Rifles in the Ardennes

Tag Archives: Compass Games

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.

GrogHeads Reviews Sovereign of the Seas

Global naval conflict in the Age of Sail? Yes, please! ~

Jim Owczarski, 26 August 2017

The child of many gifts who does not rise to his potential is a cliche.  Now a parent, I find that cliche, when made flesh, to be one of the most frustrating of human experiences.  After all, this is a person you love with all your heart, who you know is capable of remarkable things, and yet, in this moment, for reasons you cannot discern, is just not, well, getting it done.

Thus my summary of Compass Games’ Sovereign of the Seas, an improvisation on the theme of Avalon Hill’s legendary War at Sea that has within it some legitimately fun, if light, game play, but needed more time in development; development that now, unfortunately, is being handled after release.

Video: Sovereign of the Seas – First Look!

What’s inside Compass Games’ new box? ~

Jim Owczarski, 1 July 2017

Let’s take a look inside the new Sovereign of the Seas from Compass Games

Much more about this game coming as we dig into it in greater detail.


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

GrogHeads Interviews the Team Behind
The Lamps Are Going Out

Kirk, Hermann, and Tim all join us to chat about their upcoming epic WWI game ~

Brant Guillory, 4 June 2016

All images from pre-production artwork.

Compass Games has had The Lamps Are Going Out on pre-order for a while now.  The design team behind the game – designer Kirk Uhlman, developer Hermann Luttman, and artist Tim Allen – dropped by for a chat.

GrogHeads:  There’s no shortage of WWI games populating the marketplace over the past 5 years or, perhaps inspired by the centennial of the war.   What is it about The Lamps Are Going Out that separates it from the pack and should put it on a gamer’s “must buy” list?lamps-counter2

Kirk Uhlmann: All of the various WWI games bring a different perspective or emphasis for the players.  Lamps came about because I was looking for a WWI game that was historically accurate, had reasonable playing time, gave one an overall perspective of the war, and was fun.  While I enjoyed many of the games on the market, none of them hit the sweet spot for me for how I wanted to game WWI.  So in a sense, Lamps started because the game I wanted to play didn’t exist.  Even if players enjoy marathon monster games, I think Lamps has a place in any gamers’ collection because it plays in an evening, is educational and accurate about the war, is fun without sacrificing realism and conversely, is realistic without being extremely complicated.  My intent was for all the hard work to be up front in the design, so that the end result was a streamlined, fast-playing, accurate simulation of the war from a grand strategic level.

Hermann Luttman: I had this very same concern when Compass first offered to publish the game, as I saw that they had Balance of Power and Fatal Alliances also in the works. But they were not concerned as they immediately realized the same thing that we all already knew – that Lamps is a totally different type of strategic WWI game. It can be played in one long evening, is easy to learn, the graphics are unique and the game is very accessible to non-wargamers. All the essentials of simulating this level of WWI are there, wrapped in a simple and yet attractive package. This sets Lamps apart from most other WWI games and you could easily jump from playing any of the more traditional large hex-and-counter wargames to a game of Lamps immediately thereafter and still get a totally different experience.

News! Fornova Still Available at Preorder Price

Check out the latest from Compass Games ~

GrogHeads Newsdesk, 10 May 2016

Still available at preorder price!

The first game in the series presents the battle fought between the French Army of King Charles VIII, and the Condottieri forces of the League of Venice under the command of Francesco II Gonzaga of Mantua. The game features the Historical Battle as fought by Francesco Gonzaga across a rising Taro River, a free-set up version, and a what-if scenario that portrays the Italian fear of a French drive on Parma.
spread

GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #54

Hey now, hey now…  you didn’t really want to start saving for Christmas shopping, did you?  You really wanted to blow it all on these fine pre-orders and crowdsourced games instead!

Sea Kings (Worthington Publishing)
$4800 of $15k, ends 1 Nov 2014

Worthington makes some of the best lightweight wargames in the business, with hits like Hold the Line and Band of Brothers.  Sea Kings looks like it’s going to take that track record to the age of Vikings and give you a great little empire-builder that looks like a Euro with it’s cute wooden pieces, but whose theme actually means something and evokes a real time and place.  A combination of card play and area movement, Sea Kings is something that grogs can whip out with the non-wargaming crowd to still get a historical challenge when forced to play with a table full of folks that can’t spell “ZOC”.  Sail over to Kickstarter and conquer your fear of pledging.

g54-seakings