A Few First Impressions [Supply Lines of the American Revolution: The Northern Theater, 1775 – 1777]

Supply lines of the American Revolution, published by Hollandspiele, is a game of supply, logistics, and deceit, set during the first three years of the American Revolutionary War. A two player game sees the Patriot Player, controlling the forces and destiny of the rebellious Americans; the Crown Player, seeking to bring the rebels to their senses.


Logistics, yes, you heard me, a game about logistics. A very, very clever game about logistics.  How many times can I say logistics? Probably quite a lot.

This kind of game is very new to me. Of course, I’ve played quite a lot of wargames but this isn’t the type of wargame that I’m familiar with. This is something different, something innovative. Sure it’s about war but there’s no direct conflict and that’s something that definitely attracted me to this game in the first place. A new take on a subject that I’m pretty familiar with, theme shines through in abundance throughout the game and every decision during the game matters, a significant amount.  

On receiving Supply Lines, I couldn’t wait to get it open, I knew it wouldn’t hit the table immediately but I’ve had the rulebook in my hand whenever I’ve had a spare moment for the last couple of months. I don’t think it’s a very complex rulebook, of course that’s subjective but I love how conversational it is and how easy to understand it is. For a subject that definitely seemed overwhelming to me at first, this was comforting.

Then you have the components, something that isn’t usually a priority when it comes to boardgames for me, but having beautiful components obviously doesn’t hurt. Supply Lines has a graceful, beautifully designed paper map and those big thick counters, the kind that are very satisfying to hold in your hand, I like those.


Sequence of play

The game is played over a series of game turns, and each game turn consists of the following Phases.

Supply phase: Supplies are generated. Each player then has the opportunity to move their supplies.

Initiative Phase: Each player rolls a die. The highest roller will have the first impulse in the impulse phase.

Impulse Phase: Players alternate activating armies in a series of impulses, or passing. The impulse phase ends when both players pass consecutively, or when the pass marker has reached the last space on the track.

Turn End Phase: Some minor housekeeping steps are performed, including the mustering of Patriot Reinforcements. 

You’re trying to basically move around the map of the Northern Theater, combining area control, point to point movement and a little bit of dice rolling thrown in for good measure. There are two types of supplies in the game, yep those little wooden cubes. Food Supply is expended to move your units, and War Supply to fight.

The game ends immediately when one of the players meets one of their Victory Conditions: At the end of the twelfth game turn if no player has satisfied their Victory Conditions then both players lose. I really like this. It definitely makes the game feel tense throughout, don’t get me wrong, it’s a rather intense game anyway but it pushes the player to take some more risks with nothing to lose but absolutely everything to gain. 

That’s a very brief overview of how the game works, there’s more depth than that but I want to talk about how I actually found the game rather than rules for now.

I did find the actual rules pretty easy though, but the decisions I had to make throughout the game were not. Having to constantly think about my next move, constantly thinking about my supply line and making sure that my cities remained linked so that I could easily transport supply cubes back and forth.


Gameplay was challenging but I found it fascinating, I love a game that gets the brain working hard and this game definitely delivers on that front. It didn’t burn my brain to the point that I exploded but it definitely gave it a good try, a lot of thinking, a lot of planning and you guessed it, a lot strategy throughout the game, adding so much tension to the gaming experience and focusing on theme. Think building supply lines is easy? Think again. Making sure you have enough food supply to successfully move your units can be challenging, so keep an eye out for that and you better make sure you have enough War Supply to be able to fight, that can be hard but rewarding work.

I know I keep saying that this game was challenging but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to play it again or that it’s difficult in a bad way, it means that I had to really think about what I wanted to do, I had to plan moves in advance and work my hardest to make sure that I was going to be able to move around the map.  Playing a lot of Card Driven Games, I’m used to thinking on my feet a lot so this was new for me and I love it.

Supply Lines of the American Revolution was on my wish list for so long and it did not disappoint, a gorgeous game that definitely doesn’t let you off lightly, easy to learn but oozing with strategy and decisions to be made.


Hollandspiele are publishing  games that simply cannot be ignored and Supply Lines is no different. Logistics and combat combined make for such an interesting game, one that I make sure is going to hit the table a lot more. A Southern Theater companion game is already in the works, bringing me so much joy already and a must have for me. 

I’m excited to keep playing this game and hopefully learning to master it, I’m excited to see where this game will take me and I’m also eager to teach this one to friends, I know that this is a game that’s going to go down well with a lot of my gaming friends. 

Thank you for reading, let me know if you’ve been lucky enough to play and what you thought of it.










ROOT: a Game of Woodland Might and Right, a wonderful first impression

Let’s face it, there are a lot of great games being produced right now, by a lot of different designers and that’s a wonderful thing, but there aren’t many games that have got me as excited as I am about Root. A beautiful combination of elegant wargame style mechanics and an ingenious theme, Root has ticked all the boxes and then some. 


Designed by Cole Wehrle, somebody that I admire greatly, with a number of his games currently on my wish list and published by the imaginative Leder games, there was no surprise that Root was going to turn out so beautifully and my first impressions are nothing but postive for what’s to come. 

Taken from boardgame geek, we can see that Root is a game of adventure and war in which players battle for control of a vast wilderness. 

The nefarious Marquise de Cat has seized the great woodland, intent on harvesting its riches. Under her rule, the many creatures of the forest have been banded together. This Alliance will seek to strengthen its resources and subvert the rule of Cats. In this effort, the Alliance may enlist the help of the wandering Vagabonds who are able to move through the more dangerous woodland paths. Though some may sympathize with the Alliance’s hopes and dreams, these wanderers are old enough to remember the great birds of prey who once controlled the woods.

Meanwhile, at the edge of the region, the proud, squabbling Eyrie have found a new commander who they hope will lead their faction to resume their ancient birthright. The stage is set for a contest that will decide the fate of the great woodland. It is up to the players to decide which group will ultimately take root.

Now imagine that theme paired with the concept of the COIN series, that makes for some very clever game design. Of course ROOT isn’t a direct translation of the COIN series but it lends the idea of some of its seamless mechanics.

If you aren’t aware, the COIN series features Volko Ruhnke’s game system, a series designed very cleverly which means Counter-Insurgency and is specific to a type of warfare, the system includes a central “government” faction with 3 competing but different “rebellion” factions. The factions in Root definitely share some similarities to some of the COIN series. A series that can often seem overwhelming to most has been transformed into an enticing game filled with action and adventure. It’s easy to see which faction would take on which role. 

Cole describes his reasoning for these similarities and so much more in his carefully constructed designer diaries on Boardgamegeek, which can be found here: Designer Diary – Some helpful symmetry and provide thoughtful insight and explanation into the games design and the whys. 

Something that stuck out for me was the map, and behind that beautiful artwork, lays a cleverly designed wargame. Cole explains in these diaries that Root’s map is a pretty typical point-to-point wargame map. You have movement zones (called clearings) and paths that connect one clearing to another.

Early on I knew that the map should be claustrophobic-—a sort of anti-Twilight Imperium. I wanted the great forest of the game to be a dense, crowded space. To do that I needed a core movement system that would allow lots of different players to occupy the same clearing. At the same time, I didn’t want to woods to be overly porous. Players should be able to trap one another.

The map, combined with the different factions and single use cards, makes for a very interesting game. The game uses a single deck of mutli purpose cards, each player will use those cards in a very different way. This made for a very tense game, swapping cards, potentially knowing what card your opponent has, only wishing that it was yours. Being able to use those cards properly adds another layer of excitement to an already tense game. 


Then there are factions, the thing that initally drew me towards Root. There’s something so fascinating about taking a game concept that I’m fairly familiar with and turning it into something magical. 

The factions are so thoughtfully put together, down to the minor details, making for an immersive game. A game of clever cats, courageous hawks, the fierce woodland alliance and a vagabond that will do whatever it takes to get what he needs throughout the game. 


Root is so much more than just it’s wonderful and creative cute characters, Root is a tense and somewhat cut throat story unfolding before your eyes as you fall deeper and deeper into a game of conspiracy and war, but not as we know it. A game that I can see no fault with, a wargame clevery disgused even though I don’t think that many can shy away from or will want to. 

Although the game I played was a prototype and Root is still evolving, it’s definitely a solid game. Something I haven’t seen a lot of before and something I’m eager to play again and again. Such an accessible game, with all of the wargame qualities that I love but somehow offering so much more. Something new, something exciting and something that has given a whole new perspective to the way I percieve wargames. 

Root is currently on Kickstarter, off to a flying start and I definitely recommend you take a look at this one. Truly a game not to be missed.  You can find the kickstarter page here > Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right on Kickstarter

Thank you for reading my initial thoughts, I’ll be back with an update once I’ve had a few more plays but I needed to come on and tell you what I initially thought of the game. 

Thanks for reading,



A Few First Impressions [Iron Curtain: A Cold War Game]

I started off by saying something along the lines of “imagine if Twilight Struggle and 13 Minutes had baby” well yeah a kind of micro baby, imagine that and this is what you’d get.

Iron curtain is a quick paced, two player game with very simple mechanics but a lot of strategy involved and it definitely left an impression. I was pleasantly surprised at how much thought had been put into the game to make sure that, even though it is such a quick game and at 20 minutes, I mean it, you’re still using your brain and definitely having to think on your feet. The game definitely lends itself well to the theme, I’m pretty excited about it and I’m impressed with how tense the game actually was for how little time it took to play. 



Iron Curtain is an area control micro-game set during the Cold War, which is played over two rounds. This quick paced strategy game sees you playing four turns each round, trying to dominate regions, in the first round both players will get five strategy cards and in the second round you’ll get four. 

On your turn, you take one strategy card from you hand and play it, then it’s your opponent’s turn to do the same. You take turns playing cards until you have one left, this card is put aside face down for the ‘aftermath’ in the final scoring when the game ends. After each player has played all their available strategy cards, there is a final scoring phase.

The game ends immediately if a player reaches the final space of their influence track at any time; this includes during final scoring.


You will alternate playing one strategy card from your hand and following these three steps in order:

Place the strategy card face-up on the table and expand the active countries. You must place the card adjacent to a card of the same colour/region. If you can’t, you can place it adjacent to any card already on the table.
Check for Region Scoring: If the region card you just played is the last of that color/region, region scoring will take place. During region scoring, there are two ways to score.
Dominating Countries: For each card you dominate, having more influence cubes on a country than your opponent, you gain one ideology point. Basically each time you gain  an ideology point, move the yellow influence disc one step closer to your flag on the track.

You main reason you want to be playing strategy cards is to get your influence cubes onto the various countries on the table. There are three focal points on a strategy card: Alignment, command (influence) cube value and event text. If the strategy card you play is of your opponent’s alignment, e.g. you are playing as the U.S. and you play a card aligned with the U.S.S.R., then before you take your action, your opponent may choose to activate the event or not. However, if the card is aligned with you, e.g. you play a U.S. aligned card as the U.S. player, you can freely choose to activate the event or use the card for the command cubes.


COMMAND ACTIONUtilizing a strategy card for command cubes is the core action of the game. This is the only way for you to gain control of various countries and attempt to dominate regions.

It’s worth noting though, you can only place influence cubes on countries that already have your cubes on them or on cards that are adjacent to a country with your cubes on it. 
Also, only influence cubes that were on the board before your command action count. 

EVENT ACTIONEvents are stronger but somewhat restricted command actions or somehow break the base game rules. Each strategy card has a unique, asymmetric power. Infiltration is a rule breaking event that allows a player to place cubes on certain countries. It’s important to note that infiltration ignores adjacency rules and the rules of controlling a card.

CONTROLLING A CARDWhen you control a country, you deter your opponent from manoeuvring. If at any time you have 2 more influence cubes than your opponent on a card, you control that card. If your opponent wanted to place influence cubes on a card you control, they must spend two influence cubes to place one. The second cube is “wasted” and sent back to their supply. Once the control is broken, they may place influence as normal on the card.

HOW TO WINIf the influence disc has not reached either end of the ideology track, then the game goes into final scoring. Before scoring regions, you will reveal the two face-down “aftermath” cards from the first round. Count the number of U.S. and U.S.S.R. influence cubes from the Events on these cards. The side with the highest total scores ideology points equal to the difference in cubes.

After scoring aftermath, players will now score each region in this order: Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, and Central America. All regions score, even though not all the region cards are on the table. Keep note, this means some regions will score more twice per game, while others will not.

If during final scoring, the influence disc has not reached the U.S. or U.S.S.R. side, the player with the most influence points wins. If there is a tie, the U.S. wins!



Asger Harding Granerud and Daniel Skjold Pedersen are very clever, they have been able to emulate the tense, tug of war feeling of the Cold War in only 18 cards.

Even though the game is played over two rounds, it can end at any time if the yellow score marker hits the final flag of either player making the game pretty tense and cut-throat. 

Now, I’m not going to compare the game directly to Twilight Struggle but Iron Curtain does lend a few mechanics, including the hand management and damage limitation system that you’ll see in Twilight Struggle. It’s a streamlined version and there’s no ‘space race’ involved meaning you can’t dump any of your unwanted cards but they have done a great job of creating a game with a similar feel with a very limited hand of cards. 

I really enjoyed this quick fire game, if you know me you will know that Twilight Struggle is one of my favourite ever games and if you don’t know me, you do now so it’s nice to see a game with similar theme and mechanics being designed, especially in such a quick fire and streamlined way.

I personally like playing games that take three, four, five or even eight hours long but it’s great to have an option of something to play as a quick filler or at the end of an evening that still has enough strategy to keep me interested, at the same as being quite light weight mechanics wise. That’s something the designers of this game are really good at, another game of theirs that I really enjoy, 13 DAYS simulates aspects of the Cuban Missile Crisis in again, a streamlined, quick paced, easy mechanics but a lot of strategy involved  kind of way.

I’ve played a lot over the last couple of weeks, with people that play heavy war games and people that don’t usually play games at all and it’s been a hit. Now my housemate even wants to try Twilight Struggle so that’s a massive bonus!

I will admit, I found the rule book a bit hard to follow, not the actual rules but just the flow of how it’s formatted but after a few plays, I feel like you can definitely get the hand of it!

Other than that, this game is a winner for me. Great theme, gorgeous artwork, nice and elegant gameplay that packs a lot of punch.

If you have been lucky enough to play Iron Curtain, let me know what you think of it in the comments and thanks a lot for reading.



[Solitaire Review] Churchill: Big Three Struggle For Peace

Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in a room together. What’s the worst that could happen?


Churchill: Big Three Struggle for Peace is a game of political conflict, cooperation and competition. The players in the game take on the roles of Churchill, Roosevelt, or Stalin as they maneuver against each other over the course of different Conferences that determine who will lead the Allied forces, where those forces will be deployed, and how the Axis will be defeated. The player whose forces collectively have greater control over the surrendered Axis powers will win the peace and the game.

From first glance at the board and how much stuff was in the box, I was pretty overwhelmed and imagined the game being a lot more complicated, but the idea of Churchill is really straight forward – three players each taking turns discussing different issues relating to World War 2 and how the war should be prosecuted, as well as planning for the post-war world. Sounds so complicated and of course the game is difficult to master but, actually being able pick up the rules and play the game was pretty simple. That’s coming from somebody that’s played a lot of GMT games, but also as somebody that has played a lot of a euro games. 



The game is divided into ten rounds, or conferences just like the real-life conferences and after playing the game for the first time, I started doing a bit of research into the conferences and if you’re like me and don’t know an awful lot about these kinds of things because you’re still learning and discovering then you’ll probably find it pretty interesting. Here’s a link to some of them! List of Allied World War II conferences

I’ve played the Training Scenario a couple of times, which is only three conferences but this enabled me to get a clear idea of how the game was going to play and how to use the bots effectively. The conferences included in the training scenario begin with Conference 8: Tolstoy and end with Conference 10: Terminal.

Design Note from Mark Herman that can be found in the rulebook: Across all of the conferences there were a number of global issues that spoke directly to the structure of the post-war world and were debated and discussed from the dark days of Axis expansion right up through the final Conference. Churchill’s ‘naughty document’ was an agreement between Churchill and Stalin to create de facto spheres to influence in Europe that infuriated the Americans and undermined the post-war peace.


Once all the actions have been implemented on the conference card (pictured below) each player then deals seven cards from either the US, UK or USSR staff cards depending which leader they choose. You’ll do this for all three if you’re using bots of course. Then the players choose a single card to try and ‘win the agenda.’ The highest scoring card wins and then chooses a single issue to place on the board. There are lots of different issues including A-bomb research, production allocations, Global issues and so on.


Once the single issue has been placed on the board, the other players then place two further issues each onto the board. There will always be 7 issues on the table. Playing clockwise, players use a card to advance an issue towards their side of the table, whilst the other two may ‘debate’ this to move that issue a little closer to their side of the table. Cards have a value of 1-7, with the leaders being the highest value and representing their stature. The higher the card used, which may be affected by special abilities, the further the issue moves. Nice and easy. Once everyone has exhausted their deck, the game moves into the post-conference where the winner of that meeting is decided which is basically decided based on the number of issues that they won. 

That’s the Conference Display in a kind of nutshell for you. 


Then the game moves on to the Military Display or the post-conference phase as some may call it, where leaders implement the issues that they now control. These actions impact three game functions: clandestine operations, political activity, and military offensives. Clandestine operations see players try to establish political networks in conquered countries and colonies. Using a very simple mechanic of placing a network or removing an opponent’s network, the historical ferment that occurred in Yugoslavia, France and across the world is simply simulated. A country or colony can only have one dominant side’s network at any given time, and during political activity players can emplace friendly governments in exile that can be subsequently undermined and replaced if the supporting networks are later neutralized by one of your allies.

After that, we all go home and have a nice cup of tea….

Not really.


Once this has all been done, the military portion of the game keeps the score. There’s a separate display that abstractly represents the major theaters of war, Western, Eastern, Mediterranean, Arctic (Murmansk convoys and Scandinavia), CBI, SW Pacific, Central Pacific, and Far East.

Each of these tracks has an Allied front and using a very simple combat mechanic, each front tries to advance with Axis reserves deploying to oppose the various fronts. Naval operations are simply handled by requiring a defined level of support to advance into an amphibious entry space such as France (D-Day). When a front enters Germany, Italy or Japan they surrender, shutting down military operations, although clandestine and political activity continues until the end of the game. In the background is the development of the A-bomb and Soviet efforts to steal its secrets. If the A-bomb is available Japan can be forced to surrender sans a direct invasion.

Solitaire play


Moving on to a little bit about solitaire play of the game and my experiences of it, first of all let me say that most of my experiences of this game have been playing with bots. I have played one, maybe two three player games but that’s it, and I’ve got to say I feel like the solitaire game has definitely given me an advantage when playing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have only played a few games solitaire so far but I feel like I have learned a lot about the game and strategy by playing it this way.

What have I learned? Well, I’ve been able to quickly delve deep into the minds of each leader, discovering their motives and personalities as they really do, struggle for peace, quickly and efficiently. There’s no time to hesitate, only time to dig in and try to really understand the motives of each leader and what they are trying to do throughout the game.

Of course, that human interaction and being able to play against OR with each other is great and really makes a game enjoyable but it is essential to have the mindset of the country and leader that you are playing, and I found that I got a grasp of each leader a lot more quickly playing all three at a time, than I would playing only one leader a game. 

Yes, you have the wonderful bots to help you along the way but like in any game, to play a good game and enjoy the experience, I have to fully immerse myself in the experience, and that can be challenging when you’re playing everybody around the table, and that is where the true complexity of the game comes in. Formulating a strategy for each leader can be tough but rewarding and this added tension to the game, as well as really making it feel like I was sat at that big round table discussing these actual issues, and making crucial decisions that could indeed affect the world. 

The bots themselves are very easy to follow and very straight forward, which is definitely a bonus when playing Churchill, it can sometimes feel like there is a lot going on when you’re playing solo because you’re moving around more pieces, dealing with more cards and making a lot more decisions, so being able to quickly reference a clear, concise flowchart is amazing and a massive bonus. 

This isn’t the whole flow chart but just an example to show you how straightforward it really is. I’ll be honest, before my first solo game, I hadn’t even looked at the flowchart before actually playing and still managed to get along with the game just fine. Although I do recommend doing so as it might just help things flow a little better right from the very start.


Churchill almost feels like a bidding game, bidding on issues and shaping the way the post-war world affairs will go. Again, very interesting when it’s all going on inside your own brain and a really nice use of this kind of mechanic.

I do really respect Mark Herman for what he’s done here, he’s managed to take a game idea that in my opinion could be seen as complex and turn it into a tense yet enjoyable and elegant game. I know elegant is a word used often in these types of games but it really is, the way the game flows perfectly, not too fast nor too slow, something about it just feels right, like a series of actions and tough decisions all rolled perfectly into one. 


Now as Herman states, this is not a wargame but it definitely has a wargame feel, I don’t know if it’s the counters or the cubes or the combat or the theme but something about it is war like which I enjoy because it feels familiar yet different at the same time and I love how abstract the game can be.

I can honestly say that I have not played a game like this before, Churchill almost feels like a group of games, or a series of mini games rolled into one. You’ve got the conferences, the politics, the combat and resources. So many decisions to make but they don’t seem overwhelming in the slightest. 

In reading some of the strategy articles, I am only just beginning to see the true potential that this game has and I’m really excited for more, from the potential deaths of Roosevelt and other key staff, Churchill’s looming heart attack, and Stalin’s ingrained paranoia, there is so much more to explore and I can’t wait for my next game.

Thank you for reading, I’d love to hear in the comments if you’ve played the game and what you think of it.



A Few First Impressions [Through the Ages: the digital app]

What happens when one of your all time favourite games is turned into an app? Wonderful things, that what happens. 

A few weeks ago, CGE released the Through the Ages app and I wanted to give a few of my first impressions on it. I haven’t played as many games on the app as I would have liked to but already I can tell, I’m probably going to be obsessed with it.

Beware, I’m probably going to say app a lot over the next few minutes. 

If you have been living under a rock and aren’t already aware of Through the Ages, it’s a civilization building game. Each player attempts to build the best civilization through careful resource management, discovering new technologies, electing the right leaders, building wonders and maintaining a strong military. Weakness in any area can and will be exploited by your opponents.

I’m a massive fan of boardgame apps anyway so was super excited when I heard this was coming and like many others, I don’t get as much time to play physical boardgames as I would like to, so I depend on boardgame apps to get my boardgame fix some of the time.

I want to talk about the tutorial first. I’m not going to through every single detail about the actual game itself as I have already written a review on that which you can find here: My Favourite Boardgames [Through the Ages: A New Story Of Civilization] A Quick Review but I will go through some of it to give context when needed. 




First of all, I’d suggest going through the tutorial first. Even if you have played Through the Ages a million times before, as it is really informative, helpful and funny too. I didn’t actually go through the tutorial initially as I know the game very well but definitely got a bit confused. Not that the game is confusing but the graphics are different to how the game would look on the table obviously and it threw me off a little bit at first.

I’m usually quite impatient when it comes to tutorials, I just want to get on and play the game but I really enjoyed this one. A very well written, clear and useful ten page tutorial full of tips and tricks and Vlaada Chvatil, in digital form might I add, guides you through the the First Age which adds a lovely personal touch. 

I don’t think you could learn the game purely from this tutorial if you haven’t played before, I could be wrong but Through the Ages can be quite a complex game, there’s a lot of different things going on but it does give you enough solid information and is clear and concise enough to give you a good start. It gives you the basics though and you will be able to work your way through a game without too much confusion.




You can play Through the Ages Online with friends or you can play Single player (local game) which includes options such as a custom game, challenges and so on. 

The online option (multiplayer) is great and although I haven’t been able to play as many games with friends on there as I would have liked to, it’s a solid option. There are different length games, you can play in real-time or asynchronous and you can play a few games at a time if you like. There’s an awesome chat function too so you can chat with friends as you play, as well as being able to see who’s online, who’s playing who and fully details system notifications. 

The single player option however is my best friend on long work days, you can simply play against an AI or if you want to mix it up a bit, there are also different challenges you can play which definitely make it a bit more exciting and like it says on the tin, more of a challenge.  Some of them include things like Three Gods, Harsh Fate and Epic Game for Two (See pictured below). I haven’t managed to play all of these yet as this is a first impressions but I’m already excited to give them a go.

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There are 29 different challenges that the app allows you to play with specific rules for each challenge. The first challenge is to beat an Easy AI opponent. If you beat that, you unlock the next challenge in that row which is defeat two Medium AI opponents. The next row, as an example, gives everything in the game a 20% discount. These challenges are varied and rated on how difficult they are so you need to get lots of practice in! To be honest though, this game in general is pretty addictive so I can’t see that being too difficult. 

There are also two different options for rules which I like a lot, there are the Digital rules and the Tabletop rules. I have been playing a lot of single player using the original Tabletop rules but can definitely see when the Digital rules would come in handy and it’s definitely useful to have both. 



How does the app look?

The general look and feel of the app is incredible in my opinion. I love the graphics, it’s inviting, fun, super easy to use and I LOVE how CGE have thoroughly captured the theme of the game. Of course I don’t mind a boardgame app that looks exactly like it would on the table but there’s something quite charming about the way that this has been implemented. 


There is a lot going on in Through the Ages, a hell of a lot but they have perfectly been able to come up with a way to make the app seem and look straight forward, very easy to use and in no way overwhelming. Every aspect just works really well together even down to the menu screens and notifications. 

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I haven’t experienced any glitches with the app so far which is another bonus, I can’t say that there aren’t any but I’ve been lucky and been able to play each game pretty easily.

Overall, I am really impressed with the look, feel and gameplay when it comes to this app. CGE have done a great job with this implementation. Through the Ages is a heavy game and they really have done an amazing job of simplifying it and creating an elegant app. 

I’m looking forward to playing more games, playing more challenges and hopefully playing some online games with some of you too.

Let me know in the comments if you have been able to play yet and what your thoughts on the app are.

As always, thank you for reading.






A Few First Impressions [Commands & Colors – Ancients]

I got the chance to play a few games of Commands and Colours: Ancients over the past couple of weeks and thought I’d share a few of my first impressions with you.


What a surprise, another GMT game is added onto the ‘must play again’ list. I seriously can’t control myself when it comes to GMT and their games. I’m developing a slight obsession and I can’t help it.

Anyway, moving on. 

Firstly, If you aren’t aware of Commands & Colours, it depicts warfare from the Dawn of Military History (3000 BC) to the opening of the Middle Ages (400 AD), by design Commands & Colors has a unique historical game system which allows players to effectively portray stylized battles from this time in history. 

It’s one of the few hex and counter games I have played so far, I am also intrigued to try Commands & Colors: Napoleonics as I am looking for something more complex and Commands & Colors: Medieval when it comes out. I am looking forward to trying out more hex and counter games, my P500 is full of them. That however is another blog post all together.


As somebody that has played a lot of eurogames and a lot of Card Driven Games and wargames, this was an easy game to pick up rules wise, I found the core mechanics to be simple but effective and it didn’t take me long at all to pick up the rules of the game. 

Playing the game is based around a deck of cards and resolving battles by rolling special dice, you have a hand of between four to six cards depending on the side you play and the scenario you are playing, the number of cards you have in your reflects the history of the battle and the skills of the leader involved. 

First, you choose an order card from your hand, this dictates what type of units and the amount of units that can be active on the turn, then you can issue any move commands, and subsequently the units may battle using the special dice I mentioned earlier. That’s pretty much it, without going into too much detail around the rules. It felt like a nice introductory wargame and one that I could happily keep playing for a long time to come, with the combination of dice rolling, hand management and different scenarios, I can see there being a lot of different games to come out of that one box.  

The cards and your hand can be pretty restricted and definitely set the game apart for me, some cards only activate units of a certain type or in a certain section such as: left, right or centre, some cards are used to move a specific leader meaning that sometimes, you may have a hand of cards that are useless to you. This mechanic is something I quite like when playing a game, having to really think on your feet and strategize as you go and I found this, in the second game that I played as the game went on, I just didn’t have the cards in my hand to be able to move my units in the way I wanted to and spent a lot of the game playing catch up. Being able to play a good hand of cards will definitely work in your favour in this game.

Commands and Colors is simple in design, elegant and really well put together. I was initially unsure if I would like it or not but it turns out that in a frustrating kind of way, I do. 


For me, the frustration came from the dice rolling aspect of the game. I don’t know if it’s because I have tiny hands or just really bad luck but the dice rolling in this game did not work in my favour. Yes, I know a lot of games involve dice rolling during battle but it can be frustrating and it defintely was for me. Did it put me off the game though? No, because I like a game that offers a challenge, I like a game the combines strategy and luck and I also like working hard to be able to come back from a not-so-good turn. 

Battle is simple though. The dice have different colours and symbols on them: light units are Green, medium units are Blue and heavy units are Red, a generic face with the swords symbol, a leader face with the helmet symbol and a flag. Each unit attacks with a given number of dice, and scores a hit for every target unit colour, every sword if the unit uses them, and every helmet if supported by a leader, plus a retreat for every flag. I like how simple battle is, no calculations, no checking tables, just roll your dice and hope for the best. 


As mentioned earlier, I’ve only played C&C a couple of times so I still have a lot to discover but I really enjoyed it, battle can be tense and in both games I played it was quite close for a while before one of us shot in front claiming victory. I’m excited to play more games and see if a strategy will develop or if I will always be frustrated at my rubbish dice rolling skills. Commands and Colors is fun, clever and I can already see why it is such a classic.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve played any of the C&C series and what you thought of it? Comments always welcome!

Thanks for reading,





Mental Health: Social anxiety and coping with conventions, what I wish you knew

Anxiety comes in many forms, for many reasons and is a very personal thing for anybody dealing with it. It’s something that a lot of people deal with but hardly anybody is talking about. I hope that by talking about these issues, I can contribute to a community where this stuff is normal, accepted, talked about and I want to help in any way that I can. I can’t fix your problems, but I can reassure you that you are OK, that this is normal and that you are NOT alone.

I can remember a time when I didn’t live with anxiety. I have always dealt with depression, but anxiety is a fairly new (well in the last 7 years or so) concept to me.  I remember a time when simple things like going up to a cashier or making a phone call didn’t make me panic but a series of traumatic and difficult events over the years have brought me here.

For me, anxiety looks like this …

I live in a constant state of worry; sometimes it’s rational and sometimes it isn’t, sometimes I worry that people won’t like me for no reason at all. I worry that I’ve said or done something wrong, that I’m not good enough. Every little mistake or problem that I face seems like a catastrophe, nerves escalate into panic attacks and even the most simple tasks can feel exhausting. 

I freak out in busy places, meeting new people feels like a monumental task and even walking up and saying hi to somebody that I already know can feel overwhelming and scary at times. 

Most of it’s irrational and I have learned over the years how to manage and control my anxiety, but sometimes I simply can’t.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that social anxiety doesn’t affect me on a daily basis, because it does, and I have learned how to cope with it, but one thing that is new to me and I still find so difficult to do is going to gaming conventions.

I know a simple solution would be to stay at home, but I made a promise to myself that no matter how bad I felt, I would never let anxiety take over my life. There have been so many times that anxiety has ruined things for me – friendships, relationships, careers –and I am determined to make sure that never happens again. 

I find it very difficult to talk to people, especially in a group setting and that doesn’t mean I don’t want to, I just find it nearly impossible to do. This makes maintaining friendships hard; it makes forming new friendships even harder. Gaming conventions are built on friendship, socialising, community and a LOT of people, all of the things that I enjoy yet can find overwhelming.

If you see me at a convention and I seem quiet or shy, please never take it personally. I would love to come and say hi to you, I would love to come and play a game with you, but sometimes I just can’t. At other times, I feel like I can take on the world: I’m a confident person, a kind person and I value friendship as much as I value meeting new people and I love socialising, but sometimes all I can offer you is a smile.


Large crowds can easily send me into a panic; something that has always contributed to my anxiety is the feeling of being trapped and being unable to escape. For a long time, it made even the easiest things like getting a bus or a train impossible for me. I have realised that this usually sets my anxiety off and then it can spiral out of control from there. 

I have learned ways that help me cope and deal with anxiety at conventions and social situations. The main thing that works for me is to give myself a goal: it could be that I am going to meet up with that person I talk to on Twitter and say hi, or I’m going to sit down and play a game with strangers and have a really good time. Or, on specifically bad days, it might just be that I am going to walk up to a booth and talk to somebody about a game they are selling. Constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone has been the best thing for me and in doing so, I am starting to experience all of the amazing things around me.

Many people suffer from social anxiety – we don’t want sympathy, we’re not seeking attention. We just want people to know and understand that sometimes even just making it to that convention or event is a huge deal for us. I enjoy these things and I know that I want to be a part of this community. I want you to come and say hi to me if you see me, I want to hang out with you and play games, and I will do my best to do all of those things. It just takes a bit more effort sometimes. 

Always know that if you need somebody to talk to, my inbox is always open. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment if you like.