Tag Archives: Strategic
Picked up over the summer at Origins ~
Brant Guillory, 30 August 2016
Following a massively successful Kickstarter, and some shipping delays as the manufacture of components needed some tweaking, Academy’s reprint of Mare Nostrum, along with the expansions, finally started to get delivered. Folks who attended Origins were able to pick them up there. Hot damn!
This gallery includes both the base game Empires (on the right) and the Atlas expansion (left)
Revisiting an older concept to reinvigorate the re-conversation ~
Brant, 29 August 2016
So, about 5-6 years ago, I started playing with an idea for a game/system. The idea was a basic unified set of rules for current events conflicts, with regularly-released updates that would provide unit information and updated map details for the current world situation. This would allow any player to just grab the current update, and “play forward” from there, to see how the various conflicts might shape up over the next few months or years. When the next update rolled around, the players would have the option to either reset to the current world situation, or adapt the update to their own ongoing conflicts and continue an “alternate future” using the update components.
It’s not like I was breaking any really new ground with the idea, but I had a pretty high-minded concept for how I wanted it to happen, but got quite bogged down in the actual execution of it all.
What I’d like to do here is reopen the discussion and attempt to reinvigorate the participation in the development of the rules and current updates, in the hopes that many minds are smarter than mine, and we can collaboratively move forward on an open-source set of rules and initial process for putting these kinds of tools in the hands of gamers with an interest in current events.
Airboy reviews Heller’s follow-up to Gray Tide in the East ~
Avery Abernethy, 03 August 2016
Tidal Effects is the sequel to Gray Tide in the East. In the previous book the Kaiser orders the German Army in 1914 to respect Belgium’s neutrality after Imperial Russia and France declare war on Germany. The British Empire never enters World War 1. Germany and Austria-Hungary crush Russia and annex large portions of European Russia including all of Poland, the Ukraine and the Baltics. France is bled white trying to attack in unfavorable terrain. Germany gives France favorable peace terms taking several relatively useless colonies including Martinique in the Caribbean Sea. At the end of Gray Tide in the East Germany is the dominant land power in Europe.
Tidal Effects contains two novelettes: High Tide and Rip Tide. In High Tide several members of the Imperial German Foreign Service and a high ranking Naval officer manage to start building a substantial naval base in Martinique. Substantial progress on this naval base is accomplished without the knowledge of the Kaiser and the rest of the Imperial Cabinet. The USA learns of the base and must decide if they want to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. Tidal Effects includes basics of naval espionage, isolationist politics of the USA early in the 20th century and foreign policy. The central conflict centers on the ability of the US President to get enough political support to keep the hugely powerful Germany from getting a foothold in North America without starting a major naval war. The Kaiser is maddened that his subordinates put him in this position but also wants to maximize the political and military gains possible from this situation. The entire story is plausible given the military, economic, political and foreign policy situation in this alternate history.
What’s in the first expansion from Griggling Games’ epic WWII game? ~
Michael Eckenfels, 30 June 2016
click images to enlarge
In June of 2015, I reviewed a unique board game called Quartermaster General. Ian Brody designed a rather unique game, in that where most World War II games add logistics almost as a second thought to their game’s mechanics, Quartermaster General instead made logistics the centerpiece. Players would draw and husband cards to play to place armies in connecting countries, and navies in connecting ocean spaces, to conquer and deny territory to the other players. It brought a lot of chess-like qualities to a World War II-themed game, and was quite enjoyable. The game is very easy to teach; the task of knowing the timing of card play is its most challenging aspect, and really the heart of the fun of the game (as you can play cards for yourself, but you can also interrupt others’ play, too!).
(Ed note: we also talked with the designer at Origins!)
Play all of WWII in one sitting? That’s what the GG guys gave you with Quartermaster General ~
Corinne Mahaffey, 23 June 2016
A quick stop at the Griggling Games booth yielded an interesting – and different – conversation about Quartermaster General and its genesis. Expansions are already rolling out the door for QMG, so look for more to come from them. Designer Ian Brody explains
I wanted to make a simulation, then abstract it until I had a playable game. I also wanted a game that people could play together in an evening, rather than one played in turns for days. I have given the game rules to a new player, then not see them for a week while they read the rules, or learn, as in Axis and Allies, base 6 statistics. I also didn’t want to be able to gain in-game intelligence because I had to explain rule that my opponent wanted to use. Finally, I wanted a game that war gamers and historians would agree touched on the salient points of World War 2, and had a sense of the narrative of the war.
I was introduced to Magic [the Gathering] by a friend, and realized how much game mechanic could be put on a card. Then I looked at old war games, including World of War, Third Reich, Rising Sun, World in Flames and Europa. I looked at the headings, and realized I needed a card for each one. All the game chrome and fiddly rules could be put on the cards.
I also found that, by front-loading the luck on the card draw instead of backloading the luck on the dice, choosing the one card to play that turn becomes a move of skill. You don’t get to micromanage; you must play the hand you are dealt.
As a reminder, we reviewed Quartermaster General a while ago, and will have some coverage coming soon of the Air Marshal expansion.
Our AAR of the new digital Twilight Struggle enters Turn 2 ~
Michael Eckenfels, 30 April 2016
TURN 2, ROUND 6, USSR
FINAL ROUND FOR TURN 2
And let’s see what Red-influenced hits keep on a-rollin’…
He plays this card for its Event, giving him Control of Romania.
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.
Our AAR of the new digital Twilight Struggle enters Turn 2 ~
Michael Eckenfels, 28 April 2016
TURN 2, ROUND 4, USSR
The USSR plays TRUMAN DOCTRINE, and the game prompts me to remove Influence in one country. I’m not really sure this is a bad thing…obviously, he’s playing this for its whole 1 Op, and the Event has to fire…which makes me think he doesn’t have much in the way of cards.