Monday, February 23, 2015

Down in Flames DVG version

Managed to play Down in Flames the WW2 aerial combat card game this weekend

We played the DVG version of the game. GMT also makes one but it is very in depth and not as light as the one from Dan Veersen. 

We started a 1944 bombing of Germany campaign. The first battle went well for the Luftwaffe (played by myself). While I lost an Ace the American bombers only damaged the target and they finished with -17 points.

The second mission went horrible though as all American bombers got through however flak took one out. The last bomber dropped 36 bombs on target and destroyed it. This swung the campaign back to 50 some points positive which puts it at the historical level. I lost another Ace and all my planes in that mission.

It is a fun game with fast card play and a ton of decisions to make. The GMT version adds a lot of chrome like fuel drop tanks, flak that can miss and tons of other features. However we were not in the mood for all that I was just learning so we went with the easier version. Fun game overall. Captures dog fighting real well.










Monday, February 2, 2015

La Bataille de la Moscowa storing counters

Getting the hang of La Bataille and a COA gripe

Clash of Arms has quite a thing with their La Bataille system for Napoleonic battles. For those not familiar the Moscowa game is a simulation, on the regimental/battalion level of the Battle of Borodino, fought between Napoleon`s Grand Armée and the Russian First and Second West Armies under Prince Kutusow on September 7, 1812. The game provides six short scenarios and a grand battle game.

The Moscowa game is part of a long running family of Napoleonic titles dating back to 1979. Many of the titles have been re released or updated as the years have gone by. The Moscow game is the latest in the series (2011) so the the main reason I wanted it was the updated ruleset and charts and counters. 



When I first wanted to get into the series I originally bought the Regulations rulebook for $9.99 off of the Clash of Arms site. Needless to say after MORE research I was in for a big surprise. 

Turns out the entire ruleset is FREE online at the sister site located here:


There are TWO versions. Marie-Louise....a simpler ruleset...and Le Règlement 11. Whatever you do...do NOT buy the $9.99 ruleset on the Clash of Arms site. Like much of their website these rules are OUT OF DATE and not the most updated set. In fact these rules represent version 22...while they are actually on version 30. However Clash of Arms does not tell you this on their site here:  http://clashofarms.com/tac-nap.html

In fact I would say they go out of their way to never mention it and fleece you of 10 bucks. While the $9.99 rulebook is "ok" in its presentation it is a waste of money. The entire Clash of Arms website needs a lot of work. For what they charge for some of their titles you have no idea what you are getting. No images, no proper descriptions...the website is a very vague way to sell games. If it weren't for 3rd party sites like BoardGame Geek I would have no clue what half their titles look like.

Now on to the next interesting surprise. The 100 dollars that I paid for Moscowa comes with ONLY the Marie-Louise ruleset. The SIMPLER ruleset. So it is almost like the company wants to force these rules on people. So regardless if you want to play the full game you need to download the PDF from the website of the XXX series rules. Confusing isn't it? Also even in the PDF's a lot of the rules, charts and tables are woefully undescriptive. It wasn't until I got the Moscow title that things were further explained by charts and tables that are NOT downloadable off of the secondary website. 

So in short. If you want to play this series:

1) Buy a title
2) Go here and download easy or advanced rules: http://labataille.us/rules.shtml
3) Download the charts and tables: http://labataille.us/rules.shtml

Do NOT buy any rules books off of the Clash of Arms website: http://clashofarms.com/tac-nap-rules.html

Don't get me wrong. The game is gorgeous and trove of history and a labor of love. To me however if Clash of Arms Games wants to succeed in this current modern day of business they really need to get on that website and update the information they put out there. 





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

John Tiller's Panzer Battles Kursk Southern Flank

If you haven't read the designer notes on this game there is some fascinating detail on what the Tiller crew puts into a wargame. The documents can be found on the actual site here:

http://www.johntillersoftware.com/PanzerBattles/BattlesOfKurskSouthern.html

Below is a sample of some of the things (especially for those of you claiming its a rehashed Panzer Campaigns).

"The second area worked on was the unit art. There are more community mods for unit art than anything else. Many of these use line drawings taken from published works that cannot be included officially in a commercial release due to copyright issues.

After working through a range of iterations, Joe sent some colorized black and white photos of soldiers. Once we saw the end result we could never go back. It quickly became apparent that with the right photo, coloured and cropped, high quality artwork was only a step away."





"All in all we have included 60 scenarios in Battles of Kursk - The Southern Flank. Of the 60 scenarios, 48 are unique with a further 12 AI ‘variants’ specifically tailored for play against the computer. The game has scenarios for every day starting with the preliminary attacks on July 4th right through to the final battle at Prokhorovka on July 12th. In addition, there are a huge number of scenarios that could be created from the included maps and OB and the design team may look to provide more scenarios in the future if there is enough community interest."