Tag Archives: Solitaire

Cruel Necessity: The English Civil Wars (A Video Review)

Cruel Necessity

This solitaire game, suitable for group and classroom cooperative game play, tells the story of the English Civil Wars (1640-53) through its key events and decision points. You attempt to stop the advance of four armies bent on destroying Parliament and Puritanism, whom you represent; simply holding on to London is not enough.

Each of the three English Civil Wars are replayed through the use of separate card decks that recreate the historical military and political events that could spell doom to the Parliamentarian forces. There are civil wars going on not just in England, but in Scotland and Ireland too; and each will have varying impact on the play of the game at different times.

The title comes from the purported response to the beheading of King Charles by his implacable foe, Oliver Cromwell, who remarked that this act of regicide was a “cruel necessity.”

Note: Cruel Necessity is our first Gold Banner wargame to exclude a mounted map inside. Because of all the gameplay real estate in Cruel Necessity, mounting the boards using our print-on-demand publishing model would have raised the Retail Price to $55.00 (i.e., a $15 increase), and that just seemed like too much. We hope our vaunted wargame customers can soldier on with our sturdy paper maps as the great wargames of yore have long provided.

What’s in the box:

• One full color 22-page Rulebook (Designer’s Notes included)
• One 22” x 17” paper game map (in two sections)
• One 11” x 17” Battle Display Mat
• 75 cards
• 98 thick, two-sided, multi-shaped game pieces
• One 2-sided player aid
• One blue (Parliamentary) 6-sided die
• One red (Royalist) 6-sided die
• One bright red, 9″ x 11 7/8″ Deluxe cardboard VPG game box
• One beautiful box cover sleeve
• One “Wipes-A-Lot” napkin
• One charcoal desiccant packet

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User Review:
Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Phantom Leader Deluxe Review

Phantom Leader Deluxe

Phantom Leader – Solitaire

What’s New in the Deluxe Edition?
We have expanded and updated the original Phantom Leader game to the high standard set by our Hornet Leader game.

Increase the cards from 165 to 330
– All pilots get all 6 experience levels
– Add new aircraft: Air Force F-5, Air Force A-7, Navy A-5
– Add more pilots for all aircraft types
– Add more Target cards
– Add more Special Event cards
– Revise the 6 original Campaigns to include the new Targets and Aircraft

Add Air Force and Navy Campaigns for the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Upgrade to a mounted 11″x17″ Tactical Display

Description:
Phantom Leader places you in command of a US Air Force or US Navy Tactical Fighter squadron in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972. You must not only destroy the targets but you must also balance the delicate political repercussions of your attacks. If you strike too hard, your air offensive might be put on hold, strike to light, and you’ll be blamed for losing the war.

Welcome to the Vietnam Air War!

Each of the campaigns can be played with either an Air Force or Navy squadron. The targets assigned to each service are different and change the complexion of the campaigns. Each campaign can be played with three different durations of: Skirmish, Conflict, or War.

Each mission takes roughly 30 minutes to set-up, plan, and resolve.

Each of your pilots has their own skills. Selecting the right pilots and weapons for a mission is vital to its success. As you fly missions, your pilots will gain experience and fatigue. With experience, their skills improve, but as their fatigue increases, their skills decrease and they might not be able to fly for several missions.

For those of you familiar with our modern era Hornet Leader series of games, you might be wondering what’s different about Phantom Leader…

The freedom of being able to select the best mission based on military objectives is something that is commonplace for today’s military. Back in Vietnam, the military was responsible for carrying out their orders, while at the same time being extremely limited in the weapons and tactics they were allowed to use to complete those orders. In many cases, the specific weapons, approach paths, and bombing altitudes were generated target-by-target at the White House. The mission specifics were then sent down the chain of command to the individual pilots flying the mission. As you can imagine, this was not the best way to run an air campaign.

Every target has a Political value. If you destroy it, you move the Political counter to the right a number of spaces equal to its value. As the counter gets moved to the right, your future target choices are reduced to those that are less politically sensitive. Which target you choose not to attack is also important. You get to move the Political counter to the left a number of spaces equal its Political value.

This means that while you might like to flatten a big enemy target and rack up the victory points, it might be better for you to choose a pointless target and move the Political counter in your favor instead.

Another difference is in combat power. For the last couple decades, the US Air Force and Navy have enjoyed air superiority due to training and technology. Such was not the case in the skies over Vietnam. The enemy had different, but just as capable, equipment. They also had the training and will to use it to its utmost.

They soon became aware of the limitations placed on the US forces by the politicians, and used those limitations to their advantage.

For example, at times, US pilots were not permitted to fire on enemy aircraft until they were visually identified. This negated any range advantage conveyed by the radar-homing AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. It was also a common limitation that enemy aircraft could only be attacked in the air. US pilots were not allowed to attack enemy airbases. US aircraft were also limited to flying predictable flight paths, at set times. This made setting up ambushes much easier for the enemy.

So, while you might be a Hornet Leader ace, Vietnam is a whole different ballgame!

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User Review:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Infection (Video Review)

Infection_SlipCover_v1-1 (FLAT)

James Franklin—Patient Zero—collapses after stepping off a plane from the Congo at JFK International Airport. He is rushed to Forest Hills Hospital where he is placed in an isolation ward. It is quickly discovered he has Morbusian, a constantly mutating virus that is resistant to all known antivirals. The survival of humanity itself is at stake!

In Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp, by designer John Gibson, you are the director of the Department of Plague Control (DPC) field office in New York City. You make the decisions about what parts of the virus to study, which personnel to hire and what equipment to purchase. You’ll soon discover you are working with an eccentric group of scientists who don’t always work well together—and one very resourceful lab rat named Marvin. As the casualties increase, so does the stress and mistakes made, as you try to complete your vaccine before time runs out for all of mankind!

This strategy game uses simple mechanics in a multitude of combinations to create engaging, deep gameplay as you try to eliminate an evolving virus that could spell the end of the human race. While random events from the Status Report cards might throw a wrench in your plans (or occasionally help you out), you’ll use the Lab Personnel and Equipment cards you’ve hired to piece together randomly generated Proteins into the different parts of a Vaccine, all while managing dwindling Funding resources as the Death Toll Track climbs; each time that your Containment roll fails you come one step closer to losing this battle, so make sure that you push everyone to their limits before the INFECTION reaches critical levels.

Game Data:
Complexity: 3 on a 9 scale
Solitaire Suitability: 9 on a 9 scale

~ Victory Point Games

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User Review:
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Phantom Leader Deluxe Edition (A Video Review)

Phantom Leader Deluxe

Phantom Leader – Solitaire

What’s New in the Deluxe Edition?
We have expanded and updated the original Phantom Leader game to the high standard set by our Hornet Leader game.

Increase the cards from 165 to 330
– All pilots get all 6 experience levels
– Add new aircraft: Air Force F-5, Air Force A-7, Navy A-5
– Add more pilots for all aircraft types
– Add more Target cards
– Add more Special Event cards
– Revise the 6 original Campaigns to include the new Targets and Aircraft

Add Air Force and Navy Campaigns for the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Upgrade to a mounted 11″x17″ Tactical Display

Description:
Phantom Leader places you in command of a US Air Force or US Navy Tactical Fighter squadron in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972. You must not only destroy the targets but you must also balance the delicate political repercussions of your attacks. If you strike too hard, your air offensive might be put on hold, strike to light, and you’ll be blamed for losing the war.

Welcome to the Vietnam Air War!

Each of the campaigns can be played with either an Air Force or Navy squadron. The targets assigned to each service are different and change the complexion of the campaigns. Each campaign can be played with three different durations of: Skirmish, Conflict, or War.

Each mission takes roughly 30 minutes to set-up, plan, and resolve.

Each of your pilots has their own skills. Selecting the right pilots and weapons for a mission is vital to its success. As you fly missions, your pilots will gain experience and fatigue. With experience, their skills improve, but as their fatigue increases, their skills decrease and they might not be able to fly for several missions.

For those of you familiar with our modern era Hornet Leader series of games, you might be wondering what’s different about Phantom Leader…

The freedom of being able to select the best mission based on military objectives is something that is commonplace for today’s military. Back in Vietnam, the military was responsible for carrying out their orders, while at the same time being extremely limited in the weapons and tactics they were allowed to use to complete those orders. In many cases, the specific weapons, approach paths, and bombing altitudes were generated target-by-target at the White House. The mission specifics were then sent down the chain of command to the individual pilots flying the mission. As you can imagine, this was not the best way to run an air campaign.

Every target has a Political value. If you destroy it, you move the Political counter to the right a number of spaces equal to its value. As the counter gets moved to the right, your future target choices are reduced to those that are less politically sensitive. Which target you choose not to attack is also important. You get to move the Political counter to the left a number of spaces equal its Political value.

This means that while you might like to flatten a big enemy target and rack up the victory points, it might be better for you to choose a pointless target and move the Political counter in your favor instead.

Another difference is in combat power. For the last couple decades, the US Air Force and Navy have enjoyed air superiority due to training and technology. Such was not the case in the skies over Vietnam. The enemy had different, but just as capable, equipment. They also had the training and will to use it to its utmost.

They soon became aware of the limitations placed on the US forces by the politicians, and used those limitations to their advantage.

For example, at times, US pilots were not permitted to fire on enemy aircraft until they were visually identified. This negated any range advantage conveyed by the radar-homing AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. It was also a common limitation that enemy aircraft could only be attacked in the air. US pilots were not allowed to attack enemy airbases. US aircraft were also limited to flying predictable flight paths, at set times. This made setting up ambushes much easier for the enemy.

So, while you might be a Hornet Leader ace, Vietnam is a whole different ballgame!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
User Review:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Red Menace (Video Review)

red Menance

Red Menace is a solitaire wargame pitting the strategic nuclear and defensive forces of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom against those of the Soviet Union and its client state, Cuba, in 1959. The game focuses primarily on the role of strategic bombers, but other types of supporting aircraft such as Interceptors, Airborne Early Warning planes, and Aerial Refueling Tankers are also represented.

The term “Red Menace” was used during the Cold War by the U.S. because it was believed that thousands of Soviet bombers could be unleashed at a moment’s notice. This turned out not to be true (the Soviets had several hundred bombers at best, and many had significant range limitations). The game is not meant to be an accurate simulation of the actual capabilities of the strategic forces involved, but rather reflects what the governments and citizens of the U.S., Canada and the U.K. believed could happen.

Decisions for the Soviet units are made by the game system using random events and dice. The player simply moves the Soviet bombers towards their assigned targets. Scenarios are included with various starting positions for Soviet and United States and United Kingdom bombers.

The game complexity is easy but optional rules are included to make it more challenging. The winner of a scenario is determined by the points scored from attacking the opponents cities. Five or ten points are awarded by a random draw after each successful attack. A typical scenario requires 50 points to win.

Each turn consists of 13 phases played in order from drawing random events, deploying and moving Soviet flights, intercepting flights, submarine operations and more. Reference sheets and player aids are included to make tracking the game progress easier.

~ White Dog Games

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