Hey, chaps and chapettes. As the year draws to an end it’s time to have a look back at 2016 in skirmish wargaming.
Because in most other regards I think it’s common consensus that it wasn’t the best of years. 😛 In this article I’ll list (in no particular order really) the games I played and enjoyed in 2016.
Chain of Command
In terms of skirmish gaming for me Chain of Command still is the go-to game of my choice.
I started three new Chain of Command forces (1941 Italians in 15mm, Afrikakorps in 28mm and a force for the Kampfgruppe von Luck pint-sized campaign), which probably says something. We also did two Chain of Command demo days at the local club and a demo table at VIVAT 2016.
As quite a few of my Chain of Command articles are currently getting published on Skirmishwargaming.com I won’t go too much into it. However, I had my first 6 players game this year in a LONG time. We played Big Chain of Command and it was a great game.
A report of this one, along with another Big Chain of Command game, will come up shortly on this site.
I did a fair amount of boardgaming, including X-Wing, Star Wars Armada and the FFG Warhammer Quest cardgame. Oh, and of course I got to play Horus Heresy!
That was good. 🙂 I played the Imperial side and it didn’t even go bad, until I all too daringly decided to have the Emperor himself, backed by Custodes and Arbites storm out toward Mortarius and his cronies and in an unlikely defeat getting the Emperor killed and I lost the game. Drat. Very good fun though.
Command and Colors Ancients
Sticking to board wargames, I treated myself to the brilliant Command and Colors Ancients.
If you’re looking for a board wargame which make sense, but has rules which are brilliantly elegant and easy to learn look no further. This is the X-Wing of hex-based board wargames.
Speaking of X-Wing: After the first game of X-Wing back when it was new of course I was impressed, but this quickly decreased as I realized that I’d have to invest in more fightercraft and it’s pre-painted. Which to me is something I do not like (for obvious reasons. :-p ). So I left it at the starter set, pooling fighters with friends’ because you never can have enough TIE Fighters. This goes especially for the thing I was introduced to late last year and this year we had a few games – the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster co-op campaign supplement.
Each player gets to pilot one ship (in the beginning you get a choice between Y- and X-Wing) and a few points to get upgrades and such. Over the course of the campaign you get more points, can improve your pilot level, get a new spaceship and so on. You’ll need a LOT of TIE Fighters of various kinds, but their behavior is based on matrices and dice rolls and this “AI” is surprisingly capable! Anyway, it’s great fun and I can’t wait to play out the further adventures of Admiral Snackbar, Lord Flashheart and Goose.
Star Wars Armada
I got to watch and play at least two games of Armada this year, because a friend of mine invests heavily in that game, repaints all the ships and such to make them look better.
Naturally, Armada is slightly more sluggish than X-Wing and it takes much longer to play. Within these parameters though, it really works well for large space ship battles. Rather counter-heavy, but more strategic and a bit more brainy than X-Wing.
Warhammer Quest Card Game
One more entry by FFG, and a slightly sad one. Well, first off this is a very fun cooperative game for 1 to 6 players. It takes its basic mechanics from the great Space Hulk: Death Angel card game, but adds all these things you want to see in a dungeon crawler: items, very different player characters, a large variety of enemies which also behave very differently, and a fun campaign which makes use of the game rules in very inventive ways to give each quest a very different feel and mechanics.
Now for the sad part: As most of you have read the license contract between GW and FFG ran out and was not renewed. FFG stopped producing and delivering any GW-related games (including Talisman, Chaos in the Old World, the Warhammer RPG, all the 40k RPGs, Blood Bowl: Team Manager, and so on). This also means that there will be no further expansions or supplements for the WHQ card game. There were two print-on-demand add-ons in the shape of two more characters (I’d rather have seen more campaigns to be honest). Those were rare to begin with and now are extremely hard to find.
Very cool game, tons of potential, sadly there won’t be any additional material though, apart from fan-made quests and campaigns.
Quick honorable mentions:
Resistance (extremely fun game, kinda like Werewolf without the need of an umpire)
Blood Rage (my brother’s, I pained the minis for him). Not a short game, but tip top production value and mighty solid figures.
Bruges (very fun little stategy game). 7 Wonders/Agricola-ish.
Isle of Skye (clever little game). Carcasconne-ish, but with ever-changing objectives and some pokering/trading.
Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes
To get away from board games again, of course I played Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. The two articles, rules review and battle report, proved to be very popular with you guys and they rank among the top 5 articles on this site.
Another game I got to try out is Baroque! Long awaited, it finally was released in spring of 2016, in early fall I got to play.
Baroque is an Impetus-based set of rules covering the period of 1550-1700, generally called the ‘pike and shot’ period in wargaming circles.
Good, rather quick game. I think I prefer it over Pike&Shotte. We only played a small engagement, but this works well for proper battles and it’s great to have a set of rules I really like for use with my 10mm Thirty Years War collection.
For the first time I got the chance to play proper Space Hulk! Over the years I painted four sets of Space Hulk minis, plus some additional Chaos Marines and whatnot, but I never got to play apart from some computer game versions of the game. Yeah, it’s a very strong game and it requires tactics. Along with BloodBowl it’s said to be GW’s best and I’m inclined to agree.
Actually I got to play another game right before christmas which was the closest game possible. But the last bloody Blood Angel got away with the C.A.T. 😀 Very good stuff. There really is no reason for GW not to release a bunch of expansions for the game. They got all the plastics they need now.
Sharp Practice 2
I think this covers most of what I played in 2016. Ignoring all the going-ons in the world right now and the great people who passed away (and surely 2017 will be better), in terms of gaming it was a satisfactory year. I didn’t get to play as often as I would have liked to, especially in the first half of the year, but it’s alright and there were several highlights instead. So a bit less gaming overall, but more outstanding single gaming experiences.
Things I regret not having gotten done this year/things I plan to do next year: STILL not a single game of Frostgrave. I would have wanted to play more Chain of Command. 😛 The Blücher project still is somewhat on hold. I did not get to play I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!.
In my next article I’ll write about my 2016 in terms of painting/modelling and plans for 2017 projects. 2016 has been pretty cool in terms of gaming and last but not least skirmishwargaming.com made me want to play and share more than before. Thanks for reading, commenting and following, guys. This site is a great outlet for my more gaming articles, as on my own site and Tale of Painters I can only really get into the painting/modelling side of things.