Upcoming Board & Miniature War Games 202026 Feb 2020 3
Seriously, these updates are supposed to be easy for me to do when the Boss asks. Not. Unfortunately, in cardboard and pewter land things change quickly and often, with nothing programmed as definitively as with computer games. Now you would think processes like GMT’s P500 program would be pretty stable, but then things get published, pushed back a year or in some cases simply disappear never to be heard from again (like a Compass Games title I was frothing at the mouth to get).
Miniatures are worse, being a cottage industry with over 3000 firms, none of which like to advertise much in advance what’s coming down the pike, even the big guys like Flames of War (Hammer). So, I pretty much start anew each time despite my best efforts to avoid it, and do so today, counter critter products first, followed by pewter pushers down the road. But without East Front WWII, because seriously, how many times can you do Stalingrad (well, actually, 77 per Boardgame Geek, but that’s another matter)?
Upcoming Board Game Releases 2020
Nothing for 2020, but as a long term warning (or threat), the firm plans to release SPI’s mega-monster, you really need to be on drugs to play Campaign for North Africa in 2022. Maybe Sheldon can help.
Operational Studies Group
Nothing for 2020, the next release in Kevin Zucker’s famous games library of Napoleonic battles will be l’ Armee d’ Espagne in February 2021 covering Vimeiro, Espinosa, Tudela, and La Coruña.
I’d exercise a little caution with these guys, as they seem to always have a lot of titles in the pipeline that don’t ever see the light of day. The Website list 20 games available for preorder (to include eight from 2019) but only two upcoming for 2020. They are:
- Air Raid Pearl Harbor – Obviously about the December 7th, 1941 Japanese surprise attack, hex based, 250 yards per hex, five minutes per turn and one ship or eight aircraft per counter, MSRP $75.00.
- Trois Batailles en Allemagne – This is a US reprint from French author Didier Rouy’s Vive l’Empereur series and covers the battles of Jena, Auerstaedt and the siege of Danzig. Units are regiments, 250 meters per hex, 30 minutes per turn, MSRP $100.
This company has about 40 games listed for release during 2020. Discounting reprints and do overs of classic wargames, here are those that spark my interest:
- Napoleon’s Eagles, Storm in the East – This is a card driven game covering the battles of Borodino in Russia 1812, and Leipzig in 1813. I’ve never been enamored by the card game concept, but the graphics and description of this title has me absolutely intrigued. MSRP is $55.00.
- Brief Border Wars – Due for release next month, another card driven game that caught my eye because of the subject matter. The game covers El Salvador vs Honduras 1969, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 1974, China vs Vietnam 1979, and Israel vs Hezbollah in southern Lebanon 2006. Cost is $69.00.
- Schutztruppe, Heia Safari, 1914-18 – OK, an exception to my rule. This is a reprint of a classic, but I am including it because it covers one of the most fascinating campaigns of World War I, a real David and Goliath struggle. I’m talking about German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and his 12,000 native Askari infantry driving upwards of 150,000 Commonwealth soldiers absolutely bonkers for four years. Cost is $69.00, scale is division counters, one month turns and 30 miles per hex.
The folks at Hanford, CA list 50 games that have made the cut for production plus a further five at the printers. Of additional interest is a recent Email update from owner Gene Billingsley, acknowledging shipping delays within their China based supply chain, what with tariffs and the like.
Lord knows how the current medical issues over there will impact things, so be advised:
- Into the Woods, the Battle of Shiloh – The latest adaptation of Berg’s Great Battles of the American Civil War series, it will be interesting to compare it to SPI’s 1976 Bloody April. Scale is 110 meters, per hex, an hour a turn, 50 men per strength point and will come with 1120 counters. Cost is $59.00.
- Next War: Vietnam – The latest edition in this product line will pit Vietnam against the People’s Republic of China today, as in 2020. Game scale is 3.5 days per turn, 7.5 miles per hex and division/brigade counters. It will cost you $89.00 MSRP for this standalone product.
- Banish All Their Fears – If Ben Hull does with the 1693 battle of Neerwinden and the 1704 battle of Blenheim what he did with his Musket and Pike series, you know this is gonna be special. Here is the first game in a series covering the War of the League of Augsburg and the War of the Spanish Succession with units representing battalions, double squadrons and batteries, all maneuvering across 200-meter hexes inside 20 minute turns. Cost is $65.00 MSRP.
- Command & Colors: Samurai Battles – Assuming you like Richard Borg’s short on detail, long on fun C&C series, you will love this. Why? Because of all the battles and scenarios included. There are 23 battles represented and since some have more than one scenario (Sekigahara has three), well, you get it. Cost is anticipated as $82.00 MSRP.
Upcoming Miniature Wargame Products 2020
The information below is current as of the day I wrote this article. The day after, no guarantees.
Blue Moon Miniatures
Billed as 15 mm, these are actually very animated, rough sculpted 18 mm figures, normal price $18.00 for 30 figures:
- Napoleonic Spanish Guerillas – Out very soon is a specialty package that features two priests and 28 guerillas in various poses, to include female soldiers. A related, upcoming release, drops several command packs of 1809 – 1811 Spanish infantry which are fundamentally irregular foot in mixed civilian and military attire. A much-needed addition to this fascinating period of conflict.
- Armies and Wars of Ozz – OK, miniature guys are some of the stuffiest, detail oriented, serious to a fault gamers on the planet, but sometimes the ole noggin says you just need a break. Blue Moon has responded with this whimsical line based on the famous book series. Yes, you have Munchkins and Qualdlings, and did I mention Great Flying Apes have just been added? No details yet as to release date or price, but I will be taking a bazillion pictures of demo games at the HMGS Cold Wars con next month. The Old Glory home page has more images if you scroll to the bottom.
Known for their uber popular Blood & Plunder pirate oriented miniature rules and models, the lads at Firelock have announced two more product lines for upcoming release:
- Oak & Iron, Historical Naval Battles in the Age of Piracy – This new product sells for $69.00 and unlike B&P, which was large scale and single ship oriented, allows players to fight fleet battles a la Trafalgar. The core set includes six plastic model ships from the company’s supporting miniature line, battle map, rules, tokens and a whole lot more. There are also several add on sets allowing you to purchase merchant ships and the like. Look for a review in the near future.
- Blood & Valor WWI Skirmish Rules – This is a 156-page rule book for replaying 28 mm small unit combat during the Great War using a point-based army system and initiative-controlled gameplay. Given the quality of their other products – not to mention my interest in the period - look for a purchase followed by a review soon. Cost is $34.99.
Best of the Rest
Bolt Action Stalingrad Campaign – Warlord Games has announced this new addition to the Osprey printed Bolt Action WWII miniatures rules product line covering, of course, Stalingrad (note to Boardgame Geek, number 78). Selling for $30.00 in preorder, the deal includes a figure of Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev, and supporting the effort is the Stalingrad Battle Set with two tanks, 100 figures, barbed wire, ruined buildings and stuff, all for a mere $320.00. However, preorder now and the rules are free. Release scheduled for April.
D-Day British Forces in Normandy 1944 – On the Flames of War front down Aukland way, Battlefront has announced both a reference book and not less than 23 British at D-Day related products for March 2020 release, and in April another 10. Yes, some of these are peripherals such as tokens and decals, but other merchandise be like Parachute Company (Plastic) (BBX49), Airborne 75mm Light Troop (Plastic) (BBX50), Airborne 6-pounder Anti-tank Platoon (Plastic) (BBX51), Airborne MMG Platoon (Plastic) (BR814), and Airborne Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (BR815).
Twilight of the Soldier Kings – This set just hit my radar today and if not in pre-order, just released. The rules continue the uber popular Twilight of the Sun King product line published by the Pike & Shot Society but covering Old Fritz and friends 1730 – 1780. Self-published by author Nick Dorrell, the book contains scenarios for the battles of Mollwitz (1741), Kolin (1757), and Krefeld (1758). There is also a supporting scenario book which will contain 12 extra battle scenarios. Price for the base rules is £21.00.
Until next time – when everything above has been released and I get to do this all over again – may the dice be always in your favor. This is the way, I have spoken.