Review: Twilight Struggle

Review: Twilight Struggle

[Last month saw an argument between Quinns and Matt Thrower, our resident wargamer, over Here I Stand, a game of reformation-era revolution. It might be the nerdiest thing we’ve ever published. This month, we present the debate’s thrilling conclusion! All images in this article are courtesy of BoardGameGeek.]

Quinns: Matt, slow down! I’d never have guessed that a militaristic, paranoid, survivalist maniac would have a house riddled with secret passageways!

Thrower: Don’t forget the booby traps. Have you been treading where I tread?

Quinns: What?

Thrower: Ah, here we are! The heart of my house.

Quinns: It looks like a panic room. Except with a map of the world and… a big, red button?

Thrower: Naturally! It’s a room dedicated to my favourite game. Doesn’t every gamer have one? In my case, the game is Twilight Struggle, a card-driven recreation of the cold war and nuclear Armageddon. And, much as I hate to stand with the mainstream, it’s not just me that feels that way. It’s currently the number one ranked game on the global graveyard of game statistics, BoardGameGeek.

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Review: Here I Stand

Review: Here I Stand

Quinns: Matt? I need a second opinion on this beret. Hey, what’choo guys doing in this basement?

Thrower: INFIDEL! Remove that at ONCE! Can’t you see this is a Holy Place?

Quinns: I did wonder who all the menacingly hooded, chanting figures were.

Thrower: This is a shrine dedicated to the worship of the one true wargame mechanic: the card-driven game. And tonight, from our multitudinous pantheon, we are worshipping the many-headed and many-handed goddess. Mistress of lies and deceit, changer of the ways and the patron succubus of politicians: Here I Stand.

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Review: The Guns of Gettysburg

Review: The Guns of Gettysburg

[As of 2018 we’ve updated this article to include Rachel “Bowen” Simmons’ correct pronoun.]

Brendan: Hi Matt! So nice of you to invite me to your summer garden party! You know, I literally can’t remember the last time we saw each other– OH GOD WHAT’S THAT ON YOUR FACE

Thrower: Ow. Ouch! Unhand me, you oaf! That’s my authentic American Civil War facial hair.

Brendan: Sorry, I thought it was a badger.

Thrower: This month sees the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, often cited as the turning point of the civil war. To celebrate, I’m participating in an ultrarealistic re-enactment, playing the part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. You missed the first two days. I’m whiling away this third morning while my troops assemble playing this new wargame on the battle, The Guns of Gettysburg.

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Review: It Never Snows

Review: It Never Snows

[You know, after his ominous introduction to wargaming, that one dinner and the library incident, we’re starting to suspect there’s something dodgy about Matt Thrower, our war correspondent. What do you think, Paul? …Paul?]

Paul: Oh, my head! Where am I? Why am I tied to a chair?

Thrower: You’re in my house, and safe for now. You’re tied to a chair because I’ve kidnapped you.

Paul: That seems quite straightforward.

Thrower: Yes. We must play another game, you see.

On 17th September 1944, a German officer in Holland looked into the sky and saw white flakes falling. “But it never snows in September” he thought. Do you know what he’d seen?

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Review: 1812: The Invasion of Canada

Review: 1812: The Invasion of Canada

Last year we reviewed a very special game called A Few Acres of Snow. Now, it’s hard to say what’s weirder. That we’ve reviewed YET ANOTHER simulation of a Canadian war, or that a game called 1812: The Invasion of Canada is secretly great fun.

But that’s not all! This video comes packed with a tiny little Let’s Play of Jazz: The Singing Card Game, as well as the second ever instalment of Board Games With Brendan and a tiny cameo from Guts of Glory. Hot beans.

How’s everyone finding the videos-every-Friday thing? We’re having fun with it. It just feels correct, somehow.

Oh, and for everyone who misses our full episodes, you’ll have something to be very happy about at the end of the month. …What could it be, do you think?

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Review: Combat Commander

Review: Combat Commander

[We’ve once again dispatched Paul to the home of Matt Thrower, our wargames correspondant. This week he’s reviewing something that sounds… absolutely amazing? That can’t be right.]

Paul: Matt? Hi! No-one answered the door so I let myself in.

Matt: You tried to find your way through the house by yourself? God forbid if I’d forgotten to lock the basement.

Paul: What? Wait, what’s this room?

Matt: The library. Look here. These books have all tried to capture the experience of the front-line soldier. An extreme example of the human condition. Seeing one’s friends dismembered in the most appalling ways imaginable on a daily basis.

Paul: That’s-

Matt: Fascinating, yes. But it turns out all that research and writing was something of a waste of time. All they had to do was play this game, here: Combat Commander. It’s absolutely incredible, and more than a little blood-curdling.

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SU&SD Play… Memoir ’44: Operation Overlord

SU&SD Play... Memoir '44: Operation Overlord

August, 1942. The Germans begin their deadly assault of the Russian city of Stalingrad.

April, 2013. Team SU&SD assemble to recreate that fateful battle. But with more food. And arguably, more swearing.

The 2-8 player Overlord scenarios for featherweight wargame Memoir ’44 are unbelievable fun. To recreate them, you’ll need EITHER two copies of Memoir ’44, or, as seen here, ONE copy of Memoir ’44, ONE copy of the Operation Overlord expansion, and ONE of the official Battle Maps. Got that? Great.

WARNING: No amount of preparation will actually prepare you.

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Review: Last King of Scotland

Review: Last King of Scotland

(After the SU&SD primer on wargames earlier this month, Brendan’s refusing to go back to Matt Thrower’s house, which is strange. He seems very nice. This time we sent Paul to visit, for a closer look at an adorable little entry wargame.)

Thrower: Do come in. You may leave your shoes on if you wish. I lost a caltrop earlier.

Paul: Thank you so much for the dinner invite! It smells delicious.

Thrower: You’re welcome. Some of my oldest survival rations were beginning to moulder.

Paul: I… oh. What’s that box, there, buried under the camouflage netting? Wait, why is there camouflage netting in your kitchen?

Thrower: I’m glad you asked about the box. That’s my newest game, The Last King of Scotland. I was hoping we might play while dinner finished.

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Your Primer on… Wargames

Hannibal: Rome versus Carthage

(SU&SD is proud to introduce Matt Thrower, Pro Wargamer, who offered to cover wargames for us. It all sounded a bit suspect, so we sent Brendan to investigate.)

Brendan: Hi. Matt, right?

Matt: Hi there! Come in, come in. Did you have a pleasant journey?

Brendan: I don’t know. What was that waste I had to cross?

Matt: Not now, Brendan. Come with me. The US has declared victory in the war on terror.

Brendan: Right. Wait, what was that? And how do you know my name?

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Review: Fortress America

Review: Fortress America

Quinns: Think to get flickering lasers and evil Empires you’d have to play the X-Wing Miniatures Game? Think again, mister! Or miss. Sorry miss.

Paul: No, it’s me, I am a mist-

Quinns: Say hello to Fortress: America (and imagine it responding to your greeting with an excitable 21 gun salute).The ENTIRE WORLD (made up of three players) is invading near-future America (controlled by one player). I’m talking bombers over Boston. Hovertanks in Houston. APCs in… in, uh…

Paul: In Annapolis! This may well be the ultimate in what we call Ameritrash, big flashy board games with lots of components.

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