Friday, September 07, 2007

New Stuff

Those of you who are wargamers, especially those of you who are fool enough to pre-order games (like me), know that there is quite a bit of product coming out over the next few months. Here are a few things that I'm looking forward to playing once Doug's Den Of Iniquity And Boardgaming finally gets set up (in about six weeks, so this is the only way I get any gaming in while our house is assaulted by Those Who Refuse To Buy)...

Red Star Rising - Yes, Adam, while I did indeed wrong you by incorrectly assuming you were involved in the IGA voting, I'm still helping put your kids through school by buying every game you develop at MMP. I figure I've paid for the part where one child waits for the professor to arrive for five minutes. Happy to help! ;-)

Yet another monster East Front strategic level game, this one looks to have some interesting elements. For one, you can fight the war in *all* of Finland. Which requires you to use an extra map, but since it's the one that has the reinforcement schedule on it, you're probably setting it up anyway. Unless you don't play wargames on your ping pong table, because that's what it's gonna take! The various Soviet armies use combat strength chits, based on whether they are tank, guards/shock, or infantry armies, so even the Russians will be surprised by how well their units function. Unlike a lot of games that use this mechanism, the chits change over time, so all of the crappy ones get removed as their units die while better ones come in during the course of the game. This could be really good, or it could mean Counter Glut, which I'm not a big fan of because I have yet to resort to tweezers.

On the plus side, this will make the game eminently solitairable. I'm really not sure if any of those are real words, but they sound good. I'm not sure this will get on the table this year, but it's one I'm interested in. Extra bonus: Tiny additional map lets the Germans hope they can actually reach Baku.

Great War In Europe Deluxe - What? You say that two maps are for wimps? Absolutely right, as GWiE:D (from now on GWE, as any acronym with a colon is too long) has not two but *three* maps. One for France and Italy, one for Russia and the Balkans, and one more with three insets for the Caucasus, Iraq, and the Levant. Of course, you can always play *just* Europe or the Near East, but what fun is that? The other good news is that each map is completely independent of the others, so you can put them all over the house if you need to. While one side moves and fights in the West (and the Levant), the other side moves and fights in the Eastern portions.

The one problem I have so far is that there seems to be an awful lot of mistakes for a game that is getting republished. The reinforcement schedule disagrees with several counters I've seen, and this is *after* they printed a sheet of corrected counters. Example: two Canadian corps are labeled as entering on strategic turn I, but are listed as coming in on two different turns in the playbook. I'm sure all of this will be corrected in Living Rules, but it's a bit annoying.

The game appears to be a very traditional Igo-Ugo design, but instead of cards to drive political events there are chit pulls, with players able to choose *not* to play some events if they wish. I will almost certainly set this up as a Near East only game for my first playthrough, then it will be the whole hog. Because I'm planning to be able to store games in-progress for long periods of time in the new gameroom, this may actually get played all the way through, at least once.

Flight Leader - Picked up from Mike, who was going to put his copy on eBay. Unpunched, too! One I've always been interested in looking at, and probably one that will not see a lot of play, but I'm a sucker for this era of AH games and the price was right. Plus, not a lot of games out there on Cold War era air combat (Downtown is an exception, another game I'm looking forward to setting up and playing solitaire).

Paydirt - I'm a big NFL fan, so I'm thrilled to finally get a copy of this old SI title that AH added to their stable in the late 70's. Chuck, who is a fan of the game, tells me that someone usually puts out team data for purchase on the web. Certainly not a solitaire game, but one that I may feel is a bit more of a game than a ride (like Pizza Box Football, which is fun but a bit limited). I think my nephews may like this one (the 30+ year old ones, that is).

A few of the other games I want to see hit the tables in my new room in the next year:

WW2: Barbarossa to Berlin - A great game at WBC-West that fell apart when Chuck blinked on getting Overlord and then got the coldest dice I've seen in a while. At 10 hours, not likely to come out much, but now I can play over a few days or weeks (or months) so it will see much more table time.

A Victory Lost - Definitely a good solitaire game, although one I may play ftf as well. I look forward to figuring out how to use the Soviets early on, then withstand Mannstein's riposte.

Ukraine '43 - Follows on nicely from AVL, but with a completely different designer and system. This is another game that has an extra minimap, and table space hasn't allowed many of these in the past. Simonitch also did Ardennes '44, using the same system, but I'm not sure how excited I'll be about yet another Bulge game.

Europe Engulfed - This one will be a bit more of a challenge, as it won't tolerate being stuck in an art desk as cardboard counter games would. Still, Mike and I enjoyed this one and I really want to see how well it works with the diplomatic/political rules in the early game. I may solo this one, but also may play with Mike if he can devote enough time in a short enough period. May become my semi-permanently set up game.

It is my goal to start working through the hundred plus wargame collection I have and set up and play as many as I can in the time I'll be exiled to Charbonneau. While I expect this will take some time away from my WoW religion, at the same time I've really never had space where I could leave a game up for more than a few days without dirty looks from my wife, or risk the cleaning people getting a bit overzealous with a feather duster (at one point, they actually picked up every single counter on the 3rd Fleet board and dusted it while it was set up on the dining room table. I told them that level of devotion and diligence was not only unnecessary, but undesired!).

Hey, I gotta get *something* out of this move... Just a few more weeks, baby.

No comments: