Glasnost and Perestroika

35 years ago, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was about to commence its XXVIIth party congress. Party congresses were rare events, held regularly only every five years. They thus marked an important occasion for the Soviet leadership to talk about past successes and lay out future plans. The XXVIIth party congress was the first one headed by the new general secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev. He set out an ambitious reform agenda. For the next years, the Soviet Union – and the world – would talk about glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). This post is going to cover three questions: What did those terms mean? Which consequences did the policies that Gorbachev set in motion have? And, a question that is especially important to board gamers, who are used to assess events and policies by their strategic value: Were those policies beneficial?

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Playing Nazis? Ethics, Historical Accuracy, and Personal Comfort in Games with Loaded Topics

Earlier this year, I’ve written a post about my most anticipated games to be released this year. Among them was Weimar: The Fight for Democracy (Matthias Cramer, Compass Games), which deals with the interwar Weimar Republic that was toppled by the Nazis. My fellow blogger Dave (check out his blog!) had asked me a year ago how I felt about the Nazis being a playable side in such a game – as this one does not feature them as such, but The Weimar Republic: Political Struggle in Germany, 1919—1933 (Gunnar Holmbäck, GMT Games) does. I’ve been coming back to that question, as it touches on some important matters: Most importantly, one of ethics, which will form the main part of this post. However, there are also questions of historical accuracy, and of personal comfort, with which we will deal in turn. While this post is focused on the two Weimar games, it’ll also take the wider matter into account.

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Board Game Geek War Game Top 60: #30-21

Welcome back to the fourth part of the series on the top 60 games in BoardGameGeek’s war game list! We enter the upper half of the top 60 games, and there are some excellent games in today’s package. You know the drill from the first, second, and third part – I give a few thoughts on each of the games, and then you add yours in the comments. Without further ado, here are games #30-21 of the list.

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Most Anticipated Historical Board Game Releases in 2021

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 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 four games – one digital adaptation, two from a flea market (when things like that still existed), and one with book store gift cards. 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.

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Farewell 2020 – The Best on the Blog

2020 is all but over! (Cheers erupt everywhere.) It was the third full year of my blog. The blog keeps growing: While my number of posts is almost exactly what it was in 2019, both the number of visitors and views have markedly increased. Unsurprisingly, most of my visitors come from the United States (almost 45%), but there are many other (mostly English-speaking and/or European) countries in which the blog does well – adjusting for population, Clio’s Board Games is very popular in Canada and Sweden (I guess the people in the often dark and cold north know the pleasures of board gaming and blog reading). Some countries whose visitor counts have increased markedly are Spain, France, Brazil, and Japan. Hello everybody new! I hope you enjoy reading this blog.

I certainly enjoy writing it. And so, to top off my review of the year, here are the six posts which I think represent the most interesting this blog had to offer in 2020:

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Farewell 2020 – Historical Fiction

If there ever was a year in my life that cried for some escapism, 2020 was it. I’m not saying it was the worst year or anything (personally, I’ve certainly had more troublesome years), but the barrage of worrying news was more deafening than ever. So, what better way to cope with that than to retreat to a comfortable armchair and lose oneself in a story of times gone by, of battles fought and won or lost a long time ago, whose impact on today’s life is indirect (and yet often crucial). Thus, here are the three best historical fiction books I read this year.

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Farewell 2020 – Non-Historical Board Games

Sure, this blog is all about games and history. But in the end, most of us gamers are happy with whatever gaming we get to do (there are always more games we are interested in than opportunities to play), and this is especially true in this year of limited social interaction. So, without further ado, here are my top 3 non-historical games I played this year!

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Farewell 2020 – Historical Non-Fiction

On to the next Farewell 2020 post – this time about historical non-fiction books I read this year! As per usual, there are three nominees, one of them to be crowned the winner. Let’s get straight at it!

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Farewell 2020 – New-to-Me Games

The year is coming to an end. And what a year it was! I’ll not go into the specifics – you’ve gone through all of that yourselves – yet have to mention one thing: I always do Farewell articles on this blog to review the year in different categories. We begin with new-to-me games – games that I played for the first time in 2020. While there have not been all that many this year – no conventions, barely any physical meetings with friends – here are three I really enjoyed!

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