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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fighting First Command Cards Review Part 1

The American Mid War Command Cards are Here.  Because of the number of cards we have broken this review into two articles.  The Fighting First book has drawn a great deal of attention due to the variety of units as well as the improved options over the current Mid War books.  The Command Cards are sure to do the same.  Unfortunately, we can not cover every single card in the new release.  We hope to give an overview and a general feel of the cards.

The Command Cards can have a serious impact on your list.  The ability to hold in secret an ability or action that your opponent does not know you have can in itself be a game changer.  The community seems to be of a mixed opinion on the cards as a whole.

In Version 3 many people claimed that it was unfair that some units got special rules for free. It seemed unfair for play balance.  The cards seem to rectify this by allowing a degree of customization.  However, the question becomes how many cards, or points worth of cards, should be allowed in a game.  At this point I do not have the answer.
The American Fighting First book has a variety of formations and units to choose from.  By themselves the overall impression I have of them is that they are not overpowered and have some severe disadvantages.  Combinations of cards will have a major impact on Force development.  The cards can overcome many of the short falls of the Fighting First units as you will see in our reviews.

Three points seem pretty expensive for this ability until you realize that this card may very well save your thirty-two point unit from any return fire.  This in combination with other cards can make tank destroyers much more reliable and survivable.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why We Fight: Episode 16

Cick here to download             In this episode Mitch phones in from - what sounds like - the Moon to talk to the boys about Historicon, and the new Mid-War American book. Shermans, Lees, and Stuarts, Oh my!
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Behind Enemy Lines Episode 39

Download the episode here

Those crazy gamers from down South (further than Mexico) are back with a new show. Covering over the latest (at the time) in gaming news and views and then moving on to their latest exploits. It's a!

Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 Flames of War US Mid War Nationals In-Depth Analysis

by Chris Fretts and Tom Burgess

"There's no no Meta!"

2017 US Flames of War MW National Participants

The 2017 Flames of War US Mid War Nationals has come and gone. This year was especially noteworthy as this was the first major US tournament to use the Version 4 rules and the two new Mid War Books; Desert Rats and Afrika Korps. The event had 36 players battling across four rounds and 72 exciting games. There has been much controversy attached to the Version 4 roll out, but the US Mid War Nationals showed that the new rules are completely suitable for a large tournament format.

The first thing we must address was that even with 36 players, this event was much smaller than other US Nationals. One reason of course was players who have decided to stay with Version 3 or move on to other game systems, but perhaps more importantly this was a tournament that utilized only two books limited to forces that fought North Africa. With only desert British and desert German forces being there should be no surprise that the number of participants would be lower. We thought that 36 players, under these circumstances, was not really a bad number. Hopefully the expansion of Mid War force options over the next year will increase participation at the next US Mid War Nationals.

One concern many had about a Nationals tournament that used just two rather small army books was that there would not be much variation in forces.  To the contrary, there were 15 different combinations of forces out of 36 players.  5 combinations were German Forces and 10 combinations were British Forces.  7 were single formation Forces and 8 were two formation Forces.  9 of the Top 10 finishers were single formation Forces.  Within the various combinations there was additional diversity of unit selection.  In looking at the various Forces we did not see any exact duplicates and only a couple of similar forces.

You'll have to flank them mate...but how?

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Interview with a Game Designer: Hail of Fire

I've always been fascinated by creative people. Rules designers, especially for war games, have intrigued me. I imagine these people as dungeon dwelling uber-number-crunchers who rarely see the light of day as they delve into the piles of historical annals and ancient writings (of warriors long dead) that surround their dingy and dank work space.

So, I set out on an email quest to find a few of these folks who are involved in writing WWII based games. I wanted to hear from them what their processes in designing are, and how they go about finding the right balance of rules in their designs.

First up, is an interview with Brandon Fraley, author of the independent rules system, Hail of Fire.  The answers and photos were provided by Brandon. I've edited them only for clarity, and to avoid redundancy.

Q: Who is Brandon? How long have you been wargaming? Favorite games?

I’m a recent transplant from California to Virginia, where I work as a Video Producer for a technology company. I’m also a filmmaker, musician, and, of course, full-time tabletop gamer.

I’ve been interested in wargaming for as long as I can remember. From the earliest days of my friends and I just playing with our action figures to starting to create simple rules for plastic green army men, and eventually designing and fabricating an [American Civil War] ACW board game in middle school (in hindsight, basically a poor Battlecry imitation).
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Team Yankee Day at Brookhurst Club

The gamers at Brookhurst Club in Garden Grove, California, have set aside the fourth Sunday of each month as Team Yankee day.

Garden Grove is located in Orange County California, just down the road from the house of the Mouse. No, not Maus... the MOUSE, yep, that one.

This was our first go at a dedicated TY day. We run Sundays at the club as "Historical Fun Days," and decided to see if we could build a player group for Team Yankee.

We had volunteers ready to run games in three different scales: Battle Front's standard 15mm, as well as 10mm, and Micro 6mm scale.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Ghost Army Podcast Episode 27

In this content-laden episode of the Ghost Army Podcast Brad, Bryan, and Seamus are joined by Mark Barber. Mark is the author of the No. 47 Royal Marine Commando list, the Battle of the Bulge campaign book, and of course the forthcoming Papua New Guinea campaign book. The team goes through the book's inspirations, processes, scenarios, new units, and much more. Give us a listen on the train, while you're painting, whatever. Let us know what you think!

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Review: Plastic Soldier Company T-55 Kit

Like many of you, I was excited to run a mass of T-55 when the Volks Armee book came out.  When I say mass I mean it - in a 100 point list you can run 62 of these guys. Think of rushing forward with 62 tanks, what list can put up enough shots to stop it? For those who dreamed of a huge horde of T-55AM2 tanks like I did, we were faced with the economic reality of the huge cost of such a list. You would need 13 boxes of tanks which gets you 5 for $72, so unless you have $1000 laying around to spend the horde was just a dream.
My actual list for Volks Armee did have about 20 T-55 tanks, and after buying 2 boxes and trading for a box of 4 tanks I was still short and I was waiting for the new T-55 kit from the Plastic Soldier Company to hit the shelf of my LGS.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bolt Action Road to Victory!

C-Bax's Road to Victory campaign set is an excellent way to change up your Bolt Action games, check them out here if you haven't already! Recently, we took a stroll through the campaign from a newcomer's point of view and if you didn't read Community Member Rob's write up, you can find it here. This week, we're going to look at the other side of the coin and take a look at the campaign from a veteran player's point of view. This Community article comes to us from our good friend in Texas, Tyler Wallace. Tyler recently had a chat with us about Americans, and North Africa in particular, on the Ghost Army Podcast (Episode 26, here). In this write up, we get to hear about his experience with the campaign, and get to see some pictures of his snazzy Americans. I must apologize to Tyler for taking so long to get this posted. Thanks for your patience, brother.

Without further ado, or further links, here's Tyler's article!


A Veteran's Perspective

I recently began a campaign with my cousin using the Road to Victory campaign rules from the Bolt Action Alliance. Joel is more of a casual player. But we both love history so, it’s fun to have an opportunity to play a historical game together.

Road to Victory, I discovered, is an excellent way for more experienced gamers to play fun games with casual players like my cousin (granted one of you owns multiple armies with a variety of units.) Not only are the units easier to digest for the newer players but they can also try their hand at list building in a way that won’t seem as overwhelming. Usually, when I play against a new/inexperienced player I end up having to make two generic lists in order to teach them the basics. However with Road to Victory, Joel and I had almost as much fun building the lists, and rolling for random units as we did playing the game itself.

Since the PDF is free to download, I won’t talk much about the actual mechanics. You can check that out for yourself. Below is a report of our lists, and how the battle progressed.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Team Yankee - North American National Tournament 2017 Historicon

Ever since Mitch, Sean, and Erik announced that there would be a team yankee nationals this year, I was excited.  After spending around 5 months painting my West Germans (covered in this 3 part series from a few weeks ago) I was ready to get some games in. I read the rules over the night before to see if I could find things I may have missed.  Knowing who was showing up, and knowing that over 40 players were expected to attend meant I had no expectations of winning anything.  Battlefront partnered with WWPD for some prize support, tables, and other logistical concerns.  This would winf up being the largest tournament at Historicon this year,
Below: Luke sets up a display and looks longingly at models he will soon be buying

Some of the 28 or so tables prepped by Brian Sullivan, Sean Sarah, and Mitch Reed (among others)

Mitch tries to take the edge off with a Vacation themed shirt, but his expression says "we are going to be crunching numbers all afternoon" He brought his entire collection with him, and was ready to lend it all out to players that wanted to give the game a shot.

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