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Posted on Sep 11, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

US Airborne Assaults an Island Fortress in Revolution Games ‘Return to the Rock: Corregidor, 1945’. Board Game Review.

US Airborne Assaults an Island Fortress in Revolution Games ‘Return to the Rock: Corregidor, 1945’. Board Game Review.

By Ray Garbee Return to the Rock: Corregidor, 1945 Publisher: Take Aim Designs/Revolution Games. Designer: Mike Rinella. Price $ 33.00 Passed inspection: The game packs a lot of action into a small footprint. It’s a solid 2 player game that has good solitaire potential. Excellent graphics that incorporates a period map. The game nicely captures the asymmetrical aspects of the conflict between the United States and the Japanese Empire. Failed basic: Nothing that would dissuade you from buying the game. A player aid chart for combat processes and movement costs would be welcome. The airdrop had gone off without a hitch. The columns of C-47 were right on target over the drop zone and the jump masters earned their pay. The 3rd Battalion of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment drifted down on the lightly defended golf course and parade ground that sat atop the western end of Corregidor Island. All the parachute artillery batteries landed in good order! Even the landing craft transporting the troops onto Black Beach had...

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Posted on Aug 24, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Peace was without confidence and war was without mercy.” Edward Gibbon.  Commands and Colors – Medieval.  Board Game Review

“Peace was without confidence and war was without mercy.” Edward Gibbon. Commands and Colors – Medieval. Board Game Review

Commands and Colors – Medieval     Board Game Review.  Publisher: GMT Games   Game Designer: Richard Borg   Price $75.00 Passed Inspection: well researched, easy to learn rules, great replay value, strong solo experience, beautiful components, new rules for inspired actions and excellent value for the money Failed Basic:  must put stickers on the all the blocks – hundreds of blocks … 330 blocks …, also found it difficult to figure out how to create some scenario fortifications with the terrain included in the box Commands and Colors – Medieval is the newest entry in the venerable Commands and Colors series.  It covers the 5th and 6th Century battles between the Byzantine Empire aka the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanid Persians.  It is expected that this will be the core game that will then be expanded upon to cover conflicts from the 7th Century to the 15th Century. The components in Commands and Colors – Medieval are: 1 Medieval Core Rule Book and 19 medieval battle scenarios 1 Oversize Mounted...

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Posted on Aug 17, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Under the Sea, For the Glory of Rome. GMT Games ‘Beneath the Med’ Board Game Review

Under the Sea, For the Glory of Rome. GMT Games ‘Beneath the Med’ Board Game Review

Beneath the Med: Regina Marina at Sea, 1940-1943. Publisher: GMT Games. Designer: Gregory M. Smith. Price $52.00 Passed inspection: Great narrative-based game focused on World War Two Italian submarine operations. Game generates a solid narrative of the combat patrols of your submarine commander. Represents many of the Italian submarine classes used during the war. The game includes some narrative role-playing elements for leader and crew skill development. The game covers the war from Italy’s entry in June 1940 through the 1943 surrender. Allows operations in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean and more. Special operations include the ‘S.L.C.’ attacks, commando raids and supply runs to Singapore. Failed basic:  In common with other entries in this series, the game play can feel ‘fiddly’ with the need to reference multiple charts and tables as you move through each location in the patrol. Combat resolution lacks the detailed tactical feel of maneuvering the submarine to reach attack position against the target. August ’43 – the war was going badly for Italy. Sicily was falling...

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Posted on Aug 11, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Mighty Minis – An Armchair General “Mini” Review

Mighty Minis – An Armchair General “Mini” Review

This is not your typical Armchair General review as it is not for a specific game or product.  Mighty Minis is a company run by Anthony Weaver which specializes in 3 D printed goodies to be used for your games.  Mighty Minis has sent Armchair General a nice selection of some of their products for Wings of Glory, Memoir 44 and Axis and Allies Minis.   But that doesn’t mean that these products are only for those games – they can be used for any number of different games and add value by providing 3 D terrain and other features not included in the game boxes.  You can also make special requests and Mighty Minis will do the design work and the printing to your specifications. In a short interview with Armchair General, Weaver states “I do not have a brick & mortar store, but sell exclusively ONLINE. My main selling platform has been eBay, and also Facebook.   My Facebook profile for ‘Mighty Minis’ states: ” eBay Store Owner of Mighty_Minis_Online....

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Posted on Aug 10, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

When the digital pen becomes as mighty as the sword. GMT Games ‘Labyrinth: The Forever War 2015 – ?’. Board Game Review.

When the digital pen becomes as mighty as the sword. GMT Games ‘Labyrinth: The Forever War 2015 – ?’. Board Game Review.

Labyrinth: The Forever War: 2015 -? Publisher: GMT Games. Designer: Trevor Bender. Price $28.00 Passed inspection: The new rules and cards update the game to the present. Failed basic: This is an expansion to the Labyrinth base game. It requires ownership of both the ‘Labyrinth’ base game and the ‘Awakening’ expansion. There is not a unified rulebook for all expansions. With the rules spread over the core game and now two supplements, it can be a little awkward looking up a specific rule. In 2010, GMT Games released a new board game, ‘Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?’.  Designed by Volko Ruhnke, ‘Labyrinth’ (or L1), is a two-player game depicting the recent and at the time ongoing events of the modern conflict between the United States and the groups promoting the adoption and spread of an Islamist state. Labyrinth did well enough that five years later an expansion (Labyrinth: Awakening: 2010- ?, or L2) was produced to update the game, add new event cards and add mechanics...

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Posted on Jul 27, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“You got YOUR Star Destroyer in my Enterprise!  No you got YOUR Enterprise in my Star Destroyer!” – Squadron Strike Board Game Review

“You got YOUR Star Destroyer in my Enterprise! No you got YOUR Enterprise in my Star Destroyer!” – Squadron Strike Board Game Review

Squadron Strike    Board Game Review Part 1.  Publisher: Ad Astra Games   Game Designer: Ken Burnside   Price:  $74.95 Passed Inspection: Easy to learn; fits any science fiction TV show, movie or book; has its own campaign; true 3 D space combat; well written rules; on-line support;  innovative game design Failed Basic:  the quantity of information may be a little intimidating to some A Long Time Ago Where No One Has Gone Before the Hot Looking Cyborgs Have a Plan… A great war spills out in to the great galaxy Rebel ships are ready to engage the heavy cruisers of the Lumpy Fore-headed Space Grumps Suddenly a Huge Space Carrier of Galactica proportions appears out of hyperspace There are heroes on all three sides… But wait there’s more – a huge World War 2 looking Space Battleship appears and destroys everyone with its Typhoon Kinetic Cannon! If you can name all the references I just made to different science fiction television. shows and movies, I’ll repair the Time Rotor in...

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Posted on Jul 20, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“…the bodies were countless” – Chronica Gallica Anno 511  Chalons 451 AD Board Game Review

“…the bodies were countless” – Chronica Gallica Anno 511 Chalons 451 AD Board Game Review

Chalons  451 AD    Board Game Review.  Publisher: Turning Point Simulations   Game Designer: Richard H. Berg   Price  $34.95 (zip lock bag) or $39.95 (boxed) Passed Inspection: Well written, witty rules and examples. Easy to learn. Fast to play. Great value for the money. Failed Basic:  Initiative rules are a little unclear.   Chalons 451 AD was designed by the late Richard H. Berg and is a part of Turning Point Simulations’ Decisive Battles of the World series.  Chalons uses the same design system as Berg’s Arbela – Gaugamela 331 BC which was reviewed by Armchair General in 2017. First some back ground on this decisive and historic battle directly from Turning Point’s own webpage for the game:  Born half-Roman, but all business, the Battle of Châlons saw “the last great Roman general”, Flavius Aetius, at his finest! And “finest” would mean both political maneuvering with shifting alliances as well as tactical finesse. The build-up to the Battle of Châlons (also called the “Battle of the Cataulnian Plains”) is incredibly...

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Posted on Jul 8, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Learning to Live with Fog and Friction on the Battlefields of the American Civil War. Revolution Games ‘Kernstown’ Board Game Review

Learning to Live with Fog and Friction on the Battlefields of the American Civil War. Revolution Games ‘Kernstown’ Board Game Review

Kernstown. Publisher: Revolution Games. Designer: Claude Whalen. Artists: Rick Barber and Charlie Kibler.  Price: $ 55.00 (zip lock bag) or $ 65.00 (boxed) Passed inspection: Gorgeous artwork on the board evokes a sense of the period and enhances game play. Dynamic game engine creates uncertainty, fosters friction, instills chaos and a lack of control that makes each game a unique experience. Failed basic: Counter durability – some chits were getting scuffed from just two games. “You ever been in a war, Councilman? In a firefight? Did you feel an overabundance of control?” Nick Fury, ‘The Avengers’ Three turns into my first game of Kernstown, Nick Fury’s words rang in my ears. Col. Tyler’s brigade attack had stalled. The Union’s regiments just sat there on the wooded slopes as General Jackson moved his regiments into place along a stone wall. ‘No’, I thought, ‘I’m most definitely *not* experiencing an overabundance of control. C’mon boys, daylights wasting!’ Frustrating as it was, this was actually a good thing, as a lack of...

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Posted on Jul 1, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

World War 2 Themed Card Game Action! – Arcane Wonder’s “Air, Land and Sea” Card Game Review

World War 2 Themed Card Game Action! – Arcane Wonder’s “Air, Land and Sea” Card Game Review

Air, Land and Sea Card Game Review.  Publisher: Arcane Wonders  Designer:  Jon Perry  Price $14.99 Passed Inspection:   small footprint, easy to learn, addictive game play, excellent value for the cost Failed Basic:    would like to have seen a solo module for the game as well as advanced rules, the Withdraw rule needs more explanation “In the midst of the greatest conflict humanity has ever known, victory will be claimed by the military that can overcome their enemies in every battleground. Do you have the skills to lead your nation’s best and bravest in the Air, Land, & Sea?” says the Air, Land and Sea’s tag line on Arcane Wonder’s website.  Air, Land and Sea is a new World War Two themed card game by Jon Perry and released by Arcane Wonders.  The colorful cards and easy to learn but challenging to play game play makes this game wonderful for a wide audience.  Beginners will find it fun and approachable while “seasoned war gamers”, such as your humble reviewer, will...

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Posted on Jun 29, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Can Lee Be Taken? Worthington Games ‘Lee’s Invincibles: The Gettysburg Campaign 1863’. Board Game Review.

Can Lee Be Taken? Worthington Games ‘Lee’s Invincibles: The Gettysburg Campaign 1863’. Board Game Review.

Lee’s Invincibles: Gettysburg Campaign of 1863. Publisher: Worthington Games. Designer: Sean Chick. Price $65.00 Passed inspection: Color, unmounted map that conveys a sense of space and place of the 1863 campaign. A two-player game that captures the challenges facing each historical general. Block game brings the fog of war and limits intelligence of opposing forces. Failed basic: It’s tough to put your whole army in motion at the same time, which can feel a little ‘gamey’ at times.    It’s late June and naturally thoughts turn to the upcoming July 4th weekend and the annual commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg. You can find a multitude of games that recreate the battle of Gettysburg in detail. Games come in multiple scales, multiple game designs. Like the literature on the battle, you’d think there would be little left to say. But literature still yields books that offer insights and games do as well.  For example, two recent books that give solid insights into events surrounding the lead up and aftermath...

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

Can you save Rome? – High Flying Dice Games’ Eternal City’s End  Board  Game  Review

Can you save Rome? – High Flying Dice Games’ Eternal City’s End Board Game Review

Eternal City’s End Board Game Review.  Publisher: High Flying Dice Games  Designer:  Roberto Chiavini, Marco Lazzerini and Marco Spepi  Developed by Paul Rohrbaugh  Price $20.95 (unmounted counters)  $26.95 (mounted cardstock counters) Passed Inspection:   Beautiful components, fun to play, easy to learn but tough to master, multiplayer or solo from either the German or Italian side, playable in one afternoon, very challenging, great value for the price, tons of optional rules to make the game easier or harder Failed Basic:    some typos and rule issues (mostly addressed with an Addendum), a little review of the background history would have been helpful to put the game in context, would have preferred a cheat sheet with the turn sequence and combat results table, combat results tables need a little more explanation in the rules  On September 3rd, 1943, after arresting Mussolini and forming a new non-fascist government, Italy signed an armistice with the Allies.  The Reich along with Italian fascists launched Operation Axis to attempt to stabilize Italy as a “partner” of...

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Posted on Jun 13, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Chasing Victory In Worthington Games ‘Holdfast: Korea 1950-51. Board Game Review

Chasing Victory In Worthington Games ‘Holdfast: Korea 1950-51. Board Game Review

Holdfast: Korea 1950-51. Publisher: Worthington Games. Designer: Sean Chick. Price $64.99 (Sale price $20.00) Passed inspection: Map gives an excellent overview of the geography of the Korean Conflict. Block game brings the fog of war and limits intelligence of opposing forces. Failed basic: Automatic victory conditions for each side are very difficult to achieve.   “Man, I’m telling you, I got a bad feeling about this drop” Private Frost, Aliens Private Frost’s words echoed in my head as I prepared to start my fourth game of Holdfast: Korea 1950-51. It was about this point that I felt that the victory conditions in the game were bait designed to lure each player into overextending their forces to set up an inevitable disaster. The question in my mind was – if I know that the victory conditions are bait, should try a different strategy instead of biting on that hook? In early 2020 I was casting about for some new boardgames to keep me occupied during the pandemic lockdown. Worthington Publishing...

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Posted on Jun 5, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

German Bombers Spotted!  Scramble Fighters!  Wings of Glory Squadron  Packs Review

German Bombers Spotted! Scramble Fighters! Wings of Glory Squadron Packs Review

Wings of Glory World War 2 Aircraft Squadron Packs – Ju 88s and Do 17s  Game Review.  Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Price:  Booster: $29.00 each Passed Inspection:  Beautiful, fully painted, tons of additional cards with each plane, different options, decals to modify the aircraft, important additions to your squadron Failed Basic:  Nothing at all. Any time Ares Games releases new aircrafts for their magnificent Wings of Glory World War 1 or World War 2 game system, players can rejoice.  We know that these planes will be fully playable right out of the box and will feature beautiful and authentic paint jobs and markings.  Now Ares has released the Junkers 88 and Dornier 17 bomber and night fighter to join the ranks of the Heinkel 111 medium bomber released some years back.  Players now have all the major medium bombers of the Luftwaffe to add to their air to air conflicts. For those who don’t know, in brief, Wings of Glory (formerly known as...

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Posted on May 19, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Age of Dogfights is now on Kickstarter!

Age of Dogfights is now on Kickstarter!

Age of Dogfights was previewed a few weeks ago at Armchair General. It’s a fast paced World War I aviation game with multiplayer and solo rules. And now its officially on Kickstarter! Here is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732812836/age-of-dogfights-ww1?ref=discovery&term=age%20of%20dog...

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Posted on May 19, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Fly a Lancaster through the unfriendly skies over the 3rd Reich with Legion War Games’ Target for Tonight.  Board Game Review

Fly a Lancaster through the unfriendly skies over the 3rd Reich with Legion War Games’ Target for Tonight. Board Game Review

Target for Tonight – Britain’s Strategic Air Campaign Over Europe 1942 – 1945     Board Game Review.  Publisher: Legion War Games   Game Designer: Steve Dixon & Bob Best   Price $94.00 Passed Inspection: beautiful components, well researched, easy to learn rules, great replay value, strong solo narrative experience, makes you feel that you are there Failed Basic:  some issues with the moon phases (but the enclosed errata fixes this), needs a guide as to how many days pass between missions, a glitch can trap your bomber in a never ending combat loop (until you are shot down that is) with an Ace piloted night fighter in some specific circumstances (this is now fixed thanks to some intrepid gamers), the Halifax bomber needs some attention to its flaws “A searchlight catches the plane for an instant. The cockpit is awash with searing bluish brightness. As if a revelation is about to take place. As if an angel is about to appear. He can’t see the instrument panel. The finger of light...

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Posted on May 18, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Vicksburg Is the Key. Worthington Games ‘Pemberton versus Grant: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863’ Board Game Review

Vicksburg Is the Key. Worthington Games ‘Pemberton versus Grant: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863’ Board Game Review

Pemberton & Grant: Vicksburg Campaign of 1863. Publisher: Worthington Games. Designer: Sean Chick. Price $65.00 (Sale price $35.00) Passed inspection: Color, mounted map that conveys a sense of space and place. Two player game captures the challenges facing each historical general. The use of blocks brings the fog of war and limits intelligence of opposing forces. Failed basic: Pemberton’s starting location is missing in the set up. Depiction of the Walnuts Hills region around Vicksburg could have been depicted more clearly as to if/where the mountain terrain modifier is in effect. I pondered the map in front of me. Confederate divisions were defending the southern avenues to Vicksburg. Off to the northeast, a lone Confederate division held the city of Jackson, Mississippi’s capital and a key rail connection for the Confederacy. The rebel troops at Port Gibson had been driven back behind the Big Black River, but the question now was how to best move forward in an effort to capture Vicksburg and Jackson as quickly as possible. Perhaps,...

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

3500 YEARS OF HISTORY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! – GMT’s ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE INNER SEA  Board  Game  Review

3500 YEARS OF HISTORY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! – GMT’s ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE INNER SEA Board Game Review

Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea Board Game Review.  Publisher: GMT  Designer:  Christopher Vorder Bruegge and Mark McLaughlin Developed by Fred Schachter  Price $85 Passed Inspection:   Fun, Immersive, Great solo or multiplayer experience, easy to learn, full support on the GMT website Failed Basic:    the number of pages in the rule book makes the game look more complex than it is Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea is a dream of a game!  It is a huge sandbox of  a game that allows the players to relive over 3500 years of history of the kingdoms and empires found around the Mediterranean from 3000 BC to 500 AD and, so far, it’s one of my favorite games of late 2019 and early 2020! The cover artwork on the game box is stunning!  In fact, the artwork and graphic layout for the map, cards and books is not just functional, it’s beautiful so I must congratulate the artists and designers for the work on the whole package – good work Chechu...

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Posted on Apr 20, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Sailing into Big Trouble with ‘Pacific Fury’. Board Game Review.

Sailing into Big Trouble with ‘Pacific Fury’. Board Game Review.

Pacific Fury, Guadalcanal 1942. Publisher: Bonsai Games/Revolution Games/Quaterdeck International Designer: Yasushi Nakaguro. Price 30.00 Passed inspection: The colorful map is a clean, effective depiction of the waters surrounding Guadalcanal. Counters are die-cut and easy to read.  Rules are clear and to the point. A great game to introduce new players to area movement wargaming. Failed basic: Nothing. In 1942, a pivotal series of naval battles in the area around Guadalcanal ensured that the US victory at Midway was not a fluke. But unlike Midway, these battles would see heavy losses to both sides and stretch the US Navy almost to the breaking point. Designer Yasushi Nakaguro brings these battles to the tabletop in ‘Pacific Fury’. An updated version of 2001’s Campaign for Guadalcanal, released in the United States by Revolution Games. Pacific Fury is similar to other games produced by Revolution Games as well as other games designed by Yasushi Nakaguro. The game consists of a small map sheet, 53 die cut counters and eight pages of rules. The...

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

This game has the right stuff!    Age of Dogfights Preview

This game has the right stuff! Age of Dogfights Preview

Age of Dogfights Board Game Preview.  Publisher: Forsage Games  Designers:  Predrag Lazovic and Dragan Lazovic Age of Dogfights is a new game which is about to be Kickstarted by Forsage Games of Serbia.   It utilizes their trademarked “Triangle System” of movement which provides more realistic movements than does a traditional hex based system.  Previously Armchair General reviewed their modern tactical naval battles game “Naval Battles in the Archipelago” and “Age of Dogfights” is just as much fun and just as easy to learn as “Naval Battles”. Age of Dogfights is a tactical air combat game of World War I air combat.  The game’s components are: 3 bi-fold maps 4 board extensions 54 aircraft counters 100 plastic altitude stands 3 tilt compensators 3 initial position markers 18 control panels 117 sliders 24 photo mission markers 30 bomb mission markers 24 ace/rookie markers 36 damage overlay markers 10 cloud markers 1 each sun direction and wind direction indicators 6 task zone markers 5 six sided dice 1  16 page rule book...

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