Aah the memories...Eurowifcon 2016 Posted on 16 May 19:53 , 4 comments
Ahhh the memories......
Ahhh the memories......
Here is a different perspective of the war as seen from Chanel Stevens-san, a completely unbiased, objective and honest account of the horrors of war (the non-drinking bits).
Day 10 - Dateline: Hofgeismar
So at last, Euro WiFcon 2016 is over. After hours upon hours of dice rolling, strategising, plotting and cursing the enemy, it is time for The Last Supper.
I must admit to being relieved to find all the gamers still alive and relatively healthy. WiFcons in Hofgeismar have a habit of casting strange spells on the players to ensure they never leave, doomed for eternity to rolling dice in hope of that elusive 20.
So as we file into the last supper, the Creator takes his place at the head of the table. Looking at him, it's hard to ascertain whether he is a benevolent Creator, or an Old Testament wrath and fury type. What do you all think? Comments please.
Or maybe not?
What I do know for sure about him though, is that he speaks in a peculiar war gamers dialect. We had visited Prague together before arriving at Hofgeismar, and when I asked him how far to the German border, he replied "One and a half hexes". Ok, glad we sorted that out...
Now it's time for a shout out to the guys who've been at WiFcon from the beginning, which is now 20 years ago. Let's start with Harold.
Harold is responsible for starting the original EuroWiFcon 19 years ago this week (this being the 20th convention). Initially it was only because he was being bugged by a bunch of Vikings who wanted to play this (sort of) new game World in Flames. So he hired a scout hall where they ate, played, drank and and slept WiF for a week. Harold thought that was it.How wrong he was, 20 years later and he's been to every convention since.
Harold is a big wig at Daimler/Mercedes, and as he reminded us at the Last Supper, these days drives a beautiful big Mercedes Benz. He is also now married to Vera and they have a 1 year old son Henry.
Vera is another long suffering wargame widow who along with Harold and Henry visited us in Australia. She has won the Eurowifcon award for the woman who came back 3 years running! That shows true grit.
Some years ago Harold passed the baton to Marcus S who is now the convention's main man. As well as doing a prodigious amount of work bringing the convention together each year, Marcus is one of those laid back guys who never lets a bad roll faze him, well for no more than half an hour anyway. And no matter how bad things get he will ensure that no counters are ever harmed needlessly (hurling them at the enemy of course excepting). He too has come to every convention since its inception.
Another Marcus, Marcus G has come to (almost) every WiFcon since the beginning as well.
He had to miss two when on holidays with his wife Anthea, and one when on a police training exercise (I spose that's a good enough excuse Marcus). He loves the social aspect and reckons WiF is the most interesting and best game in the world. He grew up close to Hofgeismar, is a cop with a big laugh and a laid back attitude. He helps Marcus S in the organising and was instrumental in the printing of the very limited edition (11 copies total worldwide) convention only collector's edition maps.
All 3 of you deserve our thanks for doing so much over the years for the game and the community.The last supper is going well by the way.
All this focussing on people has taken me away from my food, and if I'm to even make a dent in it, I'd better get eating. I ordered fish, which comes with vegetables and potatoes. Like - a whole bowl of potatoes. Ten potatoes in fact. What the hell? TEN POTATOES. I promise I'm not making it up - here's a photo to prove it.
So I share a few round with the guys who are hungry from all their fighting at the front, while they wait for their Schnitzels. For at the last supper, let me tell you, Schnitzels abound. Of all different varieties - Schnitzel with onion, Schnitzel with Mushroom, Schnitzel with Schinken, Schnitzel with Cheese, and finally, Schnitzel with Schnitzel. The order for our table of 30, was in fact, 29 Schnitzels and one fish (with ten potatoes). My fish was such an oddity of an order amongst all these Schnitzels, that they wrapped it up like a bon-bon for me. Sweet of them don't you reckon?
Now I know I touched upon fashion in the last blog, specifically footwear, so I won't go into it again here. But I will mention that everyone looked very smart for their Last Supper, and there were a few impressive t-shirts on display.
Now even though he didn't actually play at this WiFcon, he was there as the mascot, and no conference would be complete without the lovely Rudiger.
Ruediger taking a short break from his Schnitzel.
Ruediger is the last of the quartet who has been to every eurowifcon since the first and is also the only player who has been to every day to every convention, except for a couple of days when he sacrificed his perfect record to drive Harry to Spiel 2010.
Ruediger has been a wonderful supporter of WiF over the years, distributing the game throughout Europe, running German Design Group and producing German language versions of the rules. He designs his own games these days including the Master edition of World in Flames and Caribbean Colonial Conquest.
This convention he was playing some strange game with his mate Marc in the smoking hall all week. I'm not sure how Marc survived it but he seemed to take it all in good spirits or at least his laryngitis meant he gave no complaints.
Finally, there were some awards handed out and we will append them to the blog when we manage to collate them all. Furthermore the images of the past week have been so memorable that I will also sync them into a slide show and pop it up when its finished. Stay tuned...
Well after 10 days of fun, frolic and war for the whole family, I must reluctantly bring my blog to an end. But like all wars, this is merely an armistace and not peace and I am already in training for next year's extravaganza.
Bye for now
Room with a view
Day 9 - and the tension level increases by the hour. Dice are being rolled FURIOUSLY, heavy breathing and sighs are punctuated by angry cursing and slamming of dice cups.
You can tell we are getting close to the climax of the war. And like in any war, it seems to me that different countries and different generals play by different rules. And because the Collector's Edition rule book is 80 + pages of 9 point font - there are inevitably differences of opinion. Which makes everything very bloody interesting indeed, particularly at this point in the week.
One compelling character I've met this week is Frederik.
Standing at least 6.5 feet tall, Frederik is certainly not lacking in confidence. He's playing the USA in this game, and thinks he has it wrapped up. He's entered the war much earlier than normal for the USA, which has allowed his production to explode. He's using 98% of this production against the Japanese, so watch out Chanel!!! He also admits he's been very lucky so far; the dice have been kind to him. We'll check back in with final results in the next instalment.
The USA looms large over the game
Well the dice gods have been smiling on Frederik, but unfortunately not on Torsten. Torsten has had a very tough game - he was playing Russia and I couldn't really follow exactly why things went wrong, but I know they did. Which was a bummer, since he had taken the week away from his high powered job managing a large Real Estate association, and his wife and kids. But he'll be back and better luck next time Torsten!!
There were also another couple of guys who left early, so I missed getting their mug shots and fingerprints on file. Aachim and Rupert, who by all accounts played well under trying circumstances. Rupert hales from Monaco and had to get back to running his own business so could only take time off to war for a few days.
Aachim on the other hand had plenty of time, too much as it turned out and found himself in the unfortunate position of channelling Josef Stalin while Hitler was swanning around Casablanca (playing it again Sam) doing his best to ignore Josef until late 1943 leaving Uncle Joe many nights nursing his vodka in his Moscow Dacha.
And hang on - here's another few guys I've never seen before - did they just parachute in?
Benjamin and Thomas brought along one of Australian Design Group's latest offerings, World in Flames Blitz, designed by David LeLacheur and produced by Compass Games in partnership with ADG. Advertised as WiF in less than a lifetime, this fast-paced version of World in Flames allowed them to just pop in for a day or two and catch everyone else up.
And Dirk. Exactly who is Dirk? I must confess Dirk's role seemed very shadowy. Is he a spy, an agent provocateur or possibly even a honey trap?
Now - let's focus on a couple of things close to my heart - fashion and food. First up - WiFcon fashion. Specifically footwear. Imelda Marcos eat your heart out. Check out these stylish trends.
Now these days we're all increasingly aware of the importance of health food, and here at the Schutzen hall it's no exception. I'm gonna let the images tell the story :
Got the picture? And check out these yummy lollies too :
And as the day pans to a close, I reflect on these gamers I've met - they are all very lovely, gentle, intelligent and welcoming.
So why the hell do they have so many disturbing and creepy surgical implements everywhere? Answer me that...
Anyhow, back with the final blog tomorrow, sweet dreams all,
Philippe in a moment of repose
Day 8 - It's been fascinating watching these guys in the war room over the past few days. They might not be able to clean a kitchen (with the notable exception of Chanel, who when complimented on his housekeeping skills protested "oh don't worry I don't do it for the team, I do it to stay alive!") but their intellects are undeniable.
Philippe is smart, young and attractive. He's a neuroscientist from Berlin. He's really pleased to have met other WIFfers from Berlin because he loves the social aspect of board games and looks forward to challenging them to a rematch in the coming months. Just goes to show how great boardgames are in forging friendships.
Tom comes from Michigan US, and is a lawyer with a heart who provides pro bono help to the disadvantaged in his community. His son's about to finish his PhD in physics so there is no shortage of grey matter in this family. This is his 5th EuroWiFcon (he is so dedicated he's also supported USWifcons as well) and we look forward to seeing him at the 6th).
Another gamer from across the Atlantic is Eric, ADG's main man. He and his wife Kandice brilliantly handle all the international distribution of World in Flames, 7 Ages and all the other plethora of ADG games usually from his prairie lair of Wichita Kansas. However he has had a fantastic opportunity with a worldwide company (other than ADG) to spend a few years working in the moors of Wales. He has 2 young kids but like many modern partners these days his very understanding wife has given him leave to bring out his inner Deutcsh for 10 days (hopefully the company is equally understanding).
Oystein is a charming guy from Oslo, with a big grin and an easy going manner. He's been playing since the mid 90's, and he's been to about 6 conventions. His wife Sisel doesn't mind him coming for the week, as long as he brings her a gift home. Let's hope it's not a copy of WIF for her.
Stefan's another guy with a big grin, he's from Munich and a more jovial face you are rarely going to find. He's playing on the best table with the auteur (no doubt up to 4 other tables may disagree) and although his Japanese navy is being pounded mercilessly by Karsten's USN, he takes it all in good spirit and even returns the favour sinking 5 Essex class carriers...so far.
Thomas is from Poland which goes to show how wide ranging our warriors hale from. Thomas is the quiet assassin. Although he often keeps his own counsel you underestimate him at your peril. With a flick of the rules or a roll of the die he'll have your panzers fleeing for the hills while you wonder what on earth happened to them.
Klaus is from Munich, and he's been sharing some of the play at this WiFcon with Harold, as he's had work commitments. He's playing Japan, and he likes that because lived there for several years when he was younger. He loves knowing the cities he's defending and fighting for. He loves learning new stuff at each conference through playing new players and watching their strategies.
Well thats it for today war-game widow sisters. Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment tomorrow...
Well, back to the trenches for another day of combat. The guys are all deep in concentration, bent over their tables with the intense focus of a true war gamer. As I introduce myself to more of the punters, it becomes apparent that one of the pre - requisites of coming to this conference is to be called Karsten/Carsten (depending on country).
So I start chatting to ... you guessed it, Karsten. Let's call this guy Karsten the 1st of Hanover.
Now don't be fooled by the friendly easy going smile on Karsten 1's face, because behind that facade lies the shrewd and ruthless mind of the US Commander in Chief.
Karsten 1 of Hanover is by all accounts an extremely good player, and in his spare time he manages to hold down a job as a maths, science and technology teacher, as well as being a family man, married to Ilona and with four beautiful children.
Next, I move on to talk to Carsten. Let's call this one Carsten 2, of Denmark, who currently lives in exile in Sweden.
Carsten 2 tells me that has been playing the game for the last 23 years. (I think to myself he must have started when he was a toddler - surely this guy can't be older than about 25). He loves board games, but WiF is his favourite. He likes it because it has so many strategic and tactical decisions, there's so much planning, fiddling with numbers, and history involved. He's playing Germany, and it's a close game - which is good. He's probably played around 150 games in his life, and reckons he's won around 60 % of them (I'm sure he's modestly rounding down). Favourite drink at the conference - Dunkel Beer.
Moving right along to the next Carsten, this time Carsten 3 of Copenhagen.
Carsten 3 from Copenhagen is playing the Commonwealth, and it's going well for him so far, although he claims the Russians are not doing well, and have left the building. This is his fifth Euro WIFcon, and he usually plays each Sunday at home, on Vassal.
The next Carsten I speak to is from Stockholm, and he claims his name is actually Johan (but I have my doubts). This is his 13th WIFcon, so he knows all the guys
pretty well. He doesn't play regularly at home, because he can't find enough players in Stockholm. So all you guys reading this in Stockholm, please contact Carsten (aka Johan) and start up a group. I ask why he doesn't play on Vassal, and he explains that he prefers the real deal - the counters, maps and dice. I understand that; the game is so impressive all laid out that I'd prefer it this way too.
All this chatting to Carsten's has made me thirsty, so I venture into the kitchen to grab a drink.
Hmm, not so easy to find a clean glass here, maybe I'll leave it for a bit and go find another Carsten to talk to.
Now this is one cool dude. Probably the coolest looking character here, he introduces himself as Christophe from Belgium. No beer swilling from a can for this guy, instead, he's holding an elegant long stemmed glass and sipping fine red wine. This is his 17th WIFcon, and he's playing the US. At this stage he's feeling confident (and he certainly looks it - as he drags on his Cuban cigar). One thing he loves about WIF is that you get to be in a war without killing anyone. Good point, thanks Christophe.
I'm not having much luck finding other Carsten's to talk to for the moment, so I have a peep around at some of the tables
and I admire the beautifully laid out counters on the maps. So neat, clean and precise. A slight contrast to the kitchen ... but never mind, these guys clearly have more important things to concentrate on.
Next up is Björn from Berlin. As well as apparently being an excellent player, Bjorn is a bit of a philosopher. He explains to me how playing WIF has helped to shape his world view.
"In this game you have to make decisions with uncertain outcomes. Therefore I have to think about the possibilities and the risks and then make a decision with the best knowledge I have. Now, afterwards, with a dice roll, that can either turn out to be a good or a bad decision, but I have to accept it because I made it with the best knowledge I had at the time. So I've learned from the game not to blame myself when I make a bad decision in my life, I've learned to accept my decisions more, and gain more self acceptance. And a lot of people feel that they can't make choices in their lives, but we all have choices and I know I can change things in my life, I just have to think about the possible outcomes of my decisions. I just have to take my life into my own hands and say what do I want to do, what are the possibilities? And WIF has helped me to understand this. This is why it's also a great game for young people".
Well said Björn.
Over and out from the front,
Dateline: Hofgeismar, Germany, 11 October 2016
Well this trip to Europe has been full of firsts for me. It was my first time in Portugal (which I loved), first time in Barcelona (which I loved), first time in Prague (which I loved), and now, the first time ever at a WIF conference. (Which I ... - hmmm let me think about it. Maybe love isn't the right word here). But it certainly is an eye opener.
So I arrive at the conference which is held - not at a conference centre (as one might expect), but at the local shooting range. So that whilst the WIF gamers are deep in thought and strategising their next brilliant manoeuvre, there is the soothing background noise of rifles going off. OK...
Inside the hall, there are 5 tables set up with the huge WIF maps.
And thousands of pretty little coloured counters which almost look like you could eat them.
I wonder what would happen if I tried, but I decide not to, as I suspect the gamers would object. I'm struck by how neatly they're stacked in little piles, sorted into various sections of numerous plastic boxes, lovingly tended to like precious jewels.
The next thing I notice is a lot of beer bottles. And wine bottles. Most of them empty. These guys are obviously having a good time!
So it's time to meet these chaps and see what makes them tick. First up, I speak to Terry.
Terry lives in Somerset, UK, and in this game he's playing as Germany. He's played WIF hundreds of times, but considering the scale of the game, this means only around 20 complete games. He's won around three of them. He loves the scale of WIF, and the size. So size really DOES matter, I think to myself. He then adds, "Harry's genius is that in a game of this scale it could turn out to be plodding, but this is a bit counter intuitive which makes it more fun. His wife Sue, (happily back home in England) has two views on the game - the first is that she is happy it makes him happy, and the second, well, let's just say she thinks it's basically a whole heap of guys sitting around playing with each other!! I think I'd like to meet this Sue.
Terry has a final comment about WIF before I move on - that the funny thing about it is that someone inevitably makes a terrible mistake at some point in the game - and it's oddly always in their favour!!!
Next I talk to Holger, who allegedly built his entire house around his enormous train set.
Holger is from Berlin, and is playing the Commonwealth in this game. He's completed around 50 WIF games, and although I've heard he is a very good player, he claims the number he has won is not so great, because many of his games have been against the world's best player, Kai. He is less of a beer drinker than most of the other punters and is probably the best dressed person in the room.
Now I move onto Michael, who lives in Hanover and works in banking.
He is also playing the Commonwealth in this game.. He loves WIF and enjoys the element of luck involved with the dice roll, and the way you must use your head to play (like soccer I wonder?) and the logistics involved. "You must always build for the next four or five turns. Although there must be skill - luck is definitely a factor". Favourite drink at the conference - you guessed it - beer!
Chanel lives in Bristol UK ,and claims his wife Caroline is happy for him to come to WIF conferences.
She feigns interest while he explains his strategies, and let's face it, who can blame her? And also, what trouble can he really get up to here in a shooting hall with a whole heap of men in track suits playing board games? He likes the fact that WIF will keep Alzheimers at bay, and that it takes him into an alternate reality, keeps him totally focussed and out of trouble. He loves playing Italy, because you have very few units, so you have to maximise your cusps of decision. This is his first time at a Euro WIFcon, and hopefully not the last.
Tobias is from Sweden, and has been playing WIF for around 16 years.
He loves he size of WIF, and the way that you get to have fun playing whether or not you win or lose. He's also playing the Commonwealth at his table. He loves coming to the conference and playing on the large tables - at home he plays only by Vassal. Favourite conference drink - beer!!! He's anticipating either a win or stalemate in this game.
Well there's heaps more to say from the front, but since it's been a heavy day in the trenches for me, it's time to say Guten Nacht - and I'll be back with more tomorrow.
Update 23 Feb 2017: I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the release of World in Flames: the Collector's edition will now be at Eurowifcon 2017 and Spiel 2017 both in Germany in October this year.
Now for the good news. While Cat and I were in Germany last October we had discussions with some of the biggest boardgame printers in the world. As a result of those discussions we are pleased to announce that World in Flames: the Collector's edition maps will be printed for the first time ever as hard-mounted map boards. With a total map-size of 840mm wide x 2.63 metres long, this will (unless I am very much mistaken) make World in Flames the largest ever hard-mounted map game published in history.
But wait, there's more! For the counters we are also going from knife cut (with all that nasty flash on each edge to deal with) to die cut that you just punch out with your fingers. And furthermore we intend to print them with beveled edges so all you gamers who meditate by clipping all four corners of thousands of counter edges before you play will have to find some other form of serenity (sorry about that Robin!).
And there is a bunch of other stuff we have decided to do too like make both the rulebook and scenario books full colour with heaps of full-colour examples. In producing the aircraft for Planes in Flames (including over 50 new models) we have amassed the most detailed accumulation of ship and aircraft technical and production data that has ever been collated and are considering publishing a hard cover academic World in Flames Handbook of combat aircraft and naval unit technical & production data (this would normally be a full-time project in its own right and I won't be holding up the publication of the Collector's edition if simultaneous publication is not possible).
All this requires not only the physical production of counters, maps, rules and charts etc but also the manipulation of them so they fit into the printer's specifications. What we are attempting has not been done before and wasn't actually possible in the recent past at least if you wanted an acceptable game to play on the scale of World in Flames. You will notice the seismic impact of this change in that World in Flames: the collector's edition in the new way it is being packaged as explained below.
All of this is going to take time. For example I have to manipulate the maps a bit so they abut each other as hard mounted maps rather than layering over each other as in all previous editions. Because the maps edges will fold over I have to move all edge city names, factories, ports etc a little bit in to the centre of each map to allow a bit of leeway in printing.
So please accept my humble apologies for the length of time this is taking to complete but I hope it reinforces the fact that the Collector's edition is definitely it! I have other projects I want to finish before I get too drifty to remember what they are.
But my sole goal now is when you open your copy of World in Flames: the collector's edition, you will agree it is the best, most beautiful and most accurate strategic game of World War II you have ever played.
I want this to be the game you will to your grandchildren. More than that I want your grandchildren to fight over it and not speak to each other at Christmas if they don't get it. Anything less than this is abject failure!
You will also be glad to hear that we now have (proposed, based on current quotes from printers, prices will be finalised and fixed prior to taking first orders) prices for the game (excluding freight, taxes and charges)
Collector Edition Games
World in Flames Classic - Australian (Aus) $199
World in Flames Deluxe - Aus $399
World in Flames Super Deluxe- Aus $799 (will be less if it doesn't include the hard-cover World in Flames Handbook of WWII combat aircraft & naval units).
To reward you for your support for ADG and our games, in May or June we will set up an advance order system where if you order before its release you will receive a 25% discount on each of the above products, i.e.
Collector Edition Games
World in Flames Classic - Aus $149
World in Flames Deluxe - Aus $299
World in Flames Super Deluxe- Aus $599 (which is pretty cheap for 4 games, 2 magazines, a hardcover book of technical data, 7 expansions, 15 maps and 9240 counters and a couple of pages of rules).
I will announce on our website when we are ready to start taking pre-orders. In the meantime, thank you for your interest in our games and I'll get back to slaving over a hot Stuka and wonder what fantasy numbers, sorry I mean detailed specifications, I can come up with for the Super-Lorin (that original Lorin was just rubbish!).
Original post July 2016 (revised to include new information disclosed above)
When World in Flames was first released in 1985 I had no idea we'd still be beavering away at it 32 years later.
The first edition took 2 years to produce. The collector's edition has so far taken 10 years. It synthesises approximately 9 million person hours of gaming experience (and that's based on the estimate that each of our 60,000 customers have only played it once, and even then only against other customers so I suspect that is a substantial underestimate) to bring you (in October 2017) the definitive strategic game of world war II.
The collector's edition provides new maps, new counters, streamlined, simplified and clarified full-colour rules, new scenarios, new options, new countries and new strategies.
The maps have moved away from mercator and conic projections to equal area projections. No 2D representation of a 3D world can be accurate but some are more appropriate than others. The problem with equal area projections is they tend to draw inwards areas close to the globe. To handle that we use the map breaks to ensure that if the cities can't go to the map edges the map edges can come to the cities. This gives the maps themselves a pleasing and intuitive globe look themselves (as you can see from the Asia map attached to this blog).
The counters have all been updated and revised as necessary. An extra countersheet has been added so all standard corps are now included in the Classic set. The carriers now show a top view as the dive bombers would have seen it just as they were releasing their bombs and all submarines are now individualised by class which affects their performance characteristics. More entry markers are available so you shouldn't run out now and everyone now has their own offensive points they can buy and spend.
The rules themselves have been thoroughly overhauled to make any FAQ superfluous. We have spent the last 7 years simplifying, streamlining and standardising the rules as much as possible with many more examples to make play of the game as smooth as possible.
There will also be 2 new expansions, Territories in Flames which replaces Africa Aflame and Divisions in Flames which replaces Asia Aflame & Mech in Flames. The basis of the collector's edition is that if you want one unit or marker type, you only need to go to one kit. Thus if you want divisions and artillery, all of them for all WiF games (including Patton in Flames and America in Flames) will be included in Divisions in Flames.
Finally we have added several new campaigns and scenarios including America in Flames, Patton in Flames and Days of Decision campaigns that now use all the counters from all the expansions (e.g. adding Ships in Flames to America in Flames).
It has taken 9 further years but at last we hope to achieve our 31 year endeavour to make World in Flames the Collector's edition the greatest gaming experience of your life.
The World in Flames Collector’s edition world comes in one of ten flavours:
The World in Flames Rules set consists of:
The World in Flames Map set consists of:
The World in Flames Classic Counters set consists of 1600 (12.7 x 12.7 mm) counters representing the armies, navies and air forces of World War II (countersheets 1-6, 24 & 46);
The World in Flames Classic Collector’s edition game consists of the:
Everything you need to play the game.
Planes in Flames adds 600 counters representing all the combat aircraft that fought before during and after WW II including many new and late-war aircraft and capabilities that fully integrates Planes in Flames with all World in Flames games (AiF, DoD, PatiF & WiF, countersheets 7-9);
Ships in Flames comprises:
Divisions in Flames adds 400 counters representing all the independent divisions that fought during WW II (including special forces and elite divisions as well as Guards Banne Armies and their divisions, countersheets 49 and 50);
Territories in Flames adds 400 counters representing all the special corps and armies created during WWII from Territorials to Siberians, to city based volunteers, warlords and even the potential creation of the Ukraine (countersheets 47 and 48).
The World in Flames Deluxe Collector’s edition game consists of:
for a total of 5 maps and 4800 counters.
The World in Flames Super Deluxe Collector’s game set* consists of the:
for a total of 1 book, 2 magazines, 4 games, 7 expansions, 15 maps and 9240 counters (and a couple of pages of rules:)!
* ~ Please note that only the World in Flames Deluxe Collector’s edition game and WWII Handbook of Combat Aircraft & Naval units are being printed. The rest of the superdeluxe package includes the current version of the magazines, games and expansions.
USWiFcon kicks off again tomorrow, good luck to all competitors.
I believe they will be playing with the Collector's edition maps. To show what a challenge that will be first time up, check out the downloads section, I have added the draft collector's edition maps. They are only at 5% resolution but are good enough to show all the massive changes since WiF7, most particularly the middle east, Africa, Russia, Turkey, Siberia and the pacific (pretty much everywhere really).
If any of the competitors have any battle sitreps they would like to report please go ahead. particularly interested to see how the Russian and Pacific campaigns pan out.