by Russ Lockwood
Publisher: Columbia Games
Designers: Craig 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 Russ Lockwood
Designer: Chris Perello
Publisher Decision Games
Being on a WWI kick the last few years, I’ve been picking up various wargames and they seem to be of two kinds — monster games like 1914: Offensive a outrance, its ‘Serbia Must Die’ brother, and Balance of Powers, and small games like Decision Games’ ‘folio’ series such as Masuria 1915 and Tannenberg 1914 as well as the Marne 1914 game from Turning Point Simulations. I had previously bought DG’s Meuse-Argonne 1918 folio game and enjoyed it, so I picked up Masuria and Tannenberg. I also picked up the monster games, too, but they’ll take more space and time in the future.
Knowing little about Masuria, which covers the 1915 Masurian Lakes battle, Dennis and I cracked that open first. It’s a far different game than Meuse-Argonne 1918.
Well, here we are with the stock-in-trade of the hobby – whatever else has been designed, and wherever else it took us, you cannot think of the hobby without the Eastern Front in World War Two. From small unit actions, where the brutal simplicity of combat, mano-a-mano, is conveyed in rules that can break your foot if you drop them, to grand operational and strategic designs that come with everything save a yellow briefcase, the hobby has done it every which way for decades.