Tag Archives: Age of Gunpowder
In the finale of our Waterloo comparisons, our resident Napoleonicist continues his side-by-side comparisons with the groggiest of the grog games ~
Jim Owczarski, 23 July 2016
The 201st anniversary of the Great Battle has passed, Spring has turned to the heat of Summer, and, for those who have come this far, it’s time to explore the rarefied air breathed by the more complex simulations of the Battle of Waterloo. (ed note, links to read part 1 and part 2)
I begin with a game to which I react much like that famous speech from the end of so many relationships, viz.: “it’s not you, it’s me.” Martin Wallace is one of the great Euro-game designers of our time and there’s much conceptually to admire in his “Waterloo”, but, despite my best efforts, I’ve never been able to bring myself to love it the way some do.
Our resident Napoleonicist continues to compare all things Waterloo side-by-side, and ratcheting up the difficulty level on the games ~
Jim Owczarski, 21 May 2016
The nice part about doing a series is one can leave aside the preliminary pleasantries and leap to the business at hand. For those who missed the first journey into the world of wargaming Waterloo (I may need to trademark alliteration that strong), it’s here.
For those already up to speed, what follows is a discussion of some of the medium-weight games to take up this greatest of battles.
It may surprise some that I do not find Richard Borg’s Command and Colors: Napoleonics to be a light wargame. It is, after all, the direct descendant of Memoir ’44, likely the greatest gateway wargame ever made. It borrows its predecessor’s left-center-right battlefield construction; units, though blocks and not little plastic man, are still formed of a few markers each; a hand of cards drawn from a common deck that shares many similarities with Memoir drives the action; and combat is resolved with dice that have symbols rather than pips.
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French ~
Boggit, 30 April 2016
Developed by Electric Games, and Published by Matrix/Slitherine
Victory and Glory: Napoleon is a strategic level game covering the Napoleonic Wars. It offers six start points during the Napoleonic Wars, each preceding one of the major campaigns in the wars, with the player cast in the role of Napoleon. To win the player must either make peace – or survive as an individual from becoming a prisoner or battle casualty, and make it to the scenario end turn. If you get that far, your performance throughout the game is qualitatively assessed in terms of victory or defeat.
What happens when our resident Napoleonicist compares all things Waterloo side-by-side(-by-side-by-side-by-side)? ~
Jim Owczarski, 23 April 2016
With respect to E.S. Creasy, lists of “greatest” or “most significant” battles are best left as the stuff of coffee shop debate or oversized, remaindered tomes available at your local discount book store. There’s just too much that goes into defining sprawling words like “greatest” that prevents the conversation from being useful much less dispositive.
That said, Waterloo is the greatest battle ever. Ever. I will not subject this to further debate.
Let us instead, at the request of the editorial staff hereabouts, visit some of the many consims to take up the battle, and, along the way, talk about how approaches to the battle have changed over the years. This is not a complete list and it is a subjective one, but I hope it gives you a small window into the world of Waterloo gaming — a place where I have spent an awful lot of time. Lest the tyro turn away at first glance, let the story begin with the simpler games that offer to take the player back to mid-June 1815.
I must here confess that I don’t think over-much of the Avalon Hill classic “Waterloo”. It’s not that both the board and the counters are, putting the matter generously, merely serviceable.
A hefty dose of groggy tabletop goodness from guys that are not the biggest publishers out there ~
GrogHeads Staff, 08 April 2016
Moscow ’41. Wargaming on the Eastern Front (Ventonuovo Games)
$15k of $5600, ends 1 May 2016
Scaling down from the theater-wide Blocks in the East, Ventonuovo’s latest offering focuses on the initial German campaign down Moscow. A block-unit and area-movement game, M’41 lets players re-fight the vital campaign that Hitler was sure would knock the Soviets out of the war. The graphics on the block stickers are fantastic, and the colors pop against the gorgeous map. The Germans are trying to seize Moscow as quickly as possible, while the Soviets are patching their lines with a mixture of remnant units and full-strength, but untested ones, leading a tense sequence of probing, responding, and exploiting on the battlefield. Rumble over to their Kickstarter page and help them get to their stretch goals.
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.