Friday, February 13, 2015

Some books, a Kickstarter or two, a house, and one particular harbor

Hello,
 
Well, once again I don’t have much to talk about for gaming, but I got some general information.
 
First, some books: I am still plugging away at knocking out the Ian Fleming’s ‘James Bond’ series in chronological order.  I am well over half way through the For Your Eyes Only book, which is really a collection of 5 short stories.  I will probably be starting Thunderball early next week.  On Monday and Wednesday of this week I had to do a bit of driving, so I listened to several radio plays and knocked out listening to Dead Mountain, which is about the Dyatlov Pass disaster. This one was sort of narrative of what was known to have happen to the hikers and a travel log of the author’s travels to Russia to follow the hikers route.  This one book also gives a realistic reason for what happen, like the book I read last year (even though it has the misleading UFO picture on the cover.)  I am getting ready to start listening to the audio book, Gallipoli by Peter FitzSimons.  It has some great reviews and the author is a respected journalist who also written several other books on the history of Australia that I look forward to reading or listening to (Ned Kelly, Mawson and the Antarctica explorers, Eureka Stockade, Tobruk, and Kokoda.)

A Kickstarter or two: While I am supporting a couple of different Kickstarters, there is one that I figure most of you would be interested to know about and that is ‘Ghostbusters: The Board Game’.  How can anyone not like the Ghostbusters!   It is only a couple days into it and they are over $430K raised, plus another 27 days to go.  Besides the subject matter, what is cool about it is that it is a co-op game up to 4 players or a solo board game.  Check it out at this link.  Also, if you like paper terrain, check out the Fat Dragon Games’ Kickstarter for Wilderness Adventures at this link.
 
A House:  A bit of personal good news.  After my last house mortgage payment, I only own $146 (yes, one hundred and forty-six dollars) on my house.  Whoo-ho!
 
One Particular Harbour: So a bit of local news, Jimmy Buffett is coming to St Louis in June for a party!  I am planning to be in attendance since I have been a Parrothead since 1983 when I first heard his song, ‘One Particular Harbour.’  I rarely ever go to concerts, but I got to go see Jimmy as it has been ages since the last time I saw him in concert.
 
So as a final touch, I will sign off this entry with a YouTube clip of Jimmy Buffett’s ‘One Particular Harbour’.
 
Aloha!
 
Sapper


Sunday, February 1, 2015

A good year for solitaire board games

So I was looking at the Strategy & Tactics Magazine website because I remembered that they had recently released a game on the chase of the SMS Goeben in 1914.  After listening to the audio book, Kaiser’s Pirates, my interested was peaked on the subject of the German raiders and was hoping that it was a solitaire game so I could play it when I am out of town working.  With luck, it is a solitaire game.  But was I also found that S&T had recently and will be release quite a few solitaire games through all three of their magazine titles (Strategy & Tactics, Modern War, & World at War).  A large number of them have perked my interest for topics.  It really is nice to see more games coming out for solo gamers or gamers like me that can’t be around my usual gaming friends most of the time.
So I will be putting an order out for several of them now and plan to buy some more later as they are release.  Below is a list of the various solitaire games and a brief description that I “cut & paste” right from the S&T website.  I hope this listing will be really useful for some.

Already Available Games:

From Ra'anana Gamer (link)
Strategy & Tactics #287 – Goeben

“Goeben, 1914 puts you in command of the SMS Goeben, the German battlecruiser that made a historically epic voyage through the Mediterranean during the opening days of World War One. This is a solitaire game in which the player must accomplish a specific “objective” to win the game, which will be generated at random at the start of the scenario. The player must manage the various outfittings and functions of the SMS Goeben and its escorting light cruiser, the SMS Breslau. As you fight your way through the Mediterranean, you will encounter various Allied warships, merchantmen for raiding, and unexpected opportunities and objectives. These are represented by “Incident” chits.”

Modern War #10 - Target Iran

“Target Iran is a solitaire simulation of a hypothetical US-Coalition-Israeli attack on Iran to destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other critical targets. The game begins with a "strategic" phase wherein the player conducts reconnaissance, cyberwar and mobilization (the purchasing of assets) for the actual attack, and then an "operational" stage, which is when your attack is actually executed.”

Modern War #14 - Carrier Battlegroup

“Carrier Battlegroup puts you in command of a US Navy carrier task force operating against the Soviet fleet in the North Atlantic in the 1980’s. This is a solitaire game, played in scenarios. The player must accomplish the scenario’s Objective, which will be generated at random at the start of the scenario. You, the player, must manage your carrier, its air group, and your escorts. As you operate your battlegroup, you will encounter various Soviet warships, aircraft, missiles, and unexpected opportunities and objectives. These are represented by Incident chits.”

World at War #10 - Coral Sea Solitaire

“A purpose-designed one-player wargame covering the aero-naval battle that took place between the US and Imperial Japanese Navies in May 1942. It was the first of the Pacific War.  CSS is based on the game system used in World at War number three Solomons Campaign; however, there are significant differences owing to the smaller scale of this operation and the systemic necessitates inherent in a solitaire design.”

World at War #37 - Bloody Ridge: Decision on Guadalcanal, 13 September 1942

“A purpose-designed solitaire wargame of low complexity simulating the climactic Japanese night attack of that date. The attacked was aimed at nothing less than the capture of Henderson Field and the annihilation of the entire US ground force on the island.  You are on the offensive, commanding the Japanese attack force that’s attempting to break through the US Marine defense.”

World at War #38 - Ghost Division

Ghost Division is a solitaire game in which you, the player, takes command of General Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division during the drive across Belgium and France in those heady days of May and June of 1940 (there are four German formations in the game that drive the events of play: The 7th Panzer Division, a regiment of the 5th Panzer Division, a regiment of SS-Totenkopf Division, and the 15th Motorized Corps’ non-divisional units, also representing OKW non-divisional units).

World at War #40 - Rampage & Stalingrad Cauldron

“Rampage is purpose-designed solitaire wargame that covers the fighting in northwest Europe from the time of the Argentan-Falaise encirclement in mid-August 1944 through the end of September. You actively command the Allied forces, while the rules system directs you in the handling of German forces. You win by accumulating victory points via seizure of key areas on the map.”

“Stalingrad Cauldron (SC) is purpose-designed solitaire wargame that covers the fighting in the areas of German Army Groups A and D on from the time of Sixth Army’s encirclement late in November 1942 through to its destruction at the end of January 1943. The single player actively commands the Soviet forces, while the rules system directs the player in the deployment of the Axis (German, Italian and Hungarian) forces. The player wins by accumulating victory points by achieving the destruction of Sixth Army’s component corps and the seizure of key areas around the map.”

Future Releases:

Modern War #17 - Dien Bien Phu

“Dien Bien Phu (Solitaire) is a wargame covering the decisive battle of the First Indochina War in which elite French Expeditionary Force units defended an air-land base against the communist Viet Minh. The game covers the critical period of Viet Minh assaults and French counterattacks of March to May, 1954. Historically, the Viet Minh won the battle, overrunning the base. This led to the collapse of the French position in Indochina and eventual US involvement in Vietnam.”

Modern War #18 - Green Beret: Vietnam

“Green Beret: Vietnam (Solitaire) gives you command of a Green Beret team in the Central Highlands before and during the Vietnam War. Your duty is to lead your men on a variety of randomly generated missions (representing orders direct from high command), choose weapons and equipment that are best suited for the mission, decide on how to posture your team, plan your approach, and a method of extraction.”

Modern War #20 – Drive on Baghdad: 2003

“Drive on Baghdad: 2003 is a solitaire game in which the player takes command of Central Command Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Your goal is to defeat Saddam Hussein’s forces in such a manner as to prevent a post-campaign insurgency from breaking out.”

Modern War #21 – Kandahar: Special Forces in Afghanistan

“Kandahar: Special Forces in Afghanistan (Solitaire) gives you command of a Special Forces team in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2013. Your lead your men on a variety of randomly generated missions; you choose your weapons and equipment, decide on how to posture your team, and plan your approach and method of extraction.”

World at War #43 – Patton’s Third Army

“Patton’s Third Army is a solitaire game system where the player takes command of General George Patton’s Third Army during the campaign across France in 1944. The game begins immediately following the Falaise Battle and continues through to 15 December, at which point Third Army was sent to fight In the Battle of the Bulge. Your goal as a player is to surpass Patton’s original record, thereby possibly forestalling Germany’s Ardennes Offensive and thereby gaining glory as a great general.”

World at War #44 – Night Fight: Solitaire East Front Tactics

“Night Fight: Solitaire East Front Tactics is a solitaire wargame in which you command a Kampfgruppe group of German panzers infiltrating and attacking Soviet forces at night while the system runs the Soviet forces. The first scenario is based on an actual night action from the Battle of Kursk during elements of 6th Panzer Division infiltrated behind Soviet lines. There are also several other scenarios representing other night fights on the eastern front in 1943.”

World at War #45 – Panzers East Solitaire

“Panzers East Solitaire (PES) is simulation that covers the advance of Germany’s Army Group Center, starting on the first day of Operation Barbarossa and potentially extending to the last day of August later that same summer. The design supports both strict historical and alternative history explorations. That is, at the end of July, when the AGC offensive was historically shut down in favor of supporting extended drives by the flanking army groups, it’s possible that, if you’ve done better up to then than your historical counterpart, Hitler may authorize a continued and immediate advance on Moscow. You command the German forces while the system directs the handling of Soviet forces. You win or lose based on the timely seizure of key areas on the map.”

Be seeing you

Sapper