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Spotlight Articles

Outstanding articles that are not necessarily linked to one particular game, but may have broad appeal to gamers.

Generic multi-period scenario creation

Spotlight Article Graphic

"The whole point of doing this is that I get something of a fast play ‘throw down’ game...". Norm Smith, in Battlefields and Warriors is creating the first of an intended four scenario setups usable over differing eras. Check out how Norm crafts his set up (with pictures) for a meeting engagement where "...victory will be based upon the capture of the bridge."

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 11/21/2022

Havel: Wargaming the information environment

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"...how do you know your roleplay citizens will act like the real thing?" Rex Brynen, in PaxSims, discusses a series of "information and influence wargames" run by NATO last year. Check out Rex's thoughts on the results, and why "…much of it would have been recognizable to the propagandists of WW2—or diplomats, advertising executives, and political party strategists today."

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 11/16/2022

1944 - Henri’s Farm

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"…3 Panthers have just entered the scene, intending to move to the ploughed fields to dominate the open views to their front!" Norm Smith, in his Battlefields and Warriors blog, brings us a "quick throw down scenario" to test some of his own rules. Check out the pictures and the action after "The Panthers probe forwards threatening the British infantry..."

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 11/11/2022

War and Peace – the Digital Version

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"Digital version with fog of war and cross-platform multi-player under development." Avalon Digital has an ongoing Kickstarter campaign for a computer version of Mark McLaughlin's classic War & Peace. The campaign could also involve a seventh edition reprint of the game.

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 11/7/2022

More Spotlight articles...

Gaming Conventions

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Grognard Opponents Wanted (9/14/2022)

New Opponents Wanted function. You can now set your ad expiration date, up to one year. Requires site registration.

Gaming Conventions

New Gaming Conventions calendar. You can see all upcoming gaming conventions worldwide.

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Gaming Clubs/Organziations

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If you belong to a gaming club, or know of one, please drop us a line and let us know so we can get it listed on Grognard.com!

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Grognard Originals

In addition to our links to great content all around the internet, expect to see more Grognard.com "originals" in the future.

A Close Look at a Neglected Gem

Long overdue review of Victory Games' "Central America: America's Backyard War", written by Mark D.. In depth review covering rules, game features, and scenarios (one of the highlights of the game). Editor's note: I've been playing this game again after a long, long time, so I felt this article was worth re-publishing to maybe spark interest in the game...

Falling Sky - Perfect Opening Moves - Roman (updated)

Is there such a thing as a "Perfect Opening Move" in any of GMT's COIN Series games? Mark D. shares his idea of a "perfect" opening turn for the Romans in Falling Sky. Enjoy.

Editor's note added on 5/15/2021.

Higlanders - Scenario for Vietnam: 1965-1975

Experimental scenario for Vietnam: 1965-1975 created and shared by Mark D'Agosta.

Battle for Russia - Game Turn Restrictions Summary

I'm finally getting to play this game, and am looking forward to it. There are a decent amount of "special rules" and restrictions that apply to either the Axis or Soviet player, depending on which turn it is. Rather than flipping back and forth in the rule book, I made a quick & dirty cheat sheet for myself which I have been using, and thought I'd share it. If anyone sees anything that's incorrect, please let me know via email at mark at grognard dot com. (updated 4/11/2020 to include rules for ignoring Rivers - Axis only on Turn 1; both sides on Turn 2)

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Latest Challenge

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Grognards Lost


S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

Game Articles


Pub Dates
Game: Congress of Vienna
Publisher: GMT Games
Series: Great Statesmen Series
Game Type: Board
Designer(s): Frank Esparrago

Article Descriptions
Article ID: 9
Date: 11/18/2022
Poster: Doug Holt
Designing the Congress of Vienna Solitaire Game, Part 1of 2: Diplomacy and The French Bot

"Challenge: How to retain some of the variability four independently minded players seek in attaining personal victory?" Frank Esparrago and David Schoellhamer begin a series looking at solitaire adaptation for GMT Games' Congress of Vienna. Check out why they make the claim that "We found the Sorcerer’s Stone to solve our game’s Diplomacy Phase challenge!"
Article ID: 8
Date: 12/10/2021
Poster: Doug Holt
Congress of Vienna’s Tactical Battle Matrix Option Part 2 of 2 – An Example of Battle

"...players will regret not having withdrawn, not using a military card which was held back for another battle, a bad tactical chit choice, and of course, the inevitable final dice rolls! Oh the pain hindsight can bring!" Frank Esparrago and Fred Schachter continue discussing the tactical expansion for GMT Games' Congress of Vienna, this time with an example of play. They demonstrate the richness the expansion brings with a well laid out example, and then point out that "…readers should be reassured that the game time this takes in actual play is very fast."
Article ID: 7
Date: 12/8/2021
Poster: Doug Holt
A Congress of Vienna Option: Adding Tactical Flavor to Battles (A Tactical Battle Matrix) Part 1 of 2

"Some play testers wanted an option to study what could happen if they decided the big tactical choices in a decisive battle...". Frank Esparrago and David Schoellhamer begin an effort to make GMT Games' Congress of Vienna more grognard friendly. Check out the results when they "…could not resist the opportunity to address their desire!"
Article ID: 6
Date: 10/20/2021
Poster: Doug Holt
War or Diplomacy? The Struggle Between the Wargamer vs Eurogamer Soul in the Design and Development of Congress of Vienna

"When you create a game like Congress of Vienna with its major political and diplomatic elements; you know some of the 'certainties' of a standard wargame which must be exceeded...". Frank Esparrago and Fred Schachter discuss the character of GMT Games' Congress of Vienna card driven game, in terms of how players view it. There seems to be a classic divide, in which it's "…almost like Designer Frank had two angels perched on his shoulders as he labored on his game creation… one a 'Wargamer Angel' and the other a 'Eurogamer Angel' each whispering their imprecations into his ears. Whom did he heed?
Article ID: 5
Date: 9/22/2021
Poster: Doug Holt
Congress of Vienna Standard Game After-Action-Report: “The Clash of Armies” Scenario (Turn 1 of 4 – Aug. 1813)

"...the more experienced of our Congress of Vienna Play Test Teams already know that when there is disunity among Allied players France may prevail!" Frank Esparrago and Fred Schachter begin a scenario AAR for their GMT Games' Congress of Vienna card driven game. Check out how this first game turn delivers a lopsided result in which "…the Allied bed has been made. Will they be able to recuperate from this turn’s set-backs or will Napoleon go on to victory?"
Article ID: 4
Date: 4/5/2021
Poster: Doug Holt
Congress of Vienna: Designing Its Solitaire Game

"...how can a good solitaire system be devised?" Frank Esparrago begins a series describing efforts to create a solitaire system for GMT Games' Congress of Vienna. Things look promising, in that Jim Gutt has already been creating flowcharts that "…sometimes generate better play results by his [Congress of Vienna] Bots than an average human player can accomplish!"
Article ID: 3
Date: 8/26/2020
Poster: Doug Holt
Interview with Frank Esparrago Designer of Congress of Vienna from GMT Games

"With this title, I want players to be reminded that Clausewitz’s maxim 'war is politics with other means' is very true...". Grant Kleinhenz interviews designer Frank Esparrago about his GMT Games' Congress of Vienna, a card driven simulation of the close of the Napoleonic wars. Frank is clearly focused on both a sound design and fun: "…you have to endow the cards with characters containing 'soul'…"!
Article ID: 2
Date: 7/27/2020
Poster: Doug Holt
Congress of Vienna July 2020 Development Update

"...the effort to edit and 'professionalize' Congress of Vienna‘s Rulebook is well underway...". Frank Esparrago and Fred Schachter relate the progress being made on GMT Games' Congress of Vienna, now that it has made the P500 "cut". Updates include changes to the map board, combat balancing, the card deck and the solitaire game system. Looking good!
Article ID: 1
Date: 1/31/2020
Poster: Doug Holt
A Historical Introduction to the Congress of Vienna Period Part 2 of 4: Napoleon Resurgent (Spring 1813)

"At the beginning of April 1813, the French withdrawal in Central Europe caused the Allies to acquire a false sense of security...". Designer Frank Esparrago continues a series of articles familiarizing readers with the historical background for his GMT Games' Congress of Vienna, which covers the intense dynamics of the period after Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Check out some awesome history intended to whet your appetite: "…it was time to spring Napoleon’s trap."