Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Ads of Dragons: Broadsides & Boarding Parties

Though I was never much of a real wargamer, I did enjoy simulation games of various sorts -- "light" wargames intended for a mass audience, like the one advertised in issue #91 (November 1984):
Broadsides & Boarding Parties was one of several games released by Milton Bradley as part of their "Gamemaster Series," which featured simple, wargame-like games that had some really high production values. My personal favorite was not the one pictured here but the Roman era game called Conquest of the Empire. Conquest had some issues in terms of gameplay, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. And of course Axis & Allies was -- and is -- a classic game that's still available today. It's just a pity that it takes nearly as long to set it up as it does to play it ...


  1. This is a game I always wanted, but never acquired and never had an opportunity to play.

  2. "Conquest Of The Empire" was rereleased a few years ago by a different company - it's HUGE! They included two separate sets of rules that use the same board and pieces, so you can take your pick from classic gaming (with the catapult rules 'fixed') or a whole new Roman Empire-themed game.

    Very high production values, too.

  3. Except for the royal/topgallant masts crashing into your gun crews when you bumped the board or ships, B&B was great fun.

    The friends I played with made up rules for weather and running aground and constructing land fortifications.

    Definitely the fastest set-up & play time of those Milton Bradley games.

  4. Those MB "Gamemaster Series" boardgames rocked! The guy who introduced me into D&D, also introduced me to Shogun and A&A. Also I remember playing a lot of Fortress America (along with Divine Right) in high school. They are all really enjoyable, once you get past the learning-curve.

    I wish they would re-release those old games. I know Hasbro (yes, they own MB) - using the AH subsidiary - would just make a lot of changes, but if its anything like A&A, they might actually improve upon the games with smoother rules & game-play, additional content, and nicer props (the styrofoam trays from Shogun sucks!).

  5. I used to love a game called, I think, "Trafalgar" where you got little ship models and cards fo said ships with little gun models.

    Great fun.

  6. I have the original Conquest of the Empire and Axis and Allies. I helped buy but never got to play Broadsides and Boarding Parties, but the plastic boats looked awesome.

  7. I have many fond (often red-faced and shouting) memories of playing Shogun with old friends I haven't seen since.

  8. I don't recall this one at all, but it seems right up my alley; I used to love playing AH's "Wooden Ships & Iron Men."

  9. I had this game, and all the big box MD games. This was my favorite.

  10. Broadsides was fun. The rules were not great, but it was so much fun moving the little guys from ship to ship.

    I got tired of Axis & Allies because after a while it tended to run the same way each time.

    We played the heck out of Conquest and Shogun, I still pull out Shogun about once a year. Fantastic game.

    Fortress America was fun too. Not my favorite, but a good time.

    Good times.

  11. Got introduced to A&A in college. As a big history buff, it's super fun to play as the axis and try to re-write history. Though, as Germany, you're screwed unless the Japs can smash Pearl Harbor AND make a worth while bid for the American mainland. And woe to thee if your Luftwaffe craps out over Britain.

    I am now setting up an A&A game.

    Is there a good facsimile that takes place during the Civil War?

  12. Malcadon -> Shogun aka Samurai Blades has been released as Ikusa


    Admittedly, it's really not obvious from the title alone but IIRC the box blurb tells you as much.

  13. Ooh, I'd love to get my hands on those ships just for RPG miniatures type uses.

  14. After years of searching, I finally traded for a copy of B&B within the last year. It was missing a few pieces, but I found replacements for a decent price on eBay.

    Beautiful game! Like Biopunk said, woe to anyone who bumps the game board and sends both crews sprawling onto the decks. Definitely not a game to be played on a flimsy card table. Get a thick oak dining table or, better yet, play on a concrete slab.

  15. For 1984, those are a couple of uncool looking dudes. Guys you see back then driving around LA in a van together, cruising slow past teenage girls. I bet they are playing that game on a Saturday night in mom's basement. The taller guy in the blue shirt wanted to do D&D, but they couldn't get anybody else to come over.

    They look and dress a lot like Buono and Bianchi, the Hillside Stranglers, playing the game in LA county jail.

  16. As it so happens, I will be hosting a Fortress America event and a Shogun/Samuari Swords event this weekend at Gateway in Los Angeles.

  17. Please, please stop italicizing the names of games, be they board games, roleplaying games, or dice games. It simply isn't correct.

  18. Please, please stop italicizing the names of games, be they board games, roleplaying games, or dice games. It simply isn't correct.

    Can you cite me a style guide where this is laid out, because I can't recall a single one where the issue of game titles is raised? I've always treated games as "works of art" like books or paintings and so italicized their titles. If that's wrong, I'd appreciate some evidence of my error from a contemporary style guide.

  19. Please, please keep italicizing the names of games, be they board games, roleplaying games, or dice games. It simply makes them easier to distinguish from other text.

    For that matter, I'd be in favor of italicizing, bolding, putting quotes around, and maybe even underlining all titles.

    Grammar nazis and style guides be damned.

    Readability is what matters.

  20. @Ed ... or anyone else.

    How the heck are you changing the font style on your posts? I can't even get it to keep italics or bold when I paste in text that already has that formatting, and I certainly haven't figured out a way to change style in the blog itself.

    Oh, and I love these "tons-o'-plastic" games.

  21. To italicize stuff (like this: stuff), use this code:

    [i]stuff[/i] replacing [ with < and ] with >

    To bold stuff (like this: stuff), use this code:

    [b]stuff[/b] replacing [ with < and ] with >

    To both bold and italicize stuff (like this: stuff) use this code:

    [b][i]stuff[/i][/b] replacing [ with < and ] with >

  22. That is one lantern-jawed player on the left. It looks like he's about to sink bouffant-guy with a left hook.

    Moustaches in ads for the win!