Nights of Fire: Kickstarter is done!

KS stretch goals

The Kickstarter campaign is over. And the final tally is: $87,821 !

Over three times the minimum $25,000 goal required to get this game produced at all… so I am gratified!

Final counts:

  • 167 people bought just Nights of Fire
  • 396 people bought Nights of Fire and the expansion pack (which includes 28 miniatures, two decks of cards for expansion of Nights (scenarios and leaders) and rules for play of the the campaign game)
  • 94 people bought the combined Days of Ire (reprint) and Nights of Fire package
  • 254 people bought the combined package with the expansion pack
  • 8 people bought something else – e.g. large group buy (thanks!)

So that’s about 900 copies at least that will be out in the wild… plus more for the retail trade, no idea of the production numbers.

Really nothing left to do now except review bits and pieces of stretch goals like new art bits for the Insurgent pieces… everything that has anything to do with the actual play of the game has long been written, arted-up and tested. Which is all I wanted to know.

If production goes well some copies will be in people’s hands (or at least for show) at the Essen game fair in October. However, to be sure, they are committing to a delivery date of March 2019 which will cover all exigencies.

If you backed this Kickstarter, good for you and many thanks!

If you didn’t, I hope you get a chance to buy or at least play it when it comes out! I think you will be pleased.


Site addition: Scenarios and Variants page

One thing I like to do, when I have the time and inspiration, is to write scenarios and variants for other peoples’ games. I think this is probably how many designers got started. Sometimes I write or revise items of my own work, too.

Anyway, today I created a page on this website for these items, moved over from my other older website. Have a look, there are items there for many old and new games!

Scenarios and Variants

Copyrights remain with the original creators or holders. No challenge is intended. The variant material is all created by me and is free for the downloader’s personal use, but I would appreciate name-checks and notifications of its use… motivates me to make more of these. Right?

I’d appreciate if you would send me any comments you may have, provided they are constructive and/or adulatory. (as always, I am not responsible if any of these files make your machine go **SPUNG**… though I don’t see how, they are all .docx and .pdf files)


All material on this website, including all its subsidiary pages, that is written by me is made available through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Please contact me if you want to discuss other uses of the content.

Nights of Fire: 48 hours to go!

Nights of Fire - A sequel to Days of Ire -- Kicktraq Mini

Less than 48 hours left in the Kickstarter campaign for Nights of Fire!

At the time of writing, we’ve just broken the $70,000 barrier – nearly three times the initial $25,000 “all or nothing” point – but there are a couple of stretch goals left to crush.

Please back it now, if you’ve been thinking of doing so! Yes, at this point the game will be produced but if you back it now you will

  • get it before The Others
  • get a nicer product than otherwise
  • save yourself quite a few dollars!


Ukrainian Crisis: New Vassal Module!

Screenshot from VASSAL website. Paul had the simple but brilliant idea of making the 5 and 6, the two “hit” faces of the die, show up reversed – making it easier to count up the hits.

Thanks to the efforts of Paul Heron, there is a new VASSAL module for Ukrainian Crisis!

This is for the Hollandspiele edition of the game, which has some extra cards. Get it at:

You may know that this game uses a “bucket of dice” combat resolution system, with 5s and 6s counting for hits. Paul had the simple but brilliant idea of making these two faces of the die show up reversed, making it easier to count up the hits. I don’t play on VASSAL much but I hadn’t seen anything like this in other modules.

Paul says he is working on a module for The Little War as well, and I am looking forward to that!

Meanwhile, the module for earlier editions of Ukrainian Crisis, by Martin Hogan, is still found at

Finnish Civil War Ludography

This year is the centennial of the Finnish Civil War. Not surprisingly, people are marking the event, pushing the number of games on the war from “almost none” to “some”. Here is a partial ludography, certainly a work-in-progress, that shows the games on the war that I know about, sorted by publication date:

image:, showing a copy in a display case in a museum in Tampere.

1918: Punaisten ja Valkoisten taistelu Suomesa 1918

The first board game on the War, this was apparently produced for the Christmas market, only seven months after the end of the war. It is a simple roll-and-move game with red and white pieces occupying different towns. Point-movement map, 14 wooden pieces, abstract scale.

BGG link

Katalog 1

2009: Finnish Civil War

I put my game Finnish Civil War up for free download at the end of 2009, making it the first “standard wargame” treatment of the conflict. It was available for free download until 2012 – I think maybe four people might have taken advantage of the offer – when I was offered a spot in Paper Wars magazine for the game, and was asked to take it down. I thought it was going to come out more promptly than it did, but it did come out at the beginning of 2017, with a very nice presentation and a few changes from the earlier version. 270 counters, hex map, company to brigade scale (two versions to play).

The Paper Wars version has a historical article in it by me on the War, but for some reason they printed only the first half of it – you can get the whole article at the link below.

BGG link

Finnish Civil War (Paper Wars #84) has arrived.


2010: Under The North Star

Designed by Dennis Bishop and published by White Dog Games. A rather standard look at the military aspect of the war. 160 counters, hex map, battalion to regiment scale.

BGG link

Enter a caption

2018: Veli Veljea Vastaan (Brother Against Brother)

Card-driven, point-movement game on the War by Antti Lehmusjarvi, published by Linden Lake Games via Kickstarter.  I did find a photo of a prototype of Antti’s game that was played at “Warcon 2013”, a game convention in Tampere. About 200 counters, 55 cards, point movement map, company-battalion scale.

BGG link



2018 (?): All Bridges Burning

This is a COIN system game designed by the brilliant VPJ “Vesa” Arponen, who remade the ‘bots for A Distant Plain and designed the ‘bot for Colonial Twilight. Man’s a genius and he has made the COIN system work for three players. Has done very well on P500. About 90 wooden pieces, 47 event cards, a card-driven (!) solo system of 36 cards, point movement map, scale abstract.

BGG link


2018: Helsinki 1918

Designed by Hannu Uusitalo, produced by U&P Games. This one is kind of interesting: a card-driven, hex map treatment of the battle for Helsinki in April 1918. As German forces approach the city, the Red defenders prepare to receive them but there is a secret group of White forces ready to rise in revolt within the city. Even more interesting, the game is for three players. BGG description:

The German player must execute an effective attack to defeat Reds and avoid too high casualties especially in the fights on the streets of the centre. The Red player focus to keep their morale high and recruit new fighting groups to the Red Guards while Whites player must wait the right timing to deploy hidden troops in the streets of Helsinki.

80 counters, 40 cards, hex map.

BGG link

image: Lenin Museum website

2018: Suomi 1918

Not really a wargame as such, I did find mention of this on the net, as being on offer at the gift shop of the Lenin Museum in Tampere. This is the only museum dedicated to Lenin outside the former Soviet Union: elsewhere on their site you can buy things like busts of Lenin, and fridge magnets of Urho Kekkonen and Leonid Brezhnev.

Thrilling new game Finland 1918 is a card game about the start of the Finnish state, the civil war and the events that led to it. The game describes the birth of the Finnish state and possible social models: what if history had been different?

Finnish-language cards, but the Museum staff tell me that English rules are in preparation.

Article on the Lenin Museum from Atlas Obscura:


Chile ’73: first review!

c73 banner

Over at SP’s Projects Blog, “Pete” (I don’t know his name but he comments here frequently) writes about his purchase and play-through of a PnP copy of Chile ’73 with his friend Paul.

He enjoyed himself quite a bit!

Thanks Pete!

By the way, the game now has a entry so you can see some pictures and see what other Geeklists and things it is involved in.

One thing I have posted over there already, and make available here now, is a one-page expanded sequence of play that summarizes the rules. Help yourself:

CL73 expanded sequence 8mar

Colonial Twilight: review, yong zhongwen


Across the ocean, Mike Yuan of Taipei writes his impression of Colonial Twilight:

Unfortunately, I do not speak any Chinese and the machine translation is not very good…

Back to the front, compared to the four people may continue to soy sauce this situation, a little look you will find that in the CT, continuous action often occurs, so players will not only have a flexible schedule, but also make a good To be full, the ability to effect very strong.  At the same time the goal of action is also simplified; So I line up the skateboard machine to not finished thinking immediately turn to me, how do I use this opportunity?

But I think I get the gist of it – he was not entirely happy nor unhappy with the game.

  • He found the two-player mechanics interesting, and that they mitigated some of his frustrations with the 4-player mechanics and stabbery in the other COIN system games published so far.
  • Some of the Event Cards are quite strong (e.g. Napalm) while others are uninteresting or indeterminate in effect (he cites the “many” +/-1d6 cards in the deck – there are 6 that effect either side equally, of 60). Of this he says, “This is indeed Brian Train’s style, enhance the player’s sense of dilemma, sense of historical experience; in Chinese is called: ‘unlucky in rotten peach’ (「在爛桃中挑顆不爛的」)”. I liked that.
  • His impression is that the game is unbalanced against the Government; I think he played the Short scenario, twice, for this review so that is perhaps understandable.

Perhaps next time I should soy sauce my skateboard machine. Internet translation has a long way to go!