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Posted on Oct 14, 2020 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”– IL2: Cliffs of Dover Computer Simulation Review

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”– IL2: Cliffs of Dover Computer Simulation Review

IL2: Cliffs of Dover    Computer Simulation Review.  Publisher: 1C:Maddox Games and Team Fusion Simulations   Lead Development Producer :  Ilya Shevchenko  Price $24.99 Passed Inspection:    a huge game with over 25 flyable aircrafts can set it from scary total realism to easy mode, beautiful graphics, sound and background music, totally immersive, can be played solo in individual missions or campaigns or on-line with hundreds of human players, incredible value for the price, constant updates, on-line help, just an amazing piece of work Failed Basic:      needs better tutorials, sometimes loses control set ups, screen shot function doesn’t work on my system  IL-2 Cliffs of Dover is the Battle of Britain simulator from the folks who brought you the excellent IL-2 Sturmovik flight simulator series.  While IL-2 Cliffs of Dover originally came out in 2011 and was a flawed release, 1C: Maddox Games and Team Fusion  Simulations have collaborated on this Steam release to give Cliffs of Dover the makeover it needed and they have made it a classic! To call Cliffs...

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Posted on Oct 9, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Can You Do Better than Alexander the Great? – DVG’s FIELD COMMANDER ALEXANDER Board Game Review

Can You Do Better than Alexander the Great? – DVG’s FIELD COMMANDER ALEXANDER Board Game Review

Field Commander Alexander  Board Game Review.  Publisher: DVG  Designer:  Dan Verssen  Price $54.99 Passed Inspection:   Easy to learn, fun to play, challenge level can be adjusted through lots of optional rules, small foot print, beautiful game boards, delivers a perfect solo experience, an entire campaign can be played in 2 or 3 hours Failed Basic:    needs an index, some minor typos Field Commander Alexander was originally published by Dan Verssen Games back in 2009 but it quickly sold out and was unavailable.  It was recently reprinted as part of a Kickstarter campaign and now it’s time for Armchair General to review this classic solo game! Box Cover Field Commander Alexander is a solo game featuring 4 campaigns which can be played as stand-alone games or as a giant linked campaign which simulates major campaigns of conquest in the life of Alexander the Great.  The four campaigns include Granicus, Issus, The Siege of Tyre and Gaugamela. The game comes in a sturdy and attractive box featuring artwork by Hokunin.  The...

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

A Different Side of the COIN. ‘The Siege of Orgun’. Board Game Review

A Different Side of the COIN. ‘The Siege of Orgun’. Board Game Review

By Ray Garbee The Siege of Orgun, Afghanistan 1983. Publisher: Revolution Games. Designer: Patrick Ruestchmann. Price $33.00 Passed inspection: Quick playing game. Accessible rules. Requires players to synthesize a strategy using a blend of kinetic combat, operational event cards, unconventional warfare and tactical misdirection. Failed basic: Failed assaults seem too bloodless. It seems like ancient history now, but in the early 1980’s, if you spoke about the war in Afghanistan you were referring to the war between the Afghans and the Soviet Union. In 1978, the Soviet Union engineered a coup that installed a communist government (the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, or DRA) in Kabul. At the end of 1979 the Soviets intervened directly in Afghanistan by sending the Red Army to facilitate a change of leadership. The Afghan tribes had been resisting the communist state, the Soviet invasion brought foreign aid that supported the Mujahadeen in a bloody war against the communists. Foreshadowing what the future would hold, DRA forces pursued a classic counterinsurgency strategy to build support...

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Posted on Sep 25, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“… we are going to hold the line.  We are going to win.” General Walton “Bulldog” Walker – High Flying Dice Games’ “Victory in Hell The First Battle of Naktong River August 5-19, 1950”  Game  Review

“… we are going to hold the line. We are going to win.” General Walton “Bulldog” Walker – High Flying Dice Games’ “Victory in Hell The First Battle of Naktong River August 5-19, 1950” Game Review

“Victory in Hell – The First Battle of Naktong River August 5-19, 1950” Board Game Review.  Publisher: High Flying Dice Games  Designer:  Paul Rohrbaugh  Graphic Design: Tim Allen  Price $12.95 (unmounted counters)  $18.95 (mounted cardstock counters)  Exclusive Victory in Hell card deck $9.00 Passed Inspection:    fun game; easy to learn; beautiful graphic design; high level of solo playability; small footprint; fantastic value for the price Failed Basic:     a rule clarification was needed for the supply points High Flying Dice Games is known for high quality low price games as well as for focusing on military topics not often addressed by other game companies.  When you speak with Paul Rohrbaugh, High Flying Dice Games’ (hereinafter HFDG) owner and principal game designer, you can feel his passion for the hobby.  “Victory in Hell The First Battle of the Naktong River August 5-19, 1950” continues the great tradition of high quality and low price! From the introduction to Victory in Hell:            North Korea’s invasion of the South in June was swift...

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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 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...

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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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