Winter Thunder: a new old game on the Battle of the Bulge

Takes up less table space than this. No cool miniatures, though.

I’d been keeping this quiet, but since a reference has been made to it on the publisher’s blog ( I’d like to announce that Tiny Battles Publishing, a new small-game publisher started by Mark H. Walker, will soon add to their lineup Winter Thunder, a game by me on the Battle of the Bulge.

Winter Thunder is a substantial revision of Autumn Mist, an earlier design of mine on the Bulge that I did in 2003, in the waning days of the Microgame Design Group, and which was picked up later by Fiery Dragon Productions. Among the many changes are: a newly researched order of battle, with revised counter values and reinforcement schedule; cleaned-up rules including a solitaire play system; and a drastically revised map with a different ground scale and treatment of terrain. Nicely die-cut counters and a 17 x 22″ map make it look really spiffy!

We changed the title to reflect these changes and to relate it to Summer Lightning, a game on the 1939 invasion of Poland that Mark Walker cajoled me into designing and publishing with Lock n’ Load in 2011. The two games share most systems, and in my view nicely bookend the beginning and end of the era of German “blitzkrieg” offensives.

The system has two main “hooks” to it: an interactive Operations Phase where formation HQs are randomly activated one by one, and take nearby combat units under command to move and fight; and a near-diceless combat resolution system (a d10 is used to check if a particular unit takes casualties, but whether a check is required arises only after comparing attack and defense missions chosen by the players).

No art to show just yet as I’m still in the middle of approving intermediate versions, but it’s looking good. Also happy to work with Mary Russell, partner of Tom Russell who is editing Yaah! magazine. No dramas + adequate consultation + good communication = respect for the work. Nice.

Currently titles in the Tiny Battles lineup:

  • Gaines’ Mill (Civil War battle by Tom Russell)
  • Invaders from Dimension X! (chaotic sf game by Hermann Luttmann)
  • Neuschwabenland (Nazi Gebirgsjager fight acid-spitting Alien Worms to defend their colony in Antarctica; features the Haunebu experimental flying saucer, Alien Tripods and tubes of Pervitin. I am chagrined to see that I am not going to be the first game designer with a “chrome” rule to recognize the tactical value of methamphetamine. Chilly madness by Christian Sperling.)
  • Sticks and Stones (tactical WW IV fighting, by Mark Walker)
  • We Happy Few (Agincourt by Tom Russell)

Price $19.99 each right now, shipping extra – though a digital Print and Play version is yours for only $9.99.

Edited to add: Here is the official announcement! Go there, and you can see the very nice map and counter artwork.

About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

5 Responses to Winter Thunder: a new old game on the Battle of the Bulge

  1. Judson Riley Kring says:

    Great news! Congratulations. I am just now getting ready to order Summer Lightning based on AAR and marcowargaming reviews…and on your interactions on BGG. Looking forward to playing it and kudos to you for getting another title published.

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks Judson, and thanks again for your order of Summer Lightning! You’ll find it a very nice-looking game, featuring the art of the well-named Marc von Martial. Let me know what you think of it when you get it.

  2. Mark Walker says:

    Nice post, Brian. Can’t wait to get this one out the door. Mary is great to work with, isn’t she?

  3. Pingback: Blog Watch: Westworld’s Antecedents, Products Not Rules, Literati Wankeri, and Post-Apocalyptic Bodice-rippers | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

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