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This category contains 9 posts

Quarterdeck Games’ Hitler Strikes North

Jack Greene, designer of Ironbottom Sound, Destroyer Captain, Norway 1940, and the second edition of Bismarck, has revised Norway 1940, entitled it Hitler Strikes North! and made it available directly from him. Cost is $39 + $10 shipping (in the US). Address is: Jack Greene P. O. Box 822005 Vicksburg, MS 39182 For international orders, […]


Greenmail on the Red Planet

Designs that reject a genre’s fundamentals are like counterfactual history: what if things had happened this way? Rails Across America was just this kind of gem: a brilliant streamlined rethink of the rail tycoon genre that encouraged bold expansion, dirty tricks, and wild gambles, all because it focused on the broader decisions of rail empire […]


Divebombers, Mr. Rico! Zillions of ’em!

If you love games, you owe yourself a read of Playing at the World, a wonderful history of tabletop gaming by Jon Peterson and published in 2011 by Jon’s own imprint, Unreason Press.  It investigates the beginnings of the hobby we know as role-playing games, and in the process uncovers a lot of stuff I […]


Mapping the extremes

I was walking around in a local bookstore a while back. The kind that has a cat, and you pet the cat, and then browse for books, and then you think that there isn’t anything interesting here but you can always go back and pet the cat again. Except on the way back to the […]


The Year of Kampfgruppe Scherer

Everyone remembers years for different reasons. For gamers, there is usually a game attached. I know 1990 was the year I graduated from college, but it was most definitely also The Year of Civilization. I’m not quite sure what happened in 1994, but I sure can tell you it was The Year of X-COM. For me […]


In search of old New Worlds

Do you remember sitting in school, wishing your history class would be over so that you could run home and play Seven Cities of Gold and create your own history where you were a European explorer searching for riches and renown on an unexplored continent? If so, keep it to yourself, because that’s seriously creepy. […]


Glue-sticking it to the Man

Technology has a way of fixing problems. In gaming, it created distribution models that freed many designers from the restrictive grasp of publishers (direct download), produced handheld devices that gave simple mechanics a chance to shine (iPad), and connected consumers with creators in a way that removed restrictions on capital flow (Kickstarter). But in boardgaming, […]


“Convoy is to scatter”*

At 11.52 a.m. on 20 September, Rolf Hilse, on board U-48, received a coded message from Günther Prien in U-47. He had spotted a large eastbound convoy heading to Britain, and since U-48 had the latest most advanced radio equipment, he asked her to report this news to Dönitz at his command post in Lorient. […]


Imperialism and its discontents

If anyone ever turns his basement into a museum of strategy gaming, the broken card table that holds the best of the turn-based era probably only needs to have one game on it. If you’re wondering why I’m dragging Civilization into a retrospective about developer Frog City’s Imperialism series, the answer is that I’m not. […]