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GrogHeads Reviews Burma Road for Order of Battle Pacific

A worthy new addition to the Order of the Hex ~

Avery Abernethy, 16 September 2017

Inducted for impressive modeling of a wide range of military missions: revolt suppression, irregular forces to large scale battles.

Like most Americans interested in World War Two in the Pacific, my reading has focused on the US Navy, Marines, and Army operations. However, Japan focused more than half of her resources and the majority of her Army and Air Force on land operations in China and SouthEast Asia. Although the Japanese Navy, Air Force and Merchant Marine were eventually destroyed by the United States’ military, Japan held onto most of her gains on mainland Asia to the end of World War 2.

Likewise, wargames have focused far more on Europe and to a lesser extent the conflict between Japan and the United States in the Pacific. Burma Road is the second addition to Order of Battle World War 2 focusing on land warfare in Asia. In Burma Road the player takes the role of commander of British Commonwealth forces in Singapore, Thailand, Burma and India. The scenarios reflect the huge contribution of Indian, Australian and New Zealand forces. Like earlier releases in the series, Burma Road is turn based IGO-UGO.

GrogHeads Reviews Pulp Cthulhu and The Two-Headed Serpent

A two-for-one look at the horror RPG ~

Avery Abernethy, 13 September 2017

Pulp Cthulhu is a rules supplement to the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Pulp Cthulhu adds weird science, psychic skills and much stronger player characters to the traditional Call of Cthulhu system. The rules focus more on pulp action and less on quiet investigation. The player characters have far more points to work with when building characters and have pulp talents allowing players to survive more deadly encounters.

Pulp Cthulhu resembles the “Indiana Jones” school of fighting the mythos. Characters have more talents, heroic archetypes, and a lot more fighting skills than your average Call of Cthulhu game. A major premise is fighting against cultist masterminds with lots of low level “mook” cannon fodder. Multiple secret cult societies are suggested to oppose the players.

Classic Reviews – Red Dragon Inn

The only thing that’s more fun than drinking, gambling, and rough-housing in a medieval tavern in a laughter-inducing game about drinking, gambling, and rough-housing in a medieval tavern. ~

Brant Guillory, 6 September 2017

With a learning curve that’s somewhere between “simple” and “duh”, and a playing time of 30-60 minutes (published and actual), it’s quick, easy, fun, usually hilarious.  But with only four characters might get stale for as often as you’ll want to play it

So you and your friends either slayed an evil beast, or conquered the local warlord? Both? Well done, you! Time to celebrate, quaffing pints and regaling your friends with tall tales of your exploits over at the Red Dragon Inn. You goal is to be the last one standing among the carousing adventurers at the inn, which is not an easy feat when you’re subsisting on a diet of Dragon Breath Ale.

Each player has a playmat that organizers the cards in play, and tracks both the character’s alcohol level, and fortitude. The goal is to keep the alcohol content low, and the fortitude high; should they meet, the character falls unconscious and the rest of the party splits the loot. Speaking of loot – should you run out of loot, the inn tosses you out on your heels. In either case, you’re out of the game. The last conscious player standing, with cash, is the winner.

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 4

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds to play each turn in a reasonable amount of time ~

Michael Eckenfels, 30 August 2017

AAR: PART 4 (TURN 3)

It should be noted that I forgot about a stunned Irdan unit in the south; here is an updated map for your perusal.

When we last left off, the Irdan hordes were advancing slowly but surely on Outpost Gamma. Let’s get back into the action without further ado!

GrogHeads Reviews Sovereign of the Sea

Global naval conflict in the Age of Sail? Yes, please! ~

Jim Owczarski, 26 August 2017

The child of many gifts who does not rise to his potential is a cliche.  Now a parent, I find that cliche, when made flesh, to be one of the most frustrating of human experiences.  After all, this is a person you love with all your heart, who you know is capable of remarkable things, and yet, in this moment, for reasons you cannot discern, is just not, well, getting it done.

Thus my summary of Compass Games’ Sovereign of the Sea, an improvisation on the theme of Avalon Hill’s legendary War at Sea that has within it some legitimately fun, if light, game play, but needed more time in development; development that now, unfortunately, is being handled after release.

GrogHeads Analyzes Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Some thoughts on strategy for your naval battles ~

Avery Abernethy, 20 August 2017

Avoid purchasing battleships.

I have several strategy suggestions gleaned from three completed games. Avoid purchasing battleships. They are slower than cruisers and their firepower against surface ships are not worth the extra price. But the obsolete battleship you start with at Danzig is remarkably effective as an anti-aircraft platform. It is helpful to keep her alive. You need to stay with the Deutchland cruiser class for two reasons. First, they are less expensive. Second, they have a one hex greater firing range than the Admiral Hipper class. The extra firing range is much more important than slightly higher damage.

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Battles in the North Sea at the Atlantic rage through WWII ~

Avery Abernethy, 19 August 2017

After the successful invasion of Norway in 1940, German naval combat was largely limited to submarine warfare, commerce raiders and costal defense. Order of Battle WW2: Kriegsmarine is the fifth supplement in the Order of Battle series. The Kriegsmarine single-player game puts you in the role of the commander in chief of the German Navy and provides extensive what-if options to WW2 German Naval operations. I purchased Kriegsmarine and played it through three times.

GrogHeads Analyzes Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis Game

Professional development through better gameplay? ~

Brant Guillory, 12 August 2017

The first tremors hit Carana around 415 in the morning, local time. The capital was just stirring as many laborers were hurrying through their pre-dawn meals before shuffling out of their small houses to arrive at work by sunrise. The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.” The nations tenuous infrastructure, barely a patchwork to begin with, had no chance against the fury unleashed by the Earth’s shifting tectonic plates as bridges crumbled, roads buckled, water pipes tore apart like paper, and the electrical grid shut down, ending any communication that was out of shouting distance.

The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.”

Help was slow in arriving. Certainly the help wanted to arrive, but the routes into the country – the limited airport, the ramshackle seaport, and inland border – were never ideal under perfect circumstances, and these were not perfect circumstances. The local population certainly had a will to survive, but lacked critical supplies for medical care, safe water, and food & shelter. The world mobilized to help.

And the help began to arrive, a multi-headed hydra of organizations, services, expertise, and agendas. Usually cooperative, occasionally antagonistic, and always under the steady gaze of the worlds’ TV cameras, the various organizations rolled up their sleeves to start the long, hard slog of restoring the basic necessities of life to Carana.