Friday, April 28, 2017

HERE BE MONSTERS

     I ordered a bunch of packing peanuts and when they arrived, I found these inside:

     Ahhh! Monsters!
     Seriously, these are a couple of real monsters. Guderian's Blitzkrieg II must weigh 10 pounds (you Brits are going to have to calculate how many stone that is yourselves: I don't know metric). 5 booklets, 7 maps (3 full-sized), 2800 counters and 2 dice...after a while it all begins to add up to some serious weight. The Scenario booklet alone is 96 pages.

That shiny stuff on the boxes is shrink wrap. I almost hate to rip it.
      Compared to this, The Last Blitzkrieg is a piker. Still, four full-sized maps! Plus, it's a brand new system. It feels good to be getting in on the ground floor for once. The second game in the series is going to cover the Battle of Kasserine Pass, one of my favorites. So I'm hoping I like it.
     I just got back into boardgaming in 2013 after a 25-year absence. I've had to pretty much re-discover my gaming preferences from the ground up, by trial and error. What I've found is that I like monster games, the more complex the better. How do I know I like them? Because they're the ones I play the most. This year, my most played game was Kiev to Rostov, a four-mapper (and when I add Crimea to it, five!). The four-map Beyond the Rhine is on my table now. I keep coming back to both of these. I love pondering my moves, consulting rules (yes, I really like that), charts and tables, and plotting strategy and watching the resultant "history" unfold before my eyes. This is something you can get only from a monster. That's why I play them.
     In keeping with this new passion of mine, I ordered this one, too:

     This is a company level game covering the Marines' WWII campaign on the island of Saipan. This is another game system new to me. If I like it, volumes on Guam and Crete are in the offing as well.

Northern map from Saipan (from Compass Games' website)

Saipan south.
     Saipan will consist of 2 maps and 6 counter-sheets. Does that make it a monster? Close enough for me. Hope it's good.
     But the games I'm really excited about I won't have in my grubby little hands until tomorrow. One of these will be next up on my table. I'll let you know what they are as soon as they arrive, followed by full blog coverage.
     Speaking of which, I have the first few turns of my Beyond the Rhine campaign to share soon. But I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been trying to maximize my game time. If I'm going to get these things played, I'm going to have to hurry. Times waits for no man, and all that, wot?

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