Grognard Wargamer Thread!


Yeah, Noble Knight isn’t a retailer: it’s an upseller.

I’m glad to hear that European shops stock White Dog games. I remember hearing Tom Russell of Hollandspiele say that it wasn’t possible to stock the games overseas because the cost of print-and-play wiped out any re-seller margin. He made than comment in response to a question about how to avoid paying huge shipping fees. Since Hollandspiele and White Dog both use Blue Panther for print-on-demand order fulfillment, I can only imagine that the problem has been solved. The other option was to use a UK print-on-demand shop and that was also out because the costs were substantially higher compared to the US.


Turn Four, 1969

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

I’m detecting a theme on history repeating itself. Once again, I have the same event results as a previous turn.

  1. Drought continues, with no new effect.

  2. Another urban bombing in Salisbury, again with no overall effect.

  3. Conservative members of the RF buy even more jumbo jets! This time, I needed the popularity, so I can’t complain…

  4. ZANU factionalism continues to paralyze the terrs. The ZANU terr in Mozambique is eliminated.

  5. The Cabora Rossa Dam in Tete changes hands yet again, as the Portuguese government pushes out the local rebels.

  6. Radio and TV propaganda strengthens the RF yet again, pushing RF popularity to +2. A few victories managed to pull the liberals into the RF, which will ensure that Prime Minister Kane can hold power.

Despite being the same as last turn, these events have been hugely helpful. This time, I needed the popularity, and I managed to wipe a Terr off the board with no ill effects for Rhodesia.

The Politics Phase

Boring! Nothing happens this time.

Commercial Phase

  1. Rhodesia again gets a massive influx of revenue from its population and from abroad (pushing reserves up to the maximum of $16).

  2. I will make yet another attempt at bribing Chitepo. I need a six. I don’t get it, and it costs me $5 to attempt the bribe.

Policy Review Phase

  1. This turn’s policy is spirit mediums. If I initiate it, I take a popularity hit and have a chance to flip provinces with Fist markers. Because I don’t have any provinces with Fist markers, it makes more sense to take the RF popularity +1 that I get from not taking action.

Chimurenga Phase

  1. All available Troopies and Foreign troops are on the board, so I don’t spend anything to put new troops in play.

  2. The terror level remains at two, so I roll two dice and place two Terrs. I roll two 4s, which results in two ZANU terrs being placed in Mozambique. They cannot move because of Portuguese border security, and there is no one there to fight them. This could become a problem later!

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. No elections this turn and no terrorism/intimidation on the map, which makes Turn 4 uneventful.

The state of the board at the end of turn four:

Turn four was quiet, but the growth of ZANU in Mozambique is disquieting for the Rhodesian Front. With the Portuguese forces bogged down in Tete, ZANU can grow unchecked. Manicaland and Victoria are currently undefended, and would be easy targets for the ZANU units should they break out of Mozambique. The Portuguese government is still strong for the time being, but starting on Turn 6 (1971), it is possible for a coup to pull Portuguese forces out of Africa, and leave Mozambique’s border undefended. Hopefully I can get some more troopies into my force pool before then!


So I picked up Skies Above the Reich, and after a brief look at the rules, I have a question: When setting up a mission, the data table for the auxiliary aircraft often says something like “1 point or 1 point for 3”. I don’t know how to read this. Is it sometimes 1 point per aircraft and sometimes 1 point for 3? Or you can basically always place up to 3 of this type for one point? Can you really include these support aircraft 3 for 1 when your regular BF-109’s are always 1 point each?


Another week, another P500 charge. Looks like Ardennes 44 charged this morning.


I do think it means you pay 1 for 1 or 1 for 3 as you wish. Keep in mind they’re not going to gain XP to get experte skills, and if you lose one that’s an OP off your next mission, and they can be more fragile than your Bf-109s (Ju-88s and Bf-110s have a malus to Lethal Level), so they’re not a slam dunk to include. You don’t get them in 1942, anyway.


According to the rules, “they are requisitioned individually or in groups.” (page 5, bottom) So if you want one, it costs 1 OP. But you can spend 1 for 3 if you want. The twin-engine fighters don’t last long.


Thank you both for your responses. I guess I didn’t understand why it would be the same cost for one versus 3, but I suppose the cost of losing them balances it out.


Turn Five, 1970

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

  1. A Commonwealth Conference occurs between the UK and the Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth countries attempt to blackmail the Tory government, but their efforts fail, ultimately strengthening the Tories grip on power. (No effect).

  2. ZAPU factions feud in Zambia, but the lack of any appreciable organized ZAPU presence results in no effect.

  3. The USSR and China are fighting again, and that carries over to their proxies in Africa. ZANU and ZAPU are too busy arguing with each other to recruit. (Terror level -1).

  4. The Cabora Rossa Dam in Tete changes hands again, as the rebels push out the hapless Portuguese.

This was a pretty easy random event phase. The terror level decrease is a big help.

The Politics Phase

  1. South African elections occur, but the Verkrampte manage to hold on to power.

Commercial Phase

  1. Rhodesia continues to earn revenue from abroad, including a number of friendly governments and through global trade. The budget is again topped up at $16.

  2. It is time for the annual attempt at bribing Chitepo. I need a six. I blow the roll yet again, and it costs me $5 to attempt the bribe. Luckily, I don’t have a lot of need for cash this turn.

  3. I will try to improve the standing of the RF, spending $4 on propaganda. I need popularity because this turn’s policy is the Land Tenure Act, which enforces segregation in land ownership, upsetting the black African population and ruining my credibility abroad. Rather than take that hit, I plan to not take action, which hurts RF popularity, decreases population, and results in an Rhodesian election. Shoring up popularity will help avoid the worst. I roll at 6, which brings popularity to its max (+5).

Policy Review Phase

  1. I am going to not take action on the Land Tenure act. The White population is furious, and support for the RF drops by 5 (to +0). Some of those soliders of fortune flee the country in disgust (population -4). New elections are held, and a conservative backlash elects ultra rightists who refuse to caucus with the RF. As a result, Prime Minister Kane needs to turn to liberal to help hold the RF’s majority. (I roll a 4). This has the side effect of reducing RF popularity by 1 (to -1). Now, thanks to liberal support, I pass liberal policies automatically (with the +1 bonus for the constituion), but must roll a 4 or higher to pass conservative policies. That will be challenging next turn, when I will want to pass the ALCORA alliance between Portugal, South Africa, and Rhodesia. (It is a good thing I shored up RF popularity this turn. If I hadn’t, I would have lost my governing majority, and with it the game!)

  2. Not all is lost, however, as not taking action on the Land Tenure Act strengthens support for Rhodesia in the United States, increasing the power of Republicans in government, bringing us extra income next turn (unless the elections unexpectedly go against us in the Cosmopolitics phase).

Chimurenga Phase

  1. All available Troopies and Foreign troops are on the board, so I don’t spend anything to put new troops in play.

  2. The terror level is down to one, so I roll 1 die. I roll a 3, which places a third ZANU terr in Mozambique. They don’t move, and there is no Portuguese unit to contest them.

  3. I could send a unit out with the airforce to intervene in Mozambique, but it risks an international incident that I would rather avoid. If the international political situation swings against me, however, I will have to consider my options.

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. The United States holds midterm elections. Republicans take a great deal of power, building on the momentum from earlier in the turn. This will mean I get +2 funding from the US next turn.

The state of the board at the end of turn five:

Turn five saw a major electoral rebuke to the RF, as Prime Minister Kane had to turn to liberals to maintain his grip on power. There were some positive developments internationally, but the ZANU presence in Mozambique grows larger, and any day now the dam could break.


Turn Six, 1971

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

As seems to be the case with this game, history repeats itself yet again, as I roll another 8 (die roll plus turn number).

  1. A second Commonwealth Conference occurs, and once again blackmail efforts fail. (No effect).

  2. ZAPU factions continue to feud in Zambia for no effect.

  3. The USSR and China continue to fight, but the terror level cannot go lower than 1.

  4. The Cabora Rossa Dam in Tete changes hands again, as the Portuguese manage to take it back from the rebels.

Once again, a pretty boring event phase.

The Politics Phase

  1. In the UK elections, the Tories manage an even stronger showing than last time, returning an increased majority for the right honourable Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Commercial Phase

  1. Even more friendly governments, and a distinct lack of foreign sanctions means that the RF fills the treasury yet again ($16).

  2. Once again I will continue my annual efforts to bribe Chitepo. I still need a six. I roll a 5, again, and it costs me $5 to attempt the bribe.

  3. I will once again try to improve the standing of the RF, to ensure that I don’t lose my majority if I fail to pass the ALCORA alliance this year. I roll at 2, which brings popularity up only slighly (to +1).

Policy Review Phase

  1. Up for debate this year is the ALCORA alliance with Portugal and South Africa. If I don’t take action, the terror level increases by 3 and South Africa becomes hostile. I’d rather avoid that. In addition, passing the bill gives me access to a couple of South African troopies, and places a Portuguese troopie in Mozambique. Both are helpful, even if I have to pay $5 for the privilege.

  2. In order to pass ALCORA through my newly liberal power sharing arrangement, I will need to roll a 4 or higher. Luckily, I roll a six, and the bill passes on the first effort.

  3. I pay $5 and place the South African troopies in Manicaland and Victoria, in case the Portuguese pull out of Mozambique. The Portuguese goes in to Mozambique, to engage the ZANU units there.

Chimurenga Phase

  1. All available Troopies and Foreign troops are on the board, so I don’t spend anything to put new troops in play.

  2. The terror level is down to one, so I roll 1 die. I roll a 2, which places a ZAPU terr in Botswana. The ZAPU terr moves in to Matabeleland, which triggers a infiltration roll. The Terr is repulsed, and retreats back to Botswana. I would have rather the Terr gotten through, so that I could destroy it with my army, but c’est la guerre, I suppose.

  3. The Portuguese unit in Mozambique engages one of the ZANU terrs there. I will send the Rhodesian airforce to support. I roll well enough to eliminate one of the ZANU terrs, leaving two in Mozambique.

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. No effects this turn, as we are between US elections and there is no terrorism or intimidation possibility on the board.

The state of the board at the end of turn six:

Turn six was a good turn for the RF, as they were able to conclude the South African/Portuguese triple alliance, gaining much needed troopies to fight against the ZANU threat. Next turn brings the US Presidential elections and the Pearce Commission policy. The Pearce Commission was a part of negotiations with Britian to achieve recognition of Rhodesia’s government. The Commission came to interview black Rhodesians to see in what opinion they held the RF led government. The results may be bad, despite my best efforts. I will need to pass the policy and hope for the best, next time on The White Tribe!


Half field recording, half interview

THIS podcast is offered in 2 parts, and is singularly composed of an interview with GMT Games President, Gene Biillingsley.

We will discuss his work at GMT and also his latest design, Mr President.

Gene Billingsley founded GMT Games in 1990. As Avalon Hill turned to computer games and was eventually sold to Hasbro, Gene built GMT into the new home for board wargamers. He started with some of his own designs. These titles garner instant acclaim. Operation Shoestring was nominated for a Charles S. Roberts Award and Silver Bayonet and Crisis Korea won Charles S. Roberts Awards. I’m sure his current design project, Mr. President, won’t disappoint

As the distribution network for boardgames went into retreat in the 1990s, GMT pioneered the preorder system called P500. It remains the best deal in board wargaming. The system allows GMT to thrive in uncertain waters as customers vote their interest in designs and accelerate the production schedule of the most interesting. Customers get 30% off and can cancel at any time.

The Company is now the bell weather for conflict gaming, anchored by Gene and his partners Rodger MacGowan, Mark Simonitch, Tony Curtis and Andy Lewis. GMT continues to produce quality games with marquee designers like Mark Herman, Richard Berg, Volko Ruhnke, Chad Jensen, Ted Racier and many others.

Interesting and creepy, feels like Harold is wearing a wire, really.


I’ve been intrigued by the Churchill board game in the past, but have never pulled the trigger. I own Triumph and Tragedy which may have some similarities? Thoughts on Churchill? Thanks in advance.


They have nothing in common, mechanically or otherwise.

Triumph and Tragedy is a very good take on the European theater with a lot of concessions to playability that end up helping the overall design. A worthy entry in the in the genre, well worth playing.

Churchill is a design masterpiece that is on a different conceptual level entirely. Probably one of the best designs of the past ten years, certainly the past five.


I second this. Churchill is fantastic. I have not played Triumph and Tragedy, so I cannot compare. That being said, I have never played anything quite like Churchill, and I have read the Triumph and Tragedy rules and can say that they are not really similar, other than covering the Second World War.

Churchill is an allied conference simulator, and does a good job of capturing the cooperative and competitive dynamic between the parties to the Alliance. If you have three players regularly, I would highly recommend it.


It’s also a game that really only opens up once you’ve played it once. The short game that I had the pleasure of playing with @Brooski was very interesting, but it also was a bit of a wash because inexperience didn’t reveal the depths initially.

After playing the short game, almost immediately I realized the kind of negotiation that it requires. One example is towards the end game. The British are going to run away with it if not countered, yet Bruce and I fought over the global agenda. I realized afterwards that I should have pitched him letting me have it, because while it would benefit me, it would also let me move the colonialism slider, and allow us the ability to counter the British in SE Asia. Rather than us both wasting points trying to fight over it.

And that was when I realized the game beyond the mechanics. How it wasn’t a 3 way zero sum. How him letting me have it would have been better for us both. I didn’t see it in time, but next time I would realize the power of having the players actually negotiate the issues while using cards to… negotiate the issues.

It is a really fascinating design I would love to experience the full game of, there is definitely something there.


I guess they both are 3 player games so there’s that?

Thanks for your take. Sounds like one to grab.


Can anyone give an idea of how long White Dog takes to print and ship a copy. I may or may not have just ordered one.


I got mine in the US in less than a week.


To dissent (I like dissent) on both games, John Goode at BGG sums up my feelings on T & T and offhandedly, Churchill as well.

The comments debate are worth a read as well


Nah, not worth debating that “article.”


This is his sole comment on Churchill:

Not much to debate there.