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Category Archives: Reviews

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 4

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Car Wars in the rear view mirror, again ~

Michael Eckenfels, 21 October 2016

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CAR WARS EXPANSION SET #3: EAST MIDVILLE

Yes, it’s marked #3. Expansion #1 (uniquely and cleverly named “Expansion Set #1) had a ton of road sections and extra counters, along with suggested track and arena layouts. Expansion #2 (named…yes, you guessed it!) had more of the same…more counters in the form of duplicate counter sheets from the original game, as well as from both Sunday Drivers (err, Crash City) and Truck Stop, and even a ‘Turning Key’ that was apparently a maneuver template of some kind to move your cars around more easily.

 

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Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 3

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Our Car Wars retrospective rolls on ~

Michael Eckenfels, 7 October 2016

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CRASH CITY: A CAR WARS ROLEPLAYING SUPPLEMENT

Starting with the words “If you don’t like the way we drive, get off the streets, and the sidewalk…and the lawns…” this particular expansion was originally published in Space Gamer magazine as an article called “Sunday Drivers.” It later became a full Car Wars supplement, eventually becoming known as Crash City. Ultimately, this name is more suitable for this expansion. Both Sunday Drivers and Crash City were published in 1982, so there must not have been a lot of lead time between them, but they made do, I think, by re-using existing material, as you’ll see in a moment.

The game box.

The game box.

Classic Reviews: Cactus Throne

Against the Odds Magazine

Against the Odds Magazine

An early game from Against The Odds Magazine that looks at what was going on while we were recovering from the US Civil War / War Between The States / War of Northern Aggression / “The Wahr” ~

Brant Guillory, 5 October 2016

INTRODUCTION

Cactus Throne is an operational/strategic-level game that covers the war in Mexico between the Republican Mexican government forces, and the Imperial forces of France, Britain, Spain, Austria, and their Mexican allies. The war was originally fought between 1862-1867.

Although there were significant political machinations that affected the campaign, especially in Europe, the game focuses on the allocation of forces within Mexico, and control of the important areas of country.

Some of the political events are included as random events. Additionally, there are events that could have happened, but did not, such as the appearance of both Union and Confederate forces from the American Civil War. Cactus Throne does include some elements of seapower, but only to the extent that it affected the land battles. Ship-to-ship combat is not simulated.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 2

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Continuing his series on Car Wars, Michael rolls back through the memory banks again ~

Michael Eckenfels, 23 September 2016

TRUCK STOP: A CAR WARS (FIRST EDITION) SUPPLEMENT

This expansion, released the same year I bought the original Car Wars, added massive 18-wheelers and other large rigs to the Car Wars universe. It seemed only right, given the fact that tanker trucks were a lynchpin of the Mad Max universe. Besides, these things are righteously huge. Just imagine them armored up with large-caliber guns bristling everywhere, and one wonders how cars, much less cycles, would have a chance in Hades against them.

One could virtually feel the temptation to HULK SMASH and sledgehammer smaller opponents with tons of rolling steel death. (Hell…I have this feeling even to this day.) I had to have the expansion, and so I have owned it for 32 years now. The box has held up well in that time, and I probably haven’t opened it in some 30-odd years, to be honest. So this will be something of a time capsule.

This box is in surprisingly excellent condition. I hope the insides have aged well, too…

This box is in surprisingly excellent condition. I hope the insides have aged well, too…

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 1

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The first of a series, Michael looks back at the wasted years of burning rubber through the blacktop battlefields of yesterday ~

Michael Eckenfels, 09 September 2016

CAR WARS: A MEGA-ARTICLE RETRO LOOK

 Back in 1983 or so, when I was transitioning from middle school to high school, hobby stores were a refuge of mine. Mostly I, as well as some of my friends, were into role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. I still remember the modules at this store costing six dollars, which at the time was of course a princely sum for a 13-14 year old. (My first job in 1986 paid minimum wage, which I think was $3.25 an hour.) I’d be lucky to get five dollars from my cash-strapped parents, and having to save that money was a chore of epic proportions, because this was, of course, the heyday of the arcades.

Arcade games like Dig-Dug, Tron, Jungle Hunt, Zaxxon, Joust, and Burger Time hypnotized many a kid into pouring quarters into them, and I was one of the zombies. Saving money was never my strong suit, but when I found something I wanted in the hobby store, I’d save up religiously for it. Car Wars was one of those games.

GrogHeads Reviews Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

What if the monsters were real?  And who said they weren’t?! ~

Avery Abernethy, 25 August 2016

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is in the Monster Hunter International universe. In the Monster Hunter universe monsters are real. Teddy Roosevelt ran into monsters in the Cuba invasion with the Rough Riders. When he became MHMG-coverPresident he put Federal bounties on dangerous monsters. Bring in evidence of killing a deadly monster, get paid a bounty. More dangerous monsters yield bigger bounties. But monster hunting has a high casualty rate. And high bounty monsters are especially deadly.

Monsters want to eat us. Monsters are not boyfriend material for lonely high school girls or strong independent women. Vampires suck your blood and eat your soul. Vampires and other monsters are enemies of humanity and deserve killing. Monster Hunter International is the premier private monster killing outfit in the world.

This is a collaboration between Larry Correia and John Ringo. Correia is a former gun store owner and competitive shooter. Ringo is a vet of the 82nd Airborne. Both are among the best active writers of military science fiction. Both know guns, explosives and how to write a great combat scene. Many wargame players are interested in weapons and the idea of killing evil monsters and collecting large bounties is something which appeals to gamers from D&D, to Call of Cthulhu, to Warhammer.

GrogHeads Checks Out Combat Mission: Final Blitzkrieg

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Back to the front! ~

Boggit, 13 August 2016

Combat Mission: Final Blitzkrieg is a tactical wargame set on the Western front during the latter part of World War Two. Final Blitzkrieg is mostly about the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944-January 1945, but the game also has scenarios covering the earlier fighting in and around Aachen and the Hürtgenwald.

That “Oh, sh*t!” moment, as my US engineers wander directly into a minefield on the Westwall.

That “Oh, sh*t!” moment, as my US engineers wander directly into a minefield on the Westwall.

GrogHeads Reviews Munchkin Marvel

Superheroes come to the beloved Munchkin series.  Is it Super fun? ~

Avery Abernethy, 11 August 2016

MM-coverMunchkin Marvel is the 23rd core game in the Munchkin line sold by Steve Jackson Games. For those unfamiliar with Munchkin, it is a table top card game. You have an avatar. You can equip your avatar with armor, helmet, hand items, boots, and other items. You can obtain allies. However well or poorly equipped your character is you kick down the door. A trap may explode in your face. You may get free treasure. Or you may have a monster attack you. If you beat the monster you get its treasure. If you lose, you can try to run away. If you don’t run away successfully upon your loss, bad things happen. If you beat a monster you go up a level. Other things can help you go up levels. If you reach level 10 then you win. It is a pretty simple game.

What makes Munchkin such a fun game is the give and take between the players. Munchkin encourages both cooperation and back-stabbing. Many cards can be played to help your character, or can be played to strengthen a monster to defeat another player. There is a lot of wheeling, dealing, begging and whining within a munchkin game. You can split treasures, bribe, make promises, all in hopes of getting your lowly level one munchkin to level ten and victory.