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Spotlight Articles

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

Part 5. Continuing with the History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1981-1982

Spotlight Article Graphic

Legendary Tactics take us through a productive time in the history of Avalon Hill. The story of The Avalon Hill Game Company continues as we move towards its peak!

Poster: Robert Holifield
Post Date: 6/17/2024

Part 4. The Story of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1978-1980

Spotlight Article Graphic

In Part 4 Legendary Tactics takes a look at the prolific period at the end of the 1970s, when many classic games were produced by The Avalon Hill Game Company.

Poster: Robert Holifield
Post Date: 6/4/2024

Part 3. The History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1971-1977

Spotlight Article Graphic

Another installment by Legendary Tactics covering the history of The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC). Several classic and enduring titles were published during this period.

Poster: Robert Holifield
Post Date: 5/21/2024

Part 2. The History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1964-1970

Spotlight Article Graphic

Legendary Tactics YouTube Channel continues to chronicle the history of Avalon Hill. In Part 2, he looks at the early years of the company, and the growing pains that came along with it.

Poster: Robert Holifield
Post Date: 5/4/2024

More Spotlight articles...

Gaming Conventions

Gaming Conventions

Another new feature for Grognard.com, the Gaming Convention calendar will make it a snap to keep up with all the latest gaming conventions in your area. But we need your gaming convention information, so please contribute.

Grognard News

Grognard Challenge - Expanded Room for Comments! (6/25/2023)

The Comments entry area has been resized to 512 characters.

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.

If you are sponsoring a board gaming convention of some type, or know of one that is not listed on Grognard.com, then please contact us and let us know!

Gaming Clubs/Organziations

New Gaming Clubs/Organizations listing. You can search for existing gaming clubs worldwide.

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!

New Search Features

Now you can search for specific games (or games by publisher) using the new Game Search feature, located at the top right corner of the this page. In addition you can now harness the power of Google to search the entire Grognard.com site for any specific information you'd like. Just enter a search word or phrase into the Google box labeled "Search All of Grognard.com" and click magnifying glass button. Search features will continue to be improved and enhanced going forward so check back often to see the latest stuff.

Grognard Originals

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

Fast, simple, not expensive, little errata, but only reasonably fun. (War game Review)

In his review on BoardGameGeek, Brendan Whyte first turns a critical eye towards the components and rules and lists their shortcomings. Game play fares better: “…the game is fast and quite fun”. Whyte then goes into comprehensive details covering game mechanics and spares no criticism for the game opponent (AI). His discussion concerning solitaire board games vs solitaire computer games is very interesting.

PE TANG 1900 Q&A with Marco Campari

Some Q & A between myself and Marco Campari, designer of Pe Tang 1900 from Lumaca Games.

PE TANG 1900 Strategy Tips

This is the strategy I developed after playing Pe Tang 1900 from Lumaca Games.

PE TANG 1900 Optional Line of Sight Table

Here is an optional table to make it a little more difficult to eliminate the Boxer artillery.

More Grognard Originals...

Grognard Challenge

Latest Challenge

Have a look at the graphics for the latest Challenge and see past solutions and contest winners.

Recommended (archives)

Wargaming - General Info

Board Wargames

Miniatures Wargames

Computer Wargames

Academic Gaming

Board Games

Internet Based/PBEM Games

Individual Wargamer Blogs

Wargaming Magazines

Asst Software/Player Aides

In Memoriam

Grognards Lost

Please support Grognard.com by supporting our site sponsor, VentoNuovo Games


S T U V W X Y Z '-9
History of 'Spotlight Articles'

Grognard.com: Spotlight Articles History

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

Date Title Article Summary
6/17/2024 Part 5. Continuing with the History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1981-1982
Poster: Robert Holifield
- Legendary Tactics take us through a productive time in the history of Avalon Hill. The story of The Avalon Hill Game Company continues as we move towards its peak!
6/4/2024 Part 4. The Story of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1978-1980
Poster: Robert Holifield
- In Part 4 Legendary Tactics takes a look at the prolific period at the end of the 1970s, when many classic games were produced by The Avalon Hill Game Company.
5/21/2024 Part 3. The History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1971-1977
Poster: Robert Holifield
- Another installment by Legendary Tactics covering the history of The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC). Several classic and enduring titles were published during this period.
5/4/2024 Part 2. The History of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1964-1970
Poster: Robert Holifield
- Legendary Tactics YouTube Channel continues to chronicle the history of Avalon Hill. In Part 2, he looks at the early years of the company, and the growing pains that came along with it.
4/18/2024 Part 1. The Origins of The Avalon Hill Game Company 1952-1963
Poster: Robert Holifield
- The Avalon Hill Game Company is 72 years old this year and time to chronicle the history of Avalon Hill. In Part 1, Origins, we will look at the story of not only the establishment of a game company, but an industry and a hobby. Thanks to Legendary Tactics YouTube Channel for this great series.
4/1/2024 Tributes pour in after death of award-winning veteran wargame designer Dean Essig
Poster: Doug Holt
- Mike Didymus-True, in BoardGameWire, brings us the sad news of the passing of designer Dean Essig.
3/22/2024 Alumwell Wargame Show 2024
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I actually enjoyed this show more than any other that I have been to in the past couple of years." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, regales us with sights and surprises from this show, along with some great pictures! And check out the source of an insight that led Norm to conclude "It made me realise that considering these things went into the air in their thousands, the financial investment in longbow archers must have been huge."
3/11/2024 Fields of Corn & Rye
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I was pretty sure that I had found something that might do the job." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, discusses a way he's found to address an old itch, namely adding texture and/or crop fields to tabletop settings. Check out what he finds to be a reasonable, cost-effective approach, considering that "...sometimes I think we have made ourselves a picture perfect world and lost something along the way."
2/28/2024 On wargames campaigns (after Polemarch)
Poster: Doug Holt
- "If one is to do this, it is quite useful to read Caesar to see the kinds of things he considered important when choosing if or when to give battle." Prufrock muses about the value of running campaigns for the ancients gaming he prefers. See why "It turned out I'd rather refight Zama for the tenth time than try to sustain interest in endless minor encounters between similarly equipped neighbours over local concerns."
1/29/2024 Lord Stanley arrives at Piggy Longton 1472
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...Piggy Longton is under the certain threat of Yorkist attack." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, sets the stage for our next Piggy Longton encounter. Why must Lord Darcy cautiously accept help from one who is "...gaining a reputation of duplicity based upon political expedience."?
1/22/2024 Piggy Longton - Bishop of Dungborough’s perilous journey.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Nervousness flickered through the group as the cavalrymen started to move amongst them, eyeing them suspiciously." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, resumes Piggy Longton action with Stephen the Fearless and his travelling party entrusted to get a crucial warning to the King. "Suddenly there was a swirling melee with swords slashing to the right and left."
1/17/2024 December WWII gaming
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Well, what do I know. It turns out it was great fun. Trust Richard Borg!" Prufrock recaps replays he enjoyed during the Christmas season with Memoir'44 and Undaunted Normandy. See which game gained the comment: "…the tweaks oozed class and induced that nodding satisfaction…"!
1/10/2024 Piggy Longton 1472 - picking up the story.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...we will be picking up on the trials and tribulations of our small hamlet..."! Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, tips us off that more Piggy Longton is on the way, with some teasers: "Could the Bishop of Dungborough (Stephen the Fearless) get to London to warn the King that Edward was at large and had foreign mercenaries with him?"
12/27/2023 12 Days of Christmas (a wargaming year - 2023)
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Armies have grown a little, the gaming table looks better, some of my bigger boardgames got played, more games in total got played...". Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, takes a look at his wargaming 2023 highlights, along with appreciation for his readers: "Your visible presence and encouragement does keep the e-ink flowing". And a hint that more Piggy Longton is coming in 2024!
12/1/2023 First Draft of History: Designing a Military Simulation of the Russo-Ukraine War 2022-2023
Poster: Doug Holt
- "A book? A movie? An HBO series? How about a military simulation ('wargame') of the heroic struggle of Ukraine? ... Wiser men and women would avoid. But not us fools." Designers D. B. Dockter and Mark Herman discuss their approach to creating Ukraine 2022!, addressing an ongoing conflict! Check out the insights and quips as they forge ahead: "Ukraine 2022! should go on preorder in December 2023, and, with any luck, be published in 2024. ... Or some other event on the Richard Berg random events table could pop up."
10/23/2023 First figures painted in five years
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I'm just pleased to be back on the horse - or elephant, if you prefer." Prufrock happily relates his recent painting efforts, which means he "...will now have enough Carthaginian elephants to be able to stage Bagradas in Lost Battles...!"
10/16/2023 Hail Caesar Ruleset Test
Poster: Doug Holt
- Check out why Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, says "...I think I am already preferring the Hail Caesar set." Norm sets out to see how the recent extension of the rule set does in covering a Wars of the Roses clash. He finds lots to like, to include fact that he didn't feel "...that any of the outcomes were a given. If the scenario were replayed again, a different outcome could easily be possible.
10/6/2023 Taming the boardgame collection.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "I am very conscious of just having far too many different rulebooks, too many different systems...". Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, striving to stay true to his "wargaming in small spaces" motto, discovers a way to maximize the value his collection brings to him. Check out the approach he develops, and the titles that contribute to it, when "...out of the blue, I was hit by one of those tidy-up and reorganise moments, the planets were aligned and I threw myself behind a proper game cull..."!
9/27/2023 Epic Project Part II - Painting Figures
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The first intention was a disaster." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, continues his Napoleonic project, this time mainly focused on painting strategy. Check out what worked, and what didn't; and how, in the end, Norm has "...no doubt my newly painted Prussian 1st Battalion will perform heroic deeds!"
9/20/2023 Creating a pair of Epic Pocket Armies - new project
Poster: Doug Holt
- Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, combines "...a ‘from scratch’ approach and the ‘want’ to play games along the way, rather than waiting for armies to be fully painted..." as inspiration for his new miniatures project. If you've got figures waiting on the shelf for paint, this might be your ticket, because for Norm, "...an important principle during the life of this project ... to get playing from day 1."
9/11/2023 Best 3 Games with…Card Driven Games!
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I contend that one of the origins of CDG’s was the fantastic Up Front from Avalon Hill." Grant Kleinhenz, in The Players' Aid, covers what he thinks are the best three Card Driven Games. See if you agree with his ranking, and check out which game "...makes me sweat, cringe, jump with joy and bite my fingernails."
8/9/2023 Putting rules (napoleonic) to the test.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...the old saying of ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ springs to mind." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, brings us some interesting ruminations from a Napoleonic rule set comparison. Join Norm for some insights and excellent miniatures photos, and see why he ends up wondering "...about just how necessary, bigger, deeper and more thorough rule systems are compared to a simpler fun system - if both come up with a similar result and the result / narrative feels right, then more power to the fun set."
7/19/2023 Enter the (Keyboard) Warrior, The 21st Century Tom Sawyer – Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- Ray Garbee, in Armchair General, now has "...an even more pronounced view to ‘trust no one’ regarding anything I’ve seen on the internet, unless I know and trust the source." Ray brings us an insightful review of this book on how unscrupulous "digital influencers" operate. See why he explains that "...reading the book has prompted me to sharpen those tools of skepticism and objective rigor when facing the barrage of digital content that rains down on us every day."
6/17/2023 Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Henry Stimson and FDR: Uniting America for Victory – Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Uniting America shows that this successful integration of Republicans like Stimson, Knox and Bush into a Democratic administration allowed a political partnership that furthered American strategy." Ray Garbee brings us a review of Uniting America: How FDR and Henry Stimson Brought Democrats and Republicans Together to Win World War II.
5/31/2023 Best 3 Games with…World War I!
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...we ended up playing 11 different WWI games and really fell in love with the wide variety of games, scales and approaches...". Grant Kleinhenz, in The Players' Aid, covers his three favorite World War I titles. Check out which games he is referring to when he comments: "This game is an instant classic..."; "...a very strategic game that can be quite deceptive and difficult to play well."; and "...my message to everyone who plays this game is beware of supply."
5/29/2023 Noville, Belgium 1944 - celebrating 10 years of blogging.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...411 posts written, 8265 comments made..."! Norm Smith, in Battlefields and Warriors, muses on the fact that he's reached 10 years of blogging. Looking over his posts, he finds he is "...doing much the same thing and still being enthused." And, from Grognard.com's perspective, still writing one of the highest quality wargame blogs out there! And then, insights: "Blogging does bring some mysteries of the universe..."
4/19/2023 When is a rout a real rout?
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Is the designer really advocating rout in the true and maximum sense of the word or something less than that..."? Norm Smith, in his Battlefields and Warriors blog, takes a thoughtful look at the idea of a "rout", and how it is interpreted and used. Norm asks some good questions, like "...what is or should be the ‘deliberate’ direction of rout.", and will troops "…always, above all else, increase the distance between themselves and the enemy .. even to the detriment of their own forces?". And he would like your comments: "...enquiring minds would like to know."
4/4/2023 History of Wargaming
Poster: Doug Holt
- One of our Grognard members kindly submitted a scan of a fascinating early article about wargaming. The article is The History of Wargaming, by Martin Campion and Steven Patrick, and was in Strategy & Tactics, 1972, issue 33 used with permission from Decision Games.
3/10/2023 Napoleonics - scales and rules - update
Poster: Doug Holt
- Norm Smith, in his Battlefields and Warriors blog, continues on his project of choosing one scale and a 'go to' set of rules for Napoleonics. In this post, he's comparing Valour & Fortitude (…feels like a slicker application of [Black Powder], which I like.), versus Shadow of the Eagles (…has a whiff of old school charm about it, which I also like.). And as to scale: "…I do wonder whether deciding on a scale will finally simply come down to a case of mind over heart or heart over mind!"
3/3/2023 Edward visits Piggy Longton 1472
Poster: Doug Holt
- "... Edward (Yorkist rival for the throne) is on his way to Piggy Longton for ‘discussions’ with Lord Darcy." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, has the pot stirring for more Piggy Longton action. How does Darcy's meeting with "the other side" go: "If that was intended to pacify Edward, it spectacularly failed..."!
2/22/2023 Attack on West Rottington 1472
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The devils shall payeth a price f'r their deeds...". Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, brings us an action packed report on Lord Darcy's response to the raid on Beacan Farm! Join Norm for the tale and pictures of his excellent miniatures as the clash unfolds: "It wasn’t long before Yorkist contingents were pouring onto the battlefield, but they were met by deadly volleys from the Lancastrian archers."
2/20/2023 Making a List and Checking It Thrice
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Having just reported on the completion of my Joust for the Fun of It rules, ... came up with the bright idea that I could also play it using the 1:20 scale Schleich toy knights." Ed, in his Ed M's Wargames Meanderings blog, is pursuing fun with his home brew jousting rules. Check out what he's up to: "Towards these ends, I have been hitting ebay hard...".
2/17/2023 Grant's Most Anticipated Games for 2023
Poster: Dave Belton
- Check out this recent article in Player’s Aid that talks about some of the most anticipated games in 2023. The author does an excellent job of taking quotes from the games, as well as the historical context of these events. Ancient offerings include the Roman leveling of Jerusalem, a city that had been conquered more than thirty times. WWII themes include a Battle of Britain scenario, another adventure with the African Korps, the invasion of Sicily, and an insurgency effort in post-war Germany. More modern situations include the British effort to de-colonize after WWII, the Philippine Resistance movement in the 1981, and the 1985 war in Afghanistan. There’s even a Sci-Fi dystopian vision of Mars that leads to civil war.
2/1/2023 Choosing Napoleonic pocket armies and scales.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I find myself, when looking at Napoleonics, of being in the odd situation of having accumulated three different scales in the unpainted stash to choose from." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, begins his logic in choosing scale and ruleset to focus on. He has a method to his madness: "The process of elimination will simply be to set up a generic scenario and play the various scales through with the various rule sets and just see which gives me the right feel and look that best suits what I am after." But also not ignoring "…what brings the most joy!"
1/30/2023 Another Option for Online Tabletop Gaming with Rally The Troops!
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Beyond the Vassal’s and the Tabletop Simulator type engine, there’s another option out there...". Ray Garbee checks out Rally the Troops!, a fairly recent option for tabletop style gaming, online. See why Ray concludes “All told, Rally the Troops is a great addition to the tabletop gaming landscape.”
1/23/2023 Examining the Critical Role of WW II Logistics in “War of Supply” – Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "A reason that the battle of Kasserine Pass came to be in the first place was due to the failure of the logisticians and planners to accurately provide a logistical ‘tail’...". Ray Garbee reviews War of Supply: World War II Allied Logistics in the Mediterranean, by David D. Dworak. Ray finds "...insights into how the logistics services stumbled in North Africa, but picked themselves up and learned from their mistakes."
1/16/2023 Operation Barbarossa 1941, games and some reading.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...reading the book, hand-in-hand with playing some Barbarossa boardgames would give an experience that would enhance both book and game." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, launches into one of his fascinating projects. This time, while reading Barbarossa - How Hitler Lost the War, he'll be playing games on his shelf related to the campaign. Spoiler alert! Norm points out how, with one title, he's "…never had such an extreme opening."
1/2/2023 Attack at Beacan Farm - Piggy Longton 1472
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...discover what New Year surprises crafty old Trebian has in store for Piggy Longton." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, brings us more Piggy Longton action, with a great tale and pictures of his spectacular miniatures. So how does Trebian's plan unfold when "…a guard on outpost duty saw the enemy host and ran back to the church to raise the alarm..."?
12/26/2022 Simulation and gaming miscellany, holiday edition
Poster: Doug Holt
- "PAXsims is pleased to present some recent items on conflict simulation and serious (and not-so-serious) games that may be of interest...". Rex Brynen, in PAXsims offers some intriguing selections from around the world of professional wargaming, to include one about "…a strange phenomenon: clusters of school kids debating, in surprising detail, the merits of individual weapons."
11/21/2022 Generic multi-period scenario creation
Poster: Doug Holt
- "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."
11/16/2022 Havel: Wargaming the information environment
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...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."
11/11/2022 1944 - Henri’s Farm
Poster: Doug Holt
- "…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..."
11/7/2022 War and Peace – the Digital Version
Poster: Doug Holt
- "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.
10/5/2022 The changing face of wargaming
Poster: Doug Holt
- "What a great time to be a wargamer!" Prufrock reflects on how the offerings available for our hobby have changed during the years he's been involved. "We are seeing an explosion of impressive fast-playing, decision-centric, bot-soloable, war-themed crossover games that bring in ideas put together in fresh ways…"!
9/5/2022 Reviving the Eagles at Quatre Bras rules
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...the only way to create a meaningful merging of the two was to break one of them." Norm Smith, in his Battlefields & Warriors blog, gives us a window into his effort to align two of his historical period rule sets, "…striving to get a single Horse and Musket set…". Being Norm, he always has a sharp eye on playability, and is thinking about ways to "…make it easier to get either period to the table without needing full re-reads!"
8/31/2022 Grant’s Top 10 Solitaire Wargames – 2022 Edition
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I only included games on this list that were designed as solitaire only wargames with an AI or some type of Bot." Grant Kleinhenz, in The Players' Aid, brings us his revised top 10 list of solitaire only wargames, after playing an additional 25 or so games. Check out his new list of titles that he's "…found to be fun and engaging to play, challenging and that also wove an interesting narrative as a part of the process."
8/26/2022 Making “Next War” More Multi-Domain: Some Alternative Rules for the “Next War” Series
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...as I played through them all, I started adding elements—what I termed 'House Rules'...". Ian Sullivan offers rules extensions for GMT's Next War series of games to make them more "multi-domain" oriented: that is, requiring players to "…converge capabilities across all domains—air, land, sea, cyber, and space…" in even a broader manner than the existing rules address. Check out his extensions for: Will to Fight; Delaying Reinforcements; Hypersonic Missiles; Advanced Chinese Ballistic missiles; Alternative AEGIS Ashore Rules; Non-Kinetic, Reversible Counterspace Attacks; Kinetic, Non-Reversible Counterspace Attacks
8/15/2022 Maneuver Warfare Who what huh what game is this again??
Poster: Doug Holt
- "As an avid board gamer and computer wargamer, I have always wanted to see game play with out tips, tricks, or cheats." Rob, in his newly launched YouTube channel 89volvowithlazers, offers a first round of the approach he plans on taking with his videos. Using a flavor of Command Ops 2, his idea is to let you "…actually see how the game plays before downloading the demo or making a purchase."
8/7/2022 Campaigning and fast play WWII tactical rules.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The rules provided by Matt are designed to allow the fast play needed to cover so much potential action, so that friends can complete their campaign in a day." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, checks out a fast play campaign system offered by Matt Irsik in Warning Order, which is a free, online wargames journal. Check out the action in Norm's test run through, and why he concludes that "…Matt has provided us with an engine that gets things moving and helps ensure that a campaign can be fought through relatively quickly to a conclusion."
8/1/2022 Secrets to Teaching the COIN Series from GMT Games – A Guide to Making the Process Seamless and Getting Your Players to Enjoy the System
Poster: Doug Holt
- "I always start the game out by reviewing those Victory Conditions and helping new players to understand what they mean. This can be the most in-depth part of the teach but is very important." Grant Kleinhenz, in The Players' Aid, shares tips he's developed from teaching the COIN system (COunterINsurgencies) to new players. Grant focuses on the fun, game flow and general strategy, for example a practice of which he says: "In my experience, new players don’t necessarily make that jump in their first few games."
7/29/2022 Epic - Building an army in a day!
Poster: Doug Holt
- "I plead this post title has at least a part truth - sort of!" Check out why Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, has "…been re-energised to start jacking up my Epic Waterloo project..."!
7/9/2022 Gaming the American Revolution – Ranking the Games We Have Played – 2022 Edition
Poster: Harvey M.
- The Players Aid gives their opinion of some of the American Revolutionary wargames they have played in 2022. "n this post, I wanted to share with you some of our gaming experience with these wargames focused on the American Revolutionary War. We haven’t played all of the games on the subject, not even close, but we have played enough that we have a good cross section of the different takes on the situation and types of games to give you some insight into what we liked."
6/22/2022 Saturday Night Fights! ~ The 1815 Campaign (Yes, All of it) for “Snappy Nappy”
Poster: Harvey M.
- "If you’re going to play out a grand campaign, play it on a grand scale. We’ve got a crowd tonight, in 6 different chats on all different “tables” as the campaign plays out on the 207th anniversary of the battles." states the gentleman from Armchair Dragons as they use the Snappy Napoleon wargame miniatures rule set on Tabletop Simulator in their Saturday Night Fights Event.
5/27/2022 Partizan Wargame Show 2022
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...a bridge filled with troops is just visually tops." Norm Smith, in his Battlefields & Warriors blog, brings us pictures and observations from the Partizan Wargame Show 2022. Check out why Norm can conclude "…that every game table was inspiring in one way or another and there was plenty of scale and subject diversity here, which is nice to see."
5/24/2022 My Top 3 Wargames designed by… Mark Herman!
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Of course Mark Herman!" Michal, in the The Boardgames Chronicle, tells us why these three titles are his all-time favorites. Check out which one rates the comment "…believe me, the space for bluffing is really vast here!"
5/4/2022 Seeing the Elephant at Kasserine Pass. “Patton’s Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and Patton’s Rise to Glory”. Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...explores a chapter of the US Army’s history that rarely gets much attention...". Ray Garbee reviews Patton's Payback The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory by Stephen L. Moore. While Ray has some quibbles about a couple aspects of the book, he nonetheless find an enjoyable read that is "…a good narrative into how combat is a test that separates true warrior leaders from the merely competent administrators."
4/1/2022 Reflections on gaming not-Ukraine
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...in our games the Russian military was far more adroit using [artillery] in a fluid battlespace than seems to be the case in Ukraine." Rex Brynen, in PAXsims, reflects on some semi-recent "not Ukraine" modern wargame exercises, and what light those games shed, or didn't shed, regarding the reality of the current war. For example, in an influence operations exercise, "...what worked looked very much like what has worked for the Ukrainians in the current war, right down to heroic leaders and cute memes."
3/11/2022 In The Sailor’s Bookshelf, James Stavridis Tackles a Deep Subject – The Sea. Book Review.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...If you have any interest in the sea, the books on this list are bound to include several you will want to chase down." Ray Garbee reviews The Sailor's Bookshelf, Fifty Books to Know the Sea, by Adm. James Stavridis, USN (RET.). Check out why he is enthusiastic about a book that "…spans subjects and genres encompassing fiction, history, law, environmentalism and more!"
3/2/2022 Never Give Up! Never Surrender! The Tin Can Sailors Have Their Finest Hour in ‘The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors’. Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "At times, the book certainly puts the ‘graphic’ into the graphic novel." Ray Garbee reviews The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary WWII Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour, a visual adaptation of what Ray considers to be the definitive book on the Battle off Samar in the Pacific theater of World War II. He makes clear that this is no lightweight comic book, but rather a powerful retelling of a "…battle should have been the big gun shootout the Navy’s battleship admirals had sought for years."
2/22/2022 Interview with Javier Romero Designer of Santander ’37 from SNAFU Design
Poster: Mark D.
- "We became familiar with the work of Javier Romero when we played his game Lion of Judah: The War for Ethiopia, 1935-1941 from Compass Games in 2017. A few months ago, I saw where Javier was designing a game on the Nationalist offensive into Santander in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and I immediately reached out to him and he was more than willing to talk with us." -- from Grant at The Players' Aid.
2/4/2022 Top 5 Underrated War Games by Homo Ludens
Poster: Mark D.
- Looking at BGGs top 5 wargames, we all felt like some games in our collections had their shot at being at the top. I asked upstanding four guests to come up with their top 5 games that they think deserve more love. - The legendary Kai Jensen, whose design and development work is hugely influential in wargaming (Combat Commander series, Urban Sprawl, Downfall etc.) - Grant and Alex from the Players Aid, who for years have been leading content creators about wargames - Cory Graham, hardcore wargamer and upcoming designer part of the team behind Vijayanagara. Enjoy.
2/4/2022 Up and Onwards …. Pocket Armies.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...I have been surprised at the degree of productivity that has followed with those other distractions gone." Norm Smith, in Battlefields and Warriors, gives us a peek at painting and prepping he has been working on this year. Lots of good insights and pictures. And, "If this momentum can be kept up, then the pocket armies should start to yield some interesting games soon."
1/26/2022 My top anticipated wargames of 2022
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...how could I resist such a title?" Michal, in The Boardgames Chronicle, is enthusing about games he hopes to lay hands on this year. See if you agree with his six selections, like the one of which he says "…the core mechanics seem so innovative that I will need to check [out] this game."
1/24/2022 The Straight Shooter of Savo Island – The Life of Vice Admiral Willis Lee Jr. Book Review.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "His career reflects the transitional period between the big gun battlewagons of the First World War and the rise of carrier aviation." Ray Garbee reviews Battleship Commander: The Life of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr., by Paul Stillwell. Check out why Ray finds the book to be "…a good study in leadership…", and why, while ostensibly a guns and battleships guy, Lee refused to wear blinders: "Much as [with] William Halsey recognizing the airplane as the future, Lee recognized the potential for radar to transform his profession."
1/23/2022 Wargamer - What Tribe Are You? (PDF)
Poster: Mark D.
- Wargamer -- What Tribe are You? A question for us all. Wouldn't life be easier if we really understood what designers, developers, raters, reviewers and potential opponents really want? The attached PDF is an attempt to sort through the various 'tribes' to which we subscribe. Please have a look and tell us: which tribe are you?

This article written and shared by Tim Smith.
1/17/2022 Falkirk Muir 1746
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Note that this battle is not to be confused with the other Battle of Falkirk 448 years earlier; the one Mel Gibson lost." Jeff Berry, in his Obscure Battles blog, takes a look at the battle of Falkirk Muir. Jeff brings us his customary tongue-in-cheek insights on the historical origins and the battle itself, to include why "It may have been 57 years since James II (Charles's grandfather) had been chased out of Britain, but like that Scot I met years ago in The Duke of Kent, they weren't going to let it go."
1/12/2022 Documenting Black Jack Pershing’s War. Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "It is an impressive achievement, and one that drives home just what a huge task General Pershing shouldered in 1917." Ray Garbee reviews Volume 1 of John J. Pershing and the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 1917-1919, which details the challenges General Pershing met in preparing the U.S. Army for the European theater. Ray finds a book that delivers at the big picture level with "…a fascinating insight into leadership and management at what today would be termed the 'C' level suite…", as well as with interesting details, for example how "…British opinion suggested that the Americans would be best served by fully adopting British arms and ordnance in the spirit of simplifying the coalition's logistics."
1/10/2022 Review: Barnhart, Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations
Poster: Doug Holt
- Wargames in the ivory tower? "For me this sums up the clear-eyed analysis of the value of simulations in teaching...". Catherine Jones, in PAXsims, reviews Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations from a professor's point of view. She also thinks the book takes on bigger picture concerns: "There is an excellent and very well considered discussion throughout the book of some of the most significant challenges for historical simulations: morals, ethics, and engagement."
1/9/2022 Strategy Page - Special Operations: Russia and America Learn from Each Other
Poster: Mark D.
- The United States and Russia find themselves reviving Cold War tactics when it comes to using or defeating guerilla warfare. The Soviet Union, and communist movements it sponsored around the world for over half a century, adapted ancient irregular warfare to 20th century technology and politics. The Western World War II Allies, especially the U.S., and Britain, developed successful techniques to foster and support resistance movements in areas occupied by the Germans or Japanese...
12/31/2021 Key's Game Emporium - Games for family, friends and more!
Poster: Mark D.
- Key’s Game Emporium has been in business for over 30 years. Originally a brick-and-mortar store, it now operates online only. Their website is designed to be “no-frills” to keep our costs to a minimum and offer our customers competitive prices on all our products. We do not sell or give-away our customer’s information for any purpose.
12/27/2021 The 2021 Christmas Wargame Gazette (45 pages)
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The aim of the Gazette is just to give some wargaming distraction over the festive period, when the internet is typically quiet." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, is back with his 2021 Shenanigans Gazette, "...both a serious and a tongue-in-cheek look back at a wargaming year." Thanks Norm!
12/15/2021 Four new mini folio titles
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...it was with the prospect of updated rules, that I ordered the new releases, which have arrived today." Norm Smith, in his Battlefields & Warriors blog, discusses four new titles for the Decision Games' Musket & Saber rules that he has just purchased. Sounds like Norm plans on some playing and posting in the near future with these "…good solid four titles of interest."
12/13/2021 Top 3 wargames suggestions for Christmas 2021 – Part 2 – all time classics
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...my idea is to recommend some of the all-time classics with which you will never go wrong – and which in most cases are readily available for order, be it on publisher websites or in retailer shops." Michal, in The Boardgames Chronicle, brings us more grognard Christmas ideas, this time focusing on the tried-and-true: "I have played all proposed positions multiple times and can vouch for each and every choice."
12/3/2021 Feeding the Bear: a Closer Look at Russian Army Logistics and the Fait Accompli
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Moscow might want to undermine security in the Baltic states or Poland, for instance, but could the Russian government successfully carry out a large-scale invasion of those countries?" Lt. Col. Alex Vershinin, in War on the Rocks, takes a look at some scenarios recently gaining more attention, and takes the perspective of further analysis: "While the Russian army definitely has the combat power to achieve these scenarios, does Russia have the logistics force structure to support these operations?"
12/1/2021 Jutland: The Latest Salvo. Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "When leadership demands results at any cost, you should not be surprised when that cost is unexpectedly high." Ray Garbee reviews Clash of Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland by Eric Dorn Brose, which covers World War I's British/German naval tensions and clash. Check out what Ray sees as "…an interesting assessment and one that gets to the heart of much of the lingering acrimony surrounding the battle and its aftermath."
11/29/2021 Fighting in 13.5mm
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Having regard for the tooling costs of each sprue, that is a huge commitment to the product." Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, discusses developments in 13.5 mm miniatures, a topic near to his heart as a "space strapped" gamer. The purveyor of this relatively new scale, Warlord Games, has recently "…announced a new period in the ‘Epic’ scale ….. Napoleonics! due for initial release in January 2022."
11/28/2021 Top 3 Wargame Suggestions for Christmas 2021 - Centurion's Review
Poster: Mark D.
- Top 3 wargame suggestions for Christmas 2021 – Part 1 – New Releases. Christmas time is fast approaching so we all look for presents inspirations. Today the Centurion's Review is looking at three 2021 releases which can be wholeheartedly recommend. Enjoy the article!
11/24/2021 Women in Gaming: Unanswered Questions
Poster: Mark D.
- Is there still a lack of female gamers in the industry? If so, why? The good folks at Game Cows make an attempt at addressing the subject...
11/19/2021 Borodino 1812
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...it was definitely Pyrrhic as far as victories were concerned." Jeff Berry, in Obscure Battles, takes on Borodino, with his usual insightful analysis and wit. See how Jeff fleshes out his assertion that, "…it's on little decisions like this, based on wishful thinking or denial of reality, that ultimately chart history."
11/10/2021 A Japanese Seaplane Could Be the Difference Maker for the US Military
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Where can the United States spend its finite defense dollars in ways that have disproportionate positive impact on its position in the Pacific?" David Alman, writing in War on the Rocks, explains why he thinks that seaplanes offer significant advantages to the US, particularly a Japanese model called the US-2. "Seaplanes could help the U.S. military solve several challenges in the Indo-Pacific, particularly the problems inherent to distributed operations."
11/5/2021 CNAS: Wargaming Chinese seizure of Taiwanese islands
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...such a scenario could be a prelude or pathway to war involving China, Taiwan, and the United States." Rex Brynen, in PAXsims, offers excerpts from a Centre for New American Security wargame study of possible limited Chinese aggression against Taiwan. A gloomy option is "…the most salient lesson of the game."
11/1/2021 Board Games of the Ancient World
Poster: Mark D.
- Really interesting article about "Board Games of the Ancient World", produced and shared by James McKee at Boards, Cards, Dice web site. Fascinating pictures, facts and other info about some of the earliest board games. Who knew King Tut was a Grognard?
11/1/2021 From the Sea…To the Blue Water Beyond. Book Review.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Strategy Shelved should be required reading for anyone looking to understand the importance of a clear strategic vision in setting national policy...". Ray Garbee reviews Strategy Shelved: The Collapse of Cold War Naval Strategic Planning, by Steven T. Wills. Ray finds it an insightful look at how the "…end of the Cold War was a ‘perfect storm’ that disrupted maritime strategy."
10/8/2021 On the Origins of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. Book Review.
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The discourse surrounding fleets deployed in support of a global empire is as valid today as it was at the start of the 20th Century." Ray Garbee reviews Genesis of the Grand Fleet: The Admiralty, Germany, and the Home Fleet, 1896–1914, by Christopher Buckey. Ray finds a book that offers solid insights "...as it details how the government – specifically the Admiralty – had to wrestle with Fredrick the Great’s maxim of 'He who defends everything, defends nothing'."
9/17/2021 Confronting Chaos: a New Concept for Information Advantage
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...although American teams lose wargames all the time, this is, in fact, a very big deal." Chris Dougherty explains his concerns about how three decades of Pentagon war planning have "…assumed U.S. forces could achieve information dominance in a great-power conflict, akin to what the American military attained during the 1991 Gulf War. That assumption is fatally flawed."
9/10/2021 The Return of Great Power Proxy Wars
Poster: Doug Holt
- "If the United States fights with China or Russia, what type of war will it be?" Frank Hoffman and Andrew Orner, in War on the Rocks, make the argument that proxy wars are likely to again become a preferred tool of statecraft. "Proxy conflicts are, after all, the ultimate indirect approach."
9/6/2021 WotR - Recruiting continues
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...the herald is such a splendid figure, that Lord Cobham insisted on him joining the ranks!" Norm Smith, in Battlefields & Warriors, gives us a figures and painting update for his Wars of the Roses collection. Check out more of Norm's excellent miniatures work. And perhaps there is some action coming: "…I hear there are rumblings in the Parish of Piggy Longton, something to do with the Bishop of Dungborough recruiting for The King - what could possibly go wrong there!"
9/4/2021 10 Historical Facts About Avalon Hill
Poster: Pat L.
- David Lent, aka “The Centurion”, provides this quick list of factoids concerning the Avalon Hill Game Company, the first of the great hex and counter war game companies.
8/20/2021 Wrong, wrong, and wrong again
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...games and game-models that are lauded for their innovation and perspicacity, whose designers are profiled in the Washington Post, whose hobby games potentially influence real-world decision-making, can still get it wrong." Prufrock takes a square look at what the current debacle in Afghanistan tells us about the limits of our hobby (or for some, vocation): "It's not a nice pill to swallow."
8/13/2021 ETO Series: August 2021 Update
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...great game development is the art of subtracting, not adding...". Alan Emrich gives us a progress update on Frank Chadwick's ETO Project. Check out the team's progress in rules, component/graphics and other areas with the system. "Much of the ETO playtesting this summer has been focused inward with the development team working on different extended examples of play."
8/11/2021 Resentment, Rebellion and Retribution: The Second Anglo-Sikh War 1848-1849. Book Review
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Going far beyond the official histories, Singh provides insights into the perceptions, goals and thought processes of the participants...". Ray Garbee reviews The Second Anglo-Sikh War 1848-1849, by Amarpal Singh. Check out why, while Ray has one significant quibble, he still finds it to be a very readable, valuable book. One which provides another interesting insight: "The battle narratives demonstrate that the British military juggernaut was far from infallible and show that several battles were indeed close-run affairs."
8/5/2021 Time for a New Approach to Defense Strategy
Poster: Doug Holt
- "U.S. rivalries with Russia and China [...] will not be determined by the outcome of the regional contingencies over which U.S. defense plans now obsess." Michael Mazarr offers some very big picture ideas about how to rationalize US defense objectives and strategies: "…today, U.S. defense planners are working heroically to prop up a zombie strategy that represents the worst of both worlds, neither safeguarding Americans from the things that most directly and urgently imperil their well-being nor assuring victory in distant wars."
8/2/2021 The American Revolution, Naval Power, and the 21st Century
Poster: Doug Holt
- "The Battle of Valcour Island was not the battle the Royal Navy officers and their army counterparts had prepared for." BJ Armstrong reviews Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty, by Jack Kelly, which covers how the struggle for Lake Champlain impacted the early Revolutionary war. Check out BJ's strong case for why we should "…remember that the American War for Independence was a naval war.", and why key considerations of the campaign remain important in our own century.
7/28/2021 Shevardino 1812
Poster: Doug Holt
- "...strategically, Bagration's tactical 'mistake' may have actually saved the Russian army, and ultimately Russia." Jeff Berry, in his Obscure Battles blog, brings us another insightful review, this time looking at Shevardino, the prelude to Borodino. As always, Jeff examines questions that may not have gotten enough historical consideration, for example, the fact that "…this was still summer, and Napoleon's force was already far below normal attrition numbers for other campaigns."
7/24/2021 In Memoriam: John Tiller
Poster: Pat L.
- John Tiller played a significant role as a war game designer who brought hex and counter war games to the computer screen. Mitch Reed traces Tiller’s career from the 1990’s onward with illustrated examples from Tiller’s creations. Tiller’s games are available from Matrix, Slitherine, HPS Simulations, and John Tiller Software.
7/18/2021 Interview with designer Hermann Luttmann about his upcoming cooperative game The Plum Island Horror
Poster: Harvey M.
- Rob's Tabletop World interviews Designer: Hermann Luttmann about his upcoming 1-4 player, cooperative game design for GMT Games covering a little-known government island facility just off of Long Island New York, known for its highly secretive controversial infectious disease research. The Plum Island Horror is a throwback to old-fashioned 1950s horror movies and asks the question, "what could go wrong?!".
6/25/2021 Interview with Andrew Rourke Designer of Coalitions from PHALANX Currently on Kickstarter
Poster: Harvey M.
- With 2021 marking the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death on May 5, 1821, there have been quite a few new Napoleonic wargames that have released/gone to Kickstarter over the past 6 months or so. Napoleon 1815 from Shakos Games, Napoleon’s Imperium from Compass Games, Napoleon Returns 1815 from Worthington Publishing and Coalition! The Napoleonic Wars, 1805-1815 also from Compass Games. Well, PHALANX is also getting into the act with a game of their own on the subject called Coalitions designed by Andrew Rourke that hit Kickstarter this month. The game looks really fascinating and is being touted as a game of diplomatic and military maneuvering in Napoleonic Europe for 1-6 players. I wanted to get a better feel for the design and reached out to Andrew to get a look inside the game and he was more than interested in sharing.
6/25/2021 History Behind the Cards – A Look at Vijayanagara: The Deccan Empires of Medieval India, 1290-1398 from GMT Games – Card #6 A New Calculus
Poster: Harvey M.
- In Fall 2020, there was a game design contest held called Consim Game Jam where designers had to repurpose a COIN Series game and it’s components and make a new playable game in about 48 hours! The game that won the competition was called Vijayanagara: The Deccan Empires of Medieval India, 1290-1398. The game is an asymmetric 1-3 player game depicting the epic, century-long rise and fall of medieval kingdoms in India over two dynastic periods.
6/14/2021 WW1 board games: the best World War I tabletop games
Poster: Doug Holt
- "Disclaimers dealt with, let’s go over the top, shall we?" Bill Gray discusses his favorite (currently available) World War I games. Bill has apparently played all the scalings, including one where the "…entire package includes 16 maps and 5600 counters (no, really)."
6/4/2021 Homo Ludens - Wargame Book Club #1 - Simulating War - Philip Sabin
Poster: Mark D.
- Fred Serval tries a different format for his Homo Ludens web site. In this first episode of the Wargame Bookclub, we will discuss Philip Sabin's Book: Simulating War. An exquisite panel: Natalia Wojtowicz (Wargaming Experiences - @Wojtowicz_N), Riccardo Masini (Le guerre di carta 2.0 - @RMasini_WLOG), David Thompson (Undaunted Normandy - @djackthompson), Cory Graham (Vijayanagara - @Chaosgoat)