By Ray Garbee Skies Above Britain. Publisher: GMT Games. Designer: Jeremy White and Gina Willis. Price $99.00 Passed inspection: An immersive solitaire experience that captures the feel of the air war over Britain in 1940. The well-crafted rulebook and charts make finding rules references a snap. Failed basic: Not a failure, but it can be taxing to follow everything going on within a turn. However, Gina solved this with a downloadable deck of cards that walk you through the patrol cycle. A solitary British fighter executes a victory roll in the sky above an airfield in France in the opening scene of Guy Hamilton’s 1969 film “The Battle of Britain”. The film delivers on its title, packing the breadth of the three-month campaign into two hours and thirteen minutes. As a child I was captivated by the depiction of the air battles and heroic characters. As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the solid job the film does delivering so much of the experience of the campaign in a...Read More
Tor Andersson’s online gaming project continues to grow. The experience of playing tabletop board games has been primarily a physical, face to face experience. But in the 21st Century, board games began migrating into the digital space. Well known examples of this shift include the VASSAL engine, Steam and Tabletop Simulator. That shift really picked up speed in 2020 when the pandemic had many folks stuck at home with no face to face opponents. It was certainly what motivated me to dive into Vassal and start tabletop gaming online. Beyond the Vassal’s and the Tabletop Simulator type enfine, there’s another option out there – Rally the Troops! Rally the Troops! is a website created and maintained by Tor Andersson. It is a free software project. The site is free to play, requiring only a user profile. The game engine presents each game through a web-browser user experience. Unlike some of the other channels, Rally the Troops provides the complete game experience and includes game board, charts and the complete...Read More
My P500 order of Salerno ’43 arrived in the post this week. Here’s a quick unboxing video and perusal of the contents of the box. I’m looking forward to this as it’s my first time playing a game in the series. We’ll get a more in depth look at the components up...Read More
GMT Games P500 Offering “Infernal Machine: Dawn of Submarine Warfare” Aims to Explores the Role of Submarines in the American Civil War.
By Ray Garbee Infernal Machine: Dawn of Submarine Warfare – P500 Campaign. Publisher: GMT Games. Designer: Ed Ostermeyer and Jeremy White. P500 Preorder Price $55.00 After playing Nicola Saggini and David Thompson’s solitaire game By Stealth and Sea (DVG, 2020), I started to think about what other periods would lend themselves to a similar type of game. The challenge of using ‘bleeding edge’ technology where you were fighting your own equipment as much as the enemy was an interesting way to depict how warfighting can drive technological innovation (and to a degree, vice versa). In conversation with Matt, one of my long-time wargaming associates, we thought that a similar game covering the exploits of submarine warfare during the American Civil War posed similar challenges and would be an interesting topic. I resolved to pull together various reference books off the shelf and then we would sit down and start to envision what such a game would look like. Before we made any appreciable progress (well, I did have a...Read More
The Kriegsmarine threatens Britain’s Atlantic lifeline in GMT Games, “Atlantic Chase: The naval war in the Atlantic 1939-1943”. Board Game Review.
Atlantic Chase: The Kriegsmarine Against the Home Fleet. Publisher: GMT Games. Designer: Jeremy White. Price $85.00 Passed inspection: A multi-layered operational game covering maritime operations from 1939 through 1943.Extensive two-player and solitaire scenarios. Well laid-out rulebook(s) nicely cross-referenced with the play aid charts. Failed basic: “Failed basic” is an overly harsh term here. We could quibble over how specific ships are rated for firepower and if the effect of airstrikes is overstated or understated. But the biggest challenge is that Atlantic Chase is a radically different game from what traditional naval gamers are used to playing. The block format of the trajectories may be off-putting to old school hex and counter grognards. But work through the pain, folks – this is a great game! steamed for the Jutland coast into bad weather and stumbled upon our quarry. After a short exchange of gunfire, the Germans managed to break contact. In the morning, the storm had passed and the real battle began. Luftwaffe dive bombers and torpedo planes repeatedly struck...Read More