Tag Archives: Aerial Combat
It’s a box that could break your toe if you drop it wrong, but what’s inside? ~
Michael Eckenfels, 22 April 2017
Mosby’s Raiders. Thunderbolt/Apache Leader. Patton’s Best. Cruel Necessity. These are but a few of my favorite solitaire games of all time, games I would be happy to return to the table any time, and each of which have prominent locations on one of my bookshelves. (Thunderbolt/Apache Leader happens to include both the DVG and GMT version, by the way.) Topping my list, though, is B-17: Queen of the Skies, a game by Avalon Hill from ancient times that I would easily play again and again without hesitation.
I was very interested when, quite a while ago, Dan at DVG made mention of a new tile they were working on – B-17 Flying Fortress Leader. My mind – and no doubt yours as well – instantly jumped to Queen of the Skies. Was it a remake? Was it a sequel? Was it an improvement? Most importantly, would it be good? I figured my time with this particular game would be a long time coming, so while I kept up with the thread in the GrogHeads forums to see where it was, I was very surprised when a copy landed on my doorstep today. Thanks to Dan and his team for sending this over for GrogHeads to get its paws on it and manhandle it appropriately.
This is the box – and holy crap is it hefty. I think I saw a post on Facebook in the Solitaire Wargames page that said it was 5.5 pounds; it feels more like 10, actually! Which means, mounted boards, tons of counters and cards, and just overall lotsa stuff packed into a large box.
With the recent release of the Ju 52/3m g4e for IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad, 1C Game Studios and 777 Studios have given digital pilots the chance to fly an iconic, yet rarely simulated German workhorse from the Second World War. Now, pilots can fly Falschirmjagers over drop zones, carry critical cargo to and from the front lines, and participate in a handful of other mission types that are a pleasant break from the usual intercept, patrol and close air support missions that all of the other aircraft presently in game were designed to tackle. Recently, our beloved forum denizen, Jarhead0331, joined the Luftwaffe and somehow managed to live to tell us about his first flight in a Ju 52 over the Eastern Front.
Take a look at the following series of screenshots and find out if Jarhead was able to keep his plane in one piece.
Craig H. Handler, 30 December 2016
The shrink comes off the box~
Michael Eckenfels, 04 May 2016
ed note: Michael sent this to us a looooooong while ago, and we misplaced it. Totally not his fault.
Obviously, the box, but what’s cool is it is new and still in shrink-wrap. That’s cool, considering the game is a few years old at this point.
What do you do with a backlog of reviews? ~
Brant, 04 April 2016
We get all kinds of games sent to us, along with the ones we pick up one our own. Some good, some bad, some gorgeous, some not so much. We try – we really do try – to get to all of them for review purposes, but it doesn’t always happen. There’s a reason I’ve got a weekly blurb here called “What I’m doing this week when I should be playing games”. Moreover, when I play a game for review, I want to play it multiple times to ensure that the review I’m writing is accurate based on how the game is balanced, and how it plays over time – especially if replayability is one of the key factors we want to discuss.
Among the reasons I’ve made it a point to start republishing a bunch of the ‘classic reviews’ are that I don’t want my reviews to be dependent on someone else’s site continuing to exist, as well as wanting folks to be able to find opinions on older games that they may want to take for a spin. Additionally, many of those older reviews (some of which I’m going to get to soon) were longer borderline-investigative-journalism pieces that really dug into the games through repeated plays. That was a lot easier when I was in grad school. Working 3 different teaching jobs, plus being the editorial director here, makes all that a lot tougher.
So, this episode of Tracer Rounds is designed to catch up on those reviews – with a twist.
GARPA returns for more pre-order goodies ~
HOLDFAST: North Africa 1941-42 (Worthington Publishing)
$21k of $2500, ends 15 March 2016
Worthington’s Holdfast series is back. After Russia and Korea, they guys head to North Africa. The standard Holdfast features are back, with fog of war, fast play times, and engaging turn sequences that keep players constantly guessing about what’s up next. Like every other North Africa game, you need a table that’s about 24 inches wide and 28374652938762 feet long, but you’ll be chasing panzers across the sands before you know it. Rumble over to their campaign page and you can fire off your pledge.
An adventure yarn of another time and place, but grounded in familiar themes that take the reader on an an enjoyable ride through intrigue and aerial derring-do.
Brant Guillory, 18 December 2015
Crosswind is Steve Rzasa’s first book about the Sark brothers, Winchell and Copernicus. Winchell is a journalist at a small newspaper, and his brother is a pilot, in the frontier town of Perch.
The brothers stumble into an intrigue filled plot involving a larger town to their South known as Trestleway.
While Cope is the adventurous brother, alternating between stunt pilot antics in the air and ladies man smoothness on the ground, Winch is the conservative family man with a wife and children. The brothers stumble upon the mystery when Cope flies his brother out to the wreck of another aircraft to take pictures and write a story for the newspaper. I rather unfriendly gentleman masquerading as a local rancher tries to steal a coded message that the brothers discover in the aircraft wreckage. It turns out this man is from Trestleway, and the coded message is a warning of an impending “invasion” that was being flown in by the nephew of Perch’s mayor-general.
The brothers are sent to investigate, and report back to home. Along the way, they discover a variety of intrigue, and a few interesting technical – and mystical – tricks up Trestleway’s sleeves.
OK, so we’ve got something completely different for you this week.
Brant Guillory, 4 September 2015
Hawk The Hunter (Terry Marcel)
$19k of $500k, ends 1 OCT 2015
Remember the old fantasy flick Hawk the Slayer? Of course you do. You totally plundered it for campaign ideas for your early no-prefix D&D games. Jack Palance chewing scenery. The hokey rapid-fire elf-archer effects. The cross-necklace-of-course-it’s-a-hidden-knife saving the day at the end. Well it’s taken them 30 years, but they finally got around to trying to make the sequel, and they’re kickstarting it. You can start at $5, and score the RiffTrax quip-along, and top out at a couple of grand that gets you a part in the movie. Why are you still here instead of pledging the campaign? Oh right, you’re here to watch the movie.