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GARPA 28 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

GARPA #28, Grogheads Staff

Fall is the best time of year…this is not even debatable, primarily because the heat of summer has been broken and the weather is cooler. But there is so much more that fall has to offer! Like fear. Fear brought to you by darkening days, the harvest possibly coming up short and the impending onset of winter…even if we don’t farm, there’s a natural connection to autumn that brings both excitement and a niggling sense of unease. All of this culminates in Halloween, The World’s Best Holiday.

You probably think we are going to bring you a series of planned board and PC games that intend to scare the crap out players. But would we be the GARPA guys if we were so obvious? Maybe. But that’s not what we’re doing in this installment…plenty of time for scares in the next few weeks. For now, enjoy the seasonally appropriate impending doom evident in the following planned projects!

Board Games

BattleAxeBattleAxe by Nick Ryan

$3,135 pledged of $110,000 goal, funding ends Wednesday, October 23

HTML: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nickryan/battleaxe?ref=category

If you are 35 or older, you may remember an awesome game from the early 1980s called Crossbows & Catapults in which players literally hurled miniature projectiles at each other’s medieval strongholds in hopes of capturing their enemy’s keep. It was a violent but awesomely fun, basic game. BattleAxe appears to be in a similar vein, but hopes to be more advanced.

BattleAxe is set during the Dark Ages (I don’t care what people are calling it these days, they will always be the Dark Ages to me) and, like Crossbows & Catapults, players will assemble and command armies, build a keep, and attempt to kill the enemy king. Think chess but in three dimensions, using armored spearmen, axemen, swordsmen, and cavalry in your army and towers, walls, trenches, and fire for defense. An oversized battlefield map and custom dice are also included. The game takes a realistic angle and makes a point in not including fantasy elements of any kind…this is a game of Dark Age combat and tactics.

Nick Ryan, the developer of BattleAxe, assures potential players that the game itself is already 95% done and has been in play testing for two years, with “only funding” required at this point. That’s a big missing link, but if the game plays well tactically and strategically as promised, it will be worth investing in. Let’s hope BattleAxe can capture some of the magic that Crossbows & Catapults had for us older guys.

GARPA 28 - ReluctantPre-Order: Reluctant Enemies (MMP)

766 of 640 orders needed, Pre-order price of $39.00

Reluctant Enemies is designed as a ‘gateway’ game into the OCS series, but it also covers the rarely-gamed Middle Eastern ‘front’ in WWII, as the British sought to shore up their territories on the eastern edge of the Med.  The reluctant enemies in this fight are the Brits – with their Australian, Indian, and Free French allies – opposing the Vichy French seeking to make mischief in Lebanon and Iraq.  Once the Vichy French allowed German aircraft to overfly their airspace en route to an anti-British coup in Iraq, well… it was on!

The OCS series is known for its monster Case Blue-like games, but Reluctant Enemies is a one-map “son of OCS” specifically designed for players new to monster gaming’s premier system.

Get your pre-orders in before the price jumps.

GARPA 27 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

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.

GARPA 26 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

Authors: Dan Pinkham & Lloyd Sabin

Ahh…there is almost a chill in the air and the children are being herded back to school.  That means football season and fall must almost be here. Unfortunately that also means pumpkin in everything you can eat and drink but never fear: GARPA shall remain pumpkin free but still contain all the gaming nutrition you expect.

Board and Tabletop Games

A War of Kings –Playing Cards by Andy Fischer

$8,056 pledged of a $10,500 goal funding ending September 7th

1 War of KingsTo be honest I am getting off easy with this entry but it is too cool looking of a project not to feature here at GARPA. It is a deck of cards. That’s right, 54 playing cards.  However, “each suit is a distinctly different set of fantasy characters, featuring White and Dark Knights, Fire Mages and Barbarians.”  That’s the project, that’s all there is: a card deck with some sweet looking fantasy art. We’ll post some pictures here but make sure to check out their project page for even more art samples.

Fantasy Frontier by Gamelyn Games

$5,187 pledged of a $25,000 goal funding ending October 8th

There is something so very intriguing about airships. Perhaps it is the well-known disaster of the Hindenburg and the idea of what could have been had it not happened. Maybe it is just the notion of slowly drifting through the clouds in your very own dirigible. Whatever the case may be I thought most of us, if honest, find the idea at least interesting.

Since we can’t all go out and buy an airship, we have to keep dreaming and game with them. Fantasy Frontier is here to help with “a 2-4 player game of airships and exploration” that brings the airship fantasy alive on a tabletop.

3 Fantasy FrontierDesigned to be played in about 90 minutes this will make a great game for the coming winter months.  “Each player controls a unique airship with a crew of pioneers. Players manage the actions of these pioneers each turn in an effort to scout the land, gather resources, construct townships, and even battle it out in aerial combat.”

To create the game world over which the airships fly, players develop “geographic patterns via tile placement, the players will develop a new world each time they play.” Each turn players use their workers to perform seven actions: piloting the airship, R&D, scouting the land, gathering resources, constructing a township, aerial combat, or repairing ship damage.

The game comes with over 200 components and looks to be a very unique experience.  Combine the possible turn strategies with the geomorphic playing surface and players get lots of replayability options. If you want to see some cool game art, components, or an early gameplay video then make sure to check out the project’s Kickstarter page.

GARPA 25 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

With a chill in the air this week it is clear that the seasons are changing again. Soon we won’t have to feel particularly guilty about gaming or reading inside since the weather won’t be as cooperative. Peruse our below roundup to get some good ideas on interesting games and other swag to pickup to help you keep your seasonal affective disorder at bay!

 

Books

Dean Putney’s World War I Album

$82,631 pledged of $50,000 goal

Funding ends Thursday, September 5

PutneyStQuentinYes I usually cover games but this is special. Dean Putney of San Francisco has a literal treasure chest full of over 1000 photographic negatives of his great grandfather’s military service in World War I. Not only that, but his great grandfather, Walter Koessler, fought for Imperial Germany on the Western front, a perspective not covered as well or as often in English histories of the war.

The negatives, some stereoscopic, look incredibly vivid, even when viewed on the internet. Putney found over 1000 of them, all preserved and protected in a family attic in southern California, just recently. His great grandfather was an architect before the war started, and served in the German artillery as a lieutenant. He was a skilled photographer, and after the war left Germany for Hollywood, CA where he became an art director in the booming U.S. movie industry. His skill is immediately evident when viewing his pictures, which feature recognizable equipment, locations and even some aerial shots.

The images, besides being of technical high quality, are also notable for how expressive they are. Even from the few samples shown on Putney’s Kickstarter page, the mood from the outbreak of war in 1914 through subsequent years (it looks like his great grandfather served through the entire conflict) deteriorates noticeably. Images flow from young kids horsing around in a festive atmosphere in summer 1914 through to the grim reality of combat as time goes by. The images are very good at expressing the change of emotion. For grogs interested in German history, the First World War, or even just photography as a medium, Dean Putney’s Kickstarter project is something very special.

PutneyTrenches

GARPA 25 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

GARPA #24 – Dan Pinkham & Lloyd Sabin

Let’s face it, a long work week can get to all of us. And in the summer long weeks can feel even longer.

I focused on this point just a minute ago when my co-worker came in said good morning to me, found something on his desk and then said, “What fresh Hell is this?”

We’ve all been there. And that’s where GARPA comes in. You work yourself to the bone to get some money, and hopefully once the family is taken care of and the bills are paid, you have a bit leftover for yourself. We are here to help unload you of that burden as well as forget about any “fresh Hells” you had to endure to get it by providing updates on the best looking crowd-sourced games coming down the pike. Let’s get to it!

Board/Role-Playing Games

DemonWars – Reformation by R.A. Salvatore
$14,057 pledged of $50,000 goal, funding ends August 30

GARPA-24-DemonWars

Speaking of fresh Hells, DemonWars – Reformation is looking to set your world on fire quickly and efficiently. Set in R.A. Salvatore’s world of Corona (not the one in Queens, NY) DemonWars-Reformation  will have a game system akin to older tabletop board and role-playing games from the 1970s. The setting of Corona includes creatures that any self-respecting demon-slayer should expect to find: goblins, evil monks, and of course demons, along with intricate maps, in-game lore books, and a detailed gemstone magic system.

Want more detail? OK: DemonWars-Reformation puts the player in the role of a monk in the Abellican Church.  The player is thrown against a rebellious church faction under the command of Marcalo De’Unnero. Confused yet? Me too.  No worries though. The plot of DemonWars-Reformation is set after the events taking place in Salvatore’s novel Immortalis.

Clearly, fans of Salvatore’s work will be delighted to pick up DemonWars-Reformation. They will also be ecstatic to know that the game is in a working prototype mode right now, and play testing has been going on since the beginning of this year. Originally intended to include every faction in the DemonWars universe, Salvatore and his team have honed this down to the Abellican Church for the initial launch to flesh the faction out. With success, other factions from the books will be covered in future game modules.

It is refreshing to see a new game in production set in an untapped world. I know for me personally reading through the Kickstarter info got me interested in the DemonWars backstory and it looks to be progressing well enough with 30 days to go.