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Category Archives: Reviews

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.

GrogHeads Reviews Platoon Commander – Poland Strikes

The wars of the future are on your tabletop now ~

Robert Ellis, 20 March 2018

Designed by Mark H.Walker
Published by Tiny Battles Publishing.

About the game

Poland Strikes is one of four games in the ‘Platoon Commander’ series and depicts an hypothetical war between Poland and Hungary taking place within a wider European conflict.

The game uses the latest v1.5 series rules and features an 11×17-in map, 88 x 5/8” counters, a nicely laid out and very colourful player aid card, plus 18 ‘action cards’

I assume that these latest rules are backwards compatible with the other games in the series.

Each hex represent approx 150 meters, and each game turn 15-60 minutes.

GrogHeads Reviews LNLP’s A Wing & A Prayer

Does LNLP’s air war over Europe game soar to the skies or crash & burn? ~

Michael Eckenfels, 6 March 2018

Is A Wing And A Prayer good enough to recommend as a game?

Way back in 1981, B-17: Queen of the Skies set the bar for future solitaire games, let alone future solitaire games dealing with the Allied air war against Germany. In recent times, a plethora of these have surfaced, including Legion Wargames’ B-29 Superfortress and its Hell Over Korea expansion, as well as Target For Today; DVG’s B-17 Flying Fortress Leader; and possibly others I’m not offhand remembering. Lock n Load Publishing’s hat in the ring is a good entry with interesting play for the solo gamer, though it has some production issues.

Is A Wing And A Prayer good enough to recommend as a game? I’d feel more confident in my answer of “yes” if LnL fixes some of those production issues in forthcoming printings of this title, and maybe polished some of its graphic design elements too. While not bad, it’s not the best I’ve seen, and while functional, it degrades the game overall somewhat. Still, it’s one I’d recommend to you if you’re into solo games about bombing the heck out of the Reich.

GrogHeads Reviews In The Trenches: Base Set II Doughboys

TBP promises to pack big fun into small packages.  How does their WWI series measure up? ~

Designed by John Gorkowski and published by Tiny Battles Publishing ~

Robert Ellis, 7 February 2018

In The Trenches is a series of games that depict platoon level tactical combat during WW1, and offers a good selection of scenarios and forces from many of the involved protagonists.

Each hex represents 100 yards and each turn 5 minutes.

The series so far consists of two base games (this being one of them) and four expansions, all of which require one of the base games to play.

‘Doughboys’, as you might expect from the title, is about US Army actions set in 1918, and has three scenarios that feature a mixture of US infantry and light tanks in both defensive and offensive battles.