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131006_Cruel_Cover6aAnyone who thinks politics today is crazy obviously never lived in England during the mid-1600s, when King Charles got his head lopped off and Oliver Cromwell called it a “Cruel Necessity.” That purported quote is the title of John Welch’s latest States of Siege design for Victory Point Games, which should give the same treatment to the English Civil Wars that his popular Levee En Masse did to the French Revolution.

Since this is a Welch design it is clear that the game will be well-researched and the Event deck will teach some great history lessons. And since it is part of VPG’s Gold Banner series it is clear that it will have some spectacular components. No mounted map, unfortunately, as it is apparently too big to be economically feasible, but the art I’ve seen so far is fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it ships at the end of October.

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tiger_mockup500It’s no secret that Dan Verssen Games’ Thunderbolt-Apache Leader is one of my favorite solitaire games ever, and now they’re taking the system in bold new directions with Tiger Leader (WWII ground combat) and Huey Leader (Vietnam close air support).

Both games are getting the deluxe treatment out of the gate, and will come with loads of equipment to be used during the mission planning phases. Tiger Leader puts you in charge of a German Kampfgruppe through seven historical campaigns and the what-if Operation Sea Lion, letting you play from the invasion of Poland through the fall of Berlin if you want to. Much like other leader games, much of the gameplay comes from selecting commanders and equipment before each mission, and then reaping the rewards as they level up and become more skilled or powerful (or crying when an elite unit you’ve become attached to gets thrown into a meat grinder). It will be interesting to see how well the Leader system adapts to ground combat.

huey_box_front_mockup200Huey Leader looks a lot like Thunderbolt-Apache Leader in the Vietnam era, with battles taking place on a tactical map instead of the area-movement system used in Phantom Leader and Hornet Leader. It models the close air support war between 1965 and 1972, and looks like it will be loaded with goodies.

Both games will retail for $89.99, but can be pre-ordered for $71.99 so head over to DVG and help make these games a reality.

 

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I don’t know why it took me so long to find it, but I stumbled across John Fiore’s Solo Nexus blog a few days ago and it is quite the rabbit hole for a solo gamer. There are posts on just about every aspect of the hobby, and the ones on playing tabletop role-playing games solo gave me all kinds of ideas.

I’ve been playing Pathfinder and a few other systems with my kids lately, and had wondered if trying to play those kinds of games solo would be worth a shot. It’s impossible to solo most of the greatest published campaigns because there are no surprises for someone playing and GMing. This made me think that there has to be a way to engage in the storytelling aspects of RPGs without devolving into procedural tables, and I went on a tear looking for systems designed for that. After much research I found many tools that I plan to highlight in an upcoming Solo RPG series, and I wouldn’t have even started down this road if it hadn’t been for Fiore’s excellent articles on the subject.

If you have any interest in this whatsoever, head over to Solo Nexus and grab Fiore’s free 9Qs solo RPG engine. I’ll discuss it and other tools later, but for now much testing lay ahead. Looking over all the RPG systems that have emerged since the last time I played (back when TSR was still in business), I can’t wait.

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Andrew Kluessendorf (Getaklue) maintains a Geeklist at Boardgamegeek that covers the current status of Dan Versen Games’ pre-orders. It is updated each month, and Andrew also runs a contest where anyone who links a review to a list entry becomes eligible to win a pair of sweet blue D10s he had commissioned. Guess who won a pair last month?

Andrew does this out of the kindness of his heart and his love of DVG’s games, so be sure to return the favor by loading his list up with your reviews and session reports. Thanks, Andrew!