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Legacy of the Weirdboy is the first DLC available for Warhammer 40k: Sanctus Reach. If you aren't familiar with Sanctus Reach, pleas...

Sanctus Reach: Legacy of the Weirdboy DLC Review Sanctus Reach: Legacy of the Weirdboy DLC Review

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



Legacy of the Weirdboy is the first DLC available for Warhammer 40k: Sanctus Reach. If you aren't familiar with Sanctus Reach, please check out my review for the base game, which can be found here. In short, it is a turn based strategy game in which the Marines of the Space Wolves Chapter take on a horde of Orks while defending the Knight World of Alaric Prime. Legacy of the Weirdboy flips you over to the other side of this bloody conflict, putting you in the green skin of Big Redd da Warphead, a "Weirdboy," or mage type of character, for those who don't speak 40k. Big Redd is on a mission to build a "teleporta" that he will use to strike at the heart of the Space Marines. Standing in your way is a deadly army of said Marines, eager to turn your Orks into so many piles of body parts. 

Legacy of the Weirdboy offers you a vast array of unit types to play with, as your horde is made up of Orks of all shapes and sizes, carrying a variety of weaponry. I was eager to get my hands on some units in particular, like the massive Battle Wagon and various "Meks" which sport all sorts of nightmarish pointy appendages, rocket launchers, and flame throwers. These units gave me a lot of trouble in the base game campaigns, so it was quite the thrill to use them myself. The Orks have some new units to try out as well, including a very useful medic hero. The Space Marines have a few new toys of their own that you will discover throughout the campaign. If your Orks survive long enough to kill some Marines, they can gain experience and level up, unlocking a choice of various new special abilities. Some of these can turn decent units into really vicious killers. 




Exploring the ins and outs of your own personal Waaagh is the meat of this experience for veterans of the Space Marine campaigns. I found that the Ork units did not handle how I expected, but in a good way. While some of your units are just living shields to distract the enemy, this is not a campaign where you can simply charge forward without finesse, hoping to overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers. The Space Marines are heavily armed and armored, and will cut your Orks to ribbons if you charge at them recklessly. Even the most basic Space Marine squad will not go down easily, and must be dealt with in a deliberate manner. This contrasts with the Orks, who have a mixture of super-heavy units and glass cannons, with a large helping of marginally useful, but ultimately expendable, cheap units to round things out. A battle of attrition will go poorly for you, which was a lesson I quickly learned before rebooting the first mission.



The DLC improves a bit on the structure of the campaign itself, but still leaves room for improvement. Like in the base game, the campaign consists of a handful of set-piece battles separated by 3-4 skirmish battles each. These skirmishes are still rather unremarkable filler, but the story missions themselves have been improved with more detailed intros and some nice artwork to set the scene. There are only four of the story missions, but each one is a hefty scenario that will take a couple of hours to complete. The overall story is still thin compared to other Warhammer 40k games, but feels much more coherent than before. I hope for the next DLC the ratio of filler to story missions is improved, since they are quite good and varied in their gameplay.

Overall, this is a solid expansion for fans of Sanctus Reach, and is exactly what I like to see in add-on content. Every facet of the game has been improved in some way, while giving you a fresh new experience to enjoy. The price is a very reasonable $10. I expect we will be seeing several more DLC for Sanctus Reach, and I look forward to watching how the game evolves. Fingers crossed that we get to see the Imperial Guard join the fray!

Legacy of the Weirdboy can be purchased directly from Matrix/Slitherine, or found on Steam.

- Joe Beard

Tanks Of The Second World War by Thomas Anderson    In this book, the author chose to go back in time and start w...

Tanks Of The Second World War by Thomas Anderson Tanks Of The Second World War by Thomas Anderson

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



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   In this book, the author chose to go back in time and start with the development of the tank in the First World War and its usage.  One of the strangest designs we see is a picture of the Russian 'Lebedenko Tank', if you could call it one. In reality, it looked like a huge tricycle in reverse. It had two massive front wheels that were connected to a small wheel and motor in the back. Had the engines of the time been able to produce more horsepower, who knows where this concept and other strange ones might have led? The book then goes into the interwar period, with a lot of emphasis on the Spanish Civil war. This war was used as a test bed for most of the European powers to try their armaments and tactics out on living subjects. 

 The interwar period saw designers go both large and small with tanks. Some countries developed huge multi-turreted land battleships that had the agility of a ruptured beetle, while other countries worked mostly on tiny tankettes. They could speed across the terrain so that the occupants could rush to their demise enveloped with armor slightly thicker than a tea kettle or several sheets of Reynolds Wrap. 

 The world had the tank, but what to do with it? The interwar period also saw a huge amount of printed material in all countries purporting to show the 'correct use' of the tank. The only problem was that they all contradicted themselves. 

 One of the most proficient designers was the American, John Christie. The Christie tanks didn't make him much money at all, but they were the sires of many British and Russian subsequent designs.

 The book has the following chapters:

 Tank Warfare
 Genesis
 The Interwar period
 Tanks in action: The 1930's -  this segues into World War II tanks
 Prospect: The Long Road To The Main Battle Tank

 Each chapter goes through the major, and sometimes not so major, designs of the period in question. The book also comes with an interesting 'bulls-eye' design for the comparison between the different World War II tanks. It is a cross-hair where each arm is labeled armor, speed, engine to weight ratio, and penetrating power.

 The different tanks shown down through the years and all of the various comparisons remind me of an adage attributed to various famous fliers: 'It is the man, not the machine'. 

 This book is a great one for tank newbies, but also for us unofficial tank gearheads. The book is filled with many wartime photos, but also shows many one of a kind tank designs. So through the book you really get a sense of the sometimes halting design path to nowadays main battle tanks.


Robert


Book: Tanks Of The Second World War
Author: Thomas Anderson
Publisher Pen And Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers



Legacy of the Weirdboy, the first DLC for Sanctus Reach, just came out. You can expect my full review in a few days, but in the meant...

WH40k Sanctus Reach: Legacy of the Weirdboy Gameplay Video WH40k Sanctus Reach: Legacy of the Weirdboy Gameplay Video

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



Legacy of the Weirdboy, the first DLC for Sanctus Reach, just came out. You can expect my full review in a few days, but in the meantime here is a gameplay video to give you a taste of what you can expect. For once I make a video and actually win the scenario!








- Joe Beard

Don't say we never gave you anything! We have codes for a few games to giveaway, just be the first to comment below claiming one ...

Giveaway! Get in here quick! Giveaway! Get in here quick!

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



Don't say we never gave you anything! We have codes for a few games to giveaway, just be the first to comment below claiming one of the following games, then send an email to beardjoe33 at gmail dot com so I can get you the link. One game per person!


Kero Blaster   Blasted!
Simple Planes - Flew away!
Galactic Civilizations III - Claimed!
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter - Gone!



- Joe Beard

WINGS OF GLORY: BATTLE OF BRITAIN This game has a solid ancestry, first came Wings of War WWI and then WWII which morphed into Wi...

WINGS OF GLORY : BATTLE OF BRITAIN WINGS OF GLORY : BATTLE OF BRITAIN

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

WINGS OF GLORY: BATTLE OF BRITAIN



This game has a solid ancestry, first came Wings of War WWI and then WWII which morphed into Wings of Glory for both World Wars and its naval off-shoot Sails of Glory taking us back to days of wooden ships and iron men with Napoleonic encounters on the high seas [and my first review for AWNT].

Despite a significant number of additional planes for Wings of Glory WWII, its WWI focus has always seemed to draw greater interest, mainly I suspect because of the glamour of those early amazing machines with bi-planes and tri-planes and, of course, the Red Baron, Von Richtofen himself.


Image result for the red baron

I certainly understand and share that pull of the beginning of aerial warfare and the birth of the Royal Flying Corps.  But being born  five years after WWII, my childhood was filled with Spitfires and Mosquitoes, Stuka dive-bombers and Messerschmitts and the Blitz and the amazing story of Douglas Bader as recounted by Paul Brickhill in his book Reach For The Sky.   Not to mention the many Biggles books [including the one linked to here Biggles Defies The Swastika] that span both WWI and WWII. 

Image result for douglas bader


WWII Ace Douglas Bader

So, Ares Games latest addition to their oeuvre of aerial combat has an enormous appeal.  Wings of Glory: Battle of Britain like its predecessor Wings of Glory: WWII comes as a stand-alone package which can act as a starter set or bring a further set of planes to your table if you've already embarked on the WWII series.

For those of you familiar with the mechanics of play and typical contents, you may wish to fast-forward to my comments and conclusions.  As always, the quality of the contents represents excellent value for money, starting with the four pre-painted model planes: 2 Spitfire Mk1s and 2 Messerschmitt Bf109 E-3s, each with its double-sided console marked for the Basic game on one side and Standard/Advanced game play on the other.



Four consoles [Basic side]

Inevitably, and necessarily, there are sheets and sheets of markers.  Many relate to damage and speed and, of course, each plane comes with its own deck of manoeuvre cards as well as three special ability cards.




The rulebook text is an identical replication in a compact 44 pages of the original Wings of Glory: WWII as are all the diagrams, though many of the reproductions of cards from the manoeuvre decks are different. 



Rules Booklet and Scenario Booklet

The essentially simple system, yet with a surprising scope in its rules, remains one of the major draws of this game.  The Basic Rules occupy a mere 6 pages and are ideal for providing an intro-level game to the beginner or younger player.  Personally, I'd recommend including the 3 additional pages of Standard Rules right from the start.  They add virtually nothing in terms of complexity and everything in terms of appeal.

Instead of planning and playing a single manoeuvre card at a time, you start with your first and second card planned.  From then on it's play first card, move your second card into the first slot and plan next card.  Admittedly, I miss the more prolonged choice of three cards which must all be played in sequence before planning the next set of three that is a feature of the WWI game.  But, the greater responsiveness and manoeuvrability of WWII planes are reflected by this two card sequence.



Spitfires at higher altitude prepare to intercept.

The other two additions in the Standard Rules are the classic Immelmann turn and special damage tokens.  As you can see, hardly a difficult trio of developments.  Even the Advanced Rules only goes 4 pages further and largely develops movement concepts - bringing in High/Low Speed, Altitude and the accompanying ability to Dive and Climb - slightly trickier to handle, but nothing overwhelming.



A closer view of those Spitfires



Similarly, a nearer view of their target - the Messerschmitts

The Optional Rules bring in a wide range of elements that certainly add to my enjoyment of the game.  Just some of them include: the potential for airfields and landing and taking off: fuel: cloud cover; extended crew damage and [my favourite] Ace Rules, which bring in a wide range of special abilities and Rookies too.

The next part entitled Special Airplanes is obviously preparing the way for further models, covering as it does two-seaters and multi-engine planes.  Once again, all these include excellent diagrams and illustrations.



Just one of the many excellent illustrations


Finally,  there's a small section  on Ground Units.  In part, they provide targets for bombing and the wherewithal to fire back at the planes.  The latter anti-aircraft guns have a very personal appeal as my father served in the Royal Artillery in WWII, manning A/A guns around the British Isles from as far north as the Shetlands to postings along the coast and the English Channel during the period of the feared German invasion and the Blitz.

The whole is contained in a very compact, well designed package - with just ONE problem - getting those superb models out of their recesses!!



Excellent packaging, with one drawback!

If you haven't bought into this system yet, then Wings of Glory: Battle of Britain is the perfect starting point and I'd strongly recommend buying a copy immediately.  If you have the previous starter set Wings of Glory: WWII, but haven't extended the range of plane types, then this package still offers great value for money  just by giving you 4 more planes.  These alone bought separately would cost you at least as much as this whole  product and would give you only the planes and their manoeuvre cards.  Buying the new starter package adds four more plane consoles, shed loads more markers, obviously another rule book and a separate booklet with Battle of Britain scenarios.



If you want to develop your squadrons, then there's plenty to attract you and Ares Games were very generous in sending the four additional planes displayed above which include the Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and the Junkers JU87 B-2, better known as the Stuka Dive-Bomber.  All these come with their own sheet of decals to customise each plane if you wish.

A final item worth mentioning is the series of  battle mats that can be bought to enhance any of the Wings of Glory games.  I hope even my photos do them enough justice to encourage your adding them to your must buy wish list.

So, dare I say, " Chocks away and tally ho, old boy!"




































The Mongol Conquests The Military Operations of Genghis Khan and Sube'etei  by   Carl Fredrik Sverdrup   Genghis...

The Mongol Conquests: The Military Operations of Genghis Khan and Sube'etei by Carl Fredrik Sverdrup The Mongol Conquests: The Military Operations of Genghis Khan and Sube'etei by Carl Fredrik Sverdrup

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



by





 Genghis Khan, (I will use the spelling the author uses on both his and Sube'etei's names. I have seen them spelled three or four different ways) not the greatest conqueror in my eyes. That should be reserved for Timur, but Genghis Khan's descendants ruled the greatest land empire the world has ever seen, thanks in a large part to the actions of Sube'etei The Valiant. 

 Within the first pages of the book we learn that the Mongol war machine was based on the Khitan one. The Khitan or Liao empire ruled half of what was to become Genghis's empire in the year 1000 A.D. The Khitans were a nomadic people who invaded northern China, and then were assimilated as the later Mongols and Manchus.

 Many times I have read that the Mongol way of war and their empire blossomed in a sea of nomadic tribes that only Genghis Khan was able to conquer, and then let loose on the world. So this part of the book is a revelation to me about another nomadic empire only a hundred years before the Mongols swept forth.

 The book itself is separated into two parts. The first part is on Genghis Khans military operations, and the second part is on Sube'etei's. This is a book we have been waiting for for a long time. It is a no-nonsense strictly military history of the early Mongol conquests.  Before this we have had to sift through either hero worship or damnation of the Mongol warriors. Did I forget that the book has maps? Twenty four of them to be exact. They go from the earliest campaigns of conquering other nomad tribes to Sube'etei's later campaigns in Europe.

 The book goes into all of the great Mongol victories, but also presents their defeats. Again, contrary to many earlier books the Mongols did not just spread like the plague across Asia. The were unstoppable under good generals and beatable under others.

 Here is an excerpt from the book to show the author's conclusion about the Khwarezm campaign:

 " The march on Bokhara has capture the imagination of Western historians and commentators like no other Mongol military manoeuvre. Liddell Hart held:'Rarely if ever, in the history of war has the principle of surprise been so dramatically or completely fufilled.' The manuever quite likely surprised and unbalanced Muhammad as well as other military leaders, but it was hardly critical for victory: the Mongols were too strong. Had they marched directly on Samarkand they would surely also have prevailed easily. Temujin (Genghis Khan's given name) gained a quick victory because his army was very large and because the the enemy fortresses failed to hold out for very long. Muhammad was not a popular ruler: by 1210 he had only recently gained control over Transoxiana, and could not count on the cities to really support him. Transoxiana itself was economically weakened after the recent wars. The political and economic weakness of Muhammad probably explains better than the Mongol siege capabilities why the cities fell as quickly as they did." 

 The author also shows the reality of the Mongol invasions and shows that cities that surrendered were not wiped from the map. The death toll has always been shown that the Mongols left a veritable wasteland behind their armies. This was most certainly not the case.

 At the end of the book the author has a chapter called 'Conclusions'. He compares the distance between campaigns for Alexander, Timur, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and Sube'etei. They are:

Alexander-  6000 kilometers
Timur - 6000 kilometers
Napoleon- 4000 kilometers
Genghis Khan- 5000 kilometers
Sube'etei- 8000 kilometers

 He continues discussing the Mongol battles, doctrine of war, and siege capabilities, and their terror strategy.

 Appendix 1: Is a breakdown of the Mongol armies' units
 Appendix 2: Is a listing of all of the battles of the Mongols and their Allies from 1191 to 1242 A.D.

 This book is a treasure. The closest book I can compare it to would be Chandler's 'The Campaigns of Napoleon', and should be on every history lover's bookshelf.


Robert


Book: The Mongol Conquests: The military Operations Of Genghis Khan And Sube'etei
Author: Carl Fredrik Sverdrup 
Publisher: Helion & Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Hello everyone, today I'm introducing my new podcast "Skirmish Line" This podcast will bring you more the great content y...

Introducing the Skirmish Line Podcast Introducing the Skirmish Line Podcast

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




Hello everyone, today I'm introducing my new podcast "Skirmish Line" This podcast will bring you more the great content you expect from A Wargamer's Needful Things, delivered in a new way. I listen to a ton of podcasts, and have wanted to try doing it for myself for a long time. This first episode is rather short and I'm sure my delivery could use some work, but I hope you enjoy it! 

More episodes to come in the weeks and months ahead!



Roman Republic At War  A Compendium Of Battles From 502 To 31 B.C.  By Don Taylor  Part one of the book is an '...

Roman Republic At War: A Compendium Of Battles From 502 To 31 B.C. By Don Taylor Roman Republic At War: A Compendium Of Battles From 502 To 31 B.C. By Don Taylor

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



 By





 Part one of the book is an 'Introduction to warfare during the Roman republic'. This short but well written preamble is necessary for the neophytes among us, as is the next section 'The Navy of the Roman Republic'. These two together are very good primers on Roman republican land and sea warfare. 

 The book itself is an alphabetical listing of all of the battles and some sieges from early Rome to the end of the Republic. The author lets us know which ancient sources he used. If a battle is not listed, it is because of a dearth of information about it.

 The listings in the book are not meant to be complete histories of each battle. They are at most two pages long, and as little as a small paragraph. A lot of the major battles are accompanied by maps that show how the action took place. The author stresses that he takes the ancient sources at face value and does not analyze or embellish the accounts. Where there are differences in the different ancient authors he lists them.

 After the introduction to Roman warfare there are two very helpful lists of all the battles in the book. The first is an alphabetical listing of the battles. The second is a chronological list that helps you to follow the battles through the myriad of Roman wars.

 There is one caveat for complete Roman newbies. The description of where the battles took place would be instantly recognizable to Roman eyes. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most 21st century English speaking people. The  good news is that maps of ancient Rome etc. are just a click away for most of us. So finding out exactly where each battle was fought is not that difficult.

 One of the book's assets is that you can see the progression of parts of Roman history through the tales of each battle. The civil war after Caesar's death is one example, and the war against Antiochus The Great is another.  This book will certainly lead readers to fill in the gaps by reading more Roman history. If that is all the book does it is certainly worth its weight, but the book is much more than that and is a great reference for old hands of Roman history. The maps are especially useful for understanding exactly what each side in the battles had to contend with.


Robert


Author: Don Taylor
Publisher: Pen And Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Had some free time this Saturday so I decided to provide you guys with a bit of Cold Waters gameplay! My mission was a success...until...

Cold Waters Gameplay Video Cold Waters Gameplay Video

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





Had some free time this Saturday so I decided to provide you guys with a bit of Cold Waters gameplay! My mission was a success...until it wasn't.  Watch on Youtube





You can also read my review here.

Japanese Battleships 1905-1942 by Miroslaw Skwiot  Japanese battleships; the list of them is a long one: the Mika...

Japanese Battleships 1905-1942 by Miroslaw Skwiot Japanese Battleships 1905-1942 by Miroslaw Skwiot

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



by







 Japanese battleships; the list of them is a long one: the Mikasa, Kongo, and the Nagato among others. Notice I didn't mention the Yamato or her sister ship the Musashi. They will appear in due time.

 The first Japanese battleships were built by ship building firms in Britain. For those of you who didn't know it, there was a close connection between Britain and Japan pretty much from the 1860s to the 1920s. Japan was seen by the British as a counterweight to Russia in the far east. Britain and Russia were inveterate enemies for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. So to the British a strong and well armed Japan was a good thing to have next to the Asian continent. The above is pretty amazing given the fact that the British navy attacked the Japanese port of Kagoshima in 1863.  The British fleet burned it to the ground. This pointed use of a modern fleet was the last part of a wake up call to the Japanese if they didn't want to end up like China. The Japanese would have to join the modern world.

 By the 1870's the world had two undisputed leaders in land and sea warfare, Germany and Britain. The Japanese wisely based their fledgling Army on Germany's and their Navy on Britain's. Japan as an island did have somewhat of a seafaring tradition, but this was mostly of a coastal and fishing nature.



 In the beginning the Japanese had to start her Navy from almost nothing. She had no modern docks or shipbuilding facilities. So again, she naturally turned to Britain. Strangely, the British firms at the time were able to produce better or more battle worthy ships than the British Navy employed at that point.

 The book itself starts with a background history of Japan's sudden awakening to the outside world. It then continues with the birth and setup of the Japanese Navy. The first battleships brought to our attention are the Katori and the Kashima. These two were ordered in Britain from the 1903 Japanese Naval budget. These ships were based on the battleship King Edward VII. Oddly, though the ships were built in Britain, their armor was made by Krupp in Germany.

 The first battleship built in Japan was the Satsuma, although her armament and armor was purchased outside of Japan. The book then goes into how the world's navies were put on their ears by the advent of the British battleship Dreadnought. As a matter of fact, all battleships were then classified as either Dreadnoughts or pre-Dreadnoughts. That is how revolutionary her design was. 

 The book shows you the planning and building of Japan's only battlecruisers the Kongo, Hiei, Haruna, and Kirishima (these were updated in the 1930s to fast battleships). The first Japanese 'super- Dreadnought' to be built was the Fuso. The Battle of Jutland and the naval clashes during World War One caused the Japanese to come up with new designs. The design they came up with were for the Nagato and here sister-ship the Mutsu. They were arguably the 'best battleships' in the world from 1920 until the end of the 1930s. Some will immediately argue that position for the British Hood. However, she was in actuality built as as a battlecruiser and not a battleship. The Hood's lighter armor would be tested in 1941 and was found wanting.



 The book continues with the plans for Japanese battleships before and after the Washington Naval Treaty. This treaty was signed in 1922 by all of the major powers. It was supposed to have stopped the world-wide naval arms race that was happening at the time. It goes on to show the plans for the battleships that were either scrapped or converted to aircraft carriers. The Washington treaty had few clauses about aircraft carriers. Their usefulness in 1922 was not recognized as being worth limiting them.

 The book goes on with the planning of the three largest battleships ever made, the Yamato, Musashi, and the Shinano ( the Shinano was converted to a carrier after the Battle of Midway). It also shows all of the plans for even larger battleships, with the planning going to the year 1950. The year 1941 saw the age of the battleship come to a close. The last titans of the era, the Yamato class battleships and the USA's Iowas, never battled each other. In fact, both of Japan's super-battleships were both sunk by lowly airplanes.

 This is my second Kagero book and I am even more impressed than I was with the first one. The book is jammed with photos and even has double paged 3D computer generated foldouts of some ships. Visually stunning, and filled with all there is to know about Japanese battleships, this book is very easy to endorse.


Robert


Publisher: Kagero
Distributor: Casemate Publishers
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