December 2018 #Kickstarter & Preorder Update

 Total Games On Order = 22

(Wargames 18 / Boardgames 3 / RPG 1)

Two deliveries this month including Squadron Strike: Traveller (Ad Astra Publishing, 2018) which was a Kickstarter project that I backed in March 2016! The second delivery was Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games, 2018). My initial thoughts are here.

Academy Games (@Academy_Games)

Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon (English first edition)

  • [Source / Order Date / Initial Delivery Date]
  • Kickstarter / Feb 2018 / Aug 2018
  • Per 13 Nov email now shipping Jan 2019

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 (English third edition)

  • Preorder / Jul 2017 / Late 2017
  • OxCart fulfillment for extras sent 21 Nov/ Rules v4.31 to printer 07 Dec 18

Ad Astra Publishing

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Courtesy BGG

**ARRIVED** Squadron Strike: Traveller

  • Kickstarter / Mar 2016 / Jul 2016
  • OMG it delivered! Overdue by 2 years 4 months I FINALLY have it in my hands!

Canvas Temple Publishing (canvastemple.com)

WW2 Deluxe: The War in Europe (First edition)

  • Kickstarter / Aug 2018 / Dec 2018
  • Per 28 Nov email expecting press sample “any time now;” project “has fallen a bit behind.”

Compass Games (@compassgamesllc)

Battle Hymn Volume 2: Shiloh & Bentonville

  • Preorder / Aug 2018 / Mid 2019

Indian Ocean Region: South China Sea – Vol. II

  • Preorder / Aug 2018 / Mid 2019

Pacific Tide: The United States Versus Japan, 1941-45 (First Edition)

  • Preorder / Sep 2018 / Nov 2018 
  • Website now shows release date Jan 2019

Dan Verssen Games (DVG)

**NEW** Castle Itter – The Strangest Battle of WWII

  • Kickstarter / Dec 2018 / Jun 2019

Gale Force 9 (@GaleForce9Nine)

**NEW** TANKS: The Modern Age – M1 vs T-64 Starter Set

**NEW** TANKS: The Modern Age – US M60 Patton Expansion

**NEW** TANKS: The Modern Age – Soviet T-72 Expansion

  • Preorder via CoolStuffInc / Nov 2018 / Dec 2018
  • SHHHH! Christmas presents for Youngest RockyMountainNavy Boy…maybe
  • When preordered the two expansions were showing Expected Release in Nov 2018 but now updated to show Dec release. Of course, the Starter Set is now out of stock so I may just have to cancel the order and try to source locally.

GMT Games (@gmtgames)

**Note that the GMT Games P500 program works differently. Games are not slotted for production until a threshold is met. Status per GMT Games website 16 Nov and updated via 01 Dec email.** 

Flashpoint: South China Sea (English first edition)

  • P500 / Feb 2018 / Status: 458 Not There Yet

Imperial Struggle (English first edition)

  • P500 / Nov 2017 / Status: 2866 Made the Cut Later 2019

MBT: 4CMBG (Expansion for MBT (Second Edition))

  • P500 / Jun 2018 / Status: 462 Not There Yet

Panzer: Game Expansion #4: France 1940 (First Edition)

  • P500 / Feb 2018 / Status: 720
  • Per 01 Dec GMT Update to charge 10-13 Dec and ship shortly thereafter

Panzer: Game Expansion Set, Nr 1 – The Shape of Battle on the Eastern Front 1943-45

  • P500 / Oct 2017 / Status: 83 Not There Yet

Plains Indian War (First Edition)

  • P500 / Jun 2018 / Status: 331 Not There Yet 

Red Storm: The Air War Over Central Germany, 1987

  • P500 / Nov 2016 / Status: 631 In Art; Shipping 5-9 months

Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs (English first edition)

  • P500 / Nov 2016 / Status: 786 In Art; Shipping 5-9 months

Wing Leader: Eagles 1943-45 (GMT first edition)

  • P500 / Jan 2018 / Status: 529 Made the Cut

Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942, 2nd Ed. Update Kit

  • P500 / Nov 2017 / Status: 423 Not There Yet

History in Action Games (on SquareSpace)

Tranquility Base (includes Tranquility Base: Soviet Moon Expansion)

  • Kickstarter / Oct 2018 / Mar 2019
  • Per update 31 Oct bonus Lunar Landers will be produced

Magic Vacuum Publishing (Cam Banks)

Cortex Prime: A Multi-Genre Modular Roleplaying Game

  • Kickstarter / May 2017 / April 2018
  • Designer/Publisher Cam Banks moving to New Zealand in Dec; everything pushed to 2019 (books before April with pdf before?)
  • Email 02 Dec mentions no longer processing refunds; are lots of people bailing?

Worthington Publishing (@worth2004)

Hold the Line: The American Civil War (First Edition)

  • Kickstarter / Apr 2018 / Sep 2018
  • Per 07 Dec update – Hard printed sample sent; games on boat by 15 Jan to ship mid-late Feb 2019

Z-Man Games (@Zmangames_)

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Credit: Self

**ARRIVED** Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Outlook

pic4431242
Courtesy BGG

Designer JD Webster posted preview box art on BoardGameGeek and ConSimWorld for the next addition to the Flying Wings series of games, Wings of the Motherland (Clash of Arms, 2019). According to designer JD Webster this will be a “monster game” with a hefty price tag ($150 or more?):

  • 308 pages of printed materials in five books.
  • Rules 80 pages
  • Play Aids 32 pages
  • Data cards 60 pages
  • Rules supplement 16 pages
  • Scenario book 120 pages (220 scenarios).
  • 280 Aircraft counters
  • 280 ground unit (target) counters
  • 70 1×1/2 inch ship and terrain counters
  • Two game maps, printed back to back, four types of terrain to play on.

Not up for preorder yet but as soon as it is….

Featured image courtesy misternizz.wordpress.com

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(Very) Initial Reactions to Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games, 2018)

Designer Matt Leacock’s Pandemic (Z-Man Games, 2008) is a popular game in the RockyMountainNavy house. This is a bit surprising because we really are more wargamers than Eurogamers. Over the years, we have played a few epic Pandemic games and we love playing the title because every game is a narrative adventure. The RockyMountainNavy Boys also like Ancient Rome; indeed Enemies of Rome (Worthington Publishing, 2017) is the most-played wargame in the house this year. So when I saw the match of the Pandemic-mechanics with the Rome theme, Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games, 2018) was an autobuy.

zgLVeSk8Tn+CXkchMq7sMwHaving arrived this week, Pandemic: Fall of Rome had to land on the table for an early Game Night. Early because the oldest RMN Boy wanted to play and he usually works Saturday nights. Our first-ever game of Pandemic: Fall of Rome was a four-player adventure with Middle RMN as Consul, Youngest RMN as Mercator, Oldest RMN as Praefectus Fabrum, and myself as Magister Militum.

The base game comes with seven different Roles. There is not easy direct translation from the classic Pandemic Roles to Fall of Rome so it takes a bit more to figure out (and remember) what all special abilities each Role has. A real starting challenge that will surely get easier as more plays build familiarity.

There are now eight different Actions to chose from. March, Sail, Plot, and Forge Alliance are easily translated from Pandemic but Fortify, Recruit Army, Battle(!) and Enlist Barbarians are much different. When taken in combination with the two or three special ability Actions each Role has this means new players must figure out how to select from a menu of 10-11 Actions each turn. Add into that each Role’s special effect in Battle. I know that at least once I could of used my special ability if I had remembered to look at it.

Another layer of complexity are the Event Cards. When played, Event Cards do not count against the player’s 4 Action limit each turn (they do count against the Hand Limit though). Each Event Card has a standard option and a corrupt option which, when used, is powerful but progresses the Decline Marker another step towards defeat. I personally liked this choice; do the standard for OK effect or risk defeat for a more powerful effect.

The rules for Revolts and Invade Cities in Fall of Rome are not difficult but the spread of the barbarians is much different than the spread of infection in classic Pandemic. Different enough that this section requires a much closer reading than I gave it.

Being a wargaming family we really were looking forward to the Battle Action in Fall of Rome. The Action turned out to not quite be what we expected. When battling, you have to be ready to lose Legions. There are several ways to build Legions (Recruit Army or Enlist Barbarians) and using these Actions will be needed to raise forces to stem the advancing hordes.

Thematically, all the game elements come together and do a good job of creating the feel of a declining Rome. Although I am a historian by education, I was pleased to see the designers making a point that Fall of Rome is not a historical game.  Amusingly, they make that point in the Historical Notes on p. 11:

Pandemic: Fall of Rome is inspired by the historical events surrounding the fall of the western Roman Empire….

Although a strong attempt has been made to pair game mechanics with some level of historical backing, the game is not attempting to be considered as a historical simulation….When a design choice was required between simulation and gameplay, gameplay received preference.

We lost our first game of Pandemic: Fall of Rome. Like really lost. Rome was sacked when we only had two of the five needed alliances. We will play again, but next time we will be much smarter because we now clearly see that although Fall of Rome is a Pandemicstyle game, it is not a Pandemic clone. Fall of Rome is a much different strategic challenge than Pandemic. Thematically, Fall of Rome also delivers on the title; there are times when one feels helpless against the never-ending invading hordes. Few boardgames really deliver on theme (Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (Fantasy Flight Games, 2008) is the best exception) and Pandemic: Fall of Rome is one of them. For that reason alone the game will land on the table again – only next time we will all be smarter and more prepared to face the tough challenge.

Featured image courtesy thehistorynetwork.org

Record Rhino Hero (HABA, 2011)

The main game for Game Night was finished but the RockyMountainNavy Boys were not quite ready to hit the sack. Youngest RMN asked, “How about a short game?”

After a short discussion, we pulled Rhino Hero (HABA, 2011) out. Rhino Hero is a dexterity game where you place floors atop walls to build the tallest building with the Rhino Hero pawn inside and not knock it over.

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Leaning & shaking with 13 floors. Rhino is hidden within near the middle…

In the first game we built the structure up 13 stories. The RMN Boys cannot ever remember a Rhino Hero building this high. Of course, it was me who knocked it over on the 14th-level!

We ended up playing three games total but none of the other buildings got near the height of the first game. The last game came close and was all-the-more-difficult because we started with the single-wall base structure instead of the usual (and more stable) two-wall first floor.

According to my BGStats appRhino Hero is my most-played game of 2018 with 36 recorded plays. No wonder; a short, fun game where everyone laughs. Don’t let the kiddie graphics fool you, Rhino Hero is a serious game that deserves to be in a family game collection.

Blah-day Gaming

Today was a Federal Holiday to honor former President H.W. Bush and although I didn’t have to go to work the Youngest RockyMountainNavy Boy was also home. He had come down with a case of the blahs and didn’t really look healthy enough to go to school. Instead, he stayed home and we both took advantage of the day for some father-son bonding using boardgames!

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BGG.com

The first game of the day we played was Queendomino (Blue Orange Games, 2017). It was a good two-player contest with me emerging victorious 54-44. Today’s play also pushed Queendomino into my Dimes group of played games (at least 10 plays) for 2018.

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BGG.com

The second game of the day was Tiny Epic Galaxies (Gamelyn Games, 2015). My Secret Mission was Orbiter (all ships on home galaxy at game end, +2 VP) while Youngest RMN Boy was Conqueror (most planets, +3 VP). The Secret Mission 1 VP difference was the final scoring difference with Youngest RMN squeaking by with the 1VP win (24-23).

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Credit – Self

The third and last game of the day was Ticket to Ride: New York (Days of Wonder, 2018). This was another game that needed one more play to enter Dime -status for the year. Middle RMN Boy joined us for this game which in hindsight was a mistake as he totally swept us 38-31-25.

None of the games played today were “heavy” by any stretch of the imagination. In many ways playing the “lighter” games was right because the play emphasized family together time instead of being a “brain-burner.”

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Credit – Self

As excited as Little RMN was to play with Dad on this Holiday/Sick Day, he got more excited when a certain box arrived. Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games, 2018) is now in the house and will almost certainly land on the gaming table this weekend for a 4-player session. Given the theme, even the Oldest RMN Boy wants to play. Which goes again to show how gaming can bring family and friends together and make even a dreary day so much better.

Featured image courtesy Z-Man Games.

Tough Game Night Moments – thoughts on rules, factions, and “take that”

After missing the RockyMountainNavy Game Night for two weeks the boardgame Enemies of Rome (Worthington Publishing, 2017) landed on the table. Although there are other games unplayed waiting for a slot at the table, like AuZtralia (Stronghold Games, 2018) we pulled Enemies of Rome out at the request of the youngest RMN Boy as it matches what he is studying in history at school.

It did not go so well.

I have said before that Enemies of Rome is not the game it appears to be. What looks like an area control game is actually a Battle Royale. Glory Points are scored by winning battles which means one must think very offensively. Although the RockyMountainNavy Boys and myself have played Enemies of Rome ten times now, and even discussed the victory demands, it has yet to fully sink in to the Middle RMN Boy. In tonights game, like the last one, he “turtled” early and fell far behind in points as he built up his forces without attacking any of the enemies of Rome. Unfortunately, the enemies of Rome also were building up their forces right in his neighborhood. It also did not help that the Youngest RMN Boy chose to lash out at his brothers outposts and seized several provinces. As a result, Middle RMN fell far behind in points and was very sullen and not fully into the game.

It would be very easy for me to blame this on his Autism Spectrum condition but that’s too easy. Tonight was a good reminder that, no matter how familiar one is with a game, it behooves players to review some of the basic rules and mechanics of a game. In this case, a gentle reminder to all that Glory Points are earned by attacking is only part of it. A review of the die odds is also helpful. If one waits for overwhelming odds in their favor they will fall behind. I know that I often gamble with 2:1 or 3:2 attacks because I recognize the need to generate Glory Points. I save the 3:1 or 4:1 attacks for battles against other Legions because the penalty for losing those battles is loss of Glory Points.

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Courtesy Z-Man Games

I think Enemies of Rome will sit on the shelf for a bit and cool off. This doesn’t mean we will be hurting for games; indeed, it clears the way (and maybe even creates a demand) to get the semi-cooperative AuZtralia to the table. All the RMN Boys are also excited that the cooperative Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games, 2018) has been shipped. As a family, we really enjoy Pandemic and the Middle RMN Boy has proven to be a bit of a whiz at playing. I hope that these games in particular bring joy to the gaming table.

Dk_yqCEWsAki4_HIn the same vein, this weekends events have forced me to reconsider introducing Root (Leder Games, 2018) to the RMN Boys. The asymmetric nature of the different player factions in Root demands that each player play a bit differently. For the Middle RMN Boy this may be challenging. I remember the first time we played with the Invaders from Afar Expansion to Scythe (Stonemaier Games, 2016) and the Middle RMN Boy got a whole new faction. He struggled mightily to figure out how the faction worked. When he tried to watch his brother and I play our factions it was of little help because every faction plays differently. Root may work if I can convince him to play the first time the using the Marquis de Cat as I think that faction is mechanically the most straight forward.

As a wargamer, a game with a “take that” mechanic doesn’t offend me. However, events like this weekend’s game reminds me that not all players are like me. I don’t think I will ever fully turn into a Eurogamer with their “let’s just all get along and make a farm” attitude but bringing out more games with less “take that” for the Family Game Night probably won’t hurt.

Featured image courtesy Worthington Publishing.

The holiday season is upon us – Limited November gaming but still lots of joy.

November was a VERY slow gaming month. Lots of moving parts conspired to reduce the number of games played this past month. The RockyMountainNavy tribe missed two (2!) weekends of game nights. This is the first time since August 2016 that we missed  more than one week at a time. It also doesn’t help that the Youngest RMN Boy started Indoor Track season which digs into my weeknight game time. It also doesn’t help that my gaming space has been overtaken by the gift wrap station….

So how did the month look?

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According to BGStats, I played 18 games in November. Once again, the way BGG Stats tracks plays is off as I actually played 16 games and two expansions. The multi-game play was Terraforming Mars (Stronghold Games, 2016) using both the Prelude and new Colonies expansion.

box-heroThe game of the month was definitely AuZtralia (Stronghold Games). All my plays to date are solo play as this game has yet to reach the RMN Game Night table. My initial impression was a bit weak, but as time has passed the game has grown on me more. I really want to get this one to Game Night and see what the RMN Boys say!

pic360048My Grognard Game of the Month was Tokyo Express (Victory Games, 1988). It was a real treat to play it again after so many years. A solid design with alot to teach about what a real solitaire wargame can be.

It was also Black Friday in the States with many sales. Actually, the entire month of November featured many sales, a few of which I took advantage of. That is how I welcomed Brian Train’s Finnish Civil War (Paper Wars, Compass Games 2017) to my collection.

pic23647501The biggest surprise of the month was the Kickstarter fulfillment of Squadron Strike: Traveller (Ad Astra Games) after a delay of over two years. I will have many more thoughts on this game coming at you in the future. Actually, there are several Kickstarter and pre-order fulfillments coming that I did not expect as recently as two weeks ago. My preorder copy of Pandemic: Fall of Rome (Z-Man Games) is enroute, and Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel, Kursk, 1943 (Academy Games) may be in hand before the end of the year! I will also likely add several more games to my order list as Hollandspiele is having their Hollandays sale starting the day this posts.

December will continue to be gaming challenge as we are busy and my gaming space is preempted. On the plus side, I earned a generous amount of vacation time and I plan on using it at the end of the year (after Christmas). I feel that the last week of December may see an explosion of gaming as I make up for lost time.

Here’s wishing all of you a Happy Holiday. May you spend it gaming with family and making memories for a lifetime.

 

November 2018 #Kickstarter & Preorder Update

 Total Games On Order = 22

(Wargames 18 / Boardgames 3 / RPG 1)

This month there were two new games ordered (AuZtralia and Paper Wars 84 – FINNISH CIVIL WAR) with AuZtralia already delivered!

Theoretically, six of these games should deliver before the end of the year. Theoretically…but looking more unlikely based on the more recent updates. I think I will be lucky to see three of them.

Academy Games (@Academy_Games)

Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon (English first edition)

  • [Source / Order Date / Initial Delivery Date]
  • Kickstarter / Feb 2018 / Aug 2018
  • Per 13 Nov email now shipping Jan 2019

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 (English third edition)

  • Preorder / Jul 2017 / Late 2017
  • Latest version of rules (v26) sent to ProofHQ 01 Nov
  • Latest version of Battle Cards (v7) to ProofHQ 26 Oct

Ad Astra Publishing

Squadron Strike: Traveller

  • Kickstarter / Mar 2016 / Jul 2016 LONG OVERDUE
  • PDF bundle delivered 09 Nov (still awaiting my boxed set)

According to an email late 15 Oct, this game was “supposed” to ship in the next few weeks. We. Will. See. (Am not holding my breathe….)

Canvas Temple Publishing (canvastemple.com)

WW2 Deluxe: The War in Europe (First edition)

  • Kickstarter / Aug 2018 / Dec 2018
  • Per 27 Oct email now at printer; press sample “sometime in next 30 days”

Compass Games (@compassgamesllc)

Battle Hymn Volume 2: Shiloh & Bentonville

  • Preorder / Aug 2018 / Mid 2019

Indian Ocean Region: South China Sea – Vol. II

  • Preorder / Aug 2018 / Mid 2019

Pacific Tide: The United States Versus Japan, 1941-45 (First Edition)

  • Preorder / Sep 2018 / Nov 2018 
  • Website now shows release date 15 Dec

**NEW** Paper Wars 84 – FINNISH CIVIL WAR by Brian Train

GMT Games (@gmtgames)

**Note that the GMT Games P500 program works differently. Games are not slotted for production until a threshold is met. Status per GMT Games website 18 Oct** 

Flashpoint: South China Sea (English first edition)

  • P500 / Feb 2018 / Status: 458 Not There Yet

Imperial Struggle (English first edition)

  • P500 / Nov 2017 / Status: 2866 Made the Cut Later 2019

MBT: 4CMBG (Expansion for MBT (Second Edition))

  • P500 / Jun 2018 / Status: 462 Not There Yet

Panzer: Game Expansion #4: France 1940 (First Edition)

  • P500 / Feb 2018 / Status: 720 At the Printer Nov-Dec 2018

Panzer: Game Expansion Set, Nr 1 – The Shape of Battle on the Eastern Front 1943-45

  • P500 / Oct 2017 / Status: 83 Not There Yet

Plains Indian War (First Edition)

  • P500 / Jun 2018 / Status: 331 Not There Yet 

Red Storm: The Air War Over Central Germany, 1987

  • P500 / Nov 2016 / Status: 631 Made the Cut, Art Department, Early 2019

Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs (English first edition)

  • P500 / Nov 2016 / Status: 786 Made the Cut Early 2019

Wing Leader: Eagles 1943-45 (GMT first edition)

  • P500 / Jan 2018 / Status: 529 Made the Cut

Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942, 2nd Ed. Update Kit

  • P500 / Nov 2017 / Status: 423 Not There Yet

History in Action Games (on SquareSpace)

Tranquility Base (includes Tranquility Base: Soviet Moon Expansion)

  • Kickstarter / Oct 2018 / Mar 2019
  • Per update 31 Oct bonus Lunar Landers will be produced

Magic Vacuum Publishing (Cam Banks)

Cortex Prime: A Multi-Genre Modular Roleplaying Game

  • Kickstarter / May 2017 / April 2018
  • Cam Banks is moving to New Zealand in December and everything is pushed to after

Stronghold Games (@StrongholdGames)

**NEW**ARRIVED** AuZtralia: Martin Wallace (The Great Designer’s Series #11)

  • Preorder / Oct 2018 / Nov 2018

**ARRIVED** Terraforming Mars: Colonies (Terraforming Mars Expansion #4)

  • Preorder / Oct 2018 / Nov 2018

Worthington Publishing (@worth2004)

Hold the Line: The American Civil War (First Edition)

  • Kickstarter / Apr 2018 / Sep 2018
  • Per 14 Nov update now in printing; delivery in 30 days

Z-Man Games (@Zmangames_)

Pandemic: Fall of Rome

  • Preorder / Sep 2018 / 4Q18
  • Website shows “At the Printer”

Quick Stats

  • 32 Months: Longest time on “preorder” – Squadron Strike Traveller
  • 28 Months: Most Overdue – Squadron Strike Traveller
  • 10 Games: P500 from GMT Games
  • 6 Games: Preordered
  • 6 Games: Kickstarter
  • 2 Games: Delivered
  • 2 Games: New Order