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GrogHeads’ 2014 Holiday Buying Guide

The annual tradition returns – the holiday buying guide!

Once again the holiday season approaches, and once again gamers’ loved ones may be struggling to come up with a gift that goes deeper than a tie, sweater, or fruit cake. Relax. Grogheads is on it, and once again we are proud to present our Buying Guide for the hard-to-buy-for gamer/military historian. Once again our categories are broken down into approximate areas of interest. They’re not going to be perfect, but hopefully at least one will cover a sufficient area of interest that you can safely point a gift-giver to. And enough of the dangling prepositions. Let’s get on with it!

For The Electronic Gamer

At the top of the list have to come PC wargames. Many good ones have been released this year and hopefully at least one on this list will hit a sweet spot.Command Air Naval Ops GH Award Logo

Command Air Naval Ops BoxCommand: Modern Air Naval Operations Wargame of the Year Edition

Fans of modern naval warfare on the PC will find Command a must-have. Players can simulate battles from the 1950’s through the modern era and pretty much any nation with an ocean view can be dialed up for conflict in this game, if one of the pre-made scenarios doesn’t do it for you.

 

 

Battle Academy 2: East Front

Gamers playing on the iOS aren’t missing out on much of the action. Battle Academy 2 has been released and East Front leads the way for some light tactical wargaming on the iPad. Offering fun, scripted scenarios this is one of those games that is both enjoyable and challenging. And it covers the Eastern Front. What more is there to say?

Battle Academy 2 Eastern Front Logo

Pike & Shot

For early Renaissance military history buffs the era of Pike & Shot needs no introduction. For those less familiar, however, this is the time when hand-carried firearms were just beginning to see

Pike and Shot logo

Combat Mission: Black Sea

Have an itch to simulate some of the chaos taking place in Ukraine? Combat Mission: Black Sea may scratch it for you. Simulating a fictional clash between Russia, Ukraine, and NATO this is the game for you.

Combat Mission Black Sea Screenshot

 

Boardgamer

Unconditional Surrender

Boardgamers who enjoy the European Theater at a strategic level should have a copy of Unconditional Surrender. Offering innovative streamlined gameplay but historical depth and challenging decision-making, this game is not to be missed.

Unconditional Surrender Box Cover2

1812 – The Invasion of Canada

1812 is a fun and challenging wargame covering, what else?, the War of 1812. Offering a variety of scenarios it has high replayablility. Challenging without being overly complex, any boardgamer looking for a new genre, or one who appreciates this era, will enjoy it.

1812-box-cover

Napoleon 4th Edition

Columbia Games has enjoyed enormous success with its Napoleon game, so much that it is now in its fourth printing. Adding to the excitement is the upcoming 200th anniversary of the battle. Players interested in the era who don’t have this game need it for their collection.

Napoleon

 

Cards of Cthulhu

This game was a huge favorite when it launched its Kickstarter campaign about a year ago. If you missed out on that frenzy worry not; the game is available for retail purchase and is perfect for every Cthulhu cultist.  You can see what’s inside in our unboxing photos here.

Cards_of_Cthulhu_box200

 

Minis Gamer

Hot War: Battle for Oil

Hot War is a hypothetical clash between the US and USSR that takes place in the 1990s. Set somewhere in the Middle East the game offers a variety of miniatures for both sides and uses the well-established Art of Tactic game rules. Players wishing to expand their battles have several units available for purchase so the units can easily be increased to any size battle. The miniatures come unpainted but can easily be painted at the whim (and skill) of the player. A quick, fun game for the late Cold War enthusiast, Hot War easily fits the bill.

HotWarBattleForOil

 

Attack Wing – Dungeons & Dragons (here and here)

By now most gamers have heard of Star Wars Attack Wing. The game has been met with great enthusiasm across the globe. But (shockingly) not everyone is thrilled to push X-Wings and TIE Fighters across a star encrusted map. For those with a preference for fantasy over sci-fi a dragon-themed game has been launched using the highly popular Attack Wing rules. Players can purchase a starter pack which will introduce the rules, and multiple expansions have been released for both air and ground-based units. Ballista, flying undead, giants, and archers are all available as expansions, and the sculpts are attractive enough that they look good just decorating a desk!

dnd attack wing

 

Dropzone Commander

Fans of the tactical sci-fi minis game, Dropzone Commander, can enjoy a newly released faction, the Resistance. The other factions in the game have polished, sleek craft and vehicles zipping around the map. The Resistance, on the other hand, seem to consist of scavenged parts. Fans who like the cobbled-together look are going to want to check them out.

dropzone commander resistance

 

Man Cave

T-shirt with Lightsaber Schematic

For the engineer who wants a head start on the internal workings of a lightsaber, check this out:

star wars lightsaber schematic

Star Trek Communicator

Hold your next verbal chat using a Communicator from Star Trek plugged into your PC:

star trek communicator

 

Star Wars AT-AT Lawn Sculpture

While not exactly for a man-cave (though it could work in one) this lawn sculpture is perfect for the yard of a Star Wars fan.

at_at_lawn_ornament

Star Trek Phaser Laser Pointer

No gamer would feel complete without a geeky laser pointer, and this one shaped like an Original Series phaser would be a perfect stocking stuffer.

star_trek_tos_phaser_laser_pointer

Scout’s Honor: A Planetary Romance

While you’re in your man cave you might want some reading material. One of our staff members suggested Scout’s Honor, a novel written in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Scouts Honor2

 

And don’t forget we’ve got a huge variety of GrogHeads-branded merch in our Cafepress store.

 ghshop1 ghshop2  ghshop3

 

Those are our picks for this year’s buying guide.  What are yours?  Your thoughts below or in our forums!

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