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

1754 Conquest – The French Indian War is a Must Play! Board Game Review

1754 Conquest – The French Indian War is a Must Play! Board Game Review

1754 Conquest – The French Indian War Board Game Review. Publisher: Academy Games Game Designer: Beau Beckett and Jeph Stahl Price $70.00 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Concise elegant rules, beautiful components, visually pleasing, easy to learn and play, approachable even by non-war gamers Failed Basic: Flavor text on cards a little too small, not solitaire friendly 1754 Conquest – The French Indian War (hereinafter “1754”) is the newest game in Academy Games’ Birth of America series which includes 1775 Rebellion and 1812 The Invasion of Canada and, probably, should also include Academy Games’ Freedom: The Underground Railroad. All of these games have been reviewed on this website! The French Indian War has been covered in games such as GMT’s Wilderness War and A Few Acres of Snow by Tree Frog Games (both reviewed on this site) and 1754 joins the ranks of these esteemed games! The hefty game box features beautiful artwork by Steven Paschal and tons of beautiful components including a sturdy tray to let the components fit...

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

The Doomsday Men make “Tough, Calculating Decisions” GMT’s Triumph and Tragedy Review

The Doomsday Men make “Tough, Calculating Decisions” GMT’s Triumph and Tragedy Review

Triumph and Tragedy, 2nd Edition Game Review Publisher: GMT Designer: Craig Besinque Price: $95.00 Ray Garbee Passed Inspection: Heavy duty box, high quality mounted map board. Durable thick, cut cardboard counters and tiles. High quality wooden blocks with stickers detailing unit abilities. Rules are clearly written and to the point. Playing pieces depict various combat units and status markers. Failed Basic: Some assembly is required. As with most block games, the players of the game must attach the unit stickers to the wooden blocks before play can commence. Fortunately, this is a one-time chore that is best viewed as part of the unboxing of the game. It gets a little tedious if tackled by one person all at once. OCD people may find it mildly distressing as you try and align the stickers perfectly on the blocks. Plan ahead and don’t expect to unwrap the box and start playing the game without allowing for this work. Triumph and Tragedy will appeal to those gamers that want to really explore...

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Posted on Jul 14, 2017 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

U.S. Halftracks in Action – a new edition of a classic Squadron Signal book!

U.S. Halftracks in Action – a new edition of a classic Squadron Signal book!

U.S. Halftracks in Action – Book Review David Doyle, Squadron Signal Publications. 2017 80 pages Soft Cover $19.95 ISBN 978-0-89747-829-8 Rick Martin Squadron Signal’s venerable In Action line has been publishing soft cover books on military vehicles, ships and aircrafts since 1971! Now they are going back and updating their past releases adding new content. Their most recent release is U.S. Halftracks in Action and what an improvement! The original U.S. Halftracks In Action was printed in 1996 and was written by Jim Mesko. It was book number 34 in the “In Action” line. It ran a tight 50 pages and was mostly in black and white with some color inserts. This new release written by David Doyle and represents a new effort on the part of Squadron Signal. As David puts it “Squadron is making an effort to standardize their books at 80 pages. The older volume was well short of that. The company is also taking advantage of newer printing methods which allow for more color and...

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Posted on Jul 11, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

The Battle of Midway from Turning Point Simulations – Full Review!

The Battle of Midway from Turning Point Simulations – Full Review!

The Battle of Midway 1942 AD Game Review. Publisher: Turning Point Simulations Designer: Paul Rohrbaugh Price: $29.95 (zip lock) $34.95 (boxed) Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Small footprint, exciting, simple to learn but dynamic to play, great value for the price, plays very well solo, covers the air and sea battles plus land battles if the Japanese land forces on Midway Failed Basic: Editorial issues in the 1st edition rule book, some editorial issues in the 2nd edition rule book, printing on some counters is too small and dark to easily read, some set-up issues. Needs rules to explain the aircraft capacity of aircraft carriers and Midway base. The Battle of Midway 1942 AD is a game in Turning Point Simulations’ Battles that Changed the World Series. As with the other games in the series, this game is available in a zip lock version or a boxed version. June of 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway which occurred from June 3rd to June 7th of 1942....

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Posted on Jun 20, 2017 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Set Sail in 1805!   A Game Review of GMT’s Age of Sail Game.

Set Sail in 1805! A Game Review of GMT’s Age of Sail Game.

1805 Sea of Glory Game Review. Publisher: GMT Games LLC Designer: Phil C. Fry Price: $59.00 Retail Greg Johnson Passed Inspection: Intriguing strategy. Failed Basic: Rules are detailed and well-defined, but certain areas of details need additional illustrations or explanations for players who may not be as familiar with this type of game play. An online tutorial, or play through would go a long way to help with setup and basic game play. Intro: If you love history, attention to detail, strategy and tactics, organizing and managing an army of pieces, then you will find 1805 Sea of Glory an intriguing and engaging game. Rest your chin on your hand and begin strategizing and planning your moves. Description: This is a two-player game that pits France and Spain, the Allies, against the blockade of the British during the time of Napoleon. The Allies are attempting to break out if they can and mount raids against the British. The British have a very tight blockade meant to squeeze the Allies...

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

B17 Flying Fortress Leader Hits Its Target! Review of the New Game

B17 Flying Fortress Leader Hits Its Target! Review of the New Game

B17 Flying Fortress Leader Game Review. Publisher: DVG Designer: Dean Brown Price: $89.99 Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Tense game play, dynamic campaigns, tons of detail, great replay value for the price, excellent enemy AI, on-line support Failed Basic: Some slight rules confusion (fixed with downloadable 2nd edition rules). The single bomber supplement could be expanded for more options. Needs a complete index not just a table of content. (Editor’s Note – In The Interest Of Full Disclosure – Dvg Has Published Tiger Leader And The Upcoming Sherman Leader Games – Both Of Which I Co-Designed With Dan Verssen. Dean Brown also helped design elements of Sherman Leader.) While not all of Dan Verssen Games are solitaire games, it is certainly truthful to state that DVG has cut its teeth on the solitaire game market place. From ancient Greece to the campaigns of Napoleon, from the sands of North Africa to the oceans of the Pacific and from the skies over Vietnam and beyond, DVG has consistently designed high quality...

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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 Feb 24, 2017 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Combat Mission Final Blitzkrieg PC Game Review

Combat Mission Final Blitzkrieg PC Game Review

Combat Mission: Final Blitzkrieg Computer Game Review. Publisher Battle Front Price $60 for Mac and Windows Rick Martin Passed Inspection: Engrossing campaign play, instant battle generator, incredible immersive graphics Failed Basic: battle generator has a few bugs in unpatched state, text too small on anything less then a 20” monitor, campaign games load up slowly even on fast machines The venerable Combat Mission franchise has been providing first class World War 2 and Modern Conflict action since 2000. Originally designed by Charles Moylan as an official Advanced Squad Leader computer game for Avalon Hill, it was picked up by Big Time Software (now known as Battlefront) after the purchase of Avalon Hill by Hasbro. Now with Combat Mission: Final Blitzkrieg, Battlefront has taken their World War 2 system to a whole new level! Combat Mission: Final Blitzkrieg (CMFB) examines the actions of the Allies and Germans during the critical Battle of the Bulge campaign in December of 1944 but play actually covers October 1944 to January 1945. The player...

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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 16, 2017 in Armchair Reading, Books and Movies, Front Page Features

MACARTHUR AT WAR – Book Review

MACARTHUR AT WAR – Book Review

Walter R. Borneman, Little, Brown and Company. 2016 595 pages Hard Back $30.00 ISBN 9780316405324 Walter Borneman’s range of history books cover from the Revolutionary War to the Westward expansion of the railroads to World War II. His new book, “MacArthur at War” is a warts and all biography of General Douglas MacArthur. “Douglas MacArthur always lived in his father’s shadow. It grew long before he was born…” are the first two sentences in chapter 1 of Borneman’s engrossing biography. Douglas’ father, Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr., fought under Sheridan during the Civil War and won the Medal of Honor for a rather unorthodox and somewhat controversial frontal assault which may or may not have been ordered by his commander. It is this personal initiative which was shared by his son, Douglas, as well as other legendary commanders of World War Two such as Patton and Rommel, but which put these men in to conflict with their superiors. Douglas not only had to contend with a father whose experiences in...

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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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