Archive For The “Articles” Category

Unboxing Stalingrad ’42

Michael Eckenfels, 30 October 2019

To put it in a, as Bob48 would say, “smart-arse” way, a P500 is a landmine of fun where you bet your credit card number on possibility of getting a GMT game that you’re pretty stoked about. When the game’s goal is met and goes to the printer, you get an email saying your CC is about to get charged for a game you, likely in a haze of the past (because who remembers what happened yesterday, let alone six months ago), jumped all in to get.

I’m not speaking of Kickstarter, of course – which is, I’m happy to say, something that’s not yet gotten its claws into me. Though, I can no longer now say that about P500 games. Oh sure, I’ve signed up for plenty of them in the past, but I usually end up going back and cancelling them later. What seemed like a great idea at the time ends up being masticated in my head a bit more, and suddenly no, I decide I don’t need a game about wizards in submarines (which isn’t a thing…yet).

I’m currently in on The Hunted: Twilight of the U-Boats, 1943-1945 and Mr. President, two games I’d really like to get my hands on – especially the latter. I did just yesterday add SpaceCorp: Ventures to my P500 list. SpaceCorp is a fantastic game and you should certainly check out the AAR that I wrote in 21 parts.

The first P500 I ever ordered, though, just arrived last night. I unfortunately did not have time to do a video, nor do a punch-and-clip, but I did have time to take a lot of pictures and throw them together into an article for your reading pleasure. The P500 in this case is Stalingrad ’42.

 

S42Unbox-001

This game is a division-level simulation of the Axis 1942 summer offensive against southern Russia. For some reason, it is among one of my favorite campaigns to read about and play games about, though I am sorely lacking in the game department when it comes to that particular part of the War. This one was designed by Mark Simonitch and is apparently very similar to Ukraine ’43 (one I was interested in but missed out on). Mark also designed Ardennes ’44 and Holland ’44, of which I own the latter but have yet to get to the table, strangely enough (shut up, mirth).

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Immersive Battle Maps Kickstarter Delivery

Immersive Battle Maps Kickstarter Delivery

Brant Guillory, 23 October 2019

Tanner Yarro launched a Kickstarter earlier this year for a set of “immersive battle maps” that would be bound in a book, but lay flat for RPG use.  I pledged at the lowest level, and did not add on any of the options.  The sample maps quite attractive, and the idea of an oversize book (11×17 closed) that I could pull out for a quick skirmish was too good to pass up for under $40.

Now, the original delivery date was supposed to be May, and here we are in October and it just showed up.  Yes, that’s way late.  But Tanner Yarro never left backers in the dark about the status of production, or shipping, and was very forthcoming on the current state of the project such that when the delays popped up, there was no mystery as to whitings were moving slowly.

So how does the finished product look?  In a word….  amazing.

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Armchair Dragoons Interviews Joni Nuutinen of Conflict Series Games

Armchair Dragoons Interviews Joni Nuutinen of Conflict Series Games

Michael Eckenfels, 2 October 2019

Tell us a bit about yourself – where you live, what it is you do for a living.

I’m Joni Nuutinen, a history buff and a Finnish professional software developer.

 

JoniN-001-joni

Tell us the story of how you first became interested in military history.

Growing up in the eastern part of Finland it was impossible to avoid running into the Second World War; not only did several of my family members serve, but some also perished, and living fairly close to the border with the USSR meant that I could both visit the physical remains of the battles and also experience the atmosphere such events inevitably leave behind on the border regions. (more…)

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Classic Reviews: Harbinger

Classic Reviews: Harbinger

By Michael Eckenfels, 19 September

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

Harbinger
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “harbinger” as “one that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.” If a game developer could tell the future, they could take everything that will go wrong with a title before it happens and create games with such ardor and primacy that awards would become commonplace – every developer would have such an award. This is, of course, as probable as making a good giant starship-simulator game in the year 3000 A.D., but nobody’s perfect. (more…)

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SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR Index

SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR Index

Armchair Dragoons Press Office, 2 September 2019

Here is the omnibus directory of all episodes of Michael’s SpaceCorp AAR.
Start at the top and work your way through.

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Classic Reviews: Empires in America (1st Ed)

By Brant Guillory, 29 August 2019

Designed by Joe Miranda for Victory Point Games

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

Victory Point Games is still considered by some to be a “small” publisher.  If so, I’m curious what the definition of “small” is.  These guys churn out a game a week – and excellent games, too.

A perfect blend of size, simplicity, and skill, Empires in America challenges players with an interesting variation on a tower defense scenario, well-blended with a nice dash of history.

One way they’re able to do so is by relying on some well-tested basic mechanics, such as the solo game rules known as the States of Siege series.  These card- and track-movement-driven games provide a player with a significant and well-balanced challenge, in a variety of genres, including the Israeli War for Independence, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Empires in America, the third entry in the States of Siege series, covers the French and Indian Wars in North America.  A precursor to the American War for Independence, the French and Indian Wars were the battles in New World as a part of the larger Seven Years’ War across the globe between various European powers.

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