Old School Tactical from Flying Pig Games

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The Tuesday Interview – Bloody Monday with Ventonuovo

Cyrano pulls up his Napoleonic britches for a chat about Borodino ~

Jim Owczarski, 4 April 2017

Vento Nuovo made no small statement when it blew into wargaming back in 2012 with Blocks in the East.  A big, colorful map; hundreds of wooden blocks and other pieces; and an area-movement system that felt just friendly enough while at the same time satisfying wanna-be von Brauchitsch’s everywhere; marked it as a strong new-comer.  Now seven games on, the Blocks in… system covers the whole of the ETO, it’s released Gortex game maps big enough to sleep under, and it even found time to release a game about the greatest battle of all time, Waterloo 200. (Author’s Note:  Favorably reviewed here)

For his second run into the 19th Century, designer Emanuele Santandrea has chosen to have a go at Borodino, the climactic struggle between Napoleon and the Emperor of Russia that in many ways ended the First Empire.  The game, Bloody Monday, Napoleon at the Gates of Moscow, has already hit its funding goal, so it was particularly nice of him to answer a few questions about his design philosophy, why Borodino, and the difference between Goretex and Magnatex.

The KickStarter, by the by, is here:  Bloody Monday, Napoleon at the Gates of Moscow

Vento Nuovo has had quite a few recent successes on KickStarter and has become well known, certainly in wargame circles.  Who, though, is on the team behind Bloody Monday?

Well, the list is so long I’m sure I will forget somebody. I can name Luca Preda, Jim O’Neill, Flip Labarque, Paul Comben, and Kevin Duke. But that’s just a part.

Intervista-1

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Winter War

Airboy bundles up for a fight in the snow ~

Avery Abernethy, 1 April 2017

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Finland. The Finns were one of the few who repaid their World War 1 debts to the United States. I’ve had three enjoyable trips to Helsinki in the last thirty-five years. The Finns have good beer and you can take a “beer trolley” tour of Helsinki. “Hello” in Finland is “Hey” – the same way Auburn fans say hello to each other.

WinterWar-1 - Scenario 1 Intro

The Tuesday Interview – Straylight Studios

The team behind Sanctus Reach stops by for a chat ~

Boggit, 28 March 2017

Gordon, Kimberley, Mark, and Alex thank you for agreeing to talk to Grogheads about Sanctus Reach.

Tell us something about yourselves. Slitherine mentioned to me is that you are all from Elgin in Scotland, and all have previous video game industry experience – but this is your first big project together.

That’s the gist of it. We came to Elgin from all over the country for work where we met and became friends. We’ve all worked on all sorts of different projects over the years and collectively have 20 years of experience, but this is by far the biggest and most challenging project any of us have undertaken.

Sanctus Reach ships with a tutorial and two campaigns for the Space Wolves. There is also a skirmish game, and a multiplayer feature. Sadly, there is no Ork campaign yet, although that may be on the cards as a future DLC.

Sanctus Reach ships with a tutorial and two campaigns for the Space Wolves. There is also a skirmish game, and a multiplayer feature. Sadly, there is no Ork campaign yet, although that may be on the cards as a future DLC.

GrogHeads Reviews The Political Machine 2016

Is politics just a war by other means? ~

Avery Abernethy, 25 March 2017

The Political Machine 2016 is a light simulation of the 2016 Campaign for President of the United States by Stardock. The Political Machine debuted in 2004 and an updated version has been released for every subsequent US Presidential Election. The review is based on the 2016 simulation and I’ve not played the previous versions.

The game starts by selecting your avatar for the Presidency. You can select one of nineteen Democratic candidates, one of twenty-six Republican candidates, or build your own candidate. This is a two candidate race with no third party candidates. The leftist third party options are included with the Democrats (think Jill Stein) and the libertarian candidates are included with the Republican options (think Gary Johnson).

PolMach-game setup

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics – EPIC!

Jim descends further into his Napoleonic madness with massive-scale gaming ~

Jim Owczarski, 18 March 2017

I have been waiting for this one for a long time.

It’s almost unreal to me that Battle Cry, the first of Richard Borg’s “Commands and Colors” series, was released in 2000.  I like the American Civil War well enough, but, from the beginning, I hoped that the simple, elegant system evident in the game could be elaborated into the best of all periods, Napoleonics.

In the years since, I’ve bought and happily played Memoir ’44 (2004), Commands and Colors: Ancients (2006), Battlelore (also 2006), not to mention the remarkable array of expansions, special editions, and the like for all these systems.  I gave Zvezda’s Samurai Battles a miss if only because it’s the only era covered that doesn’t appeal to me.

True Napoleonic wargamers are obsessed with scope, spectacle, and sweep.

And then it came out.  In 2010, GMT Games gave the waiting world Commands and Colors: Napoleonics.  Sure, it was wooden blocks not lovely figures.  Yes, it was the British, Spanish, and Portuguese versus the French.  And, yes, for reasons known only to the grim gods of game production, the Prussians were excluded from the included Waterloo scenario.  But it was Napoleonics and that, at first, was enough.

This was no longer the simplified rule set found in Battle Cry.  There was the forming of square; different grades of horse, foot, and guns; and even elegant rules to differentiate leaders and national troop characteristics.  In the latter case, French troops, and their famous columns, fight better in melee, while the British lines do real damage with ranged fire, &c.

After much fun was had, though, it was ultimately not enough.  True Napoleonic wargamers are obsessed with scope, spectacle, and sweep.  It is this that leads us to do really, really dumb things like this: Historicon 2010 Part V Wagram (Shako II) and Outro

For the record this is my shaky-cam — I’ve become better — but this game had run 14 hours before I had to leave with it far from finished.

Order of Battle Pacific: US Marines – AAR, Scenario 10 Part 2

The final battle of the Marines’ campaign, Iwo Jima ~

Avery Abernethy, 11 March 2017

Click images to enlarge

The first phase of the battle was the tough part. Getting my troops in good organization and supply was hard. Capturing the first airfield and Mt. Suribachi was a tough fight. Part two is different.

Iwo Turn 11

Iwo Turn 11

Order of Battle Pacific: US Marines – AAR, Scenario 10 Part 1

The final battle of the Marines’ campaign, Iwo Jima ~

Avery Abernethy, 11 March 2017

Click images to enlarge

Iwo Jima Start

Iwo Jima Start

I’m using two landing zones but they are close together.

Iwo Jima D-Day

Iwo Jima D-Day

The Tuesday Interview – Command Post Games

Marshall Barrington gives us an extended low-down on Command Post Games ~

Jim Owczarski, 7 March 2017

I first caught wind of Command Post Games via its Kickstarter for Pub Battles: Brandywine.  Here was a war game played on a period map, made of canvas no less, with blocks that looked an awful lot like kriegsspiel pieces, and that trumpeted that it had fewer than five pages of rules.  That, a beautiful brass measuring compass, and, oh yes, their kriegsspiel dice, made me a pretty quick fan.

Given all this, I decided to ask CPG’s Marshall Barrington about the company’s past, its future plans, and what it has against the the Little Corporal.

Yvonne Sparrowsmith

Yvonne Sparrowsmith

So, following form, could you introduce yourselves? Who is Command Post Games and what do each of you do?

  • Yvonne (aka god):  She is the primary owner/investor.  She inspired us setup and run our first Kickstarter!  She helps with web sites and PR.
  • Aaron Wood:  Graphic Design.  He does amazing work.  He is a true artist.  Excellent at picking out colors, shapes, and overall themes.
  • Marshall:  Game Design, Development, Shipping, marketing, and anything else that just needs to get done!
  • Elijah Dicks:  History Department at Arapahoe Community College.  He has been key in getting the new mega game format going.
  • Michael Sparrow:  Coordinating and running events and meetup group promotion.  He’s also helping us with new mega games.