And now, an important message from a sponsor…

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a joint blog post in War On The Rocks by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explaining patiently how important wargaming was, and is, and will be to American defense:

This also follows on from Deputy Secretary Work’s memo of February 2015, giving more detail on how Secretary Hagel’s dictum of how wargaming is to  drive innovation:

I find this interesting and encouraging, and not for personal reasons. Certainly I’m grateful for the occasions when my work or my perspective has been of passing interest to the professional military, or when I’ve been able to give my opinion or help in some way. But I’m more hopeful when there is official interest in fostering an atmosphere of experimentation and enquiry, of modelling and manipulating events a different way to see how they could turn out, or could have turned out.

Granted, this is gong to be screwed up in some ways: people will find a way to relabel what they are already doing (and getting money for) as wargaming; there will be wars between “schools” of wargaming; and in the end it’s just really hard to impose a Hundred Flowers movement from above on a culture that, frankly, hasn’t always encouraged this kind of behaviour.

And also in the end, what will it add up to, if so many of the answers turn out to be inconvenient ones? “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?”

Algeria is available for pre-order!

Now available for pre-order from OSS Games: the revised version of Algeria: The War for Independence 1954-62, the first game ever published on the war (Microgram Co-op, 2000).

Revised counter mix (140, back-printed, diecut, art by Jon Compton), a redrawn map with very nice graphics by Ania Ziolkowska, and cleaned-up and streamlined rules that feature three scenarios (1954, 1958, 1960).


Sample counters, scattered aesthetically… the game uses the familiar “four boxes” system.

Preorder price is $18.95; later, it will cost you $23.95.

New New rules etc. for Ukrainian Crisis

A little early for St. Nicholas Day but I’ve made some changes to the Ukrainian Crisis game and want to share them with you.

The game now concentrates specifically on the first 6 months of the crisis, from Yanukovytch’s departure in late February 2014 to about the time of the adoption of the first Minsk Protocol in September. This was the period in which a large and overt Russian military intervention might have taken place, and while violence continues in Ukraine, the main threat of a military invasion seems to have passed.

Two important changes to the game include: game is lengthened to 8 turns, and instead of there being a pre-invasion and invasion phase of the game either player can declare a Combat or a Strategic turn . This gives players a bit more time to fill out strategies, and fits with the stop-and-start nature of how the crisis played out militarily. Following on from this, the map has been revised slightly and the cards also have additional or changed functions.

Still no NATO units.

The latest files for the game are here, and links are also on the original page:

uacr-rls-20 (the latest rules)

uacr-cds-20 (latest cards, to match the longer length of the game and some slight revisions to event cards)

UA crisis map1722-1 (latest version of the map with revised point values for Ukrainian ethnic zones)

UA_Crisis_ctrs2 (game counters, same as always; cut off and throw away the right-hand portion as the rules it refers to have been replaced)

Material is copyright 2014-2015 Brian Train.


Ukrainian Crisis published by Hollandspiele in March 2017!

Coming soon from Hollandspiele: Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War!