The Christmas time is quickly approaching – it is already not a full month away! Last two years that period of joy was overshadowed by widespread pandemic, this year unfortunately we again face perilous situation with the war in Ukraine.

Previous years materials:
2021 new releases
2021 all time classics
2020 new releases
2020 all time classics

Still, I hope this will be season during which you will be able to enjoy the time with your families and the great hobby we all share together: boardgames! To help you with this I came with some suggestions for Christmas presents!

Christmas Tree created as surprise gift by my wife a couple of years ago.
Who will guess which game it is?

So what I have in mind is presenting a selection based on the games released in 2022 – the condition was only those I had chance to play and preferably not out of print! Of course, I am fully aware that there are many other war and conflict themed titles which can be recommended. Unfortunately, I did not have chance to play them all – there are simply too many releases!

So, without further delay, let us look at the selection!

Pacific War from GMT Games

Definitely my Top 1 recommendation. This title was among my Top 3 Most Anticipated Wargames of 2022 and fulfilled all my wishes and dreams 🙂 Pacific War is a Strategic wargame that takes you from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the climatic summer of 1945… from Australia to China… from Burma to Hawaii… from the defense of Wake Island through the invasion of Guadalcanal culminating in the desperate battles to defend the Japanese Home Islands.

You can gradually become familiar with the Pacific War systems first in the solitaire Engagement scenarios, then fight your way through increasingly panoramic Battles, Campaign, and up to truly epic Strategic Scenarios. As you learn the game’s basic maneuver and combat systems, you will then layer on more advanced systems for Strategic bombing, submarine attacks on merchant shipping, search and detection, amphibious assaults, etc. The depth of the game is enormous, while basic rules and principles easy to grasp.

The game in essence is a 2-player title but it is very much suitable for the solitaire plays. On top of this, the new edition is astonishingly beautiful, with two large mounted maps, tons of counters, three rulebooks – so you use only that part of system which is required for particular scenario. Highly recommended!

Below I am sharing more materials about game – both articles and video. Enjoy!

Almoravid from GMT Games

That title & system was probably my biggest and greatest discovery of 2022. Almoravid, is a board wargame about a pair of tumultuous campaigns in the Spanish Reconquista – Leonese King Alfonso VI’s advances against the 11th Century’s fractious Muslim Taifa states, and the resulting intervention by a fundamentalist African Muslim army seeking to roll the Christians back. It is the second volume in GMT Games’ Levy & Campaign Series portraying medieval military operations.

Abysmal Storm by Christian troops on Toledo.
Abysmal Storm by Christian troops on Toledo.

There are two things which I would like to highlight and which made the greatest impression on me. First, the amount of strategic decisions – even in the smallest scenarios – which author, Volko Ruhnke, managed to pack. Really, each campaign you can play differently and thanks to command mechanic – you may surprise or be surprised by your opponent. Second, the game looks gorgeous – the map is beautiful, the card art fantastic, the counters excellent – even dice are tailor-made. This is such a pleasure to play with those components.

Again, that seemingly only multiplayer game plays very well solo – especially if you have your kids as card order randomizers 🙂 So do not hesitate to try this title also in this mode. Highly recommended!

Below some more materials about the game:

Lanzerath Ridge from Dan Verssen Games

By now you should be probably aware that I am devoted fan of Valiant Defense Series by David Thompson. It currently encompasses

So this will not be a surprise that I recommend newest installment in the series in this article!

In Lanzerath Ridge you take control of an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon and an artillery battery’s forward observer team in the village of Lanzerath, Belgium on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge. Under your command the defenders must fend off relentless attacks from German paratroopers and fusiliers.

The goal of Lanzerath Ridge is to recreate the incredible historic accomplishment by defending the key roads in the town and delaying the advance of an SS Panzer Division. In the game, this accomplishment is represented by playing through four decks of enemy cards. The longer you survive, the better result you achieved.

Let me share some things I appreciate about this title. The game theme – while unique and extraordinary as with every installment in the series – is simply mind-blowing. 18 guys standing whole day against multiple enemy regiments with mortars, artillery, etc. Secondly, the difficulty level – the game is truly challenging and requires from you constant risk mitigation and risk taking. You do not have enough moves or actions and prioritization of scarce resources is key. And you can increase it with Tactics cards! Last but not least, top quality components – the series went through significant refresh in that area and what we receive is simply fantastic! Highly recommended!

More about the game:

Enemy Action: Kharkov from Compass Games

One more great title to recommend. Enemy Action: Kharkov is the second game in John Butterfield’s acclaimed Enemy Action series of card-driven games simulating pivotal battles in World War II, playable by two players or one player controlling either side in the conflict.

The game portrays the Third Battle of Kharkov, the key Eastern Front battle in which the German Army ended a string of Soviet victories begun at Stalingrad. In the late winter of 1943, Soviet Operations code-named Star and Gallop drove the Germans from the city of Kharkov and threatened a complete breakthrough, only to be driven back by the German counteroffensive known as Von Manstein’s Back Hand Blow.

There are some very good elements of the title which I would like to call-out. We are getting here very neat activation mechanic based on the cards. There is no typical “I-go-You-go” all front movements which usually caused long downtimes; instead each side uses cards to move specific armies / corps / units, i.e. small segments of the troops under their command. That also creates fog of war as you do not know which part of enemy forces can still act in a turn!

Another solution which I would like to mention is the battle resolution procedure. No CRT, no terrain modifiers – just drawing the chits which are applicable in particular situations – like type of terrain, forces ration, status of opponent battle tactics played – and resolving the net score of hits vs. defender and attacker. That proved to be a great solution which we loved from the start.

One cannot forget about the components quality – usual, very high Compass games standard – and that in essence you are getting 3 game sin a box – Solo Soviets, Solo Germans and 2-player versions. This is fun for many, many hours. Highly recommended!

More about the game:


I hope that above small sub-set of wargames published in 2022 will be some form of inspiration to the Dear Readers for the coming Christmas season. Also, above I focused only on the new releases but in two weeks time I am going to publish one more article – with All Time Classics, which you should also consider. Stay tuned!