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Showing posts from 2015

Pennine Megagames and Sengoku

The creative project that has swallowed most of my time recently is map making for the Pennine Megagames.

At some point I will put together some posts on how do large maps in inkscape (free vector graphics software). Learning to do things in vector has been an interesting experience, but necessary to deal with large maps (4 A0). If you are interested in posts / how to's on large maps drop a comment.



on the 28th we run the Jim Wallman design Sengoku, a political diplomatic war game set in Feudel Japan. If you live in Northern England, its £30 for the day (this just about covers our costs, which is mostly room hire).

You can book by clicking the paypal link on this page.

http://www.penninemegagames.co.uk/sengoku.html

make sure you click on the player link and not control!


Blocks in the East, physical product review

The quest for a strategy East Front game continues. This is more of a product review, as I only played 3 turns out (almost the complete short Barbarossa scenario) and decided I wasn’t motivated enough to go on.
BITE is not a good example of professional graphic or product design. A pretty good indicator of this is the box cover which has nice art, but you can see the pixels as it is not 200dpi. It looks slightly cheap and this is my general feeling with this game. The map art is garish and in some areas and some parts such as the Siberia box look downright terrible with clashing colours and badly placed icons. Not only does it fail the form test, but also the function. Key charts are printed on the board. Often this is fine, but here they are not facing either player, and are difficult to see from a sitting position. The end result will be playing standing with a craned neck until you have them memorised. Finally, and probably the biggest health warning on this game is the block den…

A quick review: Clash of Giants II, Ted Racier, GMT

I've played 3 games of this recently, two of the Galicia campaign game and one of the 1st Ypres (reverse side of map sheet) and thought I'd give a quick review.
WW1 is generally an less gamed conflict, and in my view rightly so to some extent. A lot of war games that I play feel like they have been crowbarred into being a competitive or interesting game where the historical situation was rather straight forward, attritional or one sided. However WW1 can work in 1914 or 1918, and hence most non strategic games on the topic focus on these two time periods.
Clash of Giants is a lot lot simpler and easier playing than the previous reviewed Somme 1918. Its a simple hex and counter that uses a chit pull activation system to create command and control chaos and simple but effective supply and combat systems that are evocative of the period.
The command and control system divides the map into areas with each area activated when its chit is drawn. Coupled with this you roll a die and …

DO PANIC: DON'T PANIC TOO (2), UK Mega Gamers After Action Report from Manchester

I went over to Manchester this past weekend, a tree fell on my motorbike and knocked out the low beam (high beam still works fine though weirdly), but more importantly I joined in with an invasion of blighty.


Mega-games have become a bit of a bigger deal over the past year. The London based organisers, centred around a Jim Wallman, have come up north twice now, I played in the Italy campaign game in Leeds a few months back (I will throw together an article on this at some point) and now I served as the German 8th corps operations officer for an invasion of Britain in 1940. Operation Sea Lion was planned by German high command after the campaign in France but never launched. This game looks at a what if, with a few historical realities papered over a little to make the invasion a little more feasible.


The game involves about 60 players in two teams, who have to essentially learn in one day what a real military staff learns in several years of training. Each side has commander in chief, t…

Free Astonishing Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea module PDFs!

I periodically turn my rpg session notes into something more publishable. Below are links to a short adventure I wrote and a campaign locale.


First up, a Lovecraftian romp through a statue on the edge of a volcanic island;

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B39t62uIctG3aWJad3BmVlk5a2c/view?usp=sharing

Its a bit linear, but its supposed to be a short adventure. I've tried to channel as much Lovecraftian weirdness as I can into it.

Second up, a city in the dark of the Underborea;

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B39t62uIctG3SEFHbk5JZi1UelU&authuser=0

This is more of a campaign setting. The wider Underborea has sections of mega dungeon and hex crawl. This is meant to act as a plot trigger and base camp for the players.


Both are written for the rpg Astonish Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, by Northwind Games, which has become my fantasy ruleset and setting of choice.

Tide of Fortune

I traded off my copy of OCS Reluctant Enemies, something I thought I’d never do.  I’d solo’d it through twice and played the short scenario face to face and sort of felt done with it. It’s a great way into OCS but I think the French strategy can drag the game in a certain direction. If they go defensive they can force the game into a battle of attrition in the Northern Mountains in the late game. The game then descends down to the roll of the dice.
Ever searching for playable but deep Napoleonic Operations I got Seven days of 1809 for it.




But lucky me, (and my dog) the chap I traded with threw in an extra game for free!

Tide of Fortune – a 1992 complex operational war game on the Netherlands in 1944 by John Schettler.

Boardgamegeek rates it at an average of … 5.98. So it wasn't a hit. The game has terrible product development. In non-jargon this means they didn’t proofread it and test the final product properly. Some chits are misprinted, there are some gaps in the rule book/scen…

Posts I blog in other places March 2015 edition

I've been a little quiet here for much of early 2015 though I have posted a few things of interest on other sites;


A review of the VPG boardgame Star Borders Humanity posted at boargamegeek, since thats the place I felt this style of review would be most useful;
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1324180/star-borders-humanity

An opinion piece on why boardgames are closing in on mainstream entertainment status;
http://fortressat.com/blogs-by-members/5252-why-board-games-are-now-becoming-popular

And an obituary piece on the video game Planetside 2, a great game that perhaps fell short of its potential; http://fortressat.com/blogs-by-members/5140-planetside-2-obituary



Airborne Assault: Conquest of the Aegean - A short update on my inept defence of Malta

Computer wargames, as in computer milsims, generally aren't that great. They tend to either be overly simple or completely opaque with most of the best games being those that are really designed for video gamers such as Ultimate General Gettysbury or Wargame Red Dragon, rather than the games for the milsim crowd.
A few years ago I bought a CD copy of Panther Games Airborne Assault: Conquest of the Aegean off Ebay for £5. I’ve always felt Matrix Games were overpriced (The old publisher for this series) and wanted to try the system before I threw real money at it.

Here is the situation just after dawn of day 3. Last night the Safi and the Central Airfields got overwhelmed. Troops guarding the Victoria Line, the Western harbour and around Nignet had to be hastily redeployed for a counterattack, which as the sun rises appear to have been successful. Unfortunately I have to hold out for 6 more days and I have no idea if more German para regiments are in bound. This game is pretty inte…