In the Year 2020

In the year 2020, we’re looking to shake up our game lineup a little. Not a lot, just a little. For years we’ve published quirky titles on battles and campaigns no one ever heard of (like Africa Orientale Italiana or Winter Fury). Now we’re shifting to games based on battles and campaigns at least a few people have heard of. We’ll still do some quirky titles when the mood strikes us, because it’s in our corporate DNA, but for now we’ll try to get slightly less so.

We’re adding ten new games to the schedule for 2020; Gold Club members can get their orders in now with a sweet discount (30 percent off) and free shipping. Let’s have a look.

APL0057 Second World War at Sea: Norway 1940
It’s a completely new game, with a new map of Norway and surrounding waters. The Germans have a daunting task ahead of them, to occupy all of this very long country n the face of stout British opposition. This was no lightning campaign, taking two months, and ended with most of the Kriegsmarine out of action. But they had Norway.

We’re using the same history-rich approach as with Bismarck’s Second Edition, so we’ve got three dozen scenarios. There’s one full-sized paper map, and 420 die-cut and silky-smooth playing pieces (140 double-sized “long” ship pieces and 280 normal-sized ones).

APL0058 Cold War at Sea: Red Sky at Morning
We’re launching a new series, using a system similar to that of the other “At Sea” games (a similar operational map, the standard Naval Tactical Map, lots of 6-rolling). The game takes place in the North Atlantic’s Greenland-Iceland-U.K. Gap, with the Red Banner Northern Fleet forcing its way through to attack the American and Canadian reinforcements streaming to Europe to stem the Red Tide on land. Submarines get their own pieces, aircraft carriers are the size of small cities, missile-firing ships and helicopters and rowboats are all over. This is the new series’ centerpiece, so we’ll start off with the crown jewel.

The game comes with two new maps of the North Atlantic, centered somewhat to the west of those from Bismarck, and 420 die-cut and silky-smooth playing pieces (140 double-sized “long” ship pieces and 280 normal-sized ones) though we might just have to go bigger.

APL0059 Second World War at Sea: Wolfpack
Submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, 1939-1945. The centerpiece here is the new Submarine Tactical System, where each submarine gets its own “long” ship piece. And yes, the sub-system (see what we did there?) can be ported over to other Second World War at Sea games.

Like other Second World War at Sea games, there are two types of scenarios, operational (on the operational map) and battle (on the tactical map). Combat takes place on the standard SWWAS Tactical Map. There’s a new double-sized Atlantic map, and you get 350 die-cut and silky-smooth playing pieces (210 double-sized “long” ship pieces and 140 normal-sized ones).

APL0338 Panzer Grenadier: American D-Day
The June 1944 landings at Omaha and Utah Beaches, and their immediate aftermath. It’s a Mike Perryman game design (Liberation 1944, Burning Tigers) with 30 scenarios (organized into chapter with battle games, like all of our recent Panzer Grenadier releases), 517 die-cut and silky smooth playing pieces (each of the 2/3-inch square) and four new maps.

APL0339 Panzer Grenadier: Ardennes 1944
This just might be the ultimate Panzer Grenadier game. It’s certainly stuffed with fun: 68 scenarios, 693 die-cut and silky-smooth playing pieces and eight maps. The maps are unique in the series; they look like the actual terrain, but you can interchange them just like the regular geomorphic maps, too.

We’ve been to the Battle of the Bulge before in Panzer Grenadier, and done it well, but not like this. It’s by Philippe Léonard (Road to Dunkirk), who as usual has done his homework in multiple languages and with primary sources. That dovetails perfectly with the new chapter/battle game format we’ve been using in the newest Panzer Grenadier games.

APL0340 Panzer Grenadier (Modern).
Vietnam: Khe Sanh 1968
We’re well overdue to release some more Panzer Grenadier (Modern) titles, and we’ll go outside the Middle East but in the same time-frame (so you can compare units and weapons and armies, and use them to fight each other if you want). Along with the other battles in Quang Tri Province, the Siege of Khe Sanh represented the climax of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In this game, the U.S. Marines, U.S. Army and ARVN fight off NVA regulars and VC cadres.

The game comes with 517 die-cut, silky-smooth playing pieces and four brand-new maps, with 40 scenarios organized in our story format (you know, historical chapters with battle games connecting the scenarios).

APL0341 Panzer Grenadier (Modern)
Cold War: Fulda Gap 1968
And we’ll also go to the Central Front during the Prague Spring, when the Soviets moved into Czechoslovakia . . . and stopped. This time, the Soviet Eighth Guards Army attempts to offer fraternal assistance to West Germany as well, and are met by the American V Corps and West German III Corps. You get 517 die-cut, silky-smooth playing pieces, four maps and forty scenarios in our story format. That lets us really show off the Panzer Grenadier (Modern) game system with T62’s, M60’s and Leopard 1’s.

APL0608 Ironclads: Hearts of Iron
The centerpiece here is the 1866 campaign in the Adriatic between Austria and Italy, culminating in the first clash of ironclads at sea in the July 1866 Battle of Lissa. We’ve got plenty of variations on that campaign with additional ships for each side, and intervention by the Turks and the Americans.

Plus we also have a couple of scenarios from the 1859 Austro-French war, and the Anglo-French naval confrontation that took place during that conflict – whole fleets of wooden screw-powered battleships face off in the Mediterranean. On the smaller side, we have the fleets of pre-Risorgimento Italy, and allow the Neapolitans to use the ships they built to challenge the insufferable Piedmontese.

It’s a whole new game system, with some similarities to Great War at Sea, so you know it’ll be easy to play. It comes with one operational map, our standard Naval Tactical Map, 350 die-cut and mounted silky-smooth playing pieces (210 double-sized “long” ship pieces and 140 normal-sized ones). The 40 scenarios are organized in the same history-rich format we’ve been using for Second World War at Sea games.

APL0611 Red Desert
The Soviet-Japanese clashes at Nomonhan, 1939, using our Corps Command system (the same one as Winter Fury). Battalion scale, two kilometers across each hex. The Japanese are pretty tough, with a division of long-service regulars at the core of their forces (and some indifferent Manchukuoan cavalry at the other extreme) but the Soviets have plentiful tanks and even some paratroopers (and some Mongolian cavalry, too). You get one map and 420 die-cut, silky-smooth playing pieces.

APL0710 Panzer Grenadier: River Battleships
We add riverine warfare to Panzer Grenadier: the actual river monitors of Germany, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union fight each other in 24 new scenarios. We held this unusual game over from our fall-holiday release schedule, to take a little more time to collect artwork. You get 132 die-cut, silky-smooth playing pieces – 88 of the large Panzer Grenadier sized, and 44 huge ones at twice that size. Plus two “river” maps in the Panzer Grenadier style.

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Mike Bennighof is president of Avalanche Press and holds a doctorate in history from Emory University. A Fulbright Scholar and award-winning journalist, he has published over 100 books, games and articles on historical subjects. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, three children and his dog, Leopold.