Summertime and the gaming is easy...... The Summer 2014 "bucket list"

I'm finally seeing the end of an intense year of work with way too many 60-70 hour work weeks. The reward? Time over the next few weeks to get back to gaming. In fact, while I was slaving away at work, the mound of unplayed, recently purchased, games kept growing. Now it's time to prioritize, pull some out and punch some counters.

What's on the list? Here's the order I plan to play...

1. Status Pro Baseball..... Yes, I know it's not a wargame, but my nephew has been bugging me to learn this game (his favorite) so we can get together and play a few innings. There's a reason why this game is over 50 years old; it's a great game. Now if only they made a Canadian Football game....

2. Tide at Sunrise (IGS). This seems like a good place to start. An easy game with interesting mechanics. It doesn't hurt that it's a beautiful game as well.... Very easy on the eyes!

3. Blood and Roses (GMT). Next week it's back to GMT games with Blood and Roses. I've developed a recent fascination with the War of the Roses and this game should scratch that itch. I'm also hoping to construct a C&C: WOR game for a future convention game.... More on this later.

4. World at War: Eisenbach Gap (LNL). Thanks to Kev Sharp's enthusiasm over at I've recently welcomed the deluxe version of this game into my home. The quality of the game.... Rules, counters, maps.... Are as nice as any game I've ever bought. We'll have to see how it plays.

5. Saratoga. (GMT). Gilbert's Video Blog and the half off sale at GMT finally made me break down and buy this one. Again, we'll see how this one plays.

6. Storm over Series (IGS). I've got quite a few non war gaming friends who will play a game with me as long as it's easily explained. Card driven games always seems to fit that bill and this series (Stalingrad and Dien Bien Phu) provides a couple of games that are not too difficult for my RPG/euro inclined friends.

7. Guicard. This game was produced by the Cry havoc fan site and is an outstanding adaptation of the original game, fixing many of the problems that existed. Also, an amazingly beautiful game to look at...

8. Combat Commander (GMT). Thanks to everyone this year for reminding me what a great game this is and I've got to pull it out and relearn the system. This is one of those games I kept buying modules for but never quite get around to playing. It's time to correct that.

Whew well that should keep me busy for the next month. In addition I'm running some C&C ancients and napoleonic games at Pacificon 2014 using my pimped out hex boards (four inch Kallistra terrain and 15mm miniatures) and I'll have to pull that together before things start getting crazy in August. By the way, Richard Borg, the designer of C&C, will be at Pacificon. So if you're in the area drift on by, play a game and chat with the man himself!

Dave Smith

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Comment by Dave Smith on July 25, 2014 at 4:07pm
Ok Christian, here's the update:
Played status pro baseball and it's a winner, assuming you like baseball, if course. I love how they handle the batter-pitcher duel. Elegant.
the Tide at Sunrise is another winner. It's a good operational game with beautiful components. With a short set of rules and not too many counters on the board, it'll make a good into game as well as keeping veteran wargamers happy.
World at War: Eisenbach Gap. Problems here.... It had a bad sheet of counters and took a month to getting corrected. Thanks to Noble Knight for intervening with LNL and getting me that counter sheet. This game is poised to be placed on the table.
Saratoga left me unmoved. It might be a great game system, but not for me.
Storm over Series: played Stalingrad, loved it, DBP is unplayed.
Guicard: read the rules and will get it on the table in the next few days.
Blood and Roses: read the rules, game still unpuncheed. I will get to it, though.
combat commander series: at the end of the list, may get kicked to winter break.

Unexpected finds: I started playing the Down in Flames series of games. I'm very enthusiastic about this series. Just received the updated version last week and had a fine evening of play with a non war gaming friend. I also bought a copy of GMTs Dark Valley and I'm very tempted to get that on the table.

There has been some disruption in play as I've had to work on the pimped out C&C Ancients and Napoleonics games for Pacificon 2014. I had to make some more stands for the scenario and come up with a way to create acceptable terrain features for the board.

Two weeks left in my vacation. Not everything will get played, but it was a good attempt. I wish that the LNL game wasn't damaged when I got it. You've got to get to these things when you're fired up and ready to play.

Dave Smith
Comment by Christian A. Strasser on July 15, 2014 at 8:35am

Richard "Borg" indeed!  We've all been assimilated!

Have you completed any sessions since the list?

Comment by Dave Smith on June 27, 2014 at 10:30am
UPDATE: Lock n Load Problems, C&C opportunity

Well, my itch to play WaW:Eisenbach Gap Deluxe has hit the skids since I discovered (after opening the shrink) that the counters were badly damaged (as in can't read some of the numbers). I've had no help from LNL Publishing or the retailer on this one. LNL just won't respond, but I'm hoping that the retailer will come through with replacements.
About the time I was sulking about Eisenbach Gap, a couple of non wargamers asked me to teach them C&C Ancients. So I seized the opportunity to practice teaching novices the system. I'll be running a couple of C&C games at Pacificon 2014 (Labor Day Weekend). Richard Borg will be a guest at the convention and we'll have several gaming sessions with the system including play testing C&C: Epic Napoeonics.

Meanwhile, it's back to the stack. I'll punch Saratoga and give it a trial run.

Comment by usrlocal on June 19, 2014 at 5:34pm
TCS Canadian Crucible
Solitaire ASL (needs more love)
ASLSK #1 (to rope in a willing newbie MUHAHAHAHAHA *hack* * cough* HA!)
Maybe some Musket&Pike
Maybe Talavera (NBS)
Wilderness War (Vassal)
Comment by Eric Walters on June 16, 2014 at 7:20pm

My Summer of 2014 Bucket List:

-- Play all the scenarios of ASLSK#1 and 2.  Will save 3 and the Expansion Pack for the fall and winter.  Maybe get to DECISION AT ELST by the Spring of 2015.  Maybe.

-- THE GUNS OF GETTYSBURG.  Love these Bowen Simmons-style block games and have been wanting to give this one a spin.

-- VAUCHAMPS by Against The Odds.  Been a long time since I've done the La Bataille series and it's about time I got back into it.

-- END OF EMPIRE by Compass Games.  The game that might finally eclipse the venerable Avalon Hill 1776.  Might.  Need to give this one a go,

Lots of other games I'd like to do and I know I probably won't get to all of these before Labor Day rolls around!  But a man has to have goals!

Comment by Roger Morley on June 16, 2014 at 4:10pm

A Good list Dave, and I wish you luck in completing it. I had a similar list for games I wanted to play this year, but it fell flat. I think I had too many and left me with very little room for anything else.

Comment by Dave Smith on June 15, 2014 at 9:58pm

I know what you mean, the grading grotto becomes the gaming grotto.....   I've tried ASLSK, but still cling to the original SL (in the purple box, for those who remember....) from back in the day.

Comment by Wayne Rotella on June 15, 2014 at 6:41am

I am with you Dave. I am a teacher and when I got into the profession 5 years ago I did not know the benefit of having my summers off in regards to war gaming. This year I will have work obligations over the summer but am looking forward to some gaming like never before. Blood and Roses is on my to do list as well but I want to invest some time into ASL Starter Kits. Like you with C&C I have bought almost all of the modules and updates for ASL. Time to make that invest count. I also want to dip into GBOH from GMT.

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