The truly eternal Empire of the Sun…is a wargame

Bruce Geryk:

This focus on headquarters drives play in many ways. In the early game, the Japanese are working to render the disparate Allied commands (Malaya, Dutch East Indies and the Philippines) ineffective by putting their headquarters out of supply. The Japanese are working to maximize their effectiveness though three distant HQs with varying logistics values. The Japanese Combined Fleet HQ is extremely valuable because it has the longest range and the highest logistic value. Furthermore, the map is so well laid out and finely tuned that the event card that renders Admiral Yamamoto killed has a huge effect on the game simply by reducing the range of Combined Fleet HQ by one hex. And the logistics by one also, although I’d argue the former is actually worse. It’s hard to make a game where the distance between every single hex on the map seems to be purposeful and not just a geographical accident, but somehow Empire of the Sun does it. It’s a textbook example of the confluence of design and playtesting.

A fascinating, in-depth article on a game I own but have yet to play in full. I’ve played South Pacific and Plan Orange but must endeavor to play the full campaign.

February and March Mega Gaming Update!

This will be a linear wander through my gaming from early February through early March. Julie was in Florida for the duration so I was anxious to fill my free days and weekends with gaming. I guess it worked.

How do you prep for a big wargame? You have a prep session for the wargame to walk through core rules and the opening. This is exactly what Ken, Doug, and I did for The Greatest Day.

Rather than drive back south, Ken hung with me and taught me Holdfast: Russia 1941-1942. I’d heard great things about this game and it didn’t disappoint.
The next morning was our monthly ASL game day for the Berserk Commissars.
On a recommendation from Julie I gave some love back to Guardian Games and picked up Kingdomino. Great light Euro fun.
Jack, Spence, Peter, and I then endeavored to play Axis & Allies 1942. We sorta finished the game, and I came away with the idea that I would always rather play Triumph & Tragedy over this game, mainly because it is easier to tell the subs from the carriers.
Allen and I continued our Hatten in Flames ASL campaign. Very nice how I can store this setup in my custom hacked Ikea table for long periods of time.
Chuck and I got together for some gaming and I finally played a game in the Quartermaster family, specifically Quartermaster General: 1914. This worked very well with two players, and I can see it scaling well to 3, 4, 5 players. Look forward to playing again.
Next up was my annual gaming retreat, aka “RipCityCon”. Got to try out the new hotness Wingspan. There’s a lot to like about this game (artwork and variety of birds) but the jury is still out for me on the goodness of the game itself.
One of the social / party game hits of the past few months has been Just One. This is cooperative party word game that you have to play to understand. Just go get it right now.
High Frontier hit the table and it was mostly a disaster, but we are going to take another shot at it in early May. We have ideas on how to improve the experience for our group.
Doug to us Cataclysm and I was lukewarm on it. Didn’t feel seamless and integrated enough for me. Maybe I need to try it again.
Our real go at The Greatest Day was up next.
We almost got through the first day of The Greatest Day, through two days of play time. Worth every minute. I think we all enjoy this GTS system.
I’m in a photo! That’s me on the right playing Matt in Keyforge, the latest Richard Garfield sorta CCG. I like the game enough to buy a box of decks to save and take out to the lake for summer fun.
I’m showing this photo of Gloomhaven as it includes a very old friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in 30+ years that was in the state and came over to see us. The group was so welcoming to bring him into this experience.
In early March I joined some friends for Allen’s birthday and we played Cuba Libre. I’m not a huge fan of COIN games but this was fun. These games are best when played fast.
After Cuba Libre, Chuck joined us for Championship Formula Racing. We played it wrong but are getting smarter. My third play and I would play again.
The next night I finally got a game of Root in, playing the birds. You see I saw a male bald eagle flying in the sunset as I drove to the game night so knew I had to choose this faction. Did not make that up.
Later that week I played SpaceCorp with Doug. He destroyed me but I had so much fun. I may pick this up at the GMT Weekend later in April.
Have you tried Codenames: Pictures? Very different take on the game and just as fun. Great family of games.