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Subject: Eam's Review #8, when the game was new rss

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Eamon Bloomfield
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23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
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This is a book and a game. It is beautifully produced and highly unusual. Sandhurst Wargames comes in a large soft-backed format, and is pleasantly (and profusely) illustrated with many black and white photographs. The book is divided into five sections, the first of which is a short description of the various types of wargames from miniatures to role-playing, from ancient times to the present day. The other four sections deal with a certain historical topic, followed by the rules for a related game. The components for each game are included in the package. The boards, although not mounted, are very well drawn, but the playing pieces are a little on the thin side and will probably be remounted by most players. Now to the games........

Aquitaine
This game is about the Black Prince's raids into Southern France during the Hundred Years War. Aquitaine is fairly easy, with the English player trying to plunder areas before the French player can collect the taxes in that area. There is a simple tactical card combat system, similar to ideas that Avalon Hill has used in a number of games. The only problem would seem to be that once you start to collect plunder, you have to invent rules on how to move it!

Craonne
Not a lot I can say about this game. It is probably the least original of them all. Don't misunderstand me though, it is a lot of fun to play, and is only slightly more complex than Aquitaine. Craonne is about a battle during Napoleon's 1814 campaign to defend Paris. The combatants are the French General's Young Guard and an army of Russians.

Fjord
A small step for me, but a giant step for the novice wargamer, brings me to this more complicated game, simulating the Arctic convoy battles from 1941 to 1945. There are two maps, tactical and strategic, upon which are played two almost unrelated games. On the first, a map of the area between North Cape and Bear Island, the British player has to try to maneouvre a convoy to Archangel and, at the same time, captain a convoy back to safety. To enable him to destroy the convoys, the German player has air units and submarines. He also draws a Hitler Directive Card which dictates what, if any, surface vessels can be used. It may also limit what the player may do with his ships. To counter this, the British player has his own surface ships, aircraft and submarines, but the weather is the German's real enemy. After the convoy battle has been resolved, the second map is used for an attempt by the British to sink the Tirpitz in Altenfjord. Each time he can choose the method, from Human Torpedes, Midget Submarines, Destroyers, Motor Torpedo Boats, Commandoes, Carrier Aircraft or Heavy Bombers. In opposition, the Germans have everything from Coastal Guns to Anti-submarine Nets. All-in-all an intricate but very rewarding game.

Men Against Fire
Role playing is part of the general games market, and so Paddy Griffith has included a simple game from this family of games. A referee is needed, and he will control the defenders, whilst the players control a squad of American G.I.s attempting to clear an area under occupation by Japanese troops. The game is not played on a map, but is played on any flat surface. It uses counters and a cut-out sheet of bunkers, trenches and other items of defensive terrain. The best aspect of Men Against Fire is that each player draws a card secretly and notes his own secret victory conditions. A player victory is assessed differently to a group victory. The conditions on the card can lead to interesting confrontations, for example, one card reads 'You win if your group aim is achieved and you survive; and provided that you do not harm the enemy in any way!!'

All the games are fun, even if the last one is very unusual and needs a little preperation to play. Sandhurst Wargames is published by Hutchisons, a bold move for an out-and-out book publisher. It costs 9.95 pounds, good value for four games, and should appeal to the wargame collector as well as the beginner.
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Eric Lai
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Awesome review of a not very well known game! Great stuff.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Okotoks
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I used to think this book/game wasn't well known but I've meet a lot of gamers who have it. It reminds me of the games that come with the Society of Ancients Slingshot magazine.
 
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Brian Train
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Robert, I didn't know that Slingshot ever had games in it - can you post some details, or point towards any BGG entries or geeklists?
 
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Martin Gallo
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O'Fallon
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I subscribed for three years and never got a game other than the games I ordered from the website. Note that that is just information and not a complaint about the society or the magazine.
 
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Okotoks
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ltmurnau wrote:
Robert, I didn't know that Slingshot ever had games in it - can you post some details, or point towards any BGG entries or geeklists?


If you subscribed BEFORE the January issue each year a game would be included with the Jan. issue. I've accumulated quite a few. All quite interesting games, generally with innovative mechanics. Not sure if the subscription bonus is still ongoing, or just unstated.

For relatively recent examples: Roma Invicta? , Emperor of the Steppes , He Who Would Be King , Fields of Chivalry and many more. One of my favourites was from the early 1980's about Marcus Antonius's invasion of Partha in 38BC,
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Brian Train
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Thanks Robert! These look interesting.
 
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Kevin Duke
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I recently picked this up, after seeing other folks' copies for years.

My question is, has anyone actually PLAYED the games?

Several of them do look very clever, but i don't see any 'counters punched' versions for sale. Is it a game everyone just loves to look at?
 
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Brian Train
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I've played Fjord and it was interesting, should probably have played it more than once.

Brian
 
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