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Category Archives: Featured Posts

Unboxing Legendary Encounters: Firefly

The beloved TV franchise comes to your tabletop ~

Michael Eckenfels, 27 May 2017

A month or so back, I had the chance to get a copy of a Legendary Encounters game. At first, I was going to get the Aliens-themed one, though the Big Trouble in Little China version looked cool too, as did the Marvel version. Well, any of those three and the 1,674 (ish) other Legendary Encounters games. I almost told them I would look at the Aliens-themed one, but then I ran across Firefly, and it was a no-brainer for me.

The box itself is just like any of the other LE-type games. At least, I think it is. I played the Aliens version once before and can say it’s definitely the same size, as is the Big Trouble in Little China one too (saw the box, never played it).

A Look Back at System 7 Napoleonics & Dragon Magazine

A stroll down memory lane to the days when wargaming and RPGs more comfortably co-existed ~

Jim Owczarski, 13 May 2017

I would have thought that after all these years the editors around this joint would have taken a liking to me.  I mean, come on, I’ve written reviews, previews, interviews, and even a travel journal or two, and have yet to get them sued for libel.  This is no small matter in our litigious day and age.

So why, then, does one of them torment me with this:

The Tuesday Interview – Brian Train (The Game Theorist!)

Brian Train stops back at GrogHeads for an asymmetric interview  ~

Brant Guillory, 9 May 2017

 

Let’s start this off with a whopper: all-time best game you’ve ever played? Why that one?

Hmm. I really don’t know what would be the all-time best one. One I never seem to get tired of is Minuteman, the Second American Revolution by James Dunnigan. I played it again and again back in the day, and one of the first variants I ever designed was for that game. The premise back then seemed farfetched but 40 years later, I am not so sure. But I liked the processes of building up an insurgent movement, or the counter to it, through covert and semi covert actions, and the eventual payoff of an actual revolution. The various scenarios were interesting too, including two occupation/resistance ones and a four-way second civil war that could develop any number of ways.

I think I got more out of that design than any other SPI game I played, but a close second would be South Africa; another game people say they love to hate but I spent a lot of hours tinkering with it.

News! Armageddon War hits Kickstarter

Check out the latest from Flying Pig Games ~

GrogHeads Newsdesk, 05 May 2017

Flying Pig Games have launched their most recent Kickstarter campaign

Armageddon War: Platoon Level Combat in the End War, is live on Kickstarter. The latest offering from serial successful-Kickstarter campaigner, Flying Pig Games, Armageddon War is set in a dark, not-too distant future.
Following disease, famine, and economic collapse among the world’s first-line powers, conventional war erupts in the Mid-East for what arable land remains. Old allies join the carnage, and the war grows, pitting age-old adversaries and their new friends against each other. Armageddon War depicts the chaos in the midst of this war.

The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 14: Pets Pets Pets

The Zombie Apocalypse Series returns! ~

Jonathan Glazer, 21 April 2017

Having pets happens to be a big feature of American culture. Whether we are talking about dogs, cats, birds, fish, chinchilla, ferrets or llamas, keeping and caring for other life forms is extremely common and quite engraved in the American way. This does not mean it is something peculiar to The United States. Many countries have a strong tradition of pet ownership. I was in Argentina recently and I was struck by the number of dog walkers with large packs of canines wandering the many scenic parts in Buenos Aires. However, there are counties without a strong tradition of pet ownership. China is an example. Dogs and cats are viewed somewhat differently there. This brings us to my disclaimer. While most of the columns in this series are less than pleasant, this one in particular is sure to offend some. If you cannot discuss unpleasant things happening to animals intellectually without having an overwhelming emotional response, stop reading now and wait for the next installment. I will try to be sensitive, but this is still going to be a difficult topic.

Battle Lab: Headquarters in Wargames

Originally published in Battles! Magazine, here’s a look at HQ units on your tabletop ~

Brant Guillory, 3 May 2017

How are headquarters units implemented in wargames, and what functions do they serve? As wargamers, most of us have enough appreciation of history to understand the value of a headquarters in combat and its ability dramatically affect a battle as it unfolds. There are a variety of ways in which headquarters units can be portrayed on the tabletop.

But first, let’s look at what they do in real life (as always, “the disclaimer”: the doctrine being discussed is American; it’s what I know).

Unboxing GMT’s Fields of Despair

A look inside GMT’s WWI game ~

Chris Paquette, 26 April 2017

Fields of Despair is part of our program at this Summer’s GrogHeads Central Command at Origins.  What’s inside the box?

The box – the usual big GMT package

The Tuesday Interview – Tom Russell of Hollandspiele

Hollandspiele has joined the ranks of wargame publishers.  Tom stops by for a chat ~

Brant Guillory, 25 April 2017

So… another game company, eh?  Why break off and start your own publishing house instead of just bringing your games to an existing publisher?

Well, as far as my own designs go, I’ve done that. Of the twenty-five games I’ve had published, only six have come out through Hollandspiele. So, that’s nineteen times someone else has put up their money and said, okay, let’s have a go at this. And that’s satisfying and gratifying, but it has three real disadvantages.

Of the twenty-five games I’ve had published, only six have come out through Hollandspiele.

First, as far as monetary compensation goes, the designer really gets the short-end of the stick a lot of the time. This isn’t true all the time– I’ve had publishers that gave very generous royalties, and publishers that were a lot stingier. Now, I’m talking about wargames specifically here, because in the euro market, the designer gets better pay. I have a couple of euro-style games coming out in the next year or so from a certain publisher that I’m contractually unable to mention by name at this time, and my advance for that was more than the royalties on all my previous (non-Hollandspiele) games combined. So, with wargames, it’s a much smaller piece of the pie, though again, it varies. I was talking with a designer who is working with us on a game, and also has worked with GMT, and was surprised to hear that, in terms of royalty-per-copy, Hollandspiele pays better than GMT. Now, GMT has the volume, so they’re getting more money from GMT than they are from us, because they’re selling an order of magnitude more copies than we are. But still, I thought that was interesting, because while the royalties we give are more than what I got for most of my wargame designs, I didn’t think that our royalty rate was necessarily all that generous. I just thought it was equitable.