Off to CSW Expo 2016… meanwhile, Ramadi.

Leaving soon for Tempe, Arizona for the Consimworld Expo!

Going to be extremely hot – 43 to 46 degrees!

Will do my best to engage as little as possible on any topic other than play, publishing, design etc. of wargames!

Meanwhile, let me point you toward a simple but very clever solitaire wargame on the Battle for Ramadi (December 2015), by Jay Ward and made available for free on his website “Numbers, Wargames and Arsing About”.

If nothing else, download and read the rules – he spends the first 11 pages setting out the situation and giving information on the forces involved, and how they are reflected in the game. I like it when designers give this kind of account of their research and thoughts.

If I had the time, I’d nick all this and make a Fallujah version of the game myself!

But meanwhile, the desert beckons….

ETA: In August 2018, this game was announced for pre-order with Tiny Battle:




“In the absence of war we are questioning peace

In the absence of God we all pray to police…”

Network-centric Go



Well now, this is kind of interesting:

Basically, about 10 years ago the author came up with an idea to re-wire the Go board. The new Network-Centric Go board had the same number of nodes and links (381 nodes, 684 links), but were arranged according to the “preferential attachment” process that researchers have found in models of the internet and world-wide web. You can see from the diagram this kind of network has a very, very large number of lightly connected nodes, a moderate number of moderately connected nodes, and a very small number of very, very well connected nodes.

The first-move advantages are obvious: the move in each turn will be to occupy the point with the highest number of nodes connected to it, until all available points have the same number of nodes. The author claims to have fixed this and made it susceptible to analysis by reducing the board to about a quarter of its size (a 10×10 grid) and adopting a “decreasing clustering coefficient” strategy. (“Clustering Coefficient is a measure of local cohesion, representing the proportion of a node’s neighbors that are also neighbors of each other” – so it kind of sounds like he decided to play normal territorial Go).

Now he has an Indiegogo project to make this game playable online. And you can give him your money!

ISIS Crisis game featured on CBC

Rex Brynen has made matrix games hit the big time!

His disaster-relief game Aftershock gets a shout-out, too.

Another review of A Distant Plain


I haven’t seen any reviews of A Distant Plain recently*, but here is a good one.

Money quote in the concluding paragraph:

I’d be surprised if very many people walk away from A Distant Plain without a deeper understanding of the complex socio-political aspect of the never ending conflict in that region. A board game that can portray that while still presenting an engaging and strategic game is something special. A Distant Plain does that and more. A Distant Plain is important.

Many thanks Raf! Glad you enjoyed the game.

*I did get my designer copies of the 2nd printing a few weeks ago, so perhaps there might be a few more in the offing.