Monthly Archives: March 2015

GrogHeads Reviews: World At War Compendium 2

Is the new Compendium for you? Read on!

Jim Owczarski, 27 March 2015

And now, as a public service, a simple decision matrix to help you determine if you should purchase “World at War: Compendium #2” (hereafter Comp2) from Lock ‘n Load Publishing.

  • Are you a fan of the World at War series’ take on the Cold War gone hot?
  • Are you enough of  fan of this series that you have purchased many — not to say all — but many of the games, modules, and expansions that have come out since the release of Eisenbach Gap?
  • Even if you are a fan of the series, did you neglect to pick up issues 8-14 of Lock ‘n Load’s “Line of Fire” magazine?
  • Are you a fan of the Bauhaus font?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, there is no reason that I can think of for you not to pick up Comp2.   It’s available for a scant $49.99 from  You’ll be glad you did.  Thus endeth the review.

If, on the other hand, you answered “no” to any of the above, read on; matters are a bit more complicated.

GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #67

Two games, two gizmos, one GARPA.  Enjoy!

Holy Roman Empire (One Small Step)
$14k of $7k, ends 13 April 2015

An update to a venerable and revolutionary game, OSS’s Holy Roman Empire is a graphic feast that updates the original with the incorporation of older errata and the greater integration of the tactical battle board.  Counters, cards, player mats, and a host of scenarios round out a solid package for a true multi-player wargame with a heavy political layer that will keep your game group grogging for the long haul.  March over their Kickstarter campaign and tithe your gold to the lords of wargaming.



Screenshot AAR: Armageddon Empires

Does Sauron get his clock cleaned?

Vincent Kowolik, 11 March 2015

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”13″]

Discuss below, or in our forums >>


Campaign: Leipzig – The Two-Sided AAR, part 4

19 March 2014

Cyrano and PanzerDE face off in the age of muskets and sabers, and find themselves on opposite sides of an Eastern German battlefield, in the first of a series of AARs that give you both sides of the action.

As a reminder, we are alternating between Jim (in blue) and Doug (in green)

As always, click images to enlarge


The tough part about doing an AAR and playing a game like this is that my aging brain forgets what the hell I was trying to accomplish during the long stretches between turns. I believe this to be a deliberate French tactic as Jim is younger than I am and less likely to forget why he walked into a room, for example.

Fortunately I drew a map early on and have previous entries in this AAR to remind me what group of pixel troops was doing what to whom. As a reminder, my strategy: 



There are any number of reasons that I was never actually given the command of men in the field — not having enlisted surely among them — but I have to think that a profound lack of patience never looks good on an OCS evaluation sheet.

Classic Reviews: Fantasy Hero

Brant Guillory 20 March 2015

Rules?  Meh.  Sourcebook?  w00t!

Click images to enlarge


Please note that this review covers the old 2d edition book for Fantasy Hero. The book has been significantly revised in the 15+ years since this review was originally written, and we have no idea if this material is still present or not in the newer versions.

First, a confession: I don’t play the Hero system. I’ve never played the Hero system. I don’t foresee myself ever playing the Hero system. Yet, this book has one of the most prominent places in my gaming library, and would probably be in the top 5-10 gaming items I would recommend for the any new player, and in the top 3-5 for any new GM.

Why? The back half of this book is one of the best sourcebooks I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been role-playing since 1981. I’ve been collecting since about 1983. I have yet to see a better overall sourcebook than the one included in Fantasy Hero.

I bought the game without knowing you needed the Hero system to play (yes, I missed the big warning on the back cover) but that didn’t stop me from using it over and over.

And over.

From pages 100 to 202, the book tackles, in order: creating scenarios, running scenarios, fantasy genres and their conventions, setting up campaigns, and worldbuilding. That’s just the game-mastering section. The Sourcebook offers sample character archetypes, a sample campaign described in simple but sufficient detail to play, two extended scenarios, 5 mini-scenarios, and two of best sections I’ve ever seen on designing monsters and magic items. Oh, and the last 50 pages of the book (202-252) are one of the best collections of spell-books I’ve seen in years.

The section on creating scenarios leads right in to how to run them, and the brief advice is exactly what you’d want in “Everything I Need to Know About GMing I Learned in Kindergarten.” Individualizing the NPCs; Cinematic fight scenes; Pacing, Climax & Rewards; Foreshadowing; and Cash Flow are all addressed in ways that beginners can easily grasp and veterans will love to be reminded of.