An Advanced Wargame Noob


Look what arrived today… more Hurtgen Forest reading material.

Unfortunately, the day still has only 24 hours.

It’s my first day back at work after almost three weeks of summer vacation. A pile of ‘super-urgent’ projects have been patiently sitting on my desk, waiting for my return. I might have been a little too naive to assume they go away on their own. At least I feel very relaxed. The vacation wasn’t that bad at all.

I didn’t spend nearly as much time playing games as I had planned to, but isn’t that always the case? Roads to Gettysburg II, was probably the game I played most. I made some progress playing through the Here Come the Rebels scenarios and I hope to be able to continue soon. I also played some non-solo games and got the family involved. Now they are hooked on AuZtralia. I found the game rather disappointing when it arrived last year. Turns out, it’s quite entertaining when you play it with a group of players.

What else? Well, I started this site a couple of weeks ago and so far I’m enjoying it tremendously. There are still some details to be hammered out, but the overall structure stands. The next article should be online by the end of the week. This time it’s not going to be about GOSS and Hurtgen. The GOSS series continues right afterwards.


Plan for today is to finish taking component pictures of Hurtgen: Hell’s Forest. Who would have thought that taking pictures from inanimate objects is so time consuming?

I should have some time at the weekend to finish the article describing the box content and it will then go online early next week. *fingers crossed*

After that we will have the second part of the rules overview (first part) where we take a closer look at the GOSS procedures for Fire Support and Ground Assault.

And so it begins…

This is the first post in a series of posts introducing Decision GamesGrand Operational Simulation Series (GOSS). I picked for this purpose Hurtgen: Hell’s Forest, the second game in the series. I have never played this game nor do I have any particular GOSS experience.


As mentioned in my last post I would like to cover the steps between unboxing a game and reviewing a game. I want to focus on questions like: What is the game about and what does it try to achieve? How well are the rules written? What does it take to learn the game? How much time and effort do you have to invest to get the game to your table? What can you expect from your first game? Was it worth it? etc.

I hope that if you don’t know GOSS or if you are not sure if this particular game is for you, my posts might be of some help. Also, let me know if you have a particular question that you think I should try to answer.

Continue reading

Summer in the southern hemisphere and we are trying to escape the heat in Rio de Janeiro. The plan is to relax at this B&B just a couple of hours outside of the city. So far it’s working very well. But between playing in the pool, bodyboarding and running on the local trails my brain is suffering from zero load. I’m wondering if I should have brought my copy of Battles of the Bulge: Celles. With its low counter density and small table footprint it might be my only game that’s suitable for traveling. Any recommendations for other travel size wargames?

Anyway, I did bring the rulebook of Hurtgen: Hell’s Forest along. It’s the second game in Decision GamesGrand Operational Simulation Series (GOSS), designed by Joe Youst.

For month I had been circling around this game. The more I read about it, the more I was oscillating between being absolutely intimidated and truly intrigued. End of December I finally pulled the trigger and asked a friend to look for a copy for me while being abroad.

And now I’m curious. Did I bite off more than I can chew? What will it take to get this game to the table?

I started reading the rules. And during the next weeks (months?) I’ll post here my progress. So, in a sense I’ll try to cover what happens between unboxing and writing a review, hoping that this might be of interest for some of you. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about other topics as well. But I think that a recurring theme might help me getting into the habit of sharing my thoughts here. Plus, while there are some resources out there concerning GOSS (check out The War Gamer’s thorough introductory series on youtube Hurtgen: Hell’s Forest), another point of view on things never hurts.

Ok, but now I have to go back to the beach. Looks like some thunderstorms will be rolling through later.


What is this about?

I like to play wargames. There, I said it! In the beginning it was just the consequential next step up from complex eurogames. But it became much more. Nowadays I almost exclusively play wargames.

So far I was quite happy playing away, following other wargamers on social media, reading about old and new wargames, researching my next purchase. But recently I started wondering if and how I could contribute to the amazing wargame community.

I’m not an experienced player, and I’m not a crack tactician or strategist. My history background is limited and I do not have access to game designers or any special insights into the boardgame industry. I don’t own a huge wargame collection. And I don’t have the space and time to play any monsters. I’m not particularly funny (at least that’s what I’m told) and my writing skills are sub-par.

I’m an advanced wargame noob. And maybe that’s something I can offer. Maybe my wargame ramblings are of any help for other beginners, and maybe, just maybe, it let’s the grognards chuckle.

I don’t want to make any predictions about this site. If you will this site is an experiment (You can tell, I’m a scientist in real life.). Let’s see where this will lead.

Really? Yet another blog?

I don’t consider myself a content creator, at least not like other blog authors. The thought of writing long blog posts on a regular basis triggers my anxiety.

So rather than being a blog this site is more a loose collection of thoughts, ideas, questions, rule discussions and clarifications, and everything else that crosses my mind concerning boardgames and especially wargames. In that sense this site serves more as a public personal notebook.

Why ‘Gringogamer’?

I live in Brazil and foreigners like me are called gringos. It’s not meant in a derogatory way, but it’s a label that marks you as an outsider. It doesn’t matter how long you live here, you will be always a gringo. It took me some time to get used to the expression but I made my peace with it and have no issues anymore calling myself a gringo. Because that’s what I am.

I’m also gringo when it comes to boardgames. It’s true that boardgames always played some part in my early life, but I didn’t touch a single die for 20 odd years. Only two years ago I rediscovered boardgaming while being on a longer business trip. Via Mage Knight, Robinson Crusoe, A Feast for Odin, The Gallerist, Vinhos and Lisboa I eventually found my way into the wonderful world of wargames. And that’s where I am at right now. Trying to play as often as possible as many wargames that fit in my gaming area. But compared to wargamers with 10, 20, 30 or even more years under their belts, I am and always will be a gringogamer.