So, I’m pretty sure we all miss Tom’s boardgame videos, especially the series he had at the beginning of the Chinese Wuhan virus times when he recruited the likes of Calendar Bear and Robo-Elk. But I can’t fix Tom’s voice, or play superhero or zombie boardgames. All three of those things are equally impossible for me. But I can give us a boardgame playthrough (which I’ve labeled AAR for the search bots) so we can take solace in faint echoes of individual days coming off a calendar in black Sharpie.
The game I have chosen is Pavlov’s House by David Thompson, about Soviet soldiers defending a single house in WW2. David has also designed a game called Castle Itter (based on the book The Last Battle) about American soldiers defending a single castle in WW2, and in November will be launching a Kickstarter for a game called Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms about Polish soldiers defending a single post office in WW2. If you see a pattern here, let me know because for the life of me I can’t find one. He has also designed some other stuff, including Undaunted: Normandy (with Trevor Benjamin) and a past/future game called For What Remains, a super historical look at skirmish combat in apocalyptic times.
Pavlov’s House is a pretty famous place for people who know about Russian houses in WW2. You know it’s a real thing because it has the one thing that constitutes incontrovertible historical evidence, and that’s an Advanced Squad Leader scenario. (There are actually multiple ones.)
It has generated a lot of myth-making during and since the war, and one of the best things about the game so far for me (since I haven’t played it) is the “Pavlov’s House Companion” that is included with the game as a sort of historical background/designer’s notes.
The game itself is basically you fending off waves of German attackers, which if you don’t like history you can pretend are zombies. If you really don’t like history, you can pretend your soldiers are superheroes and give them names like Maximgun Man and The Wasp. Since you are playing the defenders, you get counters for the individual soldiers who fought in the battle. However, since the game was a Kickstarter, it had to have something you could pay extra for, so for double the price you could get your name and likeness on a counter and pretend that you were one of the heroes of the Spanish-American War.
I backed at that level, but then forgot to send in my preferred name and picture for the counter. So Dan Verssen discreetly named me “Bruce” and found a rather stunning likeness to include:
Well worth the extra forty bucks!
Because this is a forum game, I am going to include this counter in my playthrough. There are exactly 34 historical soldiers in the game. I chose one who not only looks exactly like me, but has exactly my special abilities and traits, and replaced him. Now I can pretend I was one of the brave defenders of the Alamo as well.
I am a dead ringer for that guy!
I’ll have the opening setup and first turn in a little while, as soon as I get all these pics sorted.