Author Archives: cliosboardgames

About cliosboardgames

Musings about history, board games, and history in board games.

In Memoriam F.

This post is a bit different from the usual fare on this blog. No exploration of a historical event through board games, no information on games to be released, no new instalment in an after-action report. And yet, there will be board games, and, from a personal point of view, also history.
Some days ago, a good friend of mine died after battling cancer for two years. We met at university, discussed things big and small, played and watched soccer, went through life from the earliest college days to fully employed adulthood, and, over the years, played many board games together. I’ll write about some of them and what they meant to him and me. As a Friend, I’ll call him F. here. This post is dedicated to his memory.

Continue reading

Minutes of the Wannsee Conference on the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (USEAAR, #19)


This post is part of a mostly fictitious after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . The document in question, however, is authentic. Government and SS officials met on January 20, 1942 to coordinate the implementation of the genocide of the Jewish people of Europe. The translation from the German original is mine.

Classified Reich Matter!

Minutes of the Meeting

I. Attendees of the meeting held in Berlin, Am Großen Wannsee no. 56/58 on January 20, 1942, on the final solution to the Jewish question: Continue reading

Most Anticipated Historical Board Games 2020

Happy new year everyone! Before I get into my most anticipated historical board games likely to be released this year, let me remind you: The best game you’ll have played at the end of this year is likely to be one that sits on your shelf already – be that one you know and love, or one that has not been lucky enough yet to be actually played by you after you got it. Give those some love before you chase new games!
Myself, I’ll try to be judicious with my board game purchases. Last year, I bought a grand total of one board game. So, don’t expect me to run and buy any game that looks interesting. That being said, here are some upcoming titles which I am at least seriously considering to acquire. As all of them are set in human history, they are ordered from most ancient to most recent. Continue reading

Report on the crossing to Italy (USEAAR, #18)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Written by Salvatore Graniti, Secretary of Legation in the Italian diplomatic service, assigned as liaison officer to the staff of the British Army in Italy

Palmi, November 1, 1941

To his Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Italy
the following report on the military progress of the forces of the Kingdom of Italy and those of our esteemed ally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Italian theater of war is most humbly submitted to you.
I am pleased to report that we have taken the initiative and crossed an entire army into Calabria. The German forces have been forced to retreat. The commander of the British Army in Italy, Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery, is confident that we can hold the bridgehead over the winter and threaten flanking attacks either into Lazio or into Apulia early in 1942. Continue reading

Commissar Order (USEAAR, #17)

This post is part of a mostly fictitious after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . The document in question, however, is authentic. The Commissar Order detailing the execution of Soviet prisoners of war was given to the Wehrmacht in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The translation from the German original is mine. The emphases in the original (underlined) have been preserved.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars

In the struggle against Bolshevism, it is not to be expected that the enemy conforms to the principles of humanity or international law. Especially the political commissars of all kinds as the real agents of resistance are to be expected to treat our prisoners hatefully, cruelly, and inhumanely. Continue reading

Letter from Rebeka Kwitecka to her sister Chana Rosen (USEAAR, #16)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Warsaw, August 13, 1941

My dear Chana!
I will be very brief: I hope you, Meir, and the children are well. Myself, I am unharmed. There was not so much fighting in the Old Town, and things have calmed down over the last few days. However, I have a request, if it is not too much to be asked: Continue reading

Farewell 2019 – On the Blog

Welcome to the last end-of-year post for 2019 on my blog! So far, I’ve done Top Threes in the following categories:

Today, we come to the blog itself. It’s been a very good year for the blog – I posted 48 times (up by 9 in comparison to 2018) and doubled the number of hits and visitors.
The blog had visitors from 122 different countries and dependencies this year. Unsurprisingly, most (around 40%) of them come from the United States as the biggest English-speaking country, with the UK, Canada, and Australia accounting for another 20%. I’m always a bit surprised to see the blog doing well in countries where I don’t know a single subscriber (but of course, I cannot know everyone personally who stumbles over this blog) – so whoever you are who reads this blog in Sweden, Portugal, South Africa, Hong Kong (among many others) – thanks for stepping by! Leave me a comment. I’d like to get to know you!
Dear readers, thank you for your interest! I hope you had a delightful and possibly even educational time. I certainly had fun writing these posts. And here are the three projects which I regard as my finest achievements this year:

Continue reading