DECISION GAMES - World at War Magazine
David Knepper
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"World at War" magazine provides a sharp focus on WWII with the same in-depth format as Strategy & Tactics. Each issue includes a feature article from the Western and Mediterranean Theater, the East Front, the Pacific Theater, and a category for other battles and campaigns (actual battles and campaigns not fitting a specific theater such as the Battle of the Atlantic, the Spanish Civil War, or what-if battles such as Sealion or Moscow 1941). Games also rotate through these four categories.

You can order a subscription using the order form in DG's Dispatch #15; however the website appears not yet able to accept subscriptions.

Website: http://www.strategyandtacticspress.com/index.php
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1. Board Game Publisher: Decision Games (I)
David Knepper
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Alabama
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2. Board Game: Barbarossa: The Russo-German War 1941-45 [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:9765]
David Knepper
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"World at War" Issue #1:

Barbarossa: The Russo-German War, 1941-45

Barbarossa is a two-player, low-to-intermediate complexity, strategic-level simulation of the entire Russo-German War designed by Ty Bomba. The game was originally designed and published by James F. Dunnigan back in 1969. This new edition is an extensive redesign.

Each hexagon on the map represents 55 miles (90 kilometers) from side to opposite side. The large-hex map covers from Berlin and Yugoslavia in the west, to Leningrad in the north, Maikop in southeast and Gorki in the northeast. Expeditions may be launched into the deep Caucasus through the use of an off-map holding box and special rules.

The primary units of maneuver for the German side are corps, while for the Soviets they're armies. The order of battles have been extensively researched to ensure they're the most historically accurate ever presented for a game of this scale. The counter-mix includes all 25 of the German Korpsgruppen, which were unheralded formations crucial to that side's overall war effort during 1944-45. Beyond that, there are also counters for: Army Detachments Hollidt, Fretter-Pico and Lanz/Kempf; Provisional Panzer Corps Raus, the Kerch Straits Command, and Group Mieth. On the Soviet side there's a full corps-and-army OB for 22 June 1941, along with all the Guards and Guards Tank armies, as well as "Mechanized Group Popov," the single most elite Red Army formation ever to take the field during the entire war. There are, in total, 280 half-inch, NATO-style counters included in the game.

Estimated availability date is June 2008. Shipped 23 June 2008.
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3. Board Game: Solomons Campaign (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:9163]
David Knepper
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"World at War" Issue #2

Solomons Campaign

The Solomons Campaign is an extensive redesign of the old-SPI game of the same name originally designed and published by James F. Dunnigan in 1973. It presents a two-player, complex historical simulation of the air, sea and land campaigns waged on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the summer and fall of 1942. The game begins with the American invasion of that island and includes the subsequent Japanese attempts to retake it. The game is intended to be a simulation of combined air-naval-ground operations, or what are today called "joint operations." Consequently it centers on modeling command and staff systems, focusing on the difficulties and advantages inherent in sequenced interactions between and among air, naval and ground forces.

There are three distinct categories of military units in the game: ships, aircraft and ground. Each category has its own special rules and interacts with the other types in various ways. There are also rules covering the different approaches to operations taken by both sides' army and navy high commands.

Each hex on the map represents 100 miles from side to opposite side. Each game turn represents two weeks, with each "operational impulse" within a game turn representing 12 hours of intense tactical operations. Each point of ground unit strength represents a battalion of 1,000 or so troops. Each aircraft strength point represents a squadron or 10 to 24 aircraft. Naval units represent one ship for carriers and battleships, two ships for cruisers, and five for destroyers and transports. There are 280 half-inch counters, both NATO-style and iconic, included in the game.
 
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4. Board Game: Bulge [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:9343]
David Knepper
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"World at War" Issue #3

Bulge

The Bulge is a redesign, by Ty Bomba, of the title originally published by old-SPI in 1979, which was designed and developed by James F. Dunnigan and Eric Smith. That earlier version was, in fact, published under two titles, the other being Big Red One, as part of a marketing effort coinciding with the release that same year of a motion picture of the same name. Under any title, then and now, this design runs counter to the decades-old hobby trend concerning the 1944 German counteroffensive in the Ardennes, in that it's not bigger and more complex than the one published just prior to it. In releasing The Bulge, we're not seeking hobby immortality by claiming yet another reanalysis - this one truly correct! - of the all-critical forest road net; nor have we uncovered any new - and heretofore hidden or ignored! - secrets concerning both sides' sub-divisional orders of battle.

Each hex on the map equals five miles (eight kilometers) from side to opposite side. Each game turn represents one day. Playing pieces represent divisions, brigades, combat commands, regiments or Kampfgruppen of various kinds of infantry and armored formations, each containing from about 3,000 to 14,000 men and/or 50 to 400 armored fighting vehicles. A full VolksartillerieKorps order of battle is included for the Germans, along with special rules for: Allied airpower and corps support, the famed von der Heydte paratroopers, Einheit Steilau, Skorzeny, Kampfgruppe Peiper, and much more.

The Bulge is a low-complexity two-player game that experienced players can count on knocking off in about three hours. A complete (176 total), large-size counter-set is included in both iconic and NATO-style, by famed graphic artist Joe Youst, who also did the map.
 
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5. Board Game: USAAF: Strategic Bombing Operations Over the Third Reich, 1944 [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
David Knepper
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"World at War" Issue #4

USAAF: Strategic Bombing Operations Over the Third Reich, 1944

Best estimates today have it that the war in Europe most likely would have continued for about 24 months after February 1944 had it not been for the cumulative effects of the Allied strategic aerial offensive against the Germans. That means the war was most likely shortened somewhere between 13 and 15 months by the effects of that campaign. We say "most likely" and "somewhere between" because we can't be more certain. That is, starting at the end of 1944, the Western Allied and Soviet ground advances began to add their resource-denying effects to the successes being scored by the bombers. Where precisely the effects of the one effort picked up and the other left off is, and will likely always remain, a matter of debate.

We can, however, use that December 1944 cut off date to our advantage in this game. We know for certain that prior to that time any collapse of the German war effort would mostly certainly have been due to the bombings' effects. If the "Bomber Barons" were to prove they could win a war with their planes alone, we can now see they had to do it by that date. Thus the would-be Bomber Barons in today's wargame hobby must also bring their efforts to fruition by that time in the game in order to win.

In general, each "game turn" represents the cumulative effects of one month of aerial operations. Note, though, Game Turn 3 represents two calendar months. That's because a large portion of US aircraft strength was drawn away from this campaign during that time in order to assist in the battlefield preparation for the D-Day landings. There are a maximum of 10 game turns to each campaign.

The large-size, fully iconic, counters included with the game (176 total), are by famed artist Nicolas Eskubi. They represent air groups and wings, along with German FLAK brigades and divisions. Aside from all the formations historically involved in the campaign, an extended German Me-262 order of battle is included. That will allows players to determine, once and for all, exactly how many of those remarkable planes it would've taken to have finally and fully stopped the American onslaught.

Each large hex on the map represents 33.33 miles (54 Km) from side to opposite side. The game is of intermediate complexity, is intended for two players, and takes about six hours to complete.
 
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