Friday, February 01, 2008

Flailing Into February

“for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty” (Pirates of Penzance).

Let’s maintain a positive attitude here. At this stage of the proceedings I have know idea whether February will be beastly. All things considered, however, it has potential.

January has ended with much spasmodic flailing at nothing in particular. Business has been, well, busy, resulting in some recent evenings spent on actual ‘homework’ for a couple of projects – with a consequent reduction in temporal resources devoted to All Things Gaming.

I’m entering the month with no particular focus on any single game or topic. A scenario of Eisenbach Gap is still in progress, and the new World at War supplement “Death of the First Panzer” has arrived with a new 11 x 17 map and about 40 new counters for the Bundeswehr.

Lunch break reading has been the rulebook for GMT’s Asia Engulfed. At some stage the compulsion will strike and will start ‘stickering’ the blocks for that game. It’s predecessor, Europe Engulfed, I enjoyed quite a bit – but I’ve been delaying any encounters with AE because my brain has been too lazy to tackle the complexity. Soon, though.

And while the Incoming Queue has been greatly reduced over the last few years, it hasn’t been eliminated entirely (doh!). Within the next week or so I anticipate arrival of the newest PC game in the Squad Battles series from HPS – The Soviet Afghan War.

If you’re not familiar with it, stuff from HPS is pretty much board wargaming translated to a PC screen. Hexgrid, square ‘units’, turn-based play. No fancy graphics at all – not even by the standards of 10 years ago. That said, the programs are all low-impact as a result, and given to easy scenario and mod creation. The Squad Battles engine is pretty good – not great – but the subject matter in this case is pretty compelling. And I expect a lot of end-user mods to take advantage of the programming changes made to accommodate ‘modern’ warfare in the 80s.

A few other Incoming Queue items may or may not hit in February – more on them if they show up.

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