The Magazine Game Pocket Review Project

 

AGAINST THE ODDS:

 

ATO #1: Hegemon

 

ATO #2: Khe Sahn 1968

“This covers at an “operational” level the fighting in and around the area of Northern South Vietnam from the highlands in the west to the rice patties in the east. The main goal of the US player is to protect its firebases along the DMZ and the western boarder and keep a road supply route them open while the Vietnamese player is trying to interdiction this supply rout and maybe take out a base or three. I found that the game simply does not work. Besides being hideously overly complex, the CRT produced, as best as we could determine, essentially static results. Played correctly, the US player can absolutely prevent the Vietnamese player from ever doing any damage to a fire base. Conversely, as long as the Vietnamese player refrains from exposing his troops for such a pointless assault he can hide in rough terrain and avoid US attempts to hurt him. Overall a very disappointing game.” SB

 

ATO #3: Kesselschlacht

“A Perry Moore game. Cool graphics, fantastic situation, I REALLY wanted to like this game, but it's my firm conviction it is systemically broken to the core. The Russian are reined in by activations, the Germans by supply, which is very cool, but the German token forces are not limited by supply, so they can beat up the Russians and win the game alone. The combat table is constructed so that the Russians can't possibly hurt the Germans, while the Germans eat the Russians for breakfast. And so on. Paul Rohrbaugh has made a revision of the game that supposedly fixes it, so it would be nice to hear from someone who tried that variant.” EN

 

ATO #4: Napoleon at the Berezina

“A Rob Markham solitaire game. Very (literally) cool map, counters fair. Napoleon is trying to get off map with as much of his army and robbery as possible. Definitely a fun game, but you need to play it with a certain spirit, or there are ways to "trick" the Russians as controlled by the rules. My experience with Rob Markham games is that they tend to contain lots of good ideas, but lack a certain calibration. Either you get the required VPs too easily, the reinforcements get to their places too fast, the activations aren't limiting enough, etc. I had a little of this feeling with this game too, as I quickly ran out of Loot markers. But the game is certainly hard but winnable for the player, which is the most important thing for a solitaire game apart from being fun. In sum, good game!” EN

 

ATO #5: North Wind Rain

“Designed by Mark Stille. A more conventional game on a hypothetical Japanese attack on the Soviet Union during WWII. Nice graphics, though the counters felt "upside down". The game mechanisms are fairly standard, with some interesting twists like night assaults. I definitely liked the system, and the game. My biggest complaints are rather minor: The game has completely free setup, which is always tough on the beginner who doesn't yet know what he is doing. A suggested setup for beginners would have been helpful. The victory points only give terrain points for the Japanese, which means they can lose all of Manchuria and still win if they hold Vladivostok. The two points tend to reinforce each other. But in sum, it is a good solid operational wargame, definitely recommended for those interested in the subject.” EN

 

ATO #6: Go Tell The Spartans

“Another Rob Markham solitaire game, this time on the battle of Thermopylae. This game was so broken as published that ATO published totally revised rules in a later issue. With those, the game works mechanically, but it's problems go deeper than that, in my opinion. The player is the Greeks, who need to do nothing than stand still fending off (surprisingly small) hordes of Persians. Which is kinda fun in a twisted way, but doesn't involve any decision making whatsoever. If the game had been designed with the player being the Persians, there might have been a game in there. In addition, victory is totally out of control by the player, as the VPs in the end are more or less decided by which formations the Persians attack with, as determined by a random die roll. The graphics didn't inspire me much either. A definite failure to me, even with the revised rules.” EN

 

ATO #7: A Dark And Bloody Ground

“Another very good effort, this covers the wars between the new United States and the Native Americans of Ohio in the late 1700s. The map presents the area of what was to become Ohio divided into areas. Separate battle maps are provided to resolve battles in different terrain types. The abilities of the two sides are dynamicly different and both have strengths and weaknesses, so action can involve raids or stand up fights with the issue in doubt for both. Atrocities are a key tool for both players, highlighting a part of history glossed over in the typical history books. Overall I found the game easy to learn fast playing, though the campaign game is not a short game.” SB

 

ATO #8: Fortress Berlin

“The battle for Berlin, designed by John Prados. A very rich game, with lots of detail. The map is atmospheric, the counters a bit annoying in colour choices (the SS very similar to the Soviets) and arrangement of numbers, and there is some oddities in the combat resolution (artillery especially), but you quickly forget that as you get engrossed in the game. Takes some time to play, but lots of fun! There are also interesting variants for varying numbers of players, as well as a separate game on a Western Allied airborne assault on Berlin, published elsewhere. This game can keep you busy for a long time. One of the 10 best games of 2004, in my opinion.” EN

 

“I completely agree and I think it´s the best ATO so far.” PK

 

ATO #9: Suleiman The Magnificent

“This was one that surprised me as I expected to not much care for it. I’m not a fan of continuous activation systems but here it works. The subject is the battle of Mohacs between the Ottomans and the Hungarian Empire. The map of the battlefield features a little terrain on the margins and a slight hill that the Ottoman forces have to march over when entering the field, but is otherwise open. The key here is that the Ottomans were not expecting a battle and had started to setup camp, with much of their forces yet to enter the field, which is where the game starts. The Hungarians start with the initiative and keep it as long as they successfully roll for continuation. Usually this means the Hungarian right wing cavalry trys to overrun the camp and swing into the Ottoman left arriving on the map. Once the Hungarians “lose” the initiative it tends to swing back and forth with both sides trying alternately to lead with their best units but also finding that they must activate others to keep the action going. It’s a tough game to win for the Hungarian player but by no means a certain loss. Because of the sequence of play it plays differently each time. The rules are easy to learn and the game plays very fast with neither player sitting idle for long.” SB

 

“I'll ditto the prasie for Suleiman. The best ATO game I have played. Though a house rule that prevents cavalry that start a turn in EZOC from charging is recommended; this forces cavalry that have spent their initial shock to choose between wading in at less effect, or pulling back and re-grouping for another charge...” GF

 

“Designed by Richard Berg. The battle of Mohacs, using the same system as Men of Iron, by GMT. I was a playtester of Men of Iron, so I already knew I would love this game. The system plays really fast, and there is enough variety to make you want to try again. The Hungarians are the underdogs, but they can defeat the Turks with a little luck. The graphics made it too hard to tell the unit types apart, but other than that, a great game.” EN

 

ATO #10: Into A Beartrap

“I found this to be a very good game covering the two day battle for the city of Grozny. Game play is dictated by chit pull – formations for the Soviets and player choice for the Chechens. The Soviet formations enter the map in march formation headed for some key landmarks in the city of Grozny. With each Chechen chit pull a random number of reinforcements appear and a random number of not yet activated units can be selected to perform actions. Reinforcements can be placed almost anywhere, so it’s fairly easy for the Chechen player to stage the historical ambush that caused the Soviets such grief. Yet, given their firepower it’s also easy for the Soviets to literally level the city block by block. It was my experience that this is what happens in the game play and the body count gets high very quickly. It is both fun and tense to play. Some complained about the map but I found it fine to work with.” SB

 

“Perry Moore, on the Battle of Grozny. Simple but effective graphics, a simple fun game system, and evocative of the situation. I have some minor quibbles with the rules presentation, the use of "heavy weapons" both as a unit type and armament type, with no way of telling when the rules referred to which was particularily annoying and unnecessary. Doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable game.” EN

 

“Overall, Into a Bear Trap is a very decent simulation on such tactical level. The system also looks right, with the low intensity conflict characteristics well modeled. We are satisfied with the gameplay after getting used to the DRMs. This is the first game simulating the city/ urban fighting with a solid game engine. It is also perfectly suitable for solitaire gameplay in 2 days. Another hat off to ATO magazine games. B” LH

 

ATO #11: The Big Push

“Well. Another game I really wanted to like. The map is very nice, though I'm not sold on the counters. I thought the rules were a mess, the developer thinks otherwise. Still, the game isn't that hard and you should be able to figure it out with the help of the example (but be sure to use the downloadable totally revised example, otherwise you're lost). I played the first scenario, however, and easily plowed across the map, capturing even distant objectives well out of reach from the historical participants. Either I played the game wrong, or it is seriously out of balance. As it was, it looked more like 1918 than 1916. I'd be interested in hearing other player's experience.” EN

 

ATO #12: Chennault’s First Fight

 

COMMAND

 

Command #1: Blitzkrieg '41

“The first part of the war in the East in WWII at Corps level, covers up until early '42. Map graphics okay, counters good, rules good, (it is possible to release games without critical errata). Plays very well, hard on both sides but generally the German does most of the attacking and the Russian defends, even in Sept/Oct when the Russian starts getting some decent reinforcements the Russian player isn't really in a position to launch a 'major' offensive, but he can conduct local counter attacks. Rating B+” CH

 

Command #2: Sunrise to Victory

“A great follow up game, there is in fact about a 3 month gap in the period covered by this one and Blitzkrieg '41. I don't mind the map, counters are again fine, rules very solid. Situation a bit more fun for the Russian but still tough. But tough for the German as well. Plays quickly and tense for both players. Rating B+” CH

 

Command #6: Krim

“This game covers the battles to take Sevestapol then clear the rest of the Crimea of Soviet forces in 1941/42. Map is bland, counters are good, and rules are well written, a small clarification for the VC’s is handy to have. Nice quick game that offers a number of options for both sides. Seems well balanced. Rating B+” CH

 

“I readily agree. A friend and I played it after getting it and it was good, close game.” SB

 

Command #11: Hougoumont: Rock of Waterloo

“Good looking counters, nice map, like what they tried to do with the walls/hedges/buildings depictions on the map. Not a bad rule book, but you do need to read it carefully to get what they mean. Plays fairly fast and good tense situation. Rating B” CH

 

“I give this one an A-. It's one of my favorite Command games, and one of the more unusual Napoleonic titles that you're going to find.” JW

 

Blood and Iron - Command # 21

“This game covers the battle of Koniggratz (3 July 1866). The map is fine, the counters are good and the rules are well written. There is some errata. The game plays quickly, though the full campaign can take awhile, there is a smaller scenario. There are some good optional rules and I played using all the optional rules. These rules tend to hinder the Austrian but even so it was a fun game, both players have some options though with the optional command rules it is more difficult for the Austrian player. I felt the Prussian player had a little too much freedom of action. Still a good solid design. Rating B+” CH

 

Command # 29: 1914: Glory's End

“Covers the opening of WWI in the West, mostly Corps, no ZOC. Good map and counter art, sound rules, a small amount of errata, play's pretty well, but it helps to sort the replacement counters (most units have two counters = 4 steps) so they can be quickly found (I made a couple of displays and really speeds things up). Plays very smoothly and gives both sides the chance to attack and defend, surprising fluid situation” CH

 

Command #30: Across the Potomac

“This is a double blind Civil War game. It can be played as a one mapper and this is the only way I've played it FTF. Sort of a "House Divided" heavy. Uses Activation Points and works pretty well. Couple of small ambiguities IMHO, and a little bit of errata, fun game can be played very quickly even though it has 50 turns, lucky if you can move more than a couple of units in a turn. Maps nice, I think the counters look very good, rules pretty well written. Rating B” CH

 

Command #41: Wave of Terror

“I found it to be a good and playable battalion level game for the Battle of the Bulge. The combat system which restricts combined attacks to only units from one division together with the step loss mechanism results in a very realistic effect.... Fresh Divisions are able to attack, but once the loses mount and entire units are eliminated (each unit has two steps) a division's offensive power rapidly drops and burned out divisions are good only for defense. B+” JV

 

“I'm not a Bulge aficianado but I really liked Wave of Terror. I thought it gave good insight into the channeling effects of the Ardennes terrain, the bridge blowing rules were elegant, and the rule allowing a choice of assault before movement with a positive shift on the CRT was elegant.” DG

 

“I really liked Wave of Terror too, but have a real problem with one important mechanism, and that's the prohibition on units of different divisions joining together on the attack. In the Bulge, there was a fair amount of cross-attachment of infantry and paratroop battalions to help out larger formations. Now it's been a couple of years since I read Trevor Dupuy's book Hitler's Last Gamble, but he was pretty emphatic about that, especially when it came to units of otherwise smashed divisions helping out in later combats.” JW

 

Command #42: Hell Before Midnight

“This otherwise innovative regimental treatment of the Battle of Shiloh is marred for me by the ease in which the attacker can create massive assualt columns and over power the defender, not very Civil War like I thought. C” JV

 

“I wanted to like this game. I enjoyed the system's Fateful Lightning incarnation - although it did take some adjustment on the part of the player. Unfortunately the revised system was a little too strange to be enjoyable - especially the combat results table.” JeB

 

“A cousin of Fateful Lightning. This is quite a good game on the battle of Shiloh, which produced a tense and historically accurate result the two times I've played it. But its combat system is arcane, inexplicably changed from the FateLite system -- but you can retrofit the old rules onto this game fairly easily. The map also is curious... the Tennessee River was left off the map, eliminating some of the color and excitement the game might have had. There is an interesting rule for woods and thickets which makes it hard for the Confederates to coordinate an attack. I'm an ACW fan, and there's much to like here. Although mine is a minority opinion (in that I'm generally positive about the game), I'd give it a B.” KL

 

Command #42: Blitzkrieg 1940

“I thought this game played well. it seemed to capture the campaign well with that hallmark Command playability. B+” MJP

 

“Played it a couple of times, sold it off. While I realize that a France 40 game locked into the historical events would not be very exciting, this game seemed to have more in common with France 1916 than France 1940. The system is clean, the componants are nice, but I did not enjoy it.” JeB

 

“I actually think the 1939 scenario is the gem in this game (nothing wrong with the '40 scenario, though). Few simulations cover this possible action, but here one gets to try it out. I'd actually like to see this subject get a game all its own!” DS

 

Command #43: Chattanooga

“See #42 above. The map is much uglier and the combat system seemed to have been somewhat cleaned up. I still think this is a historical situation that could use a good game.” JeB

 

“Chattanooga. I'm a big fan of this game's ancestor, Fateful Lightning (XTR's regimental Gettysburg game); yet I find this game to be a disappointment. The hallmark of Fateful Lightning is fast and furious play, with fluid movement of lines punctuated by dramatic random events. But Chattanooga falls flat. Unlike its ancestor, Chattanooga lacks fluidity -- the whole game comes down to the Union's ability to take the Missionary Ridge in a head-on assault. Strategic options thus are limited.

The key variable in taking the Ridge is a weird Army Morale modifier, which tends to amplify the effect of small skirmishes. If you lose a small regiment-on-regiment battle, you may find your Army Morale level drop and suddenly every subsequent battle becomes subject to significant modifiers. The result is that the outcome of the game may well depend on the luck of the dice in some minor skirmish early in the battle. I understand the rationale for the rule; but it doesn't make for much of a game.

A real disappointment is the map, though. It's extremely drab. Most disappointing is that the central feature of the game, Missionary Ridge, isn't portrayed in any kind of dramatic way. Just a contour line, just a hex wide if I recall correctly. Probably the map scale is just wrong for this battle. The Ridge needed to be shown in more detail.

There are very few Chattanooga games, and still hasn't been a good one. I'd give this game a C-. It's playable but leaves you wondering why you did.” KL

 

Command #44: Second Front Now

“I like the ViN system but I consider this the weakest of the three. While the green unit rule for the Allies was an interesting addition, it seemed to bog down the Allied effort. C+” MJP

 

“If you liked Victory in Normandy, you will probably like this one. I thought ViN was more fun, but this game was enjoyable as well.” JeB

 

Command #44: Dark Victory (aka the Alamo)

“Great rules, good game, TERRIBLE map. The designer actually exchanged some information in some posts regarding its development. If I remember correctly, his original submission was altered in a number of ways including the map. Now we have the “The Amoebalo” map as it has been referred to where the area of the Alamo resembles more the map from “Plot to Assassinate Hitler” than what the Alamo grounds actually looked like. This game has some great rules to simulate fire, differentiate units such as leaders and cannon calibers, walls and second story floor plans. It also has ‘dead’ markers that get left on the map where combat occurs. While this may seem grisly, it does give one a strange sense of remorse after a game is played what with all of those body counters laying about. This game is probably the best one on the battle to date. Good game if you can get used to “cubism” (or should that be hexism?) in your map features. You need to pick up the errata though.” RK

 

Command #45: Sea Lion

“I liked the Victory in Normandy game, and despite the fact that this game uses the exact same system in a similar situation found this a sufficient variation to be a worthy game of its own. There were some chrome rules that just added die-rolls to combat without really changing the results that I felt you could do without. A good but not great game.” EN

 

“Fun game for the Sea Lion campaign. I won as the Brits by shouldering the German drive to the west of London. My opponent penetrated pretty far but didn't get where he needed to go. I thought the game captured the challenges of both sides well (Brits - weak army, Germans - buildup and breakout). A” MJP

 

Command #45: Yarmuk

“I remember playing this, but not much else. systems was clean, but I guess lacking in flavor?” JV

 

“I've played this one about four times, but never actually finished the battle! (Loooong game.) Lots of push and shove between Byzantine and Moslem masses, with a pretty bloodless CRT forcing players to look for mass flanking/encirclement moves to cause losses. These are hard to pull off, and the focus comes down to the cavalry. The Moslems have a powerful force, and the Byzantines have to decide whether to pool their units for a shock corps, or keep them parceled out to use their ZOCs to prevent enemy cav from zipping past gaps in the infantry lines. Decent game, but a bit low on period flavor --no archer/missile units?-- and it takes time to reach a decision, and would also benefit IMMENSELY from some disengagement rules as, historically, the opposing armies did just that every night over this 5-day battle . . .not bad, but I usually find myself reaching for KADESH over this one. Now *that* is a classic COMMAND game!” GF

 

Command #46: End of Empire

“A Game that covers the French & Indian Wars AND the American Revolution. I like this game and think it’s the best on the revolution to date for detail and historical emphasis. There are good points and bad points though for almost each aspect of the game for me. The game is in the “best” category because it uses historical designations for its units which seemed scaled correctly for the map and surrounding environs. These can be hard to read however because of printing issues on some counter sheets and the tiiiiiiny font used on the small counters. The rules cover most of the major aspects of both periods and thereby may not be able to represent some of the nuances in the F&I period. A case in point is that this is two map monster and that most of the F&I scenarios use only a portion of the map and rules which in some cases makes the conflict seem insignificant as well as drives the players to remember period specific rules. The up side to this is that one can compare and contrast both periods with identical game mechanics and scale but with different resources. I like this sort of comparison game myself. Flawed game but the most historical for the periods if not the most historically accurate in every outcome.” RK

 

“I rarely describe games as broken; but this one is. This is an ambitious game that attempts to simulate the French and Indian War and the American Revolution with individually-designated units; but it is marred by horrible production, serious counter errata, and an unattractive map.

My main gripe with the game, though, is its poor historical accuracy. First, its supply rules are screwy. Historical overland invasions prove impossible to achieve; yet ridiculously large forces can spend the winter in tiny wooden forts. Strategically, the defensive side ends up relying on perimeter defense – and so departs from history.

The movement system is based on a leader activation concept, but the activation values should have been rethought; it’s possible for some leaders to fail their activation rolls for years on end, making it impossible to carry out historical offensives. This situation is worsened because there are too few leaders in the game, and they die far too easily.

The combat rules are too coarse, using a traditional CRT that allows large stacks of units to disappear on an inopportune DE result. The game also magnifies the power of Indian tribes far beyond what they actually could do. On top of this, the game inexplicably leaves out sieges -- the key to taking fortresses in the F&I War.

The game does not compare favorably with Markham’s Montcalm & Wolfe, GMT’s Wilderness War, or even the earlier small-press games on the F&I War. It's even worse as an American Revolution game.

I'd give it a D. (I can't fail it because at least it showed up for class.)” KL

 

Command #47-54:

“Like the late phase of some painters and sculptors, there is the occasional glance of grandeur derived from the years-long experience but mostly utter dreck which just resembles the once great oeuvres. The rare wandering into the new and unexplored, coupled with the "thing I wanted to do all my life" territories produces the foreseen outcome.” PK

 

“ID brings up a general point about many of the late Command games. No ZOCs and straight attritional combat systems. The CRTs tend to has step losses only. The games tend to become scrums where the defender tried to stack as many steps as possible (unit quality meaning very little) on VP hexes while the attacker tries to kill off as many steps as he can, as fast as he can. Without ZOCs, the only way to close off reinforcements is to occupy all 6 surrounding hexes. This becomes a pattern. For some, it's a fast, easy way to do games and I believe it is good for some situations. After a while, it got old for my tastes.” MJP

 

Command #47: Attila: Scourge Of God

“I'll preface by saying that I'm not a huge fan of area movement. It seems like you fill up a space, move, fill another, etc. The combat system lacked any real flavor of the period. C” MJP

 

“Liked it, but had some trouble figuring out how to stop the Huns, they fire,and they charge, before many of the Romans get a chance to shoot, until I worked out a strategy of avoiding any major confrontation until most of the Roman Barbarians allies had appeared. Also the Hun has a siege train to drag around, given the game another dimension besides field battle .I' d give it a B”JV

 

Command #47: Perfidious Albion

“A nice easy to get into system for Napoleonic campaigns. Units can be spread out as smaller divisions, (good for movement), or combined into large corps for combat power. After a few early skirmishes I found that the game degenerated into a battle between the Queens -Napoleon and Wellington. Still ... another B” JV

 

Command #48: Tomorrow The World (2nd Edition)

“Tomorrow the World was pulp fiction at its best in the whole bunch, a massive, boring and ultimately pointless experience. I loved it however at the time of its 1st edition and was surprised that the 2nd edition was a pure redo where one would have thought some new ideas to set in.” PK

 

“I played the original boxed version, havn't gotten around to magazine one, based on that I felt it was like a a grown up version of Risk, with battles all around the world ( though I am not sure how one would supply those guys in some of the more out of the way places...ie the Roof of the World) We did find that the naval rules made it suicidal for the Japanese to risk their fleet our they would be cut off from the mainland B- for the Box version” JV

 

Command #49: Warchess 2000

“Got it, played it. Not being a regular command buyer - in fact I had never heard of it before - I didn't care what it was. Always happy to look at a chess variant. It was made more attractive by the discounted price I got it at.

Well, I quite liked it. I'm a fan of Chinese and Japanese chess (I recently got a Korean Chess set too) so I figure it can't hurt to have 'Mongolian Chess' as well. Mongolian chess is the one that I have played the most - though really just as a 'beer and pretzels' style of game; nothing too serious. But it is fun enough to make me tempted to try and explore it more methodically. The key attraction to the Mongolian Chess is that the sides are unbalanced. I like having the extra big board with more squares too - good for making up your own chess variations, even for multiplayer games. The other variations in the game are still fairly untried but when I find someone who isn't scared of chess variations I won't be worried to bring it out and suggest that we try it. One is more like Stratego, with pieces that are under a fog of war, and the other is 'East Front Chess' - I can't remember much about that one. I've paid more for less fun.” MP

 

“Actually iirc none other than RHB himself claims to have played it and liked it. I played a few of the variants, iirc correctly the 3 different supplements had about 4 variants eachs...WC2K was actually a series of chess variants...the ones I played weren't bad, but as RHB pointed out, you can't get chess players to play much besides chess, especially not chess variants. And wargamers for the most part don't like chess...a game with no audience, but I think it worked for the most part.” PMC

 

“As one of those rare wargamers and chess players, I thought the XTR chess game was quite good, and an interesting return to wargaming roots.” JCo

 

Command #51: The Fire Next Time

“The theater was crammed into too small a map, which was ugly, with large hexes. Prefered S&T version on the same subject. C-“ MJP

 

“This is an interesting little game that can be enjoyed by a grognard introducing the hobby to a newbie, or by two grognards looking for a change of pace. The rules are simple and direct. I found the map to be quite ugly and the pieces in my copy were blurry due to a very slight registration problem.

The game itself depicts a huge army versus a slightly more agile but much smaller adversary. With a minimum of fussy rules, it does a pretty good job capturing the salient issues of a possible India-Pakistan war. Indian airpower is critically important to maintaining the army's drive. The Pakistanis will find the use of nukes to be very tempting. The early Pakistani mobilization scenario is better balanced but still very tough on Pakistan. It's hard to defend Pakistan but nearly impossible to attack India when most of the map depicts Pakistani territory. All in all, this is a good effort that left me even more interested in learning about this hotspot. B+” SaS

 

Command #52: Grunwald 1410

“A Ted Raicer game which could have been good, if it saw anything vaguely resembling a development effort. Too dumbed down, linear. Probably the only Raicer game I never finished.” PK

 

“Very "gamey" system in which the player with initiative determines the order in which move/attack is sequenced, which leads to strange situations. Like Poles defending behind a river line, Teutonic knights charging (using a move chit) up to the river's edge, then playing the attack chit for the Poles, and making them attack across the river while the "charging" knights receive a defensive bonus! Like some --but not all-- Command games, it assumes that certain results of the battle must be written in stone: thus, the Teutons start on attack --the real battle was a tense affair with both sides waiting to see who'd make the first move-- and all infantry present are not even represented by counters. Lacking in period feel; I'd take a Markham 3W quad or --better yet-- Fred Bey's Vae Victis designs over this any day. VV's "Poitiers" is a prime example of a mag game being simple, fun, *and* capturing the feel of the period it's covering.” GF

 

“I found that the non-traditional turn structure was an interesting take on the LIM games that I had played up to that point. Yeah, maybe an accompanying article would have been nice. But the game worked very well for me, both as a solitaire game and for gaming with people who prefered low-complexity games.” KD

 

Command #53: Iron Dream

“Again a victim of Command´s problems at that time. With better production values, great, as it is just another (although rather good) East Front game.” PK

 

“Battle of stacks and attrition. VPs for cities results in moving from one scrum to another. C” MJP

 

“An excellent game for both grognard and recruit, feels like those classic wargames we cut our teeth on, where you concentrate on, movement, placing your units, organizing your attacks etc and not on the meaning of rule 123.16. By Starting in October after walk-over of the borders is done, both players have tough decisions to make. The choice of phases- move or fight and the ability of the Germans to move through ZOC in good weather works well to show how a well planned blitz could be devasting. The Army/Corps scale makes it a game that can be played in a resonable amount of time....an A+” JV

 

Command #54: When Dragons Fight

“Overall I can't believe a game can be so balanced, fluid, fun, with sophisticated play but yet with so few counters and so few rules. This game is really nifty. <...> All in all, I can't say that I have completed or enjoyed this many solo games ever before.” PMC

 

“I had a solitaire play through of this last year and enjoyed it. Think of it as a 21st Century Normandy Campaign - the Chinese must break out before the Taiwanese bottle them up sufficiently for the US to intervene. There are several options for the Chinese landing sites and the Taiwanese can't cover them all so it can set up an intriguing "Battle of the build-up" scenario. A pretty clean, simple and fast playing game. I'd say it would be playable in an evening. Overall a nice swansong.” TB

 

“Well if you are going to go out, may as well go with a bang. This is a very good "game". Map is okay, counter art is good, rules tight, small amount of errata, very minor. A real 'chess puzzle' for both players, each side has its weakness and strengths, plays pretty quickly and seems very balanced. Really showed what they could do at XTR, even right up to the death. Rating B+” CH

 

COUNTERATTACK

 

Counter Attack #1: Drive On Frankfurt

“This is a hypothetical Warsaw vs NATO game, it was the first game put out by Counterattack . I don’t like the map and the fact they choose to not number every hex was a nuisance thought the map colours probably wouldn’t have helped even if they had. The counters are pretty good, there is some small errata, and the system is quite good though it does take some getting used to. It’s a long game time wise but not bad, challenging and there are a number of options for both sides. Certainly CA got of to a good start with this game. Rating B.” CH

 

Counter Attack #3: 48th Panzer Korps

“Great looking map, counters okay, rule book pretty clear. Great situation and tough on both sides, really liked the game system, offers a bit of a chess puzzle to both players and plenty of options. First glance looks pro Russian but then once you get into the game (and the system) you can see where the Germans have advantages as well. Highly recommend. Rating A” CH

 

GAMEFIX

Gamefix #8: Greenline Chechnya

“Map and counter graphics okay, rule book takes a bit to understand but not 'broken' you do need the errata which isn't a great deal, but rather important . Interesting situation and not an intriguing game system. lot of tough decisions for the Russian player, much easier for the Rebel player. The random events seem to be able to slew the game results but this is more to give a feel for this kind of war than to provide an evenly balanced game, and I don't think the game is balanced, but I do find it interesting. Rating C+” CH

 

PANZERSCHRECK:

 

#14:

Race to the Vistula

“WWII East Front, late war, A4 size map and 5/8th inch counters, map is okay, counters are okay and rules fairly straight forward, but not simple enough to be a good introductory game and perhaps not interesting enough for more experienced players to play more than twice FTF, though can be played solitaire. Rating C” CH

 

Brandy Station

“American Civil War, A4 size map and ½ inch counters, only a handful of actual unit counters per side. Counter and map art is okay. Rules are okay, though not a good introductory game even with its size as it uses a fairly unusual game system. Uses event chits that can be played by either side, and has random VC’s which are selected by the Union player at the start of play. Not much good for solitaire play, and not sure experienced players will get more than a couple of playing’s out of it. Rating C” CH

 

Special Edition #1: Assault on Sevestapol

“40 counters, A4 size map 4 pages of rules, and it works just fine. Game is fun and presents an interesting puzzle for both players. Can be played very quickly and while it doesn't have a great deal of replayability its certainly worth at least two run throughs, once as the Russian and once as the German. A credit to Doc Cummins. Rating A-“ CH

 

STRATEGY & TACTICS

 

Early:

 

S&T #20: Bastogne

“Thinking man's Bulge game. C+” BN

 

S&T #24: Battle for Moscow

“Liked Moscow Campaign better. Dull map. C” BN

 

S&T #26: Grunt

“I liked it. Very innovative for its time. B” BN

 

S&T #32: Borodino

“Whats to say but Napoleon for your first issue,WOW! still a favorite of mine after all these years. Uses the NaW game system. An "A" KM

 

S&T #33: Winter War

“My 2nd issue was also a WINNER! I still have this game at the top of my Winter War games plus ranks to me as a good all round game. a "A"” KM

 

“I was very disappointed with the game. Compared with the OBs found in the article, it had too few units, plus playing it solitaire was difficult because of the dummy counters.” BB

 

“At the time it was fine. Though very unblanced. C” BN

 

S&T #34 Armageddon

“Having Phalanx i enjoyed this game using the same system. It was great refighting all those different battles. a A-“ KM

 

“I taped this to a piece of plywood so I could move it, not much room in our house, so I played most of my early games on the Living room coffee table. Played this one the most with my brother. We felt it was kind of weird that the best defense was to come out and attack the other guy when he came into range.” JV

 

S&T #35: Year of the Rat

“Another good game and the war still going on too. Even with age this one still holds up. a A-“ KM

 

“Good simulation of the current conflict. fun. B” BN

 

S&T #36: Destruction of Army Group Center

“Having the other games in the SPI Kursk series I looked forward to this one. While not near as good as the others in the series it showed how the Germans could get steamed rolled finally by the Russians. a C+” KM

 

“I enjoyed the reverse blitzkrieg. Not a popular game, but I thought it modeled the situation well. C+” BN

 

S&T #37: Scrimmage

“Well I,m not a a player of sports games so this one left me flat (back then UPSET was more like it). The only S&T game that I didn't go out and buy a Flattray/Boxed version of the game.” KM

 

S&T #38: CA

“I didn't care for it. Boring counters and a dull map. C-“ BN

 

S&T #39: Fall of Rome

“My first sub game when I was a wee lad. I really liked it. Though it is very unpopular. Very tough game for the Romans (and solo to boot). B!” BN

 

S&T #40: Panzer Armee Afrika

“Weird game with movement factors of 40 to 60. However, I liked it. Limited in that it just covered the middle of the campaign. B-“ BN

 

S&T #41: Kampfpanzer

“Orginally I loved this game. SiMov, funky early war tanks, Odd battles (Mongolia, Spanish Civil War). However, I played it at a Con with a buddy two years ago and we both thought it was bad. Didn't age well vs. ASL. B downgraded to a D.” BN

 

S&T #42: The East is Red

“Good, solid game of a timely topic. B.” BN

 

S&T #43: American Civil War

“Again, learned a lot. Not my favourite subject, but fun. C+” BN

 

S&T #44: Tank!

“Especially with the Expansion, this game was awesome! You control individual tanks and fight platoon company actions from WWI to modern times. A+” BN

 

S&T #45: Operation Olympic

“Much better than the amateurish Downfall that just came out. Good operation situation and fun. B.” BN

 

S&T #46: Combined Arms

“First 'bad' S&T that I got. Generic counters and map. Boring and un-evocative of the situation. D.” BN

 

S&T #47: Wolfpack

“Solo submarine game. Fun. C+” BN

 

S&T #48: Sixth Fleet

“Strange combat system with naval ships retreating. Otherwise, had lots of promise. Nicely covered the Eastern Med. B-.” BN

 

S&T #47: Wolfpack

“Solo submarine game. Fun. C+” BN

 

S&T #49: Frederick The Great

“Despite knowing next to nothing about the topic, I remember enjoying the smooth play and feel for the campaign. One of those designs that I appreciated more as time went on. B+” SC

 

“In spite of not having much interest in the period, I really enjoyed this game and played it a lot. A solid B” PB

 

“Elegant system that rewarded thought and manuver. Not great solo though. B.” BN

 

S&T #50: Battle For Germany

“Great concept having players take alternate sides on two different fronts. Fun to play over and over again. B+” SC

 

“I still haul this one out sometimes. Lots of fun and a great solitaire game. A” PB

 

“Great little game, had a chance recently to play a three player, and had previously had a couple of playing's as a two player. There is plenty of action, tough for everyone, lots of fun. Map and counters are okay and rules pretty well written as well. Hard to believe it is over 25 years old. Rating A” CH

 

“Beer and Pretzles. Innovative dual command system. Lets you both attack and defend. fun and simple B.” BN

 

S&T #51: World War One

“This game knocked me out. The abstraction of Combat Resource Points (CRPs) to reflect how individual countries handled losses worked brilliantly. Launched my enduring interest in the First World War. My favorite folio-sized game ever. Gem A+” SC

 

“Played a game of this just before Xmas. I've always enjoyed this one too. B+” PB

 

“Played the folio version of this one, many many times. One of the most original designs from (I think) J. Dunnigan. Excellent game!” BB

 

“I know I’m in a very small minority here, but I absolutely hated the game the one time I tried it. It was so full of silliness that it was nothing like WW1. Many low odds attacks are better than one with good odds, the Schlieffen Plan or all the attempts at breakthrough are totally irrelevant, because, more or less, the map and where you are on it doesn’t matter. I hated it so much I HAVE to try it out again with someone who loves it.” EN

 

“Still one of my fave WWI games. Simple, not boring and with a great system to represent the static nature of the war. B+” BN

 

“Map graphics and counters are okay, this is after all an old game and the rules are well written. The game plays very well, hard on both sides but players both get to attack and defend, often though on different fronts. The way the losses are handled works, IMHO, very well and makes for a lot of fun. Prefer this version to the DG version. Rating B+” CH

 

S&T #52: Oil War

“Just couldn't get into this one. Had some interesting elements, but never reached any excitement level. C” SC

 

“I never really did get into this one very much. My memory tells me to give it a C, which I have to do unless I want to take it out and play it again for a fresh review. But I don't want to. C” PB

 

 

S&T #53: Punic Wars

“Nifty game covering the Roman/Carthaginian conflict. I recall sending my Leaders on wild campaigns against the enemy. Nice chrome (Syracuse, events, supply, etc.) for a little game. Here's where I became fascinated with ancients, and remain so to this day. B” SC

 

“I remember this as being kind of fun, again in spite of having little interest in the period. It must have had some sort of effect on me though because a few months later I chose the Punic Wars to cover for a history project at school. Maybe the article was easy to copy. B-“ PB

 

“I was used to 1776 and Win, Place & Show so I remember being disappointed with the physical quality of the game in my first issue. Played the game and was not intrigued. Pulled it out a few years ago just for curiosity and was not intrigued again. C” DCl

 

“I didn't like it. Seemed childish. C-“ BN

 

S&T #54: Dixie

“My friends and I played this once or twice, and then shelved it. I can't find it anywhere now, and I suspect it was one of the games I gave away to a friend's son about 15 years ago. I wouldn't have given away a good game now, would I? D” PB

 

“Answers the infrequently asked academic question, "What would happen if the South won the Civil War, and then they re-fought the war in the 1930's?" The answer is, you'd get a game with almost no redeeming qualities. F” DCl

 

“My second dud! Just crap. D-“ BN

 

S&T #55: Breitenfeld.

“I was a bit disappointed receiving this with my first issue as at age 13 I'd barely heard of the 30 Years War. An excellent example of the virtures of the game with the mag approach. I'd have never checked it out on its own but it was a very good game and interested me in the subject matter enough to get the 30 Years Quad as well.” DG

 

“A gem, or perhaps a qualified gem. I remember looking at the graphic on the cover of the magazine (a tree-top view of a Spanish tercio) and thinking, "What the heck are those guys with muskets doing, pushing a giant concrete block across the battlefield?" I was thirteen years old and had never heard of the Thirty Years War. I read the article and discovered that the giant concrete block was actually a mass of pike-armed infantry. Played the game about a hundred times. Really helped forge the link in my mind between the paper-and-cardboard and the reality it was simulating. Wouldn't pull this one out today except for nostalgia, or to teach a new gamer. A” DCl

 

S&T #56: Revolt in the East

“I always liked this game which I don't think is exactly a consensus opinion. I think in part I like the subject matter as it was an optimistic view of what could happen in Eastern Europe and at that point the only other modern game I'd ever played was Wurzburg. The game is limited but good A&W with pretzels fun.” DG

 

“A dud. I think what-if games just don't appeal to me. D” DCl

 

“Too simplistic. Bad counters and dull map. C-“ BN

 

S&T #57: Panzergruppe Guderian

“I really liked the untried units approach. Just a great game. Enough said...” DG

 

“Didn't move me like it did many others. Operational-level East Front is still not my favorite topic. I was very pleased to finally get a full-size game for my money. I was subscribing to Moves by this time and there were several strategy articles that raised my interest. We played this game quite a bit. B+” DCl

 

“I am of course biased since it was my first S&T game, but I think PGG is a prime example of how, prior to the advent of desktop publishing, the “game in a magazine concept” could allow a great game on an obscure subject to be published that might not have been published otherwise; how many wargamers had even heard of the “Battle for Smolensk in 1941” before PGG was published. I haven’t played PGG game in years, but I would happily do so again.” MG

 

“Everyone's fave. I thought it was fine, but not great. Good system for untried Russian units. B-“ BN

 

S&T #58: Conquistador

“One of my favorite games growing up. My brother and I just about wore this one out. Every time I'm tempted to be annoyed with RHB I should remember this design and be very nice to him.” DG

 

“I think I only played this once and I remember liking it a lot. Not sure why we never played again. Perhaps because for ftf play the Spanish have most of the fun. Great accompanying S&T article, mostly about that cretin Pizzarro. B+” DCl

 

S&T #59: Plot to Assassinate Hitler

“I wanted to like this. The subject matter has always fascinated me. But the game felt too much like Panzerblitz to me. I wish somebody would revisit the topic but frankly I'm not sure how you'd skin this cat.” DG

 

S&T #60: Road to Richmond

“Fairly good. No real complaints but the game never really grabbed me.” DG

 

“Road to Richmond still stands out for me, because the game had an almost operational feel to me that was very unusual for the Blue & Gray folios; the Confederate player in particular had some decisions to make with respect to which part of the map he allocated his forces due to difficulties in moving forces back and forth across a major river.” MG

 

S&T #61: October War

“I still think of October War as “sophisticated PanzerBlitz”. October War corrected what I perceived at the time as significant problems with PanzerBlitz such as Opportunity Fire, Igo-Hugo movement and combat, lack of incremental losses, etc. However, October War was still relatively easy to play, particular in comparison to SPI’s later tactical games such as Mech War 2 and Cityfight.” MG

 

“This one covers the 1972 Arab-Israeli cat fight (surely you can't call it a war ). Uses a variation on PanzerBlitz. Map okay for its time, counters are fine as well, a bit of errata but it provides a fun tense game, there are a number of scenarios and some others were published in Moves, I've recently played it about half a dozen times FTF and really enjoyed it, not always balanced, but most scenarios are short enough you can easily turn them around. Still a good game 25 years on. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #65: Cobra

 

“A great game in a magazine format, map and counters are sound and the rules are reasonable well written though there are a few 'grey' areas, but no show stoppers. I believe the game is reasonably balanced, tough for both sides. The weather rolls play a big part in the game and can be frustrating, for both players at different times. Plenty of options, especially for the Allies, but the Germans have there chances to attack as well. Rating A” CH

 

S&T #68: Kharkov

 

“An offspring of PGG, for its time a fair effort on the map, counters are fine, even by today's standard, and rules are pretty good. Both sides get to attack and defend and it can be pretty tense. If you like you east front Panzers then this is a great game that can be playing in an evening (longish), with tough decisions for both sides. Good replayabiltiy Rating B+” CH

 

S&T #71: Battle for Cassino

“Interesting system, but out of scale. I was very disappointed with the map, which did not show the complexity of the terrain around Cassino.” BB

 

S&T #73: Panzer Battles

“My gaming buddy and I played this to bits, the high complexity seemed to appeal to our adolescent tread-head tastes (and to this day I tend to prefer high-complexity games). Looking back I think it's really hurt by the tiny size of the scenarios which seems way out of scale with the rules you need to learn to play them. If this had been expanded it might have amounted to something.”BP

 

“Bad. Another dud. Stupid scenarios. D” BN

 

S&T #74: Ney vs. Wellington

“I mostly played this solitaire, Ney's limited options making this easy. I love the system, it all just felt right (although I knew nothing then, and little more now, about Napoleonic battles). Very colorful game too; it looks good.” BP

 

“A game from the same system as Wellington's Victory. I recall playing it once, but nothing much happened except for the skirmishers blazing away at each other. No period flavour at all.” BB

 

“Son of Wellignton's Victory, good map graphics, counters are fine, and rules are surprisingly good considering they are very much "light". Plays well both sides have their problems and its a good tactical puzzle for the players to come to grips with. Very clean system. Takes awhile to play though. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #76: The China War

“Sort of a redux of the East is Red. Interesting game. B-.” BN

 

“A sort of modern day Operation Barbarossa. Soviet troops typically prevail over larger Chinese forces at the beginning, but as the Soviets advance, they run an increasing risk of replaced/replenished Chinese units appearing on their flanks. In fact, more often then not, the Soviets had to resort to WMD's just stay in the game. The possible intervention of other countries adds to the tension. The Sino-Vietnamese scenario is a reasonably entertaining fight. -B/B” KD

 

S&T #77: Paratroop

“I solitaired them all, once. None of them stimulated sufficient interest to repeat the effort. I thought the Eben Emael game was particularly dull.” BP

 

S&T #78: Patton’s Third Army

“This covers Patton’s efforts to take Metz in 1944 and the battles around the town. Brigade/Regt with some Bn’s. Uses the Victory in the West system. Counters are okay, but could have used Divisional colour coding, map is nice and functional, rules are fine. If you like the system this is a good game, it presents an interesting situation and with the variable strength chits providing plenty of little ‘surprises’ for both players although I believe the surprises can be a bit too big. The strength chits are a bit fiddle to deal with and I believe the range of the chits is too great a variable within the game. However it is a tough battle for both sides but the main burden of attack clearly on the Americans. Rating C+” CH

 

S&T #79: Berlin '85

“Again, this one was played to bits, solitaire and against my regular opponent. Just lots of fun (and again, very colourful).” BP

 

“Fun, tense game. B” BN

 

S&T #80: Wilson's Creek

“My first exposure to the ACW, in any format. To my surprise I found it interesting (to an adolescent Australian the ACW is not a topic deemed very relevant to, well, anything). Unfortunately I couldn't convince my regular opponent to try it, so I only played it solitaire. I liked the system (which reminded me of NvW, which of course was a good thing).” BP

 

“GBACW system, map is okay, counters okay, rules not bad, there is some errata but not a show stopper. The situation is very unusual, and with the variable entry point for the Union very good replayability. If you like tactical Civil war without lots of rules then this is a greet little game. Tough for the Union but not unwinnable, though entry selection can play a big part. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #82: Fifth Corps

“Loved it, frustrating though since the NATO forces win by forming effective roadblocks, counterattacks are just impossible. Fun to watch the Soviet hordes steamroll across the border and then just gradually slow down and stop, too tired to move. Very interesting map.” BP

 

S&T #83: The Kaiser’s Battles

“This game covers the first of the five “Peace Offensives” in 1918, Operation Michael against the British 5th Army. Units are Divisions down to Companies. Counter art is okay, map is nice and clean, rules are pretty well written though did have a few questions and there may be some differences between the magazine version and the boxed version. The game uses an interesting combat system; however, though the game seems balanced it’s not a lot of ‘fun’ for the Allied player. Rating B-“ CH

 

S&T #89: Sicily: The Race to Messina

“This covers the invasion of Sicily and the clearing of the Island of Axis forces. Brigade/Regt with some Bn’s. Uses the Victory in the West system. Counters are okay, but could have benefited from Divisional colour coding, map is good, series rules are okay but a few ambiguities in the game specific rules. This is a big game especially for a magazine, but well worth the commitment in time to play. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #90: The Battle of Monmouth

“A cousin to Wellington's Victory, tactical War of Independence. Map okay, counters okay and rules good. Seems tough for both sides and plenty of options, plays reasonably quickly but still a longish game. Fun to play and reasonably balanced. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #94: Nordkapp

“A fun game about World-War II along NATO's northern flank. The most interesting part is to see the Russian unleash their blitzkrieg via airborne, airmobile and seaborne landed troops, with the heavier forces attempting to link up, in the face of a stiffening NATO response. Decent emphasis on the use of airpower. The Soviets also have some hard choices: transiting other nations, especially Sweden, presents better opportunities to outflank NATO forces, but risks widening the conflict, which will draw off Soviet forces. B” KD

 

S&T #96: Singapore

“This game actually covers the whole Malayan campaign in 41/42. Units are Brigades/Regts with some Bn’s. Counter art is okay, map is ugly but serviceable, rules are pretty good, there is some errata that is needed for play. Quite a good game, challenging for both players, some quirks in the rules but still seem to provide the right flavour for the campaign. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #105: Ruweisat Ridge

“A straight-forward game about the battle of El-Alamien. I like how the German's have to allocate operation points to maintain momentum. (Of course, German operations inevitably slacken, giving the British lots of opportunities). I also enjoyed how the game encouraged a combined arms approach (to include air-operations), and with a little German help, Italian formations can make a good contribution to the battle. B” KD

 

S&T #106: Pleasant Hill

“GBACW system, map is good, counters good and the rules are sound. Not much errata and the situation is interesting for both sides. Another case of a smaller force attacking a larger one. The special rules help balance it out and it plays quickly enough for its size. The last GBACW using the simpler rules before things started to get more complex, and not sure why they had to go that way. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #107: Warsaw Rising

“A very unique game. I was surprised at the research that went into it. it's a lot of fun playing the Poles and the Germans, due to the back-and-forth action in the game. A true gem!” BB

 

“( 8 )- A very nice game from John Prados on the 1944 Polish rebellion in the capital against German occupation before final continental liberation of WW2. German police and militia is used to suppress the armed Polish civilians. Very interesting topic and game design. The blue city blocks on the map with the German police chasing the Polish here and there makes this game a real different treat...a genuine low intensity conflict.” LH

 

S&T #108: Remember the Maine!

“As much as I like this game, I would have to give it only a B since it's a prime example of a game that cries out for a bigger treatment outside the confines of the magazine format. S&T's of this era were an interesting mixture of old games left over from the SPI collapse and new designs. RTM is as printed a good game on a (then and now) seldom done topic, but oh, I wish someone would redesign and refit!” SBG

 

S&T #114: Napoleon and the Archduke Charles: Eckmuhl

“My favorite Napoleonic game of all time, despite the odd scale (operational, with a tactical feel). Beautiful map, great gameplay, interesting situations.” BB

 

“This game covers the napoleonic battles that occurred between the Archduke Charles and initially Marshal Davout, but also there is a campaign game and one scenario that involves Napoleon as well. The map graphics I think are okay though they tended to make the rules a bit hard to implement; a house rule was required. Counters are okay and the rules are complete but not particularly well laid out, however most of the information is in there and there is also errata and Q&A that helps clear up the few remaining points. I liked the system, the Command and Control rules are simple enough but really add to the flavour of the battles. Good replayability and interesting scenarios. Rating B” CH

 

S&T #115: Kanev

“(5)- Not a game you want. The Soviet airdop is scattered all around and does not have any major impact on the game. The game centers around the Soviet attack across the Denpr river, which is difficult to cross and attack. The game is a stalemate and yes, it is not a fun game because of the lack of game development. The map is nice though but the system is a nightmare. One of the very few produced by John Prados that went wrong...(perhaps 3W played a part here in the rush to production.)” LH

 

“Like Andrew I actually enjoyed this one. Yes the Air drop is not significant but then given the Soviet abilities at the time in this area they shouldn't be.” GN

 

“A rework of a John Prados game, funny how reworks often equals worse. Not sure why that is. Map is not very pleasing to look at IMHO, counters are okay and rules have some big holes . As released game unwinnable for the Russians with the Victory Conditions in the rules. So major errata needed (in fact they just didn't copy the original VP correctly) But once you sort that out you have a great little game. So many decisions, so many choices, most of them hard  Plays pretty quickly and really is a lot of fun. Not a bad game to play solitaire either. Rating A-“ CH

 

S&T #118: The Tigers Are Burning

“(6)- Ugly single map, strategic Eastern front game. Ty Bomba is trying to create a playable short (under 3 hours) game with fluid ZOC. The "design for effect" is too much here for a good dip in historicity. On the surface, the idea appeals to Eastern front fanatics. When the game was issued, many favourable comments are received per S&T's own editorial and feedback system.” LH

 

“A fairly small game covering the massive Soviet efforts to clear the Germans from western Russia. The allure (for me, at least) was that the Soviets had to capture an ever increasing number of victory point cities. Time and time again, the Soviets were one or two points short of a victory every turn, thus enticing the Russian player to continue the attack. Although that might be frustrating to some, the Soviets can, once in a while, pull off a victory. -B/B” KD

 

S&T #119: The Horse Soldiers

“My first introduction to the GBACW system. (Which convinced me to buy some of the earlier games). I loved the various weapon types involved, and was permanently hooked by the concept of "random-events" adding to the chaos of battle. The mobility of the Confederate cavalry offers numerous opportunities for some great maneuvers, but don't ever count out the Union army. My copy also has the Brice's Crossroads game, which is a nice little firefight in of itself. –A” KD

 

S&T #121: Indian Mutiny

“The first area movement game I ever played. I recall that it was quite enjoyable. Still in my collection after all these years.” BB

 

S&T #122: Pegasus Bridge

“A dud. Could never get into it, despite keeping it set up for weeks.” BB

 

S&T #124: Fortress Stalingrad

”An interesting situation on a somewhat bland map. The Soviets can breach the Axis lines at will, but their logistical support tends to hinder a sustained drive. Typically, the Germans still lose the Sixth Army, but have little time to mourn as the Soviets endeavor to capture Rostov and cut off German forces in the Causcus region. B” KD

 

S&T #125: The Far Seas

“One of the best games published in S&T. Very interesting topic. Well balanced. The German will lose all his ships, but can still win.” BB

 

“I'm not much of a naval wargamer, but this game made for an interesting and usually tense hide and seek contest. It also worked relatively well when played solitaire. B” KD

 

S&T #126: Beruit'82

“(1)- A medicore almost unplayable game despite on a rare subject aptly titled - Arab Stalingrad...” LH

 

“Actually, I thought it did a pretty good job of capturing the subject.” MJP

 

“A small, quick game, not a rival to Streets of Stalingrad as a simulation of urban warfare. I think it does a pretty good job of reaching its goals, which are more a broad picture of the campaign than an in-depth simulation.” JW

 

S&T #127: Rush for Glory

“Commendable treatment of the Mexican War with point to point movement. Good emphasis on march attrition and a simple, effective way to resolve battles. C+/-B” KD

 

S&T #128: Africa Orientale

“It figures that my first foray into GRD's Europa system was via a Strategy and Tactics game. Not the most visually stimulating game, yet it had presented a decent look at an obscure theater of war. Difficult to win as the Italians. –B” KD

 

S&T #129: Harvest of Death

“(7)- The Second Day at Gettysburg: A really excellent small magazine game on the highest tide of the battle, designed in a very scholastic style by David G. Martin, the noted American Civil War historian. The game is very focused on the second day of the battle and the rules are extremely easy to digest. Combat results table is very bloody and each side could be worried to be flanked at anytime if things go wrong at a particular section of the battleline. Counters flipping to the weaker side is a norm rather than exception. The game begins when both sides are face- to- face for a linear and close melee and musket fire battle. Other factors like terrain and artillery are also modelled in a simple and yet functional style. The game is so righteously called "Harvest of Death". You will love the craftmanship and research efforts on the battle by the designer that have been put into this game. One of an important game that triggers me into the American Civil War games.” LH

 

“It was "OK" in my book. It was a little too limited in scope to hold my interest.” MJP

 

“A microgame game that is one of my favorites, and most-played, of all the 3W S&T issue games.” JW

 

“This is "Blue and The Grey" heavy. A small game but a challenging problem for both sides. Counters are good, map is okay, rules not too bad though there is an article that clarifies a bit and also changes a bit of the terrain, handy to have the article before you try to play it. Plays very quickly and is tough on both players. Rating A-“ CH

 

“A game that proves the adage "good things come in small packages". Requires very little space to play. Even with the relatively small size, the rules provide for an enjoyable and challenging contest for those desiring a "quick-fix" of wargaming fun. Units are worn down by the brutal back and forth fighting, and the issue is usually in doubt for either side until the very end. There are plenty of Gettysburg games that will provide you with more detail as to Civil War combat and a greater scope of the battle, but this game occupies a cherished place in my wargame collection. -A/A” KD

 

“Yes, I love this game too when playing it in the university tutorial room. A really excellent small magazine (Strategy and Tactics) game on the highest tide of the battle, designed in a very scholastic style by David G. Martin, the noted American Civil War historian. The game is very focused on the second day of the battle and the rules are extremely easy to digest.

Combat results table is very bloody and each side could be worried to be flanked at anytime if things go wrong at a particular section of the battleline. Counters flipping to the weaker side is a norm rather than exception in the game. The game begins when both sides are face- to- face for a linear and close melee and musket fire battle. Other factors like terrain and artillery are also modelled in a simple and yet functional style. The game is so righteously called "Harvest of Death".” LH

 

S&T #130: Nicaragua

“(6)- A weird game to me at the time of its release because of its area movement system and ugly map under 3W production (a real shame because 3W was not necessarily credited for this. They can produce good maps.) A magazine game of Strategy and Tactics. The concept of low intensity conflict was brought out nicely with this game. Looking back, this game has a far-sighted view of the future warfare at the time. The war against terrorism today should have learnt something from this game too. In my memory, this game has a rather complex game systems simulating the various aspects of the conflict between the Government and the Rebel forces. Foreign intervention is also included. First time Joesph Miranda's design in S&T format, perhaps I should get it out once again for a more detail look.” LH

 

S&T #132: Iron Cross

“As a former grunt and tactical level afficianado, this game has a special appeal. The game mechanics were easy to figure out, and placed a premium on proper fire and maneuver. Seeing soldiers named Manstien, Jodl, Zhukov and Koniev on the counters, however, didn't feel right. The map graphics also left something to be desired. –B” KD

 

S&T #133: Baton Rouge

“I like the GBACW system, and found the fog rules, as well as the naval rules and interesting touch. A desparate situation for the Union from start to finish. Yet, playing this game just didn't excite me as much as other games in the series. -B.” KD

 

S&T #135: Sideshow: The Campaign for German East Africa 1914-1918

“(2)- Very nice and coloful components. It shows how 3W uneven production could be. Game system drags on you once you get it playing. Not that there are system loopholes but the running of the game is lukeworm and not in the right proportion. Though spanning the entire campaign, this is a disappointed game from a designer like Richard Berg on a bizzare subject.” LH

 

S&T #136: Borodino: Doomed Victory

“(2)- A very disappointed game from the designer Gary 'Mo' Morgan, who designed Flight Leader for Avalon Hill. Perhaps because of the designer's military background as an individual wingman, the game system soon disintegrates at operational Napoleonic level. The colourful counters can't save the game from the brink of trash. A game, just like the other Strategy and Tactic games under 3W control, packaged in superb wrap-paper but plagued with many bitter problems. A get-away item.” LH

 

“A gaming buddy of mine referred to this as Borodino: Doomed Game and aptly so.” MJP

 

“Mo Morgan did a great job with Tac Air, but this is a missed abortion on cardboard. More like Dull Victory.” JW

 

S&T #137: Men-At-Arms

“A tempting smorgasbord of battles (kudos for the ancient Chinese as well as the Zulu scenarios), portrayed via a system of wavering quality. Perhaps trying to model a wide-range of combatants from ancient through medieval time periods (which took several PRESTAGS games to do) diluted the game's operation. Moreover, the geomorphic, square-grid maps were a bit bland. (At least Panzer Blitz and Squad Leader maps have an interesting range of color and terrain). A game of great promise that became something of a heart-breaker. C+” KD

 

S&T #138: Napoleon at Eylau

“A game featuring low-counter density, thereby encouraging grand maneuvers in an equally epic battle. Not an overly complicated game and the French have a historically hard time. -B/B” KD

 

S&T #140: Objective: Tunis

“Can you hear the hounds? Open this one up and you get barking dogs all up and down the street. As published it was rubbish (and that is IMHO being kind). However it was from the Vance Von Borries 'Battles for North Africa' series so its lineage is fine, it just feel apart somewhere. Not even sure how they made it as bad as it was. But again there is a good situation and game buried in there, just a question of how much work you want to put in to find it. Rating D (for Dog and Dud )” CH

 

S&T #144: Chad: The Toyota Wars

“Map graphics are okay, the counters are quite good, rules are a mess and the errata somewhat extensive, however, the situation was intriguing enough for me to take the time to work in the errata and try the game out. Playing with just the 'basic' rules the scenario I did was quite good, but I think the real test would be the economic/political rules. Rating C+” CH

 

S&T #145: Trajan

“( 8 )- Things starting to get better, this is a suprise little game from the magazine "Strategy and Tactics" when Joseph Miranda, designer of this game, took hold of the editorial at the time (he is renowed for his extensive knowledge of the modern low density counter-intelligence-insurgence military operations). It reflects what the designer has long advocated for a good game: low counter density, elegant design system, innovative. Trajan demonstrated all these three characteristics very well and fit into format of a magazine game particularly well. It also opens up a renewed interest in Ancient military conflicts. The game is innovative in the design of Roman legion movement and the siege warfare during its expansion and conquest into Persia region. Yet it is played on a map hex rather than the usual area movement for a strategic grand campiagn like this in the ancient period. I suspect the "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" of late by GMT is a product heavily influneced by this game. Trajan is very successful both as a game and as a simulation. A lot more games follow using the same game system in the subsequent S&T issues (e.g. Germania, Caesar in Gallia) . A definite buy for both boardgamers and collectors.” LH

 

S&T #153: Zama/Operation Felix

“Seeing the battle lines of the Romans and Carthraginians arrayed always brought a warm feeling to my heart. Thankfully, most of the time, the Carthraginians elephants didn't hurt their own side as much as they did historically. (In one game, the elephants wreaked some substantial havoc among the Romans ranks). But in the end, because of the commitment rules for Hannibal's troops, the Romans are favored. –B” KD

 

S&T #154: Russo-Turkish War

“Very good game. Nice system. B” BN

 

S&T #166: Savage Station/Olustee

“This shows how you can take a basically sound system "Blue and the Grey" and get it wrong. Olustee required a complete new set of counters, luckily that was less than 40, but even then there are gapping rules holes. Maps are okay, first set of counters not too good, but the replacement Olustee counters at least are quite good. Rules? Well it has some pages with writing on them, its fair to say the basic rules are okay, however the scenario rules seem to have the problems. Olustee plays quickly once you agree on a few house rules to make it playable at all. Rating C-“ CH

 

“I was curious as to gaming these particular battles, but ultimately, they didn't capture my enthusiasm. C” KD

 

S&T #169: The Atlanta Campaign: Peachtree Creek/Jonesboro

“Good battles that deserve a better treatment than this rather bland system. C” KD

 

S&T #172: Molotov's War

“Another Winter War that got bad reviews. Though, I liked it. Enjoyable. B-“ BN

 

S&T #176: Blood on the Tigris

“This game covers the WWI campaign in Mesopotamia (IRAQ) between the Central Powers and the Allies. Units are Brigades/Regts with some Bn’s. Counters are okay but really need some sort of markings to differentiate the divisions. Map is okay, gives a bit of feel for the place. Rulebook has some gaping holes in it, making it pretty well unplayable without an awful lot of house rules. Seems a pity as its an interesting campaign and the supply rules look like they would work well to simulate the problems both sides faced in this area during WWI. Rating D” CH

 

180-189

“One of the Better groups of S&T games/issues under Decision Games” KM

 

“Those 10 issues represent one of the most interesting periods in the history of the magazine, IMHO.” SC

 

S&T #180: Reinforce the Right

“A great simulation of the initial months of the Western Front of World War I when the front lines were actually fluid. Frequently generates historic results with Germans petering out around the Marne. Extra perk of political options allows players to vary historical approaches. Stresses command control. Only problem with the game is the victory or defeat often hinges on an abstracted battle on the Eastern Front (Tannenburg). A Gem.” DL

 

“Joe Miranda's take on the opening months of WW1 in the west, this game is one of my favorite S&T games. Easy to digest, yet challenging enough (with plenty of variants), this is one of the best simulations of this era out there. A+.” DS

 

“A very solid WWI game of the opening moves in France. I've found that each side has a chance in this one and it's fun to see if the Germans can make that flank attack and swing in behind the allies. give it a A+” KM

 

“I think what turns some people off about RtR is that entrenching is handled as a random event. Those playing this game should use J. Miranda's later suggestion that the event be ignored for the first 4 turns, otherwise the Germans can get stuck very early. Overall, a very solid game, however.” DD

 

“I played this when it first came out, and wasn't crazy about it. Not a bad game, and it seemed to do an adequate job of recreating history, but ... I guess I felt there were not too many strategic options, so the campaign felt scripted.” RKB

 

“Maybe the best S&T ever. Miranda's study of the opening guns of WW1 fought out in France and the Low Countries. Rules are simple and elegant, yet their consequences sneak up on a player... neat supply rules cause apparently promising offensives to slow down as they did historically. The game is eerily able to replicate historical events. Like other Miranda designs, there are also tons of options for playing with the order of battle (at a cost in victory points). A sensible optional rule should be used that forbids the entrenchment random event from occurring until week IV. I concur with the others... an A+.”

 

S&T #181: Fall of Rome (reprint)

“Gem! Very nice job on this reprint. The rules worked well, it was fun, and quite a nailbiter for what is primarily a solitaire game.” JeB

 

“A very good remake of this oldie.the game mechanics & scenario's make this one to be played. give it a B-“ KM

 

“Lavish with great period flavor, produced seemingly as a gift to the segment of the gaming community for whom the original was a cult classic. The rules are tight, producing a good solitaire game. The strategies seem fairly straightforward, especially in the later scenarios where mobile armies become very important. Ultimately, I decided not to hold onto the game; but its intended audience has snapped this game up... it's one of the hardest S&Ts to find on the secondary market and always fetches a good price. An B+.” KL

 

“I played Fall of Rome many times and feel that this was a game that was unfairly bashed both then and now. Being a solitaire design, I had no problem with the rule interpretations! The game conveyed the sometimes desperate situation that the Empire found itself in with so many enemies at the gates.” VW

 

S&T #182: Balkans '41

“A good system for a one sided campaign. Simulates the German invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. Without playing an alt-history scenario, this game is a walk-over for the Germans. Unique air tactical sub-system is the highlight of the game. Would be nice to apply system to more competitive campaign. A gem with major reservations.” DL

 

“Neither gem nor dud. A solid system, but as was already mentioned, the historical situation lacked excitement. If you are interested in the theater, I would recommend it.” JeB

 

“A nice game with a easy system to show this theater of the war. Had one of the better maps & counter graphics. The game system from this game would be good on a different subject,say East Front! Give it a B” KM

 

“Perhaps one of the most physically attractive S&Ts (at the time), the game was great but the subject matter made replay value somewhat low. Still, a nice game by Joe Miranda. B+” DS

 

S&T #183: Byzantium

“Attempts to simulate the broad sweep of Byzantine History in several scenarios. Uses the same basic system as Thirty Years War (S&T #173) and 100 Years War (S&T #177), but before the refinement of the system in the subsequent Charlemange (#189) and Xenophon (#203). Didn't seem to work as well as its it predecessors or followers. Felt like players simply ran around on the board undoing the work done by their opponent in the prior phase, with whomever went last having the advantage. Dud.” DL

 

“The game did a o.k. job of showing the campaigns and the variant scenario's and options from Web-Grognards really make this game better. give it a B” KM

 

“The only S&T since the low 100's that I actually played. It helped remind me why I haven't been playing them. I didn't think the system was that interesting, and the outcome of combat was pretty random. Worst of all, the game's random events table was really in charge of affairs, the players were just spectators. A dud.” DK

 

“I've set this one up a couple of times, but I can't coerce anyone into playing it with me! I guess the topic's just a little too obscure for many. And there are a lot of games out there competing for our time!” DC

 

“An interesting game on a relativey obscure topic. Our group played the heck out this in three player mode. Rules need to be tweaked slightly to make the game work properly ( i.e. make pillaging more difficult, give Byzntines a better income) I think it is one of the best S&T multi-player games. Grade B+” EB

 

“Probably the weakest entry in the Charlemagne series. Random events are too powerful, and the off-board players didn't feel right, either they were too weak (the Franks) or too resilient (the Arabs). I realize that the Byzantines should have only a 1/3 (1/4?) chance of winning, but it comes out even lower than that. Still, there's something to be said for a multi-player wargame. Rating: B-“ ZJ

 

“Played this one solitaire, ftf, and multiplayer, but it never quite lived up to the hype. It is too easy to lose an army, and nearly impossible to rebuild it. Historical, but dull.” BB

 

S&T #184: Twilights Last Gleaming

“I tried to like this game( really i did) but it just left me flat. give it a C-“ KM

 

“I wanted to like this one. The topic was interesting and needed some tactical coverage. The rules were straightforward and easy to learn. The command structure, while probably accurate, made the game awkward and annoying to play. Nothing interesting or unexpected ever seemed to happen and this one was retired after one or two plays.” HM

 

“I wanted to like this one, since there are few games on the topic. Came up with a bunch of questions, which as I recall I could never get answered (publisher didn't know where to reach the developer as I recall). The battles were interesting, once.” RKB

 

“I liked the game and have played it, if I remember right, three times: BLADENSBURG twice and NEW ORLEANS once. I enjoyed it, although the New Orleans game is so lopsided that it isn't worth playing twice. The others are decent, though.” DC

 

“Has three scenarios or mini games with it, the maps are okay, counters look good, another rule book that needed a lot more work, there is counter errata and rule book errata, not all of it has been addresses either, experienced players can make house rules so at least they can try to play the games. However the scenarios are a mixed bag and an unusual choice. Bladensburg seems to be a fantasy scenario with little relationship to history. Deep down there might be a good game in there but life's short. Rating D” CH

 

S&T #185: 1st Arab Israeli Wars

“I really like this game, S&T got back on the right track with this one. It was great to be able to fight the whole war. The Israeli's have their hand full in this game. Give it a A” KM

 

“I played AIW just last month and we put it away after a few weeks. Seemed sort of generic. Singapore (S&T 96?) was even worse in the same sort of way (played the month before). I might go back to AIW (for topic novelity at the very least) but will be armed with a lot of rules issues answered for the next time. I was really looking forward to it. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Nice under-utilized map as well.” AS

 

“Arab Isreali Wars #185- First game on often ignored topic of wargaming. I loved the simple system with it's multiple use of supply units. It dispelled the David and Goliath myth conveyed by movies like Exodus. The Isrealis are stronger than the Arabs. They cannot lose.” LR

 

“Probably my favorite S&T game. The escalating mobilization and armament levels are perfectly represented, and the supply rules model the historic issues well with little bookkeeping. The game follows the actual pace of the warfare well, starting off with localized skirmishes and escalating to a chaotic mix of manuever and positional warfare, with random cease-fire interruptions. It probably favors the Israelis, but the Arabs are still interesting to play, with lots of diverse units and options. Rating: A+” ZJ

 

“An innovative game, focused on low intensity conflict where supply must be saved from turn to turn to allow a successful offensive to happen. It's attractive, with a wide variety of Arab forces and a nice map (although much of the southern half is superfluous to play). There is good scope for strategy and conservation and planning of forces. It's very interesting. I was put off by the game's terrorism rules, which do not merely allow but encourage players to engage in localized ethnic cleansing. Coming to the game long after its publication (and in the aftermath of personal experience with Bosnia and 9/11), I found these aspects troubling and distracting. Notwithstanding my personal qualms, I recommend it as a game and simulation -- though perhaps not for the fainthearted. A-.” KL

 

S&T #186: Over The Top: Mons and Marne

"Average game. Germans have a tough road towards victory. Plays longer than it looks, with horrific casualty rates. Thus, like the real conflict, somewhat exhausting. I do like the graphics (including the controversial 'dark' Marne map). Overall, I'd rate it a 3 (out of 5)."SC

 

“The first in a series of World War I operational games. Reminescent of the Blue and the Grey series in the simplistic but tense system. Mons is small, but a real nailbiter. Marne is more grand, but historically inaccurate and victory seems to hinge on occupation of two hexes in the west. The artillery system is unique where the attacker and defender make individual attacks to soften enemy front or stall enemy advance. Not everyone's bag, but I'd still call it a gem.” DL

 

“Never got into this one. Backwards counters and a fair bit of errata for the Marne game turned me off. The game seemed to work, it just never got me excited.” JeB

 

“A nice addition to the boxed game, Mons is alright but The Marne had to many problems to make it work. Give it a C-“ KM

 

“I played MONS once and enjoyed it, but it didn't seem to simulate the battle very well.” DC

 

“Haven't played this game, but I will rate the system. It is a tactical system for WW1 battles, with heavy emphasis on artillery as the preliminary to battle. Frequently games in the series have stretched history and OOB to fit into the smaller game format. Not great, but not bad. B.” KL

 

S&T #187: Risorgimento

“OK, so I didn't actually play it, I just set up the 1848 scenario and scratched my head. This game had some major errata problems, but even with the errata some things were unanswered with regards to the 1848 setup. Had an exchange with the designer who claimed the forts should be at full strength. This seemed strange, and somewhere there I lost concentration on the game.” EN

 

“Great map Graphics, I also wanted to love this one but have yet to be able to really get into it (maybe a little more effort on my part) Give it a C-“ KM

 

“This was a game I eagerly awaited. When it arrived, it hit the game table just a few days later. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I'd heard this system was great, but this game completely illuded me. Couldn't figure out what it was trying to do. Goofy.” DC

 

“Part of the Wars of the Imperial Age Series. Nice graphics, interesting system, with a variety of scenarios. Too bad the subject matter didn't grab me. B, based mainly on subject matter.” KL

 

S&T #188: Kiev/Rostov (reprint)

“SPI was before my time, so I don't have a nostalgic connection to the "classics". I was thorougly unimpressed with the aged mechanics of this one. ZOCs that are permanently locking? Blech. Good looking, though.” EN

 

“Remake of two of the Army Group South games. Great map and rules, BAD counters!!. The mistakes on the counters made me not even play it, and I was looking forward to it so much. I'll take the old SPI version( or Sunrise reprint) anyday. give it a D” KM

 

S&T #189: Charlemagne

“This was the game that made me subscribe to S&T! I love it! Sure, it might be ahistorical, unstable, slower than it should be, and missing some badly needed play-aids. But it's so cool! Nothing for control freaks, since you don't even know what forces are under your control from turn to turn, but great fun for chaos managers like me. A gem.” EN

 

“Definitely one for the chaos fans. Hard to plan ahead at all, as twice-per-turn random event rolls have a massive effect on play. Contingency planning for unforeseen events is fair enough - hardly being able to plan at all is just frustrating.

Overall though, the game still has value because: nothing else covers the topic; there is some nice period chrome; it's well-presented. Use the errata though (on Grognards), otherwise it's liable to be a Frankish walkover.” SN

 

“Good to see a game on a real over looked subject. Map o.k. along with the counters. Rules need going over a few times to get things square but the play was good. give it a C” KM

 

“This one's a winner. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” DC

 

“I enjoy this game (thanks Roger D. for swapping it to me!), once you fix the 'Honest Coinage' problem. A buddy with whom I played it was much less enthusiastic, he wanted more history and less chaos. It works quite well solo, too, since the Chaos/Tribal player generally has fewer options and a more obvious strategy.” RKB

 

“One of the better games in the series. As noted, it's more chaos than order, and making sense out of the confusion is the biggest challenge. The game generally favors the Frankish player, but things can unravel extremely quickly, so it's not a lost cause for the Chaos player. Quick solution for the Honest Coinage chit: throw it out. Rating: A” ZJ

 

190-199

“Not a great period for S&T in my mind.” AS

 

S&T #190: Gauntlet

“An exciting game, featuring the asymmetry of UN air power against Chinese infiltration tactics. One of the best modern wargames available, although airpower was so effective, as a UN player, I felt like I had 1990s era aircraft instead of 1950s! Be warned: it's a large game, with a significant setup and playing time. Errata also is a problem, but once you have it, this is a fine game. A-, downgraded because of errata.” KL

 

“Yes, hidden gem describes this one. Korea games just do not draw a crowd like WW1, WW2 or Vietnam games do. This one has good sweep and a real sense that you’re in trouble as the UN player with hoards of Chinese swarming south. Graphics are excellent for both map and counters with clearly written rules and almost no errata. While the situation is straightforward (fighting withdrawal) the game is still fun to play particularly if you like the subject. When the companion game is published in S&T that mates maps we’ll finally have the first playable multi-map single campaign game from the Korean War. I can’t wait. Easily the best of the 190s!” RK

 

S&T #191: Sea Devils

“As supplied in the initial edition of S&T (191, I think), totally unplayable. As a result, several issues later (194, I think), a new set of rules, map, and counters were supplied. The second version is barely playable, but still a Valiant Failure as a charitable description.  Too bad, since the idea of an ACW naval raiders game is a very interesting one, and the concept has been done successfully once before with WWI raiders in THE FAR SEAS, another S&T game.” SNb

 

S&T #192: Great War In The East: Brusilov and Serbia/Galicia (reprint)

“Nice pair of games (with excellent maps) on a neglected theater of a (then) neglected war. B” DS

 

“I played both of these in the original SPI version. I'm not sure if DG made any changes so I'll caveat my review with that.

The system had some real innovation, with it's core being the tactical ratings of the armies. While the concept was great, it didn't work as well in practice. A tactical rating of 1 was almost unbeatable while a tactical rating of 4 was almost helpless. Balancing the capabilities out a little more would make for better games because the games themselves looked great and covered interesting subjects/theaters.

Serbia/Galicia was the most interesting with split theaters for the Austrians to fight. They had to crush Serbia while holding off Russia in Galicia. The Brusilov Offensive demonstrated one of the few times the Russians performed well on the offensive. C” MJP

 

S&T #193: Crimean War

“This game and Krim finally convinced me that the Crimea, regardless of what war, makes for a dull game. It all sounds good in theory. Limited map area, no edge of the world problems, interesting terrain... but only one geographic objective and no reason to fight for anything else! In other words, a dull and fairly realistic game that bogs down to 4 stacks besieging 2 stacks, with 5 more stacks looking on, all in one corner of the map. Otherwise standard Miranda fare (which is a good thing), possibly with some calibration problems (the Allies don't seem to have the problem with supplies they should have.” EN

 

“Very true to the war, which turns out to mean a dull game. Most of the time players spend the turns shuffling supplies forward a hex or two. A nice big map that uses a half-dozen hexes around Sevastopol. Most historians suggest that the Allies had a good chance of taking the city if they would have just landed near it and attacked before its defenses were prepared, but that doesn't work in this game.” DAV

 

“Found it lacked good game play. Not just in mobility and excitement but the strategies were one track and obvious (game flaws not just historical flaws).” AS

 

“I really wanted to like this one, but as most posters have said previously, the game didn't go anywhere. A good try to bring the war onto the game table, just not that exciting a war to begin with. (The accompanying article was great, however.) C” DS

 

“A nice simulation of the battle, and nothing to quarrel about -- but ultimately not engaging. The geography and objectives push the game to a dull conclusion around Sevastopol. Historical with no significant flaws, but not fun. B.” KL

 

S&T #194: Forgotten Axis: Murmansk/Sea Devils II

“Nice, elegant operational system with only 4 pages of rules, I really like that! Somewhat hopeless situation, that could probably be accomodated with clever victory conditions. Unfortunately, the victory conditions suck. Most points win, geographic points are unattainable, so all the points you get will be for losses. Due to terrain the forces available, and the nature of the game system, the attacker will unavoidably take more losses. The burden of attack is on the Axis. Each axis step loss is worth 3 VPs, each Soviet 1 VP. Got it? The artillery is also a bit too bloody, and can win the game on its own for the Soviets. A near miss, a shame on the system.” EN

 

“Going from hazy memory here, but I remember being frustrated by the development of this game. The rules were patchy and some elements not well explained. An example: IIRC the Soviets have naval units based in Murmansk, but their path to the ocean is blocked by the terrain effects chart, making it impossible to count the number of hexes they can move in a turn. As for the situation, the victory conditions and terrain effects (tundra and rivers especially) make it so that the Germans simply cannot win. I really wanted to like this game based on the topic, but found very little redeeming about it. D-.” SS

 

“Read the rules for Sea Devils II. Unable to solitaire it, and couldn't find anybody to play it with. Seemed really scripted into the historical course, but might be fun nevertheless.” EN

 

“I was excited about this one, punched it, pushed some counters around, got bored very quickly and put it on the sale pile. Don't remember why I got bored - although I do remember the slow movement rates through the terrain and the seeming futility of attacking were part of it.” JeB

 

“Still haven't gotten around to trying Sea Devils. Murmansk was disappointing. Interesting and obscure campaign, but ... the Germans seemed to lack any options other than a straight-ahead slog, due to the movement costs and numerous rivers. And at every river crossing, if the Soviets didn't stop the Germans cold, their artillery at least exacted a pound of German flesh. Historical, probably. Interesting, just once. There were also some rules issues (about river crossing movement costs, and something about getting the Soviets across an estuary).” RKB

 

“Doesnt work as a game, though it may model the situation correctly. Other than as a solitare study, stay away. D” BN

 

“[Sea Devils] As supplied in the initial edition of S&T (191, I think), totally unplayable. As a result, several issues later (194, I think), a new set of rules, map, and counters were supplied. The second version is barely playable, but still a Valiant Failure as a charitable description.  Too bad, since the idea of an ACW naval raiders game is a very interesting one, and the concept has been done successfully once before with WWI raiders in THE FAR SEAS, another S&T game.” SNb

 

S&T #195: Borodino & Friedland

”I playtested the second Borodino, and had a lot of fun with it. To a great degree, it was a reaction to another S&T Borodino game, Doomed Victory, that the designers didn't like.

The second Borodino could be a real slugfust. I was also in one game in which a Russian playtester failed to guard the flanks of some of his units in the center, and had the heart ripped out of his defense in about three turns.” JW

 

“Borodino/Freidland is a great game. In my opinion, one of the best ever. A simple, entertaining system. Period invoking maps. Two seperate battles, with numerous scenarios. A throw back to the SPI era. I may be wrong, but I think it won a Charles Robert award, too.” DL

 

“Like others have said, this is a good one. It's visually very nice and plays very well.” DC

 

“I was always wanting a game in the NaW/NLB format for these two. I even did my own versions of the battles using that system.Borodino very good with Freidland just behind ( had some errata to make it more playable). Real good looking maps and counters( hated Decisions way of showing counters for their 18th century games.Their NLB big time!) a "A"”KM

 

“Solid development of the "Napoleon's Last Battles" system.” JPR

 

“Beautiful graphics, simple gameplay, very easy to get into. I enjoyed both situations, which seemed to follow the course of the historic battles well. Rating: A” ZJ

 

“The classic Napoleon's Last Battles system applied anew to these massive battles between Napoleon and the Russians. The games are among the very best magazine games ever produced. They are fun, well-balanced, and convey a good sense of history. Friedland adds a dummy unit mechanic to put some brakes on the initial Russian attack; arguably; somewhat gamey, but it works well -- and the Russian player still has real bite in this version of the battle. Borodino is another good one, although constrained by geography; an unnoticed bit of map errata creates a large forest southeast of Utitsa which really should have been rendered as rough terrain. Still, one of the five best S&Ts. A solid A, misses an A+ because the system is dated and becuase of map errata.” KL

 

S&T #196: Vietnam Battles: Hue & Khe Sahn

“Played Hue. Nice little mini-game, though the rules seemed needlessly involved for little payoff. It really annoyed me that the most important defensive feature for the Communists was the map edge, going just along the southern surburbs of Hue! Neither gem nor dud.” EN

 

“I played Khe Sahn expecting a Modern Battles Quad system with a few additions. There seemed to be a lot more additions and, agreeing with Elias, needlessly involved for little payoff. The Khe Sahn situation was interesting, with some good strategic decision making for the NVA. I give it a C+.” MJP

 

“Modern Battles Quad rules applied (and revamped) to Vietnam. Feels a bit too much like a NATO vs Pact game than Vietnam. In the Khe Sahn scenario, U.S. artillery and helicopter mobility are overpowering.” DAV

 

“Another disappointing issue. In order to show the events happening around Hue and how they affected the battle in the city, the scale is zoomed out so far that the city-fighting itself loses any interesting character. As I recall there were some issues about the system that I did not especially like either. I set up Khe Sahn, and as promptly took it back down. It reminded me strongly of the old Wargamer Khe Sahn issue game, with massive stacks on the firebase. I seem to recall that it involved hidden or concealed movement for the NVA, which made it not soloable.” RKB

 

“I had a difficult time getting into these, for some reason the combination of combat and movement didn't feel quite right to me. I probably haven't given the game a fair shot, but overall it felt a bit fiddly. Rating: B” ZJ

 

S&T #197: Great Medieval Battles: Bannockburn & Tamburlaine (reprint)

“I was turned off to the Medieval games issue (and almost to S&T entirely) by its lack of complete components.” AS

 

“I haven't played the reprint, I have played the original Tamburlaine. Interesting game on an obscure subject, though the system could use some updating (I don't think it was changed for the reprint). Rich Berg's BSO Games "Devil's Horsemen" is another game on a Mongol battle, and I think a slightly better game.” RKB

 

“Don't know how they play as games - been some time - but most have gaping holes "historically". If that detracts from your enjoyment, it wiull detract mightily.” RHB

 

“I've played a lot of medieval battles, and I'm afraid I found these unconvincing. The graphics were good; but the system seemed dated and vanilla. A funny mechanic focusing on defender armor type just didn't work for me. B-.” KL

 

“A short defense of the Great Medieval Battles system: These games were both fairly competitive as contests, and Bannockburn, at least, could both model the actual events and provide the means to alter them. The combat system took both attacker postition and defender armor into account, something few ancient/medieval games do. We had fun with these when they came out, and back in the 90's on pulling the original game out again. Are they as accurate and engrossing as the Great Battles of History series (Alexander, SPQR)? No, but they don't cost sixty-five dollars and have dozens of pages of rules, either. I found them to be a decent complexity-compromise system for the subject matter, a solid B.” PP

 

S&T #198: Over the Top: Verdun & Lemberg

“Verdun turns out like the actual battle ... which means you'll want to play the game just once. Never got to Lemberg, but liked the system enough to want to try.” DC

 

“The system may have reached it's limit with Verdun as it doesn't portray the brutal nature of that historic slaughter. Instead it feels more like another Napoleon at Waterloo game. A couple of annoying details, the massive openning German artillery barrage is missing.... And airpiower seems very powerful- because the players can use Air points to attack the opponents HQ's, disrupting them and putting sections of the line out of supply/command, something that I don't believe 1916 airpower could achieve. C-

The Lemberg battle, is more suited to the Over the top system and is a nice little simulation. B+” JV

 

“I enjoyed the system, but the battles didn't feel quite right. Verdun didn't feel at all like an attritional slugfest, and Lemberg, on the other hand was way too sluggish. I recall looking at the Lemberg situation and wondering how the game could ever move as quickly as the historical situation did. Rating: B” ZJ

 

“Lemberg is the only one of the two from 198 that I played. Quite like the system, but couldn't get near a Russian victory. A game that I will probably revisit.” NF

 

“I couldn't get a Russian victory either, as it just took took long to get from the start line to the city, with Austrians and fortresses in the way.” JW

 

“Again, I was really excited about this mag (particularly Verdun), but the game just didn't "feel" right - Verdun seemed (at least the way I played it) too fluid a situation for what really happened. Guess I just don't like the Over the Top system. C” DS

 

“This covers two WWI battles at Brigade/Regt level. Counter and map art is okay, the rules are fairly sound, not much errata and no real questions came up during play, well not quite, there was one question, who playtested this puppy? Verdun is a reasonable effort, balance seems to favour the Germans, which is a bit odd as they historically failed to do that well in regards to territorial gains, however Lemberg is IMHO, impossible for the Russians to win! Nor does Lemburg have the ‘feel’ of a penetrating Russian Offensive that ripped through the Austro Hungarians, it feels more like watching spilt molasses oozing, slowly across the map. Some good ideas rules wise but wasted with either a lack of playtesting or development (or worse, both). Rating C- (Lemberg Dud, Verdun C)” CH

 

S&T #199: Forgotten Axis: The Finnish Campaign

“Follow up to the Murmansk game, with two half-map games on different parts of the Finnish front (Salla & Kestenga?) Basically suffers from the same problems as the Murmansk game, though the situation is a little better. The victory conditions still annoy me, and the ability to recreate history is somewhat suspicious. Which is becoming a pattern for me with regards to Mike Bennighof games (Murmansk, this one, Twilight of the Hapsburgs...) Still, I'm sympathetic to this one and wouldn't declare it a dud.” EN

 

“Not a gem, but neither a dud. I think some scenarios have rather unbalanced victory conditions. A chit pull mechanism brings some uncertainty to the game. A nice little game with scenarios playable in a couple of hours. Very suitable for solitaire play or for beginners. I would rate it as B+.” SM

 

“Forgotten Axis is an interesting system. The VP allocated for combat losses forces the Axis player to go for maneuvre and not combat. Punch a hole with the arty and then move in, threatening to sneak through. The Morale table should be in the standard rules and not optional - they add a lot to the game. Not a bad game, but I was disappointed with the poor response I got from the designer to some questions (that still remain).” NF

 

“Map is a bit hard on the eyes, well mine at least. Counters are okay, rules are full of holes, scenarios/mini games are hopeless. Comes with two scenarios, each on their own map and with their (mostly) own counters. Again, there is likely to be a good game idea lurking in there somewhere, but way to much effort to find and then if you do, you are still stuck with scenarios that are unlikely to work. This is how magazine games get a bad reputation. Rating Dud” CH

 

S&T 200-209

 

S&T #200: French Foreign Legion

“A large game of three campaigns of the Foreign Legion, using the same system as First Afghan War and Sun Never Sets boxed set. Good fun game system, but I recall some of the campaigns were a bit one sided. Still feel first Afghan was the best in this series. B.” DL

 

This was an ambitious release; Decision Games tried to put a very strong release into their anniversary issue. This is a collection of three games using the Sun Never Sets system. It's a terrific system, with excellent 19th century flavor -- emphasizing issues of supply, mobility, variations in European vs. native military systems, and random events that eerily seem to reflect actual game situations. Those who don't like the system often object to the lack of play balance (the game favors the Europeans); but some campaigns are winnable by the colonial side. This issue covers three different colonial campaigns of the French foreign legion: Dahomey, Algeria and Vietnam. The main problem with the issue is that key rules from the SNS system were inexplicably left out of this issue for reasons of magazine space. Dahomey is short and fairly limited in its strategic situation, and requires some errata to fix some game play problems. Vietnam is very good and strategically complex; its balance is ok due to the possibility of Chinese intervention (but woe to the Vietnamese if the dice don't allow the Chinese to intervene). Algeria seemed to me too chaotic to make for a good game, but I can't say that I spent much time with it. Probably it was a bit too ambitious; presenting just one of the campaigns with complete rules would have been wiser. All in all, I preferred the four British cousins in the series. Maybe the subject matter was more obscure here; maybe it was the strategic situation in two of the games; maybe it was the absence of a full rules set. I'd rate the game a B.” KL

 

“Heavily unbalanced. Though, I suppose it was historicaly. Solo fine, forget playing it with someone. I could never figure how to win as the native player. Nice map and interesting situations C+” BN

 

S&T #201: Crimean War Battles - Alma and Tchernaya River(reprint)

“I reviewed this for Paper Wars, and so this capsule review is a bit of a cheat. As the header says, this is a reprint of two games from the SPI quad. They are unchanged, except for graphics updates. There were some counter errors, but they were pretty easy to spot. Both battles are disputed river crossings. At Alma, the Allies are on the offensive, moving south towards Sevastopol. In Tchernaya River, the Russians are trying to break through the French-Sardinian lines to relieve the city. They play reasonably well, and there are a few tactical options. My memory is a bit vague, but IIRC the Russian cavalry is missing at Alma, on the grounds that they didn't do much in the actual battle--meaning that the the Russian player is forced to make that mistake as well. These games do use 1970s-era design techniques and are thus period pieces themselves.” DAV

 

“Played one of the original SPI versions (Balaclava, I think). The system is a little strange though I don't remember a lot of details. You could pretty much fire on anything on the map. The impression that stayed with me was bland. I still have this set and will probably try them again sometime. C.” MJP

 

“Pretty game and interesting subject. Lots of counter and map errors marred this otherwise interesting game. C” BN

 

S&T #202: Taipei

“Interesting to contrast this game, with its systems for air power and information warfare, with the Command magazine version of this hypothetical conflict. Great to see Miranda still doing contemporary games. Force level options make for great varieties of results. A” AW

 

“My favorite of the recent S&T games, despite the fact that I am normally not that interested in modern era games. China has a lot of combat power early on, but has to transport it over and then keep it in supply. This becomes more difficult as more and more American airpower arrives in the region. By the end of the game the initiative has usually switched to the coallition giving both sides the opportunity to be on the attack and defense. I would have liked a little more detail in the air war, but as it is it does mesh really well with the ground game and for the coallition player especially it will be the margin between victory and defeat. One of these days I really want to play this game FTF using the optional information warfare rules. A+” JC

 

S&T #203: Xenophon

“Played it solitaire, so I didn't get the full effect of things like strategem chits. I can see where this could be fun against an opponent. I realize that the turns are long (years iirc) but it seems like you can run all over the place in a turn. I like the fact that it's hex based (not being an area move fan) B.” MJP

 

“A great game. A great refinement from the Charlemagne system. Really has the feel of the time and is a challenge in empire management/destruction. An obscure topic, done well. A.” DL

 

“OK. Absolutely unknown campaign. Seemed artificial.C-“ BN

 

S&T #204: Twilight of the Habsburgs

“Well, this IS World War I after all, but this game goes WAY too far in stacking the odds in favour of the defender. There's simply no way you can achieve the historical results (or any result for that matter) for any of the three battles. Some enthusiasts have provided a fix for the Caporetto scenario, but it seemed to just try hard to go around basic faults of the system. A pity, since I wanted to like the game and Reinforce the Right which uses the same system is supposed to be great. Dud.” EN

 

“Proof that a great system is not great for all situations. The Reinforce the Right rules just didn't seem to work for this Italian slog-fest. Considerable effort has been undertaken by fans to tweak the game in a way that it works, but as published this game just doesn't simulate the campaigns well. C.” DL

 

“RTR works because there isn't an unbroken frontline to bash your head against. The Germans push forward, and the French/British are forced to fall back or suffer attacks on the Maneuver CRT. The problem with the CRT, I felt, is the "BB" result. If you limit the attacker's losses to no more than what the defender suffers, that would seem more believable. As it is, I saw Austrian attacks in TOTH that resulted in 6 (or more?) divisions being flipped, versus one Italian. One unlucky die roll could shut down your whole offensive, especially with such a low rate of replacements.” NW

 

“Another game I wanted to like, but ended up selling. As someone mentioned above, the RtR system just doesn't work as well as it did on the Western Front. However, the accompanying article was a good read, so not a total loss. C” DS

 

“I was very disappointed with this title, which is on a favorite subject of mine. Uses a great system which could have worked here given better research and play testing. The Caporetto scenario, one of three, is by far the most interesting one. The situation is similar to the Battle of the Bulge in that one side goes all out to shatter and drive through the other side’s thin line before massive reinforcements can turn the tide. Flawed rules mechanics, non-historical set up locations and a very poor level of detail and important feature inclusion on the map (MANY critical rail supply lines are missing) prevent this scenario from being a decent historical recreation rather than a bland game. I spent many hours researching OBs, map and starting locations with others trying to fix this one. New rules additions and map revisions made by several folks changed this in to a pretty good game if one wants a fixer-upper project. This could have been a great one.” RK

 

“My first re-subscription issue after 10 years. What a dog! Attacking is death! D” BN

 

S&T #205: Boer War

“A rather complex game using some standard stuff from Joe Miranda's toolbox (political indexes, random events, unit purchases, double CRTs...) I really enjoyed the game, despite the feeling that it (also typical for Miranda games) suffered from some calibration problems. The Boers quickly ran out of troops to build and the British had a hard time killing off anything. Maybe I just used bad strategy. I'd like to try it again. Semi-gem.” EN

 

“Boer War was one that I desperately wanted to like, as I was extremely interested in the subject. However, it seemed impossible for the Brits to wear down the Boers in any meaningful manner.” JW

 

“In this design Miranda has focused on the benefits that HQs provide to units within a command radius, which makes the design less radical than Wars of the Imperial Age. I think that scenario 1 still favours the Boers, even after the errata. B+” AW

 

S&T #206: Forgotten Axis: Romania, 1941-42

“Haven't played it, but from just checking the stuff, it seems to suffer from the by now all too familiar problems for this series with impossible victory conditions and somewhat suspect historicity. Still, supposed to be best of the series this far, and the system IS nice.” EN

 

“Typically I'm even less interested in WW2 games then modern ones (for themeatic reasons - WW2 just doesn't hold my interest, except for the Pacific Theatre). That being said, I was intrigued by the fact that the game covered one of the armies (the Romanian) that has received scant attention in the past. Furthermore, in reading the rules, the game system looked very well constructed, however, the scenarios fell flat. I enjoyed the actual gameplay of the system itself, but the scenarios seemed to me to be poorly constructed. I would probably enjoy this game if the scenarios were fixed, but as it stands its not worth my time. D” JC

 

“Covers fighting in southern Russia that 'mainly' involved Romanian and Soviet forces. There are two separate games each with their own map section and counters. Map graphics are okay, counters are okay, rules - warning this game does not come with a rule book, there are eight pages with words on them provided with the game, but I suggest they are just there as part of the tradition in wargaming, ie you provide the customer with a map, counters and a little booklet. Somewhere deep down there is a reasonable system and for one of the games, its possible that there could be an interesting situation, however.... Rating Really sad joke.” CH

 

S&T #207: War of 1812

“Tinkered a bit with it. Somewhat similar to Boer War, but area movement instead of hexes. For some reason, the game failed to grab me, though. Maybe it was the "what do I do now?" feeling after setting it up. I wouldn't mind giving it another try against someone who likes the game.” EN

 

“A very interesting game system with a very nice looking map. Unfortunately, it is not designed so as to make it possible to duplicate the historical actions of the various forces. In fact, it cannot even duplicate the major troop movements indicated on the maps of the accompanying article. But otherwise, a fun game.” SNb

 

“Set it up, but never got around to actually playing it. Looks interesting, and maybe someday I'll have time to pull it out again.” JC

 

S&T #208: Back to Iraq 3

“Interesting and ambitious game, with a distinct Command feel. I hadn't played the previos two editions, so I didn't feel pissed off by a 3rd edition so soon after the 2nd. Militarily lopsided, but with a bunch of political aspects to weigh up for it. I liked the "chase for secret installations" part of the game. Still, a bit too one-sided for my tastes.” EN

 

“Nice beer and pretzels game on the no-longer-hypothetical conflict, but too contrived and lacking in detail to pass as a quality simulation of it. For example, Iraqi combat strengths are at least twice what they should be, and Allied tactical airpower is absent (although it is supposedly reflected in some of the rules and factors).” DD

 

S&T #209: First Indochina War

“Another permutation from the same toolbox as Boer War and War of 1812. Haven't played as much as I want of it, but like what I've seen so far. The victory conditions seemed to be leaning heavily towards a draw, but I might be wrong. Lots of cool options like Chinese interventions and A-bombs that will probably never come in play in a serious game. A real tinkerer's game, with lots to play around with.” EN

 

“The best S&T game, bar none, that I have ever played. A very intriguing Miranda design on a situation that has long cried out for a good game. Recreates the period feel very well, with isolated French strongpoints being surrounded by Viet Minh, and the French hard-pressed to keep their "line" intact. Do you reinforce the forts with paras, or are you sending more units into a death trap? Do you use your air support to break up VM attacks, or do you save it fo your own offensives? Do you build a strong, devastating but road-bound conventional force, or do you build a light, counter-insurgency force of cadres and militia? An incredible number of strategic and operational options allow players to follow historical patterns or try possible alternatives. Excellent system, minimal errata, and perfect graphics; only the ambush rules are a bit weak. (The French can predict them and hence avoid them; working on an acceptable house rule alternative.) This is a game that holds up to extensive replays, and rewards creative approaches. A++” GF

 

“Indochina War is my favorite and most played magazine game of the last year or so. It covered a topic that I have long desired a game on and with a great deal of depth. I loved the supply rules and political factors. It seems moderately complex but has much material layered on to it. That's okay, because I dont forsee any rush to do games on this topic for foreseeable future. I think that the game should have dealt more specifically with the Red River Delta, but the war in the South had some depth and deserved to be covered.” LR

 

“A winner! Great and realistic game of an often overlooked subject. Spectacular. A+” BN

 

S&T #210: Belisarius

“Uses the Charlemagne system. I liked Charlemagne very much, but Belisarius was a bit too similar to add anything for me. That, and I've yet to figure how to stop the Byzantines from taking over the world.” EN

 

“Solid. Better topic than 203. B” BN

 

S&T #211: Operation Elope

 

 

S&T #212: Rough and Ready

“Basically a reprint of the DTP-game Gringo from BSO by Richard Berg. Small battles from the Mexican-American war. Simple system, that for some reason totally failed to grab me.” EN

 

“This is a reprint of BSO's Las Bataillas de los Gringos. It uses the turn-less initiative system that Richard Berg deployed in his medieval and early 19th century games. It is a good system for small battles with no reinforcements. I give it a thumbs up.” BL

 

“Too simple, limited replay value. Interesting though. C-“ BN

 

S&T #213: Spanish Civil War Battles: Jarama and Brunete

“A Perry Moore game. Not of the unplayable kind, more like "weird beyond reason". Units can always, without harm retreat before combat, the differential combat table gives some really weird effects etc etc. Completely turned me off.” EN

 

“I agree with Elias. Differential CRT & TEC, constant retreating before combat, and road rules that made road junctions the most defender-friendly terrain on the map all sucked big time. Too bad, because the situation is intriguing, and Joe Youst's maps are really well done.” GF

 

“Jarama scenario is great. Good simulation of pre-blitzkrieg combined arms. Brunette is a dog though. Wierd rules about roads. Get the SCW 2 for the updated rules. B” BN

 

“I know these games have already been barbecued a few times in this folder, but I thought I'd chime in since we had a different experience with them. My son and I played both games, both of which had to be scrapped within a couple of turns of the end due to the board getting upset, but the Nationalist victories were obvious in both scenarios.

 

We ditched the road hex stacking rule, which I think helped the game dramatically. The turns are two days, after all, so you'd think that if a column got attacked, they'd have the good sense to get off the road in all that time. The differential CRT, however, we left alone.

 

In both games, we got a good sense of what the Republicans were up against. There was enough tension and excitement to put #219 on the 'to-play' pile. Command rules are perhaps a little annoying, but if they're accurate historically, then what can one do? Air power is critical in Brunete. As the Nationalist, I hammered my son's Republicans mercilessly from the sky. In Jarama, air is not so decisive, but as the Republican, I did cause the Nationalists some grief by picking on their strongest units (when they didn't have a piddly little company in the stack to soak-off the attack.

 

Which leads me to my biggest complaint against the game - step losses are always sucked up by smaller throw-away units while the main force escapes unscathed, regardless of the size of the force thrown at them. If you can overlook that, you're good to play.

 

I give it a B for period feel, but a C- overall, for the headache that the setup errata and rules fiddling necessary to play.” LG

 

S&T #214: Marathon & Granicus

“Uses the Battles For The Ancient World system, which I felt was wholly inadequate to portrait ancient warfare. Didn't do anything for me. Nice graphics, though.” EN

 

“This is a throwback to the quads of SPI days. This is a straight up move-fight system with locking ZOCs and mandatory combat. The Granicus scenario left out a significant portion of the OOB and battle field. Strangely, I enjoyed my one session of both games, but will never play them again.” BL

 

“I have only played the Granicus scenario. A very simple game suitable for PBEM play. Oddly it has only one cavalry unit for the Macedonians. Fairly dull.” JMC

 

“These two are part of the Battles of the Ancient World system by Decision Games. This is a fairly simple and easy to play system. While it is not high on the "realism" scale each scenario has its own dedicated map and combat units to bring out the flavor of the period of the battle, and available scenarios in the entire collection cover a wide range of ancient battles. Even if you are into more complex games, this system fills the nitch of light/introductory game system nicely -- the rules can be explained in 15 minutes and most games played in one hour. Marathon is a basic slug match with little maneuver for either player, but is true to the historic battle, with several games by several different people reporting very close results. The only issue is missing rules to explain the Greek two step units. Granicus has an issue with the OOB, in that not all of the Macedonian Left wing/Persian Right wing is present. The designer explained his decision for this, and the game does work as is, but the missing units are apparent to anybody who studies Alexander the Great. The game seems very difficult but not impossible for the Macedonian player to win. All in all an B+ effort.” SB

 

“I thought the battles of the ancient world system was fun, even if unhistorical, but I thought both of these games (especially Marathon) were dull compared to some of the others that have been put out. C-“ JC

 

“The Granicus scenario left out Alexander's cavalry wing and a bunch of Persians; so it actually depicts only part of the battle. This is not explained anywhere! I was so disappointed, I've refused to play the scenario.

The terrain effects chart was lifted, unmodified, from Battles of the Ancient World Vol. III. So there are many references to scenarios from that game! It is unclear (when multiple effects are listed for the same terrain) which modifiers apply to the magazine scenarios.

Despite all of this, the Marathon scenario is a lot of fun: well ballanced, with more subtlty than is first apparent. The system is simple and accessible, and yet clearly conveys a sense of the flow of battle.” KMP

 

“Bad! Might be fine for an 11 year old. Waste of paper. F” BN

 

S&T #215: Ignorant Armies: Iran-Iraq War

“Intriguing design, though I couldn't figure out how to play it well. The no ZOC, harsh victory conditions and supply rules and fight/move sequence requires some real relearning. Definitely a good game, that I will give another try someday.” EN

 

“An interesting and unusual game. Random events can really change the game and some may not like their capriciousness. The fight then move sequence gives this game a different feel from most wargames.” JMC

 

“Limited replay. Just a bad subject to simulate at this scale. C-“ BN

 

S&T #216: Asia Crossroads: The Great Game

“A fun Miranda design, more of a empire building game than a wargame. The first scenario seems to have some real calibration problems, taking away from an otherwise excellent game.” EN

 

“Seem to be alone in that I found it mildly disappointing, but entertaining nonetheless. The 1st scenario had some problems - in particular the British have too easy a time of winning over the Afghans. The supply rules also seem rather underdone. The rules allow units to forage, which is fine, but it seems rather TOO easy to do so. One game featured a 5-year raid by Central Asian irregulars into Russia, and foraged the entire period. So where did they resupply weapons, ammunition from?

A valiant failure (well, not quite failure), but not quite the game that it could be.” JN

 

“It's one of the best magazine games to have come out in years! Very clean system, interesting new mechanics, with an utterly ungamed situation.” DR

 

“I'm with Dan - played it ftf and solo - highest rating imho.” CHa

 

“First scenario is weak, but the game has potential. Probably should shift the negotions table 1 left. C+” BN

 

S&T #217: Lost Battalion

“A good game plagued by errata. Contains both a solitaire and a 2-player game, with different mechanics. Classic wargame with lots of twists. Interesting asymmetrical situation, with strong US units versus dug in weak Germans.” EN

 

“This covers the American offensive in 1918 in France. Map graphics not too bad, counters okay, but with so many replacement counters as most units had 4 steps and hence 2 counters, with the smaller 1/2 inch counters and the font size chosen and the colour match, black writing on dark green, very hard on my old eyes. Rules - dogs breakfast, as released not worth buying, with the living rules a bit better if you got the final (I doubt they are the final, people just gave up I suspect) version. Very surprising some of the errors made in the rules. Potentially an interesting game. Certainly the version I played was a waste of time, should have waited another couple of months for them to iron out a lot more of the problems. Rating D” CH

 

“This is a very good game by John Desch. There is some important errata regarding which trench line is which type. I found it to be somewhat unbalanced, but that is easily remedied (see my notes on this game). Also, this plays better solitaire than as a 2 player game because as the Germans, there is not much to do. You really can't afford to attack very often because the CRT is bloody and you don't have that many steps to give. There are solitaire rules (which I congratulate John Desch for attempting), but I find it plays solitaire better with the standard rules.” BL

 

“Never figured out how the Germans can hold their line in this no-ZOC game. A real slog for those who like trenches. Another excellent Youst map.” GF

 

“I liked it, gave me a good sense of the era. As others have stated you must get the important errata regarding which trench line is which type. I found that the printed solitaire rules can lead to an situation in which all German units are drawn from the cups before you need to advance into the German rear, simply by having your men probe all over the map (quiet areas etc...) before moving on the objective. Though since it's a solitaire game you could figure out some house rule to prevent that J.” JV

 

“Good game. Solid. Solo opportunity too. B” BN

 

S&T #218: Chancellorsville & Plevna

“Another Decision system, wars of the imperial age, that failed to click for me. The system seemed to only work within given parameters, and the situation at Chancellorsville wasn't inside of them.” EN

 

“This is a follow on to an earlier boxed game from Decision Games. Units are typically division sized, and the game places a large emphasis on Command and Control. This is accomplished through a die roll activation system based on unit or corps commander rating. Units that are out of command must roll individually. Units that are in command go as their corps commander, and corps commanders go as their army commander if within his command. Results include 'In Command', 'Impetuous' (must attack or move as close as possible to the enemy), hold, or, new to the system with this release, Fall Back, used to represent timid or hesitant leaders. Unfortunately, the whole game is a mess. Not all of the rules from the boxed set were printed, but references to missing rules were not removed. The sections on command control (changed from the boxed edition) are disorganized and hard to understand, and once you do understand them easy to abuse. The new Fall Back command is a nice idea, but poorly developed. A fall back requires all units of that command to move as fast as possible towards their entry/supply source, requiring use of roads if available and often results in overstacking. But overstacking usually disrupts units, and the result looks more like a rout than a fall back. In the Chancellorsville scenario in particular the scenario all but forces the player to make sure everybody possible is under Hooker's command, and he has a good chance of getting a Fall Back result. Any such result produces an entire army rout one turn and and attemp to advance the next, almost like a spring. Exactly not what is expected or desired. I've played the Chancellorsville scenario several times, enough to figure out how to easily abuse the command system and watch Hooker's army rout at least twice a game. There is possibly a good game here, but it's difficult to find it without some house rules. Overall a D+ effort.” SB

 

“Poor history. Bought a book on the Chance battle and the game was nothing like it. If I want fantasy, I'll play Warhammer. D” BN

 

S&T #219: Spanish Civil War Battles 2: Teruel & Penarroya

“I was so turned off by the first that I didn't bother with the second.” EN

 

“Ditto. And along with Op. Elope I've sworn off P. Moore for good.” GF

 

“Not as good as Jarama, but with better rules. The infamous Road Rules cry out for a House rule to fix it. C” BN

 

S&T #220: Group of Soviet Forces, Germany

“Great. Finaly another very good S&T. Fun. A” BN

 

S&T #221: 7 Years War World War

“Good, but avoid playing the Russia/Austria side at all costs. Not well balanced, but historical. B-” BN

 

“I played the game but it's too long to complete for experienced players. Otherwise, it got all the flavours of the 7 Years War on a global scale. Virtually a multiplayer game that you need find the people who want to play it at the same time. An A- effort from me.” LH

 

S&T #222 Ottomans

“Dog! Played it at a con, all four of us hated it. Uses SPI Russian Civil War mechanics for an inappropriate situation. D” BN

 

S&T #223: 1918

“Good Wargame B” BN

 

S&T #224: Sedan

“Awful. Totaly ahistoric. And generic to boot. D-“ BN

 

“I'd revise Sedan, Downfall to a C- and give 7 Years War a B-. Sedan and Downfall aren't bad games to play, They're just not my cup of tea.” BN

 

“Totally agree.” GF

 

S&T #225: Twilights Last Gleaming II

“Covers the War of 1812 between Yanks and the Brits. Has three separate games (each with their own counters and map areas). Map graphics are fine, counters pretty good, I like icons for this era, has living rules but had very little errata and no show stoppers. the games themselves very in balance/fun/replayabliltiy but I think this is a pretty good little effort and restored my faith (a little) in S&T. Played all three games and did enjoy them. Rating B-“ CH

 

S&T #226: Mideast Battles

Good simulation. Fun. B” BN

 

S&T #227: Vinegar Joe's War

“Great. A winner. Good simulation and great graphics. A.” BN

 

S&T # 228: Old Contemptibles

“Covers the battle of the Mons in 1914, sound map graphics, counter art also good, has living rules support which is very good, as released it was okay with a couple of questions that needed addressing. The living rules have changed a few things that may or may not have been broken in the first place. Tense and reasonably balanced. Rating B” CH

 

“Finally a good simple game. B” BN

 

S&T #229: Khan

“Should be a solo game. Awful counters and a map riddled with errors. But, informative. As a solo game, B-.” BN

 

S&T #230: Downfall

“Sucks. Like a High school students senior project. crappy map. generic counters. D.” BN

 

“I'd revise Sedan, Downfall to a C- and give 7 Years War a B-. Sedan and Downfall aren't bad games to play, They're just not my cup of tea.” BN

 

S&T #233: Dagger Thrusts

“This is really two separate games covering the operations in NW Europe in 1944. One game covers Market Garden while the other is a hypothetical game concentrating on Patton’s Third Army and a possible drive to the Rhine n September 44. This is a two player game and comes with one map sheet, with two maps on it. The counters are 5/8th pretty much the standard now for DG. But for reasons I can’t fathom the counters don’t incorporate information that I would have think would be fairly standard for wargaming counters, that is the Movement Allowance is not printed on the counters, its not like this would have made the counters cluttered. There are electronic rules and I would suggest you get these before trying to play the game (s). I have only played the Patton game FTF and felt it was underdeveloped with no real flavour. The Market Garden game does look a bit better. Rating C-“ CH

 

S&T #234: Lest Darkness Falls

“(Note - I am listed on the play test credits for this game) This game covers the Romans struggle against the ‘barbarians’ around AD 235 to 285. This is a two player game using a hex map, with larger counters. The map is not bad, and the counters are clear and functional. There is an electronic copy of the rules on the DG website that covers Q&A and clarifications. There is a chit system for random events, I don’t think this works all that well, but it doesn’t have a big negative impact. The game situation is interesting and does provide a reasonable challenge and there are some options for both players. Plays quickly enough and can be played in an evening. Rating C+” CH

 

S&T #237: No Prisoners !

“This is Joe Miranda's take on the Great War in the Near East. The map is functional if not beautiful (it is hard to make desert maps look great). The hexes are large and the counters match. A lot of chrome in the game and allows players to play the game ala Battle for Germany with each player playing the Turks in different theaters. Unlike 3W's Lawrence of Arabia, the game is more fluid and really has a swash-buckling feel of the Arab Revolt. Unlike Miranda's Over the Top Megiddo module, Lawrence is not a sideshow and a significant player in the game. The only problem with the game is that the Revolt itself is triggered by a Random event, which can leave the Eastern Front stagnant if not triggered. B+” DL

 

S&T #238: Marlborough and the War of the Spanish Succession.

“A successor to Miranda's Charlemagne/Xenophon/Belisarius system, this is a real good game. Like alot of his recent designs, players are given great fluidity. Campaign markers determine the strategy players can take, where they need to take into account economics and diplomacy as well as war making. Strangely enough, the diplomatic game is so fluid that England can even desert Austria and fight for France. The Siege system makes conquest bloody and encourages player to seek fights in the open ground. Map is very attractive. Counters are nice, except markers are a bit bland. Does require players to make their own political control markers, but pennies work just fine. A-.” DL

 

THE WARGAMER

 

Wargamer #1: Battle of the Ring

“’I would say that all the Wargamer issues that were printed in Hong Kong were the BEST ones.plus the first of the UK ones’

You must have never seen the Battle of the Ring then in Issue #1” FD

 

Wargamer #2: Battle of Eylau

“Eylau (WG#2? reprinted S&T 138) is a great game if you are a fan of the NAW/NLB style, i.e., simple and uncluttered, but allows a lot of map-room to move forces. Despite some blotchiness on the map, it should appeal to all the graphics fans, given it was a snow-covered ground. The added command /control rules and recovery of "killed" units puts some extra dimension on the old NAW rules. I'm a novice, but my one serious PBEM game was a lot of fun and the Russians had the upper hand overall (both sides could cry over lost chances!!). Anyway, this game has not had much discussion on Grognards that I can see, but is a good inexpensive acquisition if you like the simpler quicker ones, with a bit of period flavour.” LN

 

“I liked the old Wargamer Eylau, although the original version had one or two serious errata flaws (like the ability of the Russian reinforcements to pin the French reinforcements against the mpa edge and destroy them) which were (IIRC) fixed in the reprint. Never could seem to win with the French, though.” RKB

 

“"Was the Wargamer Eylau game the same one that came out in Strategy and Tactics?"

Yes, except that they patched two of the rules-holes and changed the graphics. Otherwise identical as I recall.” RKB

 

Wargamer #3: Africa

“you could even put in issue #3 "Africa" in that Bad group” KM

 

“Game of political influence in 'modern-day' Africa. Rather a dry affair of moving lurid coloured chits up and down tracks, I seem to remember. Not my cup of tea.” NWr

 

This was fun for late night sessions. Had more interest back in the era of Rhodesian war, South Africa, Idi Amin, mercenaries in Angola, Wild Geese (the movie).” JM

 

 

Wargamer #4: Blenheim

“I've tried to play Blenheim before but I found it hard to duplicate Marlborough's victory. It's hard in a Blenheim game to find an opponent as stupid as the French commanders historically were.” RuK

 

“A stolid situation on a map that seems too small.” RKB

 

Wargamer #5: Kesselring

“Anzio is far far better” SS

 

“WW2 Italian Campaign. I recall two things: the map cover extended further south than AH's classic Anzio game (which it sort of resembled), so it was possible to use the British Paras to air drop to attack Taranto; and the system involved Generals (corps and army commanders?) who provided command for movement and combat and could be flipped between two modes which favoured the one over the other. Its been a l-o-n-g time since I played/saw the game, and whilst I gon't *think* it was outstanding, I'd like to get hold of a copy, just the same.” NWr

 

Wargamer #6: Condor

“What can I say? I played it, I forgot it.” NWr

 

Wargamer #7: Marston Moor

 

Wargamer #8: Albuera/Vittoria

“A couple of simple Napoleonic games, good even solitaire, not really more complex than the old NLB. Good.” RC

 

Wargamer #9: Bloody Buna

“Bloody Buna is an excellent little game on a little-gamed situation. It suffers from very bad rules organization and some foggy writing but it is decipherable and, what's more, well worth the time and effort to straighten out the rules messiness.” RS

 

“I really enjoyed the games "Bloody Buna" and "The Chinese Civil War," but have never seen the actual mags they originally came in.” JDC

 

“Of those I've played I liked Bloody Buna...” MS

 

 

Wargamer #10: Chinese Civil War

“I really enjoyed the games "Bloody Buna" and "The Chinese Civil War," but have never seen the actual mags they originally came in.” JDC

 

Wargamer #11: Simon de Montfort

“Pretty map, game play did not excite.” RKB

 

Wargamer #12: Aces High

“The boxed version of the magazine's Aces's High and Napoleon at Austerlitz were good games and worth playing and keeping in your collection.” LR

 

Wargamer #13: Forward to Richmond

“I have fond memories of Forward To Richmond... Not sure if 'Richmond' has aged too well.” AlS

 

“Forward to Richmond still remains interesting to myself and another opponent after about 20 playings over the years. The activation die roll makes it a different game just about each time.” RJ

 

“Unusual system (units have 16 steps, but can disappear entirely in one series of failed morale checks), fun and simple game of 1st Bull Run. Also exists as a boxed game with mounted maps.” RKB

 

“Keith's version of 1st Bull Run might have been a great game, Lot's of good ideas, but it used those terrible roster systems for losses and it was hard to keep track of corps organization because of lack of color differeniation on the counters.” LR

 

Wargamer #14: Assault on Leningrad

“I have fond memories of Assualt On Leningrad” AlS

 

“I really liked (...) Assault on Leningrad” Ppa

 

”That was a good game.” DB

 

Wargamer #15: Drive on Damascus

Wargamer #16: Carrier Strike

“As I recall, too much work for little pay-off” SS

 

Wargamer #17: Napoleon at Austerlitz

“I enjoyed Austerlitz reissue in boxed format.” LR

 

“This one needed to be updated with the morale reductions used in later system games. Otherwise, you have Guard units with "6" morales that never break, regardless of casualties.” NW

 

“I thought that the game system was kind of simplistic. I found that units tended to simply trade shots until one was too weakened to stand.” RuK

 

Wargamer #18: Birth of a Nation

Wargamer #19: Sturm Nach Osten

“I have fond memories of Sturm Nach Osten” AlS

 

“Abysmal graphics, but not a bad game on the Russian Front, Strategic level. Fair.” RC

 

“That was a good game, so was Sturm Nach Osten” DB

 

Wargamer #20: Little Round Top

“I really liked Little Round Top” PPa

 

“Don't remember much, but that I didn't have fun with it.” SS

 

“I just pulled this one out and played it a couple of weeks ago. Not terrible, but there is much better out there - the same designers did the OSG/AH Little Round Top/2oth Maine and Devil's Den games which are much better. Unlike the OSG/AH games, there is little more than a nod to command-control issues.

The gimmick to Little Round Top is the extra-large hexes (an inch or more across), which mean that units are put in the hex abutted to the hexside they face. Mostly, though, this seems much ado about nothing - it requires additional rules and produces some strange results.

In addition, there were some uncertainties about the combat system, and the combined scenario seemed to diverge greatly from history (there is no reason for the 20th Maine et al to wait on Little Round Top, they can meet the Rebs several hexes away, thus keeping them at arms length from the VP areas on the hill).

Pretty map, though.” RKB

 

Wargamer #21: Siege at Peking

“Again, great map, nice counters, interesting situation although I could never make much headway with the Chinese - the Europeans always seemed able to retreat before combat one hex, so my rebels never made it to the legation area.” RKB

 

“I for one count SIEGE AT PEKING to be up there in my top ten.” WOH

 

“The system is very much a design for effect. Fact is, there were many days in which nothing much happened and then the Chinese would work themselves up and have at it again. IMO it captures this very well. There's a lot it doesn't cover, and I could produce a list of nits, but I still enjoy playing it.” RD

 

“Colorful, with a plethora of nations depicted in the units, but not very fun. Mediocre.” RC

 

Wargamer #22: No Trumpets, no Drums

“I enjoyed several of the Wargamer magazine games. No Trumpets, No Drums being my favorite. Relatively simple system captured Vietnam and its complexities nicely. Ugly map but great game. Much better than VG Vietnam or Year of the Rat. (...)

I played it with Brandon Einhorn and found Campagin game interesting but S Viet's had hard time trying to occupy all town and cities in area. Wonder if Campaign game qas really playtested? Scenarios work much better. An interesting keeper for the modern era collector” LR

 

“smooth handling of the whole of the US-Vietnam war, including political aspects and potential conflict in Laos & Cambodia in a one-map, magazine game. Pretty impressive” SN

 

Wargamer #23: Decision at Kasserine

“DAK has to be the best one of the lot, cut new ground when it came out and still retains good playability.” RJ

 

“Decision at Kasserine sticks out in my mind as one of the best early issues.” JK

 

“First Von Borries project on Africa, this is a interesting design, full of flavor and dynamic play. Very good.” RC

 

“I have the boxed version, and I agree. One of 3W's best titles ever.” JW

 

“One of the best games, period! I love this game.. And Vance Von Borries desert war system is outstanding.” DB

 

Wargamer #24: Lawrence of Arabia

“I don't own a lot but consider the following some of the "good ones" (...) Lawrence of Arabia (mid east WWI)” LN

 

“Lawrence of Arabia had balance problems.” LR

 

“Great, great map, really pretty and evocative. Interesting game on an almost-forgotten campaign, although the title is somewhat misleading (Lawrence is a very minor player in the campaign - as someone pointed out once, it should be "Allenby of Palestine", but that has less public recognition). The Turks can win, but by playing a delaying game, trying to slow down the red tide - which isn't as much fun as the Brit side. My recollection from when I played it a number of times years ago is that it was about 60-40 Brits win.” RKB

 

“Lawrence of Arabia I always thought was a pretty good game in a real traditionalist sort of way.” DL

 

“I'm in a minority, but I never really like this game, probably because don't like this kind of war. Sub judice.” RC

 

“Covers the final race for Damascus in WWI, units are Brigades/Regts with some Bn’s, counter art is okay but Turk units are a bit hard to read, map is quite nice, rules not to badly written but some small gripes, setting up is a bit of a pain. However very good game and gives a good feel for the battles and the issues that both sides faced. Rules show the differences in the two armies and the effect the Arabs could have. An interesting topic. Rating B+” CH

 

Wargamer #25: Never call Retreat

“didn't like "Never Call Retreat" and "Unconditional Surrender"” CH

 

“Some interesting ideas, as I recall, but the overall result was less than satisfactory. Though it has been so long that I really should go back and have another look at this one.” RKB

 

“A flawed design (with a terrible CRT: if you rolled 2 you got the same result with any odds you had), but I remember it fondly. Fair to good (for nostalgic reasons).” RC

 

Wargamer #26: Race to the Meuse

“Race to the Meuse has a very interesting system of integrating movement and combat. You move units one movement point at a time. So units waiting for another one to join an attack have to sit around and burn up movement points (which can't be used for exploitation later). It does take a lot of bookeeping (updating movement point chits on all your stacks). I like the game, but it's not a system that would work for a larger action.” DAV

 

“I could not get into "Race for the Meuse' and after 15 years sold it last year after giving it one more try (solitaire).” CH

 

“I remember a really sketchy map and not much more. It didn't sit well in my memory, so was probably unlikable for my tastes. Sub judice.” RC

 

Wargamer #27: Peter the Great

“Interesting game on a nearly forgotten battle (Poltava) of an almost-unsimulated war. Also had a minigame published in a later issue, showing the battle that set up Poltava (Lesnaja), where the Swedish supply and reinforcement train gets annihilated.” RKB

 

“It's a pretty good simulation of Poltava. It has an unusual zone of control rule in that a unit in command does not have to stop upon entering a ZOC. In the historical scenario the outnumbered but much better quality Swedish Army will gradually get ground down by losses it can ill afford. There are a number of interesting optional rules including what if's such as what if the Swedes had brought all the troops and artillery available to them to the battle or what if the battle occurred before the Russians had time to build their row of redoubts.” RuK

 

“I have always enjoyed the game and have retained my copy. Doubt the Swedes will win the historical battlee, however, hence the optionals.” AlS

 

“Scrappy graphics, but a fair to good game on the battle of Poltava. Several interesting optional rules.” RC

 

“Could the Swedes ever win this one under historical conditions? The game gave no evidence of that, so it may be very historical in that regard.” JW

 

“Map and counter graphics are fine. Rule book okay, the game has extra chrome and we used some of these optional rules but not all. Found for a good tense situation, played smoothly and seems to have a bit of replayability, tough for the Swedes to win but not so hard for them to get a draw. Rating B” CH

 

Wargamer #28: Port Stanley

“Port Stanley was rushed out in response to the Falklands War. I think it was rather successful for what it tried to do - sell copies of The Wargamer (which, as RHB might say, is the whole point). But I dont think it was all that well regarded at the time. Web Grognard has some errata for it.” JA

 

“Port Stanley only covered the ground battles, which were the least interesting part of the campaign.” SS

 

“I played only once in the mid-Eighties, but I wasn't interested in the period.” RC

 

“Poor graphics and rules with really tiny print. But the portrayal of unit quality and its effect on combat was pretty interesting, though I haven't played it in five or six years.” JW

 

“I liked it but it's not one of my favorites. It's the best of the lot on Falkland games, however.” MJP

 

Wargamer #29: Lodz: Blitzkrieg in the East

“Look at it as a First (and more playable) Edition of Lodz. You get about 95% of the flavor of Lodz for about 50% of the work and a number of std rules in Lodz are optional in BitE. The only problem is that BitE, in an effort to shoehorn the game into magazine format, is outfitted with some fairly terrible counters. Overall, it's worth picking up and, overall, better than the successor game.” RS

 

“I agree with Richard S . . . the original version of LODZ is quite the game, I hope someone makes a Cyberboard/ADC2 module of it soon as it is still one of my all time favorites. Plenty of column shifts and DRM's and lots of operational strategy . . . the Russkies can (should) be willing to give up space in order to have an army in the end and then they can firm up with a bunch of neato to the death type rules where they can entrench, set up MG's, etc and try to lock the Aryan types in around Lodz. Think of it as an earlier historical version of PGG . . . quality vs quantity. One of my all time faves!” AP

 

“Hated the Pollard markers, and the situation just never seemed to take off.” RKB

 

“Another period that I didn't like at all, but the game was interesting, with a neat step reduction system, unusual for a magazine game.” RC

 

Wargamer #30: Stars & Bars/Lesnaja

“My recollection is that it was 'just another Civil War game'.” RKB

 

“The first one was an horrid game on an ACW battle (Perryville perhaps), while the second was a really small game on the Great Northern War, an add-on for the Peter the Great system. None of them was good or interesting. One of the worst issue of that period.” RC

 

“Lesnaja: Uses the same rules as Peter the Great with just a few special rules. Map a bit hard on the eyes but counters okay. Situation interesting and seemed reasonable balanced though tough for both sides, plays quickly. Rating B” CH

 

Wargamer #31: Clash of Steel

“Russian Front double blind: played once, never touch it again.” RC

 

“An interesting double-blind treatment of WW2 Eastern Front. Not a bad game, but not very memorable either; still, as the only double-blind game on the subject (I think), it's worth a look.” DS

 

“Its parentage is pretty good, (Sturn Nach Osten), and adding the double blind system worked well (you can play it as a one mapper FTF). Map graphics are okay, counter art works okay, rules pretty clean. A bit of errata and from playing's a couple of Q&A but no show stoppers. How does it play, well if you like double blind then this one works really well. Its fun, seems balanced (in 4 playing's have had 4 draws) has some variable start scenarios and has some neat rules. Rating B+” CH

 

Wargamer #32: Napoleon at Lutzen

“It was one of the two games on Lutzen publishe by wargaming magazines those days (the other was Thunder at Lutzen on S&T 99). This one had bad graphics, but it was probably better overall. Simple but good.” RC

 

“Fairly good game. A bit of a challenge for the French. Bland map, though.” KD

 

Wargamer #33: Holy Roman Empire

“I don't own a lot but consider the following some of the "good ones" (...) Holy Roman Empire (highly regarded elsewhere & before its time)” LN

 

“One of most daring enterprise in the magazine area, a multiplayer game on the 30 years war, with cards in it! The system was, if I remember correctly, similar to House divided for combat and movement, but the diplomatic aspects were interesting. I played perhaps once, but it was probably a gamewith possible good surprises in it.” RC

 

“needs to be coaxed, cajoled and sometimes beaten with a stick to make it work, but it's worth it - probably my favourite wargame” SN

 

“A great multi-player diplomacy/wargame...great fun, unique system (as someone mentioned previously a game ahead of its time. One bad thing about it was not enough game counters, but we made up our own...Blanks, TSS markers and multi-colored felt tip pens did the trick) A Very Good Game. We always had a majorly FUN time with this one.” DB

 

Wargamer #34: Khyber Rifles

“Wretched cover and poor maps, but an interesting game for those of us who've read too much Kipling. Kind of ASL-lite for the Northwest Frontier.” RKB

 

“Dull game on tactical skirmish in Afghanistan during mid Nineteenth century. Poor for me.” RC

 

“This is a fun game...what did some one write? ASL for Kipling? I even had an "Immortal Afghan Leader" Never died in all the games I played.” DB

 

Wargamer #35: West Wall

“I've played West Wall a few times, and found it to be a good, fast-playing little game - perfect for filling a spare evening. I didn't think I'd like the double-blind concept, but it actually made the game much more fun. The rules are fairly straighforward, and once you get past the ugly map graphics, it's well worth it.

On the other hand, it doesn't work at all as a solitare game, which is how I do most of my gaming now, so I haven't touched it in years.” ASt

 

“I played West Wall years ago, thought it not bad though the double-blind takes some getting accustomed to (note that there are two other Wargamer issues that use the same system, Duel in the Desert and ... I think the eastern-front one was Clash of Steel). I do recall there being something about the Allies needing to take Antwerp on the first turn before the Germans can reinforce it, otherwise it becomes almost unassailable. As it was nearly 20 years ago that I played it, take with appropriately sized grains of salt.” RKB

 

“I thought West Wall was a "nice try, fail". IMO the two main turn offs was the large amount of errata and the 'cramped' playing area, all the fighting took place all packed in, perhaps this is an issue with the 'scale' used, as there was no real flow to the game. The way the double blind was handle seemed to be more cumbersome than Clash of Steel and Normandy Campaign (the only tow double blind games I kept). I didn't think the map in itself was a turn off and I thought the counters were fine, (except a number needed errata). I actually had the game back in the 80's, sold it after a few years then got it again in the late 90's and tried again to get into it then sold it last year. I don't intend giving it a third chance” CH

 

“Companion to Clash of Steel, was another double blind game from Normandy to the Rhine. Beware.” RC

 

Wargamer #36: Unconditional Surrender

“didn't like "Never Call Retreat" and "Unconditional Surrender"” CH

 

“Again, 'just another Civil War game'.” RKB

 

“Another bad game from probably the worst period of the magazine: it was on the battle of Fort Donelson, an unplayable situation at least.” RC

 

“Not a bad small game, Brigade level with 'breakdown' regiments and it gives a fairly good feel for maneuvering in the Civil War.” DB

 

Wargamer #37: China Incident

“I always thought China Incident was pretty fun. Alot of notekeeping, but the shifting of the yellow river was pretty interesting.” DL

 

“The China Incident did have some very good features I thought, even though the game as a whole needed some tweaking to make it really work. IIRC there were some addenda/errata in a subsequent issue of The Wargamer. One of the things that I thought was done very well was the handling of the Communist Chinese. It played as though there was a third, non-player force sharing the map with the two human players. Admittedly the spiral growth of their cells was maybe a little too artificial, as well as badly-explained in the rules, but the overall effect worked very well I thought.  I also rather liked the off-map strength point chart. It was book-keeping of course, but it gave a good level of detail (rather than the simplified 'two-step unit' approach). Other problems with the game were that it was a tad boring for the Nationalist Chinese and the victory conditions were near to impossible for the Japanese. I still liked it quite a lot though. A very valiant failure in my book.” SN

 

“It was designed by a woman and this is the only interesting note on a game that I hated since I saw the map and the units. Perhaps it had interesting feature, but I played it once and sold to a friend.” RC

 

“Read the rules but couldn't get into it. I don't remember specifics but it was a strange system. I give it a D because I never actually played it and based my decision on reading the rules.” MJP

 

“A game about my home country civil war. The topic is a gem to me but the game system appears to be a disaster as given by the low gamers' rating. Chinese Civil War from 3W is an ok game, if not spectacular. The Yellow river mechanism is quite interesting in that some parts of it would have high tide and thus making anyone crossing the River not possible. It also featured three sides: Japanese Imperial Army, Chinese Nationalists, Chinese Communists. The Communists have their own victory conditions, different from that of the Nationalists. I won't say it is a game of high adore, but it certainly not a game that fits into the must- have barrel.” LH

 

Wargamer #38: Hell Hath no Fury

“Hell Hath no Fury was always my favorite game from Wargamer Magazine. Simulation of the Boudica-led Iceni tribe's revolt against the Roman occupiers of England in the first century A.D. Pretty sketchy in terms of historical accuracy, but lots of fun as a game, in part because of the "bandwagon" mechanism: in order for the rebels to beat the Romans they have to get other tribes to join the rebellion, and in order to get other tribes to join they need to have success against the Romans. So the first few turns were extremely important, and sometimes the game was pretty much over before Turn 4. Other times it would see-saw til the very end.” DCl

 

“I remember it - ugly, ugly map. Playing it was kind of fun, but the brits/celts had little chance against a Roman legion (picking off isolated cohorts and auxiliaries, on the other hand, was common). My recollection is that the game always seemed to end up with a showdown somewhere in southern England, with the natives almost always coming up short. But getting there was fun (burning Romanized towns etc.). Oh, and ugly cover to the magazine for that issue as well.” RKB

 

“One of the worst map of all time for a flawed but daring design on the revolt of Boudicca. It had several potential interesting points on the tribal revolts against the Romans, but the graphics spoiled most of the fun. In the same period Richard Berg's Druid from West End Games was probably much better (but I haven't played it). E for Effort.” RC

 

“Interesting game. The Romans have their hands full trying to limit the fires of rebellion throughout the island: they have to detach forces to mitigate or preclude local uprisings, while facing the risk of being destroyed by large rebel forces. A few bad moves or dierolls will see Britannia ripped from the empire.” KD

 

I liked this. Had a good feel for ancient warfare and the Roman army. Map did look like a real estate development scheme, though.” JM

 

“Covers the Romans in Briton around the time of Boudicia, map graphics poor, counters okay but could have done with a few more colours, rules okay. Bit of errata, and you need it. Takes a bit to nut out the game, but once you have it sorted this is a good game, not quick but worth the effort. Challenging for both sides and both sides get to attack and defend. Rating B” CH

 

 

Wargamer #39: Hellfire Pass

“I enjoyed the BNA series and the two scenarios (Brevity and Battleaxe) were both playable in an evening. Some confusion with the maps and Victory Conditions of #41 though.” JF

 

“Part of the Battles for North Africa series Vance Von Borries did for both Wargamer and S&T. This little game has two scenarios and one (chopped down) map. Map graphics are okay, counter art serviceable (Red Brits, in the desert, in WWII?) Rules okay but there is some errata and over the years there has been some Q&A that generally Vance has been very helpful with. But main thing about this game is that it is a damn fun. It can be played easily in one session (the smaller scenario can be turned around in a session) and it shares rules with the other games in the series which for me is a big bonus, (one set of rules, multiple games BIG TICK). Shows how good The Wargmer could be. Rating A-“ CH

 

Wargamer #40: Fight on the Beaches

“Hypothetical Invasion of England. JUst did not thrill me. I later bought GMT's Sealion game (can't recall the name offhand) wanting a bit more detail, but found that it had more intricate detail than I really wanted.” RKB

 

“I have very fond memories of Fight on the Beaches. I probably played it more often than any other Wargamer game. It seems like every game came down to the last die roll (or very nearly the last one) and all were tense and exciting up until the end.” Mga

 

“Operation Sealion with a mediocre system, that didn't sit well in my mind.” RC

 

“A relatively simple treatment of Operation Sealion. Good, quick game; if I recall, the designer felt the Germans really had no chance to win, but the game challenged players to do so anyway.” DS

 

Wargamer #41: O'Connor's Offensive

“One of the few looks at this much forgotten battle. Uses the BNA system.” JF

 

“Another gem from Vance von Borries. The game aptly demonstrates that the Italian army in North Africa was a large but fragile colussus that simply overeached itself. If the Italians choose to abandon some terrain in order to concentrate their defenses, they can put up more of a fight than they did historically.” KD

 

Wargamer #42: End of the Iron Dream

“also think End of the Iron Dream was a great game, though I concede it was (or appeared to me to be) another version of Battles for Germany.” CH

 

“Probably the start of Ty Bomba career, it was one of his most interesting project, limited by the magazine format, but potentially one of the better game appeared on Command.” RC

 

“Used to own it. Wrote a review in Papers Wars on it (with suggested house rules) way back when Rich Erwin was the editor. I initially liked the game, which had some really neat innovations but some equally fatal flaws. I thought the treatment of Soviet supply is one of the best I've ever seen in an East Front game at that scale. It forced you to pre-plan your offensives. On the negative side, the West Wall could be made impregnable by stacking enough steps (nothing to do with combat factors. Since Allied ZOCs didn't extend into the West Wall, even a hex that was surrounded on 4 sides could shuttle more steps in to make up for losses (and there weren't that many). This was the beginning of my dislike for CRTs that relied solely on the attrition of steps. The other flaw was in replacements. There seemed to be too many but that was because German units kept building back to full strength. If the Axis player had to follow a more historical model (build everything in the dead pile before returning units to full strength), the attrition model would have been more historical. I give it a C- because I think it was fixable but I got rid of it because I have too many games to play that are good and don't need to be fixed.” MJP

 

“Ty Bomba's game of the last full year of WW2 in Europe, all theaters. One of my favorite Ty designs, and one of my favorite Wargamer games. Bogged down by the usual 3W production errors/typos, nonetheless this is the best treatment of this topic.” DS

 

“A great game on the end of the ETO in WWII. Great for 2 player, 3 player and even 4 players. Excellent for solitaire playing. Great fun to solitaire it with Hitler being the Axis player="No Retreats, counter attack all the time, everywhere" Lots of chrome that could get annoying, but I made a little card with the chrome denoted as to when it comes into play. If somewone would do this as a two-mapper with a better map it would be great...an excellent way to study the end of the war.” DB

 

“Ty Bomba's version of Battle for Germany, and as much as I like Jim D's great little game this really is a gem. Corps level Europe at the end of the war (mid 44 onwards). Map graphics so-so, counters are fine (hey look mum, white SS  ), rules not too bad, (this is 3W). Bit of errata but at the heart of the matter is a great game, both sides get to attack and defend, big picture options, tough decisions, tense situation. Rating A” CH

 

Wargamer #43: Wellington v. Massena

“just awful” SN

 

“The most particular feature was that the game didn't have a CRT (because it was left out by the printers!!). So it was unplayable without such an errata. Even with that, it was a dull game on a Spanish battle, with an update of the classical NLB system. Best forgotten.” RC

 

“Have just played this one, a Napoleonic game in Spain. Graphics are not particularly good, but serviceable. Had errata that was a show stopper, (no CRT included with the game). However once you get the errata the game is quite good. The Action Point system really makes it enjoyable and challenging. Didn't use any of the optional rules so can't comment on how they would have affected play. Thought it was fairly balanced and like the way that the Victory Conditions had some flexibility in the way that the sides could achieve them. Rules needed re editing, (they actually put one whole rules section in the wrong part, shoot the cut and paste guy!) If you don't mind a little work on getting the rules sorted, and if you can get the errata then... Rating C+” CH

 

Wargamer #44: MacArthur: Road to Bataan

“Poorly developed -- someone took a blow torch to the rules, and what's with the red mountains!” SS

 

Wargamer #45: Custer's Luck

“WORST GAME- Custer's Luck. As I recall, the Indians moved randomly and could literally exit the map !!!” DL

 

“CUSTER's LUCK is a great game, your enemies are your own rivals (which leads to plunging play) and sometimes the Indians just ride away (as they so often did) and in other games they make bee-lines for you.” CV

 

“I stand by my review of Custer's Luck despite Mr. Vasey's defense.” DL

 

“A strange, fascinating design, full of holes in the system, but very fun to play solitaire 4at least for me7 on an unusual subject. I played it several times during the Eighties. Fair.” RC

 

“A neat little solitaire game, kind of odd that the "Hostiles' scatter like the wind, ut sometimes I play it with the US Cav as the side with random movement. Much Fun.” DB

 

“Can see how the Wargamer got a bad reputation. This is no doubt a difficult subject to design a game on, though some of the problems with the game may not have been due to the designer, there is a developer listed, but not sure what they did, or perhaps it was so bad when they got it there was little they could do. Map graphics poor, counters serviceable, rules... well they let it down. The system does seem to not represent the historical situation, more a 'coon shoot, with the poor old Hostiles taking on the role of Raccoon . I've played it twice solitaire, was going to play it with my son but decided that it was not a good idea to introduce him to a game like this so early in his gaming career. Rating D” CH

 

Wargamer #46: Rise of the House of Sa'ud

“Dreadful map and lopsided game play using House Divided system, but where else will you find a game on this topic?” SS

 

“Another terrible map (one of the worst ever) for another fascinating design and a passable game, one of the first by rob Markham (whose game I normally love totally or hate without remission). This one falls somewhere between.” RC

 

“I was a little worried when I saw it was a Markham design, but hey it was based on 'A House Divided' so how bad could it be? Well..... Set this one up to play with my partner, her and I have really enjoyed playing 'A House Divided' and I was very interested in the subject and the area, (having spent some time there). Anyway I thought I'd do some run throughs so that when she and I played I would have a good understanding of how it worked. After about 5 hours of play time (split over a couple of sittings) and reading the very short rules a couple of times I decided we'd play 'A House Divided' again. Map poor and ambiguities, guys, colours were so important in this game. The counters, best part of the package, but still not real flash. Rules? I think of them more like design notes  Rating Joke (on us)” CH

 

“I've got to add that I've played The Wargamer's "House Of Sa'ud" as is with no problems whatsoever. The rules seemed pretty clear to me, certainly not a P. Moore sort of debacle. The map & counter art is fairly primitive, but the game plays fine; the activation system simply requires a little getting used to. I've played it at least six or seven times, and it's always been good, quick fun, with some subtleties that make the system intriguing. Just don't ever let the Ikhwan near Mecca! My grade: B” GF

 

Wargamer #47: Struggle for Stalingrad

“I could never get past the map, which looks like my 8 year old niece drew it on a sugar high. I seem to recall Fire and Movement gave it a *** 1/2 review, though.” SS

 

“I played it a couple of times and thought it was fun.” MGa

 

“I vaguely remember playing through about half of Struggle for Stalingrad back around when it was published. My overall impression is that it was fun. Compared to the typical Wargamer issue games, I think it's one of the better ones (it's one of the few I held onto during my big wave of magazine auctions). But chances are, if you're interested in the subject, you'll enjoy AH's Turning Point: Stalingrad a lot more.” DK

 

“I played Struggle for Stalingrad once, a couple of years ago. While the production values were rather spartan, the game itself played rather well. A good game for its time.” DS

 

“I found Struggle for Stalingrad very interesting. It seemed to have some very good original ideas that were used in later games like the TP:S system. Of course, the map looks awful,but get past that and the game was surprisingly good.” LR

 

“Didn't particularly like it.” RKB

 

“Despite a rather primative map, this game had some good ideas on the battle and some nice design elements. A good little game on this popular topic.” DS

 

“A map you could syffer seasickness for looking at it, and a game that wasn't remarkable otherwise.” RC

 

Wargamer #48: Red Baron

“Interesting WWI aerial wargame, the progenitor of the similar series of games appeared in the next few years for WWW.” RC

 

Wargamer #49: Napoleon & the Archduke Charles

“Good introduction to the Bonaparte series. Keeping unit strength and morale on a roster keeps opposing players from having too much knowledge. Given the chancey nature of using the river bridges, aspiring Napoleons will have their hands full. I've even seen an agressive Austrian army inflict a crushing defeat.” KD

 

“The battle of Aspern-Essling with an interesting system, with roster sheets for taking account of losses and morale. Good.” RC

 

Wargamer #50: Knights of Justice

“Turks versus the knights of Malta. Yes, it is a siege, but the emphasis is on the assaults. The knights are outnumbered something like 15-1, and I could never repeat their historical victory, but an interesting game.” RKB

 

“The only game I remember on the siege of Malta (1565), boring as a siege should be. So slow to become unplayable.” RC

 

Wargamer #51: Duel in the Desert

“I've played Duel in the Desert a few times and it's a fun game, fairly fast with few rules. Agonizing decisions though.” MS

 

“North Africa with the double blind system pionereed in Clash of Steel. As the previous two games.” RC

 

“Another double blind game, this time on WW2 North Africa. Pretty much the same as Clash of Steel: a decent game, noteworthy as the only double-blind on the subject (again, that I know of). However, of these games, DitD comes out ahead, as it did seem to capture the subject rather well.” DS

 

“Double blind game on the battles for North Africa (map covers from El Agheila to Alexander), also can be played as a one mapper ftf game. Have played it twice as a double blind game and would say it was a fairly sound design, a little bit of errata (though fairly important). Good map graphics, but counter art only serviceable. Slightly pro Allied IMHO, however still fun and tense. Rating B” CH

 

Wargamer #52: Glory Road

“I was impressed with Glory Road# 52. It seemed like a neat system. The only problem was keeping the different commands straight. They didn't have color coding in those days. System seemed very well thought out and playable.” LR

 

“Fairly good magazine game on 1st Bull Run (1st Manassas). The unit strength/morale rosters work here every bit as well as the aforementioned Napoleon vs. Charles.” KD

 

“The battle of First Bull Run with a system similar to the napoleonic one used three issues before. Very good.” RC

 

Wargamer #53: Dynamo: Dunkirk 1940

“Dynamo is early Ty Bomba and is a gem of a game.” LR

 

“I really liked Dynamo (...) A very good early Ty Bomba design.” BT

 

“Actually Dynamo 1940 is one of my all time faves and I think the first to appear with his monnicker attached.” AP

 

“I enjoyed this one, it's a good quick little game (aside from the depressing map graphics). I've played it solitare (it works fine) and face-to-face. Surprisingly, the result is not a foregone conclusion. If the German mech units get bogged down in the rough terrain, a devious Allied player can wreak havoc on them. I'd say it's worth picking up for a reasonable price. Even after all these years, I still enjoy hauling it out every so often.” ASt

 

“Solid game on the BEF's valiant stand in 1940. The Germans have a flexible combined-arms force here, but the Allies have an opportunity to throw a monkey wrench into the German war machine.” KD

 

“Another great design from Ty Bomba. Offers both sides a decent challenge, and usually comes down to the wire. I hope to see this one remade some day.” DS

 

“A very good game on the battle of Dunkirk, one of my favorite ever among the games appeared on this magazine, fast and furious, with enough chrome to be playable more than once or twice.” RC

 

Wargamer #54: Condottieri

“Condottieri (sp?) was one of my favorites from The Warg, but I only played it solitaire (too obscure a subject for others). I've often wondered how it would shape up in face to face play.” PP

 

“I also played it solo. Fun little game.” MGa

 

“A small but compelling game on a Renaissance-era battle. You get mounted archers, crossbowmen, pikemen and even crude cannons.” KD

 

“The battle of Castagnaro (1389), a late medieval struggle in northern Italy, with a very good map and a not so usual system with a lot of chrome and several different kinds of units. Too slow to be real fun, but not one of the worst of the period.” RC

 

“Had it. Played it. Came away with a similar impression to Roberto's. I sold it a few years ago.” MJP

 

Wargamer #55: Okinawa

“I've twice tried to get through the rules and twice failed. There are some abstractions in naval and air forces that make it difficult to conceptualize. I've never heard anyone mention playing it (usually a bad sign).” DCa

 

“Looked to be an interesting game on the topic, but in the end just had too much detail for my taste. I prefer the S&T Pacific island battle games, namely because they were built as solitaire efforts.” DS

 

“Surprisingly big game for a magazine game. Map very good, counters reasonable but colour selection, especially for the Japs a bit hard on my eyes. Rule book, big for a magazine game but reasonably complete. There is a little bit of errata and we have sought some clarification from the designer, but its certainly playable (played it FTF), not a bad system, seems challenging and there is a fair bit to do, Air, naval and land. If the topic interests you and you have the time, (its a fairly big game) then worth a look. Rating B+” CH

 

Wargamer #56: First Team (Vietnam)

“Of those I've played I liked (...) First Team Vietnam (now resurrected as its own mutant brother by Vae Victis).” MS

 

“I really like the solitaire Vietnam game(First team Vietnam?). I remember thrashing the system pretty easily. Its been a few years tho and the game remains on my "to do" table.” TO

 

“Ia Drang, but done better elsewhere.” SS

 

“great little solitaire game” SN

 

Wargamer #57: Race for Tunis

Wargamer #58: Clash of Empires: 1914

“CLASH OF EMPIRES is a cracking game. I once got Plan XVII to work!” CV

 

“Fairly ugly point-to-point map, but an interesting take on the start of WWI - what if some of the things people believed were possible then (liked Russian corps arriving in France) could actually have happened?” RKB

 

“Clash of Empires was also interesting.” MS

 

“I really enjoyed this game (enough to post a review of it on web-grognards!), as it plays fast and is a lot of fun. I recall I played the whole game in one night (solo), and the Germans just managed to beat the French out of Paris. As this is one of my favorite periods of history, this game is tied with S&T's Reinforce the Right! as the best on this period (no disrespect to other games on the subject; it's just that CoE is very accessible & a lot of fun).” DS

 

“Printing the French counters with a colour scheme of black ink on a dark blue field was a trial for my eyes, even when they were a lot younger than they are now.” BT

 

“I liked the map. I felt the game really put me in the mindset of the times, far more so than Guns of August or Great War in Europe. As for the Russians showing up, the Germans really were afraid that it could happen.” SS

 

“The opening campaign on the Western Front in 1914, this is my other favorite Wargamer effort. A great game that plays well, with a few strange twists thrown in (Russians in France!), and always a nail-biter. Although this game also suffered from 3W's lackluster production values, its designer, Kerry Anderson, has created a new version in DTP format that outshines the original.” DS

 

Wargamer #59: Bloody Keren

“Of those I've played I liked (...) Bloody Keren...” MS

 

Wargamer #60: Anvil-Dragoon

“I also liked Anvil-Dragoon, but some major (IMHO) problems keeps it out of the top three.” ASt

 

“While the design seemed interesting in theory, it was too much for me when actually played. Some original ideas, though.” DS

 

Wargamer #61: Campaigns of Marlborough

“I enjoyed MARLBOROUGH” CV

 

“The War of the Spanish Succession with a system developed from Frederick the Great, possibly the better game ever appeared on Wargamer: great map, interesting rules both for the yearly scenarios than for the total campaign. A great game, probably botched by the magazine limits; it deserves a new remake with today's graphics.” RC

 

Wargamer #62: Fallen Eagle: Khe Sanh

“I was underwhelmed by Fallen Eagle, but it was many years ago and the recollections are dim. I seem to recall that the US had a huge stack or two in Khe Sahn itself, and a small stack out on an outlying hill (880? 860?) The VC/NVA didn't seem to have a lot of options - try to take the outlying hill, while getting pounded by the base artillery seemed to be their best bet. Then everybody sat around, as it was suicide for the NVA to assault the main base, and there was no point in the US coming out of the base.” RKB

 

“I remember it as terminally broken, a chart missing or combat results not explained, something like that. Never covered by errata. This was a long time ago, at the start of my wargame career, so I might be wrong. Could be that they did that 3W thing, putting the CRT on the feedback card. Or something I might easily figure out today but that eluded me back then.” EN

 

 

ÖVRIGT:

“"A Cause Not Their Own" from REBEL YELL. A much attacked game system, the mega-scenario accurately depicts the 1st Battle of Newtonia pitting Federal Native Americans against Confederate Native Americans with a fair addition of Federal cavalry, a Wisconsin infantry battalion, Confederate Texas Partisans, and the Jo Shelby's "Iron Brigade."

Playing the game is like walking over the battlefield today. The game explores all of the possibilities of the conflict and provides probably the best interpretation of the American Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi theater on a tactical level.” DLB

 

“"March on India" by JagdPanther is still one of my favorite magazine games. The supply rules are the core of the game, and I have never played another magazine game that did as good of a job of depicting this element. Only two other games came close, but only "Bloody Buna" (3W) did as good of a job.” DLB

 

AlS = Alan Sharif

AS = Adam Starkweather

ASt = Alec Stuart

AP = Andrew Preziosi

AW = Andrew Wynberg

BB = Bart Brodowski

BL = Bill Lenoir

BN = Brad Nozik

BP = Bruce Probst

BT = Brian Train

CH = Chris Harding

CHa = Christopher Hall

CV = Charles Vasey

DAV = Dav Vandenbroucke

DB = Daniel Brown

DC = Dan Cicero

DCa = David Cann

DCl = Dennis Clarke

DD = Derek Dunagan

DG = David Gray

DLB = Dennis L Bishop

DL = Darin Leviloff

DK = Dave Kohr

DR = Dan Raspler

DS = Dave Shaw

EB = Eric Branscom

EN = Elias Nordling

FD = Frank Dunn

GF = Giovanni Fazio

GN = Geoff Noble

HM = Henning Martin

JA = Jonathan Arnold

JeB = Jeff Boschmann

JC = Jeffrey Curtis

JCo = John Compton

JDC = Jim Di Crocco

JF = Joe Ferrara

JK = John Kranz

JM = Joe Miranda

JMC = James McCann

JN = John Nebauer

JPR = J Peter Rich

JV = John Vasilakos

JW = Jim Werbaneth

KD = Kevin Donovan

KL = Karl Laskas

KM = Kim Meints

KMP = Kevin McPartland

LG = Lewis Goldberg

LH = Lawrence Hung

LM = Larry Marak

LN = Lex Nosworthy

LR = Lew Ritter

MG = Mark Guttag

MGa = Martin Gallo

MH = Mark Humphries

MP = Monte Pemberton

MJP = Mark Perry

MS = Markus Stumpner

NF = Neville Fischer

NW = Noel Wright

NWr = Nigel Wright

PB = Peter Bartlett

PK = Philipp Klarmann

PMC Peter McCord

PP = Peter Pariseau

PPa = Peter Palmer

RC = Roberto Chiavini

RD = Roger Deal

RHB = Richard H Berg

RJ = Russ Jennings

RK = Richard Kelly

RKB = Roy K Bartoo

RS = Richard Simon

RuK = Russ Kitchen

SaS = Sam Sheikh

SB = Steven Bucey

SBG = Steven B Guy

SC = Steve Carey

SM = Sami Männistö

SN = Stewart Newman

SNb = Stephen Newberg

SS = Steven Scibelli

TB = Terry Baucher

TO = Tim Olson

VW = Vinnie Walsh

WOH = Walt O’Hara

ZJ = Z Johnson