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Tag Archives: WWII

RAF The Battle of Britain 1940 – The GrogHeads AAR, part 2 of 5

Michael’s Jerries drop a load on England ~

Michael Eckenfels, 10 April 2018

WAR DIARY ENTRY 1

RAID DAY 1: AUGUST 11, 1940

Unlike previous days, where our new airfields in the Low Countries and France were almost every one socked in with poor weather, the day before shone bright and early. The code word went out – Alder – and August 11 was set for the kick-off of this massive campaign, one that every person in the world would be watching.

No pressure.

The day itself dawned clear and bright; almost all the wetness had dried off the previous day so today proved to be an excellent one for operations against England. It took a few days to get acclimated, receive reports, and get plugged in to the network that is the Luftwaffe here in Western Europe, but the staff is good and made this transition much easier.

As I’m not bothering with Night Raids (I don’t think it has much of a significant impact on the campaign in return for more rules and tracking), we’ll skip those bits in the game.

Raiders of the Deep – First Look!

Michael… ahem, “dives” into the Compass Games sub warfare box ~

Michael Eckenfels, 7 April 2018

It seems that the solitaire wargame market for submarines is picking up steam (a harr a harr) in the last few years. Silent Victory, Silent War, Target Bearing 023 Degrees, Operation Drumbeat, The Hunters…there’s plenty of options, including this title, Raiders Of The Deep from Compass Games.

Based on the same system that The Hunters and Silent Victory use, Raiders Of The Deep puts you into the role of a German submarine commander in World War I. This is a very intriguing prospect to me, being based in World War I, when submarine warfare really came into its own. Some of the German submarines at the outbreak of war were tiny things that could hold maybe 15 sailors and two torpedoes, but they evolved quickly over the following years of The Great War.

RAF The Battle of Britain 1940 – The GrogHeads AAR, part 1 of 5

Michael’s got England in his sights ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 April 2018

Introduction

This AAR covers the game RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 (2009). It is a most excellent solitaire game with bodacious amounts of fun, given that there are three games in one in the box – a solo game where you play the beleaguered RAF, a solo game where you play the Luftwaffe, and a two-player game as well. GrogHeads just reviewed the newest version of the game, and I did a review of this game a few years back for GrogHeads here.  I was also a fan of the original RAF game that was put out back in 1986. That last one was one of my staples growing up; it was fast, challenging, and always kept you on the edge of your seat.

This AAR is full-length and yes, before you even ask, it is complete. I’ve been working on it for a few weeks now, wanting to ensure it gets done one way or another before I even try to post it to the site.

I’ve also included a bit of padding/narrative to try to tell a (non-historical) story as I am wont to do on occasion. I hope you will find it entertaining and not a distraction. Though, honestly, it was a bit hard to write considering the viewpoint – I’m playing this from the perspective of the Germans, and as such, it means I have to ingrain myself in as the leader of the Luftwaffe. Or, the sub-leader. You see, in my alternate history, here, Goering choked to death on a goat meatball sandwich, and “I” take over on the eve of the Battle of Britain.

GrogHeads Reviews Battle of Britain (the new one!)

Never have so many spent so much backing a game by so few that plays…  so well? ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 March 2018

During the mad era when Lorraine Williams lead TSR, the company released, counter intuitively to some, a few of the most popular wargames ever created.  Chief among these was The Hunt for Red October, but the list also includes bright lights like Red Storm Rising, A Line in the Sand, and, less brightly, Europe Aflame.  This list was joined in 1990 by Battle of Britain (hereafter just BoB), a Richard Borg design that brought Mr. Borg’s love of light simulation and dice-heavy combat resolution to the skies over Britain and the English Channel in those early years of the Second World War.

More than 25 years later, the Plastic Soldier Company, which partnered with Mr. Borg to create the First World War iteration of his Commands and Colors system, launched a Kickstarter to re-release BoB and bring its production values up to contemporary wargame standards.  The Kickstarter was well received, but, as with many of these endeavors, there were lots of delays, allegations of poor communication on the part of the company, and a fair amount of displeasure with the quality of some of the components.  I received my own copy over a year after I backed it — about eight months after I expected it — and I’ve been having a go at the game with my son.  What do I think of the re-boot?  That would be telling; please read on.

Lovely cover art

Classic Reviews – Operation Blockade

Another treasure from the vault of our GrogHeads’ writers ~

Michael Eckenfels, 28 March 2018

Developer/Publisher: Infogrames

Fans of shoot-em-ups, have we got something to tell you about! To be honest, though…I’m not a fan. I never had too much fun with the ‘move-fire-madly-flip a switch-next level’ stuff, having thoroughly taken part of such excitement (and passed a ton of quarters) to the stand-up arcade monsters of the 1980’s. I didn’t relish the possibilities of this title much, but every so often even the most anachronistic wargamer should poke their head out of their board game dungeon and try their hand at a little action.

So here is Operation: Blockade. While a shoot-em-up, it is deftly clever at covering up its own inadequacies, simplistic ideas, and never-changing worldviews, by injecting a hot load of steel-and-fire addictive game play. The gamer will probably be disappointed in some aspects of this title, but that should be balanced through some surprisingly attractive graphics and cleverly manipulated sound.