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Posted on Jan 23, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Ten Hup! Attention War Fighters! A New Expansion is on Kick Starter!

Ten Hup! Attention War Fighters! A New Expansion is on Kick Starter!

DVG Games has starter a new Kick Starter campaign for expansion decks for their War Fighter game system. Warfighter is a fully solitaire or cooperative tactical card-based game for one to six players, where you select and equip a squad of soldiers, and execute the mission by fighting your way to achieve the objective. It is available in Modern and WWII eras, and each expansion set adds to the incredibly deep game play narrative with new cards for your Loadout. War Fighter Packs For more information go to:...

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Posted on Jan 22, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Across the gulf of space…intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Review.

“Across the gulf of space…intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Review.

Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Game Review.  Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello Price $45.99 starter set,  Individual Tripods $19.99, World War II Expansion $13.00, Additional Damage Deck $13.00 Passed Inspection:  Adds a whole new dimension to two great games systems.  Fun. Great looking components.  Beautiful artwork. Easy to learn. Failed Basic:  Nothing at all unless you don’t like aliens mixed with your historical aircrafts – in other words – “you got your Tripod in my Nieuport” From Ares Games’ own description – “March 18th, 1918: the nearest approach of planet Mars to Earth. The First World War suddenly changes into a War of the Worlds, when what appears as a meteor shower falls over a wood in Alsace. A few hours later, just after dawn, an army of giant alien fighting machines appear out of the trees and starts burning villages and houses with their lethal heat-rays, leaving pestilential trails of black smoke behind them. A truce is hurriedly signed between the...

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Posted on Jan 21, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Tap Your Inner Vampire with Masters of the Night now on Kick Starter!

Tap Your Inner Vampire with Masters of the Night now on Kick Starter!

Ares Games’ Masters of the Night Now on Kick Starter! Ares Games is most well known for their wonderful Wings of Glory, Sails of Glory and Battle Star Galactica tactical combat games but now Ares turns its attention to the vampires who haunt our dark dreams with their new design Masters of the Night!  This game is solo or co-operative with each player taking the role of a vampire.  From Ares’ description: one to five players play on the same side and will either win or lose together. You play as members of a vampire clan slowly regaining their former power. With the help of your minions, you will fight against the agents of the Inquisition, cast fear into the hearts of the people with your hunts, and shape dread sigils in different city districts, all in preparation for the grand Blood Moon ritual that will confirm your grasp on the city and its fate. But beware, the longer you prepare for the ritual, the harder it will be...

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Posted on Jan 16, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Tank Duel Puts You Right in to the Action! – GMT’s Tank Duel Board Game Review

Tank Duel Puts You Right in to the Action! – GMT’s Tank Duel Board Game Review

Tank Duel Enemy in the Crosshairs Board Game Review.  Publisher: GMT  Designer:  Mike Bertucelli, Jason Carr and Joe Aguayo  Price $78 Passed Inspection:   Immersive, Exciting, Solid Rules, Beautiful Components Failed Basic:    anti-tank guns and infantry can attack but there are no rules for attacking them, needs a campaign system (both of these will be addressed in an upcoming expansion), no King Tigers The two Panzer IV crews and the Stug crew were briefed and ready to go.  This morning’s operation was to establish a bridgehead across a river.  The infantry had reported that the bridge was overwatched by at least three T34s in hull down positions and their scouting had reported that there were not tank traps or mines on the bridge.  The Soviet Engineers must not have arrived yet.  Now was the perfect time to take and hold the bridge.  Hauptsturmführer Gotz was the senior officer and had the most experience of any of the men.    He told  Unteroffizer Helmut that his Stug should take an overwatch position...

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Posted on Jan 3, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

It’s a Red Storm on The Rise with Compass Games ‘Blue Water Navy’. Board Game Review.

It’s a Red Storm on The Rise with Compass Games ‘Blue Water Navy’. Board Game Review.

Blue Water Navy. Publisher: Compass Games. Game Designer: Stuart Tonge and James Derek Harris. Price: $109.00 Passed inspection: Provides a strategic overview of World War Three at sea, while retaining enough tactical detail of engagements to allow you to envision how the events unfold. The game does a good job of integrating all the aspects of naval warfare in a package that rewards coordinating attacks to maximize your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses.  Failed basic: Rulebook could be better organized for clarity. A table of contents and index would have been helpful. Including rule number references on the player aid charts would simplify looking up rules. You’ll need to be incorporate the errata into the rules and scenario book.   In 1979, General Sir John Hackett’s book ‘The Third World War’ laid out one possible scenario for what a war in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union might look like. While written as a backwards looking retrospective of fictional events, it was a sobering look at the state...

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Posted on Dec 27, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Best Games Reviewed in 2019

Best Games Reviewed in 2019

2019 has been yet another great year for board games, card games and miniature games.  The sheer amount of product coming out has swamped our Armchair General reviewers and we’ve been fortunate to have new reviewers added to our little game review family this year.  The following are some of the highest rated games that we reviewed in 2019.  All of our reviewers have games released in 2019 still on our shelves or gaming tables with reviews that are not completed.  As such, I must toss a few titles out that haven’t been reviewed yet but look very promising – Ares Games’ Tripods and Triplanes (Rick Martin previewed the game based upon the prototype set but will be doing a review of the finished game ASAP!), Command & Colors Medieval by GMT, Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea by GMT, UBoot the Board Game by Phalanx, Tank Duel by GMT, Birds of Prey and its Expansions by Ad Astra Games and Highlander the Board Game by River Horse.  These...

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Posted on Dec 27, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Don’t die a nugget! Be an Ace!” – Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles Ship Booster Packs  Game Review

“Don’t die a nugget! Be an Ace!” – Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles Ship Booster Packs Game Review

Battlestar Galactica Starship Booster Packs.  Publisher: Ages Games  Designer: Andrea Angiolino  and Andrea Mainini Price  $15 to $18 each Passed Inspection: Stunning miniatures, extra cards, different versions of each vehicle, sturdy boxes which can be used for display Failed Basic: Nothing at all Ares Games is famous for their innovative miniature game systems Wings of Glory (known in a previous release as Wings of War) and Sails of Glory.  Wings of Glory features World War 1 and World War 2 aircrafts while Sails of Glory is a game of sailing ship combat in the 1700s and early 1800s.  Last year, Ares brought out their Battlestar Galactica game which uses a similar system to their previous air and sea combat games.  This year, Ares is thrilling us with new fighters and support crafts for the game. As with the ships in the starter set, these new miniatures space fighters and support ships are beautifully sculpted and painted.  Each ship has a rotatable base and four stands as well as pilot...

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Posted on Dec 19, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“After several minutes of firing on the move, the attacking echelon of our 29th and 18th Tank Corps cut into the Nazi ranks with a thrust forward—a rapid assault literally through the enemy ranks.” ― Soviet Cmdr. Pavel  Rotmistrov  — Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel Kursk 1943 Board Game Review

“After several minutes of firing on the move, the attacking echelon of our 29th and 18th Tank Corps cut into the Nazi ranks with a thrust forward—a rapid assault literally through the enemy ranks.” ― Soviet Cmdr. Pavel Rotmistrov — Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel Kursk 1943 Board Game Review

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel Kursk 1943 Board Game Review.  Publisher: Academy Games  Designer:  Uwe Eickert and Gunter Eickert  Price $80 Passed Inspection:  Beautiful components, easy to learn, logical well laid out rule book with plenty of examples, large easy to pick up counters, exciting game play, great value for the price Failed Basic:   Needs wrecked vehicle counters, needs unit values for player designed scenarios, rule 15.5 Vehicle Stacking needs clarification, the front of the vehicles should face the front of the counter “We were conducting a reconnaissance with our 3 squads of Sdkfz 251 mounted Panzergrenadiers supported by two Sdkfz 251/9 Stummel halftracks and our Panzer II.  The object was to get a clearer indication of what the Soviets were up to near a farm at a critical road junction.  Before the weather became overcast, a reconnaissance flight had reported activity there. As we approached, we noted what appeared to be dug in Ivans near the farm.  Suddenly Ivan anti-tanks guns opened up and our Panzer II...

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Posted on Dec 11, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

It’s the 4th Armored Division’s Iron Will versus German Steel in ‘Patton’s Vanguard: Arracourt, 1944’. Board Game Review.

It’s the 4th Armored Division’s Iron Will versus German Steel in ‘Patton’s Vanguard: Arracourt, 1944’. Board Game Review.

Patton’s Vanguard: Arracourt, 1944. Publisher: Take Aim Designs and Revolution Games. Game Designer: Michael Ringella. Developer: Roger Miller. Price $ 30.00.  Passed inspection: An easy to grasp area movement game that showcases a key Western Front tank battle during late summer 1944. A solid game with easy to read counters. Failed basic:  Organization of the rulebook requires a careful reading to extract all the relevant rules for each scenario. After Allied forces broke out along the Normandy front, they raced across France. In early September, the Third Army was nearing the German border. General Patton’s orders were for the 4th Armored Division to strike northeast into Germany. But at the same time, the German Army was preparing a major counterattack in the same area. This would be the first combat for Germany’s newly raised Panzer brigades and the ensuing battle would be the largest tank battle between the United States and Germany until the Battle of the Bulge. On paper, this looked like a tough fight for the Americans....

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Posted on Dec 6, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

303 Squadron is Live on Kickstarter!

303 Squadron is Live on Kickstarter!

The Hobbity Company of Poland in conjunction with Ares Games has just put their new World War II Battle of Britain aviation game on Kickstarter and it looks fantastic!         The Hobbity Company was founded in 2002 by board games fanatics and hard-core gamers, for whom games are not only an excellent way to spend free time in the family circle but also an important Hobby with capital “H”. They have years of experience in the market and work with such companies as Eagle-Gryphon Games, What’s Your Games, Asyncron, Ares Games and many more.          303 Squadron promises to be an intense, fast-paced solo or cooperative board game that will push you and your plane to the limits. It is a  1-4 player experience and  is  inspired by true events: players take the role of legendary pilots from the 303 Squadron, to experience epic dogfights against Luftwaffe pilots, and – most of all – to create unforgettable stories. This is the kind of game that sparks those “Remember the time when…” conversations....

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Posted on Dec 4, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“It’s Not Christmas Until Hans Gruber Falls Off the Nakatomi Tower!”. Die Hard Board Game Review.

“It’s Not Christmas Until Hans Gruber Falls Off the Nakatomi Tower!”. Die Hard Board Game Review.

‘Die Hard. Publisher: The Op. Game Designers: Patrick Marino and Sean Fletcher. Price $ 39.95 Passed inspection:  Light rules with good explanations of objectives and actions. Captures the feel of the original movie. The game is scripted but at the same time players have flexibility in how they go about achieving their goals.  Failed basic:  If playing with more than two players, the additional players on the thieves’ ‘team’ often do not feel fully engaged with the game play. Luck is a factor – like other card-based games, Die Hard relies on you having the right cards, at the right time to achieve specific goals. There are few more iconic action movies made in the past 30 years than Die Hard. The tale of New York cop John McClane’s trip to Los Angles to visit his estranged wife quickly transforms into a high-octane action film with a generous amount of humor mixed into the narrative.  Released in July, 1988, the advent of home video media quickly made this corporate...

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Posted on Nov 22, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

A Glorious Return of Four Classic Aircrafts!  Wings of Glory Booster Packs Review

A Glorious Return of Four Classic Aircrafts! Wings of Glory Booster Packs Review

Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircraft Booster Packs  Game Review.  Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Price:  Booster: $11.00 to $15.00 Passed Inspection:  Reissues of out of print (very expensive on EBay) planes, stunning pre-painted miniatures, added value through additional content Failed Basic:  Nothing at all. Ares Games has hit the bull’s eye again with the re-issue of four more styles of out of print aircrafts – the French Breguet 14 two-seater, the Entente S.E.5a (and one S.E.5) and the German Rumpler C.IV two-seater and the Pfalz D.III.  Each plane comes in three different paint schemes representing different historical pilots’ planes.  The S.E.5a also includes one S.E.5 representing a plane flown by Billy Bishop. Each plane comes complete with a fully painted miniature aircraft, altitude pegs, plastic aircraft base, maneuver cards and special cards for ace pilots and special ace skills.  You must have the base Wings of Glory game to get full use out of these aircrafts. Let’s start with the two-seaters which...

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Posted on Nov 8, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Only the spirit of attack borne in a brave heart will bring a success to any fighter aircraft…” ― Adolf Galland– Interceptor Ace Game Review

“Only the spirit of attack borne in a brave heart will bring a success to any fighter aircraft…” ― Adolf Galland– Interceptor Ace Game Review

Interceptor Ace Daylight Air Defense Over Germany, 1943-44 Game Review.  Publisher: Compass Games  Designer:  Gregory M. Smith  Price $75 Passed Inspection:  Well written rule book with examples and an index, easy to learn and fun to play, immersive almost role playing game like play, beautiful components, addictive Failed Basic:   Would have liked to have seen rules for the Me163, Me262, Dornier Arrow and other late war fighters; also a way to track days between missions would be nice; would also like to see a squadron success table and rules for late 1944 and 1945 operations  March 7th – 2nd mission Lt Marten flying Lion’s Claw,  a Bf109 G4  Jg27 is my home squadron. B24 raid on the Ruhr. Good weather. Intercepted a formation of B24 Liberators. No enemy escorts are visible- I and my wingman approach a B24 from 12 O’clock level. We fire from long range hitting the port wing badly. The B24 flips as pieces of the wing break off and the B24 enters a diving spin....

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Posted on Nov 2, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Fields of Fire, Volumes 1 and 2: The most frustrating great game on the market.

Fields of Fire, Volumes 1 and 2: The most frustrating great game on the market.

Fields of Fire Volumes 1 and 2. Board Game Review.  Publisher: GMT Games.   DESIGNER: Ben Hull  ORIGINAL DEVELOPER: Dick Vohlers SERIES DEVELOPER: Richard Gray  Price:  $75.00 (Vol 1) $82.00 (Vol 2) Passed Inspection- generates excellent narratives, replayability, and models the problems of command very well. Failed Basic- A rulebook and playbook that are in dire need of revision Fields of Fire is a solitaire company level simulation of combat during the Second World War, Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Rather than being a game specifically focused on infantry tactics, it tries to model the problems of command, with a skilled player being one who understands how to use is order points efficiently by taking advantage of the command hierarchy. The actual combat is abstracted out to a high degree, revolving around the draw of action cards. Both volumes of Fields of Fire contain an action deck, 3 different map decks representing the different eras of play, and 5 counter sheets totaling something over 800 different counters. Along with...

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Posted on Oct 31, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Ramesses II vs King Muwatalli in High Flying Dice Games’ Clash of Chariots Game Review

Ramesses II vs King Muwatalli in High Flying Dice Games’ Clash of Chariots Game Review

Clash of Chariots : The Battle of Kadesh, 1274 B.C. Game Review.  Publisher: High Flying Dice Games  Designer: Paul Rohrbaugh Price:  $11.95 (unmounted counters) $17.95 (mounted counters) Passed Inspection:  Easy to learn.  Interesting subject matter. Great looking components.  Tense game play. Great for solo play. Excellent value for the money. Failed Basic:  Since the game play is depending on cards to end the turn, the game can go on for a good deal longer than one afternoon.  “Morale” is misspelled on the “Moral Level Tracker” (Paul has that corrected now – ed) High Flying Dice Games  (HFDG) continues their tradition of high quality, low price games with Clash of Chariots : The Battle of Kadesh, 1274 B.C. The Battle of Kadesh was a decisive battle between the Egyptians under Ramesses II (also spelled as “Ramses II”) and the Hittite Empire under King Muwatalli II. From Wikipedia: The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC from the Egyptian chronology and is the earliest battle in recorded history for which details...

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Posted on Oct 7, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Take Aim Design’s ‘Last Battle: Ie Shima, 1945’ Is On Target. Board Game Review.

Take Aim Design’s ‘Last Battle: Ie Shima, 1945’ Is On Target. Board Game Review.

Last Battle: Ie Shima, 1945. Publisher: Take Aim Designs and Revolution Games. Game Designer: Michael Ringella. Developer: Roger Miller. Price $ 30.00.  Passed inspection: Easy to grasp area movement game that showcases a smaller battle from late in the Pacific war. Game board really captures the feel of the period. Solid game with easy to read counters. Failed basic:  Nothing that would keep me from buying the game. It’s possible that single bad die roll can end a game turn early and wreck the US time table. It won’t happen every game and there is a way to mitigate the effect by controlling and using the advantage marker. As far back as I can remember, I always enjoyed playing the classic Avalon Hill Game ‘Storm Over Arnhem’. Partly it was that the game was released a few short years after the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’ had been on the television, partly that the topic was one of the pivotal actions of the Market-Garden campaign, but a lot of...

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Posted on Sep 28, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

A battle of attrition fought by reinforced infantry battalions! Dirk Blennemann’s “Crossing the Line – Aachen 1944” Board Game Review

A battle of attrition fought by reinforced infantry battalions! Dirk Blennemann’s “Crossing the Line – Aachen 1944” Board Game Review

Crossing the Line – Aachen 1944 Board Game Review. Publisher: Furor Teutonicus Games Designer: D.Blennemann, Developer & Art Director: P.Gebhardt, Graphic Artist: P.Bazerque, Rules Editor: J.Bruncken Price €55,00 / $60 Review by Matt White Passed Inspection: beautiful artwork and components, high production values, solo or two player, fluid turn structure, interesting combat mechanics and superb use of HQ units Failed Basic: Rules would benefit from more examples of play; game has lots of dice rolling that won’t be to everyone’s taste “Crossing the Line – Aachen 1944 is an operational level simulation of the Battle for Aachen, which took place from September 12th to October 21st, 1944. The game is intended for two players but is also suitable for solitaire and team play. The game is played in a semi-interactive way, as only one Division of the active player is activated to conduct actions at the same time and the inactive player sometimes can have one of his Divisions react to specific threats and interrupt the enemy’s actions. While...

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Posted on Sep 24, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Taking the War to the Enemy!  B-25 Prince of the Skies Board Game Review

Taking the War to the Enemy! B-25 Prince of the Skies Board Game Review

B-25 Prince of the Skies    Board Game Review.  Publisher: None – Print and Play   Game Designer: Lee Smith Price FREE Review by Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Easy to learn, strong solo narrative, beautiful components, FREE!!! Failed Basic:  The Ki84 shouldn’t be included in the 1942 Doolittle Raid scenario. A few typos.  If you don’t like dice rolling, this may not be for you. Skills that your crew could earn would be a nice addition and add to the role playing experience. Mission #2 of the Betty Page. B25 Mitchell bomber of the 42 Bombardment Group flying out of Port Moresby, New Guinea.  “A collective groan escaped the bomber crews this morning when we were briefed that our target for today was, once again, that damned Japanese naval airfield at Gasmata that we failed to damage yesterday. We knew they’d be expecting us back and the welcoming committee would be angry as hell. This mission got worse when our fighter escort failed to meet us at the rendezvous point. ...

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Posted on Sep 17, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Too Far From Home. Homeland Workshop’s ‘Glory Recalled: Hong Kong 1941’. Board Game Review.

Too Far From Home. Homeland Workshop’s ‘Glory Recalled: Hong Kong 1941’. Board Game Review.

Glory Recalled: Hong Kong 1941. Publisher: Homeland Workshop (US Distributor, Quarterdeck International). Game Designer: David Cheng. Price $70.00.  Passed inspection: A fast playing game of a rarely covered chapter from the Pacific War. Failed basic:  Color choices on cards may be an issue for those with red/green color blindness. A player aid chart detailing the turn sequence would be a welcome addition.    Good day and welcome to my review. First up, I’ll admit that I have a weak spot for games covering the Pacific theater in World War Two. This goes back to playing the snot out of classic Avalon Hill games like ‘Victory in the Pacific’ and ‘Midway’. This carried over across the years into tabletop miniatures that led me to doing a lot of reading on the battles fought across the Pacific from the Aleutians to New Guinea and from the jungles of Burma to the forests of Oregon and Washington state. So, I may be pre-disposed to enjoy this game more than the typical casual...

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