If Norm Koger appears to be the focus of my reviews this year, well you are right. Earlier I reviewed a re-release of what is considered to be his crowning achievement in wargaming, The Operational Art of War III. I enjoyed looking back in time (sorta) at what he did in the 20th century. Today I look at what he has brought forward for the 21st Century.
After the sale of Talonsoft and its subsequent fade to obscurity, Talonsoft founder Jim Rose and Norm Koger teamed up to form a new company. Storm Eagle Studios has a lot of ambition to match the pedigree that goes with the owners. While small in size this is a company that has a lot of experience in developing top-notch wargames.
The first title released by Storm Eagle is Distant Guns: The Russo-Japanese War at Sea. I first previewed the title earlier this year and was very encouraged by the representation of what is one of the most influential conflicts of the early 20th century. It is somewhat sad that in our modern world conflicts that occurred after this war have minimized the knowledge of this war. The events that occurred in 1905 ultimately guided the destinies of two nations. These nations had a major influence on world events for the rest of the 20th century and ultimately still guide events today.
What we have here is an attempt to recreate the conflict that signaled the ascension of one empire and the descent of another. Do they pull it off?