101 Geeklists You MUST READ Before You Die
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Well, not really. That's totally false advertising.

This is a chronological meta-list collecting all of the geeklists I have posted to *GG over the years... from 2003 to the present!

But that seemed like too boring a title. Having recently run across a geeklist of 101 "before you die" musts, I figured I would follow in those same footsteps. Plus, April 1 was right around the corner -- so consider yourself April Fooled!

What kind of geeklists will you find here? Nostalgia. Microgame lines of the seventies and eighties. Reviews. Star Wars. Wargames. Sci-fi and fantasy games. Radio Shack. War-themed family strategy games. Game collecting. Lame attempts at humor. Milton Bradley. Monopoly. Avalon Hill. Panzerblitz. Expired contests. And so much more...

Disclaimer: You actually don't need to read any of these geeklists before you die (or see any particular movies... or read any particular books... or visit any particular places...) but, you may still enjoy some of these geeklists, and the accompanying commentary looking back at how things differed in the early days of BGG.

A "THUMB METER" rating is included for each geeklist with 20 or more thumbs. One Thumb Meter thumb = ten people have thumbed that list.

If you find some of the older lists to be of value, please consider giving them thumbs so they have more visibility on game pages!
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RPG Designer: Sid Sackson
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August 2003. Geeklist #1173.

This is where it all started -- for me, at least. Way back when, "when geeklists were about games"! ;-)

Legendary game designer Sid Sackson's game collection was auctioned off in 2002. Soon thereafter, games from the auction began appearing on eBay.


Board Game: The Boss
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Board Game: The Story of the U.S. Air Force


[Excerpt from the geeklist header:]

"This is a list of games that were once owned by Sid Sackson and are now a part of my game collection. Although I did not attend the Sackson auctions, I have 'rewarded' several eBay sellers who were able to participate . . . So far I have purchased about a dozen of the games that belonged to one of the greatest board game designers of all time. Ok, so it is a weird collector thing... but isn't that what collecting is about? Please add your special Sid-owned titles to this list!"

This article from The Games Journal offers additional information on the Sackson auction:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/SidSacksonAuction.sh...

[For geeklists like this one that are open to public sumbissions, I will make note of the date of the most recent submission to the list:]

The last user submitted item on the Sackson geeklist is dated May 2012.
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Board Game: Barbarian Prince
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September 2003.

Back then, the board game pages did not have fields to track series and franchise information. That made lists like this one much more useful than they might seem today.


Board Game: Barbarian Prince
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Board Game: Demonlord
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Board Game: Dragon Rage
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Board Game: Goblin


The various microgame lines of the seventies and eighties are fondly remembered by many, myself included. The Dwarfstar games were notoriously lavish microgames. Most of the Dwarfstar games are now available as free print-and-play titles that can be downloaded from http://dwarfstar.brainiac.com

"In 1981, Heritage USA jumped on the 'microgame' bandwagon (pioneered by the Metagaming MicroGames) with a series of small-box games."


Board Game: Grav Armor
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Board Game: Outpost Gamma
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Board Game: Star Smuggler
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Board Game: Star Viking


"Eight games were released through the Dwarfstar Games division of Heritage USA, with the first four coming out in 1981 and the second four in 1982. Several of these games are highly sought after today, as they are fondly remembered for their special combination of stylish graphics and inspired gameplay. If you missed these games back in the day, prepare to discover some overlooked gems from the classic era of microgames."

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Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights
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September 2003.

A genre with some creative and innovative (and fun!) games.

"Paragraph systems have seen diverse and creative uses over the years, having been used in wargames, fantasy games, science fiction games, mystery games, and solitaire games. This list focuses on those games that have relied on paragraph mechanisms in a significant way."

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Board Game: Gumshoe
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Board Game: Star Trek: The Adventure Game
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Board Game: The Return of the Stainless Steel Rat
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Board Game: Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine Game
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Board Game: Swashbuckler: A Game of Swordplay and Derring-do
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September 2003.

A favorite series of games from my collection -- a natural subject for a geeklist!

"The Album Games were notable for their innovative package design, in which the game box doubled as the game board."

"The initial Album Game boxes were virtually identical to double-LP record albums. Indeed, the games carried a disclaimer on the cover stating that no record was included. When the album was opened and folded flat it served as the game board."

"The Album Game line included two-player and multi-player games, and covered a diverse range of genres - such as fantasy, sci-fi, historical wargames, and family games."

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Board Game: Raider!: A Tactical Game of Commerce Raiding in WWII
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Board Game: Adventurer: A Game of Man to Man Brawling in the Far Future


Board Game: Dallas: A Game of the Ewing Family
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Board Game: Neck and Neck: A Game of Horse Racing
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Board Game: Leopard II
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October 2003. (Updated February 2016.)

A list focusing on a unique genre of board wargames -- one rendered largely extinct by computer wargames.


Board Game: Cityfight: Modern Combat in the Urban Environment
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Board Game: 8th Army: Operation Crusader – The Winter Battles for Tobruk, 1941
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Board Game: Clash of Steel
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Board Game: Across the Potomac


"Double-blind wargames are those in which each player has his own copy of the game map, and is certain only of the location of his own forces. The opponent's counters remain unseen throughout the game. Double-blind boardgames seek to provide enhanced 'fog of war' without the need for a referee. This list covers the double-blind land warfare wargames."

Historical note: I know it might be hard to believe, but hex-and-counter wargames weren't the most popular items on BGG back then...

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Board Game: The Battle of Raphia
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October 2003.

In 2003 and 2004, many of my geeklists focused on connecting franchise or series games together. In addition to providing potentially useful reference information, as the database did not record series and franchise data at that time, such lists also provided forums to discuss the related games.


Board Game: 1940
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Board Game: The Battle of Agincourt
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Board Game: The Battle of the Alma
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Board Game: Asteroid


"A series of introductory-style wargames published in the late seventies and early eighties by Game Designer's Workshop (GDW)."

"The 'Series 120' games offered something for everyone, as they covered a wide variety of eras (from ancients to sci-fi) at various scales (from tactical to strategic). GDW said: 'The basic concept of a Series 120 Game is to provide a short, inexpensive game without sacrificing historical quality or gaming excellence.' The name (or number?) of the series was derived from the intended game length of 120 minutes or less."

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Board Game: Beda Fomm
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Board Game: Dark Nebula
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Board Game: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse
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Board Game: The Battle of Lobositz


Board Game: Mayday
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Board Game: The Battle of Prague
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Board Game: The Battle of Raphia
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Board Game: Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series
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November 2003.

"An innovative game system which put the players into the cockpits of dueling fighter aircraft. Initially released by Gameshop, which later became Nova Game Designs, the Ace of Aces series was the brainchild of designer Alfred Leonardi. The heart of the game was nothing more than simple and traditional style board game mechanics. However, Leonardi's picture books turned 'bland and simple' into a fast and fun 'you are there' experience."

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Board Game: Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series
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Board Game: Ace of Aces: Wingleader
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Board Game: Star Wars: Starfighter Battle Book
 
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Board Game: Broadside
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November 2003.

"Milton Bradley's series of war themed games released in the early to mid-sixties, and again in the mid-seventies. The sixties editions came in oversized boxes and featured large mapboards and plastic miniatures. The editions released in the seventies (around the time of America's Bicentennial celebration) came in traditional rectangular boardgame boxes, but still featured the large mapboards and plastic pieces of the earlier editions."


Board Game: Battle-Cry
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Board Game: Dogfight
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Board Game: Conquest of the Empire
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November 2003.

"The Gamemaster Series of the eighties revived the spirit of the American Heritage 'Command Decision' games of the sixties and seventies: war themed games with large colorful mapboards and attractive plastic pieces. Sadly, the Gamemaster games did not included colorful historical booklets like those found in the American Heritage games. However, the 'history lesson' was hardly missed in light of the engaging gameplay the Gamemaster games promised. Games that delivered lots of dice, lots of plastic pieces, and lots of memories of epic games won and lost."


Board Game: Broadsides and Boarding Parties
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Board Game: Fortress America
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Board Game: Assault: Tactical Combat in Europe – 1985
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January 2004.

"A tactical wargame system portraying a hypothetical mid-1980s conflict in Europe between the Soviet Union and forces of NATO. The series consists of two stand-alone games (Assault and Boots & Saddles) and three modules (Reinforcements, Bundeswehr, and Chieftain). One additional module (Close Air Support) was announced but apparently never released. The series was initiated by wargaming mainstay Frank Chadwick."


Board Game: Boots & Saddles, An Assault Series Module
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Board Game: Reinforcements: New U.S. and Soviet Units for Assault
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Board Game: Bundeswehr:  Nato's Front Line
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Board Game: Chieftain: British Army of the Rhine
 
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Board Game: Sixth Fleet
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January 2004.

Still marked as a "** Work in progress **"!

For a more recent look at the Fleet series, try this other list: Victory Games Fleet System Games

Seeing the quotation marks in the titles of these geeklists reminded me of a frequent headache from back then: The screen that allowed you to modify the header of a geeklist would delete everything in the title after the first quotation mark! Annoying, especially when you re-published the list with a truncated title...


Board Game: 2nd Fleet: Modern Naval Combat in the North Atlantic
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Board Game: 7th Fleet: Modern Naval Combat in the Far East
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Board Game: 5th Fleet: Modern Naval Combat in the Indian Ocean
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Board Game: 3rd Fleet: Modern Naval Combat in the North Pacific, Caribbean, and Atlantic Oceans
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Board Game: Panzer: A Tactical Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front, 1941-1945
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January 2004.

Another "work in progress" that I apparently never got around to finishing...

I just updated the list with some more recent entries in the series, but these days the series page would be the most useful place to find this information.


Board Game: 88: A Tactical Game of Armored Combat on the North African Front
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Board Game: Armor: A Tactical Game of Armored Combat in Western Europe, 1944-1945
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Board Game: MBT
 
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Family: Series: The First Battle (GDW)
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January 2004.

"The First Battle Series games share common elements in rules and presentation. Quick play rules sought to get players into the game right out of the box using just the basics of the game system, while more advanced rules and concepts were introduced using a 'programmed learning' style rulebook. This structure was intended to make the games accessible to novice gamers while incorporating a level of detail that would appeal to experienced wargamers."


Board Game: Team Yankee
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Board Game: Test of Arms
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Board Game: Battlefield: Europe
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Board Game: The Sands of War


"The games also share other similarities. They are all tactical in focus, with unit scales varying from individual men to platoons depending on the game. In addition, the games are all set in the time period from World War II through modern times. Renowned wargame designer Frank Chadwick was the designer or co-designer on all but one of the First Battle Series games."

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Board Game: Reincarnation
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July 2004. (Latest item added October 2014.)

An attempt to come up with a unique topic that would be of enduring interest.


Board Game: Mafiopoly
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Board Game: Speed Dash
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Board Game: Killing Machine


"Why do these games only list one owner? Is it because of the demographic that BGG grew up with, or are people just too embarrassed to admit owning some of these..."

"Perhaps it just boils down to obscurity - a factor that can make nearly any game look attractive to a collector, notwithstanding worthless gameplay and cheaper than dirt components."

"Whatever the reason, here are several of my 'one owner' games - please add your own favorites!"

Over a decade later and I am still the only owner listed for the first game on the list, Reincarnation!

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Family: Series: PanzerBlitz (Avalon Hill)
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August 2004. (Latest item added April 2009.)

"Over the years, a number of variants have been published for the PanzerBlitz system, and for the sister games Panzer Leader and Arab-Israeli Wars. I have started this list with several variants from The Spartan magazine."


Board Game: PanzerBlitz
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Board Game: Suribachi
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Board Game: The Arab-Israeli Wars: Tank Battles in the Mideast


Board Game: Panzer Leader: Game of Tactical Warfare on the Western Front
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Board Game: PanzerBlitz: Hill of Death – The Battle for Hill 112, Normandy 1944
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Board Game: Murder on the Orient Express
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August 2004.

An obscure series of four games themed around mystery novels. Well, sort of -- Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is listed as a Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Maybe a license fell through???

I just discovered that this series was still missing from the database -- submitted!


Board Game: The Case of the Elusive Assassin
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Board Game: And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)


Board Game: Fu Manchu's Hidden Hoard
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Board Game: Murder on the Orient Express
 
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Board Game: 007 James Bond: You Only Live Twice
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August 2004.

"In the 1980's, Victory Games picked up the license for the James Bond role-playing game. In 1985, they released four board games based on the cinematic exploits of 007."


Board Game: 007 James Bond: Goldfinger
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Board Game: 007 James Bond: Live and Let Die
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Board Game: 007 James Bond: The Man with the Golden Gun
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Board Game: 007 James Bond: You Only Live Twice


"These simple games featured components and rules that were probably geared towards introducing new players to hobby boardgames . . . With the exception of one solitaire game, they were all designed for two players. Despite their small (digest sized) boxes, the games all included hardbacked mapboards and stand-up counters."
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Board Game: Foxbat & Phantom: Tactical Aerial Combat in the 1970's
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August 2004. (Latest item added December 2012.)

"This list of jet combat wargames is intended to compliment the virtually comprehensive World War I and World War II air combat lists created by fellow aviation fanatic, Andrea Angiolino."

Virtually comprehensive for games published through 2004 or so... after that, YMMV!

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Board Game: Air Cobra: Modern Tactical Airmobile Warfare
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Board Game: Screaming Eagles
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Board Game: MiG Killers


Board Game: NORAD
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Board Game: Phantom Leader
 
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Board Game: Creature Features
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August 2004. (Latest item added November 2011.)

"Admit it, you've been there. You make an impulse purchase of an obscure game, open it up and read the rules, and then the shock hits -- 'HEY, this is just Monopoly!'"

"This is a list for those roll-and-move games heavily inspired by Monopoly, whether they are straight rip-offs or cleverly disguised homages. This is also a list for all Monopoly variants and expansions, official and unofficial alike!"


Board Game: Менеджер
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Board Game: Bibleopoly
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Board Game: Anti-Monopoly
 
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Board Game: Sopwith
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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August 2004.

"All of the Gametime Games were multiplayer affairs with short rules (4 pages or less). The components were generally colorful and sturdy, with thick counters (in the style of Battleline/Yaquinto). The games covered sci-fi, fantasy, and historical genres."


Board Game: Quest
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Board Game: Sopwith
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Board Game: Spellmaker


Board Game: Star Fighter
.
Board Game: Strange New Worlds
.
Board Game: Grand Imperialism
 
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Board Game: Ambush!
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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August 2004.

"Ambush! is a landmark solitaire wargame portraying man-to-man combat between the Americans and Germans in World War II, with history taking a back seat to Hollywood inspired heroics. It is highly regarded for its innovative mechanics, as well as its tense and addictive gameplay."

"At the heart of the game is a programmed paragraph system that allows hidden enemies and events to be revealed as the game progresses. Individual character cards for enemy soldiers and vehicles list paragraph references that are used to generate most of the programmed enemy actions (and reactions). This feature also paid off in additional tension when veteran squad members were in a tough spot."

THUMB METER: thumbsup thumbsup


Board Game: Ambush!
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Board Game: Ambush!: Move Out!
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Board Game: Ambush!: Purple Heart
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Board Game: Ambush!: Silver Star


Board Game: Battle Hymn
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Board Game: Battle Hymn: Leatherneck
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Board Game: Shell Shock!
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Board Game: Kriegsmarine
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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August 2004.

"Between 1978 and 1980, Simulations Canada (SimCan) released a trilogy of tactical ship-to-ship naval wargames which sought to depict combat between surface, air, and subsurface craft in all theaters of World War II. Each turn is 90 seconds and each hex is 100 yards."


Board Game: IJN
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Board Game: Torpedo!
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Board Game: Kriegsmarine
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Board Game: Schnellboote


"In 1984, a fourth game was released to cover small craft actions involving PT Boats, E boats, and gunboats. These four stand-alone games shared a common rules system, although only Torpedo! included the rules and units for submarine actions and Schnellboote does not include any aircraft rules or units."

"Although the heavily abstracted air rules can be a bit quirky, this series is an admirable attempt to portray virtually the entire scope of WWII naval combat in a manageable package."
 
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Board Game: The Complete Book of Wargames
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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October 2004.

"In addition to having a few boardgames around, I also like to collect books about boardgames. So when I saw David Mills' list of games from the Playboy Winner's Guide to Boardgames, I was immediately inspired to shamelessly steal his idea and do a similar list with quotes from a book of the same vintage, The Complete Book of Wargames by The Editors of Consumer Guide (with John Freeman)."

"I won't list more than a few games from each section (the book covers over a hundred games - and after my MacGowan list, I'm not going there again!) along with some of the more entertaining quotes from the book. Many of the comments echo themes that gamers continue to experience (or suffer?) today. Enjoy!"


Board Game: Air Assault On Crete/Invasion of Malta: 1942
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Board Game: Kassala
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Board Game: Tannenberg and the Opening Battles in the East 1914


BGG user Gamesgrandpa put my 27 item list to shame when he released a series of 10 (!) geeklists with capsule review info from the book! See: Meta-List: GeekLists Regarding the Book
 
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Board Game: Siege
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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October 2004.

The games we grew up with, before we moved on to better games. Although . . . some of these weren't bad -- or at least remain nostalgic guilty pleasures!

"Over the years Milton Bradley released a number of war themed games, with plastic or wooden pieces, that were based on historical or hypothetical military conflicts."

THUMB METER: thumbsup thumbsup


Board Game: Battleship
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Board Game: Stratego
 
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Board Game: Camelot
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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October 2004.

I have sometimes used the label "war-themed family strategy games" to distinguish these types of games from traditional hex and counter Wargames.

"While not as prolific as Milton Bradley's output, Parker Brothers also had a number of war themed games that used plastic or wooden pieces."


Board Game: Risk
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Board Game: Rome & Carthage


Board Game: Situation 4
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Board Game: All The King's Men
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