Coffee Break #34 – board wargames ( my 2021 top 5 )

I like a serene Advent sit down and look back throughout the year, one window at a time going over different aspects and one of the subjects for reflection is the hobby and for what concerns this Coffee Break, board wargames.

Wargames are games that represent armed conflicts with primary focus on resolution of combat between antagonist forces.

Hethwill Wargames

I personally think I bought more wargames and related items – excluding any books including rules sets – than I actually should but on the positive side of it, when compared to the previous year I acquired less, so there’s an improvement and it is of my intention to keep doing so and focusing on the important part of the hobby – playing the games.

Looking to all the products acquired I set myself to write this Coffee Break entry and present only the 5 I consider the best buys although I forced myself to certain rules to aid me in the process. I cannot be honest with myself and select something that is simply “decorating” a shelf if I haven’t played it a few times let alone if I haven’t even ripped it open and punched contents. Liking the idea of a game is not the same as liking a game.

  1. Game must have been acquired during 2021. Publishing year is of no concern.
  2. Game must have been played at least three times to completion.
  3. Game must have seen the table at least once in the last six months.

Shame on you if you pick something for your top 5 that you haven’t even played more than it serving as a piece of tetris to fit in the shelves.

So we begin…


  • (bonus) European design or production.
  • Interesting theme and befitting mechanisms.
  • Full immersion due to artwork direction and game mechanism.
  • Production and package is really good and very ergonomic.
  • Price is just on the perfect comfortable zone.
Helsinki 1918 – German intervention to the Finnish Civil War


  • table Footprint is just perfection incarnate for the area of operations
  • Command and Control scale is on the sweet spot for my preference
  • Design mechanisms for purpose do enact the Normandy campaign very well
  • (bonus) P500 Euro-friendly shipping
The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944


This one breaks the chain because it is actually two packages but that I count as one game only.

  • Theme is straight up a favourite of mine.
  • Artwork is very evocative and intricate full of details
  • Command and Control mechanism makes for a superb challenge
  • (bonus) Europe based design and production
  • (bonus2) Volume 1 gift from designer.
Battles of the French Wars of Religion 1562-1598, in 2 volumes
By Shot, Shock and Faith & The Fate of Reiters


  • Sandbox system allows me to setup whatever scenario I want within the warfare type
  • Superb diceless mechanism and playing cards ergonomics.
  • Classic artwork. Reds versus Blues. Perfect.
  • One game to play a thousand different battles in history, cannot beat that price.
Dawn of Battle


  • Absolutely love the theme
  • Focus is the tactical command, my favourite scope
  • High production value for a ‘pet project’.
  • Clear and simple evocative artwork.
Battles for Prydain, heroic combat in dark age Britain 450-650 AD

I cannot fit all the games I acquired in a list of only five nor do I wish to diminish any other titles but I came to reduce the 2021 shelves selection to a bundle of five games that fit my table, meet my expectations, balance my budget and provide variety of history periods and systems and components and, more important, get played often!

Have a serene Advent and as much as we like to read about history, it is good to look to our own past year personal history so we can enter a new year in grace.

God bless. Snappy salute !

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