By Ray Garbee Chancellorsville 1863. Publisher: Worthington Games. Designer: Maurice Suckling. Price $75.00 Passed inspection: Fantastic introductory level game that will also appeal to seasoned gamers. An innovative approach to incorporating the fog of war that is critical to capturing the mind set of the commanders. Supports solo play by either side. A fast playing, easy to set up game. Failed basic: Units can feel almost generic when compared to a traditional board game approach. The solitaire bot for playing the Confederate player is unbalanced. At the start of May 1863, the Union was engaged in campaigns on two fronts. In the West, Ulysses S. Grant was in the midst of his latest maneuvers to capture the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. In the East, the Army of the Potomac’s latest commander ‘Fighting Joe’ Hooker was about to embark on a campaign designed to encircle Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia – the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. With a numerical superiority, Hooker planned to ‘go around to the right’...Read More
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...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. “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...Read More
Vicksburg Is the Key. Worthington Games ‘Pemberton versus Grant: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863’ 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: Pemberton’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, Mississippi’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