Welcome to Recon Report Part 3! Thanks for hanging in there. These were massive articles to prepare and write.
On to the final preview of games coming out in 2019 that have caught my attention. I love going through at the start of the year and getting my hopes up, but the reality is that many of these games won’t find their way to our table. Since I published the first part of the Recon Report 2019 series, I’ve already received Corregidor from Bounding Fire Productions.
Today, we’re looking at publishers from N – Z. There are so many great publishers out there and I suspect we’re going to see LOTS of games that aren’t on this list. After all, I’ve gathered this information from publicly available sources! So, without further ado, let’s check out Part 3.
New England Simulations
Winter’s Victory, The Battle of Preussich-Eylau 7th-8th February 1807
This year New England Simulations will step away from Normandy and look at the Preussich-Eylau. This will be a battalion level monster of a game that includes FOUR maps and over 2,500 counters.
Map Sample with various terrain
The game system will employ an interesting sequence of play that I’m interested in checking out. In effect, both armies will command and move into position and then, in alternating turns, slug it out. This is call the “Reciprocal Fire Phase” and I think it will generate some very interested combat results.
What’s interesting is that the Allied side will command and move first and THEN the French will. As a result, the French player has a baked-in tactical advantage of sorts since the opportunity to exploit combat results is somewhat stacked for them.
Discussion on ConSimWorld suggested that this would be in pre-publication sales by the end of 2018, but that hasn’t happened yet so keep checking their site!
Pacific War 2nd Edition
This is more wish fulfillment than actual hope for a 2019 release.
Nuts! Publishing has had this one on their radar since maybe 2016. This is a collaboration with Mark Herman to update the old Victory Games edition. Herman has indicated on social media that this game is not a straight reprint or even a small update.
Details are still pretty hazy on this one, but my sincere hope is that we’ll see some additional news about this one after Herman releases The Peloponnesian War with GMT Games. In the meantime…we can hope!
One Small Step Games
Bear Flag Republic: California During the Mexican American War
I wrote about this one months ago, with the hopes it would be coming out for 2018. Instead, we’re looking (hopefully) at a 2019 release.
Bear Flag Republic is a card-enhanced game for 2 players based on California in 1846-47 at the time of the Mexican-American War. The game map shows most of California (known as Alta (upper) California). The owners are Mexico and the Californios or Californians). The object of the game is for the Californians to retain Alta California while the goal of the Bear Flaggers and United States troops and sailors is to seize the soon to be Golden State. The fighting itself was not particularly bloody and involved relatively small numbers of troops. There are two major events that influence the course of the game. One is the outbreak of the Bear Flag Revolt just before the formal Declaration of War between the United States and Mexico is known of in California. The other is the rebellion of Southern California over the initial occupation by the Americans. From the publisher’s website
The topic, and the fact that Jack Greene of Iron Bottom Sound fame, is involved here keeps me excited.
Operational Studies Group
Napoleon Retreats: Campaign in France II
This is the next game up for the OSG Library of Napoleonic Battles series. This time, it’s sad Napoleon slipping away from Blucher and fighting a withdrawing action further in France around Laon.
This package will feature three battles:
Craonne, Struggle for the plateau des dames, 7 March
Laon, Beginning of the End, 9-10 March
Reims, A Quick Success en passant, 13 March
Also included will be a campaign game that combines all three battle maps to recreate the entire week’s fighting.
I’m torn on this series of games. On the one hand, I love the topics, components (mostly) and research that goes into the OOB. On the other hand, I kind of wish this game would get an overhaul per The Big Board’s recommendations. It’s a fantastic series that is starting to feel a little long in the tooth because it lacks consistent innovation as many long running series fall prey to over time.
Pacific Rim Publishing
We are takin this list back to World War II despite today’s previews being largely WW2 light. Is this a trend for 2019 perhaps?
Korsun Pocket is my first blush with Pacific Rim Publishing. I’m always excited by a new-to-me publisher. That said, this is a revision to designer Jack Radey’s earlier Korsun Pocket game. It is a monster game as well featuring:
four full-sized maps,
two situation maps for setups,
15 unit displays
A $225 price tag
Yeah, it’s A LOT of game, but when you hear smaller publishers talking about pricepoint awareness for consumers…this is why. Similarly sized games from other publishers would put the release price only slightly north of $100. Here’s a case where it might have made more sense to release the game as a series that builds upon the last.
Instead, design Jack Radey has indicated that there’s only ONE scenario that’s a one map affair. This game is potentially something very special though and as a convention attention attraction it could live up to the price.
Red Sash Games
Army of Flanders: Le Divertissment Royal – Volume XIII in the Lace Wars Series
We continue our journey of expensive 2019 releases with Army of Flanders. If the title is a mouthful, get ready for the release price of $310 (print & play for $55). You can get this one on pre-order for $215 though. Now, fans of Red Sash Games will be comfortable with the price and will be thrilled for the next installment of the Lace Wars Series.
This is a Calandale favorite series, so there’s some weight behind the praise for both Red Sash and The Lace Wars series. Since I’m unfamiliar with the system, I’ll give you a truncated publisher’s marketing pitch:
Army of Flanders (AOF) is the thirteenth volume in Red Sash Games’ Lace Wars series. This game is the third in a set of four dealing with the War of the Grand Alliance (1688-1697). This war, sometimes called the War of the League of Augsburg or the Nine Years War, was the second of the three great wars of Louis XIV…. Huge armies were raised and deployed on both sides – not just ‘huge’ by the standards of ‘ye olden days’, but on occasion topping 150,000 men apiece. With such large armies sewn onto a pre-modern logistics system, much damage was done, but no ‘lightning-war’ triumph was possible…
The attention to detail and deep historical knowledge of the designer are apparent. This is a labor of love and it shows in the care with which the game is produced and marketed. Red Sash desperately wants you to appreciate the period to the same degree they do! That’s always a good sign.
There are currently no games listed for pre-order, but based on an interview with Harold Buchannon in his excellent podcast Harold on Games we should be keeping an eye on what’s coming in 2019!
Victory Point Games
Thunder in the East
This is technically a 2018 game, but it only hit stores for non-Kickstarter participants in January 2019. You’ll be seeing more coverage from WargameHQ on this one since I backed it and got it shortly after Christmas.
The game is the first game in Frank Chadwick’s ETO series. It covers the Eastern Front from 1941 – 1945. The game is at the corps and army level with breakdown and minor units where necessary, but takes into consideration the air and naval war as well. There were a ton of familiar names on the playtesters list here like Jason Cawley, Ken Keller, Scot Purvis, J.L. Roberts, Robert Smith, and Tim Allen did the component art and game map.
As a result, I have a high degree of confidence in this game kicking off something fantastic for World War II gamers. In my reading of the rules so far, this is yet another monster today, but it’s manageable. The presentation and rules are clearly laid out and well written. I think there’s a lot of record-keeping here, but counters are provided to assist so though the game will certainly be meaty, I don’t think it will become unmanageable.
1759 Siege of Quebec
The siege of Quebec should be an interesting game from Worthington with an imminent release. The game, designed as a solo game, but playable by two. This is the first game in a new series from Worthington called “Great Sieges.” It is more than a little reminiscent of the States of Siege series from Victory Point Games, but the gameplay doesn’t seem similar at first blush.
There’s a neat mechanic here for issuing orders that takes into account your strategic posture, the order you select, and your opponent. Players can play as either the British or the French which is always a refreshing twist for a solo game.
I like the concept of being removed from direct command. In a way, it feels like you are watching the battle from a Command Post. Results are influenced, but never directly predictable because of how the AI reacts. Players will attempt to reduce their opponent’s morale to zero or if the French can hold out until the Brits leave or take Quebec as the Brits.
I would recommend getting your preorder in soon since this game is shipping soon!