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Tag Archives: WWII

Video: High Flying Dice Two-Pack – First Look!

A two-fer Tuesday video unboxing ~

Michael Eckenfels, 15 August 2017

High Flying Dice sent over copies of both Gliders from the Sky and St. George’s Valor.  Michael digs into both.

Note that these games are not sold in a combo pack, but were both shipped to us together.  Watch for more as Michael digs into the games


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Classic Articles: A Different Theory of the Japanese Surrender

Did the Soviet Union’s actions influence Truman’s decision-making? ~

Brant Guillory, 8 August 2017

Today is the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which is alternately considered both controversial and essential to ending the war.

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to hear a talk at the Mershon Center at Ohio State by Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, discussing the impact of the bomb on Japan’s decision to surrender.

INTRODUCTION

I attend[ed] a weekly seminar series at the Mershon Center for Security Studies and Public Policy here at Ohio State University. On some weeks, the seminar coincides with guest speakers. Last week, Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa came to talk, and this is a summary of his narrative. But first, it may be helpful to introduce Dr. Hasegawa by way of his Mershon Center bio:
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa is professor of Modern Russian and Soviet History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current research interests include the political and social history of the Russian Revolution, focusing on crime and police in Petrograd during the Revolution, March 1917 – March 1918, as well as Soviet military history, collecting materials on V.K. Bliukher. Hasegawa is also studying Russian/Soviet-Japanese relations, especially the Soviet-Japanese War of 1945, Soviet policy toward the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, and the Soviet-Japanese Normalization Talks, 1955-56. Hasegawa has published widely on the Russian and Soviet history, his most major publications being The Northern Territories Dispute and Russo-Japanese Relations. Vol. 1: Between War and Peace, 1967-1985. Vol.2: Neither War Nor Peace, 1985-1998 (UC Berkeley, 1998), Russia and Japan: An unresolved Dilemma between Distant Neighbors, edited with Jonathan Haslam and Andrew Kuchins (UC Berkeley, 1993), and Roshia kakumeika petorogurado no shiminseikatsu [Everyday Life of Petrograd during the Russian Revolution] (Chuokoronsha, 1989). His most recent publication is titled Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Belknap, 2005). Dr. Hasegawa received his PhD from Washington University in 1969.

THE PRESENTATION

Following the fall of Germany in May of ’45, the Allies turned their attention to the three-year old Pacific War. To avoid continued American causalities and bring World War II to a close, Truman ordered the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Conventional American wisdom is that the atomic bomb brought about the fall of Japan, and few American textbooks challenge this idea. However, a Japanese scholar, Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of UC-Santa Barbara, has published an new book, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan, that re-examines the end of World War II through a new perspective on international diplomacy, and comes to the conclusion that although the atomic bomb was certainly a very important factor in ending World War II, it was not the most important one. In fact, it might have caused the U.S. to prolong the war longer than necessary.

GrogHeads Reviews Advanced Platoon Leader

Michael gives you a look at the new tabletop tactical game ~

Michael Eckenfels, 5 August 2017

More to follow later, at some point…


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Tuesday Interview – Luke Hughes of Burden of Command

The main brain behind the forthcoming Burden of Command has a chat with GrogHeads ~

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2017

When I hear “Burden of Command” I start to flash back to my days as a company commander, and being buried under a pile of 15-6 investigations, dental cat-IVs, and guys who couldn’t qualify with their personal weapons.  I’m assuming the newly-announced “Burden of Command” game isn’t a game of competitive administrative duties.  Give us the thumbnail insight of what we can expect in the new game, and why this one is more focused on the ‘burden’ of command than other similar games on the marketplace?

Damn, I can run but now I can’t hide.  A real company commander, I’d love to know when and where! (ed note: nothing exciting – it was a National Guard HHC while the rest of the battalion was mobilized)

Now you are so right, real command is a lot of administrative tedium puncture by rare moments of terror.  However, maybe not such a great game. Though the game “Papers Please” might teach us differently.   What you can expect in BoC is not only the command and control decisions you associate with classic wargames (directing fire and maneuver, and the 4 F’s: find, fix, flank, and finish) but the morale oriented decisions we might associate with a classic tactical board game (ASL, Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, Fields of Fire).

Finally, and more unusually, you must take responsibility for the “preserve” decisions around the men’s physical and psychological welfare on and off the battlefield. They will look to you for the right mindset to adopt in the face of war. Novelist Karl Marlantes, who dropped out of his Rhodes Scholarship to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam wrote “What It is Like to Go to War.” He argued that, like it or not, when you go to war you enter a spiritual journey because you are in the presence of death. You have entered the “Temple of Mars” as he so eloquently put it. Whether or not you or your superiors have prepared you for that experience, and for making life or death decisions is a different question.  But the burden will be yours, prepared or not.

In sum, leadership in BoC is “Direct, Motivate, and Preserve.” And the burdens are many.

Origins – Proving Ground Games

The award-winning minis heroes are back at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Gigantaur (don’t call him Godzilla!) in the front, and Heather & Mark Brown of PGG on the left, in the background.

Even with a brisk demo schedule and booth sales exponentially better than last year, Proving Ground Games’ Heather Brown gave me a few minutes to chat.

New this year is Crucible of Force, which brings PGG’s Fields of Fire engine to World War II. It’s available for purchase now. Hive, Queen and Country will be seeing Kickstarter orders filled soon, with a full release by end of 2017. This includes materials for RPG, miniatures and a supplement for vehicles. Coming soon via WargameVault, the demo scenarios run at Origins will be released in packs for Fields of Fire and Crucible of War in PDF format.

Proving Ground prides itself on games that are easy to learn, are well-researched, and provide an enjoyable gaming experience for all players. The rules are tested against extensive “rules lawyering” as a way for their system to be an entry to historical miniatures gaming.

Heather said that Proving Ground is pleased with the 2017 convention so far. The perception is that attendance is up, people are smiling and happy and buying, and that con staff were ensuring things were running more smoothly than in years previous. She was critical, however, of the mix of available events, citing a lack of diversity in LARPS and a general lack of historical miniatures. While there are more sessions, there are many repeats, versus original events.

The best part of the convention, though, “Someone brought me a pie!” (It was chocolate, walnut and bourbon, and it came all the way from New Mexico.)

Ed note: Proving Ground’s Movie Monster Madness variant for their Fields of Fire rules was part of our kids’ program this year. 

 


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B-17 Flying Fortress Leader – First Look!

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.

GrogHeads Central Command Origins Events

What’s coming up at Origins this summer? ~

GrogHeads Staff, 8 April 2017

Per GAMA, event registration goes live on 3 May.

What’s on tap this year?  Plenty!

  • Tournaments!  We’ve got afternoon/evening tournaments for Lock’n’Load Tactical, Quartermaster General, Spearpoint 1943, and Twilight Struggle
  • Team / Group events!  In addition to our Command Post Wargaming, we have a pair of Team COIN games back this year, plus big team games of Old School Tactical, Sergeants!, and Crucible of Force (Slaughter in the Snow).
  • Kids!  We’ve got a special wargaming program this year for the kids – yes, KIDS!  We’ve got 4 games that we’ll be running all weekend, in shorter 1-hour sessions.  And for any kid who plays all 4 games at least once each, we’ve got a special Junior General prize.  These games are for kids age 7-14, and they must have an adult come to the table with them.

Which companies are here with us?

  • Griggling Games!  Quartermaster General, and some expansions
  • Flying Pig Games!  Mark’s got 5 (five! fünf! cinco! V!) different games over the course of the weekend with us
  • Enterprise Games!  With their support for our GMT events again this year, we’ve Fields of Despair, Wing Leader Supremacy, some COIN events, C&C Ancients for the kids, and the Twilight Struggle tournament
  • Collins Epic Wargames!  We’re running Spearpoint 1943 events (for the kids, too), but look for Polyversal, also
  • Lost Battalion Games!  The always-awesome Sergeants! games are back, and look for their award-winning tiles, too
  • Proving Ground Games!  Bringing the lead to the battle, with their minis wargaming, and a special movie-monster scenario for the kids
  • Lock’n’Load Games!  Nations at War, LNLT, and tanks for the kids

Over 65 events across 4 days, for all your wargaming goodness.  Plus, show up Wednesday afternoon and see what the staff has on the table just for their own fun 🙂

When you’re looking for our events in the Origins master event grid, they all start with “GrogHeads Presents”.  We did that to make it easier to find when sorting through a giant spreadsheet with over 6000 events, however we stripped it out of the names on our event grid here just to simplify the listings.

Don’t forget that everyone who plays in our events gets a discount with our vendor partners, and gets entered for some great Sunday-morning raffle prizes.  There’s also at least one prize for one of the players at every one of our events.

Note that the kids’ events – as noted above – have a special prize for kids who check out all 4 of the different games, and do not have prizes for each individual event.

Click through for the sortable table of events

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Winter War

Airboy bundles up for a fight in the snow ~

Avery Abernethy, 1 April 2017

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Finland. The Finns were one of the few who repaid their World War 1 debts to the United States. I’ve had three enjoyable trips to Helsinki in the last thirty-five years. The Finns have good beer and you can take a “beer trolley” tour of Helsinki. “Hello” in Finland is “Hey” – the same way Auburn fans say hello to each other.

WinterWar-1 - Scenario 1 Intro