Sunday, September 24, 2023

Finished First Playthrough of Burma: The Forgotten War

I’ve finished my first solitaire play through of Mark Herman’s Burma: The Forgotten War from C3i Nr 35.  Here’s a quick look at how this game and it’s Empire of the Sun system is card driven.   Both sides get four cards in each of the four turns, but at the start of Turn 4 the Allies get a US B29 unit and through a successful Strategic Warfare turn have reduced the Japanese hand to three cards.   Of these, the best card is Col Tsuji, which if used as an Event card gives Japanese land units a boost but doesn’t allow any of the (still substantial) Japanese air units a boost.   The other two cards, if used as Offensive Cards rather than events, don’t activate that many units (the large number top right hand corner plus the HQ value of 1).

On the other hand, the Allies get four cards, all of which can be used as Events, in which case the number of units activated equals the Logistics value in the text of the card plus the HQ value of 1.  So the Allies can punch hard against the Japanese in the last turn.

And the final result at close of play.  The Allies have totally broken the Japanese lines.   One Japanese air and land unit at the top right is isolated and out of supply,  and their are only two Japanese land units left defending Rangoon.  The Burma road from Jarhat in North India can be traced all the way to Kunming in China, India is militarily safe (though politically a little wobbly) and China is still very much in the war, so one the Victory Points are added up, it’s an Allied decisive victory.

Somebody on Twitter (I refuse to call it by E Muskrat’s name) quipped that game designers are too fond of the word “Forgotten” but truth be told this is the only WW2 game I’ve ever played on the Burma campaign.  I have an MMP game on Burma which I haven’t tried yet, but I think that has a crunchier land war focus, whereas Herman gives you a good sense of the limited options available to the Japanese and the limited resources the Allies had to prosecute this theatre.   In another game I might explore the Chinese subgame more, where the Japanese can just defend on the map and use more cards for Chinese offensives (abstracted) which can drive down China’s ability to stay in the war and thus possibly yield more VPs.   Any Japanese cards that can be played to destabilize India are also worthwhile, as that does limit Allied replacements for their land units.

Good to play a hex and counter game again.  I recently purchased Mark’s South Pacific: Breaking the Bismarck Barrier 1942-43 game (C3i Nr 30) which also used the Empire of the Sun system, and now that I know the EoS mechanics I can give it a try before I try the big game.

Cheers, thanks for reading, and blessings to your die rolls.


Monday, September 18, 2023

New Ottoman Figures and Excellent Service From Warfare Miniatures USA

Pray ye, gentles, pardon this blurry picture of some ancient 28mm Ottomans in my collection, they were quickly painted back sometime in the 1990s and are a mixed lot of Janissaries and the lower row are Tufeckis.  I have no idea what make of figure they are or how I acquired them.  Judging from the primitive muskets they are meant to be 17th century.

I wanted to flesh out the fellows on the bottom into their own unit, and so while searching the internet for Ottoman figures and flags, I came across Warfare Miniatures USA, based out of Virginia.  They specialize in 17th / early 18th century figures.

These are some of the Warfare Miniatures Tufeckis compared to one of my old painted ones.  They compare well in size, though the new figures have longer muskets, which are sadly a bit bendy but otherwise the figures are decent.

And finally, here are the paper Ottoman flags that arrived in the same shipment, printed cleanly on heavy card stock.

Before I close, a word of appreciation for this vendor.   When my original shipment arrived via UPS while I was on holiday and then got returned after I missed the deadline for final pickup because I was out of the country, Clarence at Warfare Miniatures USA reshipped the order via US Postal Service and didn’t charge me for the second shipment,  A real gentleman, and I commend his customer service and products to your consideration.



Monday, September 11, 2023

Game On The Table: Burma The Forgotten War

Hello friends:

Just a quick proof of life blog post to show that I’m here and still interested in wargames, just terribly short of time.

On the gaming table currently is a paper game, Burma 1943-44, The Forgotten War.   It’s a design by Mark Herman that shipped in the most recent C3i Magazine publication of Rodger McGowan which is essentially the GMT Games in-house magazine.

This is a strategic-level game that uses the same engine as Herman’s Empire of the Sun (2005) which covers all of WW2 in the Pacific.  I have EOS but thought that the Burma game would be a good way to learn the system, which is card-driven and focuses a turn on a series of possible military, political or economic events.   Cards can be played for specific effects as printed on the card (eg, the Japanese can use certain cards to make India more politically unstable for the British and cutting off key reinforcements and replacements needed to police the Raj instead of supporting the Burma offensive) or the like.

Or, cards can be played for their logistic and command and control values to allow certain units to act offensively, or to react defensively.   Thus, it’s not one of those games where every unit can do something during each turn.  It requires a lot of thought, and as it’s a card game, would doubtless be more fun as a two player game.

The puzzle for the Allies is to use their limited resources to punch a hole through the Japanese defences and push on Rangoon before the war ends.  The Japanese have a decent army and some air units, and can either play defensively or make their own attempts to reach India or knock the Chinese out of the game.

Not a simple game but it’s short (four turns) and halfway through my first try I’m enjoying it and feeling like I’m mastering the system.

Cheers and blessings to your die rolls,


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