News Returns on 8/30

  • I've been away on business travel and other corporate obligations, so I will be back to updating the newsdesk this weekend.

The Summer of 1863

New from Pacific Rim Publishing. The Summer of 1863 is Tom Eskey’s point-to-point look at the Gettysburg Campaign featuring map graphics by Todd Davis. This game sets the political, economic, and military aspects of the turning point campaign in the Eastern theater of the American Civil War. The Southern forces reach for economic targets, striping victuals form farmlands and commissariat materials from towns as they maneuver to cut communications between major cities in order to isolate Washington, DC. The Northern forces deploy to block route to key cities. Both sides watching for the opportunity to bring their opponent into a Major Battle that will tip the scales of victory in their favor. Price: $30 postpaid in the USA, APO, FPO, DPO. Order at justplain.comConsimWorld members earn $5 off by using Coupon Code CSW-1863 at checkout. Offer expires Sept. 22, 2014.

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Diffraction Entertainment Special Offer

Special offer from Diffraction Entertainment, in association with Anyone ordering a game from Diffraction Entertainment between Sat., August 16 2014 and Sun., August 31 2014 will receive a 30% discount on any currently released products. To receive this discount, email and provide the discount code MATAKAORG1/30. [special offer]

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Hell's Gate - A Boardgaming Way Review

Mitch Freedman @ The Boardgaming Way

What you get in Hell’s Gate is a really good introduction to war gaming and a really, really good lesson in reading the rules. Plus an innovative play sequence, which should drive old hands up the wall until they go back and really read the rules and understand what they are trying to do.

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Hoplite Review

Sean Stevenson @ Armchair General

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Iron and Oak - A Boardgaming Life Review

Mitchell Freedman @ The Boardgaming Life [related story]

Iron and Oak is a game of naval combat, with several  scenarios in the “brown water” rivers and bays where navigation can become a problem. So can the enemy forts that go on the edge of the map and can use plunging fire on the ships below.

Players might run into shoals and have to get their ship re-floated, or they could encounter mines or other obstructions, or powerful currents which can carry their ships where they don’t want to go. There are damage control parties, tables of critical hits, and – perhaps most important – die rolls which determine not only the results of combat, but whether a captain can move his ship at all.

Bad captain, green crew, shallow water…what could go wrong?

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Day in History: 17 August


Day in History: 10 August


Valor and Vengeance

New from High Flying Dice Games. Valor ad Vengeance is a two-player game on the Battle of Ulus-Kert during the Second Chechen War. At Ulus-Kert, the Russian 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, 104th Guards Parachute Regiment sought to block the retreat route of some 2,000 lightly-armed Chechens. Supported by SU-25 aircraft, Mi-24 helicopter gunships, and artillery the Russians presumed superiority over a cunning foe. The Chechen force concentrated in the town of Ulus-Kert before taking on the Russians. This was an area the Russians dared not enter during the First Chechen War. Price: $17.95 (mounted counters are $5 extra).

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Gauntlet: Operation Pedestal

New from High Flying Dice Games. Gauntlet is a two player game on the epic naval and air battles for the largest Malta relief convoy of World War II (although solitaire play is easy to do). In August the Malta garrison was on the ropes, with critical supplies nearly exhausted. Allied forces were in full retreat towards Egypt following their defeat in the Gazala Campaign. The Axis forces realized the Pedestal Convoy could very well be the battle for “all the marbles” and mobilized tremendous air, submarine and surface fleet assets to contest its passage. The Allied convoy was savaged but enough ships made it through, including the tanker Ohio whose ordeal was a true epic of wartime heroism, to enable Malta to hold out. Price: $14.95 (add mounted counters are $5 extra).

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Bobby Lee review by Marco Arnaudo [watch @youtube | related story]

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Thunder Alley Review

Charlie Theel @

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World at War: Operation Garbo Review

"Operation Garbo is a fine addition to the World at War series, and a surprising one to boot. I wouldn’t have expected a Swedish-Soviet conflict to be interesting, but Lock ‘n Load managed to make it so. With smaller maps and thicker terrain, unit movement is much more linear and difficult to manage effectively, and lots of scenarios devolve (as they should) into enjoyable slugfests full of bad Russian and Swedish accents.”

Michael Eckenfels @

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Day in History: 9 August