Grognard Wargamer Thread!


Same here.


Likewise. I ordered two games (domestically) and had them in less than a week. The publisher was very responsive to a question I had. Upon request, I also received the VASSAL modules via e-mail in one day.


I have bought two games from White Dog, and both VASSAL modules were incomplete or otherwise had problems, White Tribe vastly more so than Don’t Tread On Me.


I have never used a VASSAL module for a White Dog game as all mine are solitaire. What was wrong with them?


Missing counters for White Tribe, like a lot of them (almost all the policy counters for one thing). I can fix it, and I have been (and taking the opportunity to modify the map a little bit) but it would be nice if I didn’t have to put them in myself. I remember Don’t Tread On Me’s setup differing from the printed rulebook, and also I think there were a couple missing counters there, too.


Many spaces give the controlling player population and/or resources, though not in any realistic way. Czechoslovakia only grants population though it was relatively resource rich. I’m not aware of any strategic resources Denmark delivered (milk?) but in T&T it’s equal to Norway or all of Northern England/Scotland.

The moo-cow (thanks, Joyce) competes with Manchester.


Dunno what your point is. I’m really not interested in nitpicking a light block game on its historicity. Seems like a poor use of my free time.


I just don’t think it’s a “very good take on the ETO”. I think it’s what you just said, a light block game, that’s all.


If you want to take issue with my review, use my text, please. Not some Internet rando’s.


Sorry, I was referring to your comment in-thread above.


And I was referring to your Denmark resources thing. I have no interest in re-hashing some dude’s BGG post. You can PM him on BGG or something. If you would like to criticize my review, you are more than welcome to take my text and disagree with it. I’m fine discussing what I wrote. But some other guy’s opinion is for discussion with him.


Turn Seven, 1972

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

  1. Drought strikes Rhodesia again, which inconveniences many, but, so far, has no effect.

  2. A civilian plane is shot down by supporters of ZANU, but the population rallies in support of the government, resulting in no effect.

  3. More Jumbo Jets are purchased for Air Rhodesia, making it the largest air carrier in Africa. RF Popularity +3.

  4. Continued ZANU factionalism results in the elimination of one ZANU unit in Mozambique.

  5. The Cabora Rossa Dam in Tete changes hands yet again, as the rebels seize it from the Portuguese.

  6. RF Radio and TV broadcasts rally the people, increasing RF popularity to the maximum (+5).

This was about as good of a Herald phase as I could hope for. No negative effects, other than the Cabora Rossa Dam, boosting of RF popularity, and the elimination of one of the ZANU terrs is an excellent outcome.

The Politics Phase

  1. A quiet politics phase this turn, but US presidential campaigns are ongoing, and Nixon is making one last effort to get elected president.

Commercial Phase

  1. RF fills the treasury yet again, as we’ve managed to make the world a friendly place and avoid sanctions ($16).

  2. Time to bribe Chitepo again. I still need a six. I roll a 4 and it costs me $5 to attempt the bribe. Chitepo is one tough cookie.

  3. I will pay $1 to refuel the Rhodesian Air Force, so I can use it again to strike against ZANU terrs.

Policy Review Phase

  1. Up for debate this year is the Pearce Commission, which will consult black Rhodesians on their opinion of my rule. If I don’t take action, the governments of the US, UK, and South Africa will all turn against me, increasing the terror level by +3 and hurting my income. If I pass the Commission, there is a 50% chance that one (or two) of my handshake markers will flip to fists. I think I need to take the chance, and so will try to pass.

  2. The Commission is a conservative policy, and so requires a 4+ to pass under the new liberal regime. I roll a 5, so the policy passes.

  3. Unfortunately, there is outspoken black opposition to the RF government, which flips two handshakes to fists. I will flip the Midlands and Manicaland.

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 4, which places a ZANU terr in Mozambique, where it is stuck. The ZAPU terr in Botswana attempts to move in to Matabeleland, which triggers a infiltration roll. The Terr is repulsed again, and retreats back to Botswana.

  3. The Portuguese unit in Mozambique engages one of the ZANU terrs there. I will send the Rhodesian Air Force to support (again). The ZANU opposition is unexpectedly strong, as they have been supplied with anti-aircraft munitions. The Portuguese unit is eliminated and the Rhodesian Air Force is flipped to its +1 side.

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. The US Presidential election is in full swing. Humphrey is running for reelection against Richard Nixon, who the Republican party has run for a second time. Strong Republicans in congress help Nixon campaign, but it isn’t enough to defeat the popular Humphrey. The US marker flips to Democrats, and the terror level increases by 1.

No image this turn, because I forgot to snap a photo.

Turn seven was mostly unremarkable. The hit to the Air Force is unfortunate, and I was hoping for a Republican administration in the US. Neither of those losses will sink Rhodesia, however, as we move forward to 1973 (Turn 8)

Turn Eight, 1973

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

  1. Soldiers of fortune and Vietnam Vets are drawn back in to Rhodesia after the results of the Pearce Commission suggest new fighting may be on the horizon (Population +6, back to the maximum of 16).

  2. China and the Soviet Union cannot agree on policy, as US President Humphrey cunningly plays one against the other. This compromises their efforts in Africa, reducing the terror level by 1.

  3. South Africa steps up its involvement in Angola’s civil war, reassigning the South African troopie in Victoria to Angola.

It hurts to lose the South African unit, but the terror level staying at 1 is a good result for Rhodesia. The population is a nice bonus.

The Politics Phase

  1. A quiet politics phase again this turn. I had the Rhodesian election marker in this box on the turn track, but I had neglected to move it after the 1970 election from refusing to pass the Land Tenure Act. The next Rhodesian election will take place in 1975.

Commercial Phase

  1. RF fills the treasury yet again, with the large population increase offsetting the Democratic Party’s victory in last year’s US elections ($16).

  2. Because I never learn, I am going to bribe Chitepo again. I still need a six. To no one’s surprise, I blow the roll again, and am out $5. I hope that Chitepo buys himself something nice with all this cash.

  3. I will pay $1 to refuel the Rhodesian Air Force, and $2 to return it to its +2 side to help fight the ZANU terrs.

Policy Review Phase

  1. Up for debate this year is Law & Order, which will allow my government to build protected villages. These villages let me flip one fist to a handshake for $1, but if they ever flip to fist again, they can never be restored. If I don’t take action, the RF loses 2d6 popularity, which would put the government at risk in the upcoming elections. If I do take action, sanctions go into effect on Rhodesia. I am going to pass on this policy this turn, and take the popularity hit. My popularity is at maximum now, and I’ll have a chance to patch it up next year before the elections.

  2. I subtract 2d6 from RF popularity. I roll snake eyes, which means my popularity is only reduced to +3. What luck!

Chimurenga Phase

  1. Because Manicaland has a fist, the South African Unit there will need to be reequipped and redeployed, at a cost of $1. I will pay for it. I also need to buy back the Portuguese unit, again for $1. I deploy it to Mozambique.

  2. The terror level is down to one, so I roll 1 die. I roll a 1, which places a ZAPU terr in Zambia. The ZAPU terrs in Zambia and Botswana attempt to move into Mashonaland and Matabeleland, respectively, which triggers infiltration rolls. The Zambian ZAPU terr is destroyed, and the Bostwanan ZAPU Terr is repulsed yet again, and retreats back to Botswana.

  3. The Portuguese unit in Mozambique engages one of the ZANU terrs there. I will send the Rhodesian Air Force to support (yet again). This time we avoid the AA guns and manage to wipe out one of the ZANU terrs. One remains in Mozambique.

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. No US election activity this turn, and no terrorism/intimidation

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

Turn eight went better than expected. I expected a major popularity loss for inaction on law and order, and instead was gifted with the best roll possible. I also got two terrs off the board and avoided any terror level increases. Things are looking pretty good for Rhodesia right now.

  1. Is there anything better than “troopies?”

  2. Great AAR so far. You got Land Tenure Amendment up early!


Seriously, though – I’m totally glad to stand up for anything I wrote in my review, which is linked earlier in the thread. I’m happy, happy I tell you, to mix it up about my own text and opinions. Bring it on. You can tell me how wrong I am. But Jacques d’Ass from BGG. No, no.


What wouldn’t you forgive from a game design that “clicked” in with you, like Triumph & Tragedy did, @Brooski? It’s not a trick question.

FWIW, I think you made some pointed criticism both on the blog and 3MA.

The comment about the game not capturing well disparities at the operational and even strategic level in command and control was strange. It kind of read as if you were saying that the German success in 1940 was just a random fluke, rather than a “2 sigma” event. The Germans did quite well in 1914, just not well enough to win outright, and their supply and arty trains also were mostly horse bound…

It seemed to me to be papering over an obvious flaw of this particular way of implementing area based representations for terrain. Other games like Roads to Stalingrad worked quite well IMO while being still quick to play.

Happy to do more “necro” of past discussions :)


If you are going to necro, could you do us the favor of linking to what you are necroing?


I am willing to forgive a lot in a game if it gives me decisions that lead to divergent and interesting paths, and if the sum of those paths among the players leads to a compelling game. That sort of factors historicity into it because historicity is something that will make a game feel inherently more compelling to me.

I’m not sure I follow this.


Thanks for the answer, Bruce.

Sorry Bruce.

That was a too oblique reference to the comments about the lack of “blitzkrieg” effects or rules designed with the goal of bringing about an abrupt demise of Franco-British and Soviet armies.

While I object as a matter of principle to that kind magical top down rules, preferring more “organic” bottom up mechanisms to achieve the same effect, they are a convenient expedient, which has been used (overused) many times on table top and computer wargaming.

Negating the reality of “blitzkrieg” - it did actually happen that two powerful militaries on paper were brought to their knees in a two and a six month campaign - is a cop out to avoid compromising on the simulation cred of the game. Which puts emphasis on economic factors rather than political, cultural and organisational.

My reading of your review is that you are not bothered by not having the means replicate those historical processes in T&T. That’s fair, but imo the Third Reich wouldn’t have lasted long if the 1940 and 1941 campaigns had become sluggging attritional matches. On the other hand, such mechanisms enabling early Nazi successes cannot be purely deterministic otherwise we end up with the kind of pantomime that strategic WW2 wargames usually are for the Allied player at the beginning.

I am not interested in games bringing forward narratives that invite to misunderstand history. I can play HOI4 for getting “5,000 feet” views and it even comes with actual music ;)


Turn Nine, 1974

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

  1. There is a conference of the most conservative members of the UK Tories, and they campaign against proposed sanctions. (No effect).

  2. The Conservative government in the UK calls for snap elections. It is a huge miscalculation, as the Labour party is able to sweep into power (+1 terror).

The Conservative electoral defeat is rough, because it both increases the terror level and takes funding away from the RF.

The Politics Phase

  1. South African elections result in a surprise victory by the Verligte, who oppose support for Rhodesia. This increases the terror level and further reduces funding for this turn.

Commercial Phase

  1. Despite the world turning against Rhodesia, a strong population and the failure of any organized sanction efforts make it possible for Rhodesia to fill its coffers yet again.

  2. Yet another attempt to Bribe Chitepo. I finally roll the 6! He decides to collaborate, after receiving roughly twice the net revenues of the Rhodesian government in bribes over the last several years.

  3. I will pay $1 to refuel the Rhodesian Air Force.

  4. I will spend $4 to improve RF popularity. I roll well enough to push it back up to +5. It will likely go down shortly in the policy review phase.

Policy Review Phase

  1. Up for debate this year is Corsan, which is the Rhodesian version of building the wall (except with more minefields). If the Assembly passes the law, I can build Corsans around the border with Mozambique, which will let me roll to repulse or eliminate terrs coming in. Alternatively, I can reject the policy. It costs me 2 RF popularity and a die roll worth of population, but allows me to flip a fist to a handshake. Because flipping abilities are rare, and I declined to pass law and order last turn, I will take the flip in order to return Manicaland to friendly status.

  2. I lose the 2 RF support I gained earlier, and subtract 2 from the population. Manicaland flips to a handshake.

Chimurenga Phase

  1. No need to redeploy the South Africans, now that Manicaland is back to a handshake. No other redeployment this turn.

  2. The terror level is now three, so I roll 3 dice. I roll a 1, 3, and 6, which places a ZAPU terr in Zambia and ZANU Terrs in Mozambique and Tete. The ZAPU terrs in Zambia and Botswana attempt to move into Mashonaland and Matabeleland, respectively, which triggers infiltration rolls. I roll a 1 for both units, which results in the dread “flip and slip,” where they enter the territory and flip the handshake to a fist. This is an awful outcome, although both terrs are eliminated.

  3. The ZANU unit in Tete is “stuck” by the Portuguese unit there, which engages it. The Portuguese unit is destroyed. Both ZANU units in Mozambique cannot get past Portuguese border security, and one will fight the Portuguese unit supported by the Rhodesian Air Force. That ZANU unit is destroyed.

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. US midterm elections occur. In an unlikely electoral coup, the Republicans seize control of Congress. That shifts the US market to the Republican side and reduces the terror level by one. At least something went right this turn!

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

Turn Nine was rough. The Brits and South Africans both turning against me was unlikely, and the two handshakes flipping to fists in Matabeleland and Mashonaland is Brutal. I will need to pass the Land Tenure Amendment next turn to avoid flipping all of the remaining handshakes to fists, but that is going to Trigger an RF popularity decline. Also, there is a Rhodesian election. It should be an interesting turn.

Turn Ten, 1975

The Rhodesia Herald Phase

  1. Soldiers of Fortune flood Rhodesia again, after the late unrest. Population rises to 16.

  2. Sino-Soviet splits reduce the terror level yet again, dropping it back to a manageable one.

  3. The Civil War in Angola goes poorly for the South Africans, resulting in a government collapse! The Verkrampte returns to power, restoring the additional +2 funding from South Africa.

This is an excellent event phase, sorely needed after last turn’s bad luck.

The Politics Phase

  1. There is a new Rhodesian election this turn. The polls are good for the RF, but for some reason Prime Minister Kane neglects to spend on political advertising. That reduces the result from an 11 to a 7, and leaves some liberals in the Assembly. Liberal policies now pass on a 2+ with the liberal constitution bonus, and conservative policies pass on a 2+.

Commercial Phase

  1. Rhodesia fills its coffers yet again, on the back of a strong population and sanctions.

  2. There is no one to bribe this turn, as all the potential collaborators are being held in Rhodesian prison.

  3. I will pay $1 to refuel the Rhodesian Air Force.

  4. I will spend $4 to improve RF popularity again, as I intend to pass the Land Tenure Reform, which will hurt popularity. I roll well enough to push it back up to +5. It will likely go down shortly in the policy review phase.

Policy Review Phase

  1. Up for debate this year is Land Tenure Reform, which will remove restrictions on black African land ownership. If I reject the policy, the remaining two handshakes turn to fists. I don’t want this, so I’ll suffer the -1d6 RF popularity and -1d6 population, assuming I can pass the law. I roll a 1, which leads to an immediate new election (I actually needed a 3, because this bill split the government).

  2. I roll a 9, and refuse to advertise again, bringing support down to a 5 (and subtracting one RF popularity). That means the Land Tenure Amendment will pass on a 2+. The Land Tenure Amendment passes this time, and I lose 4 RF popularity (net +0) and 5 population (down to 11).

  3. On the bright side, I get to flip the UK to Tories, as support grows for Rhodesia abroad.

Chimurenga Phase

  1. I need to redeploy all of my Rhodesian forces, as they are now in fist territories. I also need to redeploy the defeated Portuguese unit. This costs $8, which I spend gladly. I shift Grey’s Scouts from Matabeleland to Mashonaland, and deploy the Portuguese to Tete.

  2. The terror level is back to 1, so I roll 1 die. I roll a 2, which places a ZAPU terr in Botswana, while ZANU terrs remain in Mozambique and Tete. The Botswana ZAPU Terr moves into Matabeleland. I will elect not to stick the ZANU terr in Tete, so it moves to Mashonaland.

  3. The ZANU unit in Mozambique cannot get past Portuguese border security, and one will fight the Portuguese unit supported by the Rhodesian Air Force. That ZANU unit is destroyed.

  4. The ZANU unit in Mashonaland is destroyed automatically due to the concentration of forces there, but I will need to roll to see if the ZAPU unit in Matabeleland retreats or is destroyed. I roll well enough, and the ZAPU unit is destroyed. This is the first turn in a while where there are no Terrs on the map!

Cosmopolitics Phase

  1. The Cosmopolitics phase is uneventful.

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

Turn Ten went well, with the terror level dropping, funding rising, and the Terrs on the map eliminated. Land Tenure Reform nets me another +2 VPs if I survive until the endgame. Next turn I will be able to pass integration, which gives me a VP and a chance to flip each of the Fists back to Handshakes (on a 5 or 6 dr). I am beginning to think I might have a substantial victory on my hands, if I can hold things together.


“Uh-Oh, Mr. Heath!”