Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mail Call

As I continue to scratch that ASL itch...The Pacific Theater is looking better and better these days.

Rising Sun is Advanced Squad Leader’s long-awaited return to the jungles, islands, and atolls of the southwest Pacific. Multi-Man Publishing has combined the original ASL modules Code of Bushido and Gung Ho! into one monster package. Rising Sun includes the entire Japanese, Chinese, and United States Marine Corps orders of battle; a 2nd edition of Chapter G, which covers the unique rules needed to play ASL in the Pacific Theater of Operations and incorporates all the current errata; and an updated Chapter H for the Japanese and Chinese vehicles and ordnance and for landing craft. Also included are 32 updated scenarios, combining the original Code of Bushido and Gung Ho! scenarios with 16 out-of-print PTO scenarios that originally appeared in the pages of the GENERAL, the ASL Annual, and the ASL Journal. From the ASL Annual '93b comes the Gavutu-Tanambogo campaign game (Sand and Blood), a new 17˝×22˝ Gavutu-Tanambogo map, and Chapter Z pages. Scenario errata have been incorporated, and new errata have been issued for the older scenarios to reflect the balancing changes made to the updated scenarios. The package is rounded out by seven 8˝×22˝ geomorphic mapboards (boards 34-39 and 47) and dozens of overlays, all updated to match the latest style of boards. Both the rules and the counters benefit from a larger, more readable font.
Rising Sun contains:
-Revised Chapter G; Chapter H for Japanese, Chinese, and Landing Craft; and Chapter Z (Gavutu-Tanambogo Campaign Game)
-1,300 ½” counters and 592 5/8” counters (1,892 total) — 
-boards 34-39, 47, 
Gavutu-Tanambogo HASL map
-overlays 1-5, B1-B5, Be1-7, Ef1-3, G1-5, M1-5, O1-5, OC1-4, OG1-5, P1-5, RP1-5, Wd1-5, X6, X11, X25-X29 — 
-32 scenarios:
Smertniki Shanghai In Flames
On The Kokoda Trail The Drive For Taierzhuang
Shoestring Ridge A Stiff Fight
Bungle In The Jungle Ramsey's Charge
The Eastern Gate Grabbing Gavutu
Hazardous Occupation Tanambogo Nightmare
Red Star, Red Sun Take Two
The Bushmasters Munda Mash
Cibik's Ridge Totsugeki!
The Rock Orange At Walawbum
Today We Attack Smith & Weston
KP 167 Broken Bamboo
Jungle Citadel OP Hill
Sea Of Tranquility Last Of Their Strength
Hell Or High Water White Tigers
Bloody Red Beach Battlin' Buckeyes

The Future Of The Show

So i've set my cross hairs on 50.  Nothing lasts forever and to think the show might go on indefinitely would be naive.  Therefor, my target for the final episode is 50.0  (assuming I make it that far).  Additionally, episode 50 will put the show's life right around a year old, a good run in my opinion.   As i've stated in the past, the show has been a blast to do and your support has made it all worth while.  Now, that is not to say I may not come back for an infrequent episode just to say hey and wax nostalgic, but the break neck pace of one episode per week will be no more.  Not to fret!  That pretty much guarantees 20 more episodes which will cover a wide range of topics.  Oh and I should add that this blogspot will still be going strong.  That said, here is a very tentative topic list for future shows:

Kursk (mid war)
The Pacific Theater
Wargame graphics
SPI a complete history
Budapest offensive (late war)
Moscow 1941
The battle for Germany (late war)
Samurai/Shogun era
Chutes and ladders: a strategic analysis :)
Plus all the usual news, reviews, rants and musings

Just remember, all things are subject to change.  Finally, I am still accepting history/game topic suggestions so feel free to speak up!

Thanks for listening and keep gaming!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Companion Guide to Episode 30.0

In this episode I take a look at North Africa and focus on the battle of El Alamein.  The Battle of El Alamein marked the culmination of the World War II North African campaign between the British Empire and the German-Italian army. Deploying a far larger contingent of soldiers and tanks than the opposition, British commander Bernard Montgomery launched an infantry attack at El Alamein on Oct. 23, 1942. German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel returned to battle from illness and tried to halt the tide, but the British advantage in personnel and artillery proved too overwhelming. After Hitler blocked an initial retreat in early November, Rommel managed to escape annihilation by withdrawing his men to Tunisia.

What to play:
For the novice:

For the intermediate player:


 For the advanced player:

What to read:


What to watch:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Companion Guide to Episode 29.0

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major battle of WWII in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in the south-western Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and disregard for military and civilian casualties, it is amongst the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war. It was a turning point in the Eastern European Theater- German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to reinforce their losses.
The German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in late summer 1942 using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. The fighting degenerated into house to house fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones generally along the west bank of the Volga River.
On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian forces protecting the German 6th Army's flanks. The Axsi forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Hitler ordered that the army stay in Stalingrad and make no attempt to break out; instead, attempts were made to supply the army by air and to break the encirclement from the outside. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food. The remaining elements of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days.

What to play:

What to read:

 What to watch:


Monday, June 16, 2014

Episode 29 Is Up!!!

In this episode, I'll have a couple new games to tell you about then I'll reveal my opinion of Combat Commander Europe, did I sell it or shelve it?  I'll share a list of Stalingrad games, then I'll give a brief overview of the fighting that took place within the city and cover a number of key landmarks.  Finally, I will take a look at what I consider the best Stalingrad game for your money. 

So clear your tables and get your situation maps out as we take a look at Stalingrad in history and in games!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's day!

On behalf of Hexes and Soldiers I would like to wish all you Dads out there a happy father's day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Official Hexes and Soldiers banner unveiling

  Here she is, the Official Hexes and Soldiers banner.  Additionally, the ASL leader/US flag logo will remain as the show's alternate logo. 

What's in a name?  Graphic design as representation-

As the obvious is often overlooked, there can't be anything more obvious then the name of a particular thing.  As such, this has become big business these days for a name, effectively rendered, can result in an overwhelming intention of interest.    Corporations and companies the world over have spent mega bucks on research and development when it comes to the presentation of their monickers and for one simple reason, it works.  In fact, some could argue that it works too well.  With logos and Trademarks burned into our brains, we now come to associate more with the name of the thing rather than the thing itself (think Coca Cola).  But the power of a name is powerless without a complimentary framework.  Or do you really think you are impervious to  the box art of wargames? So what's the point?  My point is this, I'm not after a trance inducing, zombie rendering conglomeration but rather an air of legitimacy.   That said, after much consideration (perhaps a bit too much) i feel that the above banner is an accurate skin which faithfully sheaths the core of the show.   After all, if i threw up a pic of Beetle Baily and a crayon sprawled name in a rainbow of colors, you might get the wrong idea :) 
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mail Call

Alright then...Lets see what all this hoopla is about...

Gettysburg: The Tide Turns: Playtest, 2nd Day Scenario/Final Turn

The final turn was a blow out of a turn with everyone in action and plenty of casualties.  The Union held on to Cemetery Ridge, but in the end Johnson's division proved too much to handle as Williams and Steuart claimed 2 victory hexes on Culp's Hill which means the CSA has emerged victorious!  What a scenario, this thing builds and builds right up to the very exploding end!

Companion Guide to episode 28.0

D-Day games: What to play

For the novice (or that one guy who wants to keep gaming and drinking but should have passed out hours ago)

For the intermediate gamer (or, the "sensible" gamer who still walks that fine line between gaming and a "healthy" relationship with his significant other.)

For the advanced gamer: (or anyone who has ever even momentarily considered the possibility that frosted Panzerblitz counters might actually make a great bowl of cereal.)
For the beach head invasion get the expansion:

And finally, a worthy candidate for group therapy:

What to read:
What to watch:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Gettysburg:The Tide Turns/ Playtest: Second Day Scenerio

The penultimate turn.  The CSA has lost the victory hex it once held in the Clump Of Trees on Cemetery Ridge but has managed to hold on to another victory hex at Culp's Hill.  The Union is slowly getting pushed back and the half hearted flank attempt on the South's right pretty much fizzled out.  One more turn to go and if the CSA can hold on, history will be altered!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gettysburg: The Tide Turns/ Playstest of 2nd Day Scenario Update

The CSA have managed to grab a victory hex at Culp's Hill as well as The Clump of Trees on Cemetery Ridge.  The Union is hanging tough, even managing to extend the encirclement maneuver in an effort to trap a large group of Confederate troops.  Ignoring the Union's threat to the rear has paid off so far.  Three turns to go, with the next turn seeing a giant influx of Union reinforcements. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6, 1944

70 years ago, as if it only happened just yesterday...

Immortalize history...Always remember.

Playtesting: Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, The Second Day Scenario

 I'm just about half way through the scenario.  What a battle, complete with plenty of reinforcements arriving throughout the day.  The CSA have a number of victory point objectives from which to choose.  So what to do?   I had initially decided to focus on Culps Hill but changed my mind and set about snagging a chunk of Cemetery Ridge.  

Game start

End of first turn
End of second turn
End of third turn
End of fourth turn
So after chipping away at Cemetery Ridge with little success, the Union has managed to swing around in a sickle cut style of approach all while keeping their objectives.  What is more, rather than waste time attempting to rest Cemetery Ridge, I realize I could have just made a run for Little Round Top and most likely been able to hold and reinforce the position there.  Ah well, hind sight.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Companion Guide to episode 27.0

Taken From the fine book, Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler

Also consider
Renowned for its accuracy, brevity, and readability, this book has long been the gold standard of concise histories of the Napoleonic Wars. Now in an updated and revised edition, it is unique in its portrayal of one of the world's great generals as a scrambler who never had a plan, strategic or tactical, that did not break down or change of necessity in the field. Distinguished historian Owen Connelly argues that Napoleon was the master of the broken play, so confident of his ability to improvise, cover his own mistakes, and capitalize on those of the enemy that he repeatedly plunged his armies into uncertain, seemingly desperate situations, only to emerge victorious as he "blundered" to glory.
Beginning with a sketch of Napoleon's early life, the book progresses to his command of artillery at Toulon and the "whiff of grapeshot" in Paris that netted him control of the Army of Italy, where his incredible performance catapulted him to fame. The author vividly traces Napoleon's campaigns as a general of the French Revolution and emperor of the French, knowledgeably analyzing each battle's successes and failures. The author depicts Napoleon's "art of war" as a system of engaging the enemy, waiting for him to make a mistake, improvising a plan on the spot-and winning. Far from detracting from Bonaparte's reputation, his blunders rather made him a great general, a "natural" who depended on his intuition and ability to read battlefields and his enemy to win. Exploring this neglected aspect of Napoleon's battlefield genius, Connelly at the same time offers stirring and complete accounts of all the Napoleonic campaigns.

What to play:
For the beginner:
 For the intermediate player:
For the advanced player:

Ex Post Scriptum:
Here is the link for Strategy and Tactics mag. issue 36: Just copy and paste

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Episode 27.0 coming soon!

Episode 27.0 should be posted later this evening.  You may find this episode or should I say special issue, somewhat atypical but I think you'll enjoy it nonetheless, (I hope). What's it about?  Well, there is a not so subtle hint right here in this post!