The Wargamer's Guide to: Miniature & Board War Games 201909 Jan 2019 0
As a follow on to my previous article where I looked back over 2018, my friendly, neighborhood Editor asked me look forward a year as well. Given any predicted apocalypse is still years away with cardboard and pewter companies still producing, sure. As always, these selections are based to a large degree on my own personal preferences (with no second or more printings counted), just my two shekels worth, thus YMMV.
Tired of table-top? Check our our guide to the best computer war games coming in 2019.
So without further ado, let’s gawk at my most anticipated over the next year.
It’s a lot easier to figure out what’s on the horizon for cardboard counter critters because for the most part, the games are designed and produced by three or four major full time businesses that future releases extensively. One continuing trend will be the reboot publication of classic wargames past. And trust me, just because they’re not featured here doesn’t mean a dearth of World War II stuff isn't coming, particularly from the Eastern Front.
GMT has a unique system called P500, possible future products that will go into print as soon as it gets 500 preorders. Here are the best already at the printer or made the cut:
- Death Valley - Tactical level game from the Great Battles of the American Civil War series, covering eight individual battles fought in the Shenandoah Valley, MSRP $89 US.
- Command and Colors - Two new entries into Richard Borg’s insanely simply, hysterically fun, historically suspect, popular tactical series, Medieval Battles ($75) and Samurai Battles ($82).
- The Russian Campaign - The only GMT reboot (and the obligatory WWII listing), on the list, John Edwards operational classic on the Eastern front will sell for $60. Played this one a lot.
- The Battle of Rhode Island - Volume IX in GMTs tactical Battles of the American Revolution series, the game also includes a hypothetical scenario of a battle around Newport, MSRP $59.
- Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision 1240 – 42 - Not my cup of latte, but so unique I had to include it. This is a grand strategic game covering Russian Orthodoxy’s push back against incursions by the Catholic West. We’re talking politics, battles and personalities managed by very attractive wooden game pieces. First in a series, MSRP $80.
Here are some of my picks from the folks that carry on the traditions of SPI and Strategy & Tactics Magazine:
- Bleeding Kansas - Area, card driven game covering the territorial violence that occurred prior to the American Civil War, MSRP $45.
- Lucky Forward: Patton’s 3d Army in Lorraine - New World War II battalion level monster game in the tradition of Wacht am Rhine, MSRP $200.
- Reboots: Patton Unleashed: Cobra 1944 from S&T 251 with two maps, MSRP $50, and Desert Fox Deluxe, a yuge reboot and upgrade of the S&T 300 game, MSRP $100.
- Mini/Folio Games: Small $14.95/$24.95 games playable in 90 minutes, upcoming titles are: Montrose, Khartoum, Lawrence, Telemark Mini and Sword, Juno/Gold, Omaha, and Utah Folios.
This up and coming game company continues to expand its selection at warp speed, particularly as regards reboots:
- Artillery Assault - Third Red Poppies tactical World War I series game covering the massive French tank assault at Malmaison, October 1917, MSRP $69.
- The Pragmatic War: the War of the Austrian Succession - Second offering in the strategic level point to point No Peace without Spain series, MSRP $75.
- The Late Unpleasantness - Operational, point to point system covering the two American Civil War campaigns to capture Richmond, 1861 and 1864, MSRP $89.
- Indian Ocean Region - Modern operational naval combat in 2025 Indian Ocean, MSRP $89.
- Signature Designer Series: Translation, reboot, and Compass is the undisputed top dog. I counted at least 10 games scheduled with familiar names like Frank Chadwick’s Third World War, Joe Balkoski’s Korean War, John Edward’s Fortress Europa and more.
Lock and Load Games
LnLP continues to produce fine boardgames with computer editions of same, thus reaching a much broader audience:
- Trial of Strength, 2nd Edition - Strategic World War II, Eastern Front (like I said), MSRP $89.
- Kontact Now: Red Eclipse - Tactical Cold War gone hot, West Germany 1980s and 90s, MSRP $59.
- Space Infantry: Resurgence - Third entry of squad level Sci-Fi ground combat, MSRP $79.
- World at War 85 - Platoon level combat during World War III, 1985, this new series has eight games to include Storming the Gap (US v Warsaw Pact), Blood and Fury (UK v Pact), Untold Story (German v Pact), America Breached (US v Cuba), Strike Force Africa (NATO v Soviets), Red Lightening (Scandinavia v Pact), When the Lion Roars (Arab v Israeli) and Red Dragon Rising (US v China). Initial pricing is $99.99 to $124.99 each.
The opposite of the counter crew, there are very few full time firms operating, but the cottage nature of the hobby is one of its strengths. Design a figure, cast what you need as orders come in, print on demand for rules and such. Thus for every Warlord Games or Perry Brothers, there are dozens of smaller, part time enterprises doing good work, so someone is going to be missed. Apologies up front.
By Fire and Sword
The doughty lads from Poland recently announced that forthcoming nearly all their mounted miniatures will ride plastic horses for cost and distribution concerns. Further both the US and Polish site list a new rule book named BFandS Task Force available for preorder, cost around $40. The rules are advertised as a hybrid between skirmish/division play, with new Task Force mini sets forthcoming.
The venerable book company has long been the pewter wargaming go to resource for all sorts of data like flags and uniforms. Miniature friendly books announced for 2019 are Armies of the Baltic Independence Wars 1918 – 20 (Elite 227 £12.99), Armies of the Medieval Italian Wars 1125 - 1325 (MAA 523 £11.99) and The Khazars: A Judeo-Turkish Empire on the Steppes 7 – 11th Centuries AD (MAA 522 £11.99).
Also upcoming are Rebels and Patriots: Wargame Rules for North America, Revolution to Civil War (£12.99), and Campaign: Fortress Budapest (£19.99), for Bolt Action World War II rules.
Perry Brothers Miniatures
The masters of plastic wargaming figs, two new sets have been announced.
- Agincourt French Knights - This 28mm set has 12 French knights, six of which can be mounted as retainers, £20.
- British Infantry in Afghanistan and Sudan - The 28mm set lists 36 figures with command and even a canine regimental mascot (seriously, a dog, kinda cute actually), £20.
Not a dig, because these guys are the GW of the historical wargaming, and in a good way. Based on a YouTube video, FOW author Peter Simunovich announced these new releases for 2019, though specifics on pricing are mostly undetermined:
- Great War - A new, updated World War I rulebook will be produced, along with new unit packs, such as cavalry and so on. The book will cost $ 40 preorder
- Team Yankee - A new name (World War III, Team Yankee) plus a new sourcebook called Oil War covering the Middle East published, with supporting models like the Israeli Merkava tank. A new UK sourcebook will follow as well as a new base set of rules with full integration into FOW IV.
Flames of War: Late War material for FOW IV will be released in June. This will be a four year project with 2019 concentrating on D-Day, 1944. Starter sets include Fury for tank on tank combat (Brad Pitt not included), Hit the Beach army pack, Fortress Europe (for a Mid War upgrade to Late War), and these new source books – American, German, British, Waffen SS and Colours of War. Follow on sets will deal with Operation Bagration (2020), the Bulge (2021) and Berlin (2022).
Blue Moon Miniatures
The following 15/18 mm ranges are expected to be completed this year, cost is generally 30 infantry for $17.50 or 15 mounted $20.50 to $22.00.
- Early Crusades - Unique because early Crusaders resemble William the Conqueror looking thugs with kite shields. Remaining Packs include Mounted Personalities, Knights on Barded Horses, Dismounted Knights and Siege Engineers. Saladin’s lads have nine remaining, eg, Armored/Unarmored Mamluk Askari Horse, Tabadari Guard Axemen, Bundukdari Crossbow among others.
- Italian Wars - For both the Landsknechts and the Italian Swiss, the artillery is forthcoming, eg, Culverns, Light Guns, Organ Guns, Light Horse Guns and Guns on Burgundian Carriage.
The following additions to existing figure lines have been announced.
- Cruel Seas - For the firm’s 1/300th World War II naval rules new sets include Soviet Fleet, Italian Fleet and Torpedo Boats, £50 for the latter and £65 for the other two sets. Likewise Armed Trawler (£22.50) and Vorposten Flakship/M Class Minesweeper (£22.50) sets.
- Blood Red Skies - For their 1/200th World War II air combat rules, two new six plane squadron sets each £25 – the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger.
Finally, it looks like Dave Paddock’s Architectural Heritage is back in Business. Bought by JR Miniatures then sold to a concern in California, the building line faded to oblivion. Now the designer is working again, producing German brewery related structures and a Balkan fortress nicknamed Castle Dracula. There is more to come, so bottom line is that it looks like 2019 is going to be very second mortgage expensive.
Are there any miniature or board wargame projects coming in 2019 that you're excited about? Let us know in the comments and we can add them to the list!