War Games

“Struggle of Empires is set in the eighteenth century: an age of discovery and sail, a period of colonization and the beginnings of industrialization, and also a time of almost constant warfare in Europe and its far-flung colonies.”

Struggle of Empires (2004) is a highly regarded strategic wargame by master designer Martin Wallace (Brass, Railroad Tycoon, London) originally published by Warfrog/Treefrog Games. This classic game combined colonization-era war and area control with a simple ruleset, culminating in a satisfying heavy experience for the 2-7 players involved. Now, Eagle-Gryphon Games has a Kickstarter Campaign to bring their deluxe edition mastery to this masterpiece, much as they did for previous big box classics Vinhos and Empires: Age of Discovery.

Struggle of Empires contains several unique mechanisms which has kept this game consistently on people’s top lists for the past 15 years. The game takes place over 3 wars, each lasting 5-6 rounds, wherein players compete for control of Europe and the burgeoning colonies. An auction phase exists before each war which forces players into unlikely alliances, making it impossible to fight certain opponents. A large and varied tile set awards special abilities and bonuses. Additionally, the dice based battle system uses the differences in pairs of thrown dice to add power, a relatively unused but interesting mechanic.

The Deluxe Kickstarter edition of Struggle has new variations from Martin Wallace, and new art from João Tereso, the artist behind the beautiful Railways of Portugal (2019). The original rulebook, which was a bit confusing, has been completely redone including multiple game play examples. A myriad of beautiful wooden components fill the box, including over 150 units and over 200 wooden control and alliance markers. The game also contains a large and re-imagined game board, over 50 thick cardboard action tiles, cloth bags, dice, and a wooden gavel for the auction. The Kickstarter Campaign for Struggle of Empires continues through August 30, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2020.

Devil Pig is the publisher of the excellent tile-based war game systems Heroes of Normandie (2014) and Shadows over Normandie (2015), and in 2018 they released the Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 licensed version, Heroes of Black Reach. Devil Pig has just announced their plans to continue supporting Black Reach, with 2 new P500 campaigns, each with 2 expansions. Specifically, the Orks will be reinforced with Goff Stompa, Bad Moons, and Evil Sunz factions, while more Ultramarines are also on the roster. These new campaigns and expansions will also be available in a new core box. The publisher also teased The Heroes of Valedor, adding Eldar and Tyrannid to the game in 2020. For more information, check out the press release from Devil Pig here.

Ares Games has announced that they are revising and publishing the second edition of Quartermaster General: WW2 by designer Ian Brody, originally put out by Griggling Games, Inc. Quartermaster General is a 2-6 player board game focusing on the supply chain during the war, with points earned by keeping  your armies and navies fighting. Players take control of countries in either the Axis or Allies, and each major power in the game has its own unique deck of cards.  After 20 turns, the player with the most points is declared the winner. Area has stated they are making careful revisions, “improving its ease of play, clarity, play balance, and more”. For more details, check out the press release on Ares Games’ website.

War for Chicken Island is a new dice and card driven, area control, and take-that Kickstarter project from designer Ivan Escalante (Necronomicorp) and Draco Studios. 2-4 players each take turns helping to set up Chicken Island, a land of limited space, tight resources, and too many chickens, then each receives a brave chicken leader, a hand of cards, some starting resources, and 5 custom dice. On their turn, after gaining cards and rolling dice, players can build war machines for their army, travel across the land, and wage feathered war. The dice can add actions, regain resources, recover lost chickens or gain bonuses. In battle, defense and offense are compared, cards are played to add to the numbers, and the losing side takes a humiliation token from the winner. Players who manage to humiliate the most enemies emerge victorious. War for Chicken Island comes either with standees, or with a separate box of delightful chicken miniatures, including their nightmare inducing war machines. The Kickstarter Campaign for War for Chicken Island will continue through December 28, and the game is expected to deliver in October 2019.

Compass Games, a leader in historical wargames,  has announced some new releases coming later this year.

First is LEBENSRAUM! The War For Europe 1941-1945, designed by Stephen Newberg. Lebensraum is a “grand strategic, moderate complexity game of the war between Nazi Germany and the Allied Nations” for 2 players, and plays in 3-16 hours. Players can play either east or west fronts, either individually, or as a campaign, and gameplay focuses on leadership, playing at an army group level. The game contains 3 50×35 inch maps, 3 sheets of counters, rules and dice, and is expected to deliver in 3rd quarter 2018. You can read more about Lebensraum on Compass Games’ website here.

Compass Games also announced The American Revolution War Expansion Kit 1 – The French & More! This is the first expansion for Command & Colors Tricorne by Richard Borg, and adds the French army as expected, and 10 new battles. Award winner Command & Colors is by nature a card and dice driven, slightly simplified wargame, and affords the flexibility to portray large scale battles as well as small skirmishes. The new scenarios include large land battles Savannah and Yorktown, as well as the Battle of Brandywine, Springfield, King’s Mountain and Pell’s Point. This expansion contains 3 thick punch boards, new larger molded battle dice, cards, labels, rules, charts, and over 100 wooden components. Look for The French And More! in the 4th quarter 2018. You can read more details on Compass Games’ website here.

GMT makes board games of strategy and war,  and Playdek makes digital boardgames. Now the two have come together to bring GMT history based war games to the digital frontier! In their own words,

“The ultimate goal of the partnership is to bring the best strategy games and global favorites to hobby gamers worldwide,  building a global community of online digital strategy gamers.”

Their first venture together will be to bring Labyrinth: The War On Terror to digital gamers later in 2018 to Steam. Later in 2019 a mobile version is to be released. Also in 2019 look for Imperial Struggle and the first installment of the COIN (Counter-Insurgency) to be released. Get all your favorite history/war games from GMT as boardgames and play them as they are produced in digital format by Playtek!

Ares Games, publishers of hits such as War of the Ring and Sword & Sorcery (but also well known for publishing many war-themed games), announced a partnership with Pendragon Games to distribute titles in North America. They will be starting with Hexamonia and Waterloo. Their official press release follows:

The two companies extend their co-operation partnership to distribution, starting with the Greek-themed “Hexemonia” and the Napoleonic “Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes” board games

HEX_3d_boxAres Games and Pendragon Game Studio announce they are extending the scope of their partnership, which began in 2016 with the release of the survival horror board game “Last Friday”. Ares Games will also distribute games directly published in English by Pendragon, starting with the epic, ancient-Greece themed “Hexemonia” and the Napoleonic game “Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes.”

Until now, Ares Games has produced and distributed the English version of three games created by Pendragon – the survival horror game “Last Friday”, the new edition of the card game “Stay Away!”, and the just released “Monsters vs Heroes”, a card game of thrilling mash-up of Victorian mystery and horror stories. “Hexemonia” and “Waterloo. Enemy Mistakes” had limited distribution in Europe, but they were never available before in the USA.

Hexemonia is an epic game of expansion and hegemony set in ancient Greece. Players are leaders of mighty city-states competing for supremacy in a relentless struggle for dominance, each fighting in the name of its own patron god. From humble beginnings, they must grow their might and power, gather resources from their holdings and use them to expand their city and curry favor with the gods. And then, use their military and cultural might to overcome their rivals. Hexemonia is a game for 2 to 4 players, with an average playing time of 30-45 minutes.

Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes is a strategic game about the last battle of Napoleon Bonaparte that forever changed the destiny of modern Europe, for 2/3 players, from 13 years old and over, with an average playing time of 150 minutes. The game recreates the clash between the British army, supported by the Prussian army, and the French one. Players fight an immense battle: 3 Commanders in Chief give instructions to the 14 Generals, who leads 141 Units (corps of artillery, foot soldiers and cavalries) on the big battlefield. The game uses a die as a random factor, but the focus of the gameplay emphasizes above all the elements that characterize the commands and the decisions the players must do.

For more information, visit Ares Games and Pendragon Game Studio websites. 

 About Pendragon Game Studio

Pendragon Game Studio was born from a group of Italian hobby market professionals with more than two decades of experience, with the mission of creating new games for the international market and produce them in different languages through established partners. This long experience in publishing products such as books, magazines, newspapers, and games, as well as marketing them and working with game associations, gives Pendragon Game Studio complete knowledge of the hobby and how to produce and sell games in both national and international markets. In the first threes years of operation, Pendragon produced a dozen of brand new titles and several localizations in Italian. See more info atwww.pendragongamestudio.com/EN and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Pendragon-Game-Studio-534363276680250 and Twitter at https://twitter.com/GamePendragon.

 About Ares Games

Ares Games is an Italian board game publisher established in 2011 to create quality hobby products for the international audience. Ares Games is the publisher of the award-winning “War of the Ring” board game, of “Wings of Glory” range of airplane combat games and miniatures, recreating aerial warfare in WW1 and WW2, and more recently, of the award-winning tactical ship-to-ship miniature game “Sails of Glory,” and the cooperative tactical miniatures game “Galaxy Defenders” and “Sword and Sorcery.” Ares Games’ catalog also includes Family Games and Euro Games. For further information, visit the website www.aresgames.eu and the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AresGames.

Of War and Men: WWII is a new Kickstarter campaign from designer Price Johnston and Netherhavyn Game Works. Of War and Men is a card driven squad level strategy war game which emphasizes the individual combatants as characters, each with their own personality and quirks, both good and bad. The map and winning conditions are laid out on a specific mission cards, and each player can choose from one of 4 nationalities for the game. Games can be single missions, or a continuous campaign.

Players must carefully manage their hand of 7 cards, keeping tactics and fireteams in control, remembering that their cards can be played as orders, or using the special ability at the bottom of the card. Dice rolls are simulated on the cards, and the further flipping of cards represents “lethality over time” as each soldier fires more and more rounds, each either hitting its mark, or causing some other effect. The game includes such mechanisms as fog of war, terrain effects, weapon malfunctions, multiple weapon types, stealth, wind, weather, and many other details. Of War and Men will initially come with 192 core deck cards, 117 unique soldiers, 9 double sided mission cards, and 72 marker token cards, each with great art from Chris Solis.

The Kickstarter for Of War and Men: WWII will continue through March 31, and is expected to deliver in November of 2018.

Fantasy Flight Games have previewed their latest unit expansion for the upcoming Star Wars: Legion war game – The AT-RT.

The All Terrain Recon Transport costs only 55 points – a fraction of it’s bigger AT-ST cousin and is considerably more mobile. The lighter unit won’t be stopped by walls or barricades, climbing over them easily and also has the same heavy armor. As with all unit expansions, the AT-RT comes with a full compliment of interchangeable upgrade cards each with matching sculpts to attach to the miniature. Weapons include a Rotary Blaster, Laser Canon and naturally the Flame Thrower!

Not to be let down in it’s short game, the AT-ST can also make use of those legs to stomp a mud hole in any unit foolish enough to attempt a point-blank assault. Other features include the option of a long-range communications link for fast responses anywhere on the battlefield or a communications jammer if you prefer the chance to shut down your opponents ability to send orders.

The AT-RT Unit Expansion Set for release on March 22nd 2018 along with the Star Wars: Legion Core Set and seven other expansions. For an overview of the base game checkout the Miami Dice Official Review, with Tom & Sam.


Ty Bomba and One Small Step Games have begun a Kickstarter Campaign for their new war game, America Falling – An Apocalyptic Game About the End of America. In America Falling, 2 players compete in the first year of a near-future civil war, possibly leading to the demise and fall of the United States. The factions in America Falling are loosely described as the liberal Blue and the Conservative Red, but the game allows for local separatist movements exclusive of these, including The Republic of Texas, The Islamic State in America, New Jerusalem, and others. The game comes with two maps, numerous cardboard tokens and dice, is considered 6/10 complexity, and can take 4+ hours to complete.

Ty Bomba is considered an instrumental figure in the history of war games, having been inducted into the Wargaming Hall of Fame in 1988, and won several awards. As the founder of Command magazine, he was instrumental in nearly every game to come from that publication. The Kickstarter Campaign for America Falling continues through February 13, and is expected to deliver in August 2018.