My top anticipated wargames of 2022 – The Boardgames Chronicle

Having discussed previous year from the boardgames and blog perspective – you can see my articles summarizing it here:

the time has come to look forward. It is customary of me to check at the beginning of the year my pre-orders and wish-list and check what new, exciting games I can expect that coming 12 months. What will 2022 bring as far as our hobby is concerned? Previous two years – mainly due to the pandemic – saw tremendous delays. So I can just hope that what I am putting below will become reality that coming year.

1) Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan from GMT Games

Pacific War is a strategic wargame that takes you from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the climatic summer of 1945… from Australia to China… from Burma to Hawaii… from the defense of Wake Island through the invasion of Guadalcanal culminating in the desperate battles to defend the Japanese Home Islands. For the first time in a Pacific Theater game, size, subtlety, and ease of play has come together in a game of sharp action and historical accuracy.

Players can become familiar with the layered Pacific War systems in the solitaire Engagement scenarios, then fight their way through panoramic Battle, Campaign, and Strategic two player and multi-player Scenarios. As they learn the game’s basic maneuver and combat systems, they will then layer on more advanced systems for strategic bombing, submarine attacks on merchant shipping, search and detection, amphibious assaults, and extensive operations driven by their command decisions. Pacific War is a source of limitless challenge and excitement for anyone ever fascinated with the fury and vastness of the Pacific War.

GMT page

Well, while the list I created was not done in any particular order, I will not deny it – Pacific War is my top one anticipated wargame of 2022! I am great fan of Mark Herman’s creations, the rules for this edition came under scrupulous review of Kai Jensen (and I love Jensen’s rulebooks – one of the best), the components looks fabulous and the theme – wargame in Pacific theater – is exactly what I love. So how could I resist such a title? I just received the charging notification what in case of GMT means I should have my game within a month! Can’t wait!

More about game:

2) Total War: ROME: The Board Game from PSC

Total War: ROME – The Board Game Captures the essence of the video game and allows up to four players to play as the leaders of Rome, Carthage, Greece, and Gallo-Germania, covering the time period from 250 BCE to 50 BCE. The base game can be played in under three hours, with planned expansions that will allow players to dive deeper into managing battles emulating the video game further.

PSC page

I love Total War Video Games franchise – played extensively Shogun, Rome, Imperial or Napoleon. So when I learned about the project – while suspicious at first as with every digital => Analog transformation there is a huge risk of “overdoing” the game – I went through materials and decided this is really a promising title. There is a good balance of what can be presented on board and calculated / coped with by players as in comparison to the computer game. When I am writing this post, the crowdfunding starts in a couple of days and it only stays to hope it can be delivered still this year.

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3) Lanzerath Ridge from DVG

Lanzerath Ridge is a solitaire wargame that takes places on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge, during the Second World War. In the game, you take control of a small group of American soldiers. Under your command, the Americans must fend off the relentless attacks from German paratroopers and fusiliers. Your goal is to recreate the incredible historic accomplishment of the American soldiers by defending the town of Lanzerath, Belgium and delaying the advance of an entire SS Panzer Division.

Lanzerath Ridge is the next design in the Valiant Defense series, following the critically acclaimed Pavlov’s House, Castle Itter, and Soldiers in Postmen’s Uniforms. The Valiant Defense series allows you to play amazing stories of courage, with small forces holding the line against unimaginable odds. Games in the series focus on the individual defenders and are deeply rooted in history, while providing a quick play experience with a light complexity rule set.

DVG page

I am really fond of David Thompson solitaire designs – especially the Valiant Defense series. All those games – Castle Itter, Pavlov’s House, Postmen or just hitting the Kickstarter Battle of Lanzerath Ridge put you into a command of inferior forces fighting against overwhelming odds. Something like David vs Goliath.

It was fortunate for me to be a play-tester for this game which allowed to thoroughly familiarize with the title – and create tons of materials. So I am sure this will be great continuation of the very successful wargames series with incredibly beautiful and crisp graphics. Again, hope it can be delivered still this year.

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4) The Halls of Montezuma from Fort Circle Games

Following the annexation of Texas by the United States in December 1845, war between the United States and Mexico became inevitable. From 1846-1848, the two countries fought a bloody and bruising war culminating in Mexico surrendering significant territory to the United States.

The Halls of Montezuma tasks two players to recreate this pivotal war in American and Mexican history. As the United States, you will be tasked with taking California and invading Mexico while facing mounting political opposition at home. As Mexico, you will be forced to fight a defensive war of attrition against the better trained and led American troops.

Publisher Page

Second part of Kevin Bertram series, featuring the most famous conflicts in which Marines took place. After Shores of Tripoli I am sure we will again get a fantastic, asymmetric, card driven wargame with well thought mechanics, events and balance. And all of this in fast-playing, quick and replayable set-up. For me the additional bonus is learning about not-so-well known conflicts – at least here in Europe – and Mexico vs US wars are definitely one of those. Can’t wait!

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5) Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa from GMT Games

Part of GMT’s Lunchtime Series, Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa is a two-player card driven game that builds on the award winning Twilight Struggle.

The year is 1974, and the Soviet Union and the United States have been locked in a life-or-death struggle across the globe. As so often happened during the Cold War, a relatively obscure region of the globe suddenly took center stage. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, a bedrock US ally in Africa, had old and dictatorial. When he was overthrown in 1974, a Marxist coalition took the reins of power. This new revolutionary leadership initiated a chain of events that upset the regional balance of power and unleashed all the familiar elements of Cold War competition in the Horn of Africa.

Publisher page

I am big fan of Jason Matthews creations, be it Twilight Struggle or recently published Imperial Struggle. They are deeply rooted in history, with card-driven mechanics and difficult choices. And let us be honest – a game build on TS framework, by the same author – who could resist? Everything shows that the title is getting quickly into GMT production line and there are high chance it will ship still in 2022.

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6) Coalitions from PHALANX

Coalitions brings the whole continent of the Napoleonic Wars into a fast, playable system. Multiplayers—with NO downtime. Each turn, EVERY player is doing something… but doing something ‘different.’ This sets up an unexpected cycle like nothing you’ve ever played before. Cool wooden pieces, or a “Deluxe” version with some of the most beautiful miniatures you’ve ever seen. Kickstarter backers get exclusive sculpts, an extra player expansion, plus an extra game covering a slightly different period!

Kickstarter page

PHALANX is known for graphically outstanding games, mainly new editions of great classics, with enhanced mechanics and components. But of course we are getting also some new designs – and here there is a very intriguing title. No downtimes? Every player performing different action in a turn? And all this set-up in Napoleonic age? It truly seems like a great concept. Of course, there are dozens of addons but the core mechanics seems so innovative that I will need to check this game.

More about game:

Conclusion

I listed six games and that only scratches the surface of what will await us in 2022. One cannot play every one interesting title – simply there will be not enough time to familiarize with all those fantastic positions. So some prioritization is of course a good idea! And what are yours most anticipated games of the current year?

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