Polyversal Kickstarter

Tag Archives: Age of Gunpowder

A(nother) Review of Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862

Cruel Morning SPLASH

Another look at Tiny Battle’s ACW game ~

Jim Werbaneth, 27 July 2018

Cruel Morning Cover Color

Cruel Morning Cover

The Battle of Shiloh was a harbinger of the bloodbath to come in the Civil War.  It also marked a turning point in the leadership of both sides.  Albert Sidney Johnston, one of the most highly-regarded Confederate generals at the start of the conflict, was mortally wounded, rendering him a “what if” in a theater characterized by rebel generals who were mediocre at best; how could the war have progressed had Johnston remained alive and in charge, in place of Braxton Bragg, Leonidas Polk, John Bell Hood or Joseph Johnston? On the Union side, Ulysses S. Grant prepared poorly, and was caught off guard by the Confederate onslaught. However, he recovered, and his Army of the Tennessee did not just survive, but with the aid of Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio, went on the offensive on the second day of battle. Despite heavy criticism of the early stages of the battle, a temporary sidelining afterward, Grant and his career survived, and he went on to become the premier, even definitive, military leader of the Civil War.

Cruel Morning is a brigade-scale treatment of Shiloh, on a time scale of daily turns.  The footprint is small, with an eleven by seventeen-inch unmounted map.  From its small size and relatively low unit count, one would expect it to be a fast-playing, easily-accessible game.  However, the final project ends up as something different.

click images to enlarge

Skull Tales: Full Sail! ~ Kickstarter

An exclusive look at the prototypes in action ~

GrogHeads Newsdesk, 23 May 2018

The guys over at Eclipse Editorial have an exploding Kickstarter that’s reeling in pledges like a pirate chases booty.

The Skull Tales: Full Sail! pirate-themed boardgame mixes a combination of naval adventures at sea with individual actions ashore, and crew & ship management in between.  As of now, there’s over 3400 backers that have pledged almost $400,000 toward the game, including a couple of our own GrogHeads.

We’ve got an exclusive look at the game in action with some of the printing press prototypes, thanks to the guys at Eclipse, and Draco Designs.

Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part 2

The AAR takes waaaay less time than the game ~

Jim Owczarski, 16 May 2018

One of the great joys of the Kriegsspiel is the fog of war and command friction that results from any double-blind game.  The Jena-Auerstedt campaign’s fights over 13 and 14 October made this point eloquently — and I am not only discussing the fact (alluded to in the videos) that during this period Napoleon lost Bernadotte’s I Corps for a fair amount of time and Brunswick lost contact with Blucher and Ruchel for several days.

While Murat, Lannes, and Davout were barrelling nigh Hell-fot-leather Northward along their western line of advance, Napoleon I himself could never quite figure out where the Prussians were.  He kept punching forward hoping to hit something and never realized just how empty the battle space was.  In the early marches, he failed to catch the divisions guarding the Hof gap and then both Marshals Soult and Ney kept nudging forward along the eastern routes trying to make contact with Hohenlohe’s men who scampered as fast as they were able.

Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part 1

What happens when you cram 10 days of battle into 18 months of forum posts? ~

Jim Owczarski, 12 May 2018

It took nine game days rather than the postulated six.

It took a tiny bit over a year and a half of real time.

It resulted in 568 forum posts and 33,553 forum views (as I write this).

The umpire sent out 825 dispatches.

And it is over.

Jokes to the contrary notwithstanding, the Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ actually ended on 5 May 2018.

But that would be to begin at the ending, and no one wants that.

In the beginning, I was planning a trip to the Jena-Auerstedt battlefields and I had always had a love of Dr. Didier Rouy’s “The Flight of the Eagle” Napooleonic campaign system.  I also enjoy the company of the crew from the GrogHeads forums and was delighted when a fair number of them responded to the idea of playing one of these Kriegsspiels with something other than derisive laughter or knowing dismissal.

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 12

GrogHeads’ rump-height rapscallion rides the ropes ~

Lloyd Sabin, 25 December 2017

I’m sure there are many games that you return to after months or even years away. This was the case for me with Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. You know, the AssCreed just after Black Flag that kept the well done naval combat but shifted settings to New York’s Hudson River Valley during the French and Indian War in the 1750s.

It’s one of those games that makes players excited to be gamers, and I can’t think of a better comment to lavish upon it!

Oh and your in-game avatar spent most of the game breaking away from his usual Assassin’s guild and worked on joining the Templars. Traitor? Turncoat? Depends on your perspective.

Rogue does give players an opportunity to explore the beautiful Hudson River Valley hinterland as well as its bigger cities like Albany and New York City, one of the only games I can recall that provides that setting. And living here in that setting 250 years later made Rogue irresistible…it just draws players in with beautiful graphics, stealthy mechanics (where you want them), a solid naval combat component, even fleet management.