The Victory in Europe block wargame by Columbia Games

Kickstarting a Victory

The new Columbia Games block game is coming out soon. After two years work and a very successful KickStarter run the game is finally at the printers. Having completed the art for most of game pieces, the final thing was to paint a cover. It was originally going to be a weary solder after a battle. I had sketched a few out, one idea being a soldier after the D-Day invasion.

Instead Columbia wanted to go with a portrait of Churchill.  As Churchill was famous for his V for Victory sign, I thought it would be cool to incorporate his fingers into the title of the game. Of course there are a lot of great photos of Churchill to reference. I used a few different photos to do the final drawing and then did inked up a final image.

Victory in Europe, Box Cover, Pen and Ink, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

I printed this out on 11×14 paper and coated the paper with amber shellack. I mounted it on a board and then did the painting in oil.

I wanted it to have a strong graphic, postery look, so I left the strong lines and occasionally had to paint them back to make a strong image. I wanted the image to look like a painting, so I used a lot of thick paint and loose application on most of the image. Of course there are not a lot of color images of Churchill so I used both a mirror and other portraits to get the colors I wanted.

The game will be shipped in a plan black box with a sleeve to fit over it. Taking cues from the the design I did for the back of the cards I thought the game box should look like a war machine with bolts and rivets.

Allies and Axis card backs, digital, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

Here is the final layout of the box showing the back and sides of the box. This also shows a few of the cards I did, many based on old photos and posters from the time, laid out on the back of the box.

Victory in Europe, Box Cover, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

Victory in Europe has been funded on Kickstarter

Exciting news: Victory in Europe reached it’s funding target. This means the game will certainly be released this July! As of today, gamers have 28 more days to join in and reserve a deluxe Kickstarter edition of this new game.

Columbia Games next wargame release will be Victory in Europe, designed by Ron Draker.  This amazing block game captures the entire war in Europe in a fast-paced experience. The game begins in late 1939 and ends up to six years later with five (5) game turns each year. Game time is 3-5 hours.

The game is played on a large round map of Europe that spans the continent from Spain to the Caspian Sea and from North Africa to Norway. The game employs many of the proven mechanics in other Columbia block games with innovative leader rules and a card deck that elegantly handles history of the whole war.

Columbia Wargame Survey

Wargame Survey results.

979 wargamers responded ranking the games below.
First-place votes only are shown.
Details about the Columbia Games schedule are coming soon.




1 VICTORY IN EUROPE by Ron Draker: WW2 in Europe 1939-45, playable in 4-6 hours. 172
2 CROMWELL by Scott Moore: English Civil War, 1642-1647. 166
3 ANTONY & CLEOPATRA by Thompson/Dalgliesh: Sequel to Julius Caesar. 149
4 COMBAT INFANTRY by Tom Dalgliesh: WWII, squad level. 117
5 HAMMER OF THE IRISH by Jerry Taylor: The Bruce campaigns in Ireland (1315-22). 94
6 ALIEN EMPIRES by Larson/Dalgliesh: Four alien races each seek to dominate our galaxy. 89
7 ANTIETAM by Gary Selkirk: Battle of Antietam, Sept. 1862, using Shiloh game system. 85
8 MACBETH by Tom Dalgliesh: That Scottish game, c.1050. 68
9 DIXIE: GETTYSBURG by Dalgliesh/Hotz: Full set (250 cards) Reprint. 39

Missed Napoleon on Kickstarter?



Napoleon Fourth Edition! A new 4th edition, funded on KICKSTARTER, will be available on June 15th 2013. For those who missed the Kickstarter period, this PREORDER edition is available until June 1, 2013. It is the same as the Kickstarter version, except it will not be signed.

Preorders will have a mounted map, battle terrain markers, metalic foil labels, 12 wooden dice, and a free deck of Eagles cards. The 4th edition brings the game back to its 1st edition roots with some improvements.

Napoleon is on Kickstarter!



Napoleon is on Kickstarter!

The 200th anniversary of Waterloo occurs in June 2015 and the time has
come to produce a new 4th edition of this classic game.

Napoleon 4th ed. will be released in June 2013.  We have stretch goals with plans to add more value. You can help make this great game even better.

Reserve your limited edition game now.Kickstarter deadline:
Sunday April 14th.

Gen Con Indy 2013

Columbia Games will once again have a booth at Gen Con this year. We have a lot of exciting new products and a growing list of old product being republished in our new colorful layout.
It would be great if we could get a large group of Hârniacs to run events to spread the word and introduce Hârn to a new generation of gamers.

Columbia Games is looking to support GMs who wish to run Hârn events at Gencon 2013.
We can support your event.  You earn up to $25 in Columbia Games Dollars and we provide game materials including an adventure module (if needed), character sheets, and other goodies.

Thieves in the Night, by Richard Luschek Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

If you want to run a game or Hârn Event registration opens up January 11. Bring your big GM club so we can trap some “newbies” in the alley and beat them about the head and neck, showing them just how great Hârn is.
Contact Columbia Games if you have any questions about running an event on Harn or a CGI Block Game.

Borodino 1812 – New from Columbia Games



Columbia Games, a long-established publisher of games on military history and other topics, has released in November 2012 its latest title, Borodino 1812, part of its Great Battles of History series.  This game is based on the famous battle between Napoleon’s Grand Armee and the Army of Imperial Russia under Kutuzov on September 7, 1812, immortalized by Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace.   2012 marks the 200th anniversary of this battle, the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and one of the most significant conflicts in history.   Borodino 1812 is available directly from Columbia Games for $69.98, and also through many game and hobby retail stores.

The historical battle of Borodino was a French victory, leading to the fall of Moscow to Napoleon, but a strategic defeat.  Losses were terrible on both sides, but the Russians could replace theirs.  One week after the battle Napoleon occupied an undefended Moscow, hoping to impose a peace, but after four weeks was forced to retreat home with calamitous results.   By December 1812, Napoleon was driven out of Russia, and of the more than half a million men that had invaded Russia with him in June 1812, only a handful remained under his command after the disastrous withdrawal in the Russian winter.

In the game, the players command Napoleon’s Grand Armee or the Russian Imperial Army.  To win the game you must outperform history.  The French player has several possible lines of attack, and the Russian player must try to counter them all.  The historical battle involved wave after wave of frontal attacks by both sides, focusing on the Russian redoubts, with tremendous artillery bombardments.  However, the game shows all the options available to Napoleon and Kutuzov, including some not attempted historically.

Movement and combat in the game are resolved within areas.  The game plays using a fast-paced Move-Move-Battle sequence seen in Columbia’s previous Shiloh game, but this game stands on its own and does not require knowledge of any other Columbia title.  In the game, players activate corps leaders to command divisions of the same corps, or army leaders to command a limited number of divisions from any corps and army reserves.  Units of the two armies are represented by wooden blocks, with information about the type and strength of the units hidden from the other player until a battle takes place.  This “fog of war” system, commonly used in Columbia’s games, helps to preserve the uncertainty faced by real commanders. The game also captures the flavor of Napoleonic combat, emphasizing the tactical interaction of Napoleonic infantry, cavalry and artillery, including cavalry charges and infantry squares.   This makes for exciting and tense gaming.

The Borodino 1812 game has two scenarios, a shorter Shevardino one covering the preliminary fighting around the Shevardino redoubt on September 5, 1812, and a longer one covering the main battle of Borodino on September 7.   The main Borodino scenario takes about 3-4 hours to play, while the Shevardino scenario can be played in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.   The two scenarios can be linked into a campaign game covering both days of the battle.

Columbia has published on its website,, more historical information about the battle and dramatic photographs taken at the annual reenactment of the Borodino battle on the historical site in Russia.   One of the designers of the game has twice visited the battlefield site, and had the opportunity to watch the annual reenactment involving many hundreds of infantry, cavalry and artillery in historical uniforms.   The game map and pieces similarly reflect attention to historical accuracy and detail.   The release of Borodino 1812 should be of great interest both to gamers and those intrigued by Napoleonic history.



I have just finished a bunch of images for the new CGI Block Game. I drew 15 new blocks for the games pieces that will be reproduced at 3/4″ square. I drew them at 4″, inked them by hand and then colored them very quickly and simply in photoshop.
I am no expert on the WWII machinery, so I had to stay pretty faithful to old images or museum replicas I found. I tried to create simple images that could be easily read on the small blocks.
Below is the inked and colored images of the German flamethrower and Artillery units.

Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
The Working title for this is K.I.S.S., though that is likely to change. 

Price: $50.00
Release Date: 2012-05-15
K.I.S.S. Preorder (signed edition)
DESIGNERS: Leonard Coufal and Tom Dalgliesh.

K.I.S.S is a fast-paced World War II squad level game, employing our wooden blocks. The game system features innovative and interactive rules for Fire Combat, Close Combat, Morale, and Leaders. The game is sophisticated, yet very playable.
You command a German or American infantry company, composed of three infantry platoons and a heavy weapons platoon. Expansion sets will include British, Soviet, Italian, and Japanese companies.
Unit types include:

  • Leaders
  • Rifle Squads
  • MachineGuns
  • Mortars
  • Anti-Tank
  • Tank

Here is how the images will look on the final block layout. Both of the following images have been reworked for the final game.

The United States wins the war in the end.

Please be sure to comment or ask questions. Be sure to get your order in now!