Cardboard Children: Fortress America

By Robert Florence on June 24th, 2012 at 8:11 am.


Hello youse.

I missed Fortress America first time round. It was originally released as one of the MB Gamesmaster series, alongside games like Axis & Allies and the brilliant Shogun. For years, I’ve heard it called one of the purest examples of the “Ameritrash” style. It’s a game that features a map of America, lots of little plastic units, and a handful of dice. It’s one of those games I’d always hoped to find in a charity shop one sunny day, on a shelf alongside the Aliens board game and a working Dark Tower.

Fantasy Flight Games has spoiled that dream by releasing a new edition of the game and making it available in shops all over the place. And not a penny goes to charity. There’s no charity in Fortress America. Only ruthlessness. Let’s rock.

FORTRESS AMERICA

One nation. Under a groove. Rolling dice just for the funk of it.

America is out of control, seriously. It has started to build these giant lasers that can fire from long range, and the other nations of the world don’t like it. With a laser in New York, America could probably shoot the bad teeth out of an Englishman’s mouth. From Washington, it could shoot a schoolgirl’s used panties out of a Tokyo vending machine. There is no other option for the world than to invade America and dismantle the lasers, send them through a time portal, and repurpose them as vibrators for dinosaurs. I’ve invented much of this.

One player is America. There are three other forces, invading America from the South, the East and the West. It’s one against three. Who are the bad guys? War isn’t that simple, it’s not black and white. Blah blah blah. All that we can say for sure is that if you’re America, you’re up against it at first. And if you’re the invaders, you’ll be up against it in pretty short order if you don’t hit hard and fast and smart.

What surprised me most about Fortress America was the story it told. Whenever I see a game with a map and a bunch of little plastic soldiers, I always ask myself this important question – do I have this story already? (When I talk about story here, I’m talking about the story told through the gameplay, not through fluff or dinosaur dildos.) I can honestly say I have never been told the story that Fortress America tells. And no wonder. It’s straight bananas.

When the game begins, America is caught on the hop. The American player has to spread forces around the board, with no more than two units in each territory. The defences are thin. The invading players stack their forces up on the edge of American territory, and they have loads of units. They can easily charge in, five units to a territory, overwhelming the American forces close to the border. The invaders always act first in a round, so the American player is constantly responding to invader actions. Within the first couple of rounds, things can look very bleak for the good old USA. It will have to hang on in there in the early going to have any hope of survival. Man!

The invaders win if a round ends with 18 American cities under their control. America wins if it wipes out the invaders or manages to survive ten rounds.

I should clarify how the game works. The armies have air units, mechanised units and infantry. When not invading, infantry can only move using transports. Movement isn’t just something you do, it’s something you torture yourself with. I played a game where one invader fucked up by leaving lots of infantry reinforcements miles back on the border while all his transports were far inland. That’s a mistake that takes time to fix, and time is against the invaders. That troop movement is everything. For the invaders it’s a game of steady advancements and holding lines, with the occasional sweeps and rushes. For America it’s all about re-organising, establishing your defence and choosing points of retaliation.

What also matters hugely is the balance of your forces. When you want to take a city or a mountain region, you receive a combat bonus for “combined troop actions”. If you have air, mechanised and infantry units all involved in the same battle, that will make the assault much easier. Each battle is weighed in the defender’s advantage. Territory can be difficult to claim, or claim back.

Combat itself is simple and clean. Defenders shoot first. Dice are colour coded. Battles conclude quickly. You can tell that this is a game that originally came from a “family boardgame” company. You’ll have all the rules down within a round or two. It’s nice when that happens, YOU HEAR ME ALL YOU PUBLISHERS OUT THERE?!

You can already see that, as simple as the game is, there’s a lot to think about. But where the game really shines is in the story. It’s the same story every time, sure, but the pace of that story changes. The dramatic beats fall at different points. Last time, the hero might have been a bizarrely tough hovertank unit in New York. This time the hero might be a partisan that ran amok in the mountains.

Ah, yeah. The partisans. Beautiful.

When the game begins, America has its cities and a wide spread of thin defences. As the rounds pass, however, resistance starts to spring up. The people of America fight back against their invaders. You draw two Partisan Cards at the start of your America turn, and you’ll find fighters rushing out of the mines or leaping from the mountains to assault your enemies. America starts to wake up, and momentum starts to slowly shift. That laser technology I mentioned? Every round the American player can build a laser at a city, and the lasers can be fired at any enemy unit on the board. For the invaders, a laser is a big problem. By round 5, it’s five lasers, and the invaders start to run out of clean underwear.

The laser firing phase is such a buzz. You can feel the dread at the table.

And this is what I love about the game. The “feel”. There are better dudes on a map games than Fortress America. But none of them tell this story. You can almost imagine the flow of the game as newspaper headlines.

AMERICA INVADED!
AMERICAN FORCES IN DISARRAY
EASTERN SEABOARD FALLS!
AMERICA: NO SURRENDER
LASER TECH HITS BACK
INVADERS LOSE GROUND IN SOUTH
THE PEOPLE RISE UP!
LASER WARFARE SHIFTS TIDE
ENGLISHMAN’S BAD TEETH SHOT OUT!

Man, this is a fun, old-school game. When you play it, you can almost picture yourself in an American college dorm room, with Red Dawn playing on the TV and Born In The USA on the radio. And Sally knocks on the door and asks you to go to the diner with her, and you’re all like “Sorry, Sally, I’m playing Fortress America with the guys!” And you don’t lose your virginity for another six years and you’re a fucking idiot.

This game would probably not be designed in 2012. Publishers would turn up their nose at it and say there aren’t enough rules, or that luck plays too big a part in the battles. Or that the story of the game is just too silly and you might have mental health issues for even thinking of it. But fuck those guys, because Fortress America already exists, it rules, and it’s about an America that we all secretly love.

See, when I was young, America was this big scary glamorous place that would fuck you up if you looked at it the wrong way. America existed in my head as a creature with Stallone’s muscles, an eagle’s head, Ronald Reagan’s voice and a rocket launcher. In the 1980s, American culture fed me the idea that the USA was built on solid foundations of kissing beautiful girls, driving shit hot cars, shooting anyone who wasn’t American, putting lasers in space and playing some pretty sweet rawk guitar. Now all of this is BAD, sure, and it was a LIE too. But for an 8 year old boy in Glasgow it was certainly cool. Every kid wanted to be an American in the 80s. Fact. These days America is just a confused skinny dude with horn-rimmed glasses trying to decide what to do with a bible.

Fortress America is that good old 1980s fictional America in a box. This is the ultimate guilty pleasure. Pick it up, open some beers, and enjoy some Old Glory.

CITY OF HORROR UPDATE

I’ve been told I’ll be getting my hands on City of Horror the minute it is available. I will assemble my friends and play it to death (and lose all my friends in the process, because this game is BRUTAL). I expect to be covering it in September, so start counting the days. And here is the cover!

Check out the guy kicking the fella out of the building. THAT is some Mall of Horror shit right there. I can’t wait. GIMME GIMME.

BOARDGAMES AT REZZED

You’re all going to Rezzed, right? The powerhouses that are Rock Paper Shotgun and Eurogamer are doing a games show, and it’s in Brighton, which I’m told is further south than Scotland, further north than France, and lower down than the sky.

Well, there’s going to be a board game section there, with games for you to have a play with. I am now going to tell you which games are going, and comment briefly on each.

Zombie Dice – I love this fun little game. So will you.
Jungle Speed – You might do yourself an injury. Don’t try it while drunk.
Zombies! – Entry level fun. Not as bad as some snobs will suggest.
Carcassonne – I hate it. So boring. Most people disagree with me. Make up your own mind.
Settlers of Catan – Just a beautiful board game. I’ll hear nothing against it.
Dominion – A fine design. I find it a bit lacking in theme, but I admire and enjoy it.
Khet 2.0 – This is a game that I bought ages back, and my lasers don’t work in my thingies. I need to contact the publisher for replacement thingies. It looks fun with the thingies and so on.
The Walking Dead (TV version) – Haven’t played this. Hopefully it’s better than the show.
Game of Thrones LCG – Haven’t played this either. I’ve heard good things about it from a friend who enjoys Magic.
Warhammer: Invasion – One of my favourite games. A beautiful, exciting design, rich with theme.
Dixit Journey – I’ve spoken about Dixit many times. A modern classic.
Munchkin Deluxe – Munchkin is a weird one. I’d be interested to hear what YOU think.

So, yeah. Lots of games for you to check out at what will be a fantastic show. I might try to get down there myself, if I can clear the time. Book some tix.

Until next time, stay dicey! (That has to go. Terrible.)

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65 Comments »

  1. Mr. Mister says:

    …lasers?

  2. Spacewalk says:

    The old box had better art.

  3. ChrisN says:

    “Man, this is a fun, old-school game. When you play it, you can almost picture yourself in an American college dorm room, with Red Dawn playing on the TV and Born In The USA on the radio. And Sally knocks on the door and asks you to go to the diner with her, and you’re all like “Sorry, Sally, I’m playing Fortress America with the guys!” And you don’t lose your virginity for another six years and you’re a fucking idiot.”

    I think this is the funniest passage I’ve read on this site.

    • Matt says:

      Just don’t listen too closely to those “Born in the USA” lyrics….

      • Lagwolf says:

        Exactly… better music for the back-ground is stuff like “R.O.C.K. in the USA” by JCM, “You Can Still Rock in America” by Night Ranger, Motley Crue or Megadeth from that period. Played this game back in the day & it was a blast.

  4. jmtd says:

    You mentioned Catan! About time.

  5. Biscuitry says:

    I’ll admit, Fortress America does sound fun. Unfortunately, it also sounds like yet another game that requires you have exactly three friends; no more, no less.

  6. Phantoon says:

    “Every kid wanted to be an American in the 80s.”

    What?

    What??

    Seriously?

    • Jimbo says:

      To be fair, he was in Glasgow.

    • jrodman says:

      FWIW, we ‘intelligentsia’ kids in the US weren’t too sure we wanted to be americans at the time. The war on drugs, the vacuous cold war and failure of our manufacturing sector didn’t seem like “glory days” to us. At least, from a 12 year old perspective, it seemed like a bad time.

    • bill says:

      Come on. We did. Ripped jeans and rebok pumps and watching American footie on channel; 4…

      I’m not sure if it’s embarrassing or a sign of a more innocent age.

  7. Rodafowa says:

    Oh my God the Aliens board game. So awesome. And the reason that part of my brain which I’ll never get to use for something else is filled with the names of all the Colonial Marines in that film.

  8. OrangyTang says:

    Mr Florence? You’re dead wrong on Carcassonne, sorry.

    Merging two farms and thus kicking your opponent out of them because you now outnumber him? Brilliant. Bonus points for doing it on the second to last turn.

    Sure it gets a little random with larger numbers of players, but the better players usually come out top.

    Plus my mum can play it. So everyone elses’ will probably be able to too. :)

    • qrter says:

      I like Carcasonne, too. On a meta-game level I like to name towns and cities, usually rude names based on the shapes they turn out to be.

      Now, Settlers of Catan.. I would say that is a boring game. I can’t stand the eeeeendless trading rounds. Game has no rhythm.

  9. Melipone says:

    Great to hear a mention of Shogun – my mum was on the verge of throwing a set away last week and I saved it. Looking forward to getting the gang round for a game of Risk+ soon.

  10. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I love this column. The USA of the 80s diatribe is some of the funniest text I’ve read in an awfully long time.

    Bless you Robert, for rekindling my love of board games so. I have Mage Knight and King of Tokyo on order, I’m a huge fan of Dixit (a truly unique game- I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy playing it) and I’m just about getting into Munchkin Zombies with my fiance, who otherwise hates PC games (but is looking forward to KoT)..

  11. malkav11 says:

    I don’t enjoy Carcassone, but then I don’t enjoy a lot of games in that vein. I like my games theme-rich, complex, and usually lengthy. About the only game I can think of offhand that I enjoy that can be played in under 30 minutes is Race for the Galaxy. That game just packs so much into such a small timeframe.

  12. Yglorba says:

    I found my original copy of Wiz-War (2e, I think) in a tiny charity shop off a church, and purchased it for 50 cents.

    So that post brought back good memories for me.

  13. Neurotic says:

    I used to work in Leisure Games, North Finchley during the late 1980s. Spent tons of money in there, and most of it is all still sitting on a shelf here. Complete set of FASA Battletech boxes, 1st and 2nd edition Talismans, DungeonQuest, all the WEG Star Wars games, loads of other West End Games stuff, and yes, an Aliens too. Those were the salad days.

  14. Skabooga says:

    Munchkin is a favorite of mine, pulling off the combination of being both theme rich and quick to play. There is always a chance of a reversal of fortune; a game cannot be called until someone actually wins the damn thing, making everyone more than a little paranoid.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Really? I find it kind of silly random, and too light for my taste. Sure the joke is funny the first two times you play it, but then it is pretty much played out and you just have a shallow card game where not a lot happens and everything is determined by what you draw.

      I never understand how it can be so popular when it is such an insubstantial experience. It is like the network sitcom of boardgames.

  15. silverhammermba says:

    “You’ll have all the rules down within a round or two. It’s nice when that happens, YOU HEAR ME ALL YOU PUBLISHERS OUT THERE?!”

    I’d love to see an article about the metagaming of board games. I.e. examining games where the enjoyment comes not from the competitive aspect and development of strategies, but from the players simply attempting to carry out the complicated machinations required to adhere to bloated rules.

    There is much enjoyment to be had in manipulating cardboard tokens, rolling dice, and sorting cards, but when the prevalence of these acts overpowers the game itself, what game are you even playing?

    • MrBeats says:

      There has been many a long-winded conversation when it came to grappling in DnD.

    • Hastur says:

      Back in high school, I was in a Supremacy phase. Supremacy was a boardgame that specialized in turning otherwise good friends into mad raving enemies in arguments over who-did-who-to-what. We have fond memories but the game never ended well.

      Now, well on 15 years later, some friends and I decided to give it a whirl again. After our umpteenth befuddled trip to the rulebook with no clear answer, we came to the realization that the game is fundamentally broken. Inconsistencies abound, and in some cases there is no clear resolution. It turns out, most of our arguments were just the result of trying to play a game in an uncertain game world.

      • ClockworkTiger says:

        “Inconsistencies abound, and in some cases there is no clear resolution. It turns out, most of our arguments were just the result of trying to play a game in an uncertain game world.”

        I think you just came very close to making a profound statement about life in general.

      • jrodman says:

        All I know is I tried to play it once, around 1997. A lot of people decided to attack me early on. My strategy quickly shifted to dying as fast as possible to do something fun instead.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Yeah that was the game that first got me into rewriting rule-sets. It is a lot better now, but for a couple decades there most games were simply broken out of the box. Such bad rule sets. Even something as popular as Powergrid just has an atrocious rulset that you can cut in half without changing any of the core gameplay.

        I suppose this is what I get for studying logic.

    • Neurotic says:

      Yeah, probably a fully expanded Talisman. That shit required tents and sleeping bags just to do a full round.

  16. MrBeats says:

    I adore Munchkin. I own the original game along with a couple of expansions. It’s an insane game that you can pick up relatively quickly but one that veterans of the game are more likely to win because they know what cards are still in the deck, which ones to hold out for. There are some balancing issues, in my humble opinion, but it’s got that screw your neighbor aspect that is much appreciated, especially, it seems, on this site.

    • Slow Dog says:

      Munchkin. I’ve played it twice. I don’t remember anything of the first time beyond the desire to never play the tedious thing again. Yet I was persuaded to try again; the rest of my playing group all claimed to like it. Maybe I missed something the first time. Nope. But now I’m never going to let the sheer awfulness slip from my grasp.

      The game is supposedly hilarious. Which it is, if you’re the sort of person who finds the concept of “Boots of Butt-Kicking” as a magic item hilarious. In Munchkin game two, I smiled at one card in first half hour, and endured a parade of inanity for the rest of the time.

      There were a couple of times over the course of the next hour or so that it looked like someone was going to win and bring the whole miserable experience to an end, but this resulted in the the other players ganging up on the leader and hauling them back to mediocrity, a “screw your neighbour” aspect that some seem to appreciate.

      Eventually, the cards fell in such a way that someone hauled themselves over the finishing line despite the efforts of everyone else. It might even have been me. This person was presumably the “winner”, though that would actually be someone who’d been doing something, anything, other than playing Munchkin.

      • jrodman says:

        It’s definitely a “bring the fun to the game” type of experience. If the players think that the theme and goofing about with each other is a great time, they can have a great time. But the mechanics and structure don’t really have much to be said for them.

        If you like something to do while drinking beer with low-brow simple D&D mocking jokes, then it can be great. If you want a game that engages on mechanics, will move towards a conclusion in a regular way, and will please a broader audience, then munchkin isn’t it.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          But if you have a good sense of humor and interesting people to have a fun time with, why not have a fun time with a good game instead of a crummy one. I hear this argument for Munchkin a lot and it makes no sense to me. “It is a great game if you have a bunch of fun people and just sort of take it lightly”. Well so is Black Gold, or Galaxy Trucker, or Evo, or Red Planet, or Tribune, or Vikings, or Race for the Galaxy, or Dominion, or Steam, or Small World, or 15 other things, and they have the added benefit of actually being fun!

  17. HorzaEdeo says:

    Dark Tower. Oh my. Truly sir, you ARE the god of games.

  18. Synesthesia says:

    Rab, have you seen the city of horror art? Is it on par with the previous one? Cause i really want them polaroids.

    • Charupa says:

      I think this is an early image, recent games from Asmodee have looked really good though; 7 Wonders and the new Evo look really, really pretty, so it should be ok

  19. Baines says:

    Fortress America is one of the games that I wanted, but never bought. I did of course get Axis & Allies as well as Shogun (later called Samurai Swords, and apparently now called Ikusa?)

    As for Munchkin, I always found it a disappointment. Steve Jackson Games to me has been very hit and miss for over a decade. I’ve described them before as “the quality of a Cheapass game with the pricing of a Eurogame”, because that is pretty much what you’d get, an interesting concept that as often fails in execution but costs as much as a much more well polished (and higher component quality) game. Munchkin to me is one of those “fails in execution”.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yeah my friend bought one game from them that didn’t even make sense. He tried to play it a few times, failed, sent it over to me to try to figure out, I couldn’t make any sense of the rules. You could assume the omitted a few key rules and try to guess what they were going for, but even then it was a horrible game.

      When two logicians who love board games cannot figure out how to play your game, or find a fun boardgame to make out of the pieces and the rough framework you have truly failed.

      Hell I made Megacorps playable through rewriting the rules.

  20. ClockworkTiger says:

    I once worked with a guy who was visiting from England. He was very dissapointed in America’s lack of car chases and how hardly anyone went about their day with a gun on their person. He was eventually mugged at one point, but even then I don’t think it was cinematic enough for his taste.

    He was also frustrated that he couldn’t legally drink until he turned 21, and that our women seemed to offend quite easily when he made a pass at them, but I think that last one had more to do with him and less to do with any cultural differences between our two countries.

    • bill says:

      My first two weeks in the states I saw a full scale SUV vs police chase in LA and a guy shot by the cops in San Fransisco. Oh, and shared a hot-tub with a load of las vegas showgirls.

      Actually, the States was kinda as i expected it to be.

  21. Jake says:

    Warhammer Invasion sounds interesting and I am sure I’ve read about it before on this site but can’t find it now (maybe boardgames should get tags like ‘real’ games). How much stuff do you generally need to buy for it? Just a core set and a battle pack each or something? I am guessing it isn’t such a giant money sink as MTG right?

    • Charupa says:

      Its fun, really well themed and no its not a money sink. Its a Living Card Game and the best way of describing it is that it combines the strategy and depth of a Trading Card Game, without the constant arms race mentality that you need for something like Magic. This being said there are expansions available if required, but the base game is hours of quality entertainment

  22. TsunamiWombat says:

    “See, when I was young, America was this big scary glamorous place that would fuck you up if you looked at it the wrong way. America existed in my head as a creature with Stallone’s muscles, an eagle’s head, Ronald Reagan’s voice and a rocket launcher. In the 1980s, American culture fed me the idea that the USA was built on solid foundations of kissing beautiful girls, driving shit hot cars, shooting anyone who wasn’t American, putting lasers in space and playing some pretty sweet rawk guitar. Now all of this is BAD, sure, and it was a LIE too. But for an 8 year old boy in Glasgow it was certainly cool. Every kid wanted to be an American in the 80s. Fact. These days America is just a confused skinny dude with horn-rimmed glasses trying to decide what to do with a bible”

    As an American, this is a disturbingly accurate assessment. Obviously the Glasgowans are on to us, time to start charging the lasers.

  23. sgt. grumbles says:

    The solitary tear wending its way down my cheek is a salty testament to this spot of comedic brilliance.

    My claps shall start slowly at first, before accelerating to a thunderous crescendo.

  24. jrodman says:

    Huh, that little summary of views on games tells me our gaming tastes are diametrically opposed. I sort of had that impression already given the things you review postiively and the things you don’t review that I’m interested in. But that’s cool, because the writing style makes your reviews of things I would never buy fun!

  25. Bhazor says:

    You mention Red Dawn but don’t mention Freedom Fighters?
    You wound me.

  26. sightseemc says:

    This. Game.

    One day I went to the store and there was a big gleaming FORTRESS AMERICA with Saddam Hussein staring me right in the balls (it was on a low shelf, but given his portrayal in the South Park film, he would have done the same from anywhere). Since all of my friends already owned Axis & Allies and this was from the same vein (I knew nothing about board games then) I bought it on a whim. Best board game purchase I ever made.It’s not the best board game ever. It’s not even the best in the Game Master series (Shogun). But man does it create a huge amount of friendly/unfriendly tension in 2 – 4 people in a short space of time.

    And it’s greatest flaw is it’s greatest strength, like Axis and Allies: The Turning Point. In A&A, everyone knows that the game *usually* pretty much comes down to that crucial turn where either Germany takes Moscow or doesn’t (depending on whether your Japan is a rampaging badass destroying Russia’s sensitive nethers while holding the US at bay, or the game is one of those outliers where the Axis take South America or Rommel rolls the entire African continent and into India). FA has the same point: around round 7-8, where the lasers are wiping out entire regions instead of surgically striking powerful units, and the partisans are starting to stick instead of being minor/medium annoyances. The key part is, it could be ANYWHERE. Do the Reds get Detroit and destroy that laser? Does the lack of available tanks ruin that Denver assault? Did the South Americans drive a blitzkrieg wedge and grab Chicago, thus threatening every Midwest laser? Once you passed the Turning Point, you could usually end the game, though not necessarily amicably, because one side was checkmated.

    And because there was just enough dice-fuck-you to cause said checkmate, you had the perfect American game (similar to Texas Hold “em poker). If you won, it’s because you are a strategic genius; if you lost, it’s because your opponent(s) got lucky. Everybody could always consider themselves better than the other players, no matter the outcome. If that doesn’t describe America I don’t know what does.

  27. Haderak says:

    On the topic of ‘Games That Tell A Story’ (and because everyone seems to be just calling out their favourites), I’d like to shout out for Battlestar Galactica.

    For those who aren’t familiar with the boardgame, but who do know the series, I can honestly say I’ve never found another game that captures the ‘feel’ of a series so closely. The paranoia, the backstabbing, the creeping desperation… very true to the original. Plus, it’s fantastic to have a game where there are two sides in conflict but nobody can be sure exactly who is on which side :)

    That said, it ‘s tremendously complex and definitely not entry-level. But if you’ve got friends who are as hardcore as you are it’s well worth a shot.

  28. elevown says:

    The game sounds good- i’ve played many a table top game in my past.

    But one thing to point out- not that its going for realism with that story lol.. but giant lasers would be pathetic wepons- for attack or defense if they wernt mobile.

    If a laser was so huge its barrel was 500ft in the air, (in a horizontal position) it could shoot at most 750 miles before the earth got in the way. They wouldnt ever be a threat to other countries bar neighbours unless you could mount them on like 100 mile high towers- and then all the places they’d most likely WANT to zap like russia and most of china- could never be hit anyway.

    Thats the trouble with a wepon that only goes in straight lines on a curved planet.

    • gert74 says:

      If you need a pseudo-scientific explanation for that, then how about using a system of satellite mounted mirrors for aiming the thing? Then you could just build your giant laser on top of a nuclear power plant somewhere deep in your territory and shoot at the sky.

      • elevown says:

        Thats very true :) But in THIS game the lasers DONT shoot at reflective satelites- it just ignores the earths curvature and lasers are incompatible.

        They shoulda just gone with humongous artillary cannons – because they COULD lob shells into huge low orbit arcs that would land them on the opposite side of the planet.

  29. crinkles esq. says:

    I had both Fortress America AND Dark Tower in the ’80s. And now I miss both dearly. Mr. Florence summed up the stirring qualities of FA quite well. And as for Dark Tower, its awesome abounds. Not only was it one of the few board games you could play by yourself (due to the computerized tower), but how many board games had a commercial with Orson Welles

  30. Shadowcat says:

    Game sounds fun. The only reason I found out that the American school kids weren’t watching Red Dwarf on TV was that I was so bemused by the idea that I read the sentence a third time :)

  31. JauntyAngle says:

    Ha ha, ambiguity about who the bad guys were? From our perspective, there was no ambiguity whatsoever. You’ll pry those death lasers out of our cold dead hands. – an American.

  32. Frostbeard says:

    Just got the original Fortress America with the nice box art. Now I have three (A&A, Samurai Swords, no did not get Shogun, and Fortress America) of the Gamemaster series. Now I just need to get “Conquest of the Empire” and “Broadsides and Boarding Parties” to have the entire Gamemaster series.

    MB sure had nice production value for games published in the 80′s

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