Tag: World War 2

The Field Commander Series Summary- A BoardgamingLife Review

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This highly regarded series of solitaire titles began in 2008 with the publication of the original version of Field Commander Rommel. Field Commander Alexander was released the following year, and then Field Commander Napoleon in 2011. The most recent title, Fleet Commander Nimitz, was published at the end of 2014.

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My Forty Years on the Eastern Front: A Boardgaming Life Game Survey

 Paul Comben


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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.

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The Maps of Collapse – Wargaming the End of the Reich

By Paul Comben


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Let me begin by telling you about this extension kit I came up with many years ago. I was just a lad, but a lad with ambitions to turn my copy of Stalingrad into something that time-wise, went beyond spring 1943, and territory-wise, extended all the way to Berlin and Vienna. To achieve this, I drew a map on a bit of card, putting in the cities, the rivers, and the mountains – and because I had no way of drawing a hex grid, I did squares (of sorts); and when I had finished, after some time of trying to put everything where it was meant to go, it looked absolutely horrible… I mean, hideous to the point of travesty. But I was thirteen, and I did not care; I wanted my Berlin map, I wanted the drama of experiencing the death throes of the Third Reich; and just because all I had was a bit of card that was only slightly better marked out than a Viking’s idea of what Australia looked like, I saw no reason to deny myself the pleasure.

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The Last Thousand Hours of the Thousand Years Reich

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By Paul Comben

Even as American troops were still fighting to maintain their foothold on the east bank of the Rhine at Remagen, several hundred miles to the east, Josef Goebbels was touring portions of the German front along the Oder/Neisse line. Newsreel cameras followed him, ready to capture moments of steely defiance and resolve for the benefit of those audiences watching Der Deutsche Wochenschau. Goebbels tarried in the town of Lauban, recently recaptured from the Soviets. In the square, he addressed soldiers from the Lauban battle, including a diminutive sixteen year-old Willi Hubner. Hubner would survive the war and find himself being interviewed for various documentaries decades later. As for Goebbels, after greeting the new martial favourite of the Reich, Ferdinand Schörner, he moved on to Gorlitz, where he rallied the faithful in the last sizeable Nazi rally of the war.

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How War Works: A BoardgamingLife Review of Playford Games’ Moral Conflict Series

by Paul Comben

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In the increasingly fractious relationship between Adolf Hitler and his senior commanders, it was the Fuhrer’s repeated complaint that his generals knew nothing about the economic aspects of warfare. They retorted, often just between themselves until the war was safely over, that the Austrian corporal knew nothing about proper operational planning. In March 1945, Hitler launched an offensive to secure the Hungarian oilfields with forces Guderian was clamouring to have on the Oder front.  Alongside the Fuhrer’s refusal to countenance giving up a yard of ground to free up forces, his clinging on to “fortresses” which existed in name only, and his obsession with waving his “mission” in the face of inexorable realities, this offensive by the 6th SS Panzer Army is often presented as yet another of Hitler’s meanderings into the realms of grotesque fantasy. Continue reading “How War Works: A BoardgamingLife Review of Playford Games’ Moral Conflict Series”

Blocks in the West- A Boardgaming Life Review by Harvey Mossman

Game Box

I must admit to being a bit of a “Blockhead” when it comes to wargaming because blocks eloquently address issues of fog of war and step reduction in one simple design element.  Blocks in the West, VentoNuovo Games’ Western companion to their Blocks in the East, borrows much from games that have come before it, such as Columbia games Eastfront and Westfront, yet offers a distinctly different tack while providing a more intricate and nuanced simulation of the Western and Mediterranean theater during World War II.

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Paul Koenig’s Fortress Europe: A Boardgaming Life Review

By Harvey Mossman

Fortress Europe BoxRepublishing older designs has become very popular lately.  I suppose it is nice to have these older games back in circulation especially for newer gamers who missed the golden era of gaming in the 1970s and 80s.  However when an older game is republished, I do expect the designer to make improvements to the game including consolidating rules errata, refining the game system and updating the graphics.  Paul Koenig’s Fortress Europe has done this and more.  The first edition, called Fortress Europa, was designed by John Edwards and published in Australia by Jedko games in 1978.  Avalon Hill reworked the rules and published the more well-known version in 1980 followed by a 2nd edition rules set.  In PKG’s edition, we have a worthy successor to this classic.

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