Wednesday, 21 February 2007

First Look: Antike

Antike by eggertspiele and Rio Grande is a light civilisation type boardgame for 2 to 6 players. The game allows you to play various civilisations from the Babylonians to the Romans with the focus on securing various victory point cards rather than eliminating your opponents. There is combat but it is resolved very simply (and expensively!). The game has a playing time of between 90 minutes and two hours.

It is available from various sources but I managed to secure my copy at something less than the RRP on eBay. Look for a full review once I have had a chance to play it a few times.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

First Look: Bonaparte at Marengo

Bonaparte at Marengo from Simmons Games is a two player Napoleonic board wargame. It allows you to recreate the Battle of Marengo, 14 June 1800, between the French and Austrian armies. The opposing forces are represented by wooden blocks and the game utilises an innovative polygonal area to area movement system. The combat system is diceless. The game comes with two sets of, for a board wargame, deceptively simple rules but appears to present plenty of tactical challenges for both the French and Austrian players.

The game is available from Simmons Games in the US, Histogame in Germany and both Gameslore and Leisure Games in the UK. It retails for around $49.95 in the US and £42.99 in the UK (rip off Britain strikes again!).

Friday, 16 February 2007

Not a Great Week...

I managed to injure my shoulder - hence the lack of posts as work on the PC wasn't the easiest. Fortunately, I seem to be on the mend now. Things did look up as I managed to secure a couple of boardgames for very reasonable prices on eBay - Bonaparte at Marengo (you'll probably be able to guess from the title what that one's about) and Antike (a civilisation style game) - so expect some first looks and probably reviews once I've had a chance to look at them.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Guards to Poltava

I have been running the Guards to Poltava Russian Civil War campaign for Triumph of the Will from the TooFatLardies featured in their 2006 Summer Special. The first two games went to the Whites but they took a bit of a beating to win the second game and it meant that they needed both a decent plan and good luck in order to win the third. Unfortunately they didn't fare too well with either and so the third game became the White high tide mark.

We all still like the Triumph of the Will rules, albeit they have a few rough edges which could do with smoothing, and they give a somewhat brutal but fast game. Given that we usually only have time for 2-2.5 hours gameplay we need rules that will work with multiple players on each side and allow us to reach a conclusion in the time available. TotW does both admirably.

We had a discussion after the game about the pros and cons of ladder campaigns and the difficulty of maintaining some sort of balance so they provide a challenge but don't end too rapidly. For a game to be fun it can't be dependent on one side making no mistakes whatsoever.

Whilst this campaign allowed the Whites to refight the scenario with the reinforcements they would have met up with at Poltava the conclusion was that they would still have had a tough time of it. It did provide an excellent example of the interesting aspects of the TotW rules with units being sized by their morale and determination rather than physical numbers. Also the need for control tests when a unit reaches five or less figures gave the Red Militia (starting with 6 figure units) plenty of worries. It did also show the need for proper consideration of counter battery fire too.

It looks like one of the chaps may try the rules for the Russo Finnish war next.