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2017 Was Great, Will 2018 Be Even Better? Just a glimpse of one of my choices Got to say that was true of my life in general, espec...

2017 Was Great, Will 2018 Be Even Better? 2017 Was Great, Will 2018 Be Even Better?

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2017 Was Great, Will 2018 Be Even Better?
Just a glimpse of one of my choices

Got to say that was true of my life in general, especially with the arrival of our second granddaughter who is  my son and his wife's first baby!

But it's games, not family that you want to hear about.  Choosing my top three games of 2017 was no easy task and my final line-up does tend to reflect my origins as a Board wargamer rather than a Eurogamer.  Still my first mention kinda straddles the borderline.  

878 Vikings: the Invasion of England

from Academy Games

You'll be getting an in-depth look at this game very shortly, but just briefly this a superb marriage of theme and execution.  What's not to like, especially for someone who lives in a town supposedly named after a Viking called Orm in a region where many places end in the suffix "by" that indicated Viking origins.  Hey come on running around wearing helmets with horns on, swigging mead and ....oops the rest is censored. This is the latest in Academy Games line or should I, in this case, call it a branch-line of their Birth of America series.  It uses all the main features of that system taking an historical situation but with distinctly Euro style production, especially with its wooden cubes for units.  878 Vikings goes one better with little plastic figures.  Great game, bags of style and no walk over for the said Viking Invasion. Back to the longboats, lads!

By next choice is pure board wargame.

Ligny 1815: Falling Eagles

from Hexasim

Here I'm cheating a little, as this game is barely out, but it's predecessor Austerlitz 1805 Rising Eagles was a year too early to be counted.  I've chosen this more because of the system.  It is a traditional hex map, Napoleonic simulation with all the type of rules you'd expect.  What makes it tops in my judgement is that it works in every way.  The rules are moderate complexity, but playable, but playable.  2 maps for a full campaign that doesn't mean giving up half your life to play and good mini-scenarios played out on smaller maps but enlarged hexes.  Oh and fantastic map graphics, brilliant Euro quality counters and ace rule and scenario books.  

My third choice and top of the list is ...

Colonial Twilight

from GMT

The latest COIN game from the GMT stable designed this time by Brian Train.  A well known designer in his own right, Brian has produced the first purely two-player  COIN series game to simulate the French-Algerian War of the 1960s.  Everything that this series has come to stand for is here.  Brilliant production values, a tense, but tense situation, polished rules and two player, total head-to-head play.

So that was the year that was.  What are the prospects for the current one?

At the risk of sounding stuck in a groove, for me it's got to be COIN again all the way.  So here goes with what has just arrived in my local supplier, Second Chance Games, this week.


from GMT

Technically this is down as 2017, but for us Brits it is just landing on our shores in 2018.

Back to 1-4 players and BOTs, which I never use.  Even solitaire I'd rather play all four factions than fiddle my way through a flow chart.  Ten times faster and ten times more enjoyable for me.  For me this is a classic MUST HAVE.  It's COIN - tho' not counterinsurgency really [but neither was Falling Skies].  Like all COIN it's fantastic to look at.  It's Britain circa 4th/5th century - Ok it doesn't have Arthur or a Roundtable, despite it's title but I've been steeped in the story of the Romans pulling out and the murky mists of our early Brit Hist right from childhood and Rosemary Sutcliffe's Sword at Sunset.  

My second choice is a game that I've just reviewed

Hannibal & Hamilcar

from Phalanx

An established product given the most fantastic make-over of the game of the 2nd Punic War - superlative CDG, Hannibal, elephants, Scipio Africanus.  Plus at last the long promised 1st Punic War as not just an add-on to the brilliant Hannibal, but a cracking game in its own right.

And going to the opposite time extreme for arrival - scheduled for December 2018.  So, who knows, it may be on my list for 2019!

Time of Legends: Joan of Arc

from Mythic Games

Gorgeous, amazing, eye-watering minis, models, large terrain tiles. Myth, monsters, legendary heroes plus historical forces too.  RPG elements, skirmish and up.  Huge, but huge.  Price too heading in that direction, but this had to go in my collection.  Sigh, but a long time to wait.   Cue a quick burst of "All I Want For Christmas.."