(Board) Gaming Latin America.

Recently, and quite accidentally, I’ve found myself drawn to the recent, i.e. post WW2, conflicts in Latin America. It came about from a innocuous comment on a yahoo group about the gaming potential in 1/600th of the 1995 Alto Cenepa War.Which was a border dispute between Peru and Ecuador, it was air to air combat between Mirages and Sukhois… who wouldn’t be intrigued?

This interest led to the purchase of these two books:

Latin American Fighters, I and M Guevara:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Latin-American-Fighters-History-Fighter/dp/0982553900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353035321&sr=8-1

and

Latin American Mirages, S Rivas and JC Cicalesi:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Latin-American-Mirages-Mirage-Service/dp/0982553943/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353035338&sr=8-1

both are good, though considerably more expensive now then when I picked them up. They give a fine overview and just the kind of information I needed for my air war plans. At this point the air war side of things was put on hold as the rules I’d be using need playtesting and I was going to do that with the Vietnam era models I’d already got. However as these aren’t even painted let alone glued together the whole idea has taken a backseat.

When I was at Triples in Sheffield earlier this year helping out Bill at the UFM stand I got into a conversation with one of the exhibitors who was putting on a 10mm Latin American game (Honduras versus El Salvador if memory serves me correctly). He recommended this book which I’ve now got round to reading:

Latin America’s Wars: Vol 2: The Age of the Professional Soldier, RL Scheina.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Latin-Americas-Wars-Professional-Soldier/dp/1574884522/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1353034178&sr=8-25

It’s a very good read, although it is relatively brief. Given the amount of ground it covers both geographically and historically this is to be expected. As it jumps about from country to country you get a whistle stop tour round the countries’ conflict as thematically grouped, though all the different names and acronyms gets slightly confusing so you need to take your time to get it straight in your head.

In the past few years I’ve been playing a lot more board games than before (Brian’s influence no doubt, which is a good thing I hasten to add….). I looked around and found a still sealed copy of Central America dating from the 1980s (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2080/central-america) and it looks like a great game. Loads of counters, decent map and a lot of different scenarios to work through. Looks fairly heavy going but no worse than any other game of a similar vintage. I’ll report back more once I’ve read through it and actually had a game.

Following internet recommendations I found out about the game Andean Abyss (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/91080/andean-abyss); what especially drew me to it was that it can accomodate 1-4 players making it idea for one our Monday night games nights regardless of how many people turn up. It arrived through the post from IG UK (http://www.iguk.co.uk/) the other day. Very impressed with how it is put together, great rules booklets and components as yet I’ve still not read through it… again….

So where does this leave things? Once things have quietened down on the home front I’ll read through the 2 sets of rules, and a re read of the old osprey (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/store/Central-American-Wars-1959%E2%80%9389_9780850459456). Then it will be time to get some games in. No doubt the air war side of things will come with time and I’ll resist the temptation to start skirmishing the Latin American conflicts in 20mm too… that said there is tons of potential there… raids… guerrila actions… coups….

Cheers,

Pete.

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2 comments on “(Board) Gaming Latin America.

  1. wargamingresources says:

    Hi Pete – I will follow your explorations with interest as my wife is Brasillian and so I have an unexpected interest in the region.

    Thanks for the links – I suspect one of the books will be on a shopping list shortly ;-))

    Cheers Iain

  2. Pete S/ SP says:

    Hello Ian,

    Glad you found my post useful. It’s a fascinating area and aside from the Falklands war one that is pretty much ignored here in the UK- shame really.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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