by Harvey Mossman

Publisher: Columbia Games

Designer: Tom Dalgliesh

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I must admit that I was not the original reviewer for this game and it came back to me when that person could not meet his deadline. Now, I am a hard-core historical, hex and counter gamer so The Last Spike was not exactly something I was longing to review. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Columbia Games’ eurogame treatment of land speculation during the great era of railroad building across America.

In the game, players compete to accumulate money from land speculation out West where railroads are due to be built. This differs very much from the railroad building genre popular in eurogame circles where building the rail line is paramount and moving commodities is profitable.  In this game your goal is to buy the land where the railroad track would be laid and profit when the track is actually completed between 2 cities.  There is no product to move and no cargoes to be managed.

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by Russ Lockwood

Publisher: Columbia Games

DesignersCraig Besinque, Tom Dalgliesh

A couple of weeks ago at Phil’s, we were chatting about Columbia’s block games, comparing those we enjoyed and those, well, not. Phil mentioned he had bought a copy of East Front, Columbia’s WWII block game of Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, put all the stickers on the blocks, but had not played it. I also mentioned that it had sounded good, but I had not tried it either. At the moment, time was a bit too short to start learning a new game, but I borrowed it to at least read the rules.

The rules sounded promising, with a couple of interesting concepts, notably the interaction of HQs, command radius, and air power.

by Harvey Mossman

Robert E LeeAlthough seven score and ten years have passed since the Civil War, this titanic struggle still profoundly affects American culture and the national psyche. Deep wounds have still not fully healed and remembrances of those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” are honored annually by multiple reenactments around the country. Over this five-year anniversary of the war, I thought it might be “altogether fitting and proper” to look back at some older Civil War games that still stand the test of time. One of my favorites, Bobby Lee, is an elegant design by Tom Dalgliesh of Columbia Games. First published in 1993, it remains one of the most challenging and approachable simulations of the war in Virginia.