This slideshow requires JavaScript.

by Russ Lockwood

Designer Beau Beckett, Dave Kimmel, Jeff Stahl

Publisher Academy Games

I’ve enjoyed the variety of Academy Games’ war games (1775 and 1812), having played most of them multiple times with multiple gamers. Each game is generally close, with the balancing mechanism of cards and dice blessing and cursing player actions with equal aplomb.

In general, the four-player games are more exciting than the two-player games because who knows what your enemy might do on any given turn — or worse, what your ‘ally’ might do on any given turn.

So, along comes 878 Vikings, a two- or four-player game of the Viking invasion of England. The $75 boxed game has the usual components you expect that justifies the price. Academy also has a $50 expansion that adds more dice, cards, and cardboard counters.

A Review of Trafalgar Editions’ Game of Nelson’s Epic Battle

by Paul Comben,  Designer:Crisanto Lorente Gonzalez,  Publisher: Trafalgar Editions

Part One: Components and the Basic Game

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is always a certain challenge facing designers looking to create games relating to the things men make to fight in – be it ships, be it tanks, be it aircraft, the challenge remains the same: just how much detail should be included?

By Russ Lockwood

Designer: Dave LeLacheur

Publisher: Compass Games

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.