Rob Oren’s 2017 Review of Games demonstrates his love and passion for the war gaming hobby. Check it out now and check out other Rob Oren Reviews on YouTube and Facebook! title=”Rob Oren and the Dice Tower’s Top 2017 War...Read More
Over the River and Through the Woods to The General’s House We Go: The Terrain Tile Pack and Enemy Commander Deck Expansions for the ‘Tank Leader’ Series from Dan Verssen Games (DVG).
WWII Tank Leader Terrain Tile Pack. Game Supplement Review. Publisher: Dan Verssen Games. Designer: Dan Verssen. Price $29.99 WWII Tank Leader Commander Cards. Game Supplement Review. Publisher: Dan Verssen Games. Designer: Dean Brown. Price $19.99 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: New terrain tiles add new battlefield configurations and generate new tactical puzzles to solve. New tiles are an artistic match to the tiles in the other ‘Leader’ series games. New Commander Cards add an additional level of difficulty to the game as well as personalize your opponent. Failed Basic: The names with the leaders can give the impression that it’s your band of brothers against the all top generals of the enemy. The release of Sherman Leader game and the Tiger Leader upgrade kit have been nicely complimented with the release of the ‘tank leader’ terrain tile expansion pack and the Commander Card expansion pack, both from Dan Verssen Games (DVG). These expansions are designed to work with either the Sherman Leader game or the Tiger Leader game. The terrain...Read More
Sherman Leader Board Game Review Publisher: Dan Verrsen Games. Designer: Richard Martin. Price $90.00 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Mounted map board that provides a clear representation of the battle space while providing access to commonly used charts and tables. Clearly written rules that include illustrated examples. High quality die cut counters. Well designed unit and leader cards with artwork that captures the feel of the period. Quick game play that builds and engaging narrative. Failed Basic: Does not contain an exhaustive inventory of equipment/units. Could use additional terrain tiles to expand the variety of constructed battlefields. THUNK! The runner flopped to the ground next to the lieutenant. “Sir, Sergeant Saunders says he sees three enemy tanks moving up through the draw on the left and about 20-30 infantry moving into the woods on the right. Sergeant wants to know if he should shift right and take on the rifleman and let Howard’s boys deal with the tanks.” As he spoke he pulled out his canteen. Out of words, he...Read More
This Fortress Built by Nature for Herself…King Alfred Battles the Vikings in The Ethandun Campaign. Game Review.
Alfred the Great: The Ethandun Campaign Game Review Publisher: High Flying Dice Games. Designer: Mark H. Sheppard. Price: $14.95 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: The game includes a well laid out color map showing the key locations and terrain. Clean, clearly laid out game pieces that convey all the information you need. Well-structured rules that provide a quick playing game. Failed Basic: There were a few minor typos and layout problems with rules and charts that required clarification. The mists hung in the cool, thick air, silencing the call of the birds. The only sound was the slopping suck of the Viking’s own footsteps as the weary warriors tramped through the heavy clay muck. The marsh lands of the Somerset Levels were proving a more dangerous foe than the warriors of the Briton king. What had started as a profitable campaign of conquest and pillage had become a forlorn search within the trackless marshes surrounding the Saxon redoubt at the Isle of Athelney. Would Odin guide them to their foe...Read More
The 2017 Armchair General Holiday Buyers Guide for Gamers 2017 has been a great year for gamers and, more specifically, war gamers! We at Armchair General believe that if 2017 isn’t a “Golden Year” for games, it will certainly qualify for an “Almost Golden Year”. For solo gaming, we have seen some truly fantastic and innovative games released plus at least one update of a classic solo game from yesteryear. We have had not one but two excellent B17 Flying Fortress games this year but each one features a different aspect of the air war over Europe! For multi-player games, we have seen games covering so many different topics and subjects that there is certainly something for everyone. In addition, some great science fiction, fantasy and horror games have graced our gaming tables this year! While not all of the games listed below have been covered by reviews yet, rest assured that we at Armchair General are very stoked about them and you, dear readers, will be seeing reviews...Read More
“The earth does not want new continents, but new men.” Can You Walk in Captain Nemo’s Footsteps? Nemo’s War Game Review
Nemo’s War 2nd Edition Game Review. Publisher: Victory Point Games Designer: Christopher Taylor and Alan Emrich Price: $65.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Perfect solo gaming experience, dynamic story based on the book, unique game play, beautifully designed Failed Basic: footprint slightly too large for an average card table, rules need an index I have always loved Jules Verne’s classic 1870 novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. Form my first view of the Nautilus as a youngster watching the film adaptation on The Wonderful World of Disney to reading the novel when I was 10 to re-reading it now as part of this review, to its adaption in to Japanese anime with the classic TV series “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water”, Verne’s adventure story was ahead of its time. Now Victory Point Games puts you in the roll of Captain Nemo as you chart your path of exploration and revenge with your crew and the super submarine, Nautilus! The box art, components and rules are works of art. The...Read More
Naval Battles in Archipelago Game Review. Publisher: Forsage Games Designer: Pedrag Lazovic and Dragan Lazovic Price: $80.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Beautiful components, complete “sand box” allowing for any number of scenarios and modifications, easy to learn rules, family friendly, completely fun, addicting Failed Basic: Abstractions may alienate hardcore gamers, needs a critical hit system, initiative rules are unclear, map boards could use an identifier for creating scenarios, needs a few deep water (no island) map boards, rules could use an index and little more English language editing Remember the thrill of getting a big box of toy soldiers and then opening the box and seeing the massive possibilities for playtime battles? For me it was getting the toy soldier set I believe was called “Bridge Attack” back in 1969 or so which was put out by Marx. That sense of wonder is something that adults don’t usually experience but I experienced it again when I opened up the review copy of Forsage Game’s Naval Battles in Archipelago! The...Read More
Lighting North Africa Game Review. Publisher: Decision Games. Designer: Dan Verssen. Price: $20.00 Ray Garbee Passed inspection: Well-designed cards that are evocative of the events and units that appeared in the campaign. Four pages of rules. Sturdy box for storage and transport. Quick easy to grasp rules coupled with a fast playing game. Failed Basic: Layout could have been a little clearer regarding the definitions of operations and actions. Lightning North Africa (LNA) is a two-player card game depicting the conflict between the Allies and Axis for control of North Africa during the Second World War. Each turn, players will conduct operations with cards representing the military forces deployed to the theater and use other cards to take actions and conduct battles. The playing space is defined by a set of six map cards that depict the areas of North Africa between Cairo in the East and Algeria in the West. The cards contain a map showing the rough location of the space as well as any rules specific...Read More
Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Preview. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello Rick Martin Ares Games brings 2017 to a triumphant end with yet more Wings of Glory goodness! This time the Earth is uniting against an alien threat! Tripods and Triplanes has hit Kick Starter! 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 warring nations and, against the advancing Martian tripods, the best war machines of Earth are dispatched, manned by the most gallant and skilled warriors of our planet! In Wings...Read More
Hindenburg’s Hour: The Tannenberg Campaign, 1914 Game Review Publisher: Dr. Richter Konflictsimulationen \ Gesellschaft für historische simulationen (Society for historical simulations), Designer: Benjamin Richter Price $29.95 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Solitaire game. Compact game with die cut counters. Small table footprint that is perfect for small spaces or as a travel companion. Fast playing game that models the high-level decision making by the German Eighth Army in the Tannenberg campaign. Nice map that captures the feel of the period while still overlaid with a hex grid for movement. Failed Basic: Could have used a spare small plastic bag in which to store the counters, once punched out. Good things do come in small packages! Dr. Benjamin Richter has produced a compact, elegant game that covers the Russian invasion of East Prussia in 1914. While the main armies of Germany, Britain and France clashed in the West, a single German army fended off an invasion by two numerically superior, though less capable Russian armies. The German plan is to protect...Read More
Mound Builders Game Review. Publisher: Victory Point Games Designer: Wes Erni and Ben Madison Price: $38.99 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Interesting and unique subject matter, highly educational, engaging game pay, excellent value for the cost, small footprint, excellent graphics and examples of play, perfect solo play for an afternoon Failed Basic: Some rules confusion, felt a little limiting in terms of player actions, had some trouble with the enemy stand up counters When I was around 12 years old, I had the chance to visit Serpent Mound Park which was many hours away in Southern Ohio. It was a spiritual experience I will never forget and it fueled my interest in the people who constructed this over 1300 foot long effigy of a snake with an egg clutched in its mouth. Now we can learn about these people through a wonderful game called Mound Builders. The solo game Mound Builders is a 2015 release from Victory Point Games but it has just come to our attention here at Armchair...Read More
The Victory of Arminius – Teutoburg Forest, IX AD Game Review. Publisher: Turning Point Simulations Designer: John Prados Price: $29.95 (zip lock) $34.95 (boxed) Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Interesting subject, attractive mounted map board, small footprint, seems to capture the feel of the battle, easy to learn and fast to play. Good solo play based upon the static set up of the Romans. Failed Basic: Editorial issues in the 1st edition rule book but a second edition was posted on-line with some changes, needs larger hexes, counters difficult to read, too many die rolls which I found exhausting. A “turn counter” is provided but no turn track is included. Arminius’ total victory over Varus’ three Roman legions marked a turning point in Imperial Rome’s expansion in to lands held by the Germanic tribes. It showed to the Germans that Rome was not invincible on the battlefield and shattered Roman moral. This decisive battle is game number 5 in Turning Point Simulations’ Decisive Battles of the World series. For those...Read More
Target for Today Bombers Over the Reich 1942 to 1945 Board Game Review. Publisher: Legion War Games Game Designer: Steve Dixon & Bob Best Price $80.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: High quality attractive and functional components, superb narrative experience, simulates five aircrafts – B24s and B17s – with amazing detail. Very easy to learn. Excellent tutorial. Failed Basic: Some Axis aircrafts such as the Me210 are a little too common; number of tables may intimidate some gamers, a few more role playing elements could be added to the bomber crew if the players want a more exacting level of immersion such as crew starting skills and home airfield. 2017 has been a great year for B17 Flying Fortress themed games. Armchair General has already reviewed the excellent “B17 Flying Fortress Leader:” by DVG Games and Lock N’ Load Publishing has released their “A Wing and a Prayer”. While both of those games focus on leading squadrons of bombers, a new take on an Avalon Hill classic puts the player...Read More
Comancheria The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire 1700 to 1875 Board Game Review. Publisher: GMT Game Designer: Joel Toppen Price $60.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Beautiful components, mounted map, perfect for solo play, unique subject matter, on-line support, elegant game system, excellent value for the price, good tutorials included, duplicate counters included in case you lose some Failed Basic: Some rules are a little confusing In 2013, GMT released Joel Toppen’s stunning Navajo Wars board game. It was an Armchair General top game of the year! http://http://armchairgeneral.com/navajo-wars-boardgame-review.htm” Now Toppen releases an eagerly awaited sequel which looks at the “Lords of the Plains” – the Comanche people. Comancheria takes Navajo Wars to whole new level and improves the design making it easier to learn and play while keeping the dynamic story telling experience of the original. To write this review, I played a linked campaign covering from 1700 to 1799. Per Wikipedia, the Comanche “emerged as a distinct group shortly before 1700, when they broke off from the...Read More
Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them? Ghoulish Terror in Time for Halloween (or Friday the 13th ) from Ares Games. Last Friday Game Review!
Last Friday Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games’ release of a Pendragon Design Designers: Antonio Ferrara and Sebastiano Fiorillo, Price: $41.25 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Innovative design, fun, captures the excitement of a slasher film from the 1980s, great value for the price Failed Basic: Rules need an index; a tracker sheet could have been included for “saving” the game between chapters This is the second part of our Ares Games’ double feature of science fiction and horror goodness for the month of October. “My name is Alice and I’ve come to Camp Apache ostensibly as a counselor but in reality, I wanted to find myself. I figured that the peaceful woods and the beautiful lake would help me in that goal. But, to put it mildly, things have not been going well since we arrived. First, we got to the camp to find several of the owners’ bodies just lying near their tents (that should have been our first warning that things were about to go horribly wrong); Second,...Read More
Join the ranks of Earth’s heroes – The Galaxy Defenders! Do You Want To Know More? Read the Game Review!
Galaxy Defenders Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Developed by: Gremlin Project studio Designers: Simone Romano and Nunzio Surace Price: $70.99 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Exciting; perfect for solo or small group play; dynamic story elements; easy to learn; tons of replay value; great looking minis and components. Failed Basic: Needs a turn counter or chart to track turn number Sometime in the future: “. . . my partner and I had been sent to Area 51 to investigate a nearly total communications loss from the facility. Our transport had dropped us off within the grounds of the instillation but a little way from the first building. We had moved in on foot and found a battlefield. The aliens had launched a surprise strike against the facility and massacred many of the regular troops there. A handful of scientists had escaped and we found them. They told us that the aliens were methodically moving through the facility and while they killed the troops immediately, the aliens were rounding the scientists...Read More
Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62. Publisher: GMT Games Designer: Brian Train. Price: $75.00 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Gorgeous, heavy duty mounted map board. Clear, well written rules. Excellent players guide with examples of both two-player and solitaire play. Separate play aids for both the two player and solitaire games. Failed Basic: None. The French-Algerian War is a lesser known conflict in the United States. Some of this is understandable as the dual language barriers of the French and North African participants limit the quantity of material available. The most accessible English-language study remains Alistair Horne’s Savage War of Peace, which provides a solid, if somewhat dated overview of the conflict. The conflict encapsulates many trends of the modern age and in some sense provided a vision of the nature of conflicts to come in the Cold War era. Algeria is a montage of Mediterranean settlement patterns for the past three millennia. Even today the landscape features the remains of colonization efforts by Rome, the Ottoman Empire and most...Read More
Hell On Wheels Has Some Great Points But Like The Panther Tank It Has Some Teething Pains. Game Review
Sergeants Miniature Game Hell on Wheels and Vehicle Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Lost Battalion Games Designer: Jeff Billings Prices: Starter: $39.95 Expansions: Vehicle Modules $29.95 Large 20mm Vehicle Miniatures $44.95 to $55.95 Small 10mm Vehicle Miniatures: $14.95 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Beautiful hand printed pewter miniatures. Fully rotatable turrets and machine guns. Complete rules for playing a standalone vehicle game or using with Sergeants infantry minis. High quality components. Totally immersive playing experience. Two different sizes to fit your budget. Failed Basic: Expensive. Rules for damage are tough to figure out. Needs outlines or some other visual aid to show the flow of some rules. Rules reference an FAQ which can’t be found (at the time of the writing of this review). No rule for oblique armor aspects. Some of the art for the Marder III and German halftrack show wrong model type of each vehicle. The gunner on the German halftrack shows he is armed with an Mg42 but the halftrack control board shows an Mg34 –...Read More
Panzer Orders Base Game and Expansion 1 Game Review. Publisher: Matt White Designs Designer: Matt White Price: $26.80 base game, $16 for Expansion 1 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Stunning artwork; fast dynamic play; great on-line support; rules are constantly being updated based upon player comments; third party add-ons, great value for the money Failed Basic: back of Allied and Axis cards are the same so if the decks get mixed up it takes some time to sort out; new victory conditions would help balance the game; needs breakthrough rules Matt White, a computer game designer, has put out a stunningly illustrated World War 2 card game, Panzer Orders. This card game, designed, illustrated and published by White, features beautiful full color card sized paintings of tanks, vehicles and infantry. Each card is its own unique art print and no two cards in the game are the same. In White’s own words “I’ve been an avid gamer for over 30 years since school where we had a Friday afternoon war-games...Read More
Kido Butai 2nd Edition Game Review. Publisher: Dr. Richter Konfliktsimulation Designer: Benjamin Richter Price: $20.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Tense game play; small footprint; easy to learn; exciting; great value for the price Failed Basic: a few rules need clarifying; US carriers don’t have Wild Cats; counter printing hard to read The carrier Akagi had been sunk by 6:30 AM on June 4th, 1941. Our carriers had launched an attack on Midway Island but pilots reported no real visible damage even though the islands air fleet was mostly made up of obsolete Buffalos which were no match for our escorting Zeros. The planes from the Akagi had to be ditched at sea but our task force rescued most of the pilots. Starting at 8 AM, our pilots launched a raid on the American group centered around the Yorktown. Our men were out for blood; Midway would wait for a few hours. By noon our planes had returned from sinking the Yorktown and some of its escort ships but we...Read More