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  Napoleon 1806 by Shakos Games  The Third Coalition was brought into existence by English money (subsidies) to defeat Napoleonic France. Pr...

Napoleon 1806 by Shakos Games Napoleon 1806 by Shakos Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

 Napoleon 1806


Shakos Games

 The Third Coalition was brought into existence by English money (subsidies) to defeat Napoleonic France. Prussia, oddly enough, had not joined it. The consensus of historians that they were biding their time until either side had given them enough of a bribe. They hadn't counted on Napoleon, and the completely trained and incredibly formidable Grande Armee. Before anyone realized what was happening, the Austrian General Mack (and 50,000 soldiers) were swept up by Napoleon without really a fight. This sent the Austrians reeling back to meet their Russian Allies. However, a little battle called Austerlitz put the Third Coalition down for a dirt nap. Prussia was just starting to think it would be a good idea to join the Third Coalition before it was no more. So with the Grande Armee and its roughly 200,000 troops sitting in Germany or nearby on the border, the Prussians came up with one hell of an idea. The Prussian court had a war party headed by their lovely Queen. This war party finally talked the King and his ministers to go to war with France virtually on their own. What was wrong with the drinking water in Berlin I guess we will never know. Russia had not concluded peace with France, so the Russians could help in the long run. The Prussian Army was led by octogenarians who had been weaned on Frederick the Great's battles. One of their youngest generals was Blucher, who was in his sixties. The Prussian staff seemed to have no idea of what actually to do. They staggered slowly toward the French border with no real plan. They also decided to split their army in two without having any idea of where the French were. The lion that was Napoleon had no trouble dispatching the sheep that were the Prussians. As a matter of fact, the 1806 Campaign is usually listed as the first blitzkrieg. The French went through Prussia like poop through a goose, probably only stopping at times to procure more maps of each new area they were rampaging through. This is one of those games where it is almost impossible to do as bad as your historical counterpart. The history being done, let us see what is in the box:

1 mounted game board 60 x 60 cm

1 rulebook

1 quickstart booklet

2 player aids (orders of battle)

2 player screens

2 sets of 36 cards

1 sticker sheet (54)

More than 220 wooden pieces

10 combat dice

1 cloth bag

  Opening up the box leads a person to exclaim 'C'est Magnifique! This is another European wargame that mixes a real honest to God wargame with a Euro game's look. The map is a beauty, and has a real historical feeling to it. The stickers are little pieces of artwork. They have the countenances of the Prussian King Frederick III and his various generals. These are countered by portraits of Napoleon and some of his Marshals. The two Orders of Battle are made of hard stock and are also a pleasure to look at. The Quickstart Guide is a very large four page fold out. It has a simplified rundown of this information on the first and fourth page:


How To Win

How To Play

How To Move


How To Engage In Combat

The middle two pages have a complete picture of the map and the Orders Of Battle and a Sample Card. The information needed for using the Orders Of Battle and Cards are also printed there. There are two Player Screens, one in blue, and one in gray. On the inside of the Screens are The Game Sequence and information on combat etc. The two Decks of Cards are also well done, and the Cards themselves do not feel flimsy. The manufacture of the wooden block pieces was done with excellent quality control. I found no mismatched sizes in the different pieces. The Rulebook is a work of art in itself. It is filled on most pages with colorful illustrations of what is being written about on the page. It is twenty-three pages in length. The actual rules take up fourteen pages. There is also a Short Scenario added for those who can only fit in time for a short game. A section called 'Rules For The Grognard' is added to add some historical flavor, and fog of war to the mix. Next is a section called 'Rules Of The Marshal"; this is a setup to play a tournament of the game. For conventions etc. this is a nice addition. What follows is a three page rundown of every Card and their meanings. The end of the Rulebook is a four part History Of The Campaign, and Design Notes. You also get a nice bag for the different pieces. The picture on it is a gold Napoleonic Eagle done on a blue background. The actual game pieces are a carbon copy of what you would find in Shakos Games 'Napoleon 1807' game. I will have a link to my review of that game below.

 The Sequence of Play is easy to remember:

Draw -  Each Player Draws Three Cards

Initiative - The Player With The Highest Value Card Wins

Operations - Movement And Combat

Recovery - Each Player Can Remove Fatigue From Some Corps

  The game rules allow for games to be played quickly. However, there is so much that a player can choose to do each turn that it can be a longer game. This totally depends on what depth each player wants to put into each of their moves. The Grognard Rules really add a lot to the game. These are:

Hidden Setup

Fog Of War

Cavalry Vedettes

 The Map is a point to point movement type. With the Order Of Battle Cards being hidden from play, your opponent will have no idea of what is in front of him strengthwise. The Cards Decks add to the 'friction' of war. While the French Grand Armee is still near its peak the Prussian Army, if not led as it was historically, can still give the French a run for their money. This game is another example of a designer wanting to have a game based in history, as much as possible, but still make it an excellent 'game', and a relatively easy one for two players to enjoy.

 Thank you very much Shakos Games for letting me review this beautiful and great playing game. It deserves to be right up with its brother Napoleon 1807 on your shelf. They have also come out with Napoleon 1815, so it is now a trilogy of games. I also had a chance to review their Saladin game. I will have the review in the links also.


Shakos Games:

Shakos | Historical board games

Napoleon 1807 Review:

Napoleon 1807 La Campagne de Pologne by Shakos Games - A Wargamers Needful Things

Saladin Review:

Saladin by Shakos Games - A Wargamers Needful Things

  GKR: HEAVY HITTERS FROM CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENTS & WETA WORKSHOP It's bold! It's bright!  It's brash! Is it Ameritrash? W...


For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!






It's bold! It's bright!  It's brash!
Is it Ameritrash?
Well, as no one will probably give you the same definition as to what Ameritrash is, that might be difficult to answer that question.  But here goes.

 Giant monster robots stomping over Earth's abandoned cities in a combative sport linked in to mega corporations vying for highly lucrative advertising power.  Bags of theme is ramped up with fantastic graphics, whether in the artwork on the many decks of cards or the super-size models of the titular Heavy Hitters!

Ready painted, they look even better on the mounted game board and each is supported by three smaller Support robots that have been shaded, though not gloriously finished like the four mega robot miniatures. The hand of Weta Workshop, the multi Academy Award winning design studio and physical effects manufacturing facility, can clearly be felt in all aspects of the components and their artwork. Everything hangs together brilliantly.  So, A* for sheer looks and once you set up it looks even more stunning.
The only criticism has been levelled at the buildings that are assembled from a plastic base, cardboard tower and plastic cap.  If you intend to try to store them back in the original box, then I'd suggest you really will have problems.  As the caps very easily come off in play never mind storage, my personal solution has been to glue the caps and towers together.  The base cannot be dealt with in this way, as it's possible as part of gameplay to destroy a building, leaving just the base.  Still, kept separate and partially assembled has proved very easy.

At first sight, the rule book looks underwhelming by comparison with all the other physical goodies. But this is mainly because it is small by the side of everything else in the game and has been given a deliberately retro look with a black and white cover.  The moment you turn the first page you know you've got quality here too, with glossy pages and  coloured illustrations and examples on nearly every single page.

The rules are clearly and methodically detailed and are very accessible.  They produce a fast and fun experience both for newbies and grognards alike.  Each of the four player factions has a separate deck of 38 cards from which you will select 25 to use in a given game.  These cards are not only the basic motor of the game, but your choice defines both your GKR and, to some extent, your intended game play. 

The cards include first and foremost the GKR's primary and secondary weapons.  You start by choosing those for operating one Primary Weapon and two Secondary Weapons, followed by Deployment cards for your Support units and finally the remaining cards to make up your play deck of 25 come from Manoeuvre, Reaction and Orbital Strikes [think very powerful artillery].

Above are a typical 6 of those selected for my first game.  All the data on the cards is well laid out, thoroughly explained in the rule book and rapidly becomes second nature.  Each player has a solid display for the cards with a numbered column running down the right edge with a vertical slot and plastic sliding marker to log the vital energy usage.

The latter -energy usage- is probably the single most important factor in the game.  Moving your GKR, using its weapons and deploying your Support units all cost energy and each round you have 5 free energy points.  Beyond that, you must sacrifice to the Damage pile one of your precious 25 cards for every extra energy point you use!  What's even worse is that for every hit your GKR suffers, you must also discard a card to the Damage pile.

The basic sequence of a turn is Deploy, Move, Combat, Tag Buildings and Reset. 


This couldn't be simpler.  Play one of your Deploy cards and spend 2 of your precious 5 free Energy o points and place a Support Unit on the board or place a Support Unit without playing a Deploy card and pay a whopping 4 Energy points!


Pretty obvious.  The main concept is the order of movement is Heavy Hitters, Support Combat unit, Support Repair unit and finally Support Recon unit with each player moving alternately.


Players simultaneously play face down Weapon cards and cards for Support unit attacks.  These are then revealed and Energy costs paid for and then sequence of fire is determined by the speed number on each card - the higher the number the earlier you fire.  

Additional card play may affect fire, including preventing an opponent's weapon from firing - nasty, because not only don't you get to fire, but you still lose the energy you spent to allow it to fire.

Typically various factors are covered such as full and partial cover from buildings, flank attacks, range, LOS [line of sight], spotting for Indirect Fire and, one I particularly like, Alley Shots in which a GKR can squeeze of a shot between two adjacent buildings.

2D6 are rolled with +5 needed for a GKR to hit and +7 for a Support unit.  The damage caused by a single hit is then checked and it can be massive and then the target gets to roll save dice for each point of damage.  To quote a famous film title - There Will Be Blood! And remember, each point of damage is the loss of one of your 25 cards that you started with.  In a simple 2 player game, that is the main victory condition, kill your opponent's GKR by causing him/her to have no cards left.

With 3 or 4 players, victory is different and will be discussed later. 

Tag Buildings

Following Combat. each unit adjacent to a building may place a tag on one building.  GKRs have the added advantage of being able to replace another player's tag with one of their own.  Each building has slots for 4 tags and the player who manages to place 4 tags on a building destroys it and gains permanent control of the ruin.  For a player to demolish and so control 4 buildings is the other victory condition.   

Tagging buildings isn't just useful as a game-winning goal.  Each turn, a player gains a Support card for each building tagged that turn and a player can hold up to 5 Support cards in their hand.

The photo above shows the Support Deck and just a few of the typical cards you make gain from tagging buildings.  Also, a player who destroys a building gains a Pilot upgrade that brings new benefits.  A single board records the progressing upgrades that each player's human pilot of their GKR achieves in the course of the game.
Pilot upgrade Achievements Board

Simplicity itself.  Reset your Energy back to +5 on your player board, as seen below and then replenish your hand back to 6 Faction Cards.

The final section of the rules provides a range of pre-generated maps for 2, 3 and 4 player games to get you quickly underway.  All that I've described so far applies to all number of players [sorry, no solo rules] and the only detail to add is that for three or four players the game end condition [other than being first to demolish 4 buildings]  is when one player's GKR is eliminated.  At that point, the current Turn is played to its end and players add together the number of undamaged Faction Cards plus the number of spaces their Pilot has moved along the Achievements Board.

This last detail has come in for some criticism with the claim that a player who has sat back and kept out of harm's way could win the game.  My reaction to that is not very sympathetic.  All I would say is that, if the rest of the players have let that happen, then make sure you play to avoid it happening ever again!

My final summing up is that here you have a fast playing, easy to learn, slam bang action skirmish game.  Great components, lots of colour and atmosphere, investing a post-apocalyptic setting with a gaudy, almost cartoonish style.  

So, for me this is Ameritrash at its best - but be warned it does come with a price tag that matches the HEAVY in its title, especially if you're having to buy it on the second-hand market where I've seen it at up to the $230.

Alley Shot

Tagging a Building


Yellow Jack  The War of Jenkin's Ear 1739-1743 Part of The Sea Lords Series of Games By  Red Sash Games   The War of Jenkin's Ear, w...

Yellow Jack: The War of Jenkin's Ear 1739-1743, By Red Sash Games Yellow Jack: The War of Jenkin's Ear 1739-1743, By Red Sash Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Yellow Jack 

The War of Jenkin's Ear 1739-1743

Part of The Sea Lords Series of Games


Red Sash Games

  The War of Jenkin's Ear, was mainly a conflict between Bourbon Spain and England. Robert Jenkins was a captain of an English merchant vessel who was mutilated by Spanish Coast Guards in 1731. In reality, the war was really about money, specifically the Asiento (a contract with England that allowed her to sell slaves in Spanish America). In Spain, the war is called The Guerra del Asiento. The war mostly took place in the Caribbean. The War of Jenkin's Ear then became part of the wider European conflict: The War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748. There was also an earlier outbreak of hostilities between Spain and England over the same reasons named The Anglo-Spanish War 1727-1729. The wars were really about English merchants' access to the Spanish areas of North and South America. Red Sash Games mainly has naval and land warfare games centering around the time of the War of the Austrian Succession. They call their land warfare games of the time The Lace Wars Series. Their sea warfare games of the time are from their The Sea Lords Series. As obscure as this war seems I remember being taught about it in High School. Well, enough of that. Here is what actually comes with the game:

6 die cut counter sheets – 720 counters – including the naval forces of Britain, Spain, and France, plus Pirates (no Caribbean naval game is complete without Pirates). One of the counter sheets includes all the important naval leaders who participated in the War of the Austrian Succession; another consists of land units – all the regiments that fought in the Caribbean. There is also a sheet of generic markers.

37 wooden disks representing “task forces” (boxed game only; regular counters are also supplied to represent these items).

48” x 54” map depicting the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Carolinas coastline.

1 series rulebook, 1 exclusive rule book, 2 scenario/OOB books, 1 set of charts & tables, historical commentary. 1 set of display cards.

One piece of the Map

 This is their own write up about the game:

"Autumn, 1739. Fierce economic competition between Britain and Spain has broken into open war: the War of Jenkins' Ear. As His Britannic Majesty's naval commander-in-chief in the Caribbean, your duties have suddenly multiplied. Their Lordships at the Admiralty demand action. Parliament expects the speedy conquest of Spain's New World possessions - ALL of them - but is unwilling to supply men and ships. That would require the adoption of methods suitable only under a 'French Despotism'. Before you utter them let it be known that your objections are unpatriotic and un-British. Meanwhile, the powerful Planters' Lobby is insisting you make defending their islands your top priority, while the equally powerful Traders' Lobby is demanding convoy protection and simultaneously accusing you of 'pressing' merchant seamen into service aboard your ships. Or, can you honourably serve the great House of Bourbon, whose scions rule France and Spain? The English heretics have unjustly fabricated a war. They are jealous of Spain's greatness and desire her colonies for their own. For years they have paid lip service to the international laws of commerce while breaking those same laws at every opportunity. Of late, His Most Catholic Majesty had graciously agreed to accept arbitration for so-called 'wrongs' done to British traders, waiving compensation for similar wrongs done to Spain. But when she offered payment, the English dogs slapped Spain's hand aside, saying it was not enough! This insult will not go unavenged. The King has ordered you to secure our trade routes and has issued letters of marque for the harrying of British merchantmen - let their own methods be used against them! In the fulness of time, our brother France has promised his support.

Control the seas and you control the fate of the New World. Whichever side you choose, glory and honour - and prizes galore - are yours for the taking. Provided you avoid court martial and disgrace."

 I like the writing in the above piece, so I added it in. Sometimes a game company can come up with a more succinct and intriguing summary than a reviewer.  The game is operational in scope. By the way, Yellow Jack is actually jargon for the rampant Yellow Fever in the area. Although by this time they were waning, the game does contain pirates and privateers.

 The map pieces are well done, and to me at least have a period flavor to them. It could be because I played Pirates from Sid Meier for so many hours on the C-64. The counters are wonderful. They are pretty much the same as the ones in their game 'Cockpit of Europe'. I did a review of that excellent game, and the link will be below. The counters are large and easy to read. There are numerous Players' Aids in the box, from a hurricane sheet to a four page turn sequence fold out! It also comes with a twenty-three page 'Exclusive Rule Book' for this game. Yellow Jack comes with two Scenario & Orders Books, one for the Bourbons (France & Spain), and one for the English. To top it all off, there is a 111 page Historical Commentary which is well stocked with maps and pictures. The Historical Commentary moves easily between the big picture and the minutiae of the period, and it is easily worth its weight in gold doubloons. The game and Historical Commentary were both done by the designer Ian Weir. It is plain to see that these games are a labor of love by Mr. Weir. 


 This game was given a rating of 4.5 for complexity. Yes, it is a very complex game. This is not one that you are going to break out on game night and decide to play on a whim while trying to teach the rules. However, like almost all games that are complex, you get out of it what you put into it. If you have a Saturday to run through one of the smaller scenarios, and then try your hand at the campaign game, this would be your best bet.

 There are five Minor Scenarios from 1739-1743, each one lasts one year.

1739 - Rule Britannia

1740 - Old Grog & Peg Leg

1741 - Carlos Don't Surf

1742 - Spanish Fly

1743 - Hot Cocoa

The Price of and Ear - The Campaign Game

Hasta La Muerte - The Extended Campaign

1744 Scenario

1745 Scenario

1746 Scenario

1747 Scenario

1748 Scenario

 The scenarios of 1744-1748 saw no major operations historically, but they do add France as a Spanish Ally.

 The Turn Sequence has these and many other segments:

Wind Generation Step

Check for new Hurricanes

Check for Random Events

Resolve Hurricanes

Resolve Gales

Reinforcement & Reorganization 

Conduct Searches & Mark Spotted Formations

Detach Independent Squadrons Without Orders

Disembark Expeditions

One side of the Hurricane Map

 If you love sea warfare from an operational standpoint, this game is for you. The historical information of sea warfare at this time is alone the price of admission. The game is complex, but it has to be to plumb the depths of historical accuracy that the designer intended. The game was intended to be a two-player, but like almost all games it can also be played solo. The age of warfare that the game represents has very little boardgames to choose from. This game is not historically like the Campaign of Trafalgar. It is one of far flung outposts that are important to each crown, but not as much as they once were. There are no more Spanish Treasure fleets filled with Inca and Aztec gold plying these waters. Even Piracy has lost the glitter of its golden age. Both sided in the game must deal with pretty much the forces that they have been dealt with, especially in the one year scenarios. 

 I am definitely an aficionado of the era. For me to pull myself away from a game, or simulation, of land warfare when one of your counters represents Maurice de Saxe is a pretty hard task. However, Yellow Jack was up to it and more. Thank you very much Mr. Weir and Red Sash Games for letting me review this game. 

 Red Sash Games has numerous ways to buy their products, including the ever more popular print & play. I urge you to take a look at all of their games when you have a chance.


Red Sash Games:

Red Sash Games Home Page

Yellow Jack:

Yellow Jack (

My Review of 'Lace Wars, The Cockpit of Europe':

Cockpit of Europe by Red Sash Games - A Wargamers Needful Things

 Joe Balkoski's The Korean War: Designer Signature Edition June 1950 - May 1951 by Compass Games  The Korean War, often called the Forgo...

Joe BalKoski's The Korean War: Designer Signature Edition by Compass Games Joe BalKoski's The Korean War: Designer Signature Edition by Compass Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

 Joe Balkoski's The Korean War: Designer Signature Edition

June 1950 - May 1951


Compass Games

 The Korean War, often called the Forgotten War, was really part of a forgotten decade of war. The 1950's saw a large part of Eastern Asia alight with the fires of war. The Western Allies were fighting together, and separately, against numerous Communist populist 'freedom fighters'. The French were fighting Ho Chi Minh's Communists in French Indo-China pretty much since the end of World War II. The British were fighting the Malayan Emergency from 1948-1960, again against Communist forces (interestingly, it had to be called an 'emergency' and not a civil war, because British insurance companies would not pay if it was a 'Civil War'). Almost all of the history of this decade was swept away by the intense struggle of the Vietnam War. 

 The Korean peninsula was divided in half in 1945 (almost exactly like Vietnam was in 1954), between a Communist North and 'Free' South. Again, much like Vietnam, the 'Free' government of South Korea was more of a strongman in power than an actually free society. The game focuses on the first part of the war where maneuvering was still possible. Afterwards it became a stalemate and fought much like World War I, with both sides hunkered down in defensive lines. The beginning of the Korean War saw the North's forces capture almost all of South Korea and push the Allies into the small Pusan Perimeter. General Douglas Macarthur saw his last hurrahs by his amphibious invasion of Inchon, and pushing the North Koreans almost across the Yalu River (their border with China). At that time, the Chinese Communists decided that they had to intervene, and really under the noses of the Allies, secretly moved a large force into North Korea. This force almost swept aside the Allies until they were finally stopped almost at exactly the 38th Parallel, this being the actual demarcation line between North and South Korea. The war dragged on for another two years before peace was achieved. So, now that we have seen the history let us now look at the game. This is what comes in the game box.


Four map sheets (42.5″ x 71″overall map dimension)

Three countersheets (9/16″ size)

Rules booklet with updated Historical Notes

Two charts and tables booklets

One ten-sided die

Box and Lid

 This is the information about the game from it's website:

Complexity: 7 out of 10

Solitaire Suitability: 6 out of 10 (landing options; no hidden units)

Time Scale: one month per turn

Map Scale: 7.5 miles per hex

Unit Scale: battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions

Players: one to two, best with two or more

Playing Time: 4-8 hours depending upon scenario, 20+ hours for campaign

 This is the difference between the 'Designer Signature Edition' and the original:

Larger and easier-to-read 9/16” counters and four game maps
Game map information is updated and includes all-new map artwork
Enhanced ergonomics are built into the set up and reinforcement charts
Restrictions on UN build-up and breakdown so UN player cannot perpetually continue Action Phase by reorganizing units
Modified amphibious assault system that allows UN player to more effectively recreate September 1950 Inchon invasion
Modified victory conditions that lessen impact of Global Tension
New random events to make the operation a bit more unpredictable
Updated rules treatment backed by many illustrations, an index, and clarifications and examples of play to reduce potential questions.
Updated historical notes

 As you can see by the pics, to steal from Monty Python "She's got huge tracts of land", or maps. With the entire Korean Peninsula done at 7.5 miles per hex, the maps have to be that large. The map itself is very well done. It has very large hexes and the color scheme is pleasing to the eye. The different terrains are easily identifiable in each hex. You do not have to try and figure out if a hex is this or that terrain. The counters are also large at 9/16". This makes it very easy to read all the information on them. They are also easy to maneuver for old grognard hands. A few people have complained about the counters being hard to 'punch' out of the cardboard sprues. With counters that do not fall out by themselves, I always use a trusty pair of Solingen scissors that are about 100 years old. I never have a problem with counters. Also, if anyone did have a problem they were sent another set out pronto by Compass Games. Did I mention they have great service? There are numerous Players' Aids that come with it. These are all hard pieces with some lamination on them. This is the list of them:

Three UN Air Support/Interdiction pages. One has the information      for Basic Game Scenario 3 on the back.

Game Turn Record for the Advanced Game which is two-sided. This is not really a Turn Record, but it has all of the information for each turn on it.

One Sheet with the UN Reinforcement Charts on it, and a Terrain Chart and UN Escalation Chart on the back.

One UN Combat Results Chart with a Terrain chart and other information on the back.

One North Korean/Chinese Combat Results Chart with a Terrain Chart and other information on the back.

One Sheet of the UN Depot Table, with a Summary of the Units on the back.

One Sheet of the NK Depot Table, with a summary of the Units on the back.

Then there are two for page fold outs, one for each side, with almost all of the information supplied on the separate sheets.

 So, you can see that you will not need to share any of the Players' Aids with each other. 

The Game also comes with a Rules of Play booklet, along with a Playbook. The Rules of Play Booklet is forty pages long. The Playbook is also forty pages long. Both are in full color and have a good amount of visual aids for gameplay. The Playbook starts with the Advanced Games Rules on page fifteen, and go to page twenty-seven. Next comes a short Historical Perspective written by the designer Joe Balkoski. Then there is a ten page 'The Game as History' with maps included for each turn. Lastly, there is a piece on Korean Culture and History. 

 Four of the Scenarios use only Maps A and B and a portion of Map C. One Scenario uses Maps C and D only. The Advanced Game Scenario uses all four Maps.

 As with all of Compass Games Designer Series Games, this is not just a new printing of an older game. The original designers have worked on their games and incorporated many errata and actually changed some of the mechanics. Yes Virginia, the map is slightly larger one way than the original. The original had two 22" x 34" Maps. Then again, almost everything is better than what came in the original box. There will always be some people that are not happy with change. The horsey set had a long fight with those new fangled automobiles. I don't know, I think it is easier to walk to the Post Office without having to watch out for land mines. Almost all games that are produced now are made because X amount of people want them published. Just because a Designer Signature Edition has been made does not mean that we are forced to throw out our originals. I have a few doubles of games that were reworked. I also have versions one, two, and three of Imperium Romanum, so I am descending from the soapbox now.

 Getting away from pure cosmetics, let us take a look at gameplay. Playing either side in the game presents the player with a completely different set of assets and liabilities. The NK Player has the advantage early on. The Western Allies had lowered their forces after World War II to save money. The US was not prepared for a large land war. This should not come as a surprise, because it happened in almost all of the wars we have fought. So the UN Player has to sacrifice space for time, and fight a delaying rearguard action, until the UN forces are brought up to strength. The rules do a good job of simulating what the commanders of both sides had to deal with. In a nutshell, win a war, but do not win it too much for fear of starting World War III. I am pretty sure that neither side was able to find a strategy for dealing with that threat. Kick some butt on a local scale without hearing the sirens wail to get to the bunkers asap. The UN Player does have a large advantage over the historic UN forces. The UN Player knows that China will become involved if pushed. The UN forces at the time were told that the chance of China interfering was slim to none. The Russians becoming involved is also something to give the UN Player to think about. The UN air superiority was taken for granted up until the Russian intervention. Some of the games rules have been changed because some players learned how to game the original system. My personal take on rules, is if the designer by mistake allows a player to game the system or allows a player to act non-historically, I just modify those rules. 

 The Air War, except for turn one, and its missions are just for the UN Player. The UN Player must choose between Close Air Support (CAS) missions, and Interdiction missions. Each scenario has rules that make some of the NK northern provinces off limits to UN air missions. These rules will be played out again in the Vietnam War.

 The Sequence of Play is very different than most games. It changes so much from turn to turn that a separate Player's Aid is given to you to check the changes from turn to turn.

 The Advanced Game is where the game really shines. The Advanced Game adds these and other rules to the game

UN Initial Intervention

UN Escalation

US Mobilization

Global Tension

Chinese Invasion of Formosa/Taiwan

Soviet Intervention

 Supply becomes a large part of the game also with the addition of Supply Depots (Supply Depots are in two of the scenarios, but their impact is more limited).

 As was mentioned, the game only represents the first year of the war. This was when the situation was fluid and the political consequences of some actions had not been thoroughly thought about. The UN, due to Macarthur's last amphibious invasion, were able to take the fight to NK, and almost overrun it completely to the Chinese border. Unfortunately, he blinded himself to the idea that Chinese forces would intervene. Then the UN forces were forced to fight a rearguard action under the constant threat of massed waves of Chinese forces. Both Players can be put in the position of attacker and defender during any of the scenarios. This is usually a hallmark of a great game design. 


 So, is the game worth it's price, even though you might own the original? The results are in and it is a resounding Yes! The game play has only been advanced and the components are better. Thank you, Compass Games for giving me the chance to review your newest redo of excellent older games. We grognards salute you. I urge you to take a gander at Compass Games large, and growing by the minute, stable of excellent games.


Compass Games:

Compass Games – New Directions In Gaming

Joe Balkoski's The Korean War:

The Korean War: June 1950 – May 1951, Designer Signature Edition – Compass Games

  Bayonets & Tomahawks The French and Indian War by GMT Games  I believe it is time to sip some tea and watch 'The Last of the Mohic...

Bayonets & Tomahawks: The French and Indian War by GMT Games Bayonets & Tomahawks: The French and Indian War by GMT Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

 Bayonets & Tomahawks

The French and Indian War


GMT Games

 I believe it is time to sip some tea and watch 'The Last of the Mohicans' one more time. I will give 10 points to anyone who knows Hawkeye's real given name. I believe he is called more names in the book than many rap sheets have aliases. 

 The French & Indian War was not, strangely enough, a cut and dried English and Colonist victory from the start. As a matter of fact, the French were winning pretty much right up until 1759. This is pretty amazing when you look at the population figures:

French Colonists in North America - 50,000

English Colonists in only the 13 Colonies - 1,000,000

 If it had not been for the parsimoniousness of the Colonists it would have been a walkover. Oddly enough this ultimately led to the loss of the Colonies to England. The English government finally realized that to win in North America they would have to bring large amounts of troops and supplies. To do this meant spending an enormous amount of money. After the war, England tried to make the colonies pay for some, if not most, of the war which led directly to "Taxation, Without Representation". 

 This is really a great historical time to create a boardgame out of. You have the Colonists and the English on one side. Then you have the French and most of the Indians on the other one. You have Montcalm and Wolfe, let alone their famous death scene paintings, along with Amherst, whose own penny pinching leads to Pontiac's Rebellion. The only real assets the English have are their population and the Iroquois Confederacy. So let us see what comes with the game:

22" x 34" mounted map

54 cards

135 unit counters

8 Commanders

17 Vagaries of War tokens

1 small fabric bag

6 custom dice

1 sheet of markers

1 Player Aid sheet

5 Scenario Information sheets

Rulebook and Playbook

Complexity is listed as a '3'

Solitaire Suitability is listed as a '6'

Game Scale for Units is:

300 - 1,500 Men

16 Cannon

5 Ships of The Line

Each Round is approximately 3 Weeks

Playtime is listed as 2 hours per Year

 This is one of the new breed of games that are truly wargames, but are presented as Euro games as far as their components. It is a wonderful time to be a grognard, except of course, for most of our ages. As long as we still have our wits about us and our glasses handy, we will be fine. The map is mounted, and is extremely colorful. The way the territories are presented are a bit different, and it takes a bit of time to get used to. Canada is situated on the left, and the rest of the Eastern part of North America is on the right. There are no hexes, and it is a point to point movement system. In area, it goes from Louisbourg in the North to the Cherokee Nation (roughly South Carolina) in the South. It has all of the major, and some minor, of the points of interest in the French and Indian War such as Le Detroit, Ticonderoga, Montreal, Quebec etc. French forts and towns at the start are blue in color, and the English ones are red. All of the tracks, victory, turn etc., are on the map. The Rulebook is in full color, and is twenty-one pages long. The last two pages is a large two page Unit Reference Chart. The Playbook is forty-eight pages long. The last two pages are a Counter Manifest and one page called "Easily Forgotten Rules". The latter is a nice touch needed in a few other games as well. The Counters are very large and easy to read. They also have pre-clipped edges. Their shape is either triangular for light troops, square for normal troops, and round for artillery and fleets. Leaders are square shaped, and forts are circles. There are three decks of Cards. These are Indian, French, and English. Some have instructions on top, and all come with a combination of triangles, squares, or a combination of the two. There are six Die that were made especially for the game. There is a black pouch included to hold the Die. The game comes with two four page Player Aids. The lettering is large enough to read easily and they are set up in a sensible manner for checking rules etc. It also comes with two full page Scenario Setup cards for all four scenarios, double-sided, two for the English Player and two for the French Player. There is also a fifth setup card, one-sided, that is used for the Indian Nations setup in every scenario. The game also comes with a good amount of small baggies for the counters. As usual with GMT Games, the presentation of the game is excellent.

 The Scenarios in the game are:

Vaudreuil's Petite Guerre 1755

Loudon's Gamble 1757

Amherst's Juggernaut 1758-1759

French & Indian War Full Campaign 1755-1759

There are three Scenario Variants:

Early French & Indian War 1755-1756

An Ambitious British Offensive 1758

French & Indian War with historical reinforcements 1755-1759

Also included is an Optional 1760 Campaign Year 

 Do not let this game's look deceive you. Yes, it is manufactured in the EURO style, but it is a real wargame nonetheless. It forces the player to answer the same question wargames did fifty years ago. First, what is my plan of operations, and once my plan is shredded by my opponent's 'friction', what do I do now. The game is pretty much a two in one game. If you are playing the one year scenarios you do not have time to think about the long haul. In those scenarios it really just becomes a victory point grab free-for-all between players. With the longer scenarios you are able to build up your forces and really concentrate on winning a much longer war. France has the edge early on, but England is able to build up a much larger force given time. The Indian Nations are an invaluable asset to whomever swings the most of them to their side. This is the first game I have played that really gives the Indian Nations the credit they deserve in helping or hindering each side. Without the Indian Nations that were on the French side, the war would have been much shorter historically. One thing you have to remember is that your playing field is mostly wilderness. The contested ground between both sides was not what most of us probably imagine. Twenty years later Burgoyne was still hamstrung trying to go from lake George to Albany by the wilderness. As the French Player I would strike hard and often with raids. Remember, the English Player has to come to you to win the victory points he needs. Louisbourg is exactly what it was historically, the gateway to the St. Lawrence and Quebec and Montreal. The English Player, in the long game, can afford to wait and build up his juggernaut. He cannot run all over the map trying to stop French raids etc. It would be like playing whack-a-mole. He has to decide on a strategy and stick to it.

  The Designer states " I have more fun moving armies on the map than managing logistics". Then he goes onto explain that is why he designed the cards the way he did, and how much work went to get them to work the way he wanted. He was trying to get as many historical outcomes as he could, or at least match the history at different times. He goes on to write about how much work was put into the Die also. Then he shows how his system of using the Die does actually mimic historical outcomes. Every time a Player destroys an enemy  Metropolitan Brigade (French or British Army Regulars) the Player gets a WIE (War in Europe) chit. These can count as Victory Points at the end of your chosen scenario. The way the Designer writes he seems a bit proud of himself for this game and its system. I agree with him. He should be proud of what he has given us in Bayonets & Tomahawks. As someone who has read as much as possible about the conflict, I believe the game gives the Players much of the same goals, forces, and starting off point as in history. You can use/suffer these different strategies or events in the game:

Build Roads


Build a Fort

Lose Commanders in Battle

This is only a taste of what you can do.

This is actually a shot of the game on Vassal

 Thank you very much, GMT Games for letting me take a test drive with Bayonets and Tomahawks. I am very pleased with the historical accuracy and gameplay that is built into it. 


Bayonets & Tomahawks:

GMT Games - Bayonets & Tomahawks

GMT Games:

GMT Games

  Monte Cassino A German View by Rudolf Bohmer   This is an older book that was published in German in 1956. This translation is exactly wha...

Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

 Monte Cassino

A German View

by Rudolf Bohmer

  This is an older book that was published in German in 1956. This translation is exactly what a reader who is interested in the Italian Campaign and the Battle of Monte Cassino is looking for. Despite the name of the book, the author goes into the entire Italian Campaign from the invasion of Sicily to fighting for the heights of Monte Cassino. The author was actually a German officer during the campaign. So he has first hand knowledge of a lot of the battles for Italy. 

 He starts the book with the choices that the Allies had in 1943. Whether to attack Italy proper, Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia, or the Balkans. Churchill fought long and hard for an invasion of the Balkans, but the American brass would have none of it. The author shows how the Germans were confused by the tentativeness of the Allies, and how they helped the Germans repeatedly to fight the battle for Italy on their terms.

 Monte Cassino was one of the linchpins of the Germans' 'Gustav Line' of defense across the width of Italy. The tenacious German defense, and offensive at Salerno, allowed the Germans to build a series of defensive lines, each tougher than the last. 

 Even though he was a German officer, the author has nothing but praise for the individual Allied Units. In the Italian Campaign the Allies had a polyglot group of Units from across the globe. According the the writer, the French North African troops came very close to capturing Monte Cassino on their very first attack. Unfortunately, they had far outrun any of their supports on either flank. This meant that the battle became a hell on earth for the common soldier for the next few months. 

 The next part of the battle that he goes into is the very controversial, even at the time, Allied decision to bomb the monastery at the top of Monte Cassino. The author quotes scripture and verse about how the Germans helped the monks move everything valuable out of the monastery and turned it over to the Vatican. All this, in the middle of a battle. The truth of the Germans helping with the removal, and the fact that there were never any Germans inside the monastery until after the bombing, has been proved factual after the war. The bombing of the monastery was actually one of the few propaganda coups that the Western Allies handed the Germans during the war.

 This is for the reader who wants to know the intimate details of the Allied and German strategical choices and plans about the Italian campaign. If someone wants to read about the minute details of the tactical battle for Monte Cassino, this is also the book. The author has an uncanny way of moving from large overviews about the campaign to boots on the ground without skipping the proverbial beat. To refer this book to anyone interested in either parts of the campaign is a no-brainer. This is a very well written and detailed look at it. Thank you very much Casemate Publishers for letting me review it.


Book: Monte Cassino: A German View

Author: Rudolf Bohmer

Publisher: Pen & Sword

Distributor: Casemate Publishers


  1914 Galicia The World Undone by Conflict Simulations  I know it will seem strange to many people, but a large proportion of the dead and ...

The World Undone: 1914 Galicia by Conflict Simulations The World Undone: 1914 Galicia by Conflict Simulations

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

 1914 Galicia

The World Undone


Conflict Simulations

 I know it will seem strange to many people, but a large proportion of the dead and wounded during World War I came during August-December of 1914. We also are more used to hearing about the Somme,  Passchendaele, or Verdun. The charnel house that was Galicia is almost never brought up. Oh, we know that Russia lost a great amount of men, but we do not really hear about the Austro-Hungarian losses. Galicia, even past 1914, was one of the worst abattoirs in the whole of World War I. The ineffective Russian and Austro-Hungarian medical services was one reason, along with the almost non-existent transport system in the area. At least in the Western Front there were railroads and a road network near the battles. In Galicia this was not the case. Plus the odds were about even that if you were a soldier there that you would die from hunger or the elements long before you would hear enemy fire. We normally think of the 'attack at all costs' mindset with the Western Front Generals. This was just as ingrained in their Eastern Front counterparts. The Carpathian Mountains, so imbued with evil to us because it was Dracula's home, should be the stuff of nightmares to a psychic trying to contact the dead. Their head should explode if they come anywhere near them. As mentioned, this is a part of World War I that is hard to find information about. For every book about Galicia and the Eastern Front, there are 100 available about the Western Front. To me, anything about Austro-Hungary during World War I is like a candle to a moth. So, I jumped at the chance to review this game.

 Let us take a look at what you get:

One Map 22" x 33"

One Countersheet with 140 Counters


 The Map is about as plain Jane as you can get. Do not get me wrong, it is perfectly fine and full of all of the pertinent information that a player needs. It is just in this day and age, many gamers have become enamored of the glitz that comes with many new games. Those of us who teethed on SPI and Avalon Hill will have no problem with the map. It is much like color TV. We who were raised on black & white have no problem watching older shows or movies. You young'uns who only knew color are a lot more picky. You seem to go for the outside of the book instead of the meat inside it. One thing that is different is that there is a different CRT for both the Russians and the Austro-Hungarians. The counters are well done and the strength and movement values are very easy to see. Once again, they would fit right in a 1970's wargame, although their color and manufacturing is to a much higher standard. The Rulebook is actually only eleven pages long. Then there are two pages of Optional Rules, followed by the Designer Notes. The rulebook is a bit different than the norm we are now used to. It is almost totally in black & white, and the type is as large as the one used in large print books. If for no other reason than the above mentioned easy to read counters and Rulebook, I can guarantee this will probably be the last game you have on the table before your dirt nap. 

 This is the Sequence of Play:

Russian Player Turn

 First Movement Phase

 First Combat Phase

 Second Movement Phase

 Second Combat Phase

Austro-Hungarian Player Turn

 First Movement Phase

 First Combat Phase

 Second Movement Phase

 Second Combat Phase

Advance Game Turn Marker

 The Sequence of Play, among other parts of the game, shows the designer Ray Weiss's dedication to gameplay and ease of play. Along with more than a hint of worship for the older days of our hobby. 

 So, we now know that the game is much more like games of yesteryear. This does not mean that it should be written off. The game represents the swirling battles that took place in Galicia at that time. The Austro-Hungarian Chief of Staff Conrad von Hotzendorf was perhaps more taken with the cult of the attack than any other commanding general in World War I. He also, like the French, believed that as Napoleon had said "morale is to the physical as three to one". However, now in the 20th century morale did not mean as much if you did not have the sinews and weapons of war. The Austro-Hungarian Player is tempted by the high values of the Victory hexes in the North of the map. If he can take them, he keeps those Victory Points until the end of the game, even if he is smashed back by the Russian steamroller. Speaking of which, the Russian Player should play for time and use space until his steamroller picks up speed. This it will inevitably do. If the Austro-Hungarian Player can do as well as Conrad and hold the Carpathians, he should consider himself lucky.

 These are some Special Rules of the Game:

Conrad's Offensive Gambit (These are the high value Austro-Hungarian Victory Hexes)

 2502: Lublin (15)

 3203: Kholm (15)

 4202: Kovel (20)

 2706: Lutsk (25)

 5507: Rovna (30)

Russian Fortresses - These do not exert a Zone of Control

Austro-Hungarian Coordination Modifiers - This is sort of a misnomer. Whenever Austrian Units and Hungarian Units are stacked together, there is a -1 DRM penalty for defense, and +1 DRM penalty for attacking.

 These are some of the Optional Rules:

Hidden Movement

Cavalry Not Allowed to Attack Infantry

Cavalry Retreat Before Combat

Forced March

Refugee Congestion - This is a nice historical touch.

Cutting/Repairing Rail Lines

 So, how does it play? Like a very well designed board wargame sans the glitz. If you need the glitz look elsewhere. On the other hand, if deep play and historically accurate gaming is what you are after, this game is for you. Thank you Conflict Simulations for the great game and a bit of nostalgia. The game is part of a three part series gaming the Eastern Front in the beginning of World War I. The game 'The World Undone: 1914 East Prussia' is already released. There will be a 'The World Undone: 1914 Serbia' coming up. Conflict Simulations also has some games in the works about European Warfare during the middle of the 19th century.


The World Undone: 1914 Galicia:

THE WORLD UNDONE: 1914 GALICIA — Conflict Simulations Limited (

Conflict Simulations:

Conflict Simulations Limited (