Tracer Rounds: Attack of the Killer Poetry

frontier wars 728x90 KS

What do you do with a backlog of reviews? ~

Brant, 04 April 2016

We get all kinds of games sent to us, along with the ones we pick up one our own.  Some good, some bad, some gorgeous, some not so much.  We try – we really do try – to get to all of them for review purposes, but it doesn’t always happen.  There’s a reason I’ve got a weekly blurb here called “What I’m doing this week when I should be playing games”.  Moreover, when I play a game for review, I want to play it multiple times to ensure that the review I’m writing is accurate based on how the game is balanced, and how it plays over time – especially if replayability is one of the key factors we want to discuss.haiku

Among the reasons I’ve made it a point to start republishing a bunch of the ‘classic reviews’ are that I don’t want my reviews to be dependent on someone else’s site continuing to exist, as well as wanting folks to be able to find opinions on older games that they may want to take for a spin.  Additionally, many of those older reviews (some of which I’m going to get to soon) were longer borderline-investigative-journalism pieces that really dug into the games through repeated plays.  That was a lot easier when I was in grad school.  Working 3 different teaching jobs, plus being the editorial director here, makes all that a lot tougher.

So, this episode of Tracer Rounds is designed to catch up on those reviews – with a twist.

I don’t have the time to write 2500 word reviews on all of these games, but I still want to give them their due.  So prepare yourself for a load of rapid-fire reviews, with…  (drumroll!)

The Review Haiku Revue!

New York 1776 (Worthington Games)
Tactical map feels like
Two games crammed into one box
One would be plenty

Spearpoint 1943 (Collins Epic Games)
Fast, fun light card game
Cinematic fun, but not
that historical

GHLogoTextCivilization 5 (Firaxis)
More addictive than
Crack cocaine; not that I’ve tried
(the crack. Love the game)

Congo Merc (Decision Games)
Solo adventures
Not most historical
Plan well, or it hurts

Congo Merc (Hexwar / Hunted Cow)
Implements board game
on PC, almost perfect
UI feels wonky

Rommel at Gazala (LNLP)
Desert Fox steals show
It is his name on the box
What do you expect?

Dorking 1871 (Tiny Battles Publishing)
Neat alt-history
Fun little game, although the
Setup is a bitch

Brass Empire (Mike Gnade)
Looks and feels just like
Netrunner, and that’s not a
Bad thing, considering…

Crisis 2020 (Victory Point Games)
Was Donald Trump the
Inspiration or is it
Just prescient dumb luck?

Caesar XL (Victory Point Games)
Political moves
Outshine the military
Perhaps by design?

Hold the Line (Worthington Games)
The definition of
A smart gateway game for n00bs
We need more of these

Fortress Berlin (ATO Magazine)
Nice, inspired game
Less-than-inspired graphics
Plays nice; ow! my eyes!

Fleets 2025 (Victory Point Games)
Supposed future
Feels just like World War Two, but
With new Chinese toys

Dogfight (Bucephalus Games)
No connection to
Anything realistic
But lots of kids’ fun

Valor & Vengeance (Paul Rohrbaugh)
Obscure battle gets
An excellent game for it
Wish it was mounted

Our Royal Bones (Tiny Battles Publishing)
Feels like just like all
The battles in Braveheart, but
That’s kind of the point

Tank on Tank East Front (LNLP)
Sent out for review
Back before last Thanksgiving
Hey Mirth! Still waiting…


This week’s soundtrack:
Heard this on SiriusXM Lithium the other day. This was one of the first guitar solos that I learned to play note for note. I was so proud of myself that I put it in every set list for the next year. It’s not that hard of a solo; I just wasn’t that good.


Game that caught my eye:
The Division – it’s rare that a console game grabs my attention, but watching my son play this one has definitely caught my eye. I might even give it a try. I’m floored by how photo-realistic some of the graphics are, and how gorgeous the character customization is. We’re recording a GrogCast episode on it very soon.


What I’m doing this week when I should be playing games:
Juggling car repairs, house repairs, and garbed repairs. And probably wondering if there’s any mathematical hope of Newcastle not getting relegated.


Wouldn’t it be cool if…
We had another 5-10 writers for GrogHeads?  Hey – if you’re interested in writing for us, as a reviewer, or writing AARs, or covering conventions, jump into our forums and shoot me a message about writing for GrogHeads.  We’re looking to expand our writing team so we can widen our content coverage.  Board games, PC games, minis, consoles, or mobile, we’ll take them all.


This week’s poll:


Until the next time
That I inflict Tracer Rounds
Bayonet 06 – out!


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *