Category Archives: Reviews

GrogHeads Reviews Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862

Tiny Battle Publishing promises “Tiny Package. Big Fun!” Does Shiloh live up to it?  ~

Robert Ellis, 18 April 2018

– Designed by Sean Chick
– Published by Tiny Battle Publishing
– Scale is approximately 1/3 mile per hex (1700ft)
– Each turn is one hour.
– Units are Brigades.

The American Civil War has held a fascination for me for a great many years, and not only have I read an enormous number of books on the subject, I’ve also played a fair number of games, both board and PC varieties. However, the last, and as far as I remember, only game based on Shiloh that I’ve ever played, was the old 2 map SPI ‘Bloody April ‘from 1979 a bit of a monster game and one of the first in the ‘Great Battles of the American Civil War’ series. It was quite hard work to play, and I suspect it put me off from gaming that battle ever since.

Therefore, I was quite pleased at being given the chance to review a comparatively new game on the subject, albeit one based on a much different scale.

So, lets open the zip-lock bag and see what we get.

There is a 24 page Rulebook, several pages of which contains extensive scenario and set-up information, plus one optional rule. According to the game page on TBP website, this is a ‘full colour’ rulebook, but, apart from the cover, and a very few colour illustrations on pages 2 & 3, colour is limited to some highlighted text only.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, (the lost) Part 9

Remember that whole series from over a year ago?  Yeah, we missed one… ~

Michael Eckenfels, 18 April 2018

click most images to enlarge

THE AADA ROAD ATLAS AND SURVIVAL GUIDE

VOLUME ONE: THE EAST COAST

The AADA Survival Guides, of which I believe there were seven, were essentially campaign game starter books that gave Car Wars-centric information for various regions of the United States. Or, at least, what was left of the United States. Further, it should be pointed out that these Guides are built to be used with the GURPS system (more specifically, the Autoduel GURPS rules).

GrogHeads Reviews Underrail

Airboy dives into the bowels of Underrail to see if it’s worth taking the plunge ~

Avery Abernethy, 14 April 2017

Computer RPGs often have an excellent design concept but poor execution. Other RPGs have a great design and good execution, but play balance goes off usually later in the game. Your characters become so powerful that almost nothing presents a challenge. Very few RPGs have a good concept, and game mechanics while retaining challenging (but not impossible) play throughout the game. Even fewer RPGs manage to do this while enabling different effective play styles. Underrail is one of a handful of games I’ve ever played which hits all of these benefits.

GrogHeads Reviews Battle of Britain (the new one!)

Never have so many spent so much backing a game by so few that plays…  so well? ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 March 2018

During the mad era when Lorraine Williams lead TSR, the company released, counter intuitively to some, a few of the most popular wargames ever created.  Chief among these was The Hunt for Red October, but the list also includes bright lights like Red Storm Rising, A Line in the Sand, and, less brightly, Europe Aflame.  This list was joined in 1990 by Battle of Britain (hereafter just BoB), a Richard Borg design that brought Mr. Borg’s love of light simulation and dice-heavy combat resolution to the skies over Britain and the English Channel in those early years of the Second World War.

More than 25 years later, the Plastic Soldier Company, which partnered with Mr. Borg to create the First World War iteration of his Commands and Colors system, launched a Kickstarter to re-release BoB and bring its production values up to contemporary wargame standards.  The Kickstarter was well received, but, as with many of these endeavors, there were lots of delays, allegations of poor communication on the part of the company, and a fair amount of displeasure with the quality of some of the components.  I received my own copy over a year after I backed it — about eight months after I expected it — and I’ve been having a go at the game with my son.  What do I think of the re-boot?  That would be telling; please read on.

Lovely cover art

Classic Reviews – Operation Blockade

Another treasure from the vault of our GrogHeads’ writers ~

Michael Eckenfels, 28 March 2018

Developer/Publisher: Infogrames

Fans of shoot-em-ups, have we got something to tell you about! To be honest, though…I’m not a fan. I never had too much fun with the ‘move-fire-madly-flip a switch-next level’ stuff, having thoroughly taken part of such excitement (and passed a ton of quarters) to the stand-up arcade monsters of the 1980’s. I didn’t relish the possibilities of this title much, but every so often even the most anachronistic wargamer should poke their head out of their board game dungeon and try their hand at a little action.

So here is Operation: Blockade. While a shoot-em-up, it is deftly clever at covering up its own inadequacies, simplistic ideas, and never-changing worldviews, by injecting a hot load of steel-and-fire addictive game play. The gamer will probably be disappointed in some aspects of this title, but that should be balanced through some surprisingly attractive graphics and cleverly manipulated sound.