Hi peeps, back this morning onto the Australian Wargamer blog, which I have completely let down over the last few months, completely sucked into the black hole of my new career. No good excuse for sure, and I do apologise for those I have left disappointed by not replying to their comments or enquiries, shame on me.
Never to late to do some good, and my first action is to catchup with the latest updates from the industry. As I browse through my subscriptions, I realise it’s about time to become a faithful and regular reader of Strategy & Tactics, the legendary publication from Decision Games. In a few clicks I pay the fee for the next 24 months and I’m about to check out when I notice the “Premium Subscription” offer. A bit curious and greedy, I check this out to discover in awe the Holy Grail I have been looking for for decades: The ability to get access to the (almost) complete collection of S&T back issues, yes nothing less.
The publisher offers to go back in time up to issue #128, dated …. late 1989! Already a bit numb, I get completely stunned when I discover the ridiculously affordable cost for such a privilege: $19.95 … yes TWENTY US DOLLARS to skim through the precious pages accumulated over the last quarter of a century by one of the most iconic wargaming journal and prolific authors.
I bless the day, and start downloading. So should you do too!
It just landed in my mailbox, with a special focus on the Burma campaign.
The included game is Defeat into Victory, by designer Paul Rohrbaugh, and it covers this neglected aspect of WWII history, using a very interactive and easy to play (chit-pull activation system) design. The game map stretches from Dimapur in the north to Rangoon in the south. Rules cover supply (a crucial aspect in terrain that was among the most inhospitable of the war), various types of combat (fire, maneuver and assault), as well as morale and leadership. Rules also include random events (that simulate the effects of battles and decisions by higher-ups elsewhere), weather, Japanese suicide tank attacks (human combat destruction squads) and changing war goals. The air campaign is also simulated (in much more detail than generic “air points”).
Scenarios include the initial Japanese offensive against Imphal and Kohima, two on the Allied 1945 offensive, as well as the Campaign Game. Tough decisions will have to be made by both sides as they allocate precious resources among their formations, determine their enemy’s intentions and balance their plans, as well as attack and defend.
- Map – One full color 22″x34″ mapsheet
- Counters – 300 full color 1/2″ die-cut pieces
- Rules length – 12 pages
- Charts and tables – 2 pages
- Complexity – Medium
- Solitaire suitability – Average
Read more and order here.
Britain’s premier ASL journal and community hub is well alive and kicking, and you old ASL bastards would better have a look at their website from time to time: http://www.vftt.co.uk/index.asp
You’ll be able to download issue #85 of the journal, but also all back issues, as well as all AH GENERAL back issues, yummy.
And for the lucky Poms living downunder and planning a trip to Europe, make sure it will happen around the next “Intensive Fire” tournament, taking place in Bornemouth on 25-28 October 2012.
That’s the question addressed by the Annual 2010 issue of Against the Odds magazine, that I have just received with the back issues collection I ordered a few days ago, sweet!
The approach proposed by Nigel Davies is to review the 9 most frequent myths about Operation Barbarossa, this incredibly ambitious operation launched by Hitler to crush the Soviet Empire in a 6-month blitzkrieg, in a manner very similar to what he did in the set. obviously that never although almost succeeded. Here are the myths examined under the lens:
- Hitler was mad to attempt it
- Stalin was mad to ignore evidence that it was coming
- The attack only failed because of Hitler’s inference in the operations
- The attack was not compromised by the British intervention in the Balkans
- The Soviets successfully traded space for time and were never in danger of total collapse
- The Soviets were only saved by “General Winter”
- The Wehrmacht had made no preparations for a winter campaign
- The Wehrmacht had vastly underestimated the opposition and never stood a chance
- Once they had survived the initial attack, the Soviet response would be overwhelming and inevitable.
I can only urge you to read this very good article to understand why the odds were probably quite balanced, making of this operation one of the richest for modern wargamers. The Annual 2010 comes in addition with 4 good games related to the operation:
- Hitler turns East
- Strike the bear
- Codeword: Barbarossa
Big thank you to ATO.
Congratulations to our French friends of Vae Victis, they are demonstrating here unusual but well deserved longevity in the Wargaming space, especially for a title available only in French (actually the only French publication I know).
With issue #100, there are some significant and interesting changes:
- 6 issues per year and you can select if you want the game included as a leaflet or under zipped packaging with die-cut counters.
- No more special issues, as it was unclear to give a clear focus to this title.
- 16 more pages per issue, definitely an excellent decision!
- Games can de ordered separately as boxed games with die-cut counters
The game included in this issue is “Les Rois Francs”, it’s based on the generic system “A la Charge” (first issued in VV#87) and it covers 4 battles of the IXth century: Fontenoy en Puisaye, Jengland, Brissarthe and Montfaucon en Argonne.
That was the perfect occasion for me to renew my subscription, and I just can’t wait to hold this #100 in my hands. Congratulations!
Early reviews by 2 French bloggers:
Old war gamers are still nostalgic of the glorious and pioneer titles that enlightened us back in the days: Moves from SPI, The General from Avalon Hill, Strategy & Tactics etc … And nowadays there are not many relevant successors to highlight, but “Against the Odds” is certainly one of them.
Against the Odds magazine investigates military history from a broad perspective. The economic, political, religious and social aspects of warfare are examined in concert with events on the battlefield.
Each issue of ATO features:
- Informative and insightful articles showcasing the history behind events, plus regular columns by noted game designers providing insight on the latest trends and events.
- A challenging, fun wargame that drops the players into truly desperate situations but gives them multiple options to alter history.
- Professionally printed graphics, complete with large playing map and 200 to 360 die cut playing pieces.
ATO is a quarterly, and there has been 35 issues so far. You can subscribe for an international delivery, but also, don’t worry, you can also get all the past issues shipped to your door, that’s what they call the “Big Kahuna
“, which I cannot avoid to order straight away of course. For 2011, there are 4 issues + an annual game planned:
Other things the wargamer will love:
Well done guys, keep up the good job, I look forward to reading you soon and for a long time!
The French Magazine Jeux & Stratégie, which pioneered the market in the early 80’s, was regularly reviewing strategy boardgames and wargames. Actually each issue was even coming with a free game to cut and play.
Issue #001 in 1980 included a very simple Napoleonic Wargame, “La Guerre des Ducs”, designed by François Marcela-Froideval, whose purpose was to initiate the newbies to the basics of this new kind of games.
Today, the game can be downloaded from various sources: