Grognard Wargamer Thread!

There are no unit facing rules so there are no bonuses for flanking fire. I believe it’s assumed the unit leaders are competent enough to get their men facing correctly. There is a bonus to the attacker in assault combat if the defender is being assaulted from 3 or more sides.

I just meant that Rodes might be able to roll up the Union line if he gets to attack along Seminary Ridge before Buford can react. Now that I look closer though, he is a little bit too far away to be able to move down the Mummasburg Road and also assault Buford’s right in one turn.

Pretty interesting contrast there between the map and the counters! Old meets new. I think I like it. Their website is pretty interesting too.

Finished your Save South Vietnam series last night (I was away for a week in between) and enjoyed it a lot, thanks.

I’m glad you enjoyed it! That was one of my surprise games of last year. I had zero expectations for it, but it just sucked me in. I’m hoping to do one of their air campaign games (Japan, Germany) after they release in a month or two.

Playing as someone with no miniatures background, it’s a bit of an uncomfortable yet exciting experience for me. I find myself both wishing for more precision and at the same time enjoying the raw feel of playing on a map with no guidelines at all. I’ve played this twice 2-player, and both times it’s been fun.

Apparently they had Red Strike on display at CSW expo. That box might be bigger than Pacific War.

Edit: Hmm, it isn’t rendering a preview, but clicking go through to the picture

The picture worked for me. Took me a step closer to buying it. Have you caved yet, @vyshka?

I do not need this, I do not need this, I do not need this…

Unboxing! I think if anything, watching this has cooled my ardour a little. There’s just so much…

Did anyone ever try The Third World War? Equally pricy, but perhaps more of a known quantity? The session reports on the BGG page are really engaging:

TWW has been on my wishlist for a while after playing the original. I tried Under an Iron Sky but bounced off it hard. Would be interested in anyone with any experience of it

Tactics Tuesday!

I’ve been playing Night of Man, a small-unit tactical game from 2015 set on a future Earth which has been invaded by aliens. A plucky cadre of fighters, some of whom have evolved telepathic powers, lead the resistance.

The counters are massive and pleasant to play. I think it is traditional with this game to show a counter, plus one from another semi-obscure game, for scale :) The smaller counter is 3/4" here:

The counters (a selection pictured) also have very bold, cartoony art, but it seems to be a fully-fledged, crunchy tactical system (Mark H. Walker, ex-Lock’n’Load, Flying Pig Games, is the designer). Blue for the baddies, green for the goodies. Some cool stuff involved - the Meca on the top row are just dudes in flimsy exoskeletons, but there is a proper Mecha (Cheetah) down below. Note that you are given a certain amount of build points for your Mechas, and you can add the teeny little counters on the corners to beef up weapons, armour etc :)

Note also that the little white-bordered squares on the left of the counter are abilities (so close combat+1, suppression etc) while the circles at the bottom of the counters are Powers which can be activated if you have the means (Iskara has Confusion - Shake one unit within three squares, Infantry have Explosive Rounds).

The boards (there are 4 of these which can be pushed together etc) are actually nicely detailed in some respects, and horrible in others (the mountain art, blech). This is the first scenario, which I’ve played three times so far (haven’t played further yet).

Rather than rolling dice, all actions are taken care of by drawing cards. This works reasonably well and there’s a bunch of info on the cards governing hits etc, which I have unfortunately left off in the pic below. There’s a sizeable hand management aspect to play. A turn ends when both players pass (I’m playing both sides; there is a solitaire expansion which is impossible to get over here, though there is a print’n’play version available for $15) or when you draw 3 End Turn Cards. Card play becomes second nature fast.

As mentioned, I’ve played a few games to get a handle on the rules, and had a good time. The rule book is not great, so if you are a Tartar for that kind of thing, it could cause some issues. The problems are mainly around finding the correct rule/situation. Having played a few games, I haven’t even engaged fully with all the stuff you can do - for example that first scenario seems to be geared towards close quarters combat and I haven’t done that yet :) Seems like it’s a good game to whip out when you have just an hour to play.

Ooh, that looks pretty cool! Reminds me of the ‘For What Remains’ series from DVG, though I have resited the urge to pull the trigger on that one, despite all three boxes taunting me from the shelf of my local FLGS.

I love the components and goodies in all of these tactical board games, but ever since computers arrived with fog of war, concealment, and line of sight calculations, I just can’t get into boardgame small-unit stuff. The lack of surprise and truly hidden enemies sort of ruins it for me, even though in many cases it simply doesn’t matter much.

In spite of Buford activating first, things went quite well for the Rebels this turn. Buford was able to withdraw and form a line from Seminary Ridge to the Carlisle Road. However Rodes was able to activate his Division twice, once with a Redeployment card and again when getting orders from Ewell. He was able to push Buford back significantly while also forcing the Iron Brigade off of Seminary Ridge. Schimmelfennig’s Division has taken up positions at the base of Cemetery Hill with support from Wainright’s Arty.

Edit - The Redeployment card does not allow a whole Division to activate. It only allows a unit or stack of units along with adjacent units from the same Division to activate. I may have done that wrong last turn by activating all of Rodes rather than a group of adjacent units from his Division. The wording is a little confusing in that it refers to a “group” that isn’t really explained in the rules. However, now that I look, the Clarifications card that comes with the second edition makes it clearer.

I’ve never tried it. I’ve been interested in them, but the price and scarcity have always between a tough one with the Thin Red Line games. The email them process instead of just having the equivalent of a P500 page probably didn’t help in getting me to take the leap. Plus, at the moment I’m trying to not get overloaded on systems covering the same subject. There is a part of me though that would love to have the TRL games, especially since they are spiritual successors to Herman’s work at SPI, plus their lower level series (less than 60 miles). I wonder just how dense Red Strike will be given that it is the same time scale as Under an Iron Sky with 48 hours/turn, but 28km hexes vs 14km hexes.

@spock - yes :guilty-emoji:

Their next project is an ancient operational game on Alexander the Great’s Persian campaign.

Just saying, I’m sure you don’t have many systems covering that ;)

That said, their lower scale games have a pretty good system tied to games too small to let the system shine (system is about the command and control loop, but the temporal and spatial scale don’t allow for much disruption, so many mechanics don’t have a lot of effect). The combined campaign might be different, but I would wait to see if they do an artic or Middle East game on the system.

If it makes you feel better, I just ordered Red Strike too. :) It looks great!

I wish it were set in the current era, but I’ve P500’d Next War Taiwan 2nd edition to get started on learning modern warfare.

Interesting! I need to investigate these games further - I feel like I saw a very negative review for one of them that coloured my view, but the BGG page for the first one seems very positive. And someone in my country has one for sale for 30 EUR (though postage will probably eat any savings). Cheers!

Yeah, I was/am the same - the Lock’n’Load games on Steam (very good, sometimes slightly buggy but not annoyingly so) have been scratching my tactical itch, and I figured I didn’t need a boardgame where I have to work out all the minutae (and move both sides). But word of mouth on this one was very good and I got it cheap (dinged box) and have been pleasantly surprised. So much so that I’m thinking of putting a tactics game into the regular rotation.

Not knowing anything about the ACW, I thought this was one of those tests where the person puts in a word or phrase that’s totally out of place to see if anyone is paying attention :) Looking him up though, he’s got a pretty great story, and of course it makes sense that the vets of European wars showed up in the ACW. Enjoying your reports, though as I say, a lot of it is lost on me.

So I’ve been re-watching King’s War on Netflix, which has inspired me to try my hand at designing a wargame based during the Late-Warring States/Chu Han Contention/Early Han period of Chinese history.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be very much literature about weapons and tactics during this time. Even in Chinese (which fortunately I can read) there is not much. Has anyone come across any good books or articles (or wargames) for this period?

The most interesting aspect of this period that I’ve found so far is the massing of crossbows infantry much earlier than anywhere else in the world. I’m already really interested in how the ji (knife-axe polearm common in this period) was used, but haven’t found anything about it yet.

A million years ago I wrote a paper in college on the military of the Han period, for a Chinese History class, but damned if I remember any of the sources. They’d be pretty out of date by now anyhow. Though, one supposes, given the age of the subject matter, maybe it wouldn’t matter that much!

It looks like I’ll be getting Red Strike as well.

Wow, this looks quite fun. I immediately thought of what @sharaleo said as well: For What Remains. Great photos, too, thanks for sharing this!

At this rate of uptake, Red Strike will be challenging Diablo IV for gaming zeitgeist moment of 2023.

@cpugeek13 A complete shot in the dark, but are you familiar with the De Bellis Multitudinis system? I am not, and don’t know if it’s even still a thing, but their rules might be worth a look at least. Doesn’t seem to be much about weaponry in there, and no sources, but maybe filling in the contact form on that website might work?

There are some books on Ancient Wargaming (sources are mentioned as being present in these books) listed on the sublinks of

Also an army list available in PDF here which includes Han Chinese, dunno if this is realistic or just generic gaming stuff, but having a nose around might be useful:

Edit: removed screenshot