anti-Bolshevik campaign against the USSR. I, like many people I suspect, grew up with only tales of Polish defiance toward Germany so the book was quite eye opening so much so I intend to read it again sometime soon.

The book outlines three major plans the German general staff worked on for war in 1939:

1. Optimal where Poland, Rumania, Hungary, and the Baltic States were allies and German troops could invade along the entire front. There was also a variant of this with natural Poland so the attack would strike north and south.
2. Northern Option: Neutral Poland and Rumania but allies with the Baltic States and launch the invasion from there.
3. Southern Option Poland neutral. Allied with Rumania and Hungary and launch the invasion in the south.

So just pushing some counter around to see what result I get. I have tried option 1 with both Victory in Europe and Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe and the Russians got hammered in VE and did slightly better in US.

Yes, I love alternate history
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22. Board Game: Thunder at the Crossroads: The Battle of Gettysburg [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunder at the Crossroads: The Battle of Gettysburg
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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Jon is back in town and we started this game to commemorate the anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg. Although this game will go on long past the anniversary!

We are playing with the same modifications that I made to In their Quiet fields which we played last month.

We have never played using the orders system but we have decided to give it a try. We are really only getting our toes wet as we are using the 'Simple Orders' rules found on The Gamers website. Sort of a compromise.

We are playing the July 1st scenario. Here is the end of the July 1st 9 AM turn:

From gallery of No Expectations


Once again, as so many times before in so many Gettysburg games, Heth's division is marching up the Chambersburg Pike. Destiny awaits.
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23. Board Game: World War I: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:4061]
Board Game: World War I: Deluxe Edition
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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I have this set up on my solitaire table. Interesting system, with much of the damage from combat abstracted into mobilization points.
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24. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1185] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Board Game: World in Flames Deluxe Edition
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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And not one but TWO games of WIF Collector's Edition going - a face-to-face six-player game (we had our first session this weekend past, I'm the Soviets), and a two-player live-vassal game where we are set up and the Germans (I'm the Axis) are about to go into Poland.
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25. Board Game: Absolute Victory: World Conflict 1939-1945 [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:7642]
Board Game: Absolute Victory: World Conflict 1939-1945
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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And because one global World War II game going at a time isn't enough, we will shortly resume (after a hiatus caused by much gallivanting in Europe) our live-vassal game of AV.
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