Grognard Wargamer Thread!

and down the dell
the counters are straight
I know them well

Into the woods
And who can tell
What’s waiting in the mission?

@Ironsight Thanks for that link to the Kharkov unboxing. It looks good. Incidentally, the game will have thicker counters that are pre-clipped – rounded corners! I’ve always wondered why more games don’t do this. I have one or two like this; maybe Labyrinth was one?

@vyshka I had no clue a Rule the Waves 3 was in the works, so thanks for that link. I don’t own either of the first two, so now I’m inclined to wait for the new one.

@Zilla_Blitz I had my first play of Enemy Action: Ardennes. I played the two-player game, soloing both sides, with the one-day intro scenario. The Germans have to get 8 VPs to win. I figured the best way was to take the 5-VP hex of Bastogne, so my Germans aimed for that. I thought I’d have no chance, honestly. But the 47th Pz Corps busted through to take Clervaux, and later got another activation that allowed it to seize Bastogne unopposed. It’s possible my Americans missed a chance to place a reserve unit in Bastogne to garrison it.

The Germans took 3 other towns, so they scraped a win with exactly 8 VPs. It was surprisingly close and exciting! And this was just the one-turn intro scenario. An auspicious start. I’m going to learn the German solo rules now and fire up a new solitaire game.

I was surprised when my punched copy of France 1944 DSE arrived from Noble Knight and had the rounded corners. They are nice. I wonder how many countersheets it would take to do that for something like Third World War. :)

@Spock does Ardennes have the rounded corners as well?

@vyshka Nope, the first printing of Enemy Action: Ardennes has square corners that definitely need clipping. Fortunately, there are only 3 small countersheets, so it didn’t take long. The counters are a bit thin for my taste, but they are nice and big, and the colors are wonderful, especially the formation-ID colors.

That unboxing video for Kharkov mentioned that a new printing of Ardennes is in the works. The video implied that the new Ardennes would have the same production quality as Kharkov, so it might be worth waiting for the new Ardennes if you don’t have it yet.

It appears I have let myself in for a 3 day run of Napoleon’s Last Gamble (the updated version of Napoleon’s Last Battles 1970’s original) campaign some time in September in Belgium. 4 of us are going to give it a go and also spend some time going over the battlefields in our downtime.

I set up the Ligny scenario a few days ago and started to learn the rules. Oh my, they are (as you would suspect from the age of the original design) pretty arcane in places but also have some interesting aspects.

The map is gorgeous though and the counters are bang up to date modern printing (but not rounded!)

I think this one is going to take some getting my head around just on the mechanics never mind the overarching strategy surrounding the campaign!

I am going to be massively torn if my Enemy Action Kharkov arrives in the next few weeks though, I suspect NLG will have to take a back seat for a while

Sounds like a solid and promising start! I’m quickly getting to the point where I have a half dozen games I want to play right away. :)

I’m surprised they haven’t been refined over the years. There are tons of those Zucker games now. Sounds like an awesome trip though. I hope you have a great time.

They have definitely been improved in some areas (notably graphics) and there are now additional cards which impact play. But yes the basic combat mechanics look to still be pretty much the same.

I couldn’t believe how many of those OSG games there were in the library using that system, definitely going to take some getting used to though!

lmao it happened again

Our secret plan to use video games to undermine potential adversaries is working!

Moe and John Butterfield himself playing the 2 player Enemy Action: Kharkov game here, for those interested.

Id love to try this, Kharkov, but have not even started to learn Ardennes.

I just logged into my Matrix account after years of not playing their games and found all of the games i bought in my account with the serial numbers so last night downloaded a nice number of them to my new gaming laptop. Stayed up too late playing War in the West.

Bought Campaigns Vietnam. Excited to try this out.

I’d bet good money that intelligence services literally do exactly that - goad (or otherwise) people into posting technical data on forums to score internet points.

“Someone is wrong on the internet!” is the honeypot of our time ;)

Yeah, absolutely. Managing social media contacts has to be a priority for fieldcraft training these days.

Did the original Pacific War weigh this much? That is a lot of game. JD Webster got back from travelling overseas so I have Air Superiority and Air Strike heading this way.

The original Pac War is loaded with components, but just one rulebook (the new version has several), and unmounted maps. The mounted maps are a lot of weight (and are freaking gorgeous layed out).

I was delightfully surprised to see EA: Kharkov delivered today. It looks really great, but the big surprise for me are the included errata cards for EA: Ardennes. I didn’t know they were going to ship those with this game. EA: A was completely playable as is, but the errata was kind of annoying. Nice bonus.

Also arriving today: Swords Around the Throne. This one is sort of print on demand, and took several weeks. Really happy to receive this.

Unfortunately, I am in the middle of a pretty grueling work week, but I have a couple of weeks off starting in about a week. Kharkov is absolutely getting played then.

My copy of EA: Kharkov arrived this weekend as well and I’ve started in on the 2-player rules.

I found John Butterfield’s design notes interesting. He talks about initially thinking that getting out of the congested nature of the Ardennes would make for a simpler game, but when it came to developing the German and Soviet AIs the open nature of Russian farmland created unanticipated complexities. Whereas in the Ardennes, movement is channeled and restricted, in Kharkov units can go anywhere, and it sounds like reworking the AI to handle that freedom of movement was a significant design challenge. I’m very curious to see how it plays.

I thought about starting Ardennes…but I’m just drained after playing so many bulge games so I ordered Kharkov…cant wait to get into it.

Me too.

It’s interesting, when I started reading the rules for Ardennes a year ago, my brain said, “Uff, need to start with something simpler.” Now, a year and a couple of dozen wargaming rulebooks later, I look at the rules to Ardennes and Kharkov and think: “this is pretty straightforward”.

I feel like I may have leveled up in the past year! :)

Yeah, the two-player rules for Ardennes are pretty straightforward. Mostly it’s the usual wargame stuff: sticky zones of control, movement points and terrain costs, combat odds. Some twists are chits to resolve combat, placement of reserves, and card play, but none of those is that tough, and the chit system is quite easy (and elegant) once you’ve done it a couple times.

Now I’ve turned to the solo-German version of the rules. Not that much tougher, but I’m glad I started with the 2-player version.

For what it’s worth, I’ve never had much interest in the Bulge. I bought this game for the system, not the battle. If I had to pick one to start with, I’d probably pick Kharkov, because the Eastern Front interests me more than the late-44 western front.