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Posted on Dec 13, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Facing a Bold and Clever Foe in the Western Desert.  Lighting North Africa Game Review.

Facing a Bold and Clever Foe in the Western Desert. Lighting North Africa Game Review.

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...

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Posted on Dec 12, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The Martians Have Landed!  Wings of Glory Tripods and Triplanes Kick Starter Preview!

The Martians Have Landed! Wings of Glory Tripods and Triplanes Kick Starter Preview!

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...

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Posted on Dec 7, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The Russians strike West and the clock tolls for Hindenburg’s Hour! Game Review

The Russians strike West and the clock tolls for Hindenburg’s Hour! Game Review

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...

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Posted on Dec 5, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Explore North America’s  Mound Builders’ Culture – Game Review

Explore North America’s Mound Builders’ Culture – Game Review

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...

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Posted on Nov 28, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Bombs Away!     Target for Today hits right on target!      Board Game Review.

Bombs Away! Target for Today hits right on target! Board Game Review.

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...

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Posted on Nov 22, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

An Amazingly Compelling Game  – Comancheria The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire Game Review

An Amazingly Compelling Game – Comancheria The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire Game Review

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...

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Posted on Oct 26, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

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!

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,...

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Posted on Oct 17, 2017 in Armchair Reading, Books and Movies, Front Page Features

David Doyle’s Fantastic New Book on the Panzer IV Tank!  Book Review

David Doyle’s Fantastic New Book on the Panzer IV Tank! Book Review

Legends of Ground Warfare Panzerkampfwagen IV The Backbone of Germany’s WW II Tank Force – Book Review David Doyle, Shiffer Publishing, Ltd.. 2017 112 pages Hard Cover $19.99 ISBN 978-0-7643-5359-8 Rick Martin Prolific military scholar David Doyle has outdone himself with this 2017 look at the venerable Panzer IV medium tank. The Panzer IV (Pz IV) was, as the book’s title indicates, the backbone of the German Army during the 1940s. It was found serving on all fronts and over 8,500 tanks of this type were produced. This 112 page book is arranged with each chapter looking at a different Pz IV model from the prototype and Type As to the last production model, the Type J. Each chapter features a thorough discussion of the Type with a handy table showing the dimensions, engine type and performance, crew, speeds, fording depth and trench crossing ability and armaments of each particular model. In addition, the manufacturers, chassis numbers and quantities of each type are also shown. Crystal clear black and...

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Posted on Oct 13, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Join the ranks of Earth’s heroes – The Galaxy Defenders! Do You Want To Know More? Read the Game Review!

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...

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Posted on Oct 12, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound Of Insurgency in GMT Games’ Colonial Twilight

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound Of Insurgency in GMT Games’ Colonial Twilight

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...

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Posted on Sep 21, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Hell On Wheels Has Some Great Points But Like The Panther Tank It Has Some Teething Pains. Game Review

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 –...

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Posted on Sep 18, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Panzer Orders Card Game is a Blast!  Card Game Review

Panzer Orders Card Game is a Blast! Card Game Review

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...

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Posted on Sep 13, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

For the Emperor!  Kido Butai Game Review

For the Emperor! Kido Butai Game Review

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...

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Posted on Sep 11, 2017 in Armchair Reading, Books and Movies, Front Page Features

Book Preview of David Doyle’s New CLEVELAND TANK PLANT Softcover!

Book Preview of David Doyle’s New CLEVELAND TANK PLANT Softcover!

Cleveland Tank Plant – Aircraft and military vehicle production at Cleveland Plant 2 (1942-1970) – Book Preview David Doyle, G-104 Press. 2017 112 pages Soft Cover $25.00 UPC:9781775013303 Silvio Iacuone David Doyle is world renowned for his books and magazine features on military vehicles, ranging from Squadron Walk Around and In Action books to his Ampersand 1100 combined page book set on Dodges in US Military Service. In his latest book though, he is stepping away from that and teaming up with G-104 Press, a new publishing company out of Ontario, Canada founded by Scott and Kim Taylor. Instead of a specific vehicle type or series, his newest title “Cleveland Tank Plant” focuses on a location, a location where parts of one of the best WW2 bombers and most unique Cold War vehicles were manufactured. The book is mainly comprised of well captioned photos featuring images of the XP-75 Eagle fighter, B-29 Super Fortress sub-assemblies, M41 Walker Bulldog, M42 Duster, M56 Scorpion, M114 Armored Recon Vehicle, M551 Sheridan, M108...

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Posted on Aug 30, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Come Fly With Me – More Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircrafts Take Flight! Game Review

Come Fly With Me – More Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircrafts Take Flight! Game Review

Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircraft Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Price: Booster: $14.90 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Beautiful miniatures, reissues of out of print planes, added value through additional content Failed Basic: Nothing at all. 2017 has been a great year for Wings of Glory both in its World War I and World War II incarnations. The year keeps getting better with reissues of these long out of print World War I aircrafts, but Ares didn’t just reissue them! They added new content for each aircraft! The four types of aircrafts which have been re-releases include the Albatros D.III, the Nieuport 17, the R.E.8 and the UFAG C.1. Let’s start with the two-seaters. The UFAG C.1 was released in April of 1918 and it quickly made a name for itself as the fastest two-seater of the Cental Powers. It clocked in at around 118 mph/190 kph mainly due to its revolutionary wing design which did away with many...

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Posted on Aug 25, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS (AGAIN)!  Putin’s Strikes Game Review

THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS (AGAIN)! Putin’s Strikes Game Review

“Putin’s Strikes: The Coming War for Eastern Europe” Game Review Publisher: One Small Step Games Designer: Ty Bomba Price $54.95 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Heavy duty box, relatively straightforward rules. Crisp, clean counter design. Great candidate for a solitaire module. The game does a good job of delivering information about the boundary between Europe and Russia as well as the correlation of forces expected in the theater. Air support rules are quick and clean. Failed Basic: Unique game mechanics will force veteran players out of their comfort zone. Game play for the Allied player has few choices and limits enjoyment. Game lacks an order of battle which can lead to some confusion if the optional Russian counters get mixed with the standard counters. A little too expensive. Way back in the dark ages of the 1980’s a popular sub-genre of board game was the ‘modern game’. Classic board games like GDW’s Third World War, Victory Game’s NATO, SPI’s Next War or the Central Front series. Most explored different aspects...

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Posted on Aug 16, 2017 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Re-fight the Korean War on your Android!  Computer Game Review

Re-fight the Korean War on your Android! Computer Game Review

The Korean War 1950-1953 for the Android Operating System Game Review. Publisher and Designer: Joni Nuutinen Price $3.99 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: detailed play, nice graphics, great AI, fantastic value for the price Failed Basic: too easy to move a unit by mistake and no option to take back a move, solo play only Joni Nuutinen is a Finnish developer of strategy games for the Android system. An overview of his games for the Android Operating System was published back in 2015. http://armchairgeneral.com/conflict-series-android-os-game-review.htm With tensions being so tight on the Korean Peninsula right now, it seems the time is right to look at one of Nuutinen’s newer games – The Korean War 1950-1953. The app size is small and will fit easily on many devices without taking up too much storage space. This app is for Android versions 4.1 or higher. The game is a strategic look at the Korean War. The player controls divisions from the Republic of Korea as well as America and other United Nation Allies...

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Posted on Aug 15, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Merrill’s Marauders offers amazing play value for the cost!  Game Review

Merrill’s Marauders offers amazing play value for the cost! Game Review

Merrill’s Marauders Commandos in Burma 1943 to 1944 Board Game Review. Publisher: Decision Games Game Designer: Joseph Miranda Price $12.95 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: fast paced, great AI, amazing value for the money,perfect game to take on a trip Failed Basic: rules have a few typos Merrill’s Marauders is another World War II themed game using Decision Games’ Commando solitaire system. The last one we reviewed was the excellent North African game Long Range Desert Group. While Long Range Desert Group had you slogging through the sands of North Africa while deep behind enemy lines, Merrill’s Marauders has you slogging through the jungles of Burma fighting the Imperial Japanese Army! Here is a handy link to the Long Range Desert Group review : http://armchairgeneral.com/long-range-desert-group-special-operations-against-rommel-1941-1942-game-review.htm The game comes in a zip locked bag with a full color 11” x 17” map, 40 double sided, full color die cut counters, 18 cards and the Commando game rules plus a Merrill’s Marauders supplement rule book. The components are all first rate especially...

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

Set Sail with Ares Games’ Sails of Glory!  Game Review

Set Sail with Ares Games’ Sails of Glory! Game Review

SAILS OF GLORY STARTER SET and EXPANSIONS Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Andrea Mainini Starter Set $90.00 Extra Ships run from $10 to $15 per ship Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Beautiful pre-painted minis. Easy to learn rules. Stunning components. Easy to play solitaire. Failed Basic: Nothing Sails of Glory is Ares Games’ line of miniature combat rules which cover the Age of Sail. The Starter Boxed Set features rules and 4 miniature ships from the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th Century to the early 19th Century. The box is filled with tons of content and the 4 mini ships which are included all contribute to deliver a visually stunning shot across the bow of the gamer! Sails of Glory utilizes an adaption of Ares Games’ award winning card based movement system which is featured in their Wings of Glory World War I and II airplane combat system. And like their other mini game systems, the player is able to purchase additional mini ships which...

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

Give Your Grey Matter a Work Out with Dungeon Time!  Game Review

Give Your Grey Matter a Work Out with Dungeon Time! Game Review

Dungeon Time Board Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Game Designer: Carlo A. Rossi Price $25.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: fast paced, fun, nice components, exercises your memory, addicting, family friendly Failed Basic: rules are a little difficult to figure out Ares Games of Italy is perhaps most well known for being the company behind the Wings of Glory World War I and World War II aircraft game but their product line is growing from other miniature war games such as Sails of Glory to epic science fiction games such as Galaxy Defenders and Euro Games such as Odyssey. Now Ares gives the card game genre a unique twist with Dungeon Time! Dungeon Time is a card based game with a twist – for the first phase of the game, there is a strict time limit! An hourglass which is included in the game gives you 5 minutes to achieve your mission, when the time runs out, the first phase is over and the players then see how well they...

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