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Tag Archives: Board Games

Defenders of the Last Stand – First Look!

8th Summit’s post-apocalyptic free-for-all ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 June 2017

In terms of good old fashioned board game mayhem, what games come immediately to mind? Car Wars, certainly (and it just happens I wrote more than a few nostalgia pieces on that very game in the last many months). Nuklear Winter ’68 (Lock n’ Load Publishing) is yet another. Waste Knights, Last Battle: Twilight 2000, The Omega Wars – just to name but a few – with any of them, you’ve got a wide range of different systems, complexities, and entertainment that all bring a good and ruined Earth to the table as a backdrop.

The artwork alone could give you radiation poisoning, but in a good way.

A Look at the Nexus Game Fair

If you’re a large plains-roaming land mammal, or a driving cat, and you just can’t make Origins, there’s always the local convention  ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 May 2017

Milwaukee has missed GenCon since the day it changed lodgings in 2003.  I know.  I’m from here.  The mass of local gamers that were left behind have created other events and some have seen remarkable success, but none have approached the grand madness that is the mother of all American gaming conventions.

Still, I love the convention experience and was looking forward to checking out the Nexus Game Fair when it rolled into town late last week.  Most importantly, I was wondering if there would be anything at all for a grognard to do.  What follows are a few thoughts and a fair number of photographs documenting the experience of Friday and Saturday.

Hosted primarily at the downtown Hyatt, evident on the Milwaukee skyline by the spaceship-like restaurant perched at the top, Nexus seems to have kept its ambitions modest.  Attendance ran to the hundreds rather than thousands and there was rarely a press of crowds despite the smallish space.  It was, however, a professionally-organized operation with a well-designed program and a strong staff of workers managing registration.

Two beautiful days and I’m going indoors to play with little soldier men. (That’s the new Bucks’ arena going up.)

Unboxing Legendary Encounters: Firefly

The beloved TV franchise comes to your tabletop ~

Michael Eckenfels, 27 May 2017

A month or so back, I had the chance to get a copy of a Legendary Encounters game. At first, I was going to get the Aliens-themed one, though the Big Trouble in Little China version looked cool too, as did the Marvel version. Well, any of those three and the 1,674 (ish) other Legendary Encounters games. I almost told them I would look at the Aliens-themed one, but then I ran across Firefly, and it was a no-brainer for me.

The box itself is just like any of the other LE-type games. At least, I think it is. I played the Aliens version once before and can say it’s definitely the same size, as is the Big Trouble in Little China one too (saw the box, never played it).

A Look Back at System 7 Napoleonics & Dragon Magazine

A stroll down memory lane to the days when wargaming and RPGs more comfortably co-existed ~

Jim Owczarski, 13 May 2017

I would have thought that after all these years the editors around this joint would have taken a liking to me.  I mean, come on, I’ve written reviews, previews, interviews, and even a travel journal or two, and have yet to get them sued for libel.  This is no small matter in our litigious day and age.

So why, then, does one of them torment me with this:

The Tuesday Interview – Brian Train (The Game Theorist!)

Brian Train stops back at GrogHeads for an asymmetric interview  ~

Brant Guillory, 9 May 2017

 

Let’s start this off with a whopper: all-time best game you’ve ever played? Why that one?

Hmm. I really don’t know what would be the all-time best one. One I never seem to get tired of is Minuteman, the Second American Revolution by James Dunnigan. I played it again and again back in the day, and one of the first variants I ever designed was for that game. The premise back then seemed farfetched but 40 years later, I am not so sure. But I liked the processes of building up an insurgent movement, or the counter to it, through covert and semi covert actions, and the eventual payoff of an actual revolution. The various scenarios were interesting too, including two occupation/resistance ones and a four-way second civil war that could develop any number of ways.

I think I got more out of that design than any other SPI game I played, but a close second would be South Africa; another game people say they love to hate but I spent a lot of hours tinkering with it.

News! Armageddon War hits Kickstarter

Check out the latest from Flying Pig Games ~

GrogHeads Newsdesk, 05 May 2017

Flying Pig Games have launched their most recent Kickstarter campaign

Armageddon War: Platoon Level Combat in the End War, is live on Kickstarter. The latest offering from serial successful-Kickstarter campaigner, Flying Pig Games, Armageddon War is set in a dark, not-too distant future.
Following disease, famine, and economic collapse among the world’s first-line powers, conventional war erupts in the Mid-East for what arable land remains. Old allies join the carnage, and the war grows, pitting age-old adversaries and their new friends against each other. Armageddon War depicts the chaos in the midst of this war.

The Tuesday Interview – Tom Russell of Hollandspiele

Hollandspiele has joined the ranks of wargame publishers.  Tom stops by for a chat ~

Brant Guillory, 25 April 2017

So… another game company, eh?  Why break off and start your own publishing house instead of just bringing your games to an existing publisher?

Well, as far as my own designs go, I’ve done that. Of the twenty-five games I’ve had published, only six have come out through Hollandspiele. So, that’s nineteen times someone else has put up their money and said, okay, let’s have a go at this. And that’s satisfying and gratifying, but it has three real disadvantages.

Of the twenty-five games I’ve had published, only six have come out through Hollandspiele.

First, as far as monetary compensation goes, the designer really gets the short-end of the stick a lot of the time. This isn’t true all the time– I’ve had publishers that gave very generous royalties, and publishers that were a lot stingier. Now, I’m talking about wargames specifically here, because in the euro market, the designer gets better pay. I have a couple of euro-style games coming out in the next year or so from a certain publisher that I’m contractually unable to mention by name at this time, and my advance for that was more than the royalties on all my previous (non-Hollandspiele) games combined. So, with wargames, it’s a much smaller piece of the pie, though again, it varies. I was talking with a designer who is working with us on a game, and also has worked with GMT, and was surprised to hear that, in terms of royalty-per-copy, Hollandspiele pays better than GMT. Now, GMT has the volume, so they’re getting more money from GMT than they are from us, because they’re selling an order of magnitude more copies than we are. But still, I thought that was interesting, because while the royalties we give are more than what I got for most of my wargame designs, I didn’t think that our royalty rate was necessarily all that generous. I just thought it was equitable.

Unboxing B-17 Flying Fortress Leader

It’s a box that could break your toe if you drop it wrong, but what’s inside? ~

Michael Eckenfels, 22 April 2017

Mosby’s Raiders. Thunderbolt/Apache Leader. Patton’s Best. Cruel Necessity. These are but a few of my favorite solitaire games of all time, games I would be happy to return to the table any time, and each of which have prominent locations on one of my bookshelves. (Thunderbolt/Apache Leader happens to include both the DVG and GMT version, by the way.) Topping my list, though, is B-17: Queen of the Skies, a game by Avalon Hill from ancient times that I would easily play again and again without hesitation.

I was very interested when, quite a while ago, Dan at DVG made mention of a new tile they were working on – B-17 Flying Fortress Leader. My mind – and no doubt yours as well – instantly jumped to Queen of the Skies. Was it a remake? Was it a sequel? Was it an improvement? Most importantly, would it be good? I figured my time with this particular game would be a long time coming, so while I kept up with the thread in the GrogHeads forums to see where it was, I was very surprised when a copy landed on my doorstep today. Thanks to Dan and his team for sending this over for GrogHeads to get its paws on it and manhandle it appropriately.

This is the box – and holy crap is it hefty. I think I saw a post on Facebook in the Solitaire Wargames page that said it was 5.5 pounds; it feels more like 10, actually! Which means, mounted boards, tons of counters and cards, and just overall lotsa stuff packed into a large box.