Award-Winning Magazine Wargames
Mark Johnson
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Magazine wargames aren't always great--sometimes the pressures of publication schedules and limitations of the format produce games that are best forgotten. However, sometimes the games are as good as anything our hobby has to offer. Furthermore, magazine wargames typically come with a companion article, maps, etc. and they often tackle lesser-known subjects. When they're at their best, magazine wargames are my favorites.

From time to time awards are given specifically to magazine wargames. This geeklist is intended to collate these winning games in a single list. The Charles S Roberts awards are a natural place to start, but there have been other awards given. All of them are welcome additions to this geeklist.

-Mark Johnson
Wargames To Go podcast
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1. Board Game: Alexandros [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:11099]
Board Game: Alexandros
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Livonia
Michigan
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A game of the conquests of Alexander the Great from 334-323 B.C.
One player takes command of the Macedonians and the other leads the Persians. They fight over provinces in quarterly turns. Combat can be fought tactically, using a separate display reminiscent of the way of resolving combat in Eagle games, with units assigned to various sections of the battlefield. Units which survive tactical combat can lay siege to cities.

The game can last varying numbers of turns, depending on the course of the war. There are several conditions, including the death of leaders and conquest of overwhelming numbers of provinces, that can end the game early. Otherwise the game ends in the summer of 323 (when Alexander actually died) or in an optional scenario, keep going up until 318 if Alexander survives that long.

AWARDS & HONORS
1991 Charles S. Roberts Best Pre-World War II Board Game Winner
 
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2. Board Game: Beyond Waterloo [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:10262]
Board Game: Beyond Waterloo
Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
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BEYOND WATERLOO is a two-player strategic level simulation of the Napoleonic Campaign of 1815. Players take the sides of France or its opponents, a coalition of Allies. In its long form the game opens with Napoleon’s arrival at Paris following his return from Elba. It encompasses his efforts to restore France to a war footing, the Allies’ struggle to revive their anti-French coalition, and the military operations that ensue. BEYOND WATERLOO is played on a mapboard that includes France plus relevant portions of the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Where most games on this period focus in on the famous Battle of Waterloo, BEYOND WATERLOO takes in the full scope of the politico-military possibilities inherent in the 1815 situation. The Allies must re-defeat Napoleon. The French must avoid that outcome.

BEYOND WATERLOO is a full strategic simulation encompassing military, economic, and diplomatic developments. It also introduces new design concepts for a game of this nature. Because of the complexities involved, these rules adopt a layered approach. Initially, the Combat Game introduces only the Battle Development Sequence, which affords a way to conduct combat in a strategic game that is nuanced for the Napoleonic era. This level of rules enables the player to learn the combat system using a scenario that covers only the Battle of Waterloo itself. At the next level, the Basic Game, rules introduce the full movement and administrative systems for a Napoleonic campaign. The scenario replicates the military action, economic factors, and force mobilization in this last Napoleonic War. The Advanced Game adds diplomacy, strategy and political action, and emphasizes the mobilization for war. In this long-form the game begins with Napoleon’s return to Paris and the sides must prepare for war before conducting it.

BEYOND WATERLOO is played on a mapboard subdivided into areas that regulate the movement of game forces. Pieces represent prominent Commanders on all sides, and armies, corps, and divisions. Players organize and move their pieces across the mapboard to further their strategy. The players accumulate Resource Points (RPs) and Victory Points (VPs) as the game progresses. RPs procure fresh forces. The VPs influence events in the Campaign of 1815 as well as determining the winner of the game. In the Advanced Game players also engage in diplomatic and political activity intended either to prepare for war or shape the conditions that will affect the campaign.


AWARDS & HONORS
Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2012
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3. Board Game: Chennault's First Fight [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:11342]
Board Game: Chennault's First Fight
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Chennault's First Fight appears in Against the Odds Magazine #12, by designer Paul Rohrbaugh. Chennault's First Fight covers the Pacific War's opening, when a small group of American mercenary airmen and ground crew, desperately outnumbered and led by a man (Claire Chennault) who had been vilified and disdained while in the US Army Air Force, found their operations repeatedly crowned with success.

Chennault's First Fight covers the first weeks of war in Burma, from mid-December 1941 to the Fall of Rangoon in early March 1942. The focus of the game is on the aerial battles, but the ground campaign is also covered, albeit on a simpler level.

Air units represent groups of 6 to 8 aircraft, while ground units are mostly brigades and regiments. The area map stretches from the Indian Frontier to French Indochina and from the Himalayas to south of Rangoon. An interactive turn sequence keeps both players hopping. There are two levels of air combat resolution, basic and advanced. The basic level has up to 3 rounds of air combat that are resolved on a "battle board" that also uses area movement. The advanced combat resolution system uses a hex map with more turns, very similar to the classic AH game Richtofen's War.

Air units are differentiated by type. Besides the P-40s flown by the Flying Tigers the Allies take wing with Brewster Buffalos, Hawker Hurricanes, P-36s, SB-2s, and Bristol Blenheims. The Japanese fly Oscar and Nate fighters. The heavy lifting is done by Sally, Ann, and Lily bombers while Dinah recon planes (among the fastest and highest flying prop planes built) lead the way. The Japanese must stike hard and fast and avoid getting sucked into what for them was a side-show. Running up a butcher's bill, or calling in forces badly needed elsewhere in the Emperor's warplan can lead to a lose of face and worse. The Allied player has precious little to waste in this fight, and must make the most of his opponent's weaknesses and mistakes while minimizing his own.

Rules cover enhanced reinforcements for both sides, the Vichy, Aces, Amphibious Assaults, the possible intervention of the Japanese Kido Butai (Carrier Air Units) and weather. Plenty of carnage and mayhem!

AWARDS & HONORS
Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2005
 
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4. Board Game: Clash of the Eagles: Borodino & Friedland [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:11378]
Board Game: Clash of the Eagles: Borodino & Friedland
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 1999
 
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5. Board Game: Deathride: Mars-la-Tour 1870 [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:7670]
Board Game: Deathride: Mars-la-Tour 1870
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Death Ride covers the battle of 16 August 1870 between French units of the Imperial Armée du Rhin seeking to retreat west from Metz, and German Confederation forces seeking to deny the French escape by turning their southern flank. Neither side was fully aware of the other’s position. Faced with the unknown both armies conformed to type with the French defending strongly and the Germans attacking. For once, though, the French far outnumbered the Germans. As a result a heavily outnumbered German army was forced to make a series of attacks to prevent the French discovering its weakness and to deny the French their retreat to the west.

Had the French pushed the Germans aside they would have been able to combine their armies and possibly protect Paris. They might also have avoided the collapse of the Bonapartist cause.

This version appeared in Against The Odds magazine #24

AWARDS & HONORS
Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2009
 
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6. Board Game: Fortress Berlin [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:7349]
Board Game: Fortress Berlin
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2004
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7. Board Game: The Great War in Europe [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6668]
Board Game: The Great War in Europe
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Livonia
Michigan
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The Great War in Europe (TGWiE) is a two player or two-team game simulating the campaigns of the main European theaters of the First World War, from August 1914 to the armistice. Players represent the political and military high commands of the Central Powers and the Allies, conducting operations on the western front, the eastern front, Italy and the Balkans.

AWARDS & HONORS
1995 Charles S. Roberts Best Pre-World War II Board Game Winner
 
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8. Board Game: Ignorant Armies: The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88 [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:9452]
Board Game: Ignorant Armies: Iran-Iraq War
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2003
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9. Board Game: Indochina War [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Board Game: Indochina War
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2002
 
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10. Board Game: Into the Bastards!: First tank battle [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:7671]
Board Game: Into the Bastards!: First tank battle
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2011
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11. Board Game: Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:8443]
Board Game: Islands of the Damned: Wake Island and Peleliu
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Hex Encounter award for best Magazine Game 2015 (from Miniature Wargames Magazine)
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12. Board Game: Iwo Jima: Rage Against the Marines [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:6811]
Board Game: Operations Special Issue #1
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2008
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13. Board Game: Kadesh: Mobile Warfare in the Ancient Middle East [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:9868]
Board Game: Kadesh:  Mobile Warfare in the Ancient Middle East
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Livonia
Michigan
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The battle between Egyptians and Hittites, 1285 BC. This game simulates the battle with a unique "chaotic" game system. Beautiful counters. Very Atmospheric war game.

AWARDS & HONORS
1990 Charles S. Roberts Best Wargaming Graphics Winner
1990 Charles S. Roberts Best Pre-World War II Board Game Winner
 
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14. Board Game: Kulikovo 1380: The Golden Horde [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:8729]
Board Game: Kulikovo 1380: The Golden Horde
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2006
 
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15. Board Game: Not War But Murder [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:5614]
Board Game: Not War But Murder
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2007
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16. Board Game: War of 1812 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:12446]
Board Game: War of 1812
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2001
 
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17. Board Game: Wave of Terror [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:12978]
Board Game: Wave of Terror
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Livonia
Michigan
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Game on Battle of the Bulge (ie. Ardennes), 1944. Game Scale is 1.5 miles/hex; One Game Turn = 24 hours. Units are mainly battalion size. Mini-monster with 2 maps and 840 counters.

AWARDS & HONORS
1996 Charles S. Roberts Best World War II Board Game Winner
 
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18. Board Game: A Week In Hell: The Battle of Hue [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:6368]
Board Game: A Week In Hell: The Battle of Hue
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2010
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19. Board Game: When Eagles Fight [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6663]
Board Game: When Eagles Fight
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Livonia
Michigan
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When Eagles Fight is two-player game simulating the campaigns fought between the Central powers and Czarist Rusia, from Tanneberg in 1914 to the fall of the Romanov in 1917.

Each turn represents one or two months, depending on the season. Each hex equals 25 miles from side to opposite side. Units are mostly corps, with a few divisions representing 10000-60000 men each.

The components include rules, the map and the die-cut counters.


AWARDS & HONORS
1993 Charles S. Roberts Best Pre-World War II Board Game Winner
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20. Board Game: Xenophon: 10,000 Against Persia [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:13513]
Board Game: Xenophon: 10,000 Against Persia
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Charles S Roberts Award - Best Magazine Game 2000
 
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