Archive For The “Features” Category

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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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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Armchair Dragoons Interviews Designer Christopher Davis (Hero of the Soviet Union)

Armchair Dragoons Interviews Designer Christopher Davis (Hero of the Soviet Union)

Brant Guillory, 27 October 2018

 

Armchair Dragoons:  Thanks for taking the time chat with us!

Christopher Davis:  Thanks for reaching out!

 

ACD: So, what’s your wargaming background?  First wargame you learned to play?  First wargame you loved?  What’s the top of your rotation today?

CD:  I think I was born into it. Growing up, my dad was an Army attack helicopter pilot, so I learned a lot about the Soviet army, especially its tanks. And that branched into general military history, especially World War II.

And I came of age just as computer games were booming. My parents bought me Civilization 2 – from Scholastics magazine! – when I was in 6th grade and it’s been a gamer’s life ever since on both the PC and the tabletop. By the start of high school, I was playing microarmor and Napoleonics.

But it wasn’t until the last five years or so when I really started seriously exploring the tabletop hobby on my own – DVG, Compass, GMT, etc. My recent rotation has included Pavlov’s House, Corsair Leader, War of the Worlds, Nightfighter Ace, and Unconditional Surrender. Next up is Skies Above the Reich. My all time favorite games thus far have been Labyrinth: War on Terror, Star Wars Rebellion, and B17 Leader. 

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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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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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Armchair Dragoons reviews the Eldritch Horror Board Game

Armchair Dragoons reviews the Eldritch Horror Board Game

by Avery Abernethy, 10 October 2018

Eldritch Horror is a world-spanning boardgame within the Lovecraftian Horror world published by Fantasy Flight Game.  In Eldritch Horror from one to eight players cooperatively attempt to forestall the horrors from beyond time and space from eating the entire world.

Unlike Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror requires a lot of globetrotting.  Your players must frequently spend precious time traveling long distances to fight monsters, obtain clues and close gates. Unlike some games, the chosen opponent is not run by one of the players.  Instead, cards are turned over and the effects on the individual players, cities, and the world is executed after the player’s turn.

Eldritch 4

Adventurers in Shanghai

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