Modern

All I Want for Christmas (2015 edition)…

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SantaWith the holidays upon us it is time once again for us to look at some goodies. This has been another great year for gaming and there are almost too many high quality releases especially on the miniatures front. Maybe not so surprising, there has been a lot of progress in the same systems as last year.

Below are just a few items you might want to add to your list…if you’ve been nice! ...

  • Board Games

    • Front Towards Enemy is Multi-Man Publishing’s upcoming tactical Vietnam boardgame. Looks interesting.
    • Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete is another MMP title. This is in their grand tactical series with seven maps and over 1,000 counters. We’ve always found the battle of Crete an interesting topic.
    • Star Wars Armada from Fantasy Flight Games is better than X-Wing in many ways. With the new Star Wars movie out very soon you’ll want to pick this up if you have not already.Heroes of Normandie
    • Heroes of Normandie from Devil Pig is 15mm miniature gaming as a board game. If you like WW2 tactical gaming this is a lot of fun. Don’t miss the computer version either. The new Shadows over Normandie adds even more variety. Fight through the hedgerows in just a couple of hours.
    • Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth is actually not a bad game. It debuts the new HH plastic minis to boot. Worth a look if you like either. It remains to be seen if the game itself will have the legs of Space Hulk.
  • Miniature Games

    • Dropzone Commander continues to be an excellent game with great minis. It is almost impossible to beat the plastic starter sets. Hawk Wargames keeps making a great game better. And don’t miss the new 4Ground 10mm buildings either.
    • Firestorm: Planetfall from Spartan Games gives a lot of the feel of Dropzone Commander but at a much faster pace and slightly grander scale.
    • Dropfleet Commander funded on Kickstarter in a matter of minutes. It will ship in mid 2016 and is essentially a must get for any spaceship combat fan. Hawk’s twist is the game takes place in orbit over a planet instead of deep space. The miniatures look amazing.Dropfleet Commander cover
    • Halo Fleet Battles from Spartan Games is probably the best mass battle spaceship game out there. If you want to see 100 ships slugging it out look no further. The plastic minis are great.
    • Deadzone is a unique take on sci-fi skirmish. A couple of Kickstarters have brought (and will bring) nice plastic minis to replace the restic. A new version will make a new game even better in 2016.
    • Mercs 2nd Edition. Coming very soon along with the boardgame Mercs Recon. This should give the system a nice reboot.
    • Infinity 3rd Edition saw Corvus Belli improve a good set of rules. Lots of new support and upcoming supplements will give players more of a good thing in 2016. We’ll also use this as an opportunity to mention 4Ground’s great new 28mm Jesserai sci-fi building range useful for any sci-fi system.
    • Maelstrom’s Edge funded quickly on Kickstarter and should ship very soon. The minis seem ok but the real treat is going to be the rules. From the sound of it this could be THE ruleset for grand skirmish Halo Fleet Battles(~50 figs) sci-fi gaming. Moreover, it has great support with novels and audio books already available.
    • Beyond the Gates of Antares beat MEdge to the starting gate. It probably has better minis — and now some core sets in plastic — but, while the rules are good (a derivative of Bolt Action), we’ll see if they can stand toe to toe with MEdge or not.
    • World War Two gamers are not left out. Both Chain of Command and Bolt Action continue to be excellent skirmish games with great support. And Warlord keeps making great new plastic tanks. And of course 4Ground once again has you covered for buildings and Crescent Root Studio does even better.
    • Modern gamers are being well taken cared for as well. Coming soon from TooFatLardies is Fighting Season a modern version of Chain of Command. Available now from Dish Dash are the new Skirmish Sanguin supplements with a new mini range coming soon. Osprey Publishing’s new Black Ops skirmish rules are quite nice as well if you are looking for a quick play set of rules. If you want modern miniatures don’t miss Empress Miniatures’ great 28mm line.Team Yankee
    • Team Yankee might be the title we are most excited about. The Cold War is one of our favorite topics and an area that doesn’t get much wargame attention these days. We would have preferred 12mm but the new modern 15mm plastics from Battlefront look great. Battlefront is also releasing a range of modern era terrain as well. There has been a slight delay but we should see the first items in time for the holidays.
  • Computer Games

    • Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Player’s Edition is certainly at the top of the list of computer wargames to check out. Excellent Cold War action and now with the new Germany Reforged expansion.
    • Combat Mission: Black Sea gives you more modern warfare with the CM engine moving to a hypothetical conflict in the Ukraine. Available now.Flashpoint Campaigns Germany Reforged
    • Space Hulk: Ascension will scratch the sci-fi corridor itch. It got a few nice updates this past year.
    • XCOM2. Delayed but probably well worth the wait. This will burn away a few hours…ok days…in 2016. An all new version of the venerable sci-fi tactical game.
    • Wars and Battles still has perhaps the worst name ever for a wargame but for the iPad it is still one of the best wargames to date. The past year has seen new campaigns added and 2016 will see more.

[Updated: 23NOV15]

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All I want for Christmas…

Posted on Updated on

SantaWith the holidays upon us it might not be a bad time to look at some goodies. This has been an especially good year for gaming and the recent months have seen some very high quality releases. Below are just a few items you might want to add to your list…if you’ve been nice! . .

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  • Board Games

    • Star Borders: Humanity 2ed and Star Borders: Aliens are two notable sci-fi titles from Victory Point Games. Surprisingly high-quality components and a quick playing but engaging game system make for a real win. Best of all is that there is more to come.
    • Star Wars Armada from Fantasy Flight Games looks like it could be more fun than X-Wing.Heroes of Normandie
    • Galaxy Defenders may seem a bit odd but it is a nice co-op/solitaire sci-fi tactical game. Take a little XCOM and a dash of Men in Black and have some fun saving the world. Very nice components.
    • Heroes of Normandie from Devil Pig is 15mm miniature gaming as a board game. Tons of options available with even more coming. Fight through the hedgerows in just a couple of hours.
  • Miniature Games

  • Computer Games

    • Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Player’s Edition is certainly at the top of the list of computer wargames to check out. Excellent Cold War action.
    • Combat Mission: Black Sea gives you more modern warfare with the CM engine moving to a hypothetical conflict in the Ukraine. Available for pre-order.
    • Space Hulk: Ascension will scratch the sci-fi corridor itch. Who doesn’t want to give Genestealers a special present?War in the West
    • XCOM Long War. Thought you were tired of XCOM? Think again. The Long War mod adds a huge host of improvements to the venerable sci-fi tactical game.
    • War in the West is out now and could be Grigsby’s finest. Refight the campaigns in the West on a grand scale. Can you do better?
    • Wars and Battles is perhaps the worst name ever for a wargame but for the iPad it is one of the best wargames to date.

[Updated: 5DEC14]

Flames of War – Fate of a Nation

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Fate of NationsBattlefront released its first Middle East module for Flames of War. Fate of a Nation comes as a free supplement with Wargames Illustrated Issue 312

Fate Of A Nation:
Arab-Israeli Wars, Six-Day War, 1967
On 5 June, 1967, Israel surprised the Arab forces massing on its borders with a pre-emptive strike. By the end of the day a hundred thousand soldiers and several thousand tanks were locked in battle — a struggle that would decide the fate of Israel.

Both sides had spent a decade preparing for this titanic struggle. Both sides acquired every modern tank they could, and upgraded those they retained from earlier wars. The opening battles saw more tanks in combat than the famous Battle of Prokhorovka between the Germans and Soviets near Kursk in 1943. The clash was swift and brutal. Within days a thousand wrecked tanks littered the battlefields and Israel was victorious..

There a number of supporting release for Fate of a Nation with certainly many more on the way. Here are some of the highlights:Isherman

Of course Battlefront is not the only option for Middle East miniatures. Most notably Khurasan Miniatures have a very nice range of both vehicles and infantry with more on the way. We’ll have a comparison between Battlefront and Khurasan soon.
FoW FoN

No Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Die!

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7TVWell here is something completely different. Anyone who has been visiting the site recently knows we’ve gotten sucked back into 28mm gaming. Well as if that hole wasn’t getting deep enough we stumbled across Crooked Dice Game Design Studio’s 7TV: Wargaming in the world of Cult TV.

We have always been huge fans of the original James Bond movies. The mix of action and campy 60’s fun and style is classic. 7TV essentially brings that world to the tabletop. You can play the game as a literal ‘TV set’ simulation with as much or little campy action and over-the-top characters as you wish or drop out the concept of TV altogether and play it as a straight modern skirmish game.

Minions with SMGsAt its heart 7TV is simply a 28mm skirmish game — of course there is no real reason one couldn’t play in 15mm either. Scale is 2m per inch and each turn is 1-5 minutes of real time. The game is designed to be played with about 12-40 miniatures. Each miniature has various stats such as movement, agility, morale, etc. It uses an interesting activation and leadership mechanic and uses cards for special weapons (gadgets) and events.

7TV includes complete character and force generation mechanics plus a huge amount of pre-generated characters. Complete scenario and campaign generation rules are included as well. Four scenarios are included.

The 186-page rules are available as a PDF or in full color print. They are extremely well laid out with clean, clear text and lots of period style. Even better they are very well written and easy to understand. There are also plenty of expansions adding new missions and characters.

If you like the theme at all or just want a good skirmish game give 7TV a look.

Missile ControlCrooked Dice have their own 28mm miniatures line for 7TV that is very nice. For additional figures and terrain they recommended both Hasslefree Miniatures and Copplestone Castings. The Copplestone Room Sets are very nicely cast resin interior pieces. Many of the pieces are double-sided so can be placed against a wall or in the middle of a room — they really make your rooms and buildings look great. 15mm gamers are not left out either. Khurasan Miniatures has their 60’s Spy line of figures.

You can never have enough minions baby!

[Updated: 3DEC13]

Wargame: European Escalation — Review

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Wargame: European EscalationThe Gents over at the Three Moves Ahead podcast deliver an excellent review of Wargame: European Escalation in their latest Episode 160. We haven’t played the game yet ourselves but they give it overall high marks and make a great case for giving the game a try. The trailer video for the game certainly looks nice as do the screen shots. The game is certainly not lacking in eye candy.

Three Moves Ahead PodcastA horrible name perhaps but Wargame: European Escalation provides a unique take on the RTS genre by mixing in Cold War-era history with a solid RTS game. Not a simulation by any means, the game still manages to provide that wargame feel in an RTS package. A combat-based point scoring system combined with territory capturing and supply gives the game a unique enough mix to warrant a look.

The game is available on Steam. Also see the developer’s game site.

Hornet Leader — Review

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Hornet LeaderDVG Games recently released Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations. Hornet Leader is a remake of the original game that started the series more than a decade ago and includes the expansions that were released as VASSAL only games in the past. Last year DVG also released the excellent Phantom Leader in the same series.

The game ships in a beefy extra-deep box although it is largely filled with air. It has a mound of cards and excellent full-color components. We found an excellent review of Hornet Leader on Wargame Center. As always, BoardGame Geek has some excellent supporting files.

The Best Games Not Yet Published – 2011

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Another new year and new games and miniatures to lust after! Once again we present our annual look at the games and miniatures we are most anxiously awaiting in 2011. Our 2010 prognostications did well. As always, there is no guarantee any of these titles will be published in 2011, nor that they will be any good if they are, but we are always optimistic.
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