GARPA 27 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

frontier wars 728x90 KS

Starting the second year of GARPA – yes, this is episode 27 – we bring you an advance look as upcoming projects that have caught our wargaming eye, for both tabletop and computer.


Tabletop Gaming

Next Wave – Tide of Iron Starter Set & Stalingrad Expansion by 1A Games LLC
$6,183 pledged of a $30,000 goal funding ending October 17th

garpa27-toiTide of Iron, the successful squad based tactical World War II boardgame has come to Kickstarter.  Well, not the original but a quick start set and an expansion.  Now that Fantasy Flight has licensed 1A Games LLC to produce the Tide of Iron series we are seeing the first of their new editions that fall under the “Next Wave” moniker.  This crowd funding project has two main parts.  First is the Stalingrad expansion that you must own the TOI starter set in order to play.  If you don’t have the starter set the other half of the project is the TOI Starter Set “Next Wave” edition.  However, the Stalingrad expansion works best with the original TOI if you already own that.  This new “Next Wave” line of products is compatible with the original games and expansions.  They keep the same game system but provide quick start scenarios and present the rules in such a way that they are easy to learn and start playing.

The Stalingrad expansion contains the Soviet infantry and armor as well as the German armor needed to compliment the base game in order to recreate the brutal street fight of one of World War II most important battles.  In all it comes to “90 figures, bases and vehicles.”  In addition to the playing pieces this expansion comes with 12 double-sided urban terrain maps that include factories, streets, buildings and sewers that add another dimension to the game.  Eight new scenarios, introductory battles and four linked campaigns also ship with the game.

The “Next Wave” TOI starter set reprints the tokens, reference charts and core rules from the original game.  It also comes with double sided map boards, German and American infantry, tanks and half-tracks.  As we stated before all of this is compatible with all the previous editions and expansions of the TOI series.  This starter set reprint kicks off 1A Games plan for a full series of “Next Wave” expansions and games for TOI.

I highly recommend you head over and check out the projects Kickstarter page.  Not only are your standard reward levels included but as you go up the reward levels you unlock some very cool rewards that include limited edition game cards, 3d models of a German sIG 33 armored self-propelled howitzer, and laser cut wooden initiative cards.

Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 by Compass Games

Available for pre-order savings, shipping the end of September

garpa27-crusadeCrusade and Revolution (CaR) is a new game from Compass Games that tackles the Spanish Civil War.  CaR is a card driven game that relies on the player’s skillful use of their deck of strategic cards.  Each of the cards in a player’s deck has four possible uses but only one of those can be chosen each time the card is played.  The cards all contain a historical event that is political, martial, economic or social in nature that affects the course of the war.  Operations values on the cards are used to activate units for movement, attacking, or defensive preparations.  Cards also contain strategic redeployment and replacement values that are used to repair and move the units.  The importance of the historical event on the card directly impacts the value of each category and provides players with a number of options for the employment of each card.

The game itself is divided into three phases each of which shows the process that Spanish Civil War underwent as it progressed.  The War of Columns is the first phase and throughout this phase only “small units” can be used.   This represents the limited manpower and irregular units that operated over such a large front.  The second phase is referred to as Large Units and represents the mobilization of large numbers of men and machine as the war dragged on.  The final phase is the Decisive Phase during which the Nationalists try to force surrender while the Republic tries to prolong the war.  Each of these phase combine to give the game a sense progress and urgency.

The game’s time scale is one turn equaling two months except for the first four turns of the game where each turn equals a month.  On the map one space is approximately 37 miles and the unit scale consist of small units which are irregular columns up to divisions and large units which are reinforce divisions up to army corps.  The game is two player and for the smaller scenarios takes 3-4 hours whereas the full campaign takes eight plus hours to complete.  The game ships with a 22 inch by 34 inch color map, 110 cards, rule books, player aids, dice and over 400 diecut counters.  You can preorder it today at a savings from Compass Game’s website.


FAB Golan ’73 from GMT Games

p500 – not yet made the cut

With the same Fast Action Battles system that’s previously appeared in the Bulge and Sicily, Rick Young takes his system to the Golan Heights in the ’73 war as the Syrians aim to retake the ground they lost the last time they attacked Israel.  A fierce armored assault battered Israeli defenses as the IDF struggled to hold their ground until help arrived.  Yes, it’s an actual campaign, and yes there are modern-day tie-ins galore, but at it’s heart, any Golan Heights game is a tower defense game for the IDF and a complex assault for the Syrians.

GMT’s typical high-quality production values ooze out of every FAB game, with a mixture of blocks and counters on large, gorgeous maps.  FAB Golan takes a proven WWII system into the modern era and is waiting for you to help bump it over the p500 funding line to get to the press.



Digital Games

Sunless Sea, by Failbetter Games

£48,829 of £60,000, ends October 3rd

garpa27-sunlessBuilt off of a successfully story-focused online game called Fallen London, the boys over at Failbetter Games are bringing you a game that’s an odd mix of exploration, commerce, and story-telling, set in the same dark Victorian world.  This is not a steampunk game so much as a dark reimagining of the underbelly of London in the late 1800s, only kidnapped and dropped in an alternate universe.  An over-head 2D perspective shows you the world as you set sail to explore the dark reaches of other world, with a mix of world-building and story-telling to keep gamers of all stripes involved.  And yes, you do get to shoot people.  Occasionally.

The stretch goals include submarines and airships, and the different support tiers include the option to put a character based on you in the game, or to design a sea monster, or an entire island.  Or just get a copy of the game and some cool artwork.  Check out the Kickstarter page for details, or give Fallen London a try.



Ground Pounders by Kerberos Productions

$14,687 of $42,000 total, ends September 28th.

garpa27-groundHex-based battlefields in the Sword of the Stars universe?  Yes, please!  Ground Pounders gives you turn-based sci-fi combat on a map, for those of you GrogHeads out there with a predeliction for laser beams over muskets.  Multi-platform, and networkable, Ground Pounders is designed to plat head-to-head with an asychronous turn rotation that essentially handles all your traditional PBEM functions in the game.  Three races, 80-odd units, tons of planets to explore, and the rich Sword of the Stars universe underneath it all should give players plenty to work with.

The stretch goals and add-on rewards blur the lines between PC adn tabletop games, with decks of cards and dice available for backers of the game.  Early bird purchasers (there are a limited number!) will save a few bucks, and if enough money is raised then Android, Linux, and iOS versions will be built, too.  Give the campaign a look and check out some great artwork.



That’s all for this week – see you next time around!

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One Response to GARPA 27 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

  1. […] If Sword of the Stars Ground Pounders sounds familiar it’s because it ought to. It has been discussed in the Grogheads forums (twice: here and here) and was covered just over a month ago in GARPA 27. […]

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