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Paper Wars Volume 93 The Journal of Modern wargaming by Compass games   This is my first look at Compass Games Paper ...

Paper Wars Volume 93: 'The journal of Modern Wargaming' by Compass Games Paper Wars Volume 93: 'The journal of Modern Wargaming' by Compass Games

Paper Wars Volume 93: 'The journal of Modern Wargaming' by Compass Games

Paper Wars Volume 93: 'The journal of Modern Wargaming' by Compass Games

Paper Wars Volume 93

The Journal of Modern wargaming


Compass games

  This is my first look at Compass Games Paper Wars. There are not too many games on the battle of Wagram, so that is why I gravitated to this issue. The 1809 campaign in Central Europe being one of my favorites to read about and game. 

  The magazine is of high quality paper and naturally is in full color. It is put out by Compass Games, so all of the articles and add-ons are about their games. It starts with a run down of all the newest releases and updates from the company, and also gives you background about Compass Games. This is a sample of the contents:

Brief Border wars
Amerika bomber
The Korean War
Once We Moved Like The Wind
Demyansk Shield
Wagram 1809

Back of the magazine

 There are also three historical pieces by Sean Chick :

Ogoula Tchetoka And Ackia
Operation Solstice

 The first is about the battles between the French in New France Louisiana and the Chickasaw tribe. The second is about a very looked over battle during the Civil War. The third is about the last German offensive on the Eastern front in World War II.

 I went to the Compass Games Expo, which is held every November in Cromwell, CT right around Veteran's Day, and my eyes were bigger than my wallet. I bought five games, yes five; they were fifty percent off, much to my better half's chagrin. The reason I mention this is that the magazine has two add-ons for 'A Pragmatic War' (This is the third in a series. The first two were: 'No Peace Without Spain', and 'The Nine Years War'). These three have become some of my favorite games. The first adds Colonial Warfare to A Pragmatic War. The second adds solitaire rules. These are hard to come by for most Card Driven Games. The magazine continues with a lot of information about the Expo, and also has the obligatory ads for their games. The write up and pictures of 'Amerika Bomber' Evil Queen of the Skies (sounds like a 70's schlock movie!) make my salivary glands work overtime. This is based on 'B-17 Queen of the Skies', and allows the player to fly one of five highly advanced German bombers in 1947-48 (in reality these never left the drawing board). This is a solitaire game. Speaking of solitaire games, do yourself a favor and look up 'Interceptor Ace' and 'Night fighter Ace', both excellent solitaire games by Compass.

The above two pics are from the game page

 The wargame in the magazine Wagram 1809 has only ten pages of rules. There is also a four page historical write up about the battle by the game's designer Ty Bomba. I will use his words to describe the game:

 "This is a two-player grand-tactical simulation (easily adapted for solitaire play) of the battle that is generally considered to have been napoleon's last great victory. Both players have the opportunity to attack and defend, but the main burden of the offensive is on the French player"
 "Each hexagon on the map represents 400 meters (438 yards) from side to opposite side. The units of maneuver are brigades, divisions, and two corps. Each full turn represents two to four hours of real time."

 The map is your standard size at 34"x22". The area of Deutsch-Wagram is just north of the area of the horrific battle of Aspern-Essling that preceded it. The colors of the map make the difference in terrain hexes easy to see. There are 228 9/16" counters, but because you will only use one 'step' at a time to represent each unit, the map does not become crowded with them. The counters are your standard fare magazine wargame ones, if a little thin. All of the tables and charts are on the map so you do not have to keep looking them up, or copying them from the magazine. 

 Wagram was a two day battle of incredible tenacity on both sides. When someone would denigrate the Austrian Army in later years, Napoleon would invariably answer "Then you were not with me at Wagram". The Austrian army was pushed back, and probably would fare poorly in another battle, but for two days gave as good as it got. The area of the battle does not allow for sweeping movements. This is a straight up fight between two juggernauts. The rules help to make this a very historically played game. As in reality, luck and a quick decision by the commanders is what will win the battle. It was designed by Ty Bomba, what else is there to say. Clean rules, that are laid out in an easy to follow and logical pattern. There are rules for creating a French 'grand battery', along with making a French 'Grand Square'. Both of these do not have to be chosen by the French player, but are useful and historically true for the battle. Just as in the Aspern-essling Battle, the Austrians are trying to cut the French off from the Danube River. Doing so will result in an automatic win for the Austrians.

  This is the sequence of play:

I. Phase Sequence Declaration Step
II. Alternating Actions Movement or Combat Phase
III. Movement or Combat Recovery step
IV. Alternating Actions Combat or Movement Phase
V. Combat or Movement Recovery Phase
VI. Night Turn Recovery Step (Turn 5 only)

1. France Decides move first
2. France and Austria alternate moving one unit
3. Move recovery
4. France and Austria alternate attacking with one unit
5. Combat recovery

 The games I have played have all come down to the wire. None of them were an easy win for either side. The rules simulate each army's weaknesses and strengths.

  I received word from the designer that future Paper Wars will include two battles from The Crimean War: Alma and Inkerman. Paper Wars is more of an 'inhouse' magazine like 'The General' was for Avalon Hill, which is fine for those of us that do like Compass Games and have invested in them. Magazine games were once looked upon as just 'fluff' to entice the buyer, and not 'real' wargames. That view has long been proven wrong. Most of them could easily be turned into boxed games, with a little attention to detail and upgrading the components. 

Compass Games Paper Wars: