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GARPA 17, 4/26/13

SimCity AAR Part 1, 4/25/13

Announcing MayViation, 4/24/13

Second Look at Wargame AirLand Battle, 4/21/13

First Look at Wargame AirLand Battle 4/19/13

AAR of Dark Age Minis Battle, 4/18/13

Video Review of Zulus on the Ramparts, 4/14/13

GARPA 16, 4/12/13

Crusader Kings II AAR Part 16, 4/11/13

Book Review: Ninja: 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior, 4/10/13

Review of Bioshock INfinite, 4/7/13

Review of XFX PRO650W Core Edition PSU, 4/5/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 13, 4/4/13

Fire with Fire, 3/31/13

GARPA 15, 3/29/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 12, 3/28/13

Wheaton INterview, 3/27/13

March Mayhem Winner, 3/25/13

Warlock Multiplayer AAR, 3/21/13

WWII PTO Alternate Histories, 3/20/13

GARPA 14, 3/15/13

Crusader Kings II AAR, part 15, 3/14/13

Civilization V AAR, part 11, 3/7/13

Prezcon Convention Coverage, 3/2/13

Civilization V AAR, part 10, 3/3/13

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garpaGARPA 12 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

by Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin

Welcome, friends. This is the wonderful world of GARPA. It is your number one place to find your latest gaming obsession, whether on a board or on a screen…at least according to us, anyway. This week we serve up a veritable smorgasbord of projects with just a small side order of snark. And as always we value your feedback and comments so please stop by the forums and give us your take.

Board and Card Games


Hold the Line Series: Frederick’s War by Worthington Games

Available for pre-order

htlThe next game in the great Hold the Line series takes us to war in Europe during the Age of Reason. Hold the Line: Frederick’s War puts you on the battlefields of Europe in the fight between Prussia and Austria. Eight battles are included in the game with more promised as downloadable scenarios.

Hold the Line comes with a large mounted board and numerous terrain tiles with which to set up the varying terrain in each battle. Using the same mechanics as its American War of Independence predecessor, Frederick’s War relies on judicious use of command points. Coordinating the right moves and attacks can win the day…but beware a misstep or the result can be disastrous.

With easy-to-learn rules this game will be great for newcomers to wargaming or those looking to explore a new era. To sweeten the pre-order deal even further, Worthington Games is offering the Highland Charge expansion free of charge. This expansion uses the same mechanics but covers the Jacobite rebellions in Britain. Can it get much better than this?

If you want to learn more, then check out the game’s pre-order page.


Evil Intent -The Board game by Christian Strain

$14,481 of a $25,000 goal funding ending March 13th

evilClosely echoing the strategic goals of us here at GARPA, Evil Intent is a game in which you “take over the world as an Evil Genius! You’ll steal and kidnap what you need to fulfill your evil scheme.” Oh, wait, the legal department here put the kybosh on the stealing and kidnapping … but we can still be Evil Geniuses, right?

Either way this game should interest a lot of people. I mean who hasn’t dreamed of taking over the world? Well as the game’s Kickstarter page says “since taking over the real world requires a lot of time, energy, money and motivation – we made this game instead!” They bring up some valid points.

Evil Intent encourages taking over the world in whatever nefarious way possible. In the process of in-game world domination, it is also suggested that you taunt and thwart your opponents. Each player takes on the role of an Evil Genius who is given a scheme which they must achieve using minions, henchman and thwart cards. Oh and did we mention you each get a lair?

This is Evil Intent’s second try at Kickstarter, after an unsuccessful funding drive last year. This time around they are hoping no Evil Geniuses thwart their efforts.



Churchill by Mark Hermann and GMT Games

P500 Made the Cut – In Art and Final Development

After suffering a recent attack on their website by a hacker, GMT Games is back up and operational. Since it has been back up, we have been making up for lost time drooling over their plethora of wargames. One game that stuck out was Churchill, a game that models the inter-allied battle of World War II between Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt. The game takes place over six allied conferences after the pivotal events of late 1942.

Being a three player game you take on the role of one of the Allied leaders as your try and posture your country into an advantageous position once the inevitable victory in World War II is achieved. The game comes with 17 conference card events but only six are used each game. This greatly increases the game’s replayability.

At each conference players must use cards to bluff and maneuver their country both politically and militarily into a position of strength. Once the Axis powers have surrendered and the dust settles, only one of the Allied leaders can claim a complete victory for their country. Think you can step into the shoes of one of the “Big Three?” Then check out Churchill’s game page.



Achtung! Cthulhu – The WW2 Keeper’s & Investigator’s Guides by Chris Birch, Modiphius

£10,801 of a £8,000 goal funding ending April 2nd

cthulu• World War II? Check.

• Nazis? Check.

• Call of Cthulhu? Check.

• Savage Worlds RPG? Check.

• Secret War? Check.

Not sure why much else needs to be said about this project but let’s continue anyway. This project actually contains two parts. First is the Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War. This guide covers everything that Keeper’s and players will need to explore the Secret War. Included are “secret Nazi plots, Allied & Nazi special forces & intelligence agencies, mystical missions and wonder weapon development, mythical organizations, campaign and plot ideas, key characters, vile creatures” and “a whole shoggoth's worth of Cthulhu villainy.” That’s a lot of villainy.

The second part is the Investigator’s Guide to the Secret War. This guide provides the Keepers and players everything needed to immerse themselves in the 1930s and 40s. This includes detailed information on occupations, skills, equipment and fleshed out backgrounds from this wartime era.

As of now, this project is compatible with the Call of Cthulhu RPG and when the stretch goal of £11,000 is met it will be made compatible with the Savage Worlds RPG as well. So what’s not to like in this project? We couldn’t think of anything either, so do yourself a favor and check out their project page.


PC Games

The Golem by Moonbot Studios

$45,358 pledged of $750,000 goal, pledging ends Tuesday, March 26

golem1How much do you know about Jewish folklore with its origins in Renaissance Prague? Me neither. I do know a bit about similar tales like Frankenstein, Prometheus and other tales of science gone wild, and I like them. A lot. If you do too, then I have a golem to tell you about.

The Golem is set in Bohemia during the 16th century. Prague, under Emperor Rudolf II, has become one of the most scientifically advanced cities not only in Europe but in the entire world. It is, however, under threat by the outside force of the evil Cesare Borgia, who is on the warpath and has assembled an evil army to march on Prague.

Rabbi Loew, a Prague holy man, has dreamed up the idea of The Golem, a mechanical man made of clay, stone, metal and clockwork that will help in Prague’s defense…on paper. Loew cannot produce The Golem himself and must gain the support of Prague’s guilds, including the metal forgers, the clockmakers, the glass makers, the clay workers and others. You’ll notice that there is one guild not mentioned in that list: the soul guild. It’s always something isn’t it?

golem2And of course once The Golem is constructed and gives the citizens of Prague confidence against the Borgia, he gets ambitious and yearns for a soul. A soul will give The Golem sentience, and the capacity to be free of his creators and commanders. Who can’t identify with The Golem?

I have to admit to being immediately attracted to the art style and story of The Golem as well as the setting in Renaissance Prague. It doesn’t get more gothic than this and the artwork reeks with atmosphere and style. Using the Unity engine, players will actually take the controls of The Golem itself with keyboard and mouse and learn what is needed to defend Prague. Evolution of The Golem will be a key part of gameplay, from walking and swimming to more martial, athletic action.

The Golem will play in the third person, and will also include RPG components as the player interacts with the guilds of Prague to further improve itself technologically and physically. The game is ambitious and includes an ambitious price tag to go along with it of 750K. But it also includes an original, intriguing story that should win over a lot of gamers. And being Jewish myself, maybe I can volunteer my own mother for the cause to call people directly and guilt them into participating. I know is usually an unstoppable force!


Race the Sun by Flipfly Studios

$2,357 pledged of $20,000 goal, pledging ends Thursday, March 7.

sunSometimes I rhyme slow. And sometimes I rhyme fast. And sometimes I fly a solar powered jet, racing against time and the sunset. If you would like to join me, then pledge some dough towards Race the Sun. The game is all about speed and how to use it.

The player controls an aircraft powered by the sun through some very fast moving, stylized, changeable environments. While attempting to get to your destination before the sun goes down, boosts can be collected to move the craft even faster, if that’s what you’re into.

The plane can also be put into reverse, but I’m not sure why that would be useful other than to help avoiding crashes and other unwanted contact with the surrounding environment. Beyond the initial Maverick-style, “need-for-speed,” Race the Sun also promises to be open-sourced and 100% moddable, with a variety of user made worlds accessible through in-game portals. Co-op play will also be a component of the game, with pilots able to pick up when other pilots crash and burn [Mav!] at blinding speeds. Think of it as a relay race with fighter jets.

Other bells and whistles are also being developed for Race the Sun, including plane unlocks and customizations, an original soundtrack and the ability to control your craft with your cell phone. If you’re a speed junky or yearn to recapture some of the youth you lost while playing Afterburner, Race the Sun looks to be right up your (non-speed restricted) alley.


Project Awakened by Phosphor Games Studio

$135,684 pledged of $500,000 goal, pledging ends Wednesday, March 6.

I woke up this morning still sick with a chest cold. The same chest cold that one of my kids gave me twice already this winter. How I longed to be another character, free of viral infections. And then I found Project Awakened, which offered to do exactly that.

Created with the Unreal 4 engine, Project Awakened offers players the ability to become almost anything, and play within an advanced game world. The game is based on a modular system, not class or skill tree systems, and the visual look of your character is also highly customizable.

awakePlay as a ninja, or a sniper, or an assault trooper. Or an adorable turquoise bunny…with a mohawk, some great one-liners and a machete. The point of Project Awakened is that the character design is really up to the player, no matter how insane that design may be. And I’m sure some truly insane designs will be dreamed up.

Also core to the gameplay are special genetic powers. Characters will be able to combine special mental powers with physical strength and dexterity to work their way through the game’s story. The campaign itself will also have multiple nodes and tracks, resulting in a different campaign each play through. This, combined with the endless variety of characters, powers, strong multiplayer support and editing tools and moddability, promise a very ambitious game in Project Awakened.


Kickstarter Now Available for Smartphones

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention here that Kickstarter is now available for Smartphones. If you are interested in combining both of these feats of technical alchemy, check out this link

You’re welcome! We may be evil geniuses, but we are benevolently evil geniuses.


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