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Tag Archives: Eckenfels

Defenders of the Last Stand – First Look!

8th Summit’s post-apocalyptic free-for-all ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 June 2017

In terms of good old fashioned board game mayhem, what games come immediately to mind? Car Wars, certainly (and it just happens I wrote more than a few nostalgia pieces on that very game in the last many months). Nuklear Winter ’68 (Lock n’ Load Publishing) is yet another. Waste Knights, Last Battle: Twilight 2000, The Omega Wars – just to name but a few – with any of them, you’ve got a wide range of different systems, complexities, and entertainment that all bring a good and ruined Earth to the table as a backdrop.

The artwork alone could give you radiation poisoning, but in a good way.

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).

Unboxing B-17 Flying Fortress Leader

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.

The Tuesday Interview – Glenn Drover

Friend-of-Grog Glenn Drover comes back for another visit ~

Michael Eckenfels, 28 February 2017

What’s the craziest move you ever tried to pull off in a wargame?

GD:  I’m an aggressive attacker, but never crazy. 😉

What wargame made you want to be a designer?

GD:  It is probably the fault of a whole group of games that I loved in the mid-late 70’s. From Milton Bradley: Carrier Strike, Skirmish, and Battle Cry; as well as Avalon Hill’s Tactics II and Third Reich. I played these endlessly with my dad and solo.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 8

The Car Wars retrospective is back! ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 February 2016

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UNCLE ALBERT’S AUTO STOP & GUNNERY SHOP
2035 CATALOG

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Ah, good ol’ Uncle Albert and his catalogs ‘o death. If the ‘basic’ Car Wars rules just didn’t have enough creative ways to destroy, maim, and otherwise disassemble, the Uncle Albert catalogs certainly helped pad those needs, and then some.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 7

The long and winding retrospective on Car Wars continues ~

Michael Eckenfels, 2 December 2016

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CAR WARS EXPANSION SET #9:

MUSKOGEE FAIRGROUND AND FAMILY EMPORIUM

For this ninth expansion, Steve Jackson Games has once again created a mega-map setting for the Car Wars universe. Instead of a town, like I talked about in Crash City, this one is more of a giant and world-famous autoduellist gathering. Think NASCAR meets vehicular violence meets Buc-ee’s, and you’ve got a general idea of what the Muskogee Fairground is all about.

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TANKSgiving! – Kursk: The Biggest Tank Battle

tanksgivingheaderRefighting Kursk, on-the-go! ~

Michael Eckenfels, 26 November 2016

The Conflict-Series of games on the Android device are great little hex- and turn-based wargames that cover a wide variety of battles from World War II. The developer of these games, Joni Nuutinen, is a solo programmer that creates these games in his free time, and he heavily supports them as well by constantly updating them and listing detailed reports of what he’s done to improve his games.

At 3.99 USD per game, they’re inexpensive and terrific time wasters. To date, I own 19 of them (yes, nineteen), which I’ve purchased here and there over a year and a half or so. As you can tell, I’m fairly addicted to them, and even went so far as to ask Joni several questions and create a Q&A article, which I am currently working on.

Check out his “Conflict-Series” in the Google Play store if you’re interested.

In the spirit of TANKSgiving, I decided to take a deep dive into the Conflict-Series title, Kursk: The Biggest Tank Battle. Can I lead the Germans to victory where they failed historically? Or will I get the German armies shredded even worse?

This game isn’t easy, but admittedly, I’ve played through it more than a few times. I’ve won only one time out of multiple attempts; the Soviets are damned difficult to defeat, especially as they have a lot of tank reserves. Since I control the German forces (and there’s no option to play the Soviet side; in every Conflict-Series game, you play one side only, though Joni has developed more than a few titles that look at a battle from both sides), I have several tough Panzer divisions at my disposal, but not nearly as many as I’d like.

You can find a plethora of information on the Battle of Kursk online, or in hundreds of books available out there. If you’re reading this site, chances are you’re already passingly familiar with the battle and what happened.

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(This map was found at EmersonKent.com, which credits the United States Military Academy Department of History.)

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 6

The long and winding retrospective on Car Wars continues ~

Michael Eckenfels, 18 November 2016

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THE BEST OF AUTODUEL QUARTERLY, VOLUME 1

 

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Released in 1986, and packed with 48 pages of goodness, this little book republished the best articles as per the demands of Car Wars fans everywhere. The hard part, the editors state on the inside cover, is how to pare down the list and include the actual best stuff. So, they decided to not republish stuff that had already been released on its own, like Uncle Albert and the Convoy module. Instead, you have a book that is loaded with some good stuff that’s not easily found elsewhere, all in one place.