Posts Tagged ‘product review’

Rommel – A Review of the Latest from Sam Mustafa’s Honour Series

Posted on December 6th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Review by Tom Burgess,

Sam Mustafa, one of the most successful US miniatures wargame rules developers, has brought his Honour series of the wargames into the 21th Century with Rommel. Sam has for the most part had kept previously to ancient, 18th and 19th century rules. The Honour series includes many great historical miniatures wargames to include Aurelian, Maurice, Lasalle, Blücher, and Longstreet. I have greatly enjoyed playing Sam’s games and was a playtester for a couple of them. What I always appreciated about Sam’s rules is that he always tries to push the envelope and come up with unique approaches and mechanics to keep games simple and fast moving while retaining the appropriate feel for the given period.

Rommel is no exception to Sam’s guiding game design philosophy. As I playtester on Sam games I recall as many has eleven different versions being tried. And when I say different versions, I mean complete redoes of the entire core mechanics, not just some minor tweaks.  Blücher may have had many more as it was completely shelved at one point, before coming out in its published form after Sam returned to working on it.

So what make Rommel so different? I’ve played a lot of WW2 miniatures wargame rules that run the gamut from small man to man squad actions up to brigade size battles, but Rommel picks up where the other WW2 wargames leave off. Wargaming with Rommel starts at the Division command level and extends upwards to the corps and even army level, this level of command in wargaming previously was for the most part the domain of board based wargames.

Indeed, many may see Rommel as more of a board game than a miniatures game, and I can tell you that’s exactly what Sam wants. As with rest of the Honour series, he wants you to make what you want out of the game. Sam has designed Rommel and other Honour series wargames to be equally playable using miniatures or without by using unit cards. Even though I consider myself a miniatures wargamer, this aspect has grown on me quite a bit. It really helps in playtesting new scenarios before embarking a large modeling project and it allows you to branch off and do “one off” scenarios in theaters that your model collection does not cover. It also lets you set up full battles which might be beyond your miniature collection span. For example, I have couple of lovely 15mm British Napoleonic Divisions for Blücher, but with the Waterloo unit cards decks for  Blücher I now have the complete orders of battle in unit cards for the Anglo-allied, French, and Prussian armies of the entire Waterloo campaign!
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BattleGroup: Overlord Beyond the Beaches

Posted on November 16th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

All images courtesy of IronFist Publishing.

When IronFist Publishing and The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) first published their Overlord book in 2013, the tome weighed in at 240-ish pages. The book covered the Western Europe forces in D-Day operations, as well as D-Day+1 up until the defeat in the Falaise Pocket.

IronFist and PSC recently republished a partial re-release of the book: Overlord Beyond the Beaches (BtB) that covers “the battles inland” after D-day. The reprint is slightly over half the pages of the original (at 136 pages).

The new version deals specifically with the forces and operations in Western Europe from D-Day + 1 on. IronFist will publish the D-Day sections and lists from the original at a “future date.” PSC teases the release on the web-page for BtB, noting a major anniversary date coming up (2019 would be 75 anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy).

Why then did IronFist and PSC decide to republish just half of the original in paperback version?

“…many of the smaller European Theatre of Operations campaign books we’d like to do in the future will use these lists…” (BtB, page 5)

Both the Wacht Am Rein (Battle of the Bulge) and the newly published Market Garden books do refer back to lists from the Overlord book (now accessible in the Beyond the Beaches re-release). The Wacht Am Rein link above takes you to a page to purchase a PDF copy of the book – but check your Friendly Local Game Store supplier if you’d like to find a physical copy. The Market Garden Link takes you to a link for a bundle of Market Garden AND Beyond the Beaches (BtB). I suspect PSC will continue to bundle (on their website) BtB with the campaign books that refer back to it.

What’s in the book?

Historical Section
Beyond the Beaches begins with a historical recap that spans five pages, and covers June 7 through August 1944. Photos from the Bundesarchive Archive, US Army Signal Corps, and Canadian National Archives enhance the layout.

Scenarios
Beyond that section, the book showcases several battle scenarios and rules for bocage terrain. Three types of battle scenarios are suggested by the designer: Meeting Engagements, Attack-Defence Scenarios, and Historical Re-fights.

Read more »

BattleGroup: Overlord Beyond the Beaches

Posted on November 16th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

All images courtesy of IronFist Publishing.

When IronFist Publishing and The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) first published their Overlord book in 2013, the tome weighed in at 240-ish pages. The book covered the Western Europe forces in D-Day operations, as well as D-Day+1 up until the defeat in the Falaise Pocket.

IronFist and PSC recently republished a partial re-release of the book: Overlord Beyond the Beaches (BtB) that covers “the battles inland” after D-day. The reprint is slightly over half the pages of the original (at 136 pages).

The new version deals specifically with the forces and operations in Western Europe from D-Day + 1 on. IronFist will publish the D-Day sections and lists from the original at a “future date.” PSC teases the release on the web-page for BtB, noting a major anniversary date coming up (2019 would be 75 anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy).

Why then did IronFist and PSC decide to republish just half of the original in paperback version?

“…many of the smaller European Theatre of Operations campaign books we’d like to do in the future will use these lists…” (BtB, page 5)

Both the Wacht Am Rein (Battle of the Bulge) and the newly published Market Garden books do refer back to lists from the Overlord book (now accessible in the Beyond the Beaches re-release). The Wacht Am Rein link above takes you to a page to purchase a PDF copy of the book – but check your Friendly Local Game Store supplier if you’d like to find a physical copy. The Market Garden Link takes you to a link for a bundle of Market Garden AND Beyond the Beaches (BtB). I suspect PSC will continue to bundle (on their website) BtB with the campaign books that refer back to it.

What’s in the book?

Historical Section
Beyond the Beaches begins with a historical recap that spans five pages, and covers June 7 through August 1944. Photos from the Bundesarchive Archive, US Army Signal Corps, and Canadian National Archives enhance the layout.

Scenarios
Beyond that section, the book showcases several battle scenarios and rules for bocage terrain. Three types of battle scenarios are suggested by the designer: Meeting Engagements, Attack-Defence Scenarios, and Historical Re-fights.

Read more »

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB222 Small Desert Houses

Posted on October 12th, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

These are great little houses for your desert table.   These Small Desert Houses are being released as part of Battlefront’s V4  North Africa Campaign. . These Small Desert Houses will also mix well in any Italian Campaign.  These Small Desert Houses will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

These homes are also representative of many Mediterranean homes.   Here are an actual Houses in North Africa.

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Product Review: Battlefront’s BB222 Small Desert Houses

Posted on October 12th, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

These are great little houses for your desert table.   These Small Desert Houses are being released as part of Battlefront’s V4  North Africa Campaign. . These Small Desert Houses will also mix well in any Italian Campaign.  These Small Desert Houses will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

These homes are also representative of many Mediterranean homes.   Here are an actual Houses in North Africa.

Read more »

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB225 Desert Walls

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

by Ranger Dane

A great little addition to your North Africa, or Italy battlefield terrain kit.  These wall sets come in “cover and concealment” (low wall) size and block LOS (tall wall) size. These wall sections are being released with the V4 North Africa campaign set, but they will also blend well in any Italian Campaign.  They will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

So let’s take a look at these walls that surround many North African homes, buildings and cities. These walls also surround many Mediterranean homes, buildings and cities.   Here are a few actual walls from North Africa.

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Product Review: Battlefront’s BB225 Desert Walls

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

by Ranger Dane

A great little addition to your North Africa, or Italy battlefield terrain kit.  These wall sets come in “cover and concealment” (low wall) size and block LOS (tall wall) size. These wall sections are being released with the V4 North Africa campaign set, but they will also blend well in any Italian Campaign.  They will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

So let’s take a look at these walls that surround many North African homes, buildings and cities. These walls also surround many Mediterranean homes, buildings and cities.   Here are a few actual walls from North Africa.

Read more »

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB228 Apartment Block

Posted on September 27th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

The most recent Battlefront property released as part of the RED THUNDER battlefield in a box terrain series is the Apartment Block. The Apartment Block is an impressive 3-story building capable of housing even the largest platoon.  Each floor measures 1.5” x 5” x 3.5”    and can hold: 4 (medium base) Infantry Teams.   This building is typical of the apartment buildings seen all over Europe.  This building is a welcome addition to Battlefront’s new modern building line for use with Team Yankee.

The 3-story Apartment Building comes with Air Conditioners (window units) and HVAC systems for the roof, or side yard

Let’s take a look at a few typical European apartment buildings.

Here we have Battle Front’s Apartment Block, product code BB228 and retails for $50.00 USD.

The model comes with:
• 1x ground floor with doorway.
• 2x elevated apartments with balcony.
• 1x roof.
• 1x package of 6x air conditioners and 4x HVAC units.

Each level of the Apartment Block could stand alone as a town building and are large enough to accommodate 4 infantry teams.

The roof is perfect for those SA-14 Gremlin or Fliegerfaust Teams.

I really like this model.  It is very representative of many of the city apartment blocks in Europe. Though this set comes pre-painted, it would be easy enough to change exterior colors to add a little Variety. It is a great terrain piece on the game table, especially when combined with other Team Yankee Terrain. Though some may not appreciate the $50 price tag, this is a lot of building for the gamer’s money.  The quality is there and there is a lot of resin in this 3-story building.  I believe I will get a few more of these and create an apartment block for those Urban-city fights.

This building rates: Ein Prosit und eins! zwei drei! trinken!
This Building was provided by Battlefront.

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB228 Apartment Block

Posted on September 27th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

The most recent Battlefront property released as part of the RED THUNDER battlefield in a box terrain series is the Apartment Block. The Apartment Block is an impressive 3-story building capable of housing even the largest platoon.  Each floor measures 1.5” x 5” x 3.5”    and can hold: 4 (medium base) Infantry Teams.   This building is typical of the apartment buildings seen all over Europe.  This building is a welcome addition to Battlefront’s new modern building line for use with Team Yankee.

The 3-story Apartment Building comes with Air Conditioners (window units) and HVAC systems for the roof, or side yard

Let’s take a look at a few typical European apartment buildings.

Here we have Battle Front’s Apartment Block, product code BB228 and retails for $50.00 USD.

The model comes with:
• 1x ground floor with doorway.
• 2x elevated apartments with balcony.
• 1x roof.
• 1x package of 6x air conditioners and 4x HVAC units.

Each level of the Apartment Block could stand alone as a town building and are large enough to accommodate 4 infantry teams.

The roof is perfect for those SA-14 Gremlin or Fliegerfaust Teams.

I really like this model.  It is very representative of many of the city apartment blocks in Europe. Though this set comes pre-painted, it would be easy enough to change exterior colors to add a little Variety. It is a great terrain piece on the game table, especially when combined with other Team Yankee Terrain. Though some may not appreciate the $50 price tag, this is a lot of building for the gamer’s money.  The quality is there and there is a lot of resin in this 3-story building.  I believe I will get a few more of these and create an apartment block for those Urban-city fights.

This building rates: Ein Prosit und eins! zwei drei! trinken!
This Building was provided by Battlefront.

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB215 Medium Desert House

Posted on September 20th, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

This is a nice piece of terrain for your Desert table.   This Medium Desert House is being released as part of Battlefront’s new modern building line for use with Team Yankee, but will work great for WWII gaming as well. . This Medium-sized Desert House is being released with the V4 North Africa campaign set, but it will also blend well in any Italian Campaign.
This Medium-sized Desert House will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

These homes are also representative of many Mediterranean homes.   Here are an actual House in North Africa.

Read more »

Product Review: Battlefront’s BB215 Medium Desert House

Posted on September 20th, 2017 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

By Ranger Dane

This is a nice piece of terrain for your Desert table.   This Medium Desert House is being released as part of Battlefront’s new modern building line for use with Team Yankee, but will work great for WWII gaming as well. . This Medium-sized Desert House is being released with the V4 North Africa campaign set, but it will also blend well in any Italian Campaign.
This Medium-sized Desert House will also blend seamlessly with any Arab-Israeli war game.

These homes are also representative of many Mediterranean homes.   Here are an actual House in North Africa.

Read more »