Andartes and Green Beret available in DTP format!

Hello all,

Constant Readers will have figured this out by now, but I am announcing two game designs by me, self-published, in DTP format (meaning mount and cut your own counters). It is like going full circle to 20 years ago, with the Microgame Design Group, but this is the way I want to do it, and finally get it done. I got friend John Kula to do the map, cover art and counters (Grognards will remember John’s artwork on the covers of Simulations Canada games).

I have made up a limited number of copies of each. Games are US$15 each, this includes postage to anywhere in the world. Autographed on request. I take (and prefer) Paypal; email me at brian.train@gmail.com.

Andartes cover

ANDARTES

This is the very original version of my Greek Civil War game. I designed it in 2007-08; it uses a development of the Algeria/Shining Path game system. Though it is about the same war as the Decision Games version, and has some of the same chrome (Stalin Score, American aid), it plays very differently and is a more ambitious design all round.

Game comes with a colour cover, 11×17″ colour map and 280 colour counters; counters are on a big sticker sheet so you don’t have to apply the glue yourself (though you do need to find some cardboard to stick it to, and cut the counters yourself). Usual rules and charts.

GB Cover

GREEN BERET

Green Beret is a game on the counterinsurgency in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1964-65, just as the war passed out of its “advisory” stage. The Viet Cong player attempts to infiltrate, gain control of the population, and destroy Free World units (Militia and Strikeforces of the Civilian Irregular Defense Program, units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and A-teams of the Special Forces) where possible. The Free World player attempts to stop this by “winning hearts and minds” and detecting, interdicting, and destroying Communist units (Local Forces, Guerrilla companies, Main Force battalions, Cadres and Supply units).

I designed a card version of this game in 1996-97, and it was published for a short while by Simulations Workshop. I think only about 100 copies were made. One of them sits in the library of the JFK Special Warfare Centre at Ft. Bragg (or maybe it doesn’t, if someone had a tidying fit). In 2008 I made a map-and-counter revision of it, it wandered around and in fall 2013 Decision Games bounced it back to me after deciding it was not the sort of thing they thought players would want in Modern War magazine.

Game comes with a colour cover, 11×17″ colour map and 140 double-sided colour counters; counters are on a big sticker sheet so you don’t have to apply the glue yourself (though you do need to find some cardboard to stick it to, and cut the counters yourself). Usual rules and charts. Scenarios include 1964-5 free deployment using two different methods, 1964-5 historical, and 1962-3 Operation Switchback scenario.

Thanks for your interest!

VASSAL module for Ukrainian Crisis!

Thanks to the highly energetic Martin Hogan, there is now a VASSAL module available for Ukrainian Crisis!

I was struggling my way through making one, and getting nowhere – he volunteered and did in a few hours what would have taken me days, provided I didn’t give up first (which was likely). I don’t know if I will ever get the hang of making modules, since I don’t do PBEM or online play, but it’s something I’ll have to learn I suppose…

In the meantime, anyone who hung back from downloading the game due to the papercrafting involved now has no excuse!  You still have to download the rules though, as the module does not include or enforce them.

Ukrainian Crisis_14.vmod

ua-crisis-rules-1111

Thanks Martin!

Podcast: Guns, Dice, Butter episode XX

David Dockter has a regular podcast on wargaming called “Guns, Dice, Butter” that has just recorded its twentieth episode.

This one has:

  • Phil Eklund, speaking from faraway Berlin about his brain-wringingly thoughtful and detailed designs,
  • then (about 1h 22min) Mark Herman, Jim Doughan and myself talking about “War by Other Means” where we discuss another “7 Ms” of warcraft (besides Machetes, Machine-guns and Missiles) that support the BIG “M” (Morale) in making and waging war,
  • and finally a few minutes with me (about 2h 12 min) talking about Ukrainian Crisis and what I was trying to get at (plus the story of how I met Rex Brynen, writer of the excellent Paxsims blog!).

Download it (it’s about an 83 MB file, or you can just listen) at:

http://gunsdicebutter.libsyn.com/

Russian Unconventional and Political Warfare

 

http://warontherocks.com/2014/04/taking-a-spoon-to-a-gunfight/

At the very interesting site War on the Rocks, retired Special Forces COL David Maxwell posts a very interesting article about how Russia is working a combination of unconventional warfare and political warfare to advance its agenda with respect to Ukraine. This is what I was trying to get at with players pursuing coordinated action on three fronts in Ukrainian Crisis.

Greek Civil War, redux

So, my game on the 1947-49 Greek Civil War is out, in issue #11 of Modern War magazine.

Constant Readers will recall that I sent my original game design, using a development of the game system I developed for Shining Path and Algeria, in to Decision Games at the end of 2011. DG asked me to redesign the game using a game system developed by Joe Miranda for his Decision Iraq game that was to appear in issue #6. So I did, at the beginning of 2012, and sent that in.

I had read some rules questions on the Consimworld and Boardgamegeek sites from subscribers who had received their copies that made me wonder. Then I got a copy of the e-rules and yes, DG had made a number of major rules changes between 2012 and now, without my knowledge. Finally I got my own subscriber copy. I do not agree with these changes.

Part of the publishing agreement a designer signs with Decision Games reads: “Decision is responsible for the development, graphics and publication of the Game. Decision is free to edit, develop, and make other changes it deems necessary for publication of the Game. Decision has final approval for all materials utilized in publishing the Game. Designer incurs no obligation for any of these, other than those specified above. Decision agrees to credit Designer in the published game rules.”

So, they have done their part in all of the above. I want to be fair: with other designs I have sent to them, DG has been more or less good with keeping me in the loop. And presumably they had their reasons for making the changes they did.

While I feel uncomfortable publicly disagreeing with the publisher, I am also uncomfortable standing behind this game in its published form with my name on it.

Therefore, I am making the rules and charts I originally submitted available here for download, so that players can play the game in the manner I originally intended.

GCWrules11

GCWchts11

As for the very first version of Greek Civil War, which I am going to retitle Andartes, I intend to self-publish this in DTP format later in the year.