European indies: Europa Simulazioni

Europa SimulazioniEurope can be surprising, particularly in such times troubled by the GFC, and you can see cute, lean and smart game studios popping up from the most unexpected places … like Piacenza, a medium sized city in Northern Italy! That’s where “Europa Simulazioni” was born in 2006, a small company¬†devoted to publish simulation boardgames in unusual historical periods. And their logo is a vibrant reminder of their city’s coat of arms ūüôā

The first of them was All is lost save Honour, Campaigns of the Italian Wars in the north of Italy between 1509 and 1525 (from Agnadello to Pavia). Then  they have released Guelphs and Ghibellines in 2009, a nice simulation of the traditional clashes between 13th century armies (3 battles covered). And in 2011 they came with Strafexpedition, a title covering the Italian Wars during WWI in 1916, using battalion level units, and coming with a brand-new impulse system, which allows a remarkable level of interaction between the two players.

Europa Simulazioni Games

They are now preparing an opus on the First War of Independence: “Custoza, Fields of Doom“.¬†In July 1848, the battle between the Piedmomtese Army under King Carlo Alberto and the Austro-Hungarian Army under Field Marshall Radetzky signed the turning point of the First Independence War, and the defeat of the Piedmontese dream of an Italian Crusade against Austro-Hungary.

Good luck to our Italian fellows, keep up the good job!
To Know More:


Piacenza Stemma


Black Cross / Blue Sky add-on out … and sold out!

Lost SquadronsBlack Cross / Blue Sky is a reference for Air Combat during WWII. The game is published by Blue Sky Enterprises and covers the battle for Britain at a tactical level with focus on air units, but also involving naval and terrestrial objectives. Find out more about the game here.

John F. Stanoch strikes again by publishing the add-on “Lost Squadron“, first seen this August 2012 at the¬†World Boardgaming Championships held in Lancaster PA, USA.¬†The game seems to have been well received as all of the stock was sold out at the show. Players are now able to expand their gaming experience with “Black Cross/Blue Sky” by adding the French, Polish and Dutch air forces. Ships are also introduced including the French battleship ‘Richelieu’.

Black Cross / Blue Sky game board

The Pitch of Lost Squadron: Months before the commencement of the Battle of Britain, the skies over Europe witnessed intense aerial battles of obsolete and outnumbered Allied aircraft fighting desperately for survival against incredible odds and widely superior aircraft of the German Luftwaffe. This was the stage upon which the Lost Squadrons flew. The Polish, French, Dutch and ubiquitous British air forces tried valiantly but in vaint to blunt Germany’s invasion of Europe from the air. Now you can fly as these desperate and brave pilots to see if you can change the course of history!

But you’ll have to wait for a reprint of Lost Squadrons, stay tuned.
(Although it has been seen on eBay)

An enthusiast review by Marco Arnaudo

ASL Video Tutorials

ASL TutorialsSometimes you just roam on Youtube and you can stumble upon gold nuggets. And the video tutorial from ID Jester are some of those, for Advanced Squad Leader fans!

There are probably 2 you want to start with, in relation to how to play ASL using VASSAL and the VASL module:

Beyond the basics, you’ll probably also enjoy this series of 14 tutorials, each of them spoken in a very clear and comprehensive manner. Good job ID Jester, the ASL community thanks you.

Episode #1: ASL Tutorial Video


20 decisive battles of the World

20 decisive battles of the WorldThat’s the interesting point of view taken at Turning Point Simulations, a division of LPS Inc, publishers of ATO Magazine.

In 1964, historian Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mitchell published a compact book, Twenty Decisive Battles of the World, an expansion of Sir Edward Creasy’s most famous work from a hundred years past, updating it into the 20th Century.

Turning Point Simulations (TPS) examines these 20 battles with a new series of boxed wargames. These games emphasize accessibility and playability, and come with hard-mounted maps and mounted, die-cut counters. Each battle is presented in a design of low complexity, but high challenge, from some of the industry’s top designers.

4 titles have been issued to date and are available for purchase in a “Honeymoon” offer, for just $170 out of the USA. You can also pre-order them all.

We’ve just passed our order and will keep you posted shortly about the interest of this new “Decisive Battles” series. But our guess is that it’s a very good entry point for new wargamers.

TPS new "Decisive battles" series

Empire Total War for Mac is here!

Rise and shine my dear Mac lovers and aficionados of the Total War series! After months of waiting, news have leaked and according to several blogs, including Inside Mac Games, Feral Interactive will finally ship Empire Total Ear for Mac on 13/09/2012, literally just days away now! Free up some gigabytes, and don’t run out of coffee, nights will be long.

Video Trailer


Strategic Map


Battlefield View

Naval battles


MMP preparing electronic rulebook for ASL

ImageAccording to a recent post of Chas Argent from MMP on both ConsimWorld and Gamesquad, the firm is on the verge of releasing an electronic version of ASL rulebook. That’s certainly exciting news for the players community, striving to make the game more popular and struggling to attract new players, often scared off by the complexity of just the Starter Kits.

Current printed version of the 2nd edition can be purchased for 80USD on MMP site, or 84AUD at Milsims. Interesting to see how they will ship and charge for the eBook version.

Against the Odds 36

Against the Odds #36It 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”).

Defeat Into Victory - MapScenarios 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.