Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem coming soon

The Wargamer.Com has a behind the scenes development article on the just announced Close Combat expansion that is coming from Matrix Games/Slitherine.

You can read the entire article here

You can also find out more about the upcoming title at this link:

There is also a YouTube video located here:

I have snipped a few excerpts for the readers:
The Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem Grand Campaign operational area covers the area that the allies historically intended to occupy at the end of “Operation Market Garden”.  Some give and take had to happen between the real life proportions of the geographical operational area and the strategic map proportions to keep a viewable size to the game icons and map areas while minimising empty areas of strategic map as much as possible.  We believe we have achieved a comfortable balance between all the necessary factors.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Panzer Campaign Tips

These are cut and pasted from a forum post and a document gained from Glenn Saunders Panzer Campaigns fan site. Good advice and useful info all of it:

Panzer Campaign Tactics 101 (beginners)

Terrain and Defense

  • Place artillery in Towns and Woods to add defensive values

  • Dig in on high ground, woods, towns, cities,  industrial areas, and swamps.

  • Defending rivers – Dig in 1 hex behind the river.

  • Do not place defense on clear terrain.

  • 2-3 Hex defense 2 companies at front with heavy company behind and arty 3 hexes behind the initial defense

Offensive Traits

  • Protect your flanks – This will decrease chances of encirclement

  • Don’t use artillery on broken or disrupted units (waste of ammo)

  • Attack enemy that holds the least favorable terrain

  • Concentrate your forces with the correct ration of armor and infantry (10 men to 1 armor)

  • Never assault unless the unit your attacking is disrupted

  • Try and keep reserves

  • Engineer bridges with contiguous road on the other side of river

  • Analyze avenues of approach – should try to take advantage of a good road network


A fair and honest look at Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th edition

No...not by me. By this guy:

Plastic Legions sums it up well. If you want a game where you can calculate things down to the number, inches and predict the outcome go fucking play chess. If you want a FUN game of large monsters, magic and masses of men fighting it out on a fantasy battlefield PLAY A GAME. I am not going to defend or argue that Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition may or may not suck and I am not a fan of GW but this review (or EDITORIAL) is right on. This is a fact that many Warhammer players have forgotten. This is a fact that many miniature game players have forgotten.
Unfortunately for many, competitive miniature gaming is viewed as a sport, its all about list tailoring, number crunching, statistical analysis and game faces. GW reinforced this by pushing events like Ard'd Boyz and calling a stop to their own GT's and letting Indy RTT's take over the Tournament circuit. They gave the keys to the store, to customers to see what would happen and have realized that the thing being lost most, was the thing held dearest to them..the hobby. (yes- I know all you cynics said "money")

In closing, I'm excited about the possibilities 8th Warhammer edition brings, I still love the miniatures and in GW's own words that's the key focal point of their existence. I look forward to new events, and new takes on old events. I look forward to new ways of playing old armies, and playing new ones. Reading the book clearly does make the game sound fun!. But I also look forward to pursing other games that push more in-depth tactical and strategic thinking through their focus on rules, not just for competitive purposes but for the mental challenges that it brings. "If you want fair and nonrandom, play Chess!" I read somewhere earlier this week, If you want an epic contest of monsters, heroes and hordes of troops, in which anything can and will happen- play Warhammer!. True and fair enough. I'm looking forward to all of it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Complete GenCon 2010 Vendor list

Living Dice.Com has posted a comprehensive list of the vendors at this years GenCon with links to their sites. Give it a good look see if you dare!
Gen Con 2010 draws near and once again here my  link list of all of the vendors and exhibitors. The list is a bit longer than last year, which bodes well for the size of the convention and overall health of the gaming community

Saturday, June 26, 2010

PC shooter break: All Points Bulletin is fun but has issues so far

Great fun to be had in this game minus the trendy MMO mechanics. Form a team, shoot some criminals or commit crime if you want, it is everything the Champions MMO should have been crime fighting wise. I find it funny that a company that doesn't focus on MMO's can make a game more fun than Cryptic that labors at trying to make anything remotely entertaining. Champions Online was so close but NEEDS that random crime element thrown in to lend life to its lackluster capital city Millennium.

Here is the problem though. It has some serious matchmaking issues. While fun with a friend it falters in solo play. Even while waiting for a group. Lets let this one stew a few days before it launches and lets see how it really plays out

Friday, June 25, 2010

65th Anniversary of Market Garden celebrated on Flames of War site

Market Garden 65 was the year long observance of the 65th anniversary of the battle through the game of Flames Of War headed up by the 10th Cavalry game club.  Market Garden 65 was made possible by the hard work of dozens of gamers around the world and supported by Battlefront.

The Goal

The goal of the Market Garden 65 project was to be able to both hold a large themed tournament as well as permit the club to put on Market Garden themed scenario games.  We knew the end of 2009 would be the start of Battlefront’s attention on the Market Garden campaign and coincidentally the month of September 2009 would be the 65th anniversary of the battle.

You can find the battle report here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Panzer Campaigns France '40 AAR: The Battle of Abbeville, the Second day

Today's history lesson and Panzer Campaigns After Action Report comes from Abbeville France. Below is the scenario debriefing. The scenario is 12 turns long.
Abbeville, France, 28th May 1940: After the failed attack by the British and French combined force on Abbeville the 27th, the French High Command decided to send De Gaulle, promoted to temporary general four days earlier, to attack. After moving his 4e DCR a distance of 200km, losing some tanks on the way due to mechanical problems, the 4e DCR finally arrives. The objective is to destroy the German pocket south of Abbeville and control the city. At the beginning of the operation the attack met with success. The first German defenses were destroyed and prisoners taken. Then the Germans, recovering from their surprise, strengthened their defense line and stopped the French. The French continued their attack on the pocket on the morning of the 29th but without success.

I played the Germans and let the computer handle the French on the attack. This scenario was pretty tough but only 12 turns long and thank goodness because without armor I was not sure I could hold off what the French threw at me for too long. Onto the AAR:


As the German player I had a lot of fixed units so had to make do with dug in infantry and anti tank guns for the majority of the game until my units were released later. I had the 57th Infantry Division at my disposal. The German units are LIGHT blue the French are DARKER blue. Below is the opening situation.


I have a lot of fixed units but luckily I have a lot of anti tank guns in nice dug in positions. While I cannot move too much I manage to open fire on French armor that gets too close south of Abbeville (north of Bailleul) and disrupt the stack which will keep them from advancing too far or making any major break through.

South of Huppy I drop artillery rounds on a stack of French armor. This was something that would happen all game long. The French stack is shown on the left, my artillery assignments are shown on the right. You can select an artillery unit in the game and the game will highlight targetable hexes and all you need to do is right click to fire on the hex.


Red Orchestra: Heroes of Stalingrad

A great video showing what sets this WW2 shooter apart from other "easy" shooters when it comes to realism and historical strive for accuracy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spearpoint: 1943 released

From the website:
Spearpoint 1943 is a new fast playing card game that uses 175 tactical Unit Cards, Command Cards, and Damage Cards to simulate plausible frontline combat at a fast pace.

Squad level infantry and individual tanks, artillery, and aircraft form the Tip of the Spear, or Spearpoint, of each battle. Each 20-30 minute game is one intense card-based combat engagement.

Spearpoint 1943 will be the new combat system foundation of our games. Players can easily take their skills from Spearpoint to the next level in one of our larger games.  The combat system in Italian Campaign Introduction will be streamlined in the near future to match the Spearpoint system.

Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 is only available as a high quality production version. We are now in production with the game and the special preorder price will not last much longer! Preorder now and save 20%!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Panzer Grenadier tutorial parts 1 and 2

A full turn of Panzer Grenadier played out and explained using the Fog of War rules so that the turn may end abruptly. A simple scenario with only one armored car to show how activation and movement works.

Again you can find information about this board wargame on the Avalanche Press site here:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Panzer Campaigns France '40 AAR: Maastricht

I haven't written up one of these in a while. Actually since Korsun Pocket. I believe that was back in 2006 or so. You can read that one here:

This next AAR is one from John Tiller's Panzer Campaigns series and the title is France 1940. At the moment it is the only one that I own and it has provided plenty of wargamey goodness. Remember this is a wargame designed to replace face to face gaming when you cannot find an opponent so the graphics will not be flashy but its the meat of the game that matters.

John Tiller has been doing this series of games since he left Talonsoft back in 1999 or so and went on to start this series with Smolensk '41 and that game got him a lot of critical acclaim. Not only are the games deep but they provide a huge amount of gameplay since you can fight an entire campaign or several small battles.

Since I just got the series started (yes I am behind 10 years) I started with small scenarios, printed out the rulebook and tried to get my head around how to play the game.

My first AAR is a famous occurrence in WW2 and that is the German assault and surprise capture of Fort Eben-Emael.
Eben-Emael was a Belgian fortress between Liège and Maastricht, near the Albert Canal, defending the Belgian-German border.

This fort was taken early on May 10, 1940 through the use of German gliders of the 7th Flieger which landed on the roof and blew their way into the fort.

My last attempt to play this scenario ended in a draw, my FIRST one ended in a Allied victory so I was getting better at the game. In this attempt I was determined to use my crack Wermacht units to hit the enemy hard, isolate them and push on toward the victory point towns. The initial setup looks like as seen below, with the Germans moving in from RIGHT to left.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THQ unwraps its Warhammer 40k MMO trailer

Color me unimpressed but here it is.

Typical MMO garbage in a trailer with little to show but CGI stuff that will not be in the game anyway.

Brian Farrell, CEO of THQ, has stated that THQ plans to “fully unveil” the details of this project to the public at E3, giving us an actual glimpse of some long-awaited footage. The studio responsible for the development of the game is THQ Austin’s Vigil Games, the same folks who brought the equally labored over Darksiders released earlier this year.

Combat Commander: Europe first play

I got a game in this weekend of Combat Commander: Europe which is a card driven board wargame made by GMT Games.

This game has become quite popular over the past three years and not only has been nominated for various board wargaming awards but has been acknowledged as a favorite among wargaming clubs.

In 2008 the sequel for the European version of the game,Pacific, was runner up for best WW2 boardgame.

Best World War 2 era Board Game 2008
Combat Commander Pacific (GMT Games LLC)
Conflict of Heroes (Academy Games)

In 2007 Combat Commander was nominated but lost to Case Blue, and in 2006 it was nominated but lost to "A Victory Lost"

I had a buddy come over from a local suburb gaming club and he taught me how to play and we duked it out in the smallest introductory scenario we could play.

The games has really nice components however to a flashy euro gamer or PC gamer, the counters and the map will not impress as they are simple and impart all the knowledge you need. For a wargamer however the contents are well built and the cards that you use to play orders are of a good stock and not too flimsy.

The scenario was simple enough. My wandering German patrol meets his wandering Russian patrol. Exit victory points were doubled, the building on victory circle 5 was double points for the occupant, and elimating enemy units were worth double points. The game entered sudden death on turn 5 or 6? at which point it could end immediately.

You give orders in the game by playing cards in your hand however I dont want this be a review more than an after action report so I will get on to the details of what I did.

During my first turn I quickly ran forward and occupied the victory point building and made sure I had a line of fire to cover the woods and all approaches. I detached a squad on the far right to run up and try to occupy a house there before the Russians got to it but after we setup I realized they were way outnumbered.

That squad on the right attempted to throw smoke and take the house, which they did, but they were immediately thrown out and Corporal Winkler and his squad were eliminated in assault.

On the left side the Russians came at me hard and gunfire erupted all around. After several sniper attacks missed and some stray artillery rounds set the woods south of my on fire, my men were slowly getting fatigued and the Russians sheer weight of troops meant that I could not stop many from exiting the board. When I tried to exit the board myself I was greeted by timely Russian reinforcements that boxed me in and drove me a stop. Despite controling the house that had the best viewpoints for cover fire I was not able to budge and my victory points slowly dwindled.

My hand was not kind either. On a lot of turns I got cards that would not let me move or were simply worthless so I was not able to exploit a lot of plans I had. When people say they hate that randomness of Combat Commander I want to agree but that is part of war. You won't always get to execute a plan in the heat of battle and have to roll with the punches and adapt. I did have some good combo cards like in the picture below but that was far and few between and I was down a lot of points at that time in the game.

When turn 6 rolled around we hit sudden death, I flipped a card and the die result on the card was less than what we needed so the game ended.

The final score was 9-0 Russians and most of those were from my opponent exiting units off the board. My men were too thinly spread out to stop him and losing my cover on the right side really hurt.

Overall a fun game and although I still prefer Panzer Grenadier by Avalanche Press Combat Commander is a nice simpler version of Advanced Squad Leader with fluid rules, fast gameplay and some good expansions like Stalingrad.

Until next time Hudson out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

36th Annual Origin Award nominees

We are proud to announce over 3,500 events for this year's show.

To help us celebrate our 35th Anniversary, Origins is offering prize support for every event!

The "Still Rolling" program will be managed thru each event headquarters. Each event will select a player to go to the headquarters and win prizes!

We've got some great plans for 2010 - fantastic guests, exciting tournaments, the Day Pass is back.

We'll be updating the site as new plans are released so check back frequently. Don't forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Origins Game Fair ( has announced the following nominees for the 36th Annual Origins Awards

Card Game

The Isle of Dr. Necreaux - Alderac Entertainment Group

Martian Fluxx - Looney Labs

Poo - Catalyst Game Labs

The Stars are Right - Steve Jackson Games

Thunderstone - Alderac Entertainment Group


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Panzergrenadier HQ goes live at last

The ONLY site on the web for Panzer Grenadier players to meet and share war stories, find scenarios and errata and record After Action Reports is live. A very niche game, Panzer Grenadier is a WW2 board wargame by Avalanche Press that is prized for its expandability and scenario library.

Drop by Panzergrenadier HQ and sign up if you are a player or to just read the great replays that have been posted there already.

Panzergrenadier main site:
After ten months, hundreds of hours of study and programming (I had to learn it all from scratch), and a tremendous data entry effort from a volunteer team of hardcore PG fans - I proudly present Panzer Grenadier Headquarters to the world. It is certain that a real programmer could have created far better, far more quickly. My site is humble, and of uneven quality. But it's real, it's here, and it's for you.

At your fingertips are every game, scenario, map, and unit ever released - and much, much more. And yet, intellectual property has been protected. The core requirements to play a scenario - map orientations, starting locations, OOB unit counts, and victory conditions - have been strategically omitted. Even with PG-HQ's vast library, you cannot play a single scenario you don't own.

Retro Wargaming: John Tiller's Campaign Series

Actually been playing this a lot lately, through email and against the AI. It still holds up for value and Matrix Games has done a fine job of updating it somewhat and re packaging the whole 3 games for a low price.
World at War exemplifies tactical war-gaming at its finest by bringing you the entire collection of TalonSoft's award-winning Campaign Series. Containing TalonSoft's West Front, East Front, and Rising Sun epic platoon-level combat series, as well as all of the official add-ons and expansion packs, World at War allows players to dictate the events of World War II from the tumultuous beginning to its climatic conclusion. This edition also includes Fall of the Reich , the official expansion for East Front II and never before available in stores. This exclusive compilation proudly offers more than 350 scenarios, fought by more than 20 countries stretching from France to the American coast. Reinforce your countrymen at the Western Front. Swarm Japanese strongholds on your way to their homeland. Crush the enemy on the Eastern Front. Protect the U.S. coast from Japanese invasion. March into Germany standing victorious with your allies.

Find out more here:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vanguard goes to one server

The long struggling MMO Vanguard is finally being reduced to one server in July:
Beginning July 7th, 2010 at approximately 10:00 AM PDT, we will start the process of merging the three current U.S. servers of Telon into one server. It is our hope that this integration will result in a more consistent and higher player population which will, in turn, lead to an even more enjoyable and beneficial player experience.

Additionally, scheduled in August, SOE is planning to merge the Halgar server into the consolidated server mentioned above. Please read the forums for the specific date and downtime, as it is yet to be determined. Please note that the processes outlined in this email will occur for both the July and the August server merge; if you have further questions regarding the implications of the two scheduled consolidations, please read

We estimate a downtime of 24 hours to complete each of the two the merges respectively.

Help determine Vanguard’s future! We'll be hosting a poll on the Vanguard forums, beginning Tuesday June 8th, to determine the new name of the consolidated world server. Click on the button below to give your input and vote for your favorite!

Painting Conversion Chart

What Vallejo color equals Games Workshop's Scorched Brown?

This interactive chart that lets you find equivalent paint colors between different manufacturers’ lines of paints. It also lets you generate a pdf of your chart to take to the store.

Friday, June 4, 2010

LOTRO goes free to play

Launching this fall across North America and Europe, with Codemasters operating the game free-to-play in Europe, LOTRO will introduce Turbine’s innovative new pricing model that allows players to download the game and play for free, purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store, or join the VIP program to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content for one low price.

Players interested in getting a sneak peek of the new LOTRO can sign up for a chance to participate in the Beta program which begins June 16, 2010 at

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gaming update

My boycott of GW has gone well. I have switched over to Vallejo paints, purged myself of all GW hobby products and gaming things and moved on to Flames of War full time. I currently own a 12th SS army (easily adaptable to any other army as well in the German scheme) and some US 2nd Armored Division starting platoons all for a fraction of the cost of GW's murderously insane franchises. Not to mention I am more a historical gamer anyway so this is more my cup of tea.

We played our first big game last Sunday and unfortunately we bit off more than we could chew. We played 2500 points and that was a bit too much as it took us until 2am to get to turn 6. Turns out that 1750 or 1500 is the usual point total so we were way in over our heads but it was a glorious battle. We had a total of 4 objectives, 2 per side and it was Germans vs Russians. I am pretty sure we got most of the rules right, but the game was so big that when we took our turns we had to move from left to right across the board and it was gigantic.

While we paint and assemble armies (we each have 2 armies so we can swap around Axis or Allies and teach others to play) we are playing boardgames and getting back into the wargaming groove.

This weekend will be Panzer Grenadier and we have coming in the mail Conflict of Heroes and Combat Commander: Europe.

I have been fairly active on the War Realm You Tube channel lately since we have decided to cancel the podcast for a bit. Doing YouTube videos allows me to show all aspects of gaming and not just miniatures. If you haven't checked it out lately head on over to our channel to see our most recent uploads.

You can also buddy me (Hudson) up at Board Gaming as the user ID Battlezone.

That's all for now more updates later!