Less screen-time leads to more focused gaming
I have more games than ever but I want to play most of them less and less. As I approach my late 40s, I find myself wanting to absorb more detail from the games I play, but I have less time to wargame as my family life keeps me pretty busy. That lack of screen time has led me to choose better, ask more questions about titles I am interested in and say no to the voice in my head telling me to click the purchase button.
I also find myself wanting to game more offline. I recently dusted off my ASL manual and bought the Pacific starter kit for that game, as well as Undaunted: Normandy from Osprey Games. These two titles added to my already alluring collection of Napoleonics, AMRW and WWII operational games and are making my tabletop more attractive than my laptop.
That said, I had a pretty fun digital gaming year in 2019. I discovered probably my favorite game of the year Piercing Fortress Europa; I began to dabble in the Pacific theater of WWII with a Panzer Battles Tarawa scenario that I created and finally got around to putting the Command Ops 2: Korsun project into my blog’s STEAM workshop. I also started a newsletter for my blog that now has 89 subscribers (if you haven’t subscribed, please do so here), but I only blogged 20 times in 2019 and will probably do so less in 2020.
That said here is what I have in the works as far as free scenarios that I am going to release in 2020, a listing of the games I am interested in playing and which games I am finally willing to admit I will never play again.
By the end of this month, I am going to release a 6-8 scenario Pelileu pack for the Squad Battles title “The Proud and the Few” by John Tiller Software, complete with an updated island map, a number of sub-maps, a new OOB for the island battle and the aforementioned scenarios focusing primarily on the 1st Marines part in the battle.
This wargame fits quite well with my current interest in wargaming: The Pacific War. I found a great companion book for my gaming in Ian Toll’s “The Conquering Tide.” Toll is to the Pacific what Shelby Foote is to the ACW, or Rick Atkinson is to the WIE, a must-read for any wargamer/history buff. Toll’s writing is a pleasure to read and his narrative is a page-turner.
My next project is the release of two more Command Ops 2 Korsun Project scenarios including the 1500+ unit scenario titled “Konev’s breakthrough” which covers the attack against the German 389th ID and the subsequent Russian breakthrough to Shpola. I expect to finish play-testing soon and will release these in February.
My third development project takes me back to the Pacific and Panzer Battles again. I am working on a three scenario set for the “Green Inferno,” the Cape Gloucester campaign by the First Marine Division. This is jungle fighting at it’s best and will feature jungle and swamp covered maps, lots of concealment and deperate attacks by the Japanese against the First Marine division.
My final 2020 development project is going to bring me back to Europe and WWII. Piercing Fortress Europa has me interested again in the Italian theater. I have previously read a good book about Cassino and even made a Panzer Battles scenario about the Maori battalion attack against the ruined train station on the edge of Cassino which is now part of the Panzer Battles demo here.
This fall I followed up my Panzer Battles gaming and finally bit the bullet and purchased the Salerno 43 title from John Tiller Software. It has one of the most beautiful Panzer Campaigns maps I have seen and one of the most fun 80 turn scenarios you will ever play (turn 6 of a replay, pictured below).
That said the scenario list is thin (centered on Salerno, Anzio, and Crete only), so I am going to build a fourth map for Salerno owners and a scenario set focused on the fighting for Cassino.
Games I purchased in 2019
- Salerno 43 (John Tiller Software)
- The Proud and the Few (John Tiller Software)
- Piercing Fortress Europa (Matrix Games)
- Armored Brigade (Matrix Games)
- To End All Wars (Matrix Games)
- Command Ops 2 Westwall (LnL Publishing, (I only had the Beta version of this all of these years))
- Radio Commander (Games Operators)
Games I resisted purchasing in 2019
- Steel Division 2
- Strategic Command: World at War
- War in the Pacific: Admiral’s Edition
- Unity of Command II
- Close Combat: The Bloody First
Games I own that I am giving up on in 2020 for a variety of reasons
- Afghanistan 11
- The Operational Art of War IV
- Ultimate General Civil War
My wishlist for 2020
- Burden of Command
- Campaign Series Vietnam
- Grand Tactician
- Scheldt 44
Thank you for your continued interest in this blog and good luck to you in 2020 on the digital and tabletop battlefields and in life!