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Snapshots from JMcL63's lands of adventure (Go to Blogger to find RD/KA! in all its fully-illustrated technicolour glory- jmcl63.blogspot.com).

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Analogue gamer finally grokks digital? #2. In which, getting neither rules nor manual, I am confounded

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Analogue and digital: opposing skill sets?
Fundamental property or fleeting perception?

Far from original, my closing remarks last time echo truisms familiar from many online discussions of, eg. how to get more younger people to play wargames (a common enough theme on the BGG Wargames subforum). Once this notion rears its head in any thread it won’t be long before someone observes that the ‘plug-and-play’ nature of computer games’ has ‘spoiled’ younger people when it comes to reading rules for a game, especially those more-or-less complex ones you’ll find in ‘heavy duty’ wargames. And these are games like, eg. the 32 pages of detailed case point of Unhappy king Charles or the similar 28 pages of Twilight Struggle — ie. average complexity medium-sized wargames with clear and concise rules — not ASL’s legendary monumental tome or some such monstrosity.

The basic disconnect

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:21 pm
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My first (and last?) game of 'España 1936'

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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A long time coming

Regular readers will be well aware that I'm not a negative reviewer as a rule. It's too easy to find negativity on the web, and the first editorial decision I made way back in 2005 was that I wasn't going to contribute to it here at RD/KA!. Also, when I review anything, I've paid for it and therefore have a good reason to want to like it. Every so often though, something comes along which disappoints me sufficiently to prompt a distinct lack of enthusiasm to which I cannot but give vent. Antonio Catalán's game of the Spanish Civil War- España 1936, is a case in point. 

Dust off and dust-up
España 1936 is a game I bought on sight when I saw it in Static Games, an FLGS: the subject of the Spanish Civil War interested me and the box ad-copy showed nice-looking components. It then joined my collection of dust-gatherers, where it stayed for a good three years. Only recently, with Liam's newfound enthusiasm for strategic boardgames, did I begin to think that I might finally get a chance to bring España 1936 to the table. My thinking was this game would serve as a useful bridge between Labyrinth and Twilight Struggle on the one hand, and games like Unhappy King Charles! on the other.

And so, on Wednesday night Liam and I sat down to have a go. Five hours later, I'd won the game, but España 1936 had lost the vote of confidence.
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Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:02 am
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The long dark night of the dice rolls #2: light at the end of the tunnel

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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I wrote last time about some of the highlights in recent multiplayer gaming. Today, I'm going to look back at some of the 2-player fun I've been having. When the Sunday sessions dried up I came to realise that the last couple of months of Sunday gaming had been slightly frustrating: we'd been playing too many light Euros. It's not that I don't like these games- I do; it's just that I wanted some meatier fare, with the lighter games filling their proper role, namely filler. I'm pleased to say that I've managed in the past couple of months to satisfy this desire to a significant extent.

Combat Commander
Regular readers won't be surprised that Badger and I have been keeping up our regular Combat Commander games. We've mostly being playing our way through the Combat Commander Battle Pack #3: Normandy. The scenarios start at the beginning, with Operation Deadstick- the Ox and Bucks' coup de main at the Bénouville (later Pegasus) Bridge in the early minutes of June 6th 1944; and finish at the end, with the 1st Polish Armoured Division's stand on Hill 262 ('The mace') during the battle of the Falaise pocket in late August. In between there are beaches to fight your way off of, beachhead fortifications to overcome, lots of bocage to fight your way through, villages to capture, and a couple of scenarios featuring French Resistance forces to boot.

BP#3 includes 4 new double-sided maps; new special rules for the beaches and for bocage country- including a nice new set of night rules; a sheet of new counters; and a campaign game. All in all an excellent expansion which has been pleasing other CC:E fans as much as it pleased Badger and I.
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Wed Jul 6, 2011 6:00 am
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