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Posted on Jun 6, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Re-fight the Day of Days, June 6th, 1944, with the Sergeants Miniature Game!

Re-fight the Day of Days, June 6th, 1944, with the Sergeants Miniature Game!

Sergeants Miniature Game Starter Set and Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Lost Battalion Games Designer: Jeff Billings Prices: Starter: $79.95 Expansions: between $29.95 and $49.95 Soldier Packs: $9.95 to $29.95 with 10 man packs at $99.95 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Fantastically detailed hand painted miniatures, comprehensive well written rules, tons of scenarios, dynamic and original game play, well balanced, unlimited replayability, an all cardboard version is thoughtfully available at a lower price Failed Basic: High cost of the miniatures may alienate some gamers but an all cardboard version is thoughtfully available at a lower price! Back in 2011, I reviewed the original Sergeants game and its first expansion from Lost Battalion Games. These games were set on the Eastern Front and were very detailed while not being overly complex. Both the original games used traditional cardboard counters for the units. Only a few months later, Lost Battalion Games announced their release of a miniatures version of Sergeants and Armchair General covered the news. Jump ahead 6 years. Armchair General...

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Posted on Jun 1, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Pocket Ops Preview – a game of spies and doomsday weapons which fits in your pocket!

Pocket Ops Preview – a game of spies and doomsday weapons which fits in your pocket!

Pocket Ops Board Game Preview. Publisher: Grand Gamers Guild Game Designer: Brandon Beran Price (To be determined) Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Fun and original. Very small footprint. Nice components. Easy to learn. Perfect game to take on trips. Great for ages six and up! Failed Basic: Rules need a little more clarification and a few examples. The Start Tile wasn’t described so I had no idea what to use it for. Pocket Ops is a new game being developed by the Grand Gamers Guild. It is named “Pocket Ops” because it can, literally, fit in your pocket. The rules, game board and components come in a zip lock bag roughly the size of sandwich bag. But don’t let this fool you, there is quite a bit of depth in this little game. At first glance, Pocket Ops may seem like Tic-Tac-Toe and it actually is except that it gives players the ability to kill off the other player’s pieces! The basic set up is that some terrorists are building...

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Posted on May 31, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“First you get the money…” Business is War!  1846: Race for the Midwest Game Review

“First you get the money…” Business is War! 1846: Race for the Midwest Game Review

1846: Race for the Midwest Game Review Publisher: GMT Designer: Tom Lehman Price $69.00 Ray Garbee Passed inspection: Heavy duty box. Hi quality components with thick cardboard glossy color terrain hex tiles and cardboard tokens. Rules are clearly written and illustrated with examples of play. Failed Inspection: None. From a component and rules standpoint, this is a very well executed game. Ever wondered what it must be like to live the hard life of a corporate president? Sure, they make bank, but really, how hard could the job be? The job basically consists of “Sell more widgets! Cut costs! Keep the shareholders happy!” Easy, right? Well now you too can share the experience of leading a major corporation by playing GMT Games 1846: Race for the Midwest! This is ostensibly a game that pits players against each other as they build competing railroads from the Eastern United States to connect with the emerging markets of the American Midwest. But that façade conceals the true game – a game of...

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Posted on May 19, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Wings of Glory’s Battle of Britain expansion has taken flight!

Wings of Glory’s Battle of Britain expansion has taken flight!

Wings of Glory World War 2 Battle of Britain Starter Set and Squadron Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Prices: Starter: $69.90 Booster: $14.90 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Fantastically detailed fully painted customizable aircrafts, new – more comprehensive rules and scenarios, most replay-ability of any game on the market Failed Basic: Aircraft decals in the boosters are difficult to put on without tearing them. Wings of Glory is the successor to the extremely successful line of Wings of War World War I and World War II cards and miniatures game which has been available since 2004. While the game started as a card game where each card represented one airplane, anti-aircraft gun or balloon, it has evolved in to a non-collectable, non-randomly packaged, air war game where players could purchase a starter set and then purchase “booster” packs with individual airplanes or even large models of observation balloon and bombers. Ares Games new Wings of Glory Battle of Britain Starter Set...

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Posted on May 9, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Arbela – Richard Berg’s compelling new war game!

Arbela – Richard Berg’s compelling new war game!

Arbela –Gaugamela 331 BC Board Game Review. Publisher: Turning Point Simulations Game Designer: Richard H. Berg Price $34.95 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Easy to understand rules, nice components, highly solitaire suitability. Interesting subject matter. Failed Basic: Needs an index. Initiative rules are unclear. Perhaps add some event cards to provide extra challenges. Richard H. Berg, perhaps the most prolific board game designer in the world, has returned to a subject that he clearly loves – the battles of the ancient world. Arbela – Gaugamela 331 BC is a release of Turning Point Simulations and this game is not what you may expect. There is no board and no terrain, the real battle was fought on a nearly perfectly level field so this style perfectly meets the needs to simulate the real battle. The units in this game are not chits or miniatures – the units are cards but it’s not a traditional card type war game either as this review will reveal. First some back ground on this decisive...

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Posted on Apr 6, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The American Revolution Board Game Review

The American Revolution Board Game Review

The American Revolution: Decisions in North America 1775 to 82 Board Game Review. Publisher: Decision Games Game Designer: Joseph Miranda Price $35.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Great value for the money. Engaging activation system for units. Seems realistic. Easy way to track political points and alliances. Nice graphics. Rules have FAQ and Designer’s Notes. Easy to play solitaire. Failed Basic: Rules are not laid out in an easy to read manner. Typos in the rules. Needs an index. Needs more play aids. Incorrect rule reference numbers in some sections. Needed an extra editorial review before release. Decision Games, publisher of Strategy and Tactics, has released games of various degrees of complexity on a variety of subjects. In addition, they have reprinted previously published games. The American Revolution: Decisions in North America 1775 to 82 is a zip lock bag game designed by multiple award winning game designer and editor of Strategy and Tactics Joseph Miranda. It is an updated version of the game which originally appeared in Strategy and...

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Posted on Apr 3, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“This Must Be Just Like Living in Paradise…”  Review of GMT’s Board Game – Conquest of Paradise

“This Must Be Just Like Living in Paradise…” Review of GMT’s Board Game – Conquest of Paradise

Conquest of Paradise – 2nd edition Game Review Publisher: GMT Designer: Kevin McPartland $57.00 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Heavy duty box, high quality mounted map board. Durable thick, cut cardboard counters and tiles. Rules are clearly written and to the point. Playing pieces are painted wooden blocks for villages and cardboard counters for explorers, canoes and warriors. Failed Basic: None. This game is almost perfect. Jared Diamond’s 1997 book Guns, Germs and Steel is a brilliant study in the origins, rise and fall of imperialist powers. While today we associate “Imperialism” with the 18th-20th Century global domination by (mostly) western European powers, Diamond offered a scaled down case study of Imperialism in the form of Polynesian settlement across the Pacific. It’s a great book. Find a copy and read it. You’ll learn something. But before you do that, run out and buy a copy of Kevin McPartland’s “Conquest of Paradise”. Specifically, the deluxe second edition. Conquest of Paradise is a game of exploration, settlement and conquest. The core concept...

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Posted on Mar 16, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Steampunk Corporate Conflict – Brass Empire Review

Steampunk Corporate Conflict – Brass Empire Review

Brass Empire Game Review. Publisher: Rock Manor Games Designers: Mike Gnade Price: $49.00 Greg Johnson Passed Inspection: Engaging game play, Original theme Failed Basic: I would have enjoyed having the Brass token cubes as yellowish or goldish to fit with the theme better. Different sizes for the denomination would have been better. Having a different type token for damage would also have been better. As it is the Brass tokens are solid red cubes and translucent red cubes of the same size. The damage tokens are translucent clear cubes. All cubes are the same size. Factions abilities don’t seem to play as much a part in the gameplay as I expected it would. Intro: This deck building game is set in a steampunk world where factions ruled by corporations try to enhance their wealth and influence by acquiring the valuable currency of Brass. They build structures and organize their employees for mining, labor, construction, offensive and defensive tactics. Strategies may be involved in espionage, technology or security and mining....

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Posted on Jan 27, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Falling Sky – Pure War Gaming Goodness! Game Review

Falling Sky – Pure War Gaming Goodness! Game Review

Falling Sky Game Review. Publisher: GMT Games Designers: Andrew Ruhnke and Volko Ruhnke Price $80.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Perfectly recreates the Roman occupation of Europe, incredible components, good index, tutorials included, substantial designers’ notes, challenging solitaire and multiplayer rules, great fun, great value for the price Failed Basic: needs a shorter basic scenario, intimidating to a new player, victory rules need a better explanation, player set up chart not printed clearly The sixth and newest entry in the COIN (COunter INsurgencies) game series jumps back in to the turbulent 50s, no not the 1950s but to 54 to 52 B.C. as Caesar’s Roman Legions attempt to pacify Gaul! This is a distinct change in time period for a game system which has mostly focused on late 20th and early 21st Century conflicts such as the Cuban Revolution, Vietnam and the on-going conflict in Afghanistan. I must admit to being a newcomer to the COIN series but my interest in ancient Rome led to my request to review this...

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Posted on Jan 9, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Conflict of Heroes – Guadalcanal 1942 Review

Conflict of Heroes – Guadalcanal 1942 Review

Conflict of Heroes Guadalcanal 1942 The Pacific Game Review. Publisher: Academy Games Designer: Uwe Eickert, Gunter Eickert and Dean Halley Price $80.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Top quality components, clear and concise rules, easy to learn, beautiful modular terrain, special Bushido rules force the Japanese player to act authentically Failed Basic: hexes are a little too difficult to make out on the maps Macready and his boys in L Company didn’t know exactly what to expect as they crept forward through the heavy jungle towards the village of Matanikau. A few days earlier Goettge’s men were ambushed by Imperial Japanese Navel Troops and now the Marines wanted revenge. The jungle heat made even the simplest tasks a burden. At least L Company didn’t have to cross the Matanikau River. Macready could hear rifle and machine gun fire coming from the East – likely B Company was dishing it out to the Japanese but B Company had to get across the river and Macready knew the Japanese weren’t about to...

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Posted on Dec 12, 2016 in Boardgames, Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Best of 2016 Gaming Guide!

Best of 2016 Gaming Guide!

The 2016 Armchair General Holiday Buyers Guide for Gamers The game reviewers here at Armchair General want to share their top games of 2016. These little gems brought more smiles to our faces in 2016 and helped get our minds off of what was a pretty stress filled year. Full reviews of most of these games can be found on our site but, for some, the full reviews are not done. These are noted as with the words “Full Review Coming Soon” but take it from us, you are being given a sneak preview of the full review. Just don’t tell anyone else ok? It’s just between us. Now here we go! The Grizzled. This came out in 2015, but the expansion was released this year. Simple, elegant, artful, easy to set up and play. Comrades not included in the box, but who doesn’t like a game that you can bring your friends over for the enjoyment of their company! Wings of Glory. We love airplanes and aviation. So...

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Posted on Dec 12, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The Grizzled is Top Notch! A Card Game Representing the Human Experience of World War I

The Grizzled is Top Notch! A Card Game Representing the Human Experience of World War I

The Grizzled Game Review. Publisher: Cool Mini or Not (CMON Limited) Designers: Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez Artist: Tignous Price: $24.99 Greg Johnson Passed Inspection: Gameplay: Simple, direct, intimate. Playing through the game once will be enough to continue play without much additional learning. Artwork: The art stands out on the box and cards as elegantly simple and eye catching. It has a comic strip style and appeal with an intimate personality that suits the game perfectly. The art brings this writer to the mind of the Valiant Hearts –The Great War 2D video game. The same setting, different artists yet the style feels exactly right. Failed Basic: The instructions for The Grizzled is not actually a fail. Instructions are always one of the toughest areas to get perfect in any game and one of my pet peeves. The Grizzled gets most of it right through organization and simplicity, but there are a couple of areas of game play that could benefit from some additional clarification. I seem to...

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Posted on Nov 21, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Conflict of Heroes Eastern Front Solo Expansion and Awakening the Bear Fire Fight Generator  Game Review

Conflict of Heroes Eastern Front Solo Expansion and Awakening the Bear Fire Fight Generator Game Review

Conflict of Heroes Eastern Front Solo Expansion and Awakening the Bear Fire Fight Generator Game Review. Publisher: Academy Games Designer: Uwe Eickert, Gunter Eickert and John Butterfield Price $45.00 (Solo Expansion), $45.00 (Fire Fight Generator) Rick Martin Passed Inspection: High Quality Components, Great “AI”, Atmospheric Failed Basic: A little too overwritten. High Price as both expansions could have been in one box and one release. Needs more complete enemy morale and retreat rules. As the morning fog burns off, a German scouting force comprised of a half track, an 8 wheeled armored car (8 rad) and an anti-tank gun hears Russian motors in the distance. Can they hold the farmhouse they rested at or will their light force be destroyed? As the fog continues to burn off and with motors in the distance, a Sdkfz 8 rad becomes the target of a Russian gun crew who wheeled their gun towards the farm under cover of the fog! Fire is traded. The gun is eliminated by 20mm fire from the...

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Posted on Nov 9, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Hot War: Battle for Oil Game Review

Hot War: Battle for Oil Game Review

Hot War: Battle for Oil Game Review. Publisher: Zvezda. Designer: Konstantin Krivenko. Price: $69.95. Game Review by Ray Garbee Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: High quality components. Heavy duty cardboard map boards. Full color rule and scenario books that are well illustrated. Detailed example of play that demonstrates the mechanics. Cleanly integrates ammunition and casualties into the game system. Failed Basic: Game only provides data for units included in the box. Missing the canopies for both helicopters. A plain vanilla model of the M1. “Hot War: Battle for Oil” is a Zvezda board game that is part of the Art of Tactics series. It shares the same game system as the Barbarossa 41 game. The game is set in a fictional historical past of the 1990’s where the Soviet Union did not dissolve. Instead, the Soviets and the United States (and presumably the rest of their respective allies) have escalated their competition into open war. The setting is an un-named Middle Eastern state that serves as a faceless backdrop for...

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Posted on Oct 6, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

New Wings of Glory World War I Aircrafts Have Taken Flight!

New Wings of Glory World War I Aircrafts Have Taken Flight!

Wings of Glory World War I Aircraft Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Price $14.90 to $19.90 Passed Inspection: Significant aircrafts, wonderful detail, nice selection of paint jobs and types, another Turkish aircraft is added to the fleet Failed Basic: Nothing at all! Wings of Glory is the successor to the extremely successful line of Wings of War World War I and World War II cards and miniatures game which has been available since 2004. While the game started as a card game where each card represented one airplane, anti-aircraft gun or balloon, it has evolved in to a non-collectable, non-randomly packaged, air war game where players could purchase a starter set and then purchase “booster” packs with individual airplanes or even large models of observation balloon and bombers. Ares Games new Wings of Glory air plane packs integrated with their tactical airplane combat system makes for a wonderful gaming experience. Their four new 1:144 scale World War I aircrafts feature...

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Posted on Sep 20, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

James Day’s MBT – MAIN BATTLE TANK Game Review

James Day’s MBT – MAIN BATTLE TANK Game Review

MBT Game Review. Publisher: GMT Games Designer: James M. Day Price $95.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Tons of content. Complete rules for armor infantry and airpower. Multiple levels of play from beginner to advanced player. Beautiful components. Complete table of contents and index. Failed Basic: Some confusion as to air power attacking armor using armor piercing ammunition. MBT is the newest release in the reconstituted series of armor games by legendary game designer James Day. While earlier releases from GMT have been updates of the classic Yaquinto Panzer and Armor World War 2 games (still waiting on an update to the North African themed “88” which is my favorite of the series – come on guys!), GMT’s MBT is an update of the Avalon Hill released MBT which focuses on Nato vs Eastern Block “what if” battles from 1987. As I stated in my original review of Day’s updated Panzer: “Back when I was in 8th grade (I’m 46 now – you do the math), I discovered military and...

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Posted on Sep 16, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Interview with Legendary Game Designer Richard Berg

by Richard Martin September 2016 Award Winning Game Designer Richard Berg is a living legend amongst war gamers. He is one of the most prolific designers of games, if not the most prolific designer, and many of his games are considered classics. After service in the military, Berg went on to practice criminal law in the 1970s and 1980s. Holding a Bachelor of Art Degree in Asian History and a Juris Doctor Degree, Berg has brought his passion for education and history to every game he designs. Armchair General is honored to have been able to ask Mr. Berg a few questions about his experiences in the board games field. 1) How many games have you designed? Richard H.Berg: Oh, around 160+ that doesn’t include the ones that never got published, of which I have around 30-40 sitting around. 2) Of all the games you have designed, what is your favorite? RHB: That’s like asking a parent who his favorite child is. There is no possible cogent answer for...

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Posted on Sep 13, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Age of Conan – Adventures in Hyboria Expansion Game Review

Age of Conan – Adventures in Hyboria Expansion Game Review

Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Francesco Nepitello and Marco Maggi Price $34.90 Review by Shawn Johnson and Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Adds more Conan to the game. Tracks Conan’s abilities at different levels of his experience, great content, great artwork Failed Basic: A shorter campaign could have been included for gamers who have less than 6 hours to play. “KNOW, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars—Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen- eyed,sword in...

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Posted on Aug 31, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Battles for the Galactic Empire Game Review by Greg Johnson

Battles for the Galactic Empire Game Review by Greg Johnson

Publisher: Decision Games Inc. Designer: Joseph Miranda Price: $19.95 Greg Johnson Passed Inspection: A simple game in a folder, an elegant and attractive presentation. The art was simple and does the job. Failed Basic: The instructions, while complete enough to eventually get it figured out, were a bit cryptic when deciphering game play. Adding a round of play example would allow the reader a chance to see the features of the game being played once and would probably alleviate a few question marks. This is a two-player game with no solitaire option. Players must provide their own dice and create their own screens. I used the folder and found another folder to hide each player’s secret moves. If you enjoy tactics and strategy, Decision Games’ Battles for the Galactic Empire offers a fun and enjoyable two player battle with some variant scenarios to play through. The two players will send their forces of Chaos and Imperial to fight for control of six quadrants of the galaxy. The two fleets...

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