WARGAME WEDNESDAY: Liberty or Death, Pendragon, Falling Sky, and BGG’s Wargame of the Year

Wednesday , 23, March 2016 2 Comments

There is a lot of activity on the COIN front right now. Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection is easily among the hottest new games to hit PrezCon this year. GMT not only sold out in less than hour there, but more than one gamer took an hour or so to work through the example game in the playbook. (To be that much more interesting than everything else that was going on there is a real feat for a wargame!) Those of us that thought we’d wrapped our brains around what this series was all about now have to deal with not only with die rolls and a range of modifiers being added to the combat system, but also French and Indian factions that behave a little differently from what we’ve seen in previous games. If the plan was to shake things up by pulling Volko Ruhnke back from even being in the co-designer seat and then turning someone like Harold Buchanan loose to go in a completely different direction, it sure seems to have worked. Likewise, Marc Gouyon-Rety‘s Pendragon looks to have even wilder developments. (If you’ve never raided the British Isles as the Saxons, you’re really missing out…!)

I did get a look at Andrew Ruhnke’s Falling Sky at PrezCon. The rules are out now, for those that want to see the gory details, but Volko Ruhnke’s Twitter feed has “a few thoughts on player skills to match each Faction’s personality” that conveys the gist of what makes this particular entry different from the others:

  • The Romans should go to the most daring at the table: any temptation to turtle Caesar’s Legions will lose them Gaul.
  • The most crafty should play the Arverni: Vercingetorix can outfight the Legions only by finesse in maneuver.
  • The Aedui call for the most persuasive player: they are the swing state of Gaul, the best positioned diplomatically.
  • Lastly the Belgae demand emotional resilience: they’ll take a Roman pounding but rebound if the player is undaunted.

You know, my biggest misconception about this series early on was that I had the idea that the premise of allies working at cross purposes in A Distant Plain and in Fire in the Lake was somehow integral to what COIN was all about. That of course was not the case in the first two installments, and even if it was, these new additions to the line are an entirely different ballgame.

If you’d like to know more about these fantastic games, check out A solo spin of the COINs over at the Naked Meeple blog. It’s the best overview of these innovative wargames I’ve seen yet!

Churchill, Triumph & Tragedy, and The U. S. Civil War are the talk of the town over at Board Game Geek right now. Here is Mark Herman’s reaction to winning Wargame of the Year there:

“I am humbled by all of the support. Thank you one and all.” — Mark Herman

Congratulations to the winner and runners up!

Here’s the wargaming link roundup covering the past two weeks. If you’d like to have your blog included or if you know of a great wargaming related site that has an rss feed, please let us know in the comments…!

PaxSims (Simulations)

Inside GMT (GMT Games)

Castalia House (Wargames)

Real and Simulated Wars (JC)

Ludic Futurism (Brian Train)

VASSAL (News)

War in a Box (Warren Abox)

2 Comments
  • Isaiah says:

    I’ve managed two games of Liberty or Death now, it’s a great game (tied for me with Andean Abyss), and I’m looking forward to Falling Sky and especially Pendragon.

    Really enjoying the blog. Keep it up!

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