Sunday, 7 July 2013

New Arrivals, both Italy and London.

Well I have got some money from a research project, this means that I can spend some on games and miniatures while complaining I will not have summer holiday and while I am finishing my thesis (breaking news: I passed the VIVA with corrections, I am on track to be a doctor). Also some old pre-orders have showed up at home. 

Well first of all I will tell you about the giant games that are waiting for me in Italy…

The most exciting arrival is certainly War of The Suns, Leonard To Magnus Opus on the War of Resistance and the Civil War. I have only been able to see the pictures of the game and reading the rules, but my mother told me it is at home. Well the rules are intriguing at least, the map beautiful and the counters… well I am not overly impressed on what I have seen online. They are not as nice as the ones Mark Mahaffey did. Ground units and marker are ok (still the ground units look a bit uninspired) air units are uninspiring, leader are awful. Well Mister Idiot on CSW yelled so much he got his ugly counters… it is a shame. Well there have been some hints that maybe we will get decent leaders. We will see. I am really eager to see it in the cardboard, my opinion on the counters could change, at least the one on ground forces and planes. I really want my hero Bill Slim pictured and also General Li Sun Jen.

After that Panzergrenadier: Kursk South Flank is finally there. I pre-ordered the game when… well before I started by London’s adventure. I like Kursk and I like the Panzergrenadier series. I am eager to try it. I was hoping to have it before the end of the Christmas season or at least for Easter, but the Italian Mail messed up.
The other game is Open Fire from Victory Games. I like tank, I like solitaire games and the description of the game I have dug out are quite good. The game is about commanding a small formation of US tanks during the North Western Europe Campaign.  The game systems handles the germans and you can also get reinforcements and supports (Pershing tank, Tank Destroyer and the like).  I am looking forward to it.

Here in the suddenly sunny London I have recently accumulated some magazine games.
Defeat into Victory by Paul Rhorbaugh published by ATO Magazine (issue 36)
Forlorn Hopes again by Paul  and again from ATO Magazine.
Decision Iraq and Somali Pirates by Joe Miranda and published both in Modern War.
In Country by Joe again and published in Strategy and Tactics.

Defeat into Victory is not a great game so far. The magazine is quite good (ok there is the usual column by Ed Heinsmann that is frankly based on poor research and a lot of political gibberish, anyway I have already been used to it and just skip it except if I need some example of awful historical writings for my students), the game is… well… not what I expected. There are some problems here and there and I do not like the first half of it (Mutaguchi’s offensive), still when you roll forward with Slim big drive the game is much more effective.  

Forlorn Hopes… I got it Friday, I have already both Chennault First Fight and Operation Cartwheel and they are (after some problem on my part of scale and immersion) quite good so I am quite confident I will enjoy it. I am undecided if I will do a full review here or for Battles Magazine, in any case be ready for an un-boxing post.  

Decision Iraq had been the big it. I bought it after some good posts from my friend Robert Leonhard (yes that Robert Leonhard… the Art of Maneuver…). The game is excellent. It is probably the bset take on Iraq I have seen. It is simple, effective and clear. Component wise it is good. The counter graphic is quite good and the map is functional if a bit bland. What I like is the way it is representing the ‘battle space’ of Iraq.  
I have been briefed on some professional wargames covering the same subject. Lot of stuff going in, lot of options, lot of players, lot of computer involved. Well Joe Miranda has been able to do it with a single map and no computer and yet, while it is not an process intensive game it show more or less what it matters. It is an abstract game, the units represent generic brigades (yes they have names but they are not the unit you use in traditional actions) with specific capabilities (airmobile, SOF, conventional). The core of the game is managing information war. I will have to write a good full fledged review of it very soon, probably for Battles so I can get some money for buying some new games…

Somali Pirates is similar and I want to play. In Country will not be played here, I do not have the space for the two maps (student studio room…) but it looks good, it uses the system of Winged Horse to cover the whole war. 

The last addition is Suez 73, obtained from BGG market place.  It show up Wednesday evening and not it has been finally clipped and put on the table. I got it to double-check some research material (well Frank Chadwick and Joe Bermudez… he Joe maybe are you reading this I am Mitchell’s Italian friends from King’s College!) . So far I really like the system and the scenarios. Being a 1981 games it also sports a very good graphic.

Well for today this is all, I did quite a lot of posting for a single day.

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