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Category Archives: First Impressions

First Impressions: To End All Wars

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First Impressions by Boggit, 4 October 2014

Developed by and published by AGEOD/Slitherine

“After the ‘War to end War’, they seem to have been in Paris at making the ‘Peace to end Peace'” – Field Marshal Archibald Wavell (speaking of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919)

To End All Wars is the latest game from AGEOD/Slitherine covering the First World War. It covers in detail the Western, Eastern and Middle East fronts, but also features map boxes where conflict can occur elsewhere in the world. The scope of the game is truly global.

The victory conditions (which are the same for each side) are frighteningly ominous as to the scale of destruction required.

The victory conditions (which are the same for each side) are frighteningly ominous as to the scale of destruction required.

It is a strategic/operational level game with the principal maneuver units consisting of armies, corps, and fleets. Smaller units can be used independently if a player wishes, but while this gives flexibility it also carries the risk of being overwhelmed by a larger force.

First Impressions of Combat Mission Red Thunder

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Grumpy Grog Says:  “Combat Mission Red Thunder is more impressive than a Katyusha barrage. Uurrraaaah!”

Developed and Published by Battlefront Inc.

First Impressions by Boggit

Red Thunder is the newest arrival in the Combat Mission series on the Eastern Front. It focuses on the battles during and just after the great Soviet offensive – Operation Bagration – from June to September 1944, covering the area of modern day Belarus, to the gates of Warsaw in Poland. The developers chose this period because, in terms of experience, the Red Army was generally able to match the German Army, thus in principle creating a more balanced game.

Advancing through woods, we make contact!

Advancing through woods, we make contact!

Since this is a first impressions piece, I haven’t spent as much time in actual gameplay as I usually put in with my full Combat Mission reviews. The article is based upon a couple of the new scenarios, half a dozen quick battles, and with some useful feedback from Steve Grammont of Battlefront regarding the changes to the game engine from the V3.0 upgrade.

Cards of Cthulhu – First Look!

Vance Strickland cracks open his fresh-outta-the-mail copy of Cards of Cthulhu and shares the guts with us.

 

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Home of the Wargamers Report: “Clear and Present Gaming!”

Distant Worlds Universe and Other Imminent Matrix/Slitherine Releases meet Grogheads

An overview by Boggit

Following on from Home of Wargamers 2014, there has been a flurry of activity from Matrix/Slitherine regarding their new releases. Distant Worlds has only just released on 27th May, and is to be closely followed by Pandora First Contact: Return of the Messeri Expansion, Close Combat: Road to Caen, and Qvadriga on Steam.

 

Distant Worlds Universe

 

You can start straight away with a pre-set human campaign, or mix things up with a custom game

You can start straight away with a pre-set human campaign, or mix things up with a custom game

For those players who haven’t got Distant Worlds, it is a massively scoped game that conventionally focuses on making broad policy decisions to guide your race to success. Essentially, you represent “the state”, but much of the game is heavily reliant on your private citizens. These private citizens trade, colonise, and exploit much of the universe’s resource potential. Distant Worlds Universe can be an incredibly deep 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) – if you want it to be. You can micromanage as much, or as little as you wish, although micromanaging carries the risk of your head exploding given the multitude of activities you can engage in!

ANZAC Attack – First Look!

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Lock’n’Load re-released the original Forgotten Heroes expansion along with the new reprint, and Vance Strickland takes a look at what’s in the box.  Bring the Aussies to the fight as you expand the battles of the Vietnam War on your tabletop with ANZAC Attack.

by Vance Strickland, 9 April 2014

Click images to enlarge

The new second addition of ANZAC Attack comes in the same sized box as Forgotten heroes so now you have twice the room for all Vietnam goodness.

The new second addition of ANZAC Attack comes in the same sized box as Forgotten heroes so now you have twice the room for all Vietnam goodness.

 

 

ANZAC Attacks comes with rules/scenario booklet, new counters, 2 new maps, more dice and another player aid card.

ANZAC Attacks comes with rules/scenario booklet, new counters, 2 new maps, more dice and another player aid card.

 

Forgotten Heroes 2 – First Look!

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Lock’n’Load’s long-expected reprint of the original Forgotten Heroes has landed, and Vance Strickland gives us a quick visual tour of what’s in the box.  Refight the tactical battles of the Vietnam War over your tabletop with Mark H. Walker’s original Lock’n’Load game.

by Vance Strickland, 26 March 2014

Click images to enlarge

New printing of Forgotten Heroes Second Edition from LnLP. Standard bookshelf size but only 1.5" deep. Still plenty of room for contents.

New printing of Forgotten Heroes Second Edition from LnLP. Standard bookshelf size but only 1.5″ deep. Still plenty of room for contents.

 

All this gaming greatness. Latest rules, maps, player aid, counters, scenario cards, skill cards and dice.

All this gaming greatness. Latest rules, maps, player aid, counters, scenario cards, skill cards and dice.

First Impressions: Mark H. Walker’s Lock’n’Load Heroes of Stalingrad

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The Grumpy Grog says “This is a new line of attack on an old campaigning favourite.”

Developed by Lock n Load Publishing and published by Matrix/Slitherine

First Impressions by Boggit, 23 February 2014

Click images to enlarge

I’ve never played any of the Lock’n’Load games before, so this is a truly fresh look at this game. I am looking at this game with the beta update v1.04. The game is tactical in scope, and each hex represents about fifty meters across, each turn represents 2-4 minutes, and each counter is a single vehicle, an individual, or a group of soldiers: for example, a half squad, or a weapons team.

Starting the game for the first time, the player is set up at the introductory level. This is a particularly forgiving mode that can be changed in the main menu. I immediately changed it to “hard”, which runs the game under unmodified rules. “Normal” gives a dice bonus. Rash perhaps, but you’ll see no signs of weakness from me!

 

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The options screen gives a good choice of items to customise your game.

The main menu gives the usual options. Essentially it is the place to start a new game, load an old one, create missions and scenarios with the editor, and to play multiplayer. In multiplayer, the user needs to set up a Matrix/Slitherine account and you’re then taken to the Multiplayer lobby. From there you can create a new game for someone to play with you, go onto the forum, and can check-in on your own games. I’d seen this before with Field of Glory, and it is a very user friendly multiplayer system. I’m glad they didn’t reinvent the wheel on this one, as it works, and works well. The only downside was a very empty multiplayer lobby, but to be fair, the game’s just come out, so that should change with time.

Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 – First Look!

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Michael Eckenfels unboxes another recent discovery!

 

Legion Wargames’ Picket Duty is a solitaire game from Steve Dixon, a designer that had a hand in creating B-29 Superfortress and its expansion, Hell Over Korea. I’ve been watching this title for some time now and was quite eager to get a copy, even though I’ve read discussions over on BoardGameGeek about how the current version 1.0 of the rules are confusing and a newer version is due out soon. Regardless, what I followed in development looked like a game with a lot of potential and great components.
You can view the game on Legion Wargames’ page here.

 

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The box is a standard-sized wargame box, if a bit thinner than a ‘normal’ one.