Book Review: The Money Men (H.W. Brands).

Portrait of Nicholas Biddle by William Inman
Nicholas Biddle, Image via Wikipedia

I’d never heard of Henry William Brands before reading The Money Men. Despite the late introduction, I suspect that his books will now appear high on my reading list – if they are even able to approach the fascinating quality of this small volume. I do not recall the last time I have read a non-fiction book as voraciously as I have consumed this petite volume – in fact, there are only a few fiction thrillers I can think of which I have consumed in such a compressed fashion.

The Money Men is part of the Atlas Books / W.W. Norton Enterprise series in which “distinguished writers tell the stories of the dynamic innovators and the compelling ideas that create new institutions, new ways of doing business and creating wealth, even new societies.” I will be keeping my eyes open for other volumes in this series as well – hoping that they compare to The Money Men. Especially peaking my interest are Rich Cohen‘s The Record Men: Chess Records and the Birth of Rock & Roll, Tim ParksMedici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteen-Century Florence, and James Buchan‘s The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas.

But let us move on to a discussion of the book proper. It was published in 2006 and is a small hardcover book with attractive dustcover. Contains a total of 239 pages, but the first 206 contain the main narrative with additional resources filling the remaining pages – endnotes, a list of suggested further reading, and the indexes, etc.

The volume consists of a Prologue and Epilogue and five long chapters in-between. The first chapter entitled “The Aristocracy of Capital” discusses the nature of money and financial policy during and following the American Revolutionary War with a significant emphasis on  Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

Chapter 2 continues the thread by telling the events that led up to and the consequences of Andrew Jackson’s decision to end the national bank and Nicholas Biddle‘s (Bank President) extreme efforts to ensure the bank’s survival.

Chapter 3 tells the story of the American Civil War and how it changed the face of financial policy – in part as a consequence of a stronger federal government and the needs of wartime finance.

Chapter 4 tells the story of the severe speculation in gold in the post-Civil War era under President Ulysses S. Grant and Chapter 5 concludes the story by recording the times of J.P. Morgan and his significant effects upon finance.

The volume reads in a very easy manner – it is both professional and yet accessible. At the same time, my endeavors to understand financial history and policy are still not complete and while The Money Men has filled in some gaps, it does not provide the complete picture I had hoped to garner. That is not to say anything negative of the volume – for it is not a primer in financial history or policy.

I oftentimes judge the quantity of a volume on several factors, such as:

  • How well the volume holds my attention.
  • How quickly I read the volume.
  • How much new or interesting information the volume provides.
  • The clarity with which the author writes.
  • The extent to which I underline, highlight, and write comments or other notations into the text.

By all of these measures, H.W. Brand’s The Money Men deserves the highest praise. The one thing I would like to see is an article by Mr. Brands analyzing the recent financial recession (2008 and on) in light of the historical story he weaves in The Money Men.

Brands remains largely neutral throughout his work and yet in the Epilogue I thought I detected an echo of approval for the economic system at the conclusion of his history. Is this a correct interpretation of his Epilogue? If so, could Brands provide us with additional insights or reflections based on recent events?

For anyone who is interested in history, finance, or politics, I would add this to your “must read” list. It is an excellent and fascinating read!

H.W. Brands’ The Money Men (A Book Tasting, Part II).

Jackson slays the many-headed monster
Image via Wikipedia

A week ago I published a book tasting including quotations and commentaries from H.W. Brands’ fascinating book The Money Men. If you do not already own this book – I highly recommend acquiring a copy. It is a fascinating, well-written read. For some time now I have been attempting to understand our financial system, the recent
recession, OWS, political policy, and other similar topics – and I am still far from understanding it…but this book has been exceptionally insightful.

I include below some of my quotations, notes, and commentary from the second chapter in the book entitled, “The Bank War” but must admit that I was able to include even less of what I considered important in the section below than I did in the last tasting. If one where to open my copy of this small volume you’d find the pages heavily marked – the quality and quantity of the info. being so extensive.

  • “The fight over the Bank of the United States marked the beginning of the end of the fondest dream of the Founders: that the country they created might be spared the rancor of partisan politics. Parties, they believed, were artifacts of monarchy, where competing interests vied for the king’s favor. In a republic, based on civic virtue, parties need never emerge, for all good citizens would seek the common weal. What the Founders failed to appreciate was that good citizens might have distinctly different visions of the common weal.” – 57.
  • “Heading the camp of capitalism was Hamilton; of democracy, Jefferson.” – 57.
  • “Federalists responded by ramming through Congress the Alien and Sedition Acts, outlawing most dissent. Jefferson, Adams’s vice president…secretly penned a protest asserting the right of states to nullify laws they deemed unconstitutional.” – 59.
    • I have always heard this was a dark time in  American history, but have never studied it…it is on my list…somewhere.
  • “There are great and intrinsic defects in his character which make him unfit for the office of Chief Magistrate.” – Alexander Hamilton on John Adams, pg. 60.
    • Lest we think that political name-calling is only for today, it has been going on for a long time.
  • Hamilton’s eldest son had died in a duel, and so would Hamilton. – 61.
  • Aaron Burr.
    • When you see names like this it simply means the individuals were mentioned in the text and I would like to study them further at some juncture. In this manner a single book provides dozens or hundreds of leaping off points for further learning.
    • Nicholas Biddle.
    • “The violence of party…disgraces our country.” – Nicholas Biddle, 61.
      • This commentary would become ironic in light of Biddle’s later endeavors to maintain the existence of the national bank at great cost to the government.
    • “…as the fighting persisted [War of 1812] [President James] Madison succumbed to the temptation Hamilton had warned of and began printing unsupported paper money. Interest rates soared, investor confidence plunged, and the national accounts spun into confusion…about the time the British burned the Capitol and the White House, Madison concluded that Hamilton had been right regarding the need for a national bank, at least in time of crisis. Conveniently forgotten were the earlier Republican assertions, most notably by Madison himself, that a national bank contravened the Constitution.” – 63.
    • “…in 1816 the second Bank of the United States was chartered.” – 64.
    • “That it [the national bank] has been perverted to selfish purposes cannot be doubted. That it may, and must be renovated is equally certain.” – Nicholas Biddle, 64-65.
    • “In 1819 the United States suffered its first full-blown financial panic.” – 65.
    • “…the…struggle against the Indians of the West culminated in the destruction of nearly all aboriginal resistance to white settlement east of the Mississippi. The sudden availability of vast new reaches of territory, combined with the loose money left over from the war, fueled wild speculation in land. Prices rose and rose, becoming unsustainable…” – 66.
    • “Solid figures on the overall shrinkage of the money supply are impossible to reconstruct, but the contraction of the liabilities of the Bank of the United States–from $22 million in the autumn of 1818 to $10 million at the beginning of 1820–is indicative.” – 66.
    • “The depression that followed the panic prostrated large parts of the country. Banks folded; merchants liquidated; sailing ships sat idle; commercial buildings stood empty; farmers lost their land and homes. Tens of thousands of Americans took to the roads in vague hope of finding something better than the disaster they fled.” – 66.
    • Chief Justice John Marshall.
    • “For nearly two decades Marshall had defended and elaborated the Federalist vision of a strong central government.” – 67.
    • “Many Republicans disputed Marshall’s interpretation, and decades would pass before the Supreme Court was generally accepted as the final arbiter of the Constitution.” – 68.
      • The struggle revolving around a strong central government versus a loose association of states was an ongoing battle throughout the history of the country – resolved in some sense by the American Civil War, though the debate continues to this day.
    • John Jacob Astor.
    • “One measure of his [Nicholas Biddle] success was the reduction and eventual elimination of the monetary exchange rate between the different regions of the country.” – 70.
      • IMHO, this is a pretty impressive achievement.
    • “By the 1820s nearly all the old property qualifications for voting had disappeared, as new states entered the Union with constitutions based on the egalitarian rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence, and shamed the existing states into changing their rules. At the same time for similarly democratic reasons, state legislatures conferred the selection of presidential electors upon the people. The result was that presidential campaigns in the 1820s became popularity contests, with the victor the candidate most appealing to the largest number of adult white males.” – 70.
      • I’d like to study further the differences between a democratic and republic government and the advantages/disadvantages of each.
    • “[Andrew] Jackson adopted the position pioneered by that other general-turned-politician, George Washington, that a candidate’s actions should speak for themselves…As a result, when he assumed the presidency in 1829…he did so unburdened by promises or commitments to anything more specific than the national welfare, however he chose to define it.” – 72.
      • I like this manner of achieving one’s ends…might our character speak louder than our words…and, oh that it could be true in our politics.
    • “A strict constructionist, Jackson believed that Congress legitimately might charter a bank for the federal District of Columbia, but not for the rest of the country. That John Marshall had ruled otherwise didn’t impress him.” – 72.
    • Henry Clay.
    • “Presidential vetoes were rare in those early days but not unheard of…” – 73.
    • Martin Van Buren.
    • “We must endeavor to reach the understandings of our fellow citizens by the diffusion of correct views of a subject which is much misunderstood.” – Nicholas Biddle, concerning the bank, 75.
    • Biddle paid newspapers thousands to publish articles written by the bank to promote the bank and also made payments to politicians. – 75.
    • “I believe my retainer has not been renewed, or refreshed, as usual. If it be wished that my relation to the Bank should be continued, it may be well to send me the usual retainers.” – Daniel Webster, pp. 75-76.
    • “…by way of a warning to the enemies of the Bank to keep hands off, Biddle arranged a contraction of credit in the West. It was there that antipathy for the Bank ran broadest and support for Jackson deepest. Biddle concealed his intentions in the matter, citing financial uncertainty as cause for calling in the loans. The effect wasn’t dramatic but it was unmistakable, as was Biddle’s point: that the Bank would defend itself, by harming its enemies if necessary.” – 76.
    • Daniel Webster was oftentimes called by contemporaries the “God-like Daniel.” – 78.
    • “[Thomas Hart] Benton’s alliance with Jackson [against the national bank] couldn’t have been predicted a decade earlier, when he and Jackson took opposite sides in a shooting brawl in Nashville. Jackson’s shoulder caught a bullet that spent years in his flesh before finally popping out…” – 79.
      • From other reading I have done it appears Jackson was in a number of duels and shootouts and had several bullets jangling around in his body.
    • “They lead to the abduction of its gold and silver. If notes are issued, they are payable at the branch bank and an adequate supply of gold and silver must be kept on hand to redeem them; but these orders being drawn on Philadelphia, the gold and silver of the state must be sent there to meet them.” – Thomas Hart Benton, 79.
    • “When the renewed charter [for the national bank] is brought in for us to vote upon, I shall consider myself as voting upon a bill for the establishment of lords and commons in this America, and for the eventual establishment of a King!” – Thomas Hart Benton, 80.
    • “I do not mean to say that he was directly bribed to give this vote. From the character he sustained and from what I knew of him, I think he would have resented any thing that he regarded as an attempt to corrupt him. But he wanted the money, and felt grateful for the favor. And perhaps he thought that an institution which was so useful to him, and had behaved with so much kindness, could not be injurious or dangerous to the public, and that it would be as well to continue it.” – Roger Taney, Attorney General for Jackson, pg. 80.
      • Brands points out that Jackson on the other hand had a much stronger view – that some supporters of the bank in the political realm had been outright bribed.
    • “Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges.” – Andrew Jackson, 81.
    • “Jackson’s view of the Constitution and its interpretation was hardly unique at the time; the doctrine of judicial supremacy remained a conceit of John Marshall and a minority in America.” – 82.
    • “…Jackson believed the Bank undermined democracy by creating a monopoly of money. Of the Bank’s twenty-five directors, only five were answerable to the people. The rest served the interests of capital.” – 82.
    • “It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.” – Andrew Jackson, 82.
    • “Nor were the monopolists all Americans; almost a third of the stock of the Bank was owned by foreigners.” – 82.
    • “Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions….But when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant title, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society–the farmers, mechanics, and laborers–who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.” – Andrew Jackson, pp. 82-83.
    • “[Nicholas Biddle] paid to distribute [Henry] Clay’s speeches and provided other financial and logistical support.” – 84.
      • See pg. 85ff for information on how Nicholas Biddle and the bank fought tooth and nail against Jackson by attempting to undermine the economy when Jackson attempted to close the bank and was in the end successful.
      • This section is especially interesting and illuminative, but I’d have to copy entire pages if I were to do it justice…so you’ll have to get a copy of the book, sorry. 😛
    • “The mass of the people have more to fear from combinations of the wealthy and professional classes–from an aristocracy which through the influence of riches and talents, insidiously employed, sometimes succeeds in preventing political institutions, however well adjusted, from securing the freedom of the citizen.” – Andrew Jackson, speaking of the national bank, 87.
      • This sounds a bit like what Occupy Wall Street’ers are saying today…
    • “Biddle’s Bank had gained ‘almost entire dominion over the circulating medium, and with it, power to increase or diminish the price of property and to levy taxes on the people in the shape of premiums and interest.’ The Founders had fought to free Americans from such arbitrary rule. To continue the fight was the current generation’s ‘sacred duty.’” – 87.
    • “The worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians…he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken….He may as well send at once and engage lodgings in Arabia.” – Nicholas Biddle, 90.
    • “Biddle’s willingness and ability to ravage the economy confirmed Jackson’s judgment of the malignant irresponsibility of the moneyed class. It was precisely this power of the Bank that had determined Jackson to destroy it. And he remained determined to do so, regardless of the pain the destruction produced.” – 90.
    • “Were all the worshipers of the golden calf to memorialise me and request a restoration of the deposits I would cut my right hand from my body before I would do such an act. The golden calf may be worshiped by others, but as for myself I will serve the Lord…My conscience told me it was right to stop the career of this destroying monster. I took the step fearlessly, believing it a duty I owed to my God and my country.” – Andrew Jackson, 90.
      • I’d like to study more about Jackson’s spiritual life…what was his religion? How did he reconcile his dangerous dueling habits with Christianity?
    • “Relief, sir! Come not to me, sir! Go to the monster!…Go to Nicholas Biddle. We have no money here….Biddle has all the money. He has millions of specie in his vaults at this moment, lying idle, and yet you come to me to save you from breaking….It is folly, sir, to talk to Andrew Jackson. The government will not bow to the monster.” – Andrew Jackson, to a spokesman for an assembly of “six thousand bankers, brokers, and merchants requesting relief”, 91.
    • “The Bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me but I will kill it!” – Andrew Jackson, pg. 91.
    • “The congressional campaign of 1834 was the stormiest in memory. In Philadelphia mobs rioted against the Bank and against Biddle, forcing the Bank chief to barricade himself in his home, surrounded by armed guards. He and his family survived, but the Whigs–as the party of capital now called itself–almost did not.” – 91.
    • “Jackson’s defeat of Biddle and the Bank restored what the Jacksonians hoped would be democratic control of the money supply, but in fact it left the money supply even more at the mercy of the capitalists than before. The hundreds of state banks, now freed of the oversight of the Bank of the United States, issued bank notes profligately, producing speculative bubbles in all manner of commodities and property. Jackson could do nothing about most of the speculation, but he could curb that in land, and he did so by issues a ‘specie circular’ in July 1836 directing federal officers to accept only gold and silver in exchange for public lands….The measure dampened the speculation in land, but it simultaneously disordered the money system.” – 92-93.
      • I like how Brands seems even-handed. He points out the bad points of both sides – where the hopeful endeavors of each side fail miserably – and in this I think he provides us with significant insight into current discussions.
    • “The crusade against banks and the discrimination at the Land Offices between specie and bank paper has not been without its effect on the less intelligent part of our population,” Biddle declared. He couldn’t help gloating at the Democrats’ discomfiture, even though it devastate the economy and threatened to swamp his own bank.” – 94.
    • “Biddle retired in 1839, claiming ill health but secretly planning a candidacy for president.” – 94.
    • William Henry Harrison.
    • “He [Nicholas Biddle] suffered another blow when his old bank collapsed amid scandal in 1841.” – 95.

The Mega Sales from PC Game Digital Download Providers.

Strategic Command 2: Blitzkrieg
Image via Wikipedia

Updated! 12/25/10 – 11:36 P.M.

Around Christmas time several of the major digital download providers offer mega-sales on their games library and various individual developers offer sharp discounts on various games. I’m not a huge gamer – but I do love wargames.

Now, when I speak of wargames I’m using my own definition so let me clarify. By wargames I do not mean:

  • First Person Shooters (FPS) – e.g. Combat Arms, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, Halo.
  • Real Time Strategy (RTS) – e.g. Company of Heroes, Age of Empires, Warhammer.

I do mean:

  • Games that are generally based around historical time periods and the realistic depiction of combat situations during that period.
  • Games that emphasize brainpower over finger-clicking power.

These genres can sometimes cross over – for example, Mosby’s Confederacy and Medieval II: Total War both include FPS elements but using a pausable engine that allows for significant strategizing (and also emphasizes unit movement rather than character).

Additionally, even within this narrowed genre I still eschew many games. I’m what is sometimes derogatorily referred to as a “beer & pretzels” (though I don’t like or drink beer) gamer. That is, I’m not a big fan of games that will consume my life in order to play them. I avoid games with maps that are too large or that require me to micromanage every aspect of combat and production – or even be aware of every aspect.

In any case, I’ve created a list of some of the pretty cool wargames that are currently available at steep discounts (and I mean really steep!). Spend $20 and you can have enough games to keep you busy for at least a year (no, I’m not getting paid to say this :P).

  • Games I own have an asterisk.
  • Games I’ve thoroughly enjoyed are bolded.
  • Games highest on my “want” list have a plus.
  • Steam:
    • X-Com – I know I said historical, but I’m making an exception for X-Com. These games are based on an alien invasion and mankind’s unified response. They offer both strategic and tactical elements and are genre-defining as far as gameplay. They began many years ago and still continue to be one of the most innovative and fascinating series available. $1.69/ea.
    • *Take Command: Second Manassas – Simulates the American Civil War battle of Second Manasses, also known as Second Bull Run. Offers a 3D pausable RTS interface similar to that found in Sid Meier’s Gettysburg or any of the Total War tactical engines. $2.49.
    • *Ironclads: High Seas – Naval combat in 3D. Naval games are a rarity, games simulating 19th century conflict even more so. $2.49.
    • *Ironclads: American Civil War – Created by the same folks as created above. Focuses on Civil War era naval combat. $2.49.
    • *9th Company: Roots of Terror – A real-time strategy game that covers the Russian 9th companies’ fight in Afghanistan back in the day (1970’s). This may be more of a straight-up RTS, but the storyline is so fascinating (and applicable to the current War on Terror) that I had to add it. $2.49.
    • *Mosby’s Confederacy – A fun, replayable, strategic/tactical simulation of Mosby, a famed and feared Confederate commander, raids and battles during the Civil War. $2.49.
    • *Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms – A great expansion pack for Medieval II: Total War. Adds the New World to the game. Requires Medieval II: Total War to play. $3.74.
    • *Rome: Total War Alexander – An expansion pack adding the Greek conquests of Alexander to the Rome: Total War game. Requires Rome: Total War. $3.74.
    • *Birth of America – A beautiful strategic simulation of the Revolutionary War by AGEOD. I find the map to be too large, beautiful, and detailed for my tastes, but sure to be loved by many. $3.99.
    • *Medieval II: Total War – If you only purchase one game – make it this one. It provides beautiful strategic and tactical simulations, rich cinematic cut-scenes, detailed historical information, and while an amazing game is also an educational experience. – $7.49.
    • *Rome: Total War – Gold – Strategic and tactical simulation of the Roman Empire. $7.49.
    • Rise of Prussia – This game is by AGEOD and probably has too large and beautiful of a map for my likes, but I might have to get it anyways, it sounds so fascinating. $7.49.
  • GamersGate
    • *Two Thrones. $0.50.
    • *Crown of the North. $1.48.
    • *Take Command – 2nd Manassas. $2.48.
    • *Rome Total War: Gold Edition. $2.99.
    • *Imperial Glory. $3.48.
    • Entente: WWI Battlefields. RTS. $3.74.
    • *East India Company. $3.74.
    • Combat Mission: Shock Force. $4.98.
    • Crusader Kings. $4.98.
    • Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come. $4.98.
    • World War 2 Time of Wrath. $5.95.
    • Lords of the Realm 3. $5.99.
    • Civilization IV: Complete. $6.24.
    • Commander: Conquest of the Americas. $7.49.
    • *Medieval II: Total War Gold Edition. $7.46.
    • Squad Assault. $9.98.
    • AGEOD’s American Civil War. $9.99.
    • AGEOD’s Napoleon’s Campaigns. $9.99.
    • AGEOD’s Birth of America II – Wars in America. $9.99.
    • World War One (Paradox). $9.99.
    • +Lionheart King’s Crusade. $14.98.
    • Victoria 2 (Paradox). $19.98.
  • Slitherine
    • *Field of Glory – Click on the title of the game and enter the code ‘fog2010’ to receive 50% off!
  • Matrix Games
    • Advanced Tactics: World War II (33%) – $26.99.
    • American Civil War – The Blue and The Gray (30%) – $13.99.
    • Battle of Britain II – Wings of Victory (30%) – $13.99.
    • Battlefront (33%) – $33.99.
    • Battles in Italy (32%) – $33.99.
    • Battles in Normandy (32%) – $33.99.1WWII, from SSG.
    • +Campaigns on the Danube 1805 & 1809 (30%) – $13.99.2Adanac Command Studies.
    • Carriers at War (32%) – $33.99.
    • Close Combat: Cross of Iron (33%) – $26.99.
    • Close Combat: Modern Tactics (32%) – $20.99.
    • Close Combat: The Longest Day (33%) – $26.99.
    • Close Combat: Wacht am Rhein (33%) – $26.99.
    • Command Ops: Battles from the Bulge (25%) – $59.99.
    • Commander: Europe at War Gold (40%) – $29.99.
    • *Commander: Napoleon at War (40%) – $29.99.
    • Crown of Glory: Emperor’s Edition (32%) – $33.99.
    • Empires in Arms (32%) – $40.99.3Australian Design Group, 2007
    • Flashpoint Germany (32%) – $23.99.
    • +For Liberty (31%) – $23.99.
    • +Forge of Freedom (32%) – $33.99.
    • Gary Grigsby’s Eagle Day to Bombing of the Reich (32%) – $33.99.
    • +Gary Grigsby’s War Between the States (32%) – $33.99.
    • +Gary Grigsby’s World at War: A World Divided (33%) – $26.99.
    • AGEOD’s Great Invasions (30%) – $13.99.
    • +Guns of August 1914-1918 (31%) – $23.99.4Adanac Command Studies.
    • Highway to the Reich (32%) – $33.99.5From Panther Games, released 2003.
    • Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge (30%) – $20.99.
    • Horse and Musket: Volume 1 (30%) – $20.99.6Boku Strategy Games, 2009.
    • +John Tillers Battleground Civil War (30%) – $20.99.7Repackaged from the old Talonsoft titles.
    • +John Tillers Battleground Napoleonic Wars (30%) – $20.99.8Repackaged from the old Talonsoft titles.
    • +John Tillers Campaign Series (31%) – $23.99.9Includes repackaged WWII Talonsoft titles includes East Front, West Front, and Rising Sun scenarios.
    • Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets (32%) – $33.99.
    • Korsun Pocket (30%) – $20.99.
    • *Legion Arena: Gold (33%) – $26.99.
    • Napoleon in Italy (33%) – $26.99.10Hussar Games, 2007.
    • +Norm Koger’s The Operational Art of War III (33%) – $26.99.
    • Officers – The Matrix Edition (30%) – $20.99.
    • Operation Barbarossa – The Struggle for Russia (31%) – $23.99.
    • Panzer Command: Kharkov (33%) – $26.99.
    • Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm (33%) – $26.99.
    • Steel Panthers: World at War – Generals Edition (33%) – $46.99.
    • Storm Over the Pacific (32%) – $33.99.
    • Tin Soldiers: Alexander the Great (30%) – $20.99.11Koios Works, 2004.
    • Tin Soldiers: Julius Caesar (30%) – $20.99.
    • Uncommon Valor (30%) – $20.99.12This is a Gary Grigsby game originally released in 2002. It covers the Pacific theater at an operational level.
    • War in the Pacific (32%) – $40.99.13Gary Grigsby game, 2004.
    • War in the Pacific – Admirals Edition (33%) – $53.99.
    • War Plan Orange: Dreadnoughts in the Pacific 1922-1930 (31%) – $30.99.14Gary Grigsby game.
    • World War II: General Commander (33%) – $26.99.
    • AGEOD’s World War One Gold (33%) – $26.99.
    • WW2: Time of Wrath (30%) – $20.99.15Available for $5 through Impulse Driven.
  • Strategy First
    • I just received an email from Strategy First with a coupon for 60% off all games using the coupon code “STRATEGYFAN” – it doesn’t say anywhere I can’t share it, so I’m sharing it…A lot of these games are available elsewhere, but I think a few might be unique to Strategy First…(be sure to look under both Strategy and Simulation).
    • +Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin
    • +Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord
    • G.I. Combat
    • Jagged Alliance 2
    • Stalingrad
    • World War I
    • World War II: Frontline Command
    • Great Invasions
    • *Strategic Command 2: Blitzkrieg
    • 1914 Shells of Fury
    • +Ironclads Anglo Russian War 1865
    • +Ironclads Chincha Islands War 1866
    • +Ironclads Schleswig War 1864
    • Rise of Flight: Iron Cross Edition
    • Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942
  • Impulse Driven
    • Crusaders – Thy Kingdom Come – $4.99.
    • World War 2 – Time of Wrath – $4.99.
    • Crusader Kings – $4.99.
    • The Entente – World War I Battlefields – $5.99.
  • GOG
    • *Imperial Glory – $2.99.
    • Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord – $4.99.
  • Direct2Drive
    • Nothing to see over here…pretty disappointing. 66 titles across all genres on sale.

Did I miss any really good games? I’m going to state, off the bat, that I’m usually not a fan of Paradox, AGEOD games b/c they are too hard-core grognard for me, and of 1C games b/c they are usually too RTS for me…but if you have exceptions that I missed, let me know.

Finally, I’d love to see some of the smaller independent vendors throw up some great deals. For example, Matrix Games doesn’t seem to have anything too exciting going on, nor does Battlefront. Suppose I should surf over to Jeff Lapkoff games and see what he is up to…

{Update: Matrix has some pretty decent deals, Battlefront is still disappointing, Lapkoff’s games are always reasonably priced, but no sales…}

P.S. There is a lot of overlap between Steam and GamersGate, check both before making a purchase – you never know which is going to offer the better price, and oftentimes there is a significant price difference (don’t ask me why – I’m just telling ya the way it is, not why…since they are selling the same game!).