Archive For The “Reviews” Category

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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Classic Review: Space Gamer/ Fantasy Gamer (Better Games edition)

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

Brant Guillory, 25 October 2018

For a while, Better Games had the rights to the name Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer magazine. And they did it justice.  I have about 75% of the issues – the magazine lasted only 10-12 or so, but these little gems should definitely be tracked down.

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Armchair Dragoons Reviews Masks of Nyarlathotep and Companion (Chaosium)

By Avery Abernethy, 24 October 2018

Masks of Nyarlathotep was first published way back in 1984 as one of the first adventures for the then new RPG Call of Cthulhu.  It is a huge adventure with the investigators attempting to stop a world-wide conspiracy to bring chaos and destruction to the world. Masks has been reprinted many times and with the advent of the internet will probably always be available for sale online in pdf form.  But Masks has remained so popular that its publisher has regularly released a new print edition every decade or so. (more…)

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Classic Reviews: The Proud and the Few (HPS Sims)

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

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The Splash Screen

Michael Eckenfels, 18 October 2018

• Developed by John Tiller
• Published byHPS Simulations

I haven’t seen a decent Marine Corps simulation since SSG’s ancient Halls of Montezuma, which was, at heart, a lot less tactical than The Proud and the Few . And, while you won’t be storming the gates of Mexico City or fighting off Communists at Inchon, you will be treated to an excellent range of tense, bloody battles that are the trademark of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. (more…)

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Armchair Dragoons Reviews Napoleon: 1806 by Shakos

Armchair Dragoons Reviews Napoleon: 1806 by Shakos

Jim Owczarski, 13 October 2018

There is a sea-change afoot in wargaming and it is honestly unlike any I have seen in my lifetime.  For those keeping score at home, I am old enough to have watched “Good Times” before syndication.

designers should seek, using clear rules and transparent systems, to make a historical “argument”

The coming of the hobby boardgame, particularly the euro, has washed through the industry like a Spring rain.  Companies that were once almost exclusively committed to chits, hexes, and CRTs are letting heresies like wooden pieces, cards, and even table-free combat systems into their offerings.  Perhaps nothing is bigger, though, than the demand that consims should be more than elaborate statistics, detailed maps, and tottering stacks of chits.  There is a desire — which I first heard spoken by Dr. Bruce Geryk — that game creators no longer try to supplant design with detail or, perhaps more accurately, to conceal poor design under a mound of detritus.  On the contrary, designers should seek, using clear rules and transparent systems, to make a historical “argument”, if you will, regarding the event they are portraying and let the players make their way through it.  In the end the player can agree or disagree with the argument, but through this process the designer will communicate to the player and open up the history on the table.  This must not be taken as an excuse for ahistorical nonsense masquerading as simplicity, but instead a demand that designers, well, do better.

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Classic Reviews: Rome (GMT Games)

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

Michael Eckenfels, 11 October 2018

•  Designed by Reiner Knizia
•  Published by GMT Games

“Experience the glory that was Rome,” exhorts the front page of the game manual, “from its most desperate moment to the height of its power.” If the player immediately thinks to themselves, “Hey, Rome had a few more than just one ‘desperate moment’ in their history,” then they’re too grognard for this particular offering from GMT Games, which is actually three games in one – all of which are the quick-playing, easy-to-learn antithesis to anything with more than five pages of rules.

REMEMBER, THOU ART SIMPLE

Simplicity, however, is fine by me when it saves a tremendous amount of learning time and gives the player a good fix if they crave something Roman. GMT claims the games should take about forty-five minutes in average playing time. This seems accurate as the first game invariably takes an hour and subsequent plays take much less time. The included games in this package are Hannibal versus Rome, Imperium, and Circus Maximus. I will offer a review on each in turn.

Rome Box Cover

Rome Box Cover

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