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...Read More
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...Read More
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...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 ‘Pacific Fury’. An updated version of 2001’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
It’s the 4th Armored Division’s Iron Will versus German Steel in ‘Patton’s Vanguard: Arracourt, 1944’. Board Game Review.
Patton’s Vanguard: Arracourt, 1944. Publisher: Take Aim Designs and Revolution Games. Game Designer: Michael Rinella. Developer: Roger Miller. Price $ 30.00. Passed inspection: An easy to grasp area movement game that showcases a key Western Front tank battle during late summer 1944. A solid game with easy to read counters. Failed basic: Organization of the rulebook requires a careful reading to extract all the relevant rules for each scenario. After Allied forces broke out along the Normandy front, they raced across France. In early September, the Third Army was nearing the German border. General Patton’s orders were for the 4th Armored Division to strike northeast into Germany. But at the same time, the German Army was preparing a major counterattack in the same area. This would be the first combat for Germany’s newly raised Panzer brigades and the ensuing battle would be the largest tank battle between the United States and Germany until the Battle of the Bulge. On paper, this looked like a tough fight for the Americans....Read More