Archive for the ‘Wargames’ Category

There’s a rule for that: the customer is always right (when it comes to things crashing and exploding)

It’s always fun to try and identify game rules that came into existence not because they were part of the designers’ vision, but because players insisted on them. When you’re a game designer faced with player demands for a rule you don’t particularly want to include in the game, you have a few choices. You […]

Why is this ‘Mech so terrible?


First impressions: Federation and Empire

Last week I had the chance to play Federation and Empire, a wargame set in ADB’s Star Fleet Universe. Whereas Star Fleet Battles depicts battles between individual starships, F&E depicts strategic-scale conflict between warring star empires. Each player controls one or more empires (the Federation, the Romulans, the Klingons, etc.); during your own turn, you […]

Mad dreams of Origins

Well, I’ve gone and done it: I signed up to attend the Origins convention this year. I had a lot of fun last year, even if I did lose almost every single Advanced Squad Leader game that I played. I haven’t decided exactly how my time at Origins will be divided up this year, but […]

Calling the Exterminator

As you can see, I’m still learning the ropes. But here’s a front and back picture of Battletech miniature painting attempt #2, an Exterminator: The lighting in the photos is not the greatest; in real life, there’s a slightly more prominent metallic sheen, and there’s some dark-brown undercarriage coloring visible. (You’ll just have to take […]

Free strategy games from the dark depths of the 80s

Ever heard of Dwarfstar Games? I hadn’t either, but it turns out they released eight rather quirky little strategy games in the early 1980s, all most of which are now available for free download. Most of them look like fairly short and straightforward strategy games, with an obvious wargame influence–the hexgrid maps and cardboard chits […]

ASL + SFB = the apocalypse is imminent

Time to set the Doomsday Clock ahead another minute: the company behind Star Fleet Battles is hard at work on Star Fleet Assault, a ground combat game set in the Star Fleet universe. As I speak, the 400-page Star Fleet Battles rulebook and several Advanced Squad Leader tomes are weighing down a bookshelf in the […]

Remembering Gettysburg! (the game, that is)

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Jeff Shaara, author of several excellent Civil War (and other) novels. My interest in the American Civil War thus stirred up, I resolved to do something to capitalize on said interest. I’m not really into the Civil War re-enactment thing, and the movie Gettysburg, […]

Happy New Year; or, a watched Battletech miniature never dries

Happy New Year! Now that the holiday craziness is over, it’s back to Real Life (and, hopefully, regular posting). So what did you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve? A night on the town, perhaps, waiting for the ball to drop at midnight? Or maybe you got together for an evening of bacchanalian festivities with […]

Weekend game report: the great Federation-Vudar beatdown

This weekend, I played my biggest game of Star Fleet Battles yet. My opponent and I each had 600 points with which to purchase a squadron of starships. We each showed up to the field of battle with four ships–my force consisted of a Federation command cruiser, two heavy cruisers, and a plasma cruiser. He […]