Archive For The “Reviews” Category

Classic Reviews: Small General Mobile (VR Designs)

Brant Guillory, 16 May 2019

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

Looking for a grognard-quality game in a light, on-the-go package? Walk, don’t run, to your Android phone and grab this little gem.

sg30Is That A Battle In Your Pocket…?

Small General is a light wargame for the Android OS that has a generic-but-roughly-WWII-era theme that offers some interesting tactical challenges in a package that plays quickly, but still offers a robust grog-friendly experience. The “beta” is available as a free download, and includes about 5 scenarios of varying size/challenge. The paid version unlocks significantly more content. Moreover, the AI in the paid version seems to cheat less, but maybe it’s just me!

Small General is played on a hex grid with basic terrain: woods, cities, hills, marshes, etc. Units are presented as counters with attack/defend values, which are updated based on current damage status. Counters may be stacked, and the stacks examined. Additionally, attackers can pick and choose their targets from within an enemy stack. Movement is also rather simple, with a basic touch-screen drag-and-drop interface to move units around. The same motions are used to specify an attack.

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Armchair Dragoons Reviews Aggressors Ancient Rome (Matrix Games)

Armchair Dragoons Reviews Aggressors Ancient Rome (Matrix Games)

Avery Abernethy, 15 May 2019

Aggressors Ancient Rome is a 4x (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) strategy game from Kubat Software distributed by Slitherine/Matrix games.

Many 4x games have been released over the years across multiple genres including the development of man from ancient times to the space age (Civilization), development of space faring civilizations (Master of Orion, Space Empires) and Fantasy settings (Warlock; Age of Wonders; Fallen Enchantress). Aggressors enters a crowded 4x field containing both old school favorites and recent releases.

My review is based on more than a hundred and ten hours of play and a cover-to-cover reading of the 225 page manual.  Aggressors has two complete games under the hood, an “everyone starts at the beginning” scramble game and a game starting in the Mediterranean in 282 BC with twenty unequal opponents ranging from highly advanced civilizations (Carthage, Ptolemaic Empire, Rome, Athens) to barbarian tribes.  Both the scramble start game and the 20 opponent 282 BC game were played to completion.   The game is stable and I experienced only one crash playing on a on a one year old Falcon Northwest Talon.  I was given a review copy of the game.

1 Two Games in One

Two games in one

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My Go-To Game: 7 Wonders

My Go-To Game: 7 Wonders

Brant Guillory, 17 April 2019

For a lot of people, their “go-to” game is the game they boot up on the computer when they have time to kill in the evenings, or over a weekend when they’ve got the game on TV and want to safely ignore commercials.  And while I have a few casual “go-to” games in the digital world, I would be remiss if I failed to extoll the virtues of my tabletop “go-to” game for multi-player gatherings: 7 Wonders.

For most wargamers, 7 Wonders barely registered on their radar.  A fast-playing European production, 7 Wonders has an abstract combat mechanic, and one that can be safely ignored and still result in a resounding victory.  With so little battlefield relevance, it’s not wonder that many grogs steered clear of 7 Wonders when it was released.  Their loss.  Seriously.

7WONDERS 3D

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First Look at the new Siege of the Citadel

First Look at the new Siege of the Citadel

Jim Owczarski, 7 March 2019

It seems like a lifetime ago — admittedly it was 1993, which for some reading this is a lifetime — that Richard Borg released “Siege of the Citadel”, his mass-market introduction to the world of the Mutant Chronicles. The latter was ever an attempt to knock Games Workshop’s Warhammer: 40,000 from its perch atop the world of ultra-violent future dystopia tabletop skirmish gaming.

Coming as it did on the heels of the mass market success of “HeroQuest”, however, “Siege of the Citadel” shipped laden with toys: a shovel-load of decently-sculpted plastic miniatures, bright plastic game components, and even a garish cardboard and plastic citadel over which the sides could fight. Players led teams of elite commandos, each team typed after one of the human nations which had taken over a planet in our solar system, against an army of demons. Gameplay was simple and moved very quickly. I fell so hard for the system, and was so disgusted by the changes being made to WH:40K, that I eventually bought three copies of the boardgame just to have the figures. (more…)

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Classic Reviews: Cactus Throne (ATO)

CRCT magcover

The cover of the magazine

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

Brant Guillory, 20 December 2018

An early game from Against The Odds Magazine that looks at what was going on while us Americanos were recovering from the US Civil War / War Between The States / War of Northern Aggression / “The Wahr” ~

INTRODUCTION

Cactus Throne is an operational/strategic-level game that covers the war in Mexico between the Republican Mexican government forces, and the Imperial forces of France, Britain, Spain, Austria, and their Mexican allies. The war was originally fought between 1862-1867.

Although there were significant political machinations that affected the campaign, especially in Europe, the game focuses on the allocation of forces within Mexico, and control of the important areas of country.

Some of the political events are included as random events. Additionally, there are events that could have happened, but did not, such as the appearance of both Union and Confederate forces from the American Civil War. Cactus Throne does include some elements of seapower, but only to the extent that it affected the land battles. Ship-to-ship combat is not simulated.

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Classic Reviews: Runebound 2nd Ed (FFG)

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

Brant Guillory, 29 November 2018

  • Pros:  Well-balanced, nifty movement mechanics, gorgeous.
  • Cons:  Little interaction between players, needs a lot of table space.

Some gamers love the intricate role-playing game full of soliloquies, conspiracy theories, and more character development than a British melodrama.  Others would rather dispense with the backstory, role-play an archetypal character, and kick butt.  In the early days of computer games, most fantasy ‘role-playing’ was the former, not the latter.  Runebound strikes me as one of these computer games, transported to a board game environment.
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