Thursday, June 29, 2006

War in the Pacific

I'm not sure why, but I tend to go through periods of varying game theme obsessions. For a while I'll be totally interested in fantasy quest board games. Then, it'll be WW2 Eastern Front stuff. Then, civilization building, etc., etc. Right now, I'm on a Pacific Theater WW2 kick. Lightning Midway, Zero, Hellcats and Corsairs, Memoir '44 Pacific (just ordered), Silent War (trying to hold back from ordering), and even Axis and Allies: Pacific are all good stuff! I haven't bitten on Empire of the Sun yet, but I secretly hope someone else will. Asia Engulfed is just a matter of time.

Anyway, I'm hopeful my copy of Memoir '44 Pacific will be arriving any day now. Once I saw it included two Guam scenarios on beaches I visited earlier this year, I was sold. Anyone interested in playing next week, just give me a shout.

PS: The above picture is me with a Japanese two-man mini-sub captured by the US Navy during the battle for Guam in 1944.


At 3:05 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Nice shorts.

I'm also glad to see the Japanese have always been inclined to fit themselves into tiny objects.

My father does all kinds of business with our friends from the far east and I've watched a good bit of anime and researched Nippon some in my day, BUT man are they a strange bunch of homosapiens. -A testament to our beautiful diversity.

At 3:46 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

The hotel where I stayed at in Guam was swarming with Japanese. Applying a broad sterotype, they seemed like a very nice people as far as I could tell... Pearl Harbor, Bataan Death March, Rape of Nanking, etc., not withstanding. In fact I felt a bit like an uncultured, impolite barbarian around them. They seem to take politeness to an absolute art form! However, my impression of Japanese food: if it lives in sea water, they'll eat it. No exceptions. I saw them eat things I wouldn't even step on.

At 10:05 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Funny thing, Ben: I'm currently in the throes of a Pacific WWII thing myself. I recently played a solo game of Pacific Victory. I put it away, and then within a day I took it out again and started setting up.

In addition to a cool theme, it's a great system. There are 8 different kinds of units with very different abilities, and you never know that you're confronting. Could be cruisers, the "cannon fodder" of the sea, or subs, cheap, fire before most other ships, and trace supply through enemy territory, or carriers, the heavy hitters, or..., well you get the picture. While the game has a few blemishes, I like it solo, and it would be great for F2F.

You might be interested to know I found a short mini-scenario for PV on Columbia's page. It plays in 1-2 hrs, and it looks like a good intro to the system. Could play it on Mon night and still get in some other games.

Also, PV can have 3 players: 2 on the allies, one on Japan. Rob?

I've got my eye on Empire of the Sun, but Fire in the Sky (by MMP) is currently ahead by a nose. Within the next day I'll order at least one of them. Interesting fact: Fire in the Sky is by a Japanese designer, and has only recently been translated. Asia Engulfed is also mighty tempting; sounds like they have fixed some of the issues with PV, but at the expense of a lot of complexity and nearly double the playing time. Hard trade-off.

Regarding the brutal behavior of the Japanese during WWII, I've been reading a history of the war that touches on that point. The training for soldiers was rooted in the samurai ethos, and surrender was worse than death. There was even something like that literally written in the manual. Therefore, when westerners surrendered to Japanese or were captured, they were viewed as less-than-human. The Japanese behaved toward their prisoners the way they would have expected to be treated. At least, according to this history book.

At 10:40 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Fire in the sky caught my eye a long while ago. It has great components. Sign me up for any...PV or Fire in the sky.

I have way too much gaming to catch up on after July.

(Changing the topic a bit... anyone getting the new El Grande or Thurn and Taxis...or any of the other new stuff coming out?)

At 6:29 PM, June 30, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Well I broke down and ordered Fire in the Sky. All my talk about limiting my purchases is for naught, I guess.

They said it could take 3 wks for shipment.

3 wks!?! Huh? I don't live in deepest Africa.

I like eurogames quite a bit, but sometimes I don't want streamlined rules and abstracted theme. Give me the details. Sometimes a 20+ page rule book is just what I'm looking for.

At 10:36 PM, June 30, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

You go, Ted! I look forward to playing it with you. We can always get a game of Axis and Allies Pacific in while you're waiting for it to arrive...

At 2:01 AM, July 01, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Ted sign me up!!

BTW, I hope you got it with their new 4th of July special, and not regular price:

At 7:44 AM, July 01, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Just for grins, I played 1942 and 1943 on MAME yesterday. Great old school fun!

At 1:31 PM, July 01, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...


Thanks for the tip on the price. I ordered before the sale, but I sent an email to see if they could cut me a break and give me the sale price anyway.

We'll see. Either way, I'm looking forward to this game

At 9:45 PM, July 01, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

I just heard from the guys at MMP, and they gave me the sale price. Nice!


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