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 Italyâ€™s entry in June 1940 through the 1943 surrender. Allows operations in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean and more. Special operations include the â€˜S.L.C.â€™ attacks, commando raids and supply runs to Singapore. Failed basic: In common with other entries in this series, the game play can feel â€˜fiddlyâ€™ 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 â€™43 â€“ the war was going badly for Italy. Sicily was falling...Read More
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 doesnâ€™t mean that these products are only for those games â€“ 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 â€œI 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 â€˜Mighty Minisâ€™ states: ” eBay Store Owner of Mighty_Minis_Online....Read More
When the digital pen becomes as mighty as the sword. GMT Games â€˜Labyrinth: The Forever War 2015 – ?â€™. 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 â€˜Labyrinthâ€™ base game and the â€˜Awakeningâ€™ 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, â€˜Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?â€™. Designed by Volko Ruhnke, â€˜Labyrinthâ€™ (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...Read More
â€œYou got YOUR Star Destroyer in my Enterprise! No you got YOUR Enterprise in my Star Destroyer!â€ â€“ 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 Planâ€¦ 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 sidesâ€¦ But wait thereâ€™s more â€“ 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, Iâ€™ll repair the Time Rotor in...Read More
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 Simulationsâ€™ Decisive Battles of the World series. Chalons uses the same design system as Bergâ€™s Arbela â€“ Gaugamela 331 BC which was reviewed by Armchair General in 2017. First some back ground on this decisive and historic battle directly from Turning Pointâ€™s own webpage for the game: Born half-Roman, but all business, the Battle of ChÃ¢lons saw â€œthe last great Roman generalâ€, Flavius Aetius, at his finest! And â€œfinestâ€ would mean both political maneuvering with shifting alliances as well as tactical finesse. The build-up to the Battle of ChÃ¢lons (also called the â€œBattle of the Cataulnian Plainsâ€) is incredibly...Read More
Learning to Live with Fog and Friction on the Battlefields of the American Civil War. Revolution Games â€˜Kernstownâ€™ 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 â€“ some chits were getting scuffed from just two games. â€œYou ever been in a war, Councilman? In a firefight? Did you feel an overabundance of control?â€ Nick Fury, â€˜The Avengersâ€™ Three turns into my first game of Kernstown, Nick Furyâ€™s words rang in my ears. Col. Tylerâ€™s brigade attack had stalled. The Unionâ€™s regiments just sat there on the wooded slopes as General Jackson moved his regiments into place along a stone wall. â€˜Noâ€™, I thought, â€˜Iâ€™m most definitely *not* experiencing an overabundance of control. Câ€™mon boys, daylights wasting!â€™ Frustrating as it was, this was actually a good thing, as a lack of...Read More
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 â€œIn 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 nationâ€™s best and bravest in the Air, Land, & Sea?â€ says the Air, Land and Seaâ€™s tag line on Arcane Wonderâ€™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 â€œseasoned war gamersâ€, such as your humble reviewer, will...Read More
Can Lee Be Taken? Worthington Games â€˜Leeâ€™s Invincibles: The Gettysburg Campaign 1863â€™. Board Game Review.
Leeâ€™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: Itâ€™s tough to put your whole army in motion at the same time, which can feel a little â€˜gameyâ€™ at times. Itâ€™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, youâ€™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...Read More
Eternal Cityâ€™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 â€œpartnerâ€ of...Read More
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. â€œMan, I’m telling you, I got a bad feeling about this dropâ€ Private Frost, Aliens Private Frostâ€™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 â€“ if I know that the victory conditions are bait, should I try a different strategy, instead of biting on that same old hook again? In early 2020 I was casting about for some new boardgames to keep me occupied during the...Read More
Wings of Glory World War 2 Aircraft Squadron Packs â€“ 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 donâ€™t know, in brief, Wings of Glory (formerly known as...Read More
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...Read More
Fly a Lancaster through the unfriendly skies over the 3rd Reich with Legion War Gamesâ€™ Target for Tonight. Board Game Review
Target for Tonight – Britainâ€™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 â€œA 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 canâ€™t see the instrument panel. The finger of light...Read More
Vicksburg Is the Key. Worthington Games â€˜Pemberton versus Grant: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863â€™ 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: Pembertonâ€™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, Mississippiâ€™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,...Read More
3500 YEARS OF HISTORY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! â€“ GMTâ€™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, itâ€™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, itâ€™s beautiful so I must congratulate the artists and designers for the work on the whole package â€“ good work Chechu...Read More
Pacific Fury, Guadalcanal 1942. Publisher: Bonsai Games/Revolution Games/Quarterdeck 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 â€˜Pacific Furyâ€™. An updated version of 2001â€™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...Read More
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 â€œTriangle Systemâ€ of movement which provides more realistic movements than does a traditional hex based system. Previously Armchair General reviewed their modern tactical naval battles game â€œNaval Battles in the Archipelagoâ€ and â€œAge of Dogfightsâ€ is just as much fun and just as easy to learn as â€œNaval Battlesâ€. Age of Dogfights is a tactical air combat game of World War I air combat. The gameâ€™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...Read More
Your Own Private Cold War. High Flying Dice Games â€˜Cold Confusion: The Soviet Raid on Iceland 1985â€™. Tabletop Game Review.
Cold Confusion: The Soviet Raid on Iceland 1985. Publisher: High Flying Dice Games. Designers: Paul Rohrbaugh. Price $14.95-$28.95 (depending on options â€“ zip lock or box, mounted counters, etc.) Passed inspection: Small, fast playing game of the Soviet raid on Iceland. Good replay value with variable reinforcements and set up. Card deck provides for a good fog of war. Failed basic: Unpredictable length of the game turn can be aggravating as players are constrained by the random appearance of the turn end cards. Personnel carriers are fire support vehicles and not used for carrying personnel. The first mention I can remember of Soviet troops invading Iceland was Tom Clancyâ€™s novel â€˜Red Storm Risingâ€™. If the book did one thing, it was elevating the strategic importance of Iceland in the minds of thousands of readers. The novel delves into the invasion, occupation and eventual (spoiler alert) liberation of the island as one thread within the larger story of a â€˜cold war gone hotâ€™. Games focused on the invasion of Iceland...Read More
Ice, Ice, Baby. High Flying Dice Games â€˜Breaking the Ice: The Great Lakes Winter Fleet 1942â€™. Tabletop Game Review.
Breaking the Ice: The Great Lakes Winter Fleet 1942. Publisher: High Flying Dice Games. Designers: Paul Rohrbaugh. Price $30.00-$41.00 (depending on version and options) Passed inspection: Presents a little told aspect of the Merchant Marine in World War II. Offers a challenging series of decisions to the player. Failed basic: You will learn to hate lake ice and unexpected work stoppages. By Ray Garbee Mention the merchant marine in World War Two and generally the first thing you think of is the Battle of the Atlantic. Allied convoys with columns of freighters facing off against the wolfpacks and aircraft. Possibly, you might think of the long trans-Pacific supply lines that supported the war against Japan. But youâ€™d be forgiven for never thinking of the merchant fleet of the inland seas â€“ the bulk carriers that cruised the Great Lakes of North America. Paul Rohrbaugh aims to change that gap in our knowledge with â€˜Breaking the Ice: The Great Lakes Winter Fleet â€“ 1942â€™. â€˜Breaking the Iceâ€™, a solitaire game...Read More