Two Interviews: The British Way, La Jeu de la Guerre

ONE

https://elwargameronovato.blogspot.com/2022/05/the-british-way-interview-stephen.html

Daniel Iniesta interviewed Stephen Rangazas, whose 4-pack of cut-down GMT COIN system games is forthcoming from GMT.

The British Way picks up on four postwar British entanglements: Malaya, Palestine, Kenya and Cyprus. He says:

The main changes to the core COIN mechanics for The British Way was altering the way two player COIN works. I streamlined the two-player sequence of play designed by Brian Train in Colonial Twilight and changed victory to work off an overall Political Will Track to reflect that these were really head-to-head challenges between the British and insurgents. There are also significant variations to the core COIN mechanics with the two more clandestine cell-based insurgencies in Cyprus and Palestine. Finally, I think the multipack really benefited from the linked campaign scenario and designing a macro game that covers four smaller COIN games required innovating from what had been done before in the series.

It’s kind of interesting to me that my “4-box” family of games that partly inspired Volko Ruhnke’s design for the COIN system (Algeria particularly) also depended heavily on an overall Political Will or Support Track that reflected each side’s cohesion and popular support (I suppose more accurately government support for the British, since these were decolonization campaigns) in a non-zero-sum way. So kind of a return to base, in its way.

The games are limited in size and component count – not more than 18 cards played in a game, so it’s done in 1-2 hours.

I’m looking forward to this package very much!

TWO

The very clever Fred Serval has an interview with Alex Galloway about Guy Debord’s La Jeu de la Guerra for his podcast Homo Ludens. History about Debord and his game, and talk about Galloway’s work on a digital version of the game (still in process). Also, a neat clip from the Situationist detourned film, “Can Dialectics Break Bricks?”

Indigenous counterpoints to colonial themes in board games

Not ‘just a game’: World of board games faces reckoning for colonial themes

A news story in Canadian Indigenous media about a teacher up-Island from me who created a board game about the Truth part of Truth and Reconciliation.

The article mentions Spirit Island, something I would like to try but can’t arrange a trade for on BGG, and also gives a shout-out to the Zenobia Awards which is nice. It mentions Settlers of Catan as an example of an objectionable board game. I add that Greg Loring-Albright (co-designer of Bloc by Bloc: Uprising 3rd Edition, which I am awaiting eagerly) created a variant of the game, First Nations of Catan, that adds an Indigenous player since the mythical island is not and never was terra nullius.

https://analoggamestudies.org/2015/11/the-first-nations-of-catan-practices-in-critical-modification/

(nice-looking printable version is here: https://doctrineofdiscoverymenno.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/ddofd-catan-handout-frontback.pdf )

Meanwhile, the Playing Oppression anthology that was being worked on at MIT Gamelab (Mary Flanagan et al) seems to have ground to a halt about 2019/20, though Mary Flanagan is still designing games.

http://gamelab.mit.edu/research/games-and-colonialism/

Do you want to know more?

A very interesting recruiting video (sort of) produced by the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations Group, describing the uses and practices of psychological warfare.

To subdue an enemy without firing a shot, is the mark of a true warrior.”

Sun Tzu

Matrix games: Bandera II

https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/bandera-ii-ukraine-matrix-game-update/

Signal boost, though I know many in the audience read Rex Brynen’s PaxSims blog already:

The elusive, profusive Tim Price has issued Bandera II, an updated version of his matrix game on the Ukrainian conflict to reflect current conditions. A 25-page free download, with some instructions on how to run a matrix game, map, and printable pages to make your own game tokens.

My Dinner with Werner

Nothing to do with wargaming, history, or even design… well, maybe creativity.

But I like Werner Herzog, and I like chicken (more than he does).

A funny short film with musing, yelling, door-banging and birds talking via the miracle of champagne.

COIN System games: tips on teaching

Over at The Players Aid, Grant Kleinheinz presents a very good short piece full of tips on how to introduce and teach a COIN system game to a group of people who may or may not be familiar with this type of game, or even with wargames at all.

https://theplayersaid.com/2022/04/15/secrets-to-teaching-the-coin-series-from-gmt-games-a-guide-to-making-the-process-seamless-and-getting-your-players-to-enjoy-the-system

Coming up: Connections Online 2022

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/acdcons/connections/

Hey all!

Next week will see the 2022 edition of Connections Online, the second iteration of the purposely online version of the long-standing Connections franchise of conferences. As such it joins Connections-US, Connections-UK, Connections North, Connections Oz, and so forth in trying to create lasting, uh, connections between the hobby and professional wargaming worlds.

Core events are 19-21 April, with a series of extended events to either side 18-24 April.

The theme this year is “Developing Wargame Practitioners.” Panels on this topic include:

  • Recent Innovations in Wargaming
  • Hiring new Wargamers
  • Designing a Professional Wargame
  • Resources for Professional Development of Wargamers
  • Wargamer Professional Certification: Necessary or Not? (a perennial favourite!)
  • Wargaming outside the National Security Space

Lots of other things to see and do as well! I plan to attend events on Innovations in Hobby Wargaming, Wargaming Other than War, and Wargaming Politics.

Cost is $5.00 to attend the whole thing, everything else is free but you have to get a ticket to attend an event. Core events such as I have listed above will be posted on Youtube later, but the extended events will likely not.

Please plan to attend!

VDV Song, updated

Oh, this is just brilliant!

Unboxing videos: District Commander Binh Dinh and Kandahar

Fresh today – Alexander Klein of The Players Aid does an unboxing of District Commander modules Binh Dinh (Vietnam 1969) and Kandahar (Afghanistan 2009).

Just a look in the box, and comments on the components, but if you haven’t had a chance to see the inside of one of these, this is your chance.

I hope he and Grant will enjoy playing these! They did comment on how they found District Commander Maracas rather a challenge.

China’s War: entrevista con El Wargamero Novato

CWp500cover

https://elwargameronovato.blogspot.com/2022/03/chinas-war-entrevista-brian-train.html

Recently Josue Garcia Vazquez interviewed me for his blog El Wargamero Novato about China’s War 1937-41. I answered in English, he posted it in Spanish, so hit the Translate button for an approximation of an approximation of what I said.

Not a lot of new information for anyone who’s kept up with other interviews and my current life events, mostly the addition of a 1938 scenario. He also asked me about my other current projects… Brief Border Wars Volume II, O Canada, and Strongman.

Preorders are now up to 1,524.

Will this one be my “jump-the-shark” moment?

Or the next one?

Or was it years ago and I’m still running out into midair like a Warner Bros. cartoon character?