Wargames on your table - June 2020
Sam C
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Urbana
Illinois
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I imagine that many of us have been dismayed by the news coming in from all over the USA for the past few weeks. Yesterday it hit home for me, with demonstrations in my home town that turned violent. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have suffered, lost loved ones, or had their livelihood impacted.

Fortunately, when the real world gets too much to handle, we can withdraw from controversial issues to nice, easy, cut-and-dried rules about line-of-sight, which never cause any argument. What's on your (actual or virtual) table this month? Whether it's opposed or solo, we want to hear about it!

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Five shiny Geekgold to the first commenter to identify this June battle!

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1. Board Game: Saratoga [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:3419]
Board Game: Saratoga
Evan Katz III
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Played a solo run through of the game. British marginal victory. I really like this series. Did not use the Tactics chits though. I thought the game was a little more streamlined without them and couldn't completely figure out how to use the solo tactics chit table from C3i magazine. Anyhow- I think I might play Germantown next.
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2. Board Game: Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812 [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:6765]
Board Game: Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812
ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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I recently played Jours de Gloire: Battle of Issy, 1815, and thought the rules set seemed familiar, then realised that this game uses more or less the same rules. So, twelve years after my last play of it, it’s back on the table.

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3. Board Game: Fall Blau: Army Group South, June to December 1942 [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:6691] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Board Game: Fall Blau: Army Group South, June-December 1942
Łukasz
Palestine
Earth
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I am soloing July campaign on Vassal:

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Fall Blau is one of most refreshing wargaming experience I've ever had.

From my own comment:

Alright, it is definitely growing on me making me regret for the time I have left it on a shelf. Fall Blau is one of most refreshing and innovative games on Eastern Front published in 2010s. Size-wise this is a monster but it's compensated by extremely streamlined gameplay; it really shows that the game has undergone an extensive development, leaving all the unnecessary bits out. But beware not, Fall Blau is a not a cookie-cutter flop: it is oozing with chrome that has been seamlessly incorporated into the rules, conveying the asymmetrical nature of the conflict.

Gameplay itself is very much focused on command and logistics, as it should be, given the scale: there is not much more than movement and combat, but it has never been so much fun.

Wonderful design by Greg Blanchett. Hats off to him and to Compass, for bringing it to the market.

2020-06-02 update: German portion of turn #3 concluded with an unsuccessful assault on Voronhez. The German armoured divisions took no losses but failed to dislodge defenders from the city. In other part of the frontline things aren't that grim but neither they are too bright: while there is a huge hole of operational size in the Soviet lines, Germans have too little forces to exploit it appropriately.

From gallery of grouchysmurf


From gallery of grouchysmurf
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4. Board Game: Stalingrad '42: Southern Russia, June-December, 1942 [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:4075]
Board Game: Stalingrad '42: Southern Russia, June-December, 1942
Chuck Tewksbury
United States
Gardner
Massachusetts
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My first Simonitch game played! Great rules and smooth game flow. Tough and meaningful decisions for both sides. Can't wait to try it again soon!
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5. Board Game: Saipan: The Bloody Rock [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:7336]
Board Game: Saipan: The Bloody Rock
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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After playing the second learning scenario last month, I have scenario 3, Dog Day (the first day) out for a solo play before introducing it to the group.
From gallery of Doug1020
Scenario 3, Dog Day, 0700 hours.


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6. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:870]
Board Game: For the People
Sam Smith
United Kingdom
Newport Pagnell
Buckinghamshire
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I'm currently giving this a try solo with Stuka Joe's solo CDG method. A nice looking game and the map offers so many possibilities. In 1861 we've had an inconclusive Bull Run, while out West them Rebs have managed to get control of Kentucky.

Various posts here suggested you could solo this, but I must admit I'm struggling with it as a contest. The rules took a little while to grok as they are a step up from other similar CDGs I've played (eg Sword of Rome). But its not the rules really its the depth of the gameplay and strategy. Early on its hard as a newbie to figure out what to do with all the options open, but when you do figure out a basic plan for the turn for one side the killer solo is that you immediately know this as the other side, and can counter it. While its been quite fun I think this one may have to go away now til after lockdown when it can get some ftf play.
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7. Board Game: Ukraine '43 [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:2381]
Board Game: Ukraine '43
Still on the table; but hopefully will get some turns done over the next few weeks . . .

Board Game: Ukraine '43
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8. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:140]
Board Game: Paths of Glory
Haight
United States
Spokane
Washington
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Punched and clipped. Following along with the example of play.
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9. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:1232]
Board Game: Empires in Arms
Osprey
United States
West Virginia
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Just started playing Empires in Arms.
The featured painting is of the Battle of Fleurus during the French Revolution
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10. Board Game: A Spoiled Victory: Dunkirk 1940 [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:8027]
Board Game: A Spoiled Victory: Dunkirk 1940
Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
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On the table. Learning and playing my first game of this to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo. Currently a couple of turns in.
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11. Board Game: 1985: Deadly Northern Lights [Average Rating:9.24 Overall Rank:9710] [Average Rating:9.24 Unranked]
Board Game: 1985: Deadly Northern Lights
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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I am re-reading the rules and setting up the first scenario.

From gallery of zeotter
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12. Board Game: Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:2877] [Average Rating:8.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg!
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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Continuation of game from last month.

When we last left our saga, GE was not able to collapse FR in time to install Vichy so they decided to take over the whole place. This basically meant Barb would be postponed. Over the course of '41 the Germans persuaded the Greeks and Turks to get onboard with the program while the Brits chased the Italians back to Tripoli.

Russia successfully challenged GE and shed the pact. They made some limited gains in Poland and took Konigsberg (temporarily). When the bulk of the Germans transferred from FR, that put a swift end to those shenanigans. Through some adroit political maneuvering, the Rumanians tossed their lot in with the Soviets.

Note- unlike other WWII games, while Limited War is in effect, the size of the armies don't appreciate greatly. So, the '42 version of Barb is not radically different from '41.

The shot below is after the completion of the three Summer '42 turns.

From gallery of TedW


Gotta admit, as the Russians I was getting a little cocky. The Russian line held firm in the first month of summer. Then things went to crap in very short order. The north is in good shape but three Panzer Armies dissolved the southern front and raced into Kiev. The good news is the flanks are really weak and the Germans will have to shore that up which should give the Soviets some time to regroup. That, and the weather will soon turn poor.

The Brits and Free French are rolling up into Turkey slowly grinding their way to Ankara while a few Soviets press down from the North.

The band just received sheet music for the Star Spangled Banner so there should be some green counters joining the map soon....

Until next time-
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13. Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:4159]
Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Our Monday night vassal game continues. The damn Russkies are really pounding my poor Austro-Hungarian second and third armies, and my fellow AH commander reports similar difficulties.

It's interesting playing this with the vassal mod, which allows maximal fog of war. I can't even see my fellow AH commander's units unless they are within a couple of hexes of one of mine!
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14. 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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Live vassal game of this, in early May/June of 1940. The Germans have broken into northern France a little (and some Italian pressure in the mountains); Japan has done damage to China.
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15. Board Game: Shifting Sands: The Campaign for North Africa 1940-1943 [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2356]
Board Game: Shifting Sands: The Campaign for North Africa 1940-1943
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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PBEM game, we're approaching late 1941. Seems close though the Allies (Grant) were very efficient in cleaning out Italian East Africa.
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16. Board Game: Europe in Turmoil: Prelude to the Great War [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:3990]
Board Game: Europe in Turmoil: Prelude to the Great War
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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A pre-war game, Don and I playing again by email. Quite close so far.
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17. Board Game: Chariots of Fire [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:3893]
Board Game: Chariots of Fire
Randy D
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
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Playing through the 9 scenarios.

First five are documented here:
Sumer: Combat in southern Iraq and not a rocket launcher in sight
Hey Pharaoh, let my people go!
Thutmose takes on the Coalition at Megiddo, what really happened
Like bees in a jar, the Battle of Senzar
Astarpa River: When reality is worse than the nightmare

Currently playing Kadesh where the Hittites get to box Pharaoh Ramses II around. Opening set-up:

From gallery of GeneSteeler


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18. Board Game: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:1825]
Board Game: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire
Rodney
United States
Springfield
Vermont
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Finally set this one up last night and started the learning game.

Really enjoying it. I have played Navajo Wars So the learning curve is slight. I think initially I like Comancheria a little better. I am going to leave this set up for awhile and run through some more scenarios.
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19. Board Game: Memoir '44: Operation Overlord [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44: Operation Overlord
Magister Ludi
Australia
Fremantle
Western Australia
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My son is having a birthday soon and has decided a game is the way to go, so we are planning on a six player of the Overlord scenario.

In preparation we set up, made some extra units and tested with a full game of Omaha Beach -Overlord version.

It ended up being super exciting as victory requires 8 banners. My axis had 7 and he was on 6, but on his last turn he played close assault and his tank unit near the red token finished of the one unit in the village for a banner and then advanced on for his eighth!

Looks like it will be a hit on the day.

From gallery of Aussie550
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20. Board Game: Attack of the 50 Foot Colossi! [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
Board Game: Attack of the 50 Foot Colossi!
Neil Bunker
United Kingdom
Taunton
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Hi there, I'm new to Wargames On Your Table and I hope this is right place to mention Attack of the 50 Foot Colossi.

It's space marines vs sentient space rocks in a fun, low middle-weight solo specific hex and counter game.

It's fast enough to play over just one or two evenings. Despite the very different theme, the Chit Pull system used has some similarities to the one used in At Any Cost, by the same designer.

I very much enjoy this one. Pics are from my PnP version.

From gallery of Bunkelos Board

From gallery of Bunkelos Board
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21. Board Game: Target for Today [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:3372] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Board Game: Target for Today
Markus B.
Germany
Verl
NRW
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Start the Historical Tour with my B-17 F Bomber “Boomerang”
First mission to Lille for the “Industry Target” was a success
30% Bombing Accuracy (100%CC) and destroyed two FW190 German Ace Pilots
Second mission to Brest, tried twice, but due to 100% CC both missions were recalled.
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22. Board Game: Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:2167]
Board Game: Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
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He gives what he can spare
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My Beautiful Boy
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Am playing a number of games at the moment but this one has been well above my expectations.

We are playing the Coral Sea scenario which involves an invasion of Guadalcanal and Port Moresby. Not going brilliantly for me as the Japanese but early days.
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23. Board Game: The Dark Valley [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:2770]
Board Game: The Dark Valley
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
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I believe I am getting soft in my old age, I just felt overwhelmed with the number of counters when I set the game up but not as bad as Fire in the East. I was not sure if I was going to like the game so I set it up on my table. Normally, for a two map game ( have the unmounted maps) I would have pinned it up on my corkboard wall. So I didn't want to damage it by having pin holes in the counters and map. As of now I am in the August turn (3) of the Barbarossa scenario. It seems to be modeling the campaign and I am warming up to it. Since my gaming area is small I am only able to get to two sides of the table so it is hard to reach the top of the map.
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24. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:750]
Board Game: Empire of the Sun
David Brown
United Kingdom
Stockport
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I game I bought , then sold because I thought it too rondam, then bought again to give it another go

I have forgoten the rules since I last played and it is proofing a bit of a headache re-reading them.

I currently have the game set-up for the 1942 start and am about two thirds through the rule book and half way through my packet of parcetomal
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25. Board Game: Fury in the West [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:7199]
Board Game: Fury in the West
Picked this up in a local auction a couple years ago and just finally decided to give it a go solo to learn it. What an underappreciated gem. I love the track for keeping track of unit strength where you lop off casualties on one end and stragglers from the other; if the two markers meet, your unit is toast. But each turn that a unit doesn't move gains it back one straggler SP. Fantastic. I don't know of any other game that copied the system.

Uninspired opening setup:

From gallery of sushidog


A closer look at a few units.

From gallery of sushidog


The fonts on these old counters are miniscule. I generally love old counters with no extra colour and just the bare facts, but these are almost illegible to my aging eyes. Thankfully there are a couple sets of printable counters in the file section if I decide this game is going to actually get played F2F.

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