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  • Keith

2019 Recon Report (A – F)

Today, we’ll be doing the first in a series of 2019 previews. These are games that are either scheduled for release, or that we HOPE release in 2019. In no way does have insider information about the release schedule of games! We just have a love of the hobby and look forward to the following titles.

This preview only covers publishers A – F. We will be publishing the next edition which will cover GMT Games in the coming weeks.

2019 Preview Criteria

The only requirement for this Recon Report will be that the game has the potential to come out in 2019. This list is not comprehensive! It doesn’t intend to be! If you wish I had included a game that you’re looking forward to…tell me! Instead, these are the titles we’re most excited to see in 2019.

Bounding Fire Productions

Corregidor – The Rock

Corregidor cover

Corregidor: The Rock from Bounding Fire Productions (BFP) is an unofficial Advanced Squad Leader expansion that takes the battle back to the Pacific. BFP is known for some extravagant releases and this one is no exception. Players will get 21 scenarios covering both the 1942 and 1945 actions on Corregidor and TWO Campaign Games. This is an Historical Advanced Squad Leader game and as such players will get two 22″ x 28″ map sheets for the game.

Canvas Temple Publishing

Blitzkrieg in the West

Blitzkrieg in the West cover

Canvas Temple Publishing (CTP) came onto the scene in 2018 with a series of new titles and a Kickstarter campaign for Blitzkrieg in the West. This Joe Miranda game provides players with interesting choices around the combined arms mix that they bring to battle and takes the air battle as seriously as the ground battle by giving players choices about missions and roles. This will be a great opportunity to get a taste of an early war operational game from industry veterans in what looks to be a great new title and publisher.

Clash of Arms

Triumph of Chaos V.2 Deluxe Edition

Triumph of Chaos v2 Ad

The wait is almost over! Don’t miss out again. Production samples were provided to designer David Dockter in November 2018. It’s only a matter of time before the game reaches everyone’s table in early 2019. Triumph of Chaos simulates the Russian Civil War from 1918 – 1921 as a point-to-point Card Driven Game (CDG). The result is a solid game to start with and it only gets better in the new Deluxe release from Clash of Arms!

Compass Games

The Conquistadors: The Spanish Conquest of the Americas 1518 – 1548

Conquistadors Cover

Designed by Jon Southard, this game offers a solitaire module, but accommodates between 1 – 5 players. If Southard’s prior work is any indication (Carrier, Tokyo Express, Command Magazine’s Antietam Burnished Steel), this one should be great. The hobby needs more nuanced treatment of a subject. One of the things that most intrigues me is how the game will generate historic or randomized locations for specific cities. This one is on track to release in late 2019 according to Compass Games’ website.

The Third World War, Designer Signature Edition

Compass Games is unleashing a gaggle of reprint wargames in 2019. My hope is that they are of equal release readiness given their recent history. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt given the success of much of their game library without reservation.

Originally released by GDW in 1984, these titles have been revisited by original designer Frank Chadwick. That’s right THESE titles. Compass Games has committed to releasing all four original games in a single package. In addition to the release, Compass is reworking all of the components. This means better counters, new maps, and combining the maps so they fit together better.

One of the issues with the original game is that the counters are all kind of a mess on the vibrant maps. Sometimes, they can be tricky to tell apart for national cooperation in the Warsaw Pact and that’s being addressed as well.

Battle Hymn Vol. 2 – Shiloh and Bentonville

Bentonville Battle Map

Given that I live in North Carolina about an hour from the Bentonville battlefield, I have to say that this one is a no-brainer. Also making it a no-brainer is the fact that it’s a follow-up to one of my favorite 2018 games! Eric Lee Smith has captured something fantastic here with light rules and competitive play. It’s the evolution of Across Five Aprils which was solid in its own right. As a result, this game has to be on this list.

France 1944

France 1944 Preorder Cover

This low-complexity treatment of the Victory Games classic has received some TLC from Judd Vance and Mark Herman. Though this is a crowded topic, I think the design team will make this release something special. Changes are not merely cosmetic. In fact, the map now extends all the way to Berlin in the East and subsequently covers through May 1945. This one also marks the start of something cool…mounted maps for Compass Games! As a result, I can’t imagine France 1944 won’t be an instant buy.

Hearts & Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975

Hearts and Minds Vietnam Cover

This is a re-release to a large extent, but there are some pretty significant changes that put this release on our list for 2019. First, there is a solitaire module that will give players a little something extra to enjoy with the game. Additionally, the victory conditions have been simplified. The game now features 3 decks of cards. The new deck is an interchangeable black deck that both Allies and Communist forces can use.

I’m picking this one over the Adam Starkweather release Vietnam: Rumor of War until the last game in the series Korea: Fire & Ice gets the appropriate post-release attention it deserves from Compass Games.

No Peace without Spain!

No Peace without Spain! cover

As far as reprints from Compass goes, however, I think I’m most excited to get No Peace without Spain! Again, this is a topic without a lot of coverage in wargames. Favorable reviews and a solid system that now includes a companion game make this a strong choice for 2019. According to Compass Games, this should be available in the first quarter of 2019 and it will ALSO feature a mounted map.

I am a massive fan of the direction that Compass Games is moving overall. Their commitment to component quality upgrades in the past year is a great sign. Their willingness to reprint some niche games with a new spin. Their interest in underserved topics. Once the game publication lifecycle is is more fully embraced (particularly the post release part) I think most of their games will be automatic purchases if not pre-orders.


The Russian Campaign

The Russian Campaign Cover

2019 is officially the year that wargaming went full-on nostalgic. Yet ANOTHER classic is getting a reprint/re-evaluation this year. ConSimPress is bringing us The Russian Campaign. There are a few things here that I love:

  1. Rules changes have been made based upon tournament organizers and player experiences.

  2. The graphic design has been updated.

  3. A truckload of variant rules and counters from Moves, BattlePlan, Jedko, and The General.

My only regret is that this game isn’t out sooner and I wish it would include MOUNTED maps. For such a deluxe edition of the game, I would have hoped that a beautiful mounted map and 3″ box treatment could have happened. The pre-order price is only $42 with MSRP at $60. I would have GLADLY forked over $74 at pre-order with a $112 MSRP!

Decision Games

Campaign for North Africa

Campaign for North Africa promo image

This one has been in the works for YEARS at this point. The rumors started getting serious when Decision Games started lining up playtest groups. The result? A complete design revision AFTER playtest feedback. Decision Games has truly turned a corner here with their approach to the game publication lifecycle. In particular, they’re paying MUCH greater attention to the pre-release design and development process. A big thanks to Doc Cummins for working diligently to make this happen.

As a result, the Campaign for North Africa is going to be a very different game from it’s predecessor. In fact, it will be card drive, lack the paperwork, and has new air war rules. This is going to be an exciting game that HOPEFULLY can find its way to release before the end of 2019.

Flying Pig Games

Old School Tactical Vol. 3 – Pacific War 1942/45

OST Vol.3 - Pacific War

The plucky, plush tactical World War II upstart is coming back for another round in 2019! This is a very welcome addition to the Old School Tactical series which should also release Ghost Front in early 2019.

This series uses an interest impulse and order system that gives players flexibility at the tactical level WITHOUT massive rules overhead or an outrageously complex turn sequence! I am SUPER interested in how the pacific war comes to this series because I’m keenly interested in how things like Banzai charges and the terrain are handled. The system is so well balanced for European forces that I have to believe the same level of care will be extended here. Keep an eye out for this one Mark Walker just spilled the beans on this one on December 18th!

Wrapping it up…

That’s it for today. We’ll run with previews of games from publishers G – M in the coming days so be looking forward to that! Until then, let me know in the comments below what games YOU’RE most looking forward to from the publishers mentioned today!

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