By Eric T. Baker

Avalanche Press has two new games out. The first is Dave Powell’s War of the States: Chickamauga & Chattanooga, the second in the War of the States series. As with most Avalanche games, there is a set of simple rules for the whole series, and then a custom scenario book for the game.

The scenarios in this game are set in the fall of 1863. The Union Armies of the Tennessee and Cumberland head south to take Atlanta, but are met by the Confederate Army of Tennessee and reinforcements sent from Virginia. The Rebels stop the Union advance, then lay siege to the Union supply center of Chattanooga. This leads to the Battle Above the Clouds, where the Union broke the siege. The scenarios allow players to recreate all this action using two beautiful maps and hundreds of diecut playing pieces. Players can do any phase alone, or play the whole campaign.

The other new game from Avalanche is the first in the Semper Fi series, which uses the Panzer Grenadier rules to recreate the U.S. Marine Corps’ major campaigns of World War II. This first game is Semper Fi: Guadalcanal, which models tactical combat in the Solomon Islands. The game has the U.S. Marines (including Raiders and Marine Paratroopers) battling the Japanese Army and Marines.

The core rules of SF:G are those of the Panzer Grenadier series, but a complete scenario book, two big, beautiful maps, and 465 playing pieces let players recreate the first big amphibious campaign the Marines undertook in the Pacific. There are 24 different battles in the scenario book that can be played alone or as a campaign.

Over on the computer, DreamCatcher Games has released Enigma: Rising Tide, a Naval Action Simulation set in the time period of World War II, but with an adapted history to put the emphasis on the war at sea. Instead of two, the world is divided into three factions: the United States, Imperial Germany, and the League of Free Nations. Players pick a side and then control naval fleets made up of destroyers, submarines, battleships, and cruisers. Each side’s units and weapons evolve over the course of the war, so players are constantly being given new capabilities to meet new challenges.

The game is not solely straight-ahead combat. Stealth is an important component, as is salvaging the wreckage of enemy vessels. All this is done with an intuitive interface in real-time cinematic action that includes weather and its effects. To help maneuver all the ships, a system of voice commands can be used, supplementing the AI’s control.

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