Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mongoose goes 1:1800 scale

HMS Achilles from Mongoose Publishing

Mongoose Publishing, which publishes Victory at Sea, says it will be releasing the first set of its new line of 1:1800 naval miniatures in September with a boxed set depicting the classic Battle of the River Plate.

According to the Mongoose announcement the boxed set will be available at retailers while the company will offer by mail order the sister ships of the various ships that appear in the boxed set.

As regular readers know, 1:1800 is the same scale as the Axis & Allies War at Sea miniatures, so this is good news. But, as the picture shows, the Mongoose miniatures are going to come with a base, and will therefore not be directly compatible with the War at Sea line. This is unfortunate, but not a complete surprise. I suspect Mongoose decided to do this in order to head off the problems the War at Sea line had with the smaller ships when they were not based.

Still, more ships in 1:1800 are a good thing and it's possible that determined players will be able to get around the problem if Mongoose should happen to fill in any notable gaps in the War at Sea line. All the ships at the River Plate have already appeared in War at Sea and the next announced set is The Battle of Denmark Straits, which is also pretty well covered by existing War at Sea ships.

There is no indication that the Mongoose models will be pre-painted, so purchasers will probably have to do that themselves. There is also no indication of the pricing.

The Mongoose blog also mentions that the new edition of Victory at Sea won;t appear until the middle of next year, although no reason is given for the delay. They also recently published a supplement for their World War I version of the game, so Mongoose seems to be making a concerted effort with historical naval gaming. This is a bit of a departure from their usual fare, which is general fantasy and science fiction. (Although they do also have Battlefield Evolution modern tactical rules and miniatures as well).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whither Axis & Allies miniatures?

Well, based on this thread, it appears that WOTC has unofficially cancelled Axis n& Allies War at Sea and we won't be seeing a Set 7.

This doesn't come as a complete shock, as indications have been mounting that this was going to be the outcome. WOTC seems committed to coming out with a second set of the Axis & Allies Angels 20 air game, but I'd be very surprised of they keep going after that. While Angels 20 is a good game and has been generally well-received, it's hardly the sort of runaway hit that might make WOTC re-evaluate things.

The entire Axis & Allies miniatures experiment was, overall, a positive thing from my point of view as a historically minded wargamer. The fact that the original Axis & Allies land miniatures  appeared at all, given the popular hunger for dragons, orcs, zombies, space cruisers, superheroes and five-story robot battlemechs, was a fantastic development. Let alone getting multiple sets, followed by the even better naval game and an air game as well.

While naturally wargamers are going to look at this through their narrow lens, I don't think the end of the Axis & Allies miniatures lines has much to do with the lines themselves. They were always a niche line and an inherently small market. They were mostly doable at all because of a unique set of macro-economic factors that made pre-painted miniatures affordable. They took advantage of production lines and procedures pioneered by the aforementioned dragons, superheroes and 5-story battlemechs.

But things have changed. The Great Recession has hit Hasbro hard and the macro-economic dynamics have changed as well. It's not quite so cheap to make things in China as it used to be. The increased costliness of the models in recent sets is a symptom of this, although I don't think it directly caused the demise of the lines -- mostly because I see little evidence that increasing the cost of the boosters by a $1 or $2 per box depressed sales. But that increased costliness may very well have affected sales of the various fantastic lines that A&A was free-riding with and the aggregate effect was the same.

The case of lead Axis & Allies designer Rich Baker helps illustrate this reality, I think. While War at Sea was his main claim to fame in my eyes, from the POV of Hasbro, his main job was Dungeons & Dragons and he was let go because Hasbro decided to go in a different direction after the perceived failure of D&D Fourth Edition.  Now, I'm not a D&D player and I don't have an opinion on D&D 4th edition, but it seems clear that the corporate take was the D&D 4 was a failure.

This "failure" came at a bad time because D&D was already under a lot of stress. Hasbro/WOTC was already backing away from the pre-painted miniatures market -- it seems because of reduced demand and increasing costs (not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg).

But the bottom line is that the historical miniatures lines were never viable as a standalone product and when the much larger D&D portion of the business ran into a rough patch then the historical lines were doomed.

I think the eventual fate of the three historical lines will diverge from this point because of the nature of each game, the usefulness of its models and the strength of their fan bases.

The newest game. Angels 20, has the roughest road ahead. In many ways it's the best game of the bunch. It's easy to play, visually stunning because of the large models and requires a relatively small investment to get into despite the high per0unit costs. The Starter provides a viable stand-along game, for example.

But working against it is the fact that, with just 2 Sets, there really won't be enough options available to keep the game alive. There won't be  enough to satisfy collectors and the game won't be able to cover many important aspects of aerial warfare -- basically being limited to dogfighting. It's not compatible with other lines.  It's entering a market with a couple of other viable alternatives, notably the Wings of War/Wings of Glory line of planes and games. Angels 20 planes are not tremendously cheaper than WoW/WoG and being larger makes them more challenging to store. I expect interest in the Angels 20 to wane and it will, at best, be something that people pull out on occasion but won't have a real community around it.

The prognosis for the land game is a little better, mostly because the miniatures are usable with other rules and the line is big enough to be attractive to collectors. As a game, it's the weakest of the trio. While not  a bad game, it's nothing special in the universe of similarly scaled tactical wargames. Like the air game, I expect that interest in playing the game by the Hasbro/WOTC rules will wane significantly, but players will often hold onto their collections because they can use the models elsewhere. The V1 to V2 scale change hurts the game in this regard. While unimportant within the context of the Axis & Allies minis game itself, it does reduce the usefulness of many of the models for other games. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of people sell off their collections down the road, which will be helpful for those who are using the model s for the Flames of War rules.

The naval game, I think, stands the best chance of hanging around as a significant community. The published rules fill a need unmet by any other set for an easy to play tactical naval wargame. The line got large enough over six sets to cover most of the important ships and, while it inaugurated a new scale that is not compilable with previous scales, the development of Shapeways and 3D printing has created a way around that problem. Already craftsmen and entrepreneurs are filling in the gaps. With the Team Poseidon project of new semi-official cards there's reason to think that the naval game is here to stay.

Unlike a proprietary line like Star Wars, Hreoclix or even D&D, there's really no reason at all why other manufacturers can;t make 1:1800 scale warships. Dozens of manufacturers have coexisted for years in the existing model naval wargame market with 1:900, 1:1200, 1:1250, 1:2400, 1:3000, 1:4800 and 1:6000 models. Most lines cover the basics -- just about everybody has a Bismarck or Fletcher class DD -- but each also specializes. Naval wargaming has always been a niche within the niche market of wargaming anyway, but this hasn't been a problem. Partly, I think, this is because of the nature of naval wargames. You really only need  a small handful of ships to have a game-worthy collection, especially if you specialize. And once you pick a scale there's no reason why you can't expand on it indefinitely. 

So I expect the War at Sea line to retain its fan base and even continue to grow, although probably seeing more use as models for other rules as time goes on. Still, I won't be surprised to see games of War at Sea going om 10 years from now, while I'll be very surprised indeed to see any Angels 20 or AAM.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Solitairing In Magnificent Style

Rebel brigades make a final rush for the Copse of Trees

Reviewing a solitaire wargame has special pitfalls. Oh, it's easier in one sense, because you don't have to find an opponent, but overall I think it's a challenge. Wargames are complex and subtle beasts by nature, and I can't tell you how many times I've played a game -- often for quite some time -- and found out I had been playing a rule incorrectly, missing a critical modifier or accidentally forgetting some key unit in the order of battle. Having an opponent sitting across the table who has a vested interest im making sure you don't miss anything that helps his side is a big help.

So with the caveat that I tried to play In Magnificent Style very, very correctly, it's always possible I missed something.

Solitaire wargames have tended to follow two basic models. One is the scripted adventure model of either/or paragraphs or other narrative tools that guide the player through a menu of choices. The classic example of this approach is Ambush!. The other approach is to create a framework where the player tries to accomplish some goal while stuff happens to him, generally using some sort of randomization mechanic. The classic example of this is B-17. In Magnificent Style is basically from this second approach, although a clever random events chit pull system give s it a little bot of the flavor of the paragraph system. This second approach works best when the player represents a side that had few courses of action available to it. In B-17 the player controls a single bomber that is part of a much larger formation of bombers. The player has no choice as to the target the tactics or the timing.

In Magnificent Style examines earlier example of a situation where there was plenty of valor, but few choices -- Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The Rebels taking part also had no choice as to the target, the tactics or the timing. The game is meant to be the first i n a similar series of games to be called Death or Glory! that will depict other doomed assaults.

The components are excellent. The most notable are the counters, which are my first exposure to the new laser-cut (as opposed to the traditional die-cut) technique. They are thicker than what you typically find with die cut counters and the precision of the cut is stunning. I wouldn't be surprised to see this become the new industry standard. There's no need to trip or clip counters with these babies. They fall out easily and cleanly and the laser cutting allows for naturally rounded corners.

The counters include the nine brigades, several dozen markers and double-sided event chits. there are even a couple of tiny dice in their own little holder on the counter sheet.

The 11" by 17" map is on light card stock and in full color. Also in full color are a player auid sheet and a copiously illustrated 20 -page rule book.

The player's objective to to get the nine brigades involved in the charge across the killing ground and capture the Union positions on Cemetery Ridge.

The key mechanic is a "push-your-luck" system where, in turn, the player activates one of the brigades and rolls two dice, cross indexing the rolls on  a "Movement Events Results table. So  a roll on the black die of "2" and on the white die of "3" is read as a "2-3" (not totaled as a "5") and referenced on the chart. The most common result is "Advance" which allows the brigade to move forward one square and then activate again. Other results include Determined Advance, On to Washington and C'mon Boys which allow advances with enhancements and negative results such as Light Fire, Heavy Fire and even Rout! which involve losing strength or ground.

The Push-Your-Luck element comes into play because each time the player activates a brigade instead of rolling on the table, he can elect to "Regroup" which moves the brigade Rally Point forward and therefore mitigates many of the negative effects on the table.

Many of the results also have the player drawing a chit and applying either the Blue side (helping the Union) or the Gray side (helping the player). Some Blue chits, for example, cause extra hits on the rebel brgades, add obstacles or make generals casualties. The gray chits similarly give the Rebels temproary protections, cause losses to the Union side or allow rerolls.

The Player has five turns to complete the charge, so there's constant tension between deciding whether to continue the advance, risking losses and setbacks or stop and consolidate your ground.

I found the game pretty challenging in my first five plays, managing a couple of draws while losing three times. Like many games of its ilks, it's hard to say whether there's really a winning strategy to follow. It's difficult to strike a balance between advancing and  consolidating. Being too aggressive seems guaranteed to wreck a brigade, but being too cautious will see the attack running out of time. The six brigades of Pickett and Trimble's divisions have 10 squares to cover, so the average pace of the advance has to be at least 2 squares per turn. Pettigrew has even further to go, needing to cover 11 squares. Complicating things is the fact that the Emmitsburg Road and Union lines each need to be crossed and each represents an "obstacle" that can only be crossed on 13 of the 36 possible rolls. When you consider that 11 of the 36 possible rolls are negative results the scale of the challenge becomes clear. It appears to me that, on average, the Rebel brigades need to try to advance 3-4 squares each turn. before stopping.

Overall I think the game succeeds in its aim. It's an entertaining solitaire exercise that is challenging enough to bear repeated playings and creates a lot of in-game drama and narrative. I found the rules extremely clear and well-written -- a must for a solitaire game -- and reasonably historical. I don't think it would count as a simulation -- the Rebel charge has  a chance to succeed, after all -- but it is definitely a wargame. One thing i don't like about a solitaire game is if it starts to feel like a puzzle -- something with a solution. In Magnificent Style doesn't have a solution. There aren't really any tactics to employ. Like Pickett, the player has just one role -- decide whether to push forward or stop and dress ranks.

Friday, June 22, 2012

S. Craig Taylor has died

Very sad news comes via Boardgamegeek that game designer S. Craig Taylor has passed away. While I never met Mr. Taylor, I was a big fan of his many fine games. For quite some time his Wooden Ships & Iron Men was a particular favorite of mine, but there were many others. He seemed to hit  a sweet spot between history and playabilty in his designs. Sad news indeed.

An entertaining look at Munchkin

Check it out:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

War of 1812 bicentennial

Monday, June 18th, marked the bicentennial of one of the country's most ill-advised adventures, the War of 1812.

Now, there's certainly no doubt that the United States was provoked. The British, being the premier maritime power of the day, had few compunctions about acting as it pleased, with little concern over the sensibilities of weaker powers. The Chesapeake-Leopard affair was egregious by any standards, for example.

And the Americans were in a tough spot. Europe was embroiled in war, going into the second decade of the generation-long French Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars and it was having a very negative effect on American trade. Both side resorted to economic warfare and America bore the brunt of it.

On the other hand, the American response to the crisis was, to say the least, wrong-headed. On the one hand, Thomas Jefferson tired some economic warfare of his own, with the Non-Intercourse Act, that merely worsened the situation for Americans. Meanwhile he tried a foolish naval policy of emphasizing coastal gunboats instead of proper naval vessels. Like many attempts to get defense on the cheap. the gunboats proved worse than useless when the war came. Their crews made their main contribution to the war effort as foot soldiers and artillerymen in some land battles and by providing experienced crew men on the lakes and aboard the few proper naval vessels there were.

That the United States ended up being able to claim something like a draw by the end of the war was largely due to the professionalism of the United States Navy, the vast extent of the war zone and the fact that Britain was distracted by the much more important European fighting.

Aside from the classic ship duels of the opening phase of the naval war, the War of 1812 hasn't gotten much attention in wargames, although it wouldn't be fair to say it's been ignored. This 200th anniversary year has brought  a new euro-style wargame called 1812 that I haven't actually seen yet, but seems to be well received. There's the classic Columbia Games block wargame War of 1812 that still holds up well after all these years and there's an expansion to Worthington's Napoleon's War series called America's War that depicts four of the main land battles from the conflict. There are also War of 1812 scenarios in most of the Age of Sail wargames such as Close Action and Serpents of the Sea.

The war, itself, wasn't an  intense affair, especially compared to the contemporary Napoleonic wars. The land battles were mere skirmishes and the naval battles small encounters. The US Navy had some nasty surprises for the Royal Navy, but the overall balance of power between the two sides at sea meant that the outcome of that part of the war was never in doubt. The US Army, once again, learned that there's no substitute for training -- and certainly not militia -- but the lesson was promptly unlearned after the war and the country would continue to rely on militiamen for the rest of the century.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Harm's Way, again

The HMAS Perth (left) and the USS Houston land an early hit on the light cruiser Natori

Another excellent session report from Andy Rucker on his Blog.

I don't have much to add, except to congratulate him on a very convincing victory. Yeah, the Japanese Long Lances were very disappointing, but he took good advantage of the  opportunity and had this been the historical outcome the event would have been remembered as a very glorious chapter in the naval histories of Australia, Netherlands and the USA.

While the Allied squadron was wiped out, just as it was historically, they devastated the invasion fleet and sunk several Japanese warships including a heavy cruiser! This would have been a notable victory at a time when Allied fortunes were riding low.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Final Sting -- Bluff Cove 1982

Sir Tristam loaded on a heavy lift vessel for transport back to Britain in 1983 after the war.
While heavy losses had forced the Argentine Air Force to slacken its raids on the British in the Falkland Islands, the threat was not entirely neutralized,a s the events of June 8 would show.

While the British were trying to keep up the pace of their advance on Stanley by ferrying troops in landing ships closer to the front, the Argentinians launched two strikes from the mainland. While both strikes were spotted by British submarines on picket off the coast, the early warning wasn't enough to thwart the aattck.

The first, and most destructive run was by five A-4 Skyhawks (out of 8 launched) that surprised the British landing ships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristam and supporting craft at Bluff Cove. Both British landing ships were hit and heavily damaged with 51 killed and 46 wounded. The Sir Galahad was dmaged too badly to save and the Sir Tristam had to be carried back to England on a heavy lift ship after the war for extensive repairs, so both ships were, in effect, "sunk." None of the attacking planes waslost.

A following wave of four Skyhawks was less fortunate, as the British defenders were now alerted and three of the four planes were downed by misisles and Harriers without causing any damage.

The second strike was comprised of five Dagger aircraft (of six launched) that attacked the frigate Plymouth  in Flatland Sound. Four 1,000 pound bombs hit the ship and it would certainly have been lost if any of them had exploded. Instead the four duds severely damaged the frigate. None of the attacking planes were lost.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now THIS is what I'm talking about -- Memoir '44

This summer, August apparently, Days of Wonder is going to have a new expansion for Memoir '44 -- and a doozy it is shaping up to be!

It's essentially a box of figures, with 17 new scenarios for using them. And what cool stuff it is, with Polish cavalry, French infantry and Finnish ski troops. All sorts of armored vehicles and new artillery pieces. It has a half dozen plastic landing craft! (No more counters and badges).  Therea re also reissues of the Tiger tanks, trucks and other pieces from some earlier expansions that are now out of print. There's more than 180 figures all told. Maybe the days of a box of plastic aren't quite over yet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Red Dawn 21?

Fortress America by Fantasy Flight Games

Those old enough will remember the pulp fiction Red Scare 1984 movie Red dawn, which implausibly postulated a surprise invasion of an isolated United States (Including paratroopers landing outside a high school in Colorado) by the Soviet Union, Cuba and Nicaraugua.

Around the same time Milton Bradley came out with Fortress America (an elaboration of SPI's Invasion America) which assumed a slightly more militarily plausible scenario that involved basically the whole world ganging up on the USA with a Chinese-led Asian alliance attacking the West Coast, a union of South American nations coming up through Mexico and a Euro-Soviet coalition hitting the East Coast.

While a great fantasy and an entertaining game idea, the plausibility factor was pretty low, to say the least.

Now there's a new version of the classic game coming out and it's interesting to me how this new recasting of the background seems somewhat more plausible than the 80s version did. The first decade of the 21st Century was not a good one for the USA and its relations with much of the world. America's approach to the War on Terror, for example, has had a negative impact on public opinion in many quarters. While some of the damage has been reversed under the new administration, one can hardly say that it's an approach that's settled in. The opposition party and its main candidate has openly called for a return to the more bellicose and unilateralist approach that  shook our allies and emboldened our enemies. It's certainly possible to imagine a return to that policy depending upon the outcome of November.

And even if the current administration is returned to power, the drone campaign it's been waging across the globe is inherently an affront to international norms of sovereignty. The US gets away with it for now because its so enormously powerful, its targets are generally weak and unpopular and no one else has the ability to do it. All of these, however, are factors subject to change. No useful weapon remains the exclusive domain of a nation and more than one commenter has pointed out that American enthusiasm for drone warfare is likely to wane once we start being on the receiving end of it.

America's run of hegemonic power has been very unusual in world historical terms because it has been and remains essentially unchallenged.  The usual pattern in history is for the other great powers to combine when any one power threatened to achieve hegemony. At its peak, during the Pax Britannica, Britain was content to have a naval power equal to the next two navies combined. And, of course, it had a small army that was no threat to any continental power. Today the USN is stronger than the navies of the entire rest of the world put together. No possible combination of powers is competitive. And, of course, the reality is that most of the other significant navies are US allies. The US Army, while not the largest in the world, is still very large and even more capable and is clearly capable of destroying any middle rank regional power.

The world has generally seemed to view the American hegemony as relatively benign, as  such things go, and there's been relatively little push-back so far. But things can change in politics and the insularity of Americans and particularly of certain strains of current political thought could cause foreign powers to rethink their acceptance of the status quo.

The in-game scenario that assumes the world combines to thwart a US suddenly invulnerable to missile attack isn't the strongest such scenario, but it's probably the most acceptable one for a wide audience. There was a little bit of a brouhaha when the game came out when an alternative and edgier background scenario was leaked.  One might legitimately wonder if the controversy was because it struck a little too close to the truth for people's comfort.

In any case, it's worth remembering that, as rich as America is, it's not richer than the rest of the world put together.  Figures vary, but the US share of the world's GDP is around 25% or so -- by far the single largest. But, obviously, the rest of the world does have a 3-1 edge in GDP and even if a significant portion remained neutral, there are quite a few combination of powers that could add up to more than the US in raw economic output. And, of course, from a population standpoint the US is hopeless, being outnumbered more than 20 to 1.

Back when the first edition of Fortress America came out the ideological battle lines were clear: Freedom vs. Communism. And we in the US were clearly the "Good Guys."

Now no global ideological struggle is really underway (The Islamist Jihad having very little growth potential or appeal outside a particular cultural milieu. If it were not for oil it would be insignificant) and in the wake of waterboarding, renditions, Gitmo, drone strikes and "preventive war" it's not necessarily clear that we're the unambiguous good guys. So I wouldn't be surprised to see come mainstream commentary about this game when it starts hitting the store shelves in a week or so.

Oh, and there's a remake of Red Dawn due out this year, too.  This time with North Koreans (?!) invading the US! (Changed post production from China -- another case of being, perhaps, too close to the truth?) Frankly, I think the Nicaraguans were more plausible! Coincidence? I think not!
USS Yorktown under attack during the Battle of Midway

Today is the 70th anniversary of the first and most critical day of the Battle of Midway.

On the one hand, the battle is among the best remembered of the war because of its obvious importance and the high drama of the situation and how it played out.  You had an enormous Japanese fleet, heretofore highly successful, being defeated in the most dramatic fashion possible by the outnumbered, plucky Ameircans.

that's certainly the popular image anyway, as shown by Hollywood  in the movie Midway and in popular books such as Incredible Victory and Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan.

Of course more recent scholarship, most vividly in Shattered Sword, shows that it wasn't quite as one-sided a situation as all that and that the odds were not as much against the United States as the raw numbers might suggest.

This is no news to wargamers, of course. Midway is one of the original, classic wargame situations in the hobby, ever since the seminal Avalon Hill game Midway appeared in 1964. The appeal of Midway, from a wargaming standpoint, is that it's not only an important battle, but a remarkable even one. Yes, the Japanese had a large fleet, but at the critical point the two sides were very comparable in strength. The Japanese carrier task force was comprised of four fleet carriers carrying 225 aircraft escorted by five battleships and cruisers while the American task force was comprised of three fleet carriers with 233 aircraft and an escort including eight cruisers. The island of Midway formed a fourth "aircraft carrier" with another 81 combat aircraft.

Each side had advantages. For the Japanese this included highly trained and experienced aircrew with  first-rate planes using  advanced carrier doctrine and techniques. For the Americans there was the advantage of code-breaking and superior damage control. While the Japanese held an advantage in plane quality generally, the American Wildcats were learning to hold their own against the Zero and the Dauntless Divebombers were excellent.

Perhaps nothing helped the Americans more than their good luck and some good leadership. The key decision by Wade McClusky leading the Enterprise divebombers to follow an errant Japanese destroyer to the carriers and the fortuitous timing of the various uncoordinated American attacks created the conditions for victory.

But no one can read the details of how this all happened without seeing that it could very easily have turned out the other way. The Hornet divebombers strike, for example, completely missed the Japanese fleet and ended up landing on midway. If the Enterprise strike had done likewise then only the Yorktown's strike would have ended up finding the Japanese fleet. That attack sunk the Kaga. Historically the counterstrike by the Hiryu was enough to sink the Yorktown, but what would have happened if there had been three surviving Japanese carriers available to launch? We can't know for sure, of course, but Capt. Wayne Hughes analysis in the book Fleet Tactics suggests that under the conditions of 1942 carrier battles each carrier deck load could be expected to sink or disable one opposing carrier on average. So it's quite likely that the US might have lost all three of the Yorktown class ships on the afternoon of June 4th. 

Midway itself probably would not have fallen, as the projected Japanese invasion force seems wholly inadequate to defeat the marines present on the base, but the Japanese would have been well-placed to follow up their success. Certainly there would have been no Guadalcanal campaign as the United States would have had to husband its remaining carrier assets (primarily the Saratoga and the Wasp) until the Essex class ships started to arrive.

The Japanese naval aviation would also have been in much better shape as there would have been no heavy attrition in the Solomons and the carrier pilots would have been kept aboard their carriers.

As to whether the Japanese would have ultimately prevailed, it's hard to say. They still had to cope with the fact that their industrial strength was inadequate to compete with America over the long haul, but they would have had many opportunities to make the long and challenging drive across there Pacific and even longer and more challenging affair -- at least until the atom bomb weighed in.

For me, personally, Midway has always been one of my favorite topics in wargaming. My very first wargame was Avalon Hill's Midway, which I still think is one of the best classic wargames. I also have a half-dozen other Midway wargames as well.