Archive For The “Reviews” Category

Classic Reviews: Africa’s Commandos (book)

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2019

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

A new collection of memoirs and first-hand accounts of the actions throughout the distinguished history of the Rhodesian Light Infantry makes for a compelling read and memorable look into the first-hand accounts of Africa’s bush wars of the 60s and 70s.

We took off en masse, ten G-Cars carrying the 2Cdo troops; ten K-Cars; two
command helicopters and ten G-Cars carrying the Support Commando troops detailed
to man the forward admin base and ferry in fuel and supplies to the target
area.

The flight provided us with some impressive and memorable visuals.
All 32 helicopters were flying in single file through the majestic Penhalonga
Mountains, some of the most magnificent terrain in the world. The troops gazed
in awe at the spectacle as they leaned out of the Alouettes and looked around.

Two or three Canberras thundered low over us en route to their targets.
For a few minutes there was the amazing sight of the command helicopters and the
ten K-Cars peeling off in front of us to position over their allocated targets;
the six paradaks dropping the 3Cdo and the SAS paratroopers; and the Hunters
diving in on their targets. The air was thick with dust and smoke and the
streaks of SNEB rocket trails.

And the tales of Op Dingo – the Rhodesian raid on an ZANLA camp inside Mozambique – put the reader front and center in the battle.  These are not analyses of secondary sources with discussions of geo-political implications.  These are the memories of the men on the ground, at the sharp end of the spear, pulling triggers and “culling floppies.”  This isn’t the news conference soundbite; this is the scene in Blackhawk Down when the choppers are taking off and the trucks are rolling out and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cover of Voodoo Chile is providing the soundtrack.

As you read the book and pore over the memoirs, however, you realize that although the raid on Chimoio was an aberration in its size and distance from the RLI’s bases inside Rhodesia, the action wasn’t.  These men were a battle-hardened brotherhood who had chased “terrs” (slang for “terrorists”, the ZANLA and ZIPRA guerilla forces) across their entire country, protecting the population from invaders whose semi-safe bases outside of Rhodesia’s borders gave them a geographic and demographic edge.  The RLI didn’t care.  They found a way to succeed in every battle they faced, and along the way became perhaps the most successful counter-guerilla force in history.
(more…)

Read more »

Armchair Dragoons Reviews Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Board Game

Avery Abernethy, 9 July 2019

BuffyReview1 Box

Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show ran from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.  Set in the 1990s, Buffy and her friends fought generic vampires, monsters of the week, and a “big bad” who from behind the scenes was responsible for the evil that season.  Buffy had campy evil nemeses, humor, and good acting for a horror/teen romance/teen angst TV show. (more…)

Read more »

Classic Reviews: FFG’s original Tide of Iron

Brant Guillory, 6 June 2019

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

click images to enlarge

INTRODUCTION

So you may have heard about this little shooting match that happened waaaaaaaay back in the ‘40s? Started out when the Germans decided they needed a little more elbow room and they decided that Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and most of Western Europe was perfectly suited to their needs? No? Buddy, you really need to read up on your WWII history.

Tide of Iron is a hex-and-figures boardgame (a combination gaining in popularity) covering actions between the US and German forces on the Western Front in WWII. It is played at the tactical level – squads of soldiers and individual vehicles – and decked out in Fantasy Flight’s trademark gorgeous components and graphics.

(more…)

Read more »

Classic Reviews: Aria, Canticle of the Monomyth

Brant Guillory, 30 May 2019

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

An RPG book you could show off on an academic bookshelf.  But what’s the payoff?

click images to enlarge

Digging through my boxes of game books (if you ever want to know exactly how much game stuff you really have, pack up and move a few times) I found this old treasure.

I can remember when I bought it – it looked like what all of us gamers had been holding our breath for all these years: A serious intellectual take on role-playing, which addressed an adult audience in an adult fashion.

It succeeded on that level.

 

archive Aria 74

The front cover is gorgeous.

(more…)

Read more »

Classic Reviews: Aliens versus Predator 2 – Primal Hunt

Michael Eckenfels, 23 May 2019

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

Once More Into the Breach

Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt continues the grand tradition of first-person-shooting one’s way through dark, nightmarish corridors populated by ghastly creatures. Insofar as the movie genre is concerned, Aliens vs. Predator 2 is a knockout of a game; as a first-person shooter it is adequate

The location: LV-1201, a planet not much different from LV-426 (the location from the first two movies). The sun never shines, and terrain inspired by a Lovecraftian nightmare mixed with a Dr. Seuss bender adds an impossibly brilliant aspect to the game. The terrain is as deadly serious as the game itself, with three species vying for survival and ultimate possession of a unique and powerful object merely known as “The Artifact.”

AVP2-Artifact

So this is what all the fuss is about? The Aliens sure don’t like it, so it’s important to all three species.

(more…)

Read more »

Armchair Dragoons Reviews Dungeons & Dragons Lords of Waterdeep (PC Version)

Armchair Dragoons Reviews Dungeons & Dragons Lords of Waterdeep (PC Version)

Avery Abernethy, 22 May 2019

D&D Lords of Waterdeep was launched in 2012 as a tabletop boardgame.  It is a worker allocation game in the fantasy Dungeon and Dragons City of Waterdeep.  The game was very well-received, winning the 2013 Origins Best Board Game Award.  Lords of Waterdeep has been a very popular board game.  A whopping 47,000+ people claim to own it on BoardGameGeek making it one of the more popular board games among aficionados.

In Lords of Waterdeep you take the role of a “secret Lord of Waterdeep.”  You get agents every round who can be used to recruit minions of four specialties (fighter, thief, priest and wizard) to solve quests. There are five quest types: warfare, skullduggery, commerce, piety, and arcana.  Your agents recruit minions who are (often) combined with gold to solve quests.  You send agents to get the quests, minions, and gold to complete missions. As you would expect, the quests themselves yield rewards which can be used to solve more quests.

starting game board

(more…)

Read more »