Thursday, March 30, 2017


     The hardest time I've ever had in my gaming life was this past winter when I bought five games all at once. I thought it seemed like a good idea at the time. Wrong! Every time I set one game up, the other four would glare at me from the shelf. So I would set one up, then tear it down, then set up another, then tear it down, ad nauseum. Five unplayed games was more than I could take.
     So I told myself I would never do that again. One game at a time, said I.
     Well, I just received two more from the FedEx man yesterday, Barbarossa: Crimea and Twin Peaks. At least this time, I traded for them, instead of buying them. I sent some of my old games to Noble Knight out of Janesville, Wisconsin in exchange for $80 in store credit. In my world, how long do you think store credit lays around unspent? Yeah, that's right: not long.
     Anyway, I'm not buying another game until I get all my current games played....and I mean it this time! I literally have a 25-year backlist.
     This year, my goal is to play all of the following games (plus a full campaign game of Beyond the Rhine - not pictured here). By my estimates, I've got about 9 months worth of gaming here. And that's if I push it.
     So without further ado, here's the lineup for 2017.

     You'll notice lots of Vance von Borries games on this list. I love his gaming style. I'm playing Kiev to Rostov right now, but I can't wait to hit Crimea, maybe even combine it with KtR. By the way, both games are lavish productions -- beautiful maps (4 full-size in KtR plus minis, 1 plus some mini-maps in Crimea), full-color play-aids including set-up cards, and a full-color rulebook and playbook in Crimea. Well worth whatever you pay for them. I've pre-ordered all the other Barbarossa games as well, since I believe they are all going to be re-printed. I just hope not this year. I'm busy.

     I bailed on Roads to Moscow a few weeks ago, but that was primarily due to the glaring issue I mentioned earlier. My pattern is to not have my preconceived notions met, jump to a hasty conclusion, then reconsider and try again only to find that my hasty conclusion was correct or that it was completely wrong. An equal chance -- like throwing a 1D10.
     Roads is another Vance von Borries game very similar to Barbarossa, but at a smaller scale. Actually, it is virtually identical to his 2001 game Kasserine (on this list). I love Kasserine, so I'll love Roads, too -- once I give it a fair chance.
     On to Paris keeps getting pushed down my list. It's probably because of its 64-page rulebook and equally tomey playbook. All full color, another lavish production, by Compass Games this time. I just need to buckle down and learn it. My heart says "yes" but my brain says "no."

     If all goes as planned, next on my table is Dead of Winter, a 4-map monster game of the Battle of Stone's River (1862). It's part of the Great Battles of the American Civil War series. I've played it enough now to know I like it. It needs more informational counters, though, but I'll get into that during play. I just picked up Twin Peaks from Noble Knight. This is a GBACW series game covering the Battles of South and Cedar Mountains. Each a one-mapper, which is something I need more of.

     Two more VvB games, Operation Mercury and Kasserine. I bought both these games back in the 90s and just played Kasserine for the first time in 2013 (yeah, I know). It's probably my favorite game, so I plan on playing it again this year. OM covers the German airborne assault on Crete 1941. This game is from, I think, 1994. It is very similar to Kasserine but has component issues Kasserine does not have; i.e. the counters are really really thin. If a standard playing chit today is a Ritz cracker, these are Wheat Thins, to put it in delicious snack terms (I must be hungry). I hear these two speaking to me a lot while I'm playing other games. (The games, I mean, not the snacks. Well, okay, the snacks, too.)

     And last, but least...Battles from the Age of Reason, Fontenoy and Prague. How many times have I sworn off this system? Lots, let me tell you. I had Fontenoy set up just last week, for crying out loud! But I give up. I surrender. I know I'm going to try them again. I can actually feel myself wanting to as I type this. Oh, the shame! It's just as that muffled voice from inside the box said when I put Fontenoy back on the shelf: You'll be back...

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