LNLP - Nations at War

Category Archives: Classic Reviews

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).

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.

Classic Reviews – Prisoner of War

Got a hankering to conduct your own Great Escape? ~

Michael Eckenfels, 19 December 2017

Developed by Wide Games and Published by Codemasters

Prisoner of War is an evolution, of sorts, of the usual mind-assaulting first-person shooters – or a regression, depending on one’s perception. True adventure games with more puzzle solving and limited or no violence are rare; such a title set in the chaos of World War II makes for an even more interesting game. I tried hard, however, to not like this game; I’m afraid that this perception came from the plethora of lukewarm reviews that have preceded mine into print regarding this title.  Something tugged at me, however, to check this one out; I had a feeling I might not be disappointed.
Besides the Cold War, very little can evoke images of skullduggery or sneaky missions performed behind enemy lines like World War II. OSS agents mixing it up with fedora-donned instruments of the Gestapo and their jack-booted gun-toting guards…it’s a time of intrigue that helps to define modern standards for suspenseful storytelling.

So bring in Prisoner of War. No, it’s not about spying, but the premise is similar: an Allied pilot is shot down behind German lines while running a photoreconnaissance mission. He’s captured and brought to a sort of way-station (which doubles as a truck depot) for prisoners that are eventually shipped off to the official Stalag Luft prisoner-of-war camps. The pilot, one Captain Lewis Stone, resolves immediately and heroically to not stand for such imprisonment, and is off on one minor adventure after another to outwit his German captors and escape to freedom. Along the way, he uncovers a heinous plot that he tries to stop.

Classic Reviews – World War II: Panzer Claws

“…by the start of the day, eight Panzers thundered mightily over the dusty tracks that passed for a road, with several squads of Panzergrenadiers in attendance. By the end of that day, resistance was so fierce that merely two Panzer III’s remained, both damaged, and nary an infantryman was to be seen…”

-From the author’s own After Action report

Michael Eckenfels, 22 November 2017

Developed by Zuxxez and Published by EIDOS Interactive

Panzer 101

Using World War II as its canvas, Panzer Claws paints an RTS strategy game in vivid appearance, clustered with frantic game-play that fits perfectly in the chaotic battles it portrays. Although not realistic – Panzer Claws has a resource-gathering and unit-building system similar to other RTS’s, such as StarCraft – the game is still fun to play.

Soviet heavy armor lined up in the dirty, smoky snow, awaiting orders.

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.