New War Games on the Horizon
While new war games have been more scant than usual, we’re prepping for an influx of solid games from solid publishers. There are quite a few of them, but here we’re gonna take closer looks at three titles that have piqued our interest. All three are currently available for preorder!
- Inferno: Guelphs and Ghibellines Vie for Tuscany, 1259-1261
- Werwolf – Insurgency in Occupied Germany
- Skies Above Britain
Inferno: Guelphs and Ghibellines Vie for Tuscany, 1259-1261
The first of our new war games is the third volume in Volko Ruhnke’s Levy & Campaign Series—Inferno: Guelphs and Ghibellines Vie for Tuscany—fires up the cauldron with 13th-Century Tuscan warfare. It’s got factional conflict fueled by the gold florins and teeming populations of up-and-coming cities and well-to-do valleys.
Expert Italian wargame designer Enrico Acerbi brings the age to life within Volko’s accessible medieval-operation system. Gathering transport and provender may not be as much the challenge here as the sudden treachery of rebel towns and castles along key roads.
Italy’s plundering berrovieri horsemen, famed elite crossbowmen, and distinctive palvesari shield bearers are just a few of the unique inhabitants of this volume. Muster, mount up, and find out whose blood will make the Arbia run red!
1 17×22″ Mounted Map
175 Wooden pieces
106 Playing Cards
Three full-color Countersheets
15 cardboard Lord and Battle mats
One Lords sticker sheet
Four Player Aid sheets
Six 6-sided dice
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Werwolf – Insurgency in Occupied Germany
The second of these new war games is Werwolf – Insurgency in Occupied Germany. It is 1945 and Germany has been invaded and occupied by the exhausted forces of the Soviet Union and Western Allies. Unlike in our timeline, the fighting continues as German resistance fighters engage in a prolonged guerrilla war. With the Manhattan Project still incomplete, Japan fighting on and the Allied invasion of Europe losing millions of men, the Allies are war-weary and there is pressure to bring the troops home.
While the Wehrmacht was defeated, the Nazi leadership has spent 1943 onwards building up a huge secret guerrilla force—Werwolf—to turn the occupation of Germany into a costly quagmire. Other groups calling themselves the Edelweiss Movement are opposed to the Nazis but also to the invaders and will fight to restore an independent and patriotic Germany. The Fuhrer himself has gone missing, and many Nazi officials are in hiding, perhaps awaiting their chance to return to power.
Four factions are now competing for control and the loyalty of the German population: the Allied Occupation Forces (Western Allied troops and German police, referred to as Allies in the rules) the Soviet Union (the Red Army and NKVD, referred to as Soviets in the rules), the Edelweiss Movement (patriotic but anti-Nazi German resistance, referred to as Edelweiss in the rules) and the Werwolf organization (former SS and other Nazi fanatics trained in guerrilla warfare, referred to as Werwolf in the rules).
The struggle will be not only for military control and the hearts and minds of the German people but also over the remnants of the Nazi war machine and research programs. The Soviets and Allies may reluctantly co-operate to crush German guerrillas but will compete to secure top German scientists and prototypes for their own arms race. As the Allies try to de-Nazify the populace and entice them with American pop culture, the Soviets will use everything from indoctrination to mass deportation to keep Germany under control. Loyalties will be split between democracy, communism and resurgent fascism or nationalism. This will not be an easy occupation!
- 1 22×34″ Mounted Map
- 250 .75″ Markers/Tokens
- 169 Wooden Playing Pieces
- 1 Rulebook
- 1 Playbook
- 102 Cards
- 8 Player Aid Sheets
- 3 Scenarios
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Skies Above Britain
GMT Games’ new solitaire war game—Skies Above Britain—is a solitaire game depicting a Royal Air Force fighter squadron tasked to disrupt and destroy German daylight bombing raids over southeast England in the summer of 1940.
The player’s individual aircraft must locate the incoming raid, intercept it, and evade or defeat escorting German fighters. The game simulates the dogfighting and fighter-vs.-bomber action at an individual aircraft level using a card-assisted system that simulates key tactical decision-making.
A player can fly scenarios representing an individual patrol or use the Situation Manual to create individual patrols, multi-patrol campaigns, or larger campaigns covering the entire Battle of Britain. Each patrol will take a half hour or more to play, while a campaign may last anywhere between six and 28 patrols.
The air campaign known as the Battle of Britain began on 10 July 1940. German Planning initially expected the Luftwaffe to incapacitate RAF Fighter Command by the middle of August, preparing the way for Operation Sea Lion, Hitler’s planned amphibious invasion of Britain. The Germans had every reason to be optimistic. They outnumbered the RAF in trained and experienced fighter pilots. Operating from the occupied French coast meant the invasion zone was within range of hunting German fighters. It also meant German bombers could have fighter escort as they pummeled British airfields and tried to destroy Fighter Command on the ground.
But the British had several advantages of their own; chief among them the world’s first radar-controlled integrated air defense system. This gave early intelligence about incoming raids and allowed the RAF to deploy its smaller force effectively. British aircraft factories kept supplying new planes at a rate sufficient to replace losses. RAF pilots could see below them the homes and communities they were fighting for. And, if RAF pilots had to bail out over land, they knew it would be friendly territory and they could often rejoin their units within hours.
- Single-Sided 17″ x 22″ Game Board
- Double-Sided 6″ x 17″ Squadron Display Board
- 8.5″ x 11″ Ad Hoc Section Display
- Single-Sided 8.5″ x 11″ Circle Display
- Double-Sided 8.5″ x 11″ Roster & Log Pad
- 8.5″ x 6″ Sticker Sheet
- Wooden Blocks
- 32 Large Black
- 4 Small Black
- 4 Small Blue
- 6 Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Black, Gray
- Wood Cylinder
- 2 d12 Dice
- 2 Countersheets
- 2 Bomber Tiles
- 24 Medium Bomber
- 24 Light Bomber
- 16 Escort Reaction
- 24 Spitfire/Tailed
- 24 Spitfire/Head On & Tailing
- 24 Hurricane/Tailed
- 24 Hurricane/Head On & Tailing
- 16 RAF Advantage
- 24 Luftwaffe Advantage
- 3 11″x17″ Player Aids
- Situation Manual
- Optionals Booklet
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