Tuesday, 31 July 2012

KoffeeKlub Evening 5th of August

FAB Sicily
British troops during the invasion of Sicily
At last! Three weeks of drooling and I finally get a first play of FAB Sicily from GMT games.

For this week, due to extended setup requirements, I'll be hosting the game this week from home. If you'd still like to join us on Sunday 5th of August 2012 from 7-11pm please post a comment here.

The coffee? Got to be an espresso!


Monday, 30 July 2012

AAR - ASL SK1 Scenario #S3 - Simple Equation

ASL Starter Kit #1 (MMP)
This second scenario "Simple Equation" in our ASL Starter Kit series is based around the Allied assault of Aachen, Germany in October 1944.
Simple Equation

Attacker: American (3rd Batt., 26th Infantry Regiment) (ANDREW)
Defender: German (404th Regiment, 246th Volksgrenadier Division) (GARY)
Turns: 6.5 Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Aachen, Germany 1944-10-12

RESULT: Game conceded in turn #5 . Germans (GARY) win.

Aachen Germany 12th of October 1944: The battle for the city of Aachen had been raging since 10th of October. A complicated series of maneuvers designed to encircles the city from both the north and south had been occupying the attention of the American command. These few units committed to the frontal assault of Aachen had some tough going. Not only were the Aachen defenders numerically superior, but they were fighting on their home soil for one of the cherished Nazi symbols; Aachen home of the First Reich.

The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, that took place in October 1944 in World War II. At the time of this battle, there were only about 20,000 civilians living there; the remainder of the 160,000 inhabitants (1939 census) had been evacuated by German commander Gerhard von Schwerin to protect them from Allied attacks. When von Schwerin contemplated surrender to protect the city's artifacts from air raids, Hitler had him removed. Hitler then sent about 5,000 Volkssturm to defend the city, commanded by Gerhard Wilck.

Victory Conditions: The Americans win immediately if they control 25 or more building hexes on mapboard z.

Initial Setup
Turn 1

Early American movement and defensive fire from the Germans

The green arrows above reflect early American movement as they CXed (double-timed) most of their units moving them individually into buildings H3, I4, J3 and K4. They took some fire from a few of the German units, but only had one unit pinned in H3. In return the Americans used fire-groups on I2 breaking the 7-0 leader and forcing him to later rout back to X1.

The map below shows a snapshot at the end of the American turn 1.

At the end of American turn #1
So overall some heavy firing from the Americans and some fairly insignificant fire from the Germans (who are mostly out of range), but limited damage on both sides.

Turn 2

Turn 2 saw a little movement in the centre by the Americans as they tried to gain a foothold across buildings I2, J1 and K2. during this drive a couple of smoke grenades were released in I3 and J2 to mask their crossing. All did not go smoothly though as one of their early 6-6-6 units broke and was forced back. The Americans did manage to take J1 and K2, but with a weaker force than they had wanted as most of their units still sat across the street. On the other side the Germans had limited movement and were under constant pressure from the heavy American firepower with units breaking in R1 and Z1. The Germans are trying to achieve a controlled retreat to slow the Americans down, especially in the key centre hexes. 

The American advance grinds to a halt.
Turns 3 & 4

A second American push!

Where to begin!? These turns saw a real push from the Americans as they laid more smoke down in K5 to mask their advance in both the centre and the right flank.

A couple of mistakes were made giving the Germans an opportunity to catch the Americans in the open albeit through the smoke and the German HMG in X1 peppered hexes L2, M2 and M3, but three good order American units still managed to successfully reach the right wing. In the centre the Germans had a point blank opportunity to attack the woods hex J0 (Pinned marker) from X1, rolling on the 36 column. I rolled 6,6 to completely fumble the attack (and break an HMG and a LMG!!!) but critically still managed to pin some of the American units including the flamethrower (which could not be fired by a pinned unit!). The Germans then used their advance phase to move back out of X1 and into X2. I had the option to go into close combat in J0, but have been concentrating on the controlled retreat to maintain my units. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me on the ass!

Turn 5

With only two full turns left the Americans (Andy) needed to push on through the centre and on the right flank to try to take the building hexes required for victory (25 in total on board X). Initial PREP fire on W2 pinned my units and his dropped SMOKE in I1 to protect his units who were advancing individually towards the woods hex between G1 and I1. I fired everything I had from my stack in X2 and (through mostly residual fire!) managed to break all but two of his advancing units (an 8-0 leader and a 6-6-6), which ended up in the target woods hex. Note the positions of the American units on the right flank, they would soon also be moving.

American units in the centre break under heavy German firepower.

On the right flank the Americans had three fairly strong units (P2, P1 and N0) and an excellent 9-2 leader. Fortunately for the Germans I had managed to rally the broken units in the building hex R2 and waited for the inevitable American attack. As they advanced, I managed to successfully pin the unit in building hex R1 and then fired on the unit approaching through S2. At this point any further firing would have likely broken my units as they came under sustained enemy pressure, so I elected to hold and wait for close combat. Back in the middle a rogue unit also assaulted into K1, but was immediately broken.

Americans surround buildings to the East.

In close combat for building hex R2 the Americans made a successful ambush roll and had enough bonuses to kill off all of the German units before they had a chance to respond.

Americans now control the eastern buildings, but are running out of time in the centre.

By the time we had reached the German turn 5 things were beginning to look very difficult for the Allies. Many of their broken units were without a leader to rally them and still under DM and they still had 22 or so building hexes to capture in two turns. The Germans on the other hand rallied successfully and moved (out of LOS) their units into prime defensive positions whilst keeping the American opportunities for defensive fire at an absolute minimum.

The expected final American push in the centre doesn't happen.
The Americans then conceded the game.

GamesReport 29-Jul-12: A Few Acres Of Snow AAR

AndyA and I met up this evening for his first game of A Few Acres Of Snow, by Martin Wallace. I've played this a number of times face-to-face and many more times online through Yucata, so the balance of probability was strongly leaning in my direction. 

First contact was between Kennebec and Fort Halifax
That being said I'm a huge fan of the game and eager to share that experience with new players whenever I get the chance. 

I spent a good 30 minutes walking through the rules and then guided him through the first few turns to make sure that he felt comfortable with the options available.

AndyA - British / GaryG - French 

Game On!
Money, Money, Money...
During the early game I settled Kennebec threatening to raid Fort Halifax / Permaquid / Deerfield with Indians, but he managed to shore up Fort Halifax pretty quickly and made Kennebec and Quebec vulnerable to similar counter raiding actions. 

The British concentrated much of their early actions in building up cash reserves and using it to buy new empire cards (Rangers, Home Support etc.). 

This money was under a constant piracy threat from the French around Louisburg and gradually through spending and piracy the British coffers ran dry.

The British port of Halifax falls to an Indian raid
By turn 13 the British had settled both Halifax and Fort Beausejour opening up new raid possibilities between these colonies and the valuable French Port Royal. I had become a little complacent and despite taking my first cube (from Halifax), I left the 3VP Port Royal unprotected for two turns. The counter-raid however didn't happen and I got away with it, but it could have been a costly mistake on my part.

This proved to be a bit of a wake-up call for me and a turning point in the game. Both decks were getting unwieldy and needed more than a little thinning with the governor cards. I purchased a settler card and began a program of upgrading settlements so that I could dump the location card through my governor. Soon I was down to only 3 or 4 disks remaining, whilst AndyA still had 8. 

Niagra, Presqu'ile and Detroit. Key expansion for the French
This deck thinning was coupled with a westward push to settle Fort Niagra, Fort Presqu'ile and ultimately the hugely valuable Detroit. 

The British had little in response, although they did settle as far as Cumberland to the west and threatened Indian raids along that side of the board. 

The final French play

It was all too little too late and I managed to close off the game by upgrading Fort Niagra and using up the last of my disks.


AndyA - British 43 
GaryG - French 63

Final Thoughts

A hugely enjoyable game as always, but over-confidence on my part would have proved costly against a more experienced player. AndyA played very well for his first game and picked it all up very quickly indeed. Hopefully he now has a taste for the game and is already thinking about what he could do differently next time. 

Ultimately, AFAOS is a game that offers many strategies, but doesn't often reward you for trying to encompass too many of them into one game. 

Cheers again for the game Andy!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

AAR - ASL SK1 Scenario #S1 - Retaking Vierville

ASL Starter Kit #1 (MMP)
This is the first in a series of ASL Starter Kit after action reports (AARs) and is based on the Allies trying to take the town of Vierville in northern France.
Retaking Vierville

Attacker: German (1058th Grenadier Regiment/919th Grenadier Regiment/6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment) (GARY)
Defender: American (1st Batt. 506th PIR, 101st Airborne) (ANDREW)
Turns: 5 Players: 2 Germans (twyearling) and Americans (Blaze) OBA: None Night: No
Vierville, France 1944-06-07

RESULT: German victory. (GARY)


Why is Vierville important?

Vierville is along the main route from Utah Beach to the German position at St. Come du Mont. At the end of D-Day St. Come du Mont is still a German strongpoint. This game takes place on D-Day+1. Vierville is necessary for control of the road and to allow the movement of troops and equipment inland. To take and hold St. Come du Mont the Allies must control Vierville.

A map of the area surrounding Veirville

Prevent any good order German squads from occupying objective buildings, marked with red dots on the map below, at the end of the game.

The Troops

US 101st Airborne - These are elite troops equipped with automatic weapons and smoke grenades. They have excellent firepower but limited range. They may split up their fire between adjacent enemies and are good at assaulting positions.

German Grenadiers - These are either first or second line troops with good morale. They have average firepower and average range. Troops from the 919th Grenadier Regiment are not as accurate at greater ranges. They have limited availability of smoke grenades.

German Fallshirmjager - These are elite troops with excellent morale equipped with automatic weapons. They have good firepower but limited range. They also have good assault capability and smoke grenades. They have good leadership.

Order of Battle

US 1st platoon - 3 squads, 1 half squad, senior NCO. Begins in town.
US 2nd platoon - 3 squads, senior NCO. Enters from the right hand side on turn 1.
US 3rd platoon - 2 squads, NCO. Enters from the right had side on turn 2.
US 4th platoon - 2 squads, 2 half squads, experienced officer. Enter from the right hand side on turn 3.
German 1st Grenadier platoon - 3 squads, senior NCO. Enters from the bottom on turn 1.
German 2nd Grenadier platoon - 3 squads, junior NCO. Enters from the top on turn 1.
German 1st Fallshirmjager platoon - 3 squads, senior NCO. Enters from the bottom on turn 2.
German 2nd Fallshirmjager platoon - 2 squads, senior NCO. Enters from the bottom on turn 3.

Victory Conditions

No good order German units should occupy hexes with red dots at game end
Okay, I'll try and describe the last turn...

I (playing the Germans) needed to protect hex L3 as my objective was to have a working order unit in one of the red dotted hexes in the map below (L3, M4, N6 or N5). Going into the last turn I was moving first and tried to get as much support to L3 as I could. Unfortunately Andy had the roads pretty well covered and the single units I sent out were getting cut down as soon as they ventured into the streets. Finally I elected to position units at positions A and C to cover my beleaguered unit at B. I was fairly happy with the result as I had three strong corridors of fire (blue arrows) covering the streets around L3. Taking a deep breath I prepared for Andy's final attack. He needed to force me out of L3 to claim victory himself.

Despite continuous America assault, the Germans hang on!
Moving single units to use up my defensive fire looked to be working well, but this was leaving a wall of residual fire markers (the red flashes) along main street and cost Andy a number of morale checks. Still, as the dust settled, he managed to get three fairly strong units into building hex M4 and ready for the close assault to L3.

My remaining units in L3 were pretty badly shot up, having been in melee fighting for most of the game. Now they had to withstand one final assault and this came down to three American close combat rolls (All 3:1 ratio so looking for 7s or less due to a CX modifier). The Americans needed three successes, but ultimately didn't get any and the Germans held their ground winning the scenario. Phew!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A First Look At Combat Commander: Pacific

Combat Commander: Pacific
I'm spoiling myself a little this month having bought my second new game, Combat Commander: Pacific, a GMT release.

World War II is one of my favourite periods in history to wargame and the Pacific is one theatre that I have yet to play in in any boardgame beyond Memoir '44.

I'd expected to get there with ASL, but didn't get past Starter Kit scenarios, which don't currently cover PTO. With Combat Commander: Pacific I hope to have struck a balance between rules accessibility (which full ASL for PTO doesn't have in my opinion) and an engaging PTO experience.

CC:P is a standalone product and the third volume in the series behind CC:Europe and CC:Mediterranean. It has been published with a refined and updated rule-set and on the whole received positive community reviews (gaming gang / bgg).

CC:P Big Box
The box is a big one when compared to my other GMT titles, probably to hold the three decks of cards included. The full contents list is as follows:

Six thick paper double-sided maps. (17" x 22")

352 large counters. (5/8")

280 small counters. (1/2")

220 cards - One U.S. fate deck, one Japanese fate deck and one Commonwealth fate deck.

CC:P Counters
A 32-page rule book.

A 32-page play book.

A display track.

3 double sided nationality cards.

2 player aid cards.

CC:P Box Contents

Commonwealth, Japanese and U.S. fate decks
Fate cards represent the heart and soul of CC:P as a card-driven wargame which uses no actual dice.

A Sample U.S. fate card

Actions/Orders can only be played via in-hand fate cards, whereas other required "events", "random hexes", "sighting marker movements" or "dice rolls" are covered by drawing a fate card from the required deck and taking the result directly from that card.

e.g. Here a dice roll request would be a 1:6 and the event would be Medic.

I'm looking forward to giving combat Commander: Pacific a run out, although for now it's probably behind FAB Sicily in terms of play order.

Battle Pack #4 - New Guinea
As with previous volumes in the Combat Commander series, CC:P has had an expansion released, Battle Pack #4 - New Guinea. I've ordered a copy from Boardgame Guru.

> Further scenarios for CC:P also appear in the latest C3i magazine.
> The GMT listing for CC:P, including living rules and the VASSAL module, can be found here.

> A full list of Combat Commander scenarios can be found here.

As always too many good games and not enough time to play them! Until next time good gaming!

Update 01/08/12

A quick update as the Battle Pack #4 - New Guinea arrived today. It includes six new maps and fourteen new scenarios themed on the contrasting coastal and highland fighting in New Guinea between January '42 and July'44.

New Guinea: Battle Pack #4

Friday, 27 July 2012

KoffeeKlub Evening 29th of July

A Few Acres of Snow
Medal hopeful, Mr Bingers is making a dash for the Olympics this week. A man down, KoffeeKlub's featured game will be the 2-player A Few Acres Of Snow, by Treefrog Games. As usual we'll be in Whitehead Primary School on Sunday 29th of July 2012 from 7-11pm.
Unusual Cups

Our coffee of the week will be a Papua New Guinea roast served in our unusual porcelain cups. 

Join us if you can, everyone is welcome!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

GamesReport 22-Jul-12: Caylus Magna Carta

AndyA - Holiday Snaps
With AndyA (aka "Captain Pugwash") back-from-sea, we opened up with Caylus Magna Carta, a light Eurogame from Ystari Games. I've been a big fan of Euro-style games ever since I picked up a German version of Settlers of Catan back in the late 90s. Indeed for a number of years during my time with BGA, a local gaming group currently based in Bangor (County Down), I collected few other types of games and added the likes of Notre Dame, Auf Heller Und Pfennig, El Grande, Euphrat & Tigris, Ra, Thurn Und Taxis, Lost Cities, 6 Nimmt! and many more to my collection.
It all started in Catan

Great gaming years, but ones that drifted as board gaming became more mainstream again and so-called Ameri-trash titles caught my eye. I still have most of my old Euros and hope to continue drip-feeding them into KoffeeKlub's line-up in the coming weeks and months.

Caylus Magna Carta
Caylus Magna Carta (CMC), set in 1289 and themed around building a new castle for King Philip "The Fair" and is a lighter version of the Caylus board game. Whilst the theme and mechanics are similar CMC uses cards to represent the master builder's (players) progress in creating infrastructure along the road to support the castle being built. Like many Euros, CMC distills the actual building of the castle into a player drive for prestige points which can be gained from constructing new buildings, providing "batches" (1 stone + 1 food + 1 wood = 1 batch) of goods to build the castle and using effects from buildings already in play.

CMC: Food, Wood and Stone
Players begin with the same deck of buildings, drawing three random cards at the beginning of the game. Actions can be used to place workers on existing buildings, draw new cards, build new buildings from your hand (adding them to the road), building prestige buildings or passing out of that round. Once all players have passed they can pay to move the "Provost" (in pass turn order) up to 3 spaces along the road in either direction. A worker on any building beyond the Provost does not have an action this turn, so this can be a nice little way to mess with your opponents. Nice!

CMC: The Road
End-game is triggered once the last prestige point token has been claimed and the final prestige point totals are calculated for each layer to establish a winner. Careful resource, buildings and worker management are necessary for victory.

CMC: Player's Buildings
Our game went very smoothly and after a 20 minute rules walkthrough we kicked-off picking up the flow of play pretty quickly. In the end the final scores were pretty close...

Caylus Magna Carta: GaryG scored 48 points and was awarded 3 beans. AndyA scored 46 points and was awarded 1 bean. GaryB scored 39 points.

I like CMC, but feeling that it's play-time is a little too long for what is essentially a light Euro. Great to get it played again after so many years on the shelf.

For our last hour we drank coffee, chatted and played Bluff, which always raises a laugh or two.

Bluff: GaryG had two wins and three second places scoring 7 beans. GaryB had 3 wins and 1 second place scoring 7 beans. AndyA had two wins and 3 second places scoring 7 beans. Honours even.

Great gaming guys cheers!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

GamesReport 18-Jul-12: Buccaneer

Our regular RPG night was postponed this week, so Wednesday evening saw an impromptu meeting of the KoffeeKlub. On the table were Race For The Galaxy (RFTG), by Rio Grande Games and Buccaneer, by Queen Games.

Race For The Galaxy
We opened the evening up with RFTG, which has already seen a number of plays in July. if you want to see a little more detail on this game check out our 8-Jul-12 Gamesreport. This was Trev's first game of RFTG which is always a steep learning curve for the new player. Hopefully we covered the rules well enough to smooth out that experience.

In the end GaryB's game engine was a little more matured than either Trev's or my own and he ended up being the only one to build a "6" cost development for bonus end-of-game scoring. I really like the different strategies that RFTG offers and hope that Trev enjoyed it enough to want to pl;ay again at some stage.

Stacking Pirates? Ooh ARRR!
Our second and final game was Buccaneer, a lighter offering from Queen Games. In Buccaneer each player controls a number of different pirate counters and uses them to create a pirate crews strong enough to take on the ships on offer.

Ship Ahoy!
Each crew is generally made up of pirates from different players and once a ship has been taken players get booty depending of where their pirates sit in the stack.

Buccaneer comes across as a very light, almost play-it-with-your-kids type of game, but there is definitely enough strategy in there and for adults to enjoy as well.

Thanks to Trev and GaryB for a fun night's gaming.

KoffeeKlub League:
Race For The Galaxy - GaryB was awarded 3 beans and GaryG was awarded 1 bean.
Buccaneer - GaryB was awarded 3 beans and GaryG was awarded 1 bean.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

KoffeeKlub Evening 22nd of July

Caylus Magna Carta
This week at KoffeeKlub our featured game is Caylus Magna Carta, by Ystari Games. We'll be in Whitehead Primary School on Sunday 22nd of July 2012 from 7-11pm.

Moka Pot
Our coffee of the week will be a Percol Colombian grind brewed up in our Moka Pot. Please join us if you can, but be aware, coffee makes me nervous when I drink it. Mmm.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Off The Shelf - Hammer of the Scots

Every so often KoffeeKlub looks at a game that's gathered a little too much dust on the gaming shelf. Through it's components, rules and general play we'll decide if it should have stayed there.

#1 Hammer of the Scots

Designers: Jerry Taylor / Tom Dalgliesh

Publisher: Columbia Games (2002)

Players: 2

Playing Time: 2-4 hours

Type: Block / Wargame

Ranked: 26th in the wargames category on (BGG)


Hammer of the Scots, now in it's 3rd Edition, is a block-based wargame that brings the War of Scottish Independence (1297-1314) to life. As the English player you seek to subdue a rebellion led by the Braveheart, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce. As the Scottish player you must defeat the invading armies of Edward I and Edward II to win freedom.

In The Box

>A Full-color (22" x 25") map board of Scotland and Northern England with heraldry of the important noble families. This 3rd Edition features new artwork for the map and is shown below.
>58 wooden block counters including leaders, nobles, archers, knights, and infantrymen.
>Stickers for the wooden blocks.
>25 Event Cards.
>4 D6 dice
>An 8-page rulebook including two scenarios "Braveheart" and "The Bruce".

What's In The Box?
The Map
Generally the components are fine, especially the wooden block counters which have a nice feel to them. The stickers do need to be applied to the blocks before your first play, but this only takes ten or fifteen minutes.
Ol' Blue Face

The event cards are of average quality, so you may wish to consider sleeves to protect them during repeat plays.

My main gripe would be that the map board is not a mounted map and therefore requires some reverse bending to get it to sit properly on the table.

The Rules & Learning To Play

The 8-page rulebook is not too taxing and fairly straight-forward to follow. In fact I'm wondering why I haven't made the effort to tackle this one before now...

Beginning with "Braveheart" the first scenario, I was coming to terms with the fourteen nobles in the game. Each side has there own copy of each noble counter apart from the Moray counter, which comes only in blue (Scottish). These counters are switched in and out of the game as the nobles change allegiance, with only one version on the board at any given time.

I found a very useful example-of-play document on the geek to guide me through a staged opening to "Braveheart". I won't breakdown the rules here, but if you don't own the game already you can find a downloadable copy of the 3rd Edition rules at the Columbia Games site. (PDF Download of the rules)

Having now played a solo-game to walk-through the rules, I felt confident enough to set-up a game to teach a friend how to play. The best way to learn any game is to have someone who has played it before teach you. We didn't quite have that in this case, so I hoped that my preparation work would be enough to see us both through a full scenario successfully.

First Play AAR

Following a brief run-through on the rules, we dived right into the first scenario "Braveheart", with GaryB taking control of the Scottish vs. my English invaders.This particular scenario runs from 1297-1305 incl. a total of nine game years, but we only managed to get to 1300 in the time we had available.

"Braveheart" starting position (English Viewpoint)
Braveheart has a preset board position with little for either player to play around with in terms of set-up. A random element of this set-up was the four English unit selected randomly from the pool to begin the game in Northern England. The picture here shows my starting position in our game from the English viewpoint.

I had mostly Irish and Welsh units, which need to roll 1-4 when heading into battle or run off! 
(S) = Scottish Unit (E) = English Unit

1297 - The Scottish noble Moray (S) headed North for some easy pickings in Ross (E), but the local Lord sent him packing, nose bloodied and tail between his legs. The not-so-hardy Angus (E) switches to the Scots before our first major conflict in the game, "The Battle of the Scone". Wallace (S) & co manage to push the English back from Fife, but Angus (S) switches back to the English, demonstrating how fickle some of these Scottish Lords can be. Further south Galloway (S) is lost near Glasgow and towards the end of the year, having already engaged with the English once, chooses the easier target in Atholl. The Noble at Atholl (E) briefly rebels, but this is quashed quickly by Wallace (S).

1298 - Following a harsh Winter turn, the English attempt to take back some of the ground lost last year. Indeed, the now Scottish noble Atholl (S) is almost defeated, but instead finds shelter in the nearby Lochaber. A surprising "Truce" (event card) is played by the Scottish player, delaying the English advances. The year ends in quiet unease.

The English prepare for total war in 1299.
1299 - Frustrated by the Scottish political manoeuvres, the English amass a large force on the Anglo-Scots border. 

A large 5-unit (E) invasion of Annan, targeting "The Bruce" (S) is almost foiled by Wallace. Entering round three of battle it becomes clear that all will be lost for the Scottish due to some fine English dice rolling :). 
The Bruce is taken!

Wallace (S) preserves himself and flees to Carrick. The Bruce (S) is not so fortunate and the man who would be King switches over to English control. 

Elsewhere the Scots have more luck in Ross (E), taking control of the noble there and in late 1299, Wallace (S) recovers to take and unprotected Lanark (E) nobleman. 

Honours are close to being even for the year, but surely the loss of the Bruce will have an impact on the Scottish strategy!

1300 - A quieter year for both sides as they recuperate from the heavy fighting in 1299. Moray (S),  trying to cause trouble in the Grampians, is pushed back by some stern English resistance. Lanark is retaken by the English and Wallace sees a little action chasing the Dunbar noble out from his homestead. 

We retired this "learning game" at the end of the year 1300, the English perhaps slightly ahead having taken The Bruce.

Closing Impressions

Moka Pot
A tricky one for me as I really want to enjoy Hammer of the Scots. The game-play is quite straight-forward, but we needed to refer back and forth to the book to check on the numerous exceptions to various rules and this ultimately slowed us down a little. My main concern would be the timings. We tried to motor through the turns, but only got 4 from 9 turns completed in just under 3-hours.

I do like the battle system and the fog of war elements, but I feel that we need to get to grips with some English/Scottish strategy options in order to get the most out of the game. I just hope that the play-time doesn't prevent this from getting to our table on a fairly regular basis.


I need a couple more plays to iron out my concerns.

Online Play?

Instructions for Online Play via VASSAL. Be warned though, this is only for the really committed as the interface takes a more than a little set-up work.