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Tag Archives: WWI

GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #88

Here’s GARPA, our fortnightly bundle of pre-ordering goodness! ~

Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain (GMT Games)
p500 $65, MSRP $95

It got funded in a few days, so it is going to press. The latest entry into the COIN series keeps giving us counterinsurgency warfare from off the beaten path – no Malaysia or Sri Lanka here. This entry brings in a greater level of economics, and boffo-keen (though ahistorical) castle meeples. Scots and Saxons are among the factions that vie for power and veterans of the COIN system already know how to play. Liberty or Death sold out in a hurry, and that’s after all the p500 orders were delivered. Get this now, or miss out and be the laughingstock of the forums when you look for sympathy.



GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #78

Oh so much GARPA goodness for you this week…

Brant Guillory, 2 October 2015

Bear’s Claw 1941 (GMT Games / Consim Press)
P550 – not there yet

What the world really needs – just needs! – is another East front wargame, huh? Well, it’s printed by GMT and designed by CP, so it’s going to be a solid, quality production. And unlike those massive drive-to-the-Urals-at-company-level monster games, these battles are bite-sized games of specific actions. Over-runs, morale, unknown Soviet unit strengths, and air support all contribute to a solid level of detail. The counters are a little busy, but still gorgeous, so don’t hesitate to march off to GMT’s pledge site and get on board.


First Impressions of NWS’s Rule the Waves

Developed and published by NWS

Reviewed by Boggit, 26 September 2015

“They [the Sea Lords] must cease to say ‘This is the ideal plan; How can we get enough money to carry it out?’ They must say instead ‘Here is a sovereign; How much can we squeeze out of it that will really count for victory in a naval war?’” Lord Selborne, First Lord of the Admiralty. (Selborne to the Admiralty Permanent Secretary (16th February 1903) in “Distribution of Business 1904”, Adm. 1/7737 P.R.O.). (The quote refers to Selborne’s concern of impending financial crisis arising from the continued construction of modern warships in the numbers and varieties required to protect all of Britain’s maritime interests.)

The British Grand Fleet in WW1 (Courtesy: British Library)

The British Grand Fleet in WW1 (Courtesy: British Library)

Rule the Waves is the latest game presentation from NWS covering the naval arms race period of 1900-1925. The campaign map covers the entire world, portrayed as areas representing the spheres of influence of the Great Powers of the time. The scale of the game is in monthly turns, and your units range from little minesweepers to massive dreadnoughts. Working with a limited budget you face Lord Selborne’s dilemma of creating and maintaining a navy that will win a naval war.

Why I Love Diplomacy

The venerable classic timelessly soldiers on.

by Brant Guillory

The original Diplomacy board game has a huge following, even among non-wargamers, despite being sold as a wargamer for its thirty-year lifespan. Why?

Well, it’s a wargame that abstracts battlefield prowess to the point that it’s almost irrelevant. Tactical ability is nothing – I repeat, nothing – in this game. It matters not how well you can anticipate the moment for the cavalry charge, plan the artillery bombardment, or outflank your enemy with your panzer corps. In this game, all armies, and generals, are created equal, and numerical superiority is the only relevant statistic.

In fact, the only ability of note is your ability to successfully negotiate your way through the intrigue of the game as the leader of a country. In this respect, Diplomacy has succeeded, and continues to succeed, in a class all it’s own.

GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #70

After a hiatus, GARPA is back, and has some great new pre-orders for you to totally cave into your game lust with.


Urban Operations (Nuts! Publishing)
€59.00 preorder (MSRP €75.00)

The long-awaited modern urban warfare game from the artistic geniuses over in France, the guys at Nuts! have finally put Urban Operations up on preorder. A combination of blocks and cards, with over a dozen scenarios to keep you challenged, Urban Operations is looking to fill that modern tactical niche that ranges from Cold-War-goes-hot through the 90s world of “peacekeeping” up to today’s counter-terror operations. Why are you still reading? Go order it already.


GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #66

GARPA AT SEEEEEEAAAAA!  OK, not just afloat, but there’s a pair of naval-heavy games for you this week to go with some gargantuan aircraft and more RPG hi-jinks.


Captain’s Sea (GMT Games)
P500 – Made the cut!  P500 price $45, MSRP $65

A ship-to-ship combat game with a mixture of a square grid (!) and octagonal counters (!!) that covers the actions of the fledgling US Navy in the early 1800s.  Battles include US ships against both British and French opponents, and focus on commanding a single ship through skillful maneuvering and solid crew allocations to weapons and rigging.  Flying monkeys and subsurface atomic bombs round out your arsenals (just kidding!).  Sail over to GMT while it’s still ‘officially’ on p500, but know that you’re going to get it, since it made the cut and is going to head to production sometime soon.


Tuesday Screenshot – Battle of Empires 1914-1918

The Original World War

Craig Handler, 3 March 2015

click to enlarge



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GrogHeads Reviews Making History: The Great War

Before they made the sequel, there was the original World War.  Muzzy Lane’s take on World War I was recently released after a lengthy beta period, and our review teams gives it a go.

Jim Owczarski, 28 February 2015

Designing global strategy games in a digital environment  requires a commitment to both craft and art.  It requires an acute sense of what information, which details, can safely be kept hidden from the player — unless he really wants to know — and those which, if hidden, will leave players screaming at their monitors because they can’t figure out how to do something they really need to do.  More, it requires a careful understanding of how to communicate events going on in the world around the player in ways that don’t introduce absurd tedium — I’m looking right at you Europa Universalis III — while simultaneously preventing head-slapping aggravation when the player suddenly realizes that the Sudan sued for peace in its war against the Anglo-Egyptian government 12 turns ago and he never noticed it.

My respect for what Muzzy Lane attempts in its “Making History: The Great War”, then, is great.  I only wish I could say they’d done a better job in the event.

The topic isn’t a surprising one given the centennial observations of World War I and a number of other developers have offered their takes.  If nothing else, Muzzy Lane’s is familiar as it uses the Sandstone engine previously seen in “The Calm and the Storm” and “The War of the World”.  Players are the now-commonplace nigh-omniscient rulers of nations charged with the building of infrastructure, armies, technologies, and economies, and then guiding those they lead into the tempest of Europe in the years after 1912.  Units are typically “division” sized (more on that in a bit) and the game. which one should note up front is turn-based, runs in one-week turns.

“The Great War” (hereafter TGW) does not skimp on the choice of nations to control.  Every strategy guide you read for games of this type tells you that it’s a bad idea to try and learn a system from some remote corner of the globe, but I already know a great deal about this history of the British, French, German, American, &c., empires and definitely fancied the notion of playing out the first half of the 20th Century from the Emirate of Jabal Shammar

Caption:  You thought I was kidding?

Caption:  You thought I was kidding?