Rifles in the Ardennes

Tag Archives: Board Games

Dragon’ Up The Past – Week 1, Boodles!

A new feature that takes a deep dive into the history of the hobby ~

Brant & Jim, 27 October 2017

Take a spin through the archives of the hobby gaming world, as Brant and Jim peruse the back catalog of Dragon Magazine

Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where this one came from – there’s 200 issues still to go!


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Battle Lab: Why Logistics Sucks

Why logistics so rarely shows up in wargames ~

Brant Guillory, 25 October 2017

Here’s a logic puzzle for you.

You have 4 snakes that have to get through a maze. They each have a destination, but there are only 3 start points and only 3 endpoints. Oh, and the routes through the maze cross in several places, which means you have to sequence your snakes through the maze. And by the way, there is a certain sequence the snakes need to depart and arrive.

Does your head hurt yet? What if we started putting some obstacles in the maze? How about if the snakes stop off for a bite to eat? What if we start including snakes going the other direction, too? Some passageways are too small for some snakes, do you route them through those pathways to free up space for other snakes even if the smaller ones now take longer to get where they’re going?

Old School Tactical II – First Look!

From north of the border comes an advance look at what’s in the box ~

Vance Strickland, 18 October 2017

Here is everything that arrived today in my KickStarter Old School Tactical Vol. II package!

Everything packed, really well, into the shipping box. OST Vol. II, Airborne Expansion, Pocket Battles Scenarios and maps, neoprene admin mats, and the new Strategy Guide.

GrogHeads Reviews War in the Wind: The Battle for Attu Island, May 1943

The obscure WWII PTO shootout gets the GrogHeads once-over ~

Michael Eckenfels, 14 October 2017

In June of 1942, as part of the Midway attack plan, Japanese troops landed on the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska. These two inhospitable, mountainous islands were home to little but cold weather and leg-breaking slopes. The Japanese thought it prudent to occupy for…well, the reasons depend on what source you read. Some think they thought occupying part of a U.S. State would cause a tremendous morale drop among Americans; others thought it was meant to help ‘shield’ their northern flank, because both islands were closer to Japan than Alaska. Regardless of the reasons, the Japanese arrived, found little resistance, and after bombing Dutch Harbor to the east a few times, settled in for a long occupation.

American troops didn’t arrive until May 11, 1943, and were woefully unprepared for it.

That occupation lasted nearly a year. American troops didn’t arrive until May 11, 1943, and were woefully unprepared for it. The troops earmarked for the invasion were training in southern California for operations in the south Pacific – not for operations in near-Arctic mountainous conditions. The powers-that-be thought the attack would be brief, only lasting a few days, whereas when all was said and done, it took nearly three weeks. It might have taken longer had the Japanese not executed one of the biggest banzai charges of the war, costing them half their casualties. The number of troops they lost came close to 2400, with only 28 prisoners taken. The Americans suffered about 550 killed, 1200 wounded, and another 1800 or so wounded due to exposure, frostbite, trenchfoot, gangrene, and a number of other nasty, debilitating conditions. It was by no means a cake walk, though the result was inevitable.

Tracer Rounds: What Do You Buy, Read, or Play?

Rapid fire thoughts about your game acquisitions ~

Brant Guillory, 11 October 2017

Plenty of us have a stack of wargames that we haven’t played yet. And quite frankly, there’s a not-insignificant portion of that stack that is, in all honesty, unlikely to ever get played. Occasionally, we’re just holding onto something in unpunched condition (ie, “investing”). Sometimes we got it, read thru it a bit, and decided we weren’t going to play it after all. But how many of us bought something with the express purpose of studying the game more than playing it?

What do you buy? What do you read or study? And what do you actually play?

That brings up a very interesting three-part question: What do you buy? What do you read or study? And what do you actually play?

In my case, I buy a lot of games from designers and companies I like to support (that said, I’m a bad comparison for “what do you buy?” because as the editor at GrogHeads and a regular reviewer of games, I don’t spend nearly as much on games as it might appear). But the games that I study and the games that I play do tend to diverge quite a bit.

Alien vs Predator – First Look!

Michael digs into the sci-fi shootout game ~

Michael Eckenfels, 2 October 2017

Digging into a battle game with a pair of iconic sci-fi franchises facing off… again.

More coming on this one in the future…


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GrogHeads Reviews Table Battles

Hollandspiele’s new ‘abstract’ wargame hits the table ~

Doug Miller, 25 September 2017

I’m a hardcore grog. I like my games with hexes and chits. Fifty-page rule books don’t scare me, in fact they often appeal to me. I’m a lot more interested in the simulation value of most games than I am their playability. I’m interested in narrative and historical accuracy. I like maps. A lot.

All of which are reasons that I’m something of an odd choice as reviewer for Hollandspiel’s latest, Tom Russell’s Table Battles.

Table Battles bills itself as “a thinky filler, a light dice game that nevertheless will have you scratching your chin and agonizing over your decisions.” Tom himself posted in a Facebook discussion something to the effect that it might not be a wargame. There is no map. There isn’t any movement of pieces.

Video: Conflict of Heroes Guadalcanal – First Look!

Cracking the shrink on Academy’s PTO wargame ~

Michael Eckenfels, 21 September 2017

Michael takes a look inside the COH box from the gang over at Academy Games.

More coming on this one in the future…


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