Month: July 2016

Blitz! Clever Design on a WW II Global Scale

By Russ Lockwood

Designer: Dave LeLacheur

Publisher: Compass Games

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To create a global WWII wargame like Blitz! A World in Conflict (Compass Games, $84, released November 2015) means you have to think big — really big. That requires some compromises in terms of physical components and mechanics.

Space proved one concern. If you want to battle across the world on a 3-foot by 2-foot map, you’re not going to model every scrap of terrain or every unit that took part.  Risk has a variety of global versions, although not a WWII version that I’m aware of.  The most popular WWII wargame of a global type, Axis and Allies, simplified all units into one-hit wonders (OK, battleships are two-hit wonders). Forget the nuances we came to expect from reading about WWII — the game was materialschlact and luck at its finest. It took a long afternoon to play.  The successor A&A versions, where you butt the Europe version up against the Pacific version, added a little more nuance, but not much. It also took 12 to 14 hours to fight the entire war.

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Dien Bien Phu: The Final Gamble

LESSONS ON OPERATIONAL PLANNING IN A 1950’S SIEGE

By Stuart McAninch

Designer: Kim Kanger

Publisher: Legion Wargames

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On first examination of the map and rules for Kim Kanger’s game, I was struck with how difficult the task of the Viet Minh player is.   While he has a potent force, he must bludgeon his way through one French strongpoint after another.   And he must do this on a tight time schedule with limited replacements and artillery ammunition and little hope of reinforcements.  A look at French counters indicates strong infantry and artillery.  At this point, I concluded that this is my kind of game.  The game system forces the Viet Minh player in particular to engage in exceedingly thorough operational planning.   What follows is an analysis of the game system and what that analysis suggests regarding a Viet Minh operational plan and tactics for the siege.

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