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FRAG! March/April 2011

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jul. 8, 2011; By Charles Rector
Type: News

Issue 116, March/ April 2011"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."   ~ Ronald Reagan

  1. The April Editorial Introduction
  2. News Direct from the Frontlines of Shrapnel Games
  3. Trivia Time: Operation El Dorado Canyon
  4. winSPWW2/winSPMBT New Patches!
  5. The Dice Of War: Legions of Darkness
  6. Sizzling Sellers and Those Special Offers
  7. Link O' The Month
  8. The Crystal Ball

FRAG! is Edited by Scott Krol

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Every time one of these Lancasters fly over,
my chickens lay premature eggs.

9.62 Ignore the no-stacking-in-an-enemy-hex rule. Enemy tanks may share the same hex if the players are willing to accept the consequences and risk AFV pregnancy. If the tanks are of the same sex, this is not a consideration, but the players may be, under the laws of most U.S. states, contributing to immoral activity (although, since WWII was more than 21 years ago, all the tank participating will be over 21 and hence not minors). If your tanks live in a state with “consenting adults” laws, skip this section.

9.63 Infantry and AFVs, while potentially affectionate, never fall in love.

"Yet if we did have some more comical wargames would that help attract a new crowd of players?"

The above rules are taken from the microgame Panzer Pranks, released by The Chaosium (later known simply as Choasium) in 1980. A tactical game of WWII (although some WWI tanks were included) armor combat “as it actually was in the movies”, besides rules for tank pregnancy there are also rules for ricochets, a sound effect glossary so you know exactly what noises to make during the game, and some really great scenarios such as barnstorming tanks (“plagued by mechanical troubles and low air speeds”) and German tanks who get lost near Kursk and end up in the South Pacific.

Panzer Pranks also has the best optional sequence of play offered in a wargame, the Simultaneous Move and Fire sequence. If using this method both players do everything at once and all disagreements are then resolved using the Two-Fisted Combat Resolution System.

The entire rulebook is peppered with gems like these, down to an entire section dedicated to explaining why movement points are better than gasoline. Yet, buried amongst the humor is an actual, playable game. It’s not the deepest game in the world, essentially a few tanks battling it out amongst a battlefield strewn with obstacles like a paper version of Atari’s Combat, but it’s there. In fact, one of the biggest surprises is the stats for the AFVs are pretty reasonable, and there are nineteen different types from seven nations represented. Using the core, “real” rules one could

probably expand the game into something more than a parody.

I’ve been trying to think of how many wargames since Panzer Pranks has approached the subject with humor. Maybe I’m just drawing a blank but I can’t really think of any. While not intentional perhaps Red Christmas or Tomorrow the World? The best I could come up with are games that used comical units. Yaquinto’s Beachhead had a Sgt. Rock (called Stryker in the game) type counter, an uber-Jarhead, while Victory Games’ Carrier included a nuclear powered carrier. More recently Compass Games’ Silent War included a modern attack sub to try out against the IJN. But no all out humorous wargames. No The Pope’s Panzers or V-Rockets at the Vatican of Hard Eight fame.

So why is this? If war is Hell perhaps it’s not proper to make a humorous wargame? Perhaps it’s because wargaming IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. Trust me, and this is speaking from a wargamer with decades of experience, there are a lot of folks who will hunch over the dining room table, intently studying counters and formulating strategies, making a warGAME look like a tax audit. Or maybe it’s just that comedy is hard to do. For every Jerry Seinfeld there’s a Dane Cook, every Monty Python a Saturday Night Live.

Yet if we did have some more comical wargames would that help attract a new crowd of players? As an example, the excellent Small World is a game of fantasy ethnic cleansing, and yet thanks to the cartoony visuals it’s highly popular across a spectrum of gamers. Perhaps a wargame in which everyone laughs throughout might then create a stepping stone to more serious games. “Hey, that wacky squad level game was pretty fun, are there any serious games like it?”

Ultimately, no matter how detailed our wargames are, at the end of the day they are games that should be played for entertainment, escapism, and relaxation. As such pulling out a game once in awhile that’s just good clean wacky fun should be okay to do, even if we’re talking about global warfare. Silliness always has its place.

Greetings and salutations fellow gamers to the newest edition of the Shrapnel Games newsletter, Frag!. The world has been a pretty ugly place lately but hopefully it’s at least been kind to you. And as always, your friends here at Shrapnel are always ready to help with your escapism by offering some of the finest independent strategy and niche gaming you’ll find on the PC. And did you know some of it is completely free?

In times like these it’s always good to remind folks that we have a large selection of free, fully enabled, games to download. Some games were once pay-to-play, while others have always been free. Titles range from the quirky Dr. Blob’s Organism to the compelling Conquest of Elysium II. winSPWW2 and winSPMBT can both be had as free games, although you miss out on the enhancements (such as the awesome high resolution possibilities) found in the Enhanced Editions. There’s even a print-and-play board game, Goblin Slayer.

Find all these great games and many more here.

Our last release was World Supremacy, the light strategy game from Malfador Machinations of conquering the world, one area at a time. Featuring modern era military units, along with everyone’s favorites—nukes and neutron bombs—World Supremacy is a turn based game reminiscent of the board games Axis and Allies or Supremacy. Gameplay is fast and furious, with a streamlined sequence of play that emphasizes movement and firepower. A basic economy keeps the war machine growing, while a simple tech tree ensures that your superpower remains one.

Currently Malfador Machinations is working on releasing a new patch for the game. At the moment you’ll be able to find a public beta (note!) patch of the latest version for download. Normally patches currently in testing are handled through the game’s testing group but this time to get the maximum input from players the patches are being released to the general public. Grab the latest beta patch, try it out, and have your say on the community message board.

We must emphasize though, remember, these are BETA patches. If you’re uncomfortable with the possibility of dealing with potential funky side-effects then we recommend you do not download the beta patches and wait for the final patch. Once the public beta patches have been thoroughly poked and prodded and the general consensus is to give the go-code, we’ll release the final patch. The final patch will have its own news release, so keep an eye out on our front page for news of its release.

To download the latest public beta patch for World Supremacy, go here.

To comment on the patches go to the World Supremacy forum, here.

World Supremacy is available as a download for Windows. Price: $29.99. To order please see the link in the product page.

It’s always great to see what fans do with their games, from modding to crafting new scenarios. Forum user Double Deuce is currently running a neat little campaign in winSPWW2 in which he sets up the scenarios and has players (all on the same side) fight against the AI. Here, his summary:

“For those only "kinda" following along this is basically a group operational level game where each player takes the role of a commander and will play their "unit's role" through custom User Campaign's designed specifically for their unit.”

It’s a cool idea, sorta like the old umpire style board games back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And while those were only usually good at cons since you couldn’t find enough folks for weekend gaming, thanks to the wonders of the Intertubes a campaign system like this is far easier to handle. Be sure to check out the action at this thread.

Speaking of winSPWW2 both it and its sister game, winSPMBT, received new upgrades recently. These upgrades are chock full of new and tasty content, along with the typical bug smacking. You’ll find all the information you need about the patches in section four of the newsletter.

Have you had your Bronze today? Bronze, the award winning puzzle/strategy game from Dreamspike Studios is available for Windows as a download. At $29.95 this game offers amazing value, providing players with ten campaigns, twelve survival settings, and custom matches/tournaments offering limitless replayability.

As a Bronze Age civilization it is your task to control the majority of the lands for your people. Using a simple control scheme new farms, villages, mines, ziggurats, and more can be built on the fertile lands you are to expand upon. Other civilizations are doing the same though, but only one can triumph.

Easy to grasp mechanics allows anyone to pick up and play, and while a typical scenario only takes a few minutes to play the challenging AI will keep players entranced for hours.

That’s it for now, we’ll catch you the next Frag! and be sure to check out our front page or Facebook page for the latest news in between newsletters.

While the first decade of the 21st century has been plagued by terrorism it is a different kind of terrorism than what the world saw in the 1970s and 1980s. During the waning years of the Cold War terrorism was rarely strictly religiously motivated; rather it was usually state sponsored. The Soviet Union, by way of their proxy states, would conduct attacks against Western interests using a variety of terrorist groups: the PLO, Red Brigade, Jane Fonda, the IRA, and so on.

During the 1980s one particular regime was quite active in supporting terrorist attacks against the West, and generally the United States: Libya. Led by the British-trained Colonel Moammar Gadhafi (who came to power in a 1969 coup) Libya initially came into conflict with the US after declaring in 1973 that the Gulf of Sidra was Libyan territorial water and that anyone who crossed was crossing a “line of death”. International law states that territorial waters only extend twelve miles, with the Gulf being far deeper than that.

Attacks on American targets occurred in 1973, 1980, and in 1981 inside the “line of death”. The most famous incident was the ’81 one, in which two Libyan SU-22s attempted to intercept two F-14s operating from the USS Nimitz. The result was two destroyed SU-22s, no destroyed F-14s.

In 1986 three carrier groups centered around the USS Coral Sea, USS Saratoga, and USS America crossed the line of death during Freedom of Navigation exercises. In a short period of conflict the Libyans responded with MiGs, surface missiles, and corvettes. A couple of Libyan ships were sunk, and while the surface groups came under attack from missile installations no damage was done. In fact, all losses of life occurred on the Libyan side.

Shortly after that incident Libyan agents in West Germany bombed a disco frequented by American personnel, killing two and wounding fifty others. This was but the last in a long string of attacks against Americans by Libya.

In 1985 Libyan agents seized the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered Leon Klinghoffer. That same year also saw an Egyptian flight hijacked with the loss of a traveling American. In Frankfurt, West Germany a US military mall was bombed, wounding twenty-three Americans. In December the airports at Rome and Vienna were attacked, killing five Americans.

The disco bombing was the final straw though, and plans were quickly made to hit Libya territory by air. Give the name Operation El Dorado Canyon, it would be a join US Navy, Marines, and Air Force strike, as one service group could not provide all the strength required to carry out the assault.

Five targets were chosen to be hit. Four were chosen for their relations in supporting terrorism, one was chosen for security. The targets were:

Murrat Side Bilal base: Used to train terrorist frogmen at the combat swimmer and naval commando school.

Aziziyah Barracks: Command and control

headquarters for exported Libyan terrorism.

Military facilities at the Tripoli airport: Housed IL-76s used to support terrorism.

Jamahiriyah Guard Barracks: Terrorist command post, also home to a Libyan elite guards unit.

Benina Military Airfield: Pure military target, struck to ensure that the strike would remain unmolested by Libyan air units.

While one home of Gadhafi was struck there was never an indication that he was an actual target, it was just icing on the cake that he was almost taken out Likewise other hit targets that were never on the target list included the French Embassy.

The air strike was launched from both the US Navy carrier groups and USAF aircraft operating out of England. France, Spain, and Italy refused to allow the USAF overflight requests, making that particular strike group fly around Spain to reach Libya. Because of this a large number of tankers were assigned to El Dorado Canyon.

The main strike force consisted of 14 A-6E (USN), 12 A-7E and F/A-18s for SEAD (USN), F-14s for CAP (USN), E-2Cs acting as AEW (USN), 5 EF-111s for ECM (USAF), 24 FB-111s for strike (USAF), and 28 KC-10 and KC-135 tankers (USAF). Additionally, various other aircraft supported the mission, including helicopters for SAR, recon aircraft for target assessment, and other fighters for CAP over the carrier groups. All in all, in retrospect the sheer number of aircraft involved was later considered overkill.

The plan was for the strike to split up and hit all five targets simultaneously. The entire raid only lasted twelve minutes, with very little resistance met. Even though the Libyans were expected to be prepared for an attack (sort of hard not to notice three carrier groups hanging around your front door), and the Soviet Union had even warned them to expect something, the response to the raid was pitiful. Fighters never got off the ground, AAA fire did not occur until after the attack, troops abandoned their posts, and the air defense network (manned by thousands of Soviet personnel) was successfully shut down. As a side note, the Soviets even failed to detect the raid from England and warn the Libyans (though they were indeed warned by the Maltese prime minister and failed to act). Or they simply did not care enough to make mention of the incoming raid.

One FB-111, Karma 52, was lost during the attack although it has never been determined the exact reason for its loss. Overall the strike was successful, with the majority of bombs striking their targets. A few went wild, and hit unintended civilian or non-Libyan targets.

Operation El Dorado Canyon, much like the long range British air strikes during the Falklands Conflict, were an excellent example of the technical proficiency the West had with aerial bombing campaigns. Lessons learned in the operation would be used later during the first Gulf War, and later conflicts.

Huzzah, new patches are available for both winSPWW2 and winSPMBT, the best damn tactical games on 20th-21st century combined arms warfare! Once again the folks behind these superb games, Camo Workshop, have gone above and beyond to provide gamers with true upgrades. These patches don’t fix a couple of things and add another two or three items, these babies are packed full of content.

winSPWW2’s upgrade brings the game up to version 4.5, winSPMBT is upgraded to 5.5.

winSPWW2 4.5 overview includes:

  • 12 new scenarios.
  • 7 updated scenarios.
  • 1 revised campaign.
  • 2 revised campaign files.
  • 1 new terrain type (Desert House).
  • 208 new/revised photos.
  • 28 new/revised vehicle or aircraft icons.
  • 36 updated OOB files.
  • 10 Revised icon graphic files.
  • 4 new/revised text files.
  • Upgraded Cost Calculator.
  • Upgraded MOBHack, MOBHack.ini, MOBHack Help file.
  • Upgraded ScenHack, Camo Map Editor, Game Options.
  • Upgrade 4.25 files included (no more need for 4.25).

The winSPMBT 5.5 overview has:

  • 15 new scenarios.
  • 30 updated scenarios.
  • 8 revised campaigns.
  • 36 revised campaign files.
  • 1 new terrain type (Desert House).
  • 337 new/revised photos.
  • 530 new/revised vehicle or aircraft icons.
  • 92 updated OOB files.
  • 40 new/revised icon graphic files.
  • 12 new/revised text files.
  • 1 revised map.
  • 43 revised picklists.
  • Upgraded Cost Calculator.
  • Upgraded MOBHack, MOBHack.ini, and MOBHack Help file.
  • Upgraded ScenHAck, Camo Map Editor, Game Options.

And now, some of the specific new features, bug fixes, and gameplay changes that can be found in the patches…

  • Owners of the Enhanced Edition (CD or digital) will be thrilled to learn that widescreen support has been added, allowing you to run the game at the same resolution as your normal desktop.
  • Tweaks to the code have made the games much more friendly to CPU usage. The newer and faster your hardware is, the more noticeable this will be.
  • Friendlier to even the latest incarnations of Windows. The GameOptions program will autodetect if your OS is XP or earlier, or Vista/Win7/whatever the future may hold and if your OS is newer than XP it will automatically run a command line that shuts Windows Explorer down briefly then restarts it only if you have the game set to run in full screen.
  • All anti-tank gun unit classes have had their cost reduced by approximately 25%. Anti-tank guns for everyone!
  • HQ, scout classes, forward observers, and ammo vehicles will now withhold opfire if they have not been fired so they do not give away their position.
  • A small section of code was missing from the pre-game deployment screen: (L)oad and (U)nload ALL UNITS routine where the (ESC)cape key did not allow you to change your mind but loaded or unloaded all units when the (ESC)cape key was selected. This has been corrected and the (ESC)cape function now allows the gamer to back out of that situation.
  • A new minimum range code for artillery has been added. It is based on 1/5th of the unit’s range with five hexes being the absolute minimum on map arty units will target indirect. Minimum for mortar units is now two hexes.
  • The PBEM long campaign was not supposed to have special battles but a bug was allowing these to occur. Fixed.

The fact that the games now play well with Windows 7 is a pretty positive addition, and we think folks will be just as thrilled with the ability to now play in widescreen. You’ll notice though that widescreen support is only for owners of the Enhanced Edition, so if you’ve been sitting on the fence considering whether to upgrade perhaps this will push you on over.

Before downloading and applying the patches be aware that if you are currently in an ongoing secure PBEM game you will cause that game to FAIL! Since no one wants to see you crying over your spilled Panthers, be sure to wait until the game is over to apply the patch. If your opponent ignores this and causes the game to fail be sure to use Panzer Pranks’ Two-Fisted Combat Resolution to settle the end game.

Download the version 4.5 upgrade for winSPWW2.

Download the version 5.5 upgrade for winSPMBT.

All upgrade patches must be applied in sequential order, so if you’ve missed a previous version you must start there. Patches apply to both the free download version and the Enhanced Editions (CD or download). Some new features only apply to the Enhanced Editions.

Legions of Darkness (Victory Point Games)

Hordes of goblins are advancing on the walls. Before the gates, a endless river of orcs. In the sky a great dragon roars. And someplace out there a troll waits for darkness to set. The forces you command behind the castle walls are small in number but are led by great heroes. Reinforcements will arrive in three days, if you can last that long.

Certainty of death? Small chance of success? Welcome to Legions of Darkness, Chris Taylor’s latest board game from Victory Point Games.

Legions of Darkness (LOD) is a solitaire game in which the player must defend a besieged castle for three days from either armies of orcs or the more challenging undead. Victory is entirely dependent on surviving until help arrives; there are no minor victories or stalemate in LOD. Win big or go home. Actually, probably get killed in a most gruesome fashion.

Gameplay revolves around five tracks containing movement areas outside your castle, which is centrally situated on the play map. One track represents the armies advancing from the west, one track from the east, another one leads to the gate. The fourth track represents attacks from the sky, while the fifth is only used at night. The tracks are of various lengths, with the wall tracks being the longest and the night (“terror”) track being the shortest. Each space is also color coded to represent the range of melee and ranged weapons.

Each turn begins by drawing a card, the type of card dictated by whether it is a day turn or a night turn. Cards are then read from top to bottom, with each section essentially acting as a phase in the turn sequence. This is really a nice touch, as the player is never at a loss as to where they are in a turn as they simply need to follow the card along.

At the top of the card the armies that advance on the castle, and how far they go, are listed. Each track will have one, possibly two, counters on them representing the attacking armies. Each matching symbol on the card will advance that force the number of squares equal to the number of matching symbols. So, if there are two symbols for the eastern wall track, that army would be advanced two spaces.

Next comes any events. During the day events are rare but are fairly common at night. Most events fall under the “roll a die and see what happens” type, while a few will dictate a specific action. After events are handled the player will then be granted a number of action points at their disposal. Actions fall under two categories, normal and heroic, and it is here that the player will spend most of their time.

Normal actions are those in which the defending armies of the castle can attack the besiegers, attempt to build a defensive upgrade, cast a spell, learn a spell, or attempt to increase divine energy through chanting. Each action takes a point, and on average you’ll have three actions to play with during the day, and two at night.

Attacks will be the most common action the player takes. Besides costing an action point the defenders are limited to making a number of melee and ranged attacks based on how many surviving defenders they have. Combat is simple, with the attacker needing to roll higher than the army strength they are attacking on a d6. If they succeed the army is pushed back one space. Enemy armies are never destroyed, only friendly forces.

Besides cold steel and stout shafts magic can also help the defenders. Divided into two types, arcane and divine, spells must first be memorized (arcane) or prayed (divine) for by randomly selecting from a pool of face down spell counters. Once learned the spell can be cast at a cost. This cost originally is set before the game begins proper, with new points possibly added through the game. Memorization/prayer and casting are separate actions and each cost an action point. Spells cast are then discarded. Spells are your typical D&D fare, so expect fireballs, chain lightning, and plenty of healing.

Heroic actions are those that are undertaken by your heroes. Possible heroes include a warrior, wizard,

cleric, ranger, paladin, and rogue. Not all heroes are present in a scenario. Each hero has a special ability (the warrior is great at melee and cannot be wounded, the rogue gets a free move and helps in creating defensive upgrades) and is superior in both magic and might.

Heroes can attack, with a better chance than the normal defenders, and cast more powerful versions of the spells. They can also rally troops, improving the overall morale of the castle and potentially increasing the number of actions each card. Heroes though have one weakness, and that’s they must be moved around the castle. Unlike normal attacks, which are fairly generic in nature, heroes must be on a specific track to attack that specific force composition. Most cards only provide one or two heroic actions, meaning that often a player can maneuver a hero to a spot, but then do nothing more with that hero for the turn.

Sometimes there is a quest available on a card. Quests consume action points, but can be quite beneficial, although success is determined by a die roll. For example, the quest “Forlorn Hope” allows the player to either spend a normal action (to grant a +1) or a heroic action (+2, but the particular card only has one heroic action) to roll a d6 and look for a target number greater than seven (meaning you’ll need to spend at least two normal actions to even have a chance at success). Success allows the time marker to advance one space.

Finally, the card has some flavor text to match the actions of the card along with instructions for advancing the time marker. While there are three days and two nights, along with a final twilight, each turn does not equal one half a day. Rather, a full “day” is divided into six movement segments, half in the day and half at night. Cards can advance the time marker one segment, two segments, or none at all, so there is never a guarantee how many cards you will have to face in a game.

Oh, there is one other aspect of the game sometimes found on the cards: the bloody battle marker. When the bloody battle first appears it is placed on an army matching the track shown on the card. After that it is moved to whatever track is shown on subsequent cards. Armies with a bloody battle marker represent scenes of ferocious fighting, and as such your first attack will result in a loss to your forces regardless of the actual outcome of the battle.

As mentioned in other reviews the most important factor to make a good solitaire game is the amount of decision making a player has to challenge the outcome. LOD has a surprising amount of decisions each turn for the player. Which army to attack? Learn new spells? Attempt to create an acid trap? Cast a spell now or wait? Should the heroes stay where they are or defend another section of the castle? And since the number of actions are limited the player will never be able to do everything they want. Some actions are quite clear, such as attacking a encroaching army, but others end up being more of a gamble. Since heroic actions tend to be low often you can only move or fight with a hero. So, is the hero in the proper spot for the incoming hordes? Stay and fight? Or take a turn to move and hope that the next card doesn’t push the enemies into the spot you just abandoned.

What’s really great about LOD is how the tension ratchets up as the game progresses. Early in the game, with the invading armies far enough away, it feels easy enough to make your defensive stand. Gamble on acquiring spells and defensive structures, take a few potshots with your archers. When the first night falls though and the night deck comes into play things begin to change. Night is not the time for the good forces, and you’ll find yourself cursing every card that doesn’t advance the time marker while the terror track keeps hammering away at your defenses. Midway through the game and suddenly every area of your castle is vulnerable. Where to defend first? The east wall? But that has a bloody battle marker on its army. The sky? You’ll need to use your archers for that but perhaps they would be better suited attacking the gate track. And since you never know what will come next this turn’s wonderful defensive plan may turn into a defensive plan of woe the following turn.

Legions of Darkness is yet another winner from Chris Taylor. The strategic decision making is tight, the game moves quick, and the randomness keeps each game fresh. A worthwhile addition to any gaming library.

For last month the greatest strategy game ever told continues to dominate sales over at the Gamers Front. Yep, once again Dominions 3: The Awakening, the super awesome game of religious intolerance stands strong. Coming in at the number two and three spots are the other perennial favorites, winSPWW2 and winSPMBT (the Enhanced Editions). No doubt the recent upgrade patches have made them quite a few new fans.

Go evergreen with Dominions 3: The Awakening.

The last tactical game on WWII you’ll ever need,winSPWW2.

For all your modern conflict needs, winSPMT.

The Gamers Front special of the month can be foundhere.

Our April specials includes the real-time military strategy simulation BCT Commander, and the hack-and-slash fantasy dungeoncrawl Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa.

BCT Commander is a ProSIM title, and a predecessor to the ATF: Armored Task Force and Air Assault Task Force line of games. Focusing on brigade/regimental tactical modern combat, maps can be up to 50 km by 50 km in size with scenarios taking place in Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Iraq, and the National Training Center. Like other ProSIM titles gameplay is real-time (realistic real-time, not the typical hyper kinetic real-time that most games feature) with the ability to issue orders while paused.

Scenarios take place on full color military style maps enriched with grid, elevation, and phase lines. Units can be displayed as standard NATO icons or stylized graphical depictions. Most AFVs from American and Russian arsenals are included, along with a variety of other support systems, and either side is playable.

Play against the challenging AI, or live opponents via modem, serial port, or IPX and TCP/IP. Includes matchmaker software (BCT: Arena) that not only makes its easy to find and play opponents, but it also tracks your battle record and has an observation mode. Besides multiplayer a construction set extends gaming through the ability to create your own scenarios.

Michael Robel of Computer Games Online (remember them?) said of the game when it was originally released: “The AI is solid and challenging as well. Every scenario played has included at least three enemy courses of action and all are damn tough to win against. Committing your forces piecemeal, improper positioning, and misuse of artillery are all punished heavily by the game's computer opponent.”

BCT Commander is available as a Windows download for only $14.95 all month long.

If your idea of heavy metal isn’t tanks but a bloody warhammer, then our next special should be right up your alley. Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa is part dungeoncrawl, part dungeonmaker.

As a dungeoncrawl it wears its Rogue-like influence on its tunic. Featuring over eighty levels of randomly created dungeons (about forty hours of play), take your single character from level one to twenty and defeat the ultimate boss monster, the dreaded Medusa. Eighty items with semi-random properties, magic mushrooms, and more will help you on your quest. Seek out and destroy dozens of foes that stand in your way, or sneak around them, the choice is yours.

One of the cooler aspects of Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa is the use of light. Your character maneuvers through the three dimensional dungeon corridors by way of a lantern. You control how bright the light burns, which in turn dictates how quickly your oil is used up. Turn the lantern down and hide from the monsters (but possibly run into something nasty by accident) or burn it bright and slay them from afar. Light is not just a gimmick in Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa, but an important aspect of game strategy.

Now, once you’ve had your filled of crawling through dank tunnels and bashing heads, there is the ability to create your own adventures using standard software that comes with Windows. From the ground up Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa was designed to be mod friendly. The only limit to change is your creativity and effort. Changes can be as simple as modifying a few stats or as complex as a total conversion. And while the majority of mods can be done with what everyone already has on their PC, there is no limit to what can be done if using tools beyond the basics.

Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa is available for Windows either as a download or a physical product. It’s on sale for only $19.95.

The Gamers Front, your one-stop shop for amazing independent games, open 24/7 with every title available as a download (and many as physical products).

Free gaming is always a good thing so this month we thought we’d point you to a several sets of free miniature rules over at The Perfect Captain. The Perfect Captain is a group of wargamers who have created these rulesets and thoughtfully made them available to everyone at no cost.

What’s particular interesting about the games offered is the variety. With the exception of one game on the Russian Revolution (Red Actions!) all the games are pre-20th century. Very Civile Actions! deals with the English Civil War. Spanish Fury is a detailed system for staging 16th century wars. Alexius 1113 AD handles the Byzantium Empire during the Crusades.

Another cool aspect are the link collections found with several of the game pages, allowing quick and easy access to information on the particular conflict.

Visit the site at:

http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/captain.html

All American: The 82nd Airborne In Normandy: 2011

Star Legacy: 2011

Eat Electric Death! (Board game): Production Pending

Copyright © 2010 - Shrapnel Games, Inc.

 

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