It has been an interesting couple of months since my last post. I have acquired a few new games, and played a few I have wanted to play that have languished on the shelf for far too long.
I also just this last week was interviewed by three grad students from a local art school in Pasadena about board games. It was interesting to hear what they had to ask, they didn’t ask the typical “How did you get into this hobby”, or “Do you love war” those questions we seem to have to endure when some enters our little domain wondering why we play these games in the first place. They did ask a lot questions on how when playing these games what my feelings were. During the interview (which they filmed) they even asked me to construct with Lego’s how board games made me feel, a little odd but I was willing to play along. I thought the interview was very productive, and if I get a copy of the footage I will post it for others (hopefully it will be edited, I did ramble on… A lot).
Okay a bit to catch up on. I have gotten a few new games to report on. Let start off with the latest I have played, Fields of Despair:France 1914 – 1918 by Kurt Keckley and esteemed war gamer who I am acquainted with.
The game is well designed and not very difficult. The rules are well laid out and easy to follow. The game is based on a strong bluffing mechanic, all the pieces are hidden and there is a lot of guess work. Not your typical war game, I enjoyed the one play so far but would like to play a few more times before giving a full-fledged review.
Another game I got to play this last Saturday has been in my collection for some time, The Finnish Trilogy 1939-1945: Winter War 1939-1940 (Vol. 1) is the first of three games covering all of World War II in Finland
We only played a very small scenario but it was a good start and showed the basic mechanics of the game. I have to say this is one of the most difficult rule books I have read; the designer has used new terminology for a lot of already established war game rules. On top of that he has thrown what feels like a lot of extra rules to cover very detailed situations. For example, I have played several games that use Headquarters (HQ’s) as separate pieces before, but not eight different types of HQ’s that serve different functions. There are naval rules which seem a bit much since I don’t think (especially during winter) the navies on either side could do much. The Weather Rules cover not only the weather itself, but the extent of ice, the sky conditions, and the type of snow. I can appreciate the amount of detail thrown into this but it is a lot to remember. It isn’t I don’t like the game, I enjoyed what we did play but this game (series, there are two other games in this series, The Finnish Trilogy 1939-1945: Continuation War 1941-1944 (vol. 2) & The Finnish Trilogy 1939-1945: Lapland War 1944-1945 (vol. 3)) is going to take some work to get the rules right.
Another game I got recently that I haven’t talked about here yet is Fornovo 1495 an interesting new game from Compass Games.
I admit I am like a child in a toy store when it comes to certain war games, and Italy (or really anywhere in Europe) during the Renaissance I just auto buy. This game is the first in what will become a series called Order of Arms, battles from Medieval (Bonus! Medieval & The Renaissance eras) to The Renaissance, from Hastings 1066 to Pavia 1525. Wow my interest was piqued! This got me over the somewhat disappointing fact this game only has one battle, most games you buy have anywhere between two to twenty or more scenarios or battles in them. I would like to also emphasize the production values are this game are every good, the box cover is very nice and the maps and pieces are very well done. But I have say the rule book is what blew me away, the charts and table graphics look like something out a text book (in full color no less), I have to admit I geeked out on how well he rules were graphically laid out.
You can see the chart there standing up, that is what it looks like the rule book! I know, I know how well the rules are written and work is more important but common that just looks sooooo nice. I am hoping to read through this game soon will give a full report on the substance (not the superficial graphics) of the game.
Another game I am current delving into is No Peace Without Spain! The War of the Spanish Succession 1702-1713. Like Fornovo 1495 this is a Compass Games Production (but published in 2011 where Fornovo 1495 was 2016).
This is a card driven game which I enjoy. The rules are easy to digest and well written, they have some historically specific rules that make sure certain historical realities come to pass but nothing too burdensome. I know another of my group is keen on the playing this, I would also like to get this to the table because a sequel (actually a prequel) to this is already in the works and almost finished (Nine Years: The War of the Grand Alliance 1688-1697).
So that is all the news fit to print this Thursday February 23, 2017…