Archive For The “Articles” Category

Armchair Dragoons Interviews Don Pawley of Enterprise Games

Jim Owczarski, 14 November 2018

Wargame writers tend to focus on games, game designers, and the companies that manage them both.  The backbone of the industry, though, are the stores, large and small, that help bring the games to the market.  Even more special are those that sell both new and used games, letting eager gamers connect with a title they might have missed or become reacquainted with a fondly-remembered childhood pastime.

For over 20 years, Don Pawley has been responsible for Enterprise Games.  Located in Indiana, it is for those of us who love the hobby something of a magical kingdom filled with thousands of old and new games, some of which have been out of print for decades.  Mr. Pawley has a long-standing affiliation with GMT Games and, in that capacity, has been a sponsor of wargame events run by Armchair Dragoons staff at the Origins Game Convention for several years.  He was good enough to take the time to answer questions about his business, the state of the gaming market, and the most expensive game he ever sold.

 

For those unfamiliar, who is “Enterprise Games”? 

Enterprise Games is an online retailer of board games with our specialty being wargames. We carry new games, but our focus is on out-of-print.  We do dabble some with military miniatures and non-sport trading cards, but that is a minor part of our business.  Most sales are through our web site www.enterprisegames.com but we also setup at several conventions in the Midwest, in particular Origins.

 

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Unboxing NATO Air Commander (Hollandspiele)

Vance Strickland, 12 November 2018

 

Here we have NATO Air Commander from Hollandspiele

NATO Air Commander pic01

Box front cover. Great WWIII feel.

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The Best of the Jena-Auerstedt Games

The Best of the Jena-Auerstedt Games

Jim Owczarski, 9 November 2018

 

And now, as I write this, fall has come to the American Midwest.  Football (our flavor) is being played in earnest, a chill is felt in the air, and the leaves have begun to turn.

That means it is time to think of Jena-Auerstedt one last time.

Unlike Waterloo which has been distilled to consims many times — only the unwashed say too many — the double-battle of 14 October 1806 is more slightly covered.  This is not to say there are not some fine offerings, and I would like to take a moment to introduce you to the five I like best. (more…)

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Classic Reviews: Von Manstein’s Backhand Blow (GMT Games)

On #TBT, we bring you the occasional classic article – an older review or analysis piece we wanted to rescue

Michael Eckenfels, 8 November 2018

The Schwerpunkt series of GMT games is aptly named: a focused, cohesive effort on a

VMBB Box Cover

Box Cover

relatively contracted part of World War II. The first (and currently, only) game in this series, Von Manstein’s Backhand Blow, contemplates admirably the dire situation facing the Wehrmacht in early 1943, with a beautiful map, colorful playing pieces, and a very easy system of play.

BACKGROUND

The German retreat from the Caucasus and Stalingrad is still underway when the Soviets, smelling blood and drunk with victory, give the South and Southwestern Fronts orders to push their offensives to the Sea of Azov. While the Stalingrad pocket had Sixth Army and about twenty-six divisions, the remaining formations of Army Group South totaled approximately forty-one more. If, the Soviets reasoned, their troops could force their way to the coast, the better part of several hundred thousand more hardened German troops could be caught in a massive trap that made Stalingrad look like a minor opening act. (more…)

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Battle Lab: Civilians on Hexagonal Battlefields

Battle Lab: Civilians on Hexagonal Battlefields

Brant Guillory, 6 November 2018

The following is the set of slides from Brant’s ’06 Origins War College talk about integrating civilians into wargaming.  Note that these are only the slides and not a full accounting of the entire robust discussion around the topic. Also, the talk focused on the game design effects, and not on the larger real-world implications of civilians on the battlefield.

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Classic Reviews: Napoleon In Europe (Eagle Games)

On #TBT, we bring you the occasional classic article – an older review or analysis piece we wanted to rescue

Michael Eckenfels, 1 November 2018

“Even when I am gone, I shall remain in people’s minds the star of their rights, my name will be the war cry of their efforts, the motto of their hopes.”

What Napoleon Bonaparte said here wasn’t just idle arrogance; his words were truth. Napoleon brought to history a truly glorious time of war (if war may indeed be labeled as such), for he awoke a brutally strong sense of nationalism deep within the bodies of his fellow countrymen, which was enough to bring to France’s doorstep a good portion of the known world for a time.

Napoleon wasn’t just a man of military ability; he knew a basic and powerful version of psychology, something that only can be born in the depths of one’s soul and not learned from a textbook. It endeared him to his men and made them fight like demons. Combined with the brilliant plans and maneuverings of their leader made for a fierce, unstoppable machine – for a time.

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