Thursday, January 17, 2013

Did you guys back the Up Front Kickstarter?

Obviously, this is about 2 weeks too late, but still, it's worth noting the success of the Up Front Kickstarter, which easily hit 10x its funding goal, and had a ton of great stretch rewards.

First, regarding Up Front- I've only played it twice at a friend's house, but man, I had a great time.  Couple that with all the options you got from even a fairly basic bid- how could you not hop on the bandwagon and pick this up?  This game gives you a lot of tactical choices, and on top of that, it's really fun.  I'm pretty excited to just have this available again.

Perhaps more importantly is the success of Kickstarter in funding these out of print wargames, or even wargames in general.  Now, without talking about miniature games, there doesn't seem to be a lot of wargame ideas on Kickstarter these days.  Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 Map Expansion was a successful campaign, and certainly is a wargame.  Battle Tank: Escape from Giant Robot Island certainly wasn't something historically driven, but seemed like a wargame... but wasn't doing very well before it was cancelled.

Now, several big publishers (GMT and MMP for instance) take a very similar approach to this when getting funding for upcoming games, by taking preorders, and charging when the game gets close to production, but I'm really surprised more small designers/companies aren't using Kickstater, given that good looking games really should have no problem making their funding.

Personally, I would love to see a reprint of AH's Gunslinger or Breakout: Normandy.  Heck, there are tons of AH games I'd love to see.  What about Magic Realm? 

The point is, I really hope that the success of Up Front gives wargame designers, especially ones that aren't being published by one of the big companies, the chance to use Kickstarter to see their creations come true.  We want to see them come out as much as you do, in most cases.

If anyone hears about some other wargame related campaigns, please- let me know!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Played a wargame!

This past Sunday, while I was working my part time job, I actually took a wargame to work, read the rules, and played it.

The game was Red Winter, from GMT Games, covering the Battle of Tolvajarvi during the Winter War.  Finnish troops versus Soviet troops is always something I'm interested in, and I was (and still am) really looking forward to getting into this game.

I didn't take any pictures (not allowed to bring anything like that to work), but I did take a few notes, so although I won't bore you with a full battle report, I'll jot down a few things.

I played the tutorial scenario, First Folly, which is just an introduction to the mechanics of moving and attacking, with 9 Soviet units attacking the Finnish town of Hirvasvaara, defended by a total of 6 units, 5 of which are reduced.

In playing the scenario, I decided to basically throw the Soviets at the Finnish position, trusting their strength of numbers to carry the day.  They couldn't quite get there on the first turn, but would start the attacking on the second turn.  With Finns, I tried to spread out from the town, hoping to at least slow the Soviets down a turn (the scenario ends after 3 turns, or when one side loses two units).

Upon arriving, the Russians launched a strong attack against the first reduced infantry unit, which was hampered a little by the Finnish Off-board artillery (which gets a bonus firing into any hex where multiple units are stacked), but then the Finnish couldn't really accomplish anything on their own turn, and were easily swept aside (a 6:1 attack on the town sealed the fate).

Really, this is just an intro game, so I'm not too concerned about optimizing my play for either side for this particular case, but I did learn a lot of things that should help me in future games.

First, I tried early on to have the Finnish units roll for Recovery.  On a '6', they regain a step.  At times, I'm sure I'll make good use of this, but it seems like I may be better served Digging In when I need to defend somewhere, and using the favorable column shift to either keep me in place, or have me retreat less (losses may generally be taken as either step losses, or hexes retreated, for those who don't know).

Second, as the Finns, I really need to use their additional mobility to assault.  I may be finding myself outgunned quite a bit in game, and the favorable column shift on assaults (due to Finnish SMGs) might be vital.

Third, I forgot a lot of rules, but the big one is the double Combat Strength for certain units on defense.  Throwing that Finnish MG in the town would have really helped, since its Combat Strength goes to 8, creating a fairly decent defensive position.

Fourth, and finally, I really have to think how I'm going to use my off-board artillery and ranged attacks (for both sides).  The only real clear lines of sight are over the giant frozen lake(s), so the direct ranged attack learning can wait until then, but the artillery is very important (as the Russians), and occasional worth using (as the Finnish).  You only have limited ammo for each side, so you can't really just waste the shots (although in this scenario, the Russian can just fire every chance), and as the Finnish, their guns are so weak, they may only be useful for trying to blunt an attack (by dropping a Suppression marker on the target).  I'll need quite a few games to get the hang of this.

I'm quite eager to put this back on the table, and maybe try my hand at the first 'real' scenario, where the Night rules are used- an important part of the battle, from what I gather.

Friday, November 9, 2012

GMT Posts List of Best Sellers

GMT games has put up a list of it's all-time 15 best selling games.  It's pretty interesting!

One thing to notice is that 3 non-war games (Battle Line, Formula Motor Racing, and Ivanhoe) made the list (I've not tried any of them, unfortunately).  Also, one expansion is on there: C&C Ancients Expansion #1 (also, never tried it).

Despite the fact I love wargames, I have played VERY few of these.  Twilight Struggle I've played, and love.  Combat Commander: Europe is something I've also played and enjoyed (some battle reports are posted on this blog, even).  SPQR and Great Battles of Alexander are games I own, and would love to play, but haven't had the opportunity.

Sadly, that's all.  Despite GMT's popularity, there are so many of their most popular games I've not even tried, nor own.  It's a shame, really.  Something to work on fixing over the upcoming years, no doubt.

There's also a list of their best sellers for the current year.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Upcoming...

So yeah, I know, I've been neglectful.

Like all my other blogs, I just haven't had time for this, which is unfortunate, since board wargames are a major love of mine.  But, given that I'm making the effort for all of my blogs, I'm going to extend the same effort here, and try to (slowly) get it moving again.

To start, I'm hoping to have an unboxing of Collins Epic Wargames' new product, Spearpoint 1943: Village and Defensive Line Map Expansion, followed by a review of the actual product, once I get it on the table and try it out.

I also have read a few great military history books, for which I'll attempt to get some reviews up here.

After that, I have some ideas of articles to add, so with luck, you'll finally start seeing some posts from me.

I'm also really back into miniature gaming- for posts on that, head over to my blog, Boisterous Exuberance.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Various gaming 4/7/2012

Well, I'm not posting a lot, but since I played a few wargames recently, I wanted to at least put SOME post up :).

I spent this past Saturday over at Rob's place, playing a few boardgames, and although I didn't take any detailed reports (or many pictures), here's a few details of what I did.

To start off, we played Close Action, by Clash of Arms games.  Since Rob had never played before, we chose to play one of the more basic scenarios- 'Dont Give Up the Ship: Chesapeake vs. Shannon'.  This is a fairly well known engagement from the War of 1812 that historically resulted in the USS Chesapeake being captured by the British.  I was playing the Chesapeake in this battle, but to keep things even for us, we played with the optional rule giving the US ships a Crew Quality of A3 (vs B4), making it a little more effective, and turning this into a fairly even matchup.

As mentioned, I didn't take copious notes of the battle, but I managed to hit Rob's ship hard on turns 7-10 (raking him from the front on 10), nearly knocking out 2 whole hull sections, and taking significant rigging losses in return.  On turn 14, I managed to rake him from the front again, bringing him close to striking, and we called it. 
 


I imagine this will be a far more interesting picture when we actually play a game with more ships, haha.

Really, I don't think I tremendously outplayed Rob, although I did outguess him once or twice (and got outguessed once).  Rob had to tack on Turn 7 to keep me somewhat engaged, and I think that probably hurt him a bit more than it felt like at the time (keep in mind the damage I did on the subsequent turns, which was relatively light in return). 

We followed this up by playing Warriors of God, from MMP.  We chose the scenario 'Lion in Winter', covering the period from 1135-1258 AD.  I played as the English.  The end result of this game was that I basically had two very successful turns, ending with Rob moving in a large army to clear out the English from Normandy, thinking I would let him siege me, but instead engaging him in combat, and crushing his army badly.  With much of his army destroyed, no ability to get his guys out of Wales/Scotland to support the mainland quickly, and the fact I was unopposed on over half the map for a few turns, we called it in my favor, and went to play some non-wargames for a bit.

This is a picture from the turn after I destroyed his main army.  For now, the big thing to see is that there isn't a whole lot of blue on the table:



So yeah, a few games, but we had a great time, and the best news is that I've finally been getting wargames on the table :).

Till next time!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Does CSW still do news?

You know, I've been noticing a lack of news email in my inbox these days.  Anyone know if something is going on (I couldn't find anything)?

Perhaps I'll start up my weekly news posts again.  At least it'll give me something to write about until I get time to post some of these battle reports (and other posts).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yeah, yeah, busy busy busy.

Obviously, I've been really busy, but I swear I'm not done blogging yet!  I won't get into all the various things that are keeping me away from the computer here (you can look on my other blog for that, it's not very interesting though, I promise).

The important thing is that I'm going to try to blog more.

I don't know if I'll ever get my various battle reports up from PrezCon, mainly because it's been so long now that my memory faded.  We ended up leaving from it early, but still got a few other games in that I haven't posted about: Imperium and Triumph of Chaos come to mind immediately.  Man, Triumph of Chaos has potential to be a fantastic game, but it's going to have to be one I'll need to own to play it effectively.  I need to actually study a few of the parts of the game to see why I would want to do certain things, or to see the penalties from playing certain cards, etc.  One day.

Upon coming home from PrezCon, I broke out (at the time) ATO's newest issue: The Lash of the Turk.  Played one of the scenarios solo.  I really like the overall flow and rules of the game, but it needed some errata (for instance, the setup was completely screwy).  Also, the siege rules are bit peculiar.  It's one of those eras of history that doesn't seem to get enough games covering though, so I'm definitely going to give it some slack.  Again, maybe someday I'll post pictures and a report of that game.  More likely, however, is that when I play it again, I'll post THAT.

Rob and I have been playing occasional games of Combat Commander.  We've been eyeing the Stalingrad campaign game, so maybe in another few weeks we'll do that.  Combat Commander is a blast, but I swear that has to be the most complicated game in existence.

I still do my ASL playtesting when I have time to.  I won't say I'm decent yet, but I'm certainly getting better at playing.  Every time I play it, I'm just reminded how great a game it is.  I have dreams of playing a lot of the scenarios solo (and even grander dreams of running some of those massive Valor of the Guards scenarios *drool), but it won't be for a bit.

Regardless, I'm sure I wasn't missed much, but I'll be coming back with some new posts, I promise.  I've been trying to tackle Fields of Fire lately, so I suspect there will be some posts on that coming up soon.

See you guys soon!