Wargames To Go 8 - Dunkirk
Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
California
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The usual geeklist where I can record the games I play for the next podcast episode, others I won't make it to (but are interesting to consider), and so on.

I'm now thinking the comment field at the bottom of the list may be a better place for general discussion than a separate discussion thread. Please feel free to jump into the conversation about any game, or the general topic.

Also, you should note that this is a much smaller list of games than I've done before. That's because there aren't so many titles featuring Dunkirk, but also because I'm deliberately trying to make this topic smaller than others I've done. If it works, this will be my mode for the remainder of my time living/working in France--smaller topics that can be wargamed, watched on films, and discussed in a single podcast episode that doesn't take so long to produce. Fingers crossed!

As for films, I've already watched two, and plan to watch a third:



(Of course I'm very interested in Christopher Nolan's upcoming movie, too, but that won't be seen until next summer.)

-Mark


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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
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1. Board Game: A Spoiled Victory: Dunkirk 1940 [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
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While Legion Games is working with designer Paul Fish on an updated, deluxe version called Miracle at Dunkerque, the original version has been made freely available for PNP at The Boardgaming Way!

Pledge/pre-order the new version: http://www.legionwargames.com/legion_pre-order.php#MAD



Ooh, this was just what I like in a wargame. Interesting subject I could learn about, light gameplay, concentration on the overall "feel" of the tactical or strategic situation rather than rivet-counting a tank duel. Lots of historical aspects work their way in smoothly through multi-use cards. I'm now eagerly awaiting the deluxe reprint from Legion Games, and have pre-ordered it. This is a designed-as-solo, but I think could be fun to play as an Allied team, too. The game very cleverly simplifies the ground combat so a similar level of detail can be applied to the air campaign and the naval challenge, with a result that doesn't overwhelm. Awesome use of chrome for historical significance and understanding.
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2. Board Game: Down in Flames: Air Umbrella Over Dunkirk [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
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Yep, this will be the third podcast subject in a row when I've been able to play a Down In Flames game as part of the research. Hurray! This particular campaign was a c3i magazine add-on.



The lower rating for this play is indicative of my play experience, not really the campaign itself. I'm away from most of my collection now, so had to play this campaign solo within the Vassal software. There's just too much manipulation of cards (play, draw, rotate, flip, etc) on too small of a laptop screen for this to be as much fun as it would be in-person. But beyond that, what does it tell you about the battle of Dunkirk? Well, some. It's essentially a Luftwaffe vs RAF story (no Armée de l'Air to be found). A Defiant shows up in one mission, and gets its 1-turn surprise before exposing itself as deficient. Naval targets (evacuating destroyers) and men on the beach give it SOME feeling of Dunkirk, but being only an air game there's much that isn't felt.
 
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3. Board Game: Dynamo: Dunkirk, 1940 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:7615]
Mark Johnson
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A "full" game about the fighting retreat to the sea, rather than the evacuation (I think).
 
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4. Board Game: Also Ran [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
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Games below this point are ones I won't get to, but are included for discussion purposes (i.e. please comment!)
 
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5. Board Game: Dunkirk: The Battle of France [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
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This one may be mostly notable for its designer, Gary Gygax of D&D fame. Yep, he had a wargame history in the hobby before striking gold with chaotic evil magic users and gelatinous cubes. I could neither obtain this one, nor really wanted to try. It looked like a very dated design without a lot of juice for the squeeze.
 
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6. Board Game: Dunkerque: 1940 [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
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Whereas this is an old one I wish I could try. One look at the Vassal module showed me that this may be an innovative, original design that is modest in its play requirements. My kinda thing! Or not, who knows?
 
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