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  Trench War by Wisdom Owl/Fellowship Of Simulations  Le Grande Guerre, or The Great War, was a cataclysmic event that completely changed th...

Trench War by Wisdom Owl/Fellowship Of Simulations Trench War by Wisdom Owl/Fellowship Of Simulations

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

World War I

 Trench War


Wisdom Owl/Fellowship Of Simulations

 Le Grande Guerre, or The Great War, was a cataclysmic event that completely changed the world. The brutality of war was highly evident in it from the first day to the last. Flame Throwers, Poison Gas, and whatever could be used to kill was implemented. Even the combatants in World War II did not use gas on each other (of course, it was used in the death camps and by Italy in its grab for colonies). The term for the daily number of deaths on the Western Front was called 'wastage'. In actuality, World War I and II are now looked at by a lot of historians as the same war with a short peace in between, much like the Peloponnesian Wars. 

 I am finally okay with block games, and I do not break into a sweat anymore when a map does not have hexes. However, I am still a bit leery of a wargame played with cards. I have played a few, and have reviewed two I believe, but my pulse rate still quickens when I see it is a card game. Exposure therapy has worked for area movement, and for blocks. So, one would assume, after a few more card games I should be fine with them.

 Let us see what comes in the box:

50 Troop Cards
58 Bonus Cards
1 Gameboard
1 sheet of Counters (Markers)
1 Rule book
1 Optional Card

 This is a blurb from the creators:

"Trench warfare is a simple game for two players on the theme of the Great War. With games of less than 45 minutes, each player uses a deck of cards containing soldiers, tanks, planes and support weapons to take the opposing trench. With a simple rule, this game creates tense situations full of attacks of counterattacks."

 As you can see the game is a pretty minimalist one. However, the game makes up it sparseness with having very well done components. The gameboard is nicely illustrated to match the destruction of World War I. The cards are little pieces of artwork. The German cards have the Pour Le Merite on the back of their Bonus Cards, and the German Flag on their Troop Cards. While the French ones have the Knight of the Legion of Honour on their Bonus Cards, and the Tricolor on their Troop Cards. The Rulebook is in full color and it has plenty of play examples for only being twelve pages long. The game markers are round and it is easy to understand their meanings.

This is the Game Sequence of Play:

Each Player receives six Command Points (CPs) per turn.
These can be used to do any of these actions:

Discard up to eight cards (1 CP cost no matter how many cards are discarded).

Place a Troop Card (You pay the CP cost in the upper left hand of the card).

Move a Troop Card (1 CP cost).

Attack with a Troop Card (1 CP cost).

Place a Bonus Card (You pay the CP cost listed on the Card).

 The game is set in the last year of the war, and it is only between French and German combatants. Like many games this size the rules are simple. This does not mean that the game is a beer and pretzels one. It is a tense and well thought out game that gives the player plenty of choices to play well or mess up badly. The shortness of the game means that you could play more than a few times on game night. The smallness of its footprint means that setup and cleanup is a breeze. In my own games, and reading about the game, many times it comes down to the wire with the last card or cards being the difference between victory or defeat. I can easily recommend the game for a change of pace for us cardboard pushing grognards. Hell, the artwork alone is worth the cost of the game. 

 Thank you, Fellowship of Simulations for helping me to broaden my wargaming with this exquisite little game. 


Trench War:

Fellowship of Simulations:


  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!

World War I

 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 (


Wings Over Flanders Fields  Between Heaven & Hell II  by OBD Software  The Fairey Swordfish 'Stringbag' was as far removed from ...

Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II by OBD (Old Brown Dog) Software Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II by OBD (Old Brown Dog) Software

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

World War I

Wings Over Flanders Fields

 Between Heaven & Hell II 


OBD Software

 The Fairey Swordfish 'Stringbag' was as far removed from most World War II 400mph aircraft as it was from World War I planes. Yet, compared to planes in 1916 it was a marvel of engineering. What possessed those intrepid flyers to get up in those far from magnificent flying machines? Showing my age on that one. Parachutes that had been invented before the war, and worked just fine, were not allowed in plane cockpits for fear that the pilot would jump out to save his life and thereby lose the machine. So, many pilots kept revolvers handy to shoot themselves if their planes caught on fire. The ever present chance of shooting your own propeller off, or having a wing just decide to no longer be attached to the rest of the plane, was always in their minds. The soldiers in the trenches looked at the pilots as pampered pets who knew nothing of the 'real' war. However, if you look at the faces of the pilots that lasted in combat you will see a marked change. Their faces become lined and take on what looks like the pallor of death. In their eyes you can almost see them say to you "yes, I will be dead soon", almost in a glad sort of way. I believe it was Eddie Rickenbacker who, when taken up in his first flight, was asked if he saw any 'Huns'. He answered "no". The pilot answered their were more than a few in the sky with them. "Beware the Hun in the Sun", became a poster's cry. In reality the pilots had to beware everything, even their own mounts. To become an Ace was truly an act of intense bravery and tremendous luck. The Aces' names during and right after the war were more famous than most sport stars. This is the time and place  that OBD Software has chosen to take us: in the skies of France during the First World war. 

 I am the absolutely last person who should be writing this review. I bought into the original Over Flanders Field right at the start, and I have purchased every add-on or upgrade ever published. If you are a WWI airplane junkie you should already have this game, nothing else needs to be said. Of course, I must respect the usual forms of writing a review, so let us see what the game actually comes with, and why if you have not upgraded to Between Heaven & Hell II, you should immediately. This is a small synopsis of the game as it now stands on their website:

"OBD is proud to bring you our unashamedly single-player WW1 flight simulator : WOFF BH&H II.  What many are now saying is the most immersive flight simulator available for World War One, be absorbed into the WW1 Air War more than ever before.  Superb features.  The videos may look great but there are 100s of fantastic unseen features or improvements over our previous generations of WOFF.   From the visuals in the cockpit to AI, the superb Campaign engine, some of the best looking scenery and more you will discover yourself:  All whilst keeping performance at a similar level or better than previous versions.   Please see the “NEW Features” button just below to read more. Each one of over 80 FLYABLE aircraft now has cockpit vibrations, including vibration affected instrument needles and more, animated pilots intelligently look around for immersive flights and much more. WOFF BH&H II now includes a fresh Albatros D.II model, much improved 3 x S.E.5 series and 3 x Albatros D.III series aircraft, quality improvements to many others including all aircraft from the B.E.2c series, B.E.12 series and the R.E.8 and many more. (HD= home defence) Also includes over 35 main menu music tracks - favourites from previous WOFF’s plus 3 brand new stunning music tracks especially created by the musician Matt Milne for WOFF BH&H II. Immerse yourself in one of over 500 historically accurate fighter and bomber squadrons,  located in the historically correct location with the correct aircraft (over 80 flyable) of the time, anywhere along the Western front during WW1, or defend England from Gotha and Zeppelin raids! Spanning the period from 1915 through to the Armistice in November 1918 with front-lines that move as they did, there is no other combat flight simulator that can bring you the accuracy and feel of being a WW1 pilot, with all of the dangers associated with it!  Staying alive is your number one priority, and that of the AI pilots too."

 So, a few things stick out. First, it is single player only (Shock, gasp, wheeze, and catch your breath). Second, the word immersion. If you can find another simulation that gives you the immersion this does I will eat my flying scarf and goggles. Third, the absence of the name 'Snoopy'. This is a high fidelity simulation. You, however, will not need to start your engines and prime your plane for a half hour before you even take off (although those sims do scratch an itch at times). Even still, this is a simulation. A flightstick and rudders are essential. The goggles and the scarf I wear when playing it are optional. No Mikey, you cannot play the game with a mouse. 

 This is the very long list of the planes that are in Between Heaven & Hell II:

German Aircraft:

Albatros D.I                                 

Albatros D.II

Albatros D.III (early)

Albatros D.III OAW

Albatros D.III

Albatros D.V

Albatros D.V (Later)

Albatros D.Va

Albatros D.Va 200 PS

Aviatik BI

Aviatik BII

Aviatik C.I

Aviatik C.I trainer (x2)

D.F.W. C.V

Fokker D.II

Fokker D.III

Fokker DR.I

Fokker D.VI

Fokker D.VII OAW

Fokker D.VII

Fokker D.VIIF

Fokker E.I

Fokker E.II

Fokker E.III

Fokker E.IV  (Twin gun)

Fokker E.V  (mono-wing)

Gotha G.IV bomber

Halberstadt D.II

Halberstadt D.III (Argus Engine)

Hannover CL.III

Pfalz A.I  2 seater

Pfalz E.III

Pfalz D.IIIa

Roland C.II

Rumpler C.IV

Zeppelin R Type (AI only)

Zeppelin P Type (AI only)

Allied Aircraft:

Breguet 14 A.2

Bristol Scout type D

Bristol Fighter F.2b

Caudron G.4


D.H.2 Early




Morane "Parasol" Type L 2 Seater 

Nieuport 10

Nieuport 12

Nieuport 11

Nieuport 16

Nieuport 17 Lewis gun 

Nieuport 17 Vickers gun 

Nieuport 17 Bis  (2 guns)  

Nieuport 23 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 23 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Bis Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Bis  

Nieuport 24 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 27 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 27 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 28  

R.A.F. B.E.12     

R.A.F. B.E.12 HD     

R.A.F. B.E.2c Early     

R.A.F. B.E.2c     

R.A.F. B.E.2c HD     

R.A.F. B.E.2c trainer (x2) 

R.A.F. R.E.8     

R.A.F. S.E.5  (Early,150HP)

R.A.F. S.E.5a    

R.A.F. S.E.5a Viper    

Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel - Bentley 

Sopwith Pup 

Sopwith Snipe 

Sopwith Strutter B1 

Sopwith Strutter A2 

Sopwith Tripe 

Sopwith Tripe (RNAS twin vickers)

Spad VII 


 I would like to post the updates to the game that BH&H II gives you, but I do not have enough room on the page. You will just have to read it for yourself on the link below.

 You can in the game play both Quick Scenarios and Quick Combat, but the heart of the game has always been playing a Campaign. In the Campaign you will see just how hard it was to survive to fight again in the skies over France.

 The simulation is a tinkerer's dream. You have so many decisions you can make in the different Workshops screens.

 So, you have Single Player, and with that comes no need to have an internet connection, or to fly with a group of twelve-year old kids.  Immersion, Immersion, and even more Immersion (okay I stole it from Danton). You have the ability to adjust settings to get the simulation to play just the way you want it to on your older or super new fangled computer. Then you have 'The Planes, The Planes' (once again stolen). One thing that WOFF does not have is experimental or planes that had just come off the drawing board. These birds were all used, and some of them for most of the war. My favorite year to play is 1915. This really taxes your skill to get kills. You have wing-warping instead of actual control surfaces. For the newbie, I would suggest playing in 1918. The planes are effectively how you would fly in WWII, but still rudimentary. Of course, the later years have that many more chances to run into enemies also. If I was to give any advice to a newbie, I would say pick up a book on the WWI Airwar, and commit to memory what the different pilots said. You have no radios, so continually search the skies. Also before you get into a furball learn your plane's idiosyncrasies. Meaning, find out what maneuvers you can and cannot pull off before the wings rip off. If you dive into this game straight from a WWII sim hell bent for leather, all you will end up as is a smoking hole in the ground. 

 The simulation is a labor of love for the OBD Software crew. It is their attempt to give the computer pilot the closest thing they can to being a pilot in the Great War. You can actually see the ground war taking place and the lines move throughout the conflict. The planes are an absolute joy to just fly and take in the sights. I am still in awe with what the OBD Software crew have been able to do, starting with an over twenty-year old program to start working with. Visually the simulation is stunning, incredibly even more so than it was.


Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II:

Features of the game, along with BH&H II updates:

Verdun 1916   Steel Inferno by Fellowship of Simulations  As Sherman said, "War is hell". Soldiers from ancient times until now ha...

Verdun 1916 Steel Inferno by Fellowship of Simulations Verdun 1916 Steel Inferno by Fellowship of Simulations

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

World War I

Verdun 1916 

Steel Inferno


Fellowship of Simulations

 As Sherman said, "War is hell". Soldiers from ancient times until now have been brought into bloody conflict. However, the intention was always to defeat the enemy and capture and kill or wound the enemy army. The charnel houses of Cannae, Antietam, Borodino, and Sadowa have all shown us the horrors of war. The advent of World War I brought the horrific toll to a crescendo. Then a general came up with a different plan. General Erich Georg von Falkenhayn, Chief of the Oberste Heeresleitung (German General Staff) from September 1914 until August 1916, came up with an idea that was new, and absolutely diabolical in its inception. He wanted to just kill and maim. His idea was to bleed France dry of her manhood. He thought that by attacking the French at Verdun the French Army would be forced to defend it to the last man. His original plan was not really to take Verdun or the forts around it. He just wanted to turn the area into an abattoir for the French soldiers. Luckily for the French the lower echelon German generals did not really understand Falkenhayn's plan. They attempted to take the forts and Verdun itself. In doing so, they they created a huge butcher's bill for the German as well as the French soldiers. The battle went on for almost the entire year of 1916. This is the battle that Fellowship of Simulations has decided to try and recreate.

A small piece of the Douaumont Ossuary at Verdun

 This is what comes with the game:

Two Decks of Playing Cards (one, French/blue, one German/dark green) 100 Cards in Total

One Mounted Map Showing the Battle Zone as well as Different Game Tracks  

120 Rectangular Wooden Blocks (60 German in Black, 60 French in Blue)

40 Wooden Trench Pawns (20 German in Black, 20 French in Blue)

One Rulebook

One Playbook

Two Player Aids

Game Markers (Control, Supply, Objectives, US Entry, Turn)

10 Six-Sided die

 Playing Time 1-4 Hours

3 Scenarios

Game Design: Walter Vejdovsky

Illustrations: Jacques Tardi

 Even just looking at the box, I am reminded of an old commercial where Ricardo Montalban would say "Marvelous, simply marvelous". I had never heard of Jacques Tardi before, I am ashamed to admit. Now that I have I cannot seem to look at enough of his creations. The Map is 38 1/2" x 19 1/4". Strange to say, it is the plainest of the artworks in the box. However, that does not mean it is not a very beautiful piece. It just means that the rest of the artwork is so over the top, sorry for the pun. The Map is an area one, not hex. The box artwork is so well done you almost do not want to take the plastic off it. There are two sets of cards, one German, and one French. These are each a small artwork by themselves. The depictions are so wonderfully done you may have a hard time remembering that they sometimes show a large amount of death and destruction. Your units in the game are not counters, but different sized small wooden blocks. The Rulebook is thirty-six pages long. It is in full vibrant color, with some of the cards shown along with some illustrations just for the game. The last pages of the Rulebook have a complete inventory of both sides Cards. The Playbook is twenty-four pages long, and has the rules and the setups for each of the three scenarios. There is also a full replay for the month of April 1916 that is seven pages long. Then there are Players' Notes, and then three pages of Designer Notes. Both the Rulebook and the Playbook are some of the nicest work I have ever seen in a game. Now, we come to the Cards. These have some of the best artwork I have ever seen in Cards used for a game. This is not a knock on game Cards that use historical pictures. However, these game Cards, along with the rest of the artwork, really draw the gamer in. The whole of the design is to immerse the player in the game. At that, it works tremendously well. The components are more than up to snuff. 

Illustration from the back of the Rulebook

 The Cards have a numerous plus and minus actions for each Player. let us take a look at the German Deck:

There are twenty-three Barrage Cards, that have a numeric value of one-six.

Some of the other cards are:

Air Support

Rumanian Offensive

Offensive in Russia




Chaos in the Rear

Submarine Warfare, and Total Submarine warfare

Reinforcements to and from the Russian Front


Kaiser's Visit, and Kaiser's Order

Offensive stockpile

No Event (Chatting lice in the cubby holes, trying to bury the dead)

The Red Baron

Bad weather

 As you can see, the game comes with a lot of chrome. It is not an especially hard game, but it was definitely designed to make the player feel he is commanding in WWI.

French and German Barrage Cards

 You can play these three scenarios:

Scenario 1: Operation Gericht The German Assault on Verdun (February-April 1916)

Scenario 2: The French Counter-Offensive (September-December 1916)

Scenario 3: The Full Campaign Game: Verdun 1916, Steel Inferno

There are three Optional Cards that can be used in the game:

Unknown Heroes: Discard to have each Defending Unit inflict three Hits in this Assault.

The Red Baron: The French Player discards one Air Superiority Cards, if any.

Bad Weather: In the next two Infantry Assaults, all attacking Units take one additional Hit.

 The Battle of Verdun is an excellent game to try and simulate, in my opinion, and I am surprised at the few number of games about it. Unlike some other battles, where counter-attacking and other gambits are brought to the table by the players. This game comes equipped historically with them. The actual battle was split up into the Germans attacking first, and then the French counterattacking later in the year. So right off the bat, the game will force both players into attacker and defender shoes. So, if you have a player who is much better on defense than offense it takes them out of their comfort zone. 

 The game is very easy to learn, especially for a grognard. It does not have a rulebook that can be measured on a scale or has enough addendum to make a few compulsory read throughs necessary. Where the game shines is in presentation and actual play. I really have to compliment Fellowship of Simulations on the depth of immersion that they have brought to the game. Being an old hex and counter player I sometime have a tough time getting my mindset in the time frame of a block game. I had no problem at all on that score with Verdun 1916 Steel Inferno. The games I played were all very close and most came right to the wire. This of course will vary depending on the aptitude of your opponents. I also had no problem playing it solitaire. Then again, I think that with a little work every game can be played that way.

 The Sequence of Play is:

Start of Turn Phase: Deck Construction

First Month Phase: Draw Card From Your Hand

 Month Resolution : Each Month Has Seven Rounds

Second Month Phase: Same as The First

End of Turn Phase: Cleanup Etc.

 Thank you Fellowship of Simulations for letting me review this great game. The game play and immersion is some of the best I have ever had the good luck to be able to delve into. 


Fellowship of Simulations:


Verdun 1916 Steel Inferno:


  German fighter Aircraft in World War I Design, Construction, & Innovation by Mark C. Wilkins  I have to admit to a fascination with Wo...

German Fighter Aircraft in World War I: Design, Construction, & Innovation by Mark C. Wilkins German Fighter Aircraft in World War I: Design, Construction, & Innovation by Mark C. Wilkins

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

World War I

 German fighter Aircraft in World War I

Design, Construction, & Innovation


Mark C. Wilkins

 I have to admit to a fascination with World War I. From its weapons to the military history of the war on all fronts. In this book from Casemate Publishers, we have a gold mine for the World War I enthusiasts and aviation history lovers alike. This is a one volume history of the German fighter program from its inception at the beginning of the war to the final days of the fighting.

 The book starts off with a short introduction, and then jumps into the history of the 'Taube' (dove) aircraft, which was the only aircraft in Service with the German Army at the start of the war. After that, the book follows with chapters about all of the German fighter manufacturers in the war. Some of these are:


Halberstadt Flugzeugzelte

Fokker Flugzeugwerke

Albatross Flugzeugwerke

 The book then has a chapter on the various armaments and engines that were used with the aforementioned fighters.

 The author has liberally spiced the book with extremely rare pictures of not only the aircraft, but also the manufacturing of the aircraft and the various factories where the different companies were headquartered.

 For the aviation lovers, there are a good many pictures with explanations that show reproduction aircraft in various stages of  assembly. To be able to see a Fokker D.VII with the structure complete and the engine and everything in working order, sans the fabric skin of the aircraft, is amazing. You will also see pictures showing the reproduction of a DR.I from single pieces of wood to the completed bird. The book goes into the engineers of each company and their different designs. One of the best things about the book is that you are able to see the huge leap forward in the German aviation from 1914-1918, from the simple wing-warping of the early birds to the mechanical efficiency of the later designs.

 I can easily recommend this volume to aviation enthusiasts, World War I history lovers, and especially model makers. The pictures included are a trove for anyone interested in modeling World War I planes. Thank you Casemate Publishers for this incredible book. It must have taken the author years to assemble the information and especially the pictures.


Book: German Fighter Aircraft in World War I: Design, Construction, and Innovation

Author: Mark C. Wilkins

Publisher: Casemate Publishers 

Trench Club by PKB Games  So, just so we understand each other this is a preview of a game that is on Kic...

Trench Club by PKB Games Trench Club by PKB Games

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

World War I

Trench Club


PKB Games

 So, just so we understand each other this is a preview of a game that is on KickStarter right now. I do have a prototype heading my way, but I have seen the pictures of it and I was really impressed. 

 I have been waiting for a game that has the look of miniatures that come with the high end Axis & Allies games, but is also a deeper wargame under, and above, the hood. This game looks to be the one that will finally scratch that itch for me. I own one or two that come close and I know there is at least one other one the market, but this will be the first, hopefully, that I will get my hot little hands on. This is the company's blurb about the game:

"Highly complex strategy game, yet very easy and intuitive to learn the rules
Detailed miniatures 
 Different unit types with individual strengths and weaknesses – without using a simple “Rock, Scissors, Paper” principle
Individual strengths of the different nations, yet balanced chances
The game stays in balance for a long time, so every player still has a chance to win and stays excited
Complex combat system that depends on type of unit, combat damage, experience, strategic formation, terrain and armor
 “Dice luck” only plays a minor role (since battles involve a lot of 12-sided dice the outcome is usually around the expected value)
High re-playability due to the variable start setup" 

 This sounds exactly what my mind has been waiting to play since I was about eight years old. I was playing the game below, and I always wanted more depth to it. Then, at ten years old, I saw PanzerBlitz in a hobby store for the first time. Since then I have been looking to do a Dr. Frankenstein and splice the two types of games together to make my Holy Grail.

 Let us take a look at what some of the pieces that you get with Trench Club look like, and see the scale of the minis:

This is the two-sided map board:

An English Tank Unit Chart:

A Mounted Infantry Unit Chart:

These are different Nations Units; notice the German Big Bertha:

This is a picture of the different units on the map:

 You will notice in the picture one or two poles that are attached to each piece/unit. These are used to show a unit's damage and the experience points a unit has. This is a link to the RuleBook in English:

 Right now it also comes in German and French, and if there are enough backers, in Italian and Spanish.

 There is also a 'Special Forces extension' that you can purchase that includes these units:

"The Minelayer can install explosive mines throughout the battlefield. You know where they are – but your enemy doesn’t!
The Poison Gas Launcher (one of the many horrors of World War I) damages units on multiple fields at the same time – friend and foe!
The Medic lets you repair units in the field – normally you would have to retreat from the front line to your own forts."

 The game has just passed a second Stretch Goal:

"The game just got better again. We unlocked the next stretch goal together and now Trench Club will get a tactile Linen-Finish for cardboard prints. This is a higher quality print includes a fabric-like texture you can feel and see. I love it and think it makes prints look a lot more premium. A big “thank you” to everyone who supported Trench Club in any way!"

 The KS campaign has already passed the funding for the game and the first Stretch Goal of adding Solo Rules.

 Just look at the detail of the pieces in the next two pictures:

 "Forts (bunkers) are printed on the game board – which is totally sufficient for the game. However, it just looks so much cooler with the extra large Fort miniatures to place on the game board!"

 These forts might make it into the game:

 The game rules seem easy to learn, but also have a good amount of depth to them. Though to be honest they had me at 'Big Bertha' as a unit! I cannot wait to get my hands on the finished product. So, please go take a look at the KS campaign and maybe help them unlock even more goals.

This is the PKB Games page:

This is the KS page:


Heart of Leviathan Wave 2 Expansion by Image Studios  Image Studios Heart of Leviathan is a game many o...

Heart of Leviathan Wave 2 Expansion by Image Studios Heart of Leviathan Wave 2 Expansion by Image Studios

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

World War I

Heart of Leviathan

Wave 2 Expansion


Image Studios

 Image Studios Heart of Leviathan is a game many of us have been awaiting for a long time. The age of the Dreadnought, and especially the naval war during WWI, catches many people's imagination. The original game was and is excellent with a miniature look, and a rule set that does not take the combined forces of a CPA and an attorney to play it. Heart of Leviathan hits the sweet spot right between playable and fun, and a true simulation where every shell fired has to be counted and examined through two or three data charts to see if it hit, if it penetrated, and what was the damage if it passed the first two checks. Image Studios has not stopped with just the original game with two Dreadnoughts per side. They added the Wave 1 Expansion and allowed you to complete the Iron Duke and Konig classes of English and German Dreadnoughts respectfully. So, after the Wave 1Expansion you would be able to have four battleships apiece fighting each other, unless you just wanted to buy more and have a slightly non-historical giant free-for-all.

 The Vail family and their co-conspiritors have not stopped there. They have now completely changed the game with the Wave 2 Expansion. This gives the players two German and English Light Cruisers apiece. Big deal, you might be saying to yourself. What can Light Cruisers do against a Battle line of Behemoths? Turns out they can do a lot more than you would think. The Light Cruisers now bring not just one, but two of the most dangerous weapons to face Dreadnoughts. One is the torpedo, and the second are mines. Both of these weapons gave the respective Admirals the fits during the war. Jellicoe was especially afraid of getting lured into a mass of torpedoes heading his Battle Fleet's way, so much so that one of the reasons the German High Seas Fleet had escaped at Jutland was because of one such German tactic during the battle. The entire British battle line was forced into a 180 turn to escape the deadly fish. Do not discount the power of laying mines for your enemy's fleet to sail over either. Many capitol ships were lost in WWI to mines. 

 So, the Wave 2 Expansion adds a ton to the game as you can see from the above. The separate ship miniatures come in their own beautiful little cases, just like their big brothers. If possible, the cruiser miniatures look even better than the larger ships. The rules for the new weapons take up only three small pages in one of the three booklets that come in the case with each ship (The Light Cruiser named ship Log Book, Secondary Weapons Operations, Cruiser Operations). Each ship package comes with:

The three mentioned booklets.
Plastic model of the ship.
Bag of small metal parts to enhance the model.
Two laser etched thick cardboard sheets of the Ship Base, Seven Mines, Fourteen Torpedoes, Six Smoke Clouds, etc.
Four Ship Captain Cards.
Eight Refit/Upgrade Cards.
One Ship Command Placard, made of thick cardboard.

The four cruisers you get are:



 I do not know how, but Image Studios has managed to top their game and first expansion. Thank you very much for letting me review this excellent upgrade to an already excellent game. You will find below their website and the two other reviews I did of the game and the first expansion.

Image Studios:

Heart of Leviathan review:

Heart of Leviathan Wave I Expansion: