Ultimatum news #3/2022

Returning to a civilized schedule with renewed energy and with a lot coming in to get to the table.


While keeping to a tight budget, under the most benevolent scrutiny, I did reduce the “get list” by a few titles. Choices had to be made within the budget for games and thus striving for variety while I’m not going to fall to the marketing tricks nor the “ratings cult of the new” or the “covenant of the holy unboxing”; just to keep rephrasing myself.

So what did I acquire and what is on the pre order line !?

note that while I already tinkered and played a bit with many of the games in this section I focus only on the acquisition, not gameplay. That is another section entirely, usually included on the Coffee Breaks.

Designed by John Poniske, which I knew also designed one of the previous year games I enjoyed the most – La VendĂ©e 1793: Counter-revolution in the West – and as I always claim that I buy themes rather than games I couldn’t pass the opportunity to add to my table a game that covers one of the least covered colonial conflicts theatres – New Zealand.

Vae Victis is always a wining bet for me. It delivers quality, themes and all in a tight packaging, thus reducing the price to the most comfortable level while keeping all components in fairly high industry standards.

While the “napoleonics” wargames mostly focus on Napoleon commanding, or at least part of campaigns during his rule, I tend to search more for the battles during the Revolution and this title was BURNING through my list for quite a while.

Now I got it and it delivers a good experience. It is not a design for effect but part of a system, adapted to the particulars of the battle, but still I was delaying acquiring it for far too long.

A note of caution is, once the titles get sold out it is really impossible to get a reprint so…

Society of Ancients has been around for a very long time. It is a “collective” that represents the hobby and beyond without any division. It engages with historical academia, miniatures wargaming, board wargaming, all with a focus on ancient warfare.

That alone is a win in my book as I abhor the insistent marketing of sectioning the hobby in “minis and hex and counter” or whatever. But I digress.

Again I pursue a theme rather than a “design” or a “designer” and given this one covers a fairly under represented theme – the Great Barbarian Conspiracy – what is there not to like and throw the cash into it.

At the date of this post the package is still going through customs as it comes from the UK to mainland EU, and that is always a “headache” so I can’t say anything about the quality of production. Nonetheless and if the price is to be any measure I expect something similar to the Vae Victis productions which is, as I said many times before, above excellent for the price range.

Took me a while to get it but is finally here ! Production is a high standard and truly delivers the theme – the absolute main reason why I got it.

It is an ambitious design with many moving parts and synergy across three layers – strategic, operational and tactical. I usually blame myself for not understanding rules and this particular case seems to be like that and must free myself of pre-conceptions and embrace the rules being across three different platforms – rulebook, playbook and play cards. At start – I will be honest – I got confused and slightly infuriated about not being a standard rules layout. Gameplay to follow soon. It is a magnificent game and designed to the purpose. The only fault is a low complexity tactical layer.

Pre Orders

Having discussed the subject before and despite some increased obligations extra hobby, the fleet treasury allows for some advanced pay towards some articles of particular interest.

Pre orders require special attention as a wrong choice will result in “non EU friendly” shipping catastrophes and sadly not many publishers from across the ocean are willing to dialogue, in earnest, with distributors. One of the main exceptions is, of course, GMT Games.

As such it is fairly acceptable that their line up of pre order games is always being hit by customers – friendly shipping sells games !

I wanted it at retail price – not troll prices. Finally it is being printed again with the much needed update. I know that volume 2 is available but not interested in the particular theme. Volume 1 though is what I look for. Maybe I am wrong and will not enjoy the game per se but I’m sold to the idea of the game.

I kind of struggled with this choice but being focused on an era I find most fascinating and covering yet another region affected by major campaigns of the war.

The grand operational focus seems pleasing enough for me to get it and having, now and then, dab into the social posts of the designers I am honestly intrigued by it.

This was the household choice as it will bring everyone to the table due to the non warlike thematic of it. We already played Quadriga/Circus Maximus versions before so is not an extreme novelty but is always good to have choices to play all together and in a similar vein to Tank Duel. Not serious and fun.

I will make a separate post for the game that have been played during this time interval.

Thank you for reading.

You may reach me easily through email hethwill dot wargames at gmail dot com, have a good week ! Stay Strong Keep Wargaming !


  1. Great choices! I also am interested in Curio Regio. The 30 Years War continues to fascinated me. Probably inspired by reading C.V. Wedgwood’s general history of the war. It is still one of the best works written on the conflict.

    1. Welcome Greg. 30YW is, in my eyes, the first world spanning conflict, whether some agree or not, with many theatres to explore. C.R. is definitely someone will want 🙂 Thank you for the book reference, I will look for it. Right now I am reading The Dutch Moment by Wim Kloster, given my inclination for maritime side of things.

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