Monthly Archives: December 2014

The GrogHeads Year In Review

31 December 2014

We reached out to our friends* in the game industry for some thoughts about the past year in games, and asked them for some insight about what’s coming next.

* yes, we actually have friends

Matthew Kirschenbaum, Academic-Gamer / Professor

2014 Highlight(s):  Highlight for me was working with the dozens of contributors on the Zones of Control book Pat Harrigan and I are editing for the MIT Press. This is an interdisciplinary as well as inter-professional volume, bringing together contributors from policy gaming, hobby gaming, and academia, writing about both tabletop and digital wargames. We have DoD types alongside of cultural theorists, and we designers alongside of their critics. We have the full spectrum represented in terms of politics and ethics as well. The book is on track for an early 2016 publication.

Looking Ahead at 2015:  In terms of a prediction, I’ll venture this: one major publisher in tabletop wargaming is going to go under. No, I don’t have anyone in particular in mind and I have no inside information–just a gut feeling.


Jim Zabek, GrogDude

2014 Highlight(s):  For me it seems the simplest things are worth the most. Game-wise two things stand out. First, I have managed to fall in with a great gaming crowd at the FLGS. The other thing that was a highlight was the re-issuance (I’m not sure how many times before) of Car Wars in more or less its original format. I don’t know why that seems to please me so much, but I guess it is the memory going back to my younger days and discovering it for the first time.

Looking Ahead at 2015:  As for what I think might make headlines in 2015? There are certain to be some sleepers that simply aren’t on my radar. But the one game I think lots of folks are going to be talking about – at least on Grogheads – will be Atilla Total War. There are over 3800 discussion posts on Rome 2 in the Grogheads forums. I suspect that Atilla may draw an equal amount of attention.


Erik Rutins, Director of Product Development at Matrix Games

2014 Highlight(s):  Distant Worlds: Universe and War in the West, two major new releases for 2014 that have been in the works for years and both were very well received by the community.  It was also great to work with the Command and Flashpoint Campaigns teams on their well-deserved re-launches.

Looking Ahead at 2015:  Lots of exciting releases coming – the new Brother against Brother Civil War wargame, the return of SSG, expansions for War in the West, a new Flashpoint Campaigns game and the first Command expansions!


Brain Train, Game Designer and Theorist (though he won’t admit to the latter) 

2014 Highlight(s):  Three little personal highlights for 2014 for me instead of one big one:

  • Getting a brief ripple of attention for Ukrainian Crisis, a 48-hour “one-man jam” game designed in the middle of the Crimean referendum crisis;
  • Speaking with Volko Ruhnke about the COIN series at Tableflip!, a very interesting conference on games and game design;
  • Launching BTR Games, a line of my personal games in DTP format released when and how I want them to be, with sales in the half-dozens so far.

Looking Ahead at 2015:  Three biggest news items in gaming in 2015 that I feel safest in predicting:

  • The COIN series will continue to attract talent and attention, with new designs and reprints coming;
  • More and more projects will be announced on Kickstarter, to chase less and less money;
  • BTR Games will have double-digit sales!

Tuesday Screenshot – PanzerGrenadier

WWII in hexes and counters

Fred Schwarz, 30 December 2014

click to enlarge


German in assault
Dogged Russians in defense
What’s up with the duck?!

image from Fred Schwarz
(Bad) Haiku from Brant

Share your screenshots here >>

Fleet Commander Nimitz – First Look!

A look inside DVG’s new solo Pacific Theater game

Michael Eckenfels, 26 December 2014

I am a board game addict. Card games, dice games, board-and-cool-bits games, name it and I’m all over it if I like the theme. I’ve also done some manuals for board games. What I’m trying to get at is, I’ve seen a lot and played a lot, and it’s really tough to impress me. With unboxing, that first impression is all important; even though I have yet to play Fleet Commander Nimitz, this unboxing was a glorious experience with only a few ‘huh?’ moments.

Fleet Commander Nimitz is a DVG game born from a Kickstarter campaign that ended up cultivating 50% more cash than the goal needed, and as such there were a couple of stretch goals reached – namely, a mounted Battle Board and a counter tray. When I opened the shipping box and took out its contents, this stack is what greeted me:



As far as I can tell, the mounted Battle Board and the counter tray are not included in the game itself, and you cannot get them unless you preordered the game. The DVG page does not indicate that either are included, at least not at this time. Perhaps there will be a ‘Deluxe’ version of FC: Nimitz in the future? Who knows…

FCN-U002The counter tray is pretty nice, but it’s almost laughable insofar as its capacity is, compared to the insane number of counters that come with this game. I know at least one GH forum member that went to Walmart to buy his own storage containers from the crafts section, and that’s something I will likely need to do. Another important question that you might be thinking: will it all fit back in the box? I will answer that shortly.

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Grogmas to all…

Merry Christmas

h/t Doctrine Man

We’ll see you tomorrow.

Wargaming + Santa?!

What better way to celebrate the holidays than to have millions of dollars of military hardware devoted to tracking Santa through the sky?

Share your holiday traditions here >>