Shooting the Chit: 100 Subs, 2021 Preorders and Online Gaming

Welcome to Shooting the Chit, my semi irregular newsletter/update. I’ve done two of these exclusively in video format but I’d thought I’d spill some digital ink and commit these thoughts to paper this time. 2021 is quickly taking off and we are already well into March. I’ve gotten some solid games to the table and I am eager to play even more.

YouTube

For those of you are unaware, I also have a YouTube channel (also Cataclysm Now), featuring much of the content you find here and it recently obtained over 100 subscribers. No major feat, but I am glad to know that some of my content resonates with other gamers and can contribute in some way to the hobby. Thanks to all my subscribers!

Preorders

As we steadily march into the coming year, I’d thought I’d share the wargames that are coming down the pike. Considering I have a decent backlog of games, I only have a handful of pre-orders. (nearly exclusively from GMT!) Absent any wild impulse buys, I’m limiting my acquisitions to these. I expect that some of these won’t land in 2021 given their time in development and the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Deadly Woods by Revolution Games

A Ted Raicer design, much in the vain of his Dark series from GMT, is a chit pull Battle of the Bulge game. I recently played my first Bulge game from Worthington but I would be remiss if I didn’t look into a new Raicer design, especially one so suited to solitaire play. As noted by designer himself, the game places emphasis on the Allied counterattack in January 1945, not just the initial German offensive. The Germans cannot go for broke in accomplishing their objectives, they must also place themselves in defensible positions in the event their offensive fails. This will be going on the table sooner rather than later as it’s due out in early April.

http://www.revolutiongames.us/PreOrders.html

Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan, 1941-1945 by GMT Games

Now time for a confession: I’ve never played a Mark Herman design, which is nearly heretical but can be forgiven given my newcomer status to the hobby. Instead of diving into Empire of the Sun (I don’t solo CDGs very well), I’m opting for this title to cover the entirety of the Pacific theater. Strategic in scope, with some operational facets, I’m highly anticipating this title.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-865-pacific-war-the-struggle-against-japan-1941-1945.aspx

Salerno ’43 by GMT Games

This is another entry in Simonitch’s ‘Forty’ series, one of my favorites. I currently own Normandy ’44, France ’40, Ardennes ’44 and Ukraine ’43 and I’m eager to add this to the collection. Covering a portion of the Italian campaign, its smaller in scope than say Ukraine or France but is ambitiously set to combine with two future games to cover the march to Rome from Salerno.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-868-salerno-43.aspx

Panzer by GMT Games

Photo credit: Scott Mansfield

Some time ago, I took to the Twittersphere for opinions and options regarding some WWII tactical games that I was looking to add to my collection. Of the recommendations, Panzer stood out due to its dedication to detail and the scale. I’m also a stickler for a top down look for counter art so when GMT announced it would be reprinting the game sooner rather than later, I put in my preorder.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-749-panzer-3rd-printing.aspx

Skies Above Britain by GMT Games

The Battle of Britain has fascinated me for years and I’m wanting to explore if further through wargames. I have the first game in this series (shamefully un-played) but this title seems to have a greater focus on dogfights so I am leaping at the opportunity to play as the valiant defenders of Britain.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-897-skies-above-britain.aspx

The Weimar Republic by GMT Games

To be honest, this could be my most anticipated title currently on the P500. I’ve spent much time reading and studying about the collapse of democracy and I cannot wait to see how this particular game portrays the Weimar period. This will mark my first foray into the COIN series and the game’s potential to comment on how the very tools of democracy are used to subvert it could not be more timely.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-841-the-weimar-republic.aspx

Online Gaming

I can’t believe it took me this long to get into playing board games through Steam but as the pandemic wore on, I finally connected online with some high school friends to play several war games.

Axis and Allies 1942 was an easy sell and has been an absolute blast. Loosely historical but highly competitive, its proved addicting for us all and provided me a captive audience to talk incessantly about the Second World War. After dozens of games and hours, the game still offers broad strategic options and I underestimated I much I could improve my playing sensibilities.

By far, I came into the game with the most experience, and dominated many of the early rounds. But after playing with the four other good friends, my tried and true strategies were challenged and scrutinized, forcing me to adapt in ways that I could not have expected. Even the uninitiated can give the weathered veteran a run for their money in due time.

The more nuanced game that I also recently delved into was the much vaunted Twilight Struggle. A good friend, also an Axis and Allies player, randomly messaged me about the game, his interest mostly owed to the stellar cover art, and I leapt at the opportunity to rope him into it. It was available for dirt cheap on Steam and supporting asynchronous play, we dove into the card driven game with much trial and error and found ourselves utterly engrossed.

We are still learning much about the nuances of the cards and system but its a devilishly clever game, and I can see why it is so critically acclaimed. I have formally been won over by CDGs after an unearned skepticism and I am looking forward to trying Labyrinth: The War on Terror

Up Next

I have just set up Ukraine ’43 by GMT Games and will be posting more content here soon. I will say that I am favorably impressed about the amount of chrome and extra little rules to the system that I hope will really make it shine.

Thanks for shooting the ‘chit’. See you soon.

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