A Year in Review (of sorts…)

Now that the year has passed I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on what worked for me this year, and what didn’t.  First of all, the big hits of the year, neither of which was published in 2015.

Hits and Misses: 

After viewing a couple of videos by Marco and Kev, I decided to give GBoH a go using the Simple GBoH rules. I’ve tried this before, lured by the beautiful components of this series, but this time, using the Simple rules, it stuck. And it stuck in a big way, me having then purchase as many of the titles as I could find. (I’ve learned the hard lesson of “if you think you would want to play it, get it before  it goes OOP. Otherwise, be prepared to shell out big bucks for a copy.)  The other big surprise?  GMT’s Iron and Oak.  I had seen the game before but it didn’t initially strike me as one that would be interesting to play.  My friend Dave talked me into it…  One play of a scenario was all it took. This game provides so much “narrative” in it’s play, you can practically imagine a painting hanging on the wall at the naval academy based on the heroic struggle you’ve just played out.  Great stuff!  Borg finally had his re-do of C&C:N published; if you have not played with the new decks, it’s worth spending the money to update your game. The additional decks bring a flair to the game that was missing. And finally, I’m so happy that “Singlehandedwarfare” guy did his video on Fires of Midway.  This is a game that was well under my radar, and I regret it. It’s well worth a look….  By the way, thanks to all the video bloggers out there, esp. Kev, Marco and the SHW guy. (What is your name?)

I was pretty lucky this year in that  most of the board wargames I played were quite good. In fact, my only disappointments are in miniature wargame rules, esp. DBA 3.0 and AdG (english edition).  

A Tale of Two magazines….  No, wait, make it three:

It used to be (pre-internet time) that magazines where the lifeline of the hobby.  In fact, it was a Fire and Movement magazine spotted at a Borders in 2000 that brought me back into the hobby.  Now days, of course, it’s not what it used to be; still, some Herculean efforts (well, efforts…) are being made in the attempt to provide the hobby with a decent, if not expensive, magazine.  Just as the year was ending, Battles #10 dropped into my postal box.  Say what you want about a quarterly magazine that goes to print every 18-24 months, but you have to admit that Oliver always does a superb job with the publication. It’s full of wit and humor, with reviews by Burtt and Moody, commentary by Vasey and Sabin, and those gorgeous photos that always lead me to read every article. It’s very frustrating to subscribe to this journal, but it’s always worth the wait. (But, boy, what a wait!)

Enter YAAH! magazine (#4, as it happens)…..  To be honest, I  resisted in buying this magazine just because of the name. (YAAH!…????  It doesn’t really let you know what the magazine is trying to achieve, does it?)   I suppose I ordered it be cause of two interviews: Steve Jackson and Rachel Simmons. The latter wasn’t too bad, but the former was rather short considering it was SJ himself; I thought it would extend more than one page (… It lacked depth).  This seems like a lost opportunity.  I enjoyed Ania’s article on Blood and Roses and the preview of Chadwick’s ETO. The photos and layout was pretty well done. Will I come back for another? I don’t know. I did read a few of the articles; there was too much space devoted to scenarios for games I don’t own. We will see if I decide to give it another go.  

Finally, a day before the new year a friend of mine, Dave, handed me a copy of War Dairy (V.2n.2). This is a quarterly wargaming journal that actually seems to be published quarterly! I didn’t purchase this myself, so I don’t quite know how much each issue costs. It did hold my attention and contained several worthwhile articles including reviews of Codeword Cromwell, Nimitz, and a good interview of the folks at Marshal  Enterprises. Kudos to Gary Graber’s thought-provoking article on design and the old “CRT” system; everyone should give this one a read.  The magazine lacked color pages but used its space well.  I should probably try another issue…  Not a bad magazine; if I had any interest towards the COA’s BAR system, I probably would have ranked this issue higher (as this was the main focus of this issue).  

Well, that was 2015….    I need to find the time to game more in the new year. (Resolution #3)  Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy 2016. See you at the game table.


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Comment by Roger Morley on January 10, 2016 at 2:58pm

Good post and some nice personal thoughts from your year.

Comment by Wayne Rotella on January 8, 2016 at 7:48pm

Hey Dave. Thanks for the post. I am now reading the Simple GBoH rules with the idea of getting into the system full bore. Your post inspired me!

Comment by Eric Walters on January 4, 2016 at 7:30pm

Nice post!  I also liked YAAH!  #4.  

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