Interview on The Player ‘s Aid, Part 2


Over at The Player’s Aid blog, the second part of three of an interview with me on Colonial Twilight.

Paddy Griffith’s Counterinsurgency Wargames – out now!


John Curry, through his “History of Wargaming” project, has for several years now been bringing out a combination of old, long out-of-print and quite new books and material on wargaming, both hobby and professional.

Paddy Griffith was a prolific designer with a foot in both these worlds. He was a lecturer in Military History at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for many years, and created several board wargames (collected in “A Book of Sandhurst Wargames”) and many sets of miniatures wargaming rules. He also expanded the genre of “sprawling wargames”: very large-scale tabletop games played by teams of players to game out big battles.

John Curry has been rescuing a lot of Paddy Griffith’s work from potential eternal obscurity, and releasing it via the print-on-demand and ePub routes (Lulu, Amazon, Kindle, etc.).

Here is one of those items: Paddy Griffith’s Counterinsurgency Wargames, a set of three games dealing with counterinsurgency as it was then understood in the late 1970s, designed by Griffith while he was at Sandhurst. Two of the games are suitable for committee play by small groups, the third is the setup for a large exercise involving over 250 people and an entire class of Sandhurst cadets.

The Kindle edition went on sale last week, as did the paper edition. See the link below for a preview of the Kindle from Amazon ($9.95).

And here is the link to order the paper product: £12.95 plus shipping.

Now, I am telling you all this not just because it is an interesting book and subject in its own right, but also because I got to write the foreword! This was a new experience for me and I found it challenging to write, as it deals with the development of official British doctrine over the years.

Here’s a review on the Paxsims blog:

Interview on The Players’ Aid, Part I


Think I’ll use this picture every time I post about one of my interviews.

Over at the prolifically-posting blog The Players’ Aid, Part I of III of an interview with me about Colonial Twilight (mostly).

Link to Part II is here:

Interview on The Player ‘s Aid, Part 2

Link to Part III is here:

Hollandspiele: making the counters for Scheldt Campaign.

Sample counters for special units in the game, by Tom Russell.

Tom Russell made the counters for The Scheldt Campaign. He describes his process on the Hollandspiele blog:

$1100 for an outside artist to do counters? (Not for this game, for an unnamed magazine game.) I’m in the wrong line of work, obviously! Perhaps I should design games for the counters, not the other way round, since remuneration for the design part comes cheaper.

I guess it’s like in the movie business: they’ll spend $115 million working on the CGI so the heroine’s hair floats convincingly in zero-gee, and the writer get $43.29 and a box of doughnuts.

New Post on InsideGMT: Colonial Twilight Force Pieces and Structure


Near-final map. Art by Mark Simonitch and Chechu Nieto.  Lookin’ good!

Over at the InsideGMT blog, about 2,000 words on the different wooden bits in Colonial Twilight and what they represent.

Scheldt Campaign: Evolution of a Cover


Over on the Hollandspiele company blog, Tom Russell talks about the design and technical processes he went through to arrive at the above cover:

Interview in C3i 29


Apropos of nothing, a picture of me drinking a cuppa joe I really did make myself (long story).


I’ve been lucky enough to be asked by several people over the last few years about my  opinions on games, game design, and the games I design. I don’t think there is any one blog post or podcast or paper that encapsulates my philosophy – I am not sure I even have one, I think I just have thoughts and methods to express the thoughts (but maybe that’s what one is).

But last year Sam Sheikh interviewed me for C3i, a board wargaming magazine published by Rodger B. MacGowan (a longstanding great wargame artist, and a designer in his own right). The interview appeared in issue #29 and it’s a good selection of answers about how I got into game designing, what I like to see in the games I design, and how games portray modern irregular warfare (or don’t).

This is a scan of that section of the magazine. I hope you will find it interesting.

C3i29 intvw

Material is copyright RBM Studio 2015, reproduced with permission.

Scheldt Campaign: Designer’s notes for the 2nd edition

(I do an image search for “Dutch mud” and this is what I get.)

Over at Hollandspiele Games’ site, some notes they asked me to write on the design, development and second edition of The Scheldt Campaign:

Toddle over and check it out!

Also, I have just been informed that PnP copies of The Scheldt Campaign are now available from The Wargame Vault for $12.00. That’s pretty cheap, but you will be missing the chunky goodness of laser-cut counters and the nice map.

Scheldt Campaign, 2nd edition, now available from Hollandspiele!


The second edition of The Scheldt Campaign is now available from Hollandspiele, a new small-press outfit run by Mary and Tom Russell, formerly of Tiny Battle Publishing.

Website has just gone live today:

And there is a Facebook group for you to like too:

My Scheldt Campaign game is “Hex #1”, just the first offering from this company; others will follow in September and October:

  • Hex # 2, The Grunwald Swords – Medieval battle game, first in Shields & Swords II series. Design by Tom Russell, art by Gonzalo Santacruz and Ania B. Ziolkowska.
  • Hex # 3, Agricola, Master of Britain – Solitaire strategy game on Roman rule of Britain. Design by Tom Russell, art by Gonzalo Santacruz and Ania B. Ziolkowska.
  • Hex # 4, An Infamous Traffic – opaque and challenging multiplayer game on the Opium Wars and the opening of China. Design and art by Cole Wehrle, designer of Pax Pamir.

I’m looking forward to a good Opium Wars game!

Hollandspiele’s production model is print-on-demand with services by Blue Panther LLC. Folks may recall that a couple of my games that came out through Schutze Games –  Pusan Perimeter and Somalia Interventions – were given the boxed treatment by Blue Panther too. Once they get an order they send it over to Blue Panther, who produces it and sends it away. They will also offer print-and-play versions of all games through Wargame Vault, at bout half the MSRP (the link isn’t quite set up yet).

Lots more on their methods and philosophy at the company blog:

I don’t mind that they refer to me as a “prolific Canadian wunderkind”, don’t mind at all.

So anyway, Scheldt Campaign 2nd edition is available for orders: price will be $40 US for the first few weeks, and then go up to $45. Price does not include shipping: I just put in a fake order to my home in British Columbia, and it was $13 US, so shipping within the US should be reasonable. But they admit it will be crazy-expensive to overseas addresses, and would like to hear possible solutions or from potential partners for that.

Oh, and they take Paypal.

[ETA: Also, I have just been informed that PnP copies of The Scheldt Campaign are now available from The Wargame Vault for $12.00. That’s pretty cheap, but you will be missing the chunky goodness of laser-cut counters and the nice map.]

One final thing I want to note, taken from their “About” page:

When it comes to designers, Hollandspiele aims to follow the Golden Rule: we want to treat designers as we’d like to be treated. That’s why we will never ask a designer to sign away their rights to their original designs. Instead, we license the publication rights from the designer for three years at a time. Designers are paid a per-copy royalty of at least $3USD, with the royalties for the first fifty copies paid in advance. Two copies of the game will be provided free of charge, and designers have the option to purchase additional copies “at cost”.

We generally seek out designers and designs, but are happy to consider submissions. If you have a finished game that you’d like us to take a look at, drop us a line at .

Thanks for your interest!


Ukrainian Crisis (Kryzyz Ukrainski) Polish rules

UkraineCrisis2014BrianTrain sm

Banner by Rodger MacGowan.

Thanks to the efforts of user “Grisz” on Boardgamegeek, Polish language rules for Ukrainian Crisis are now available!

Go here:

Many thanks Grisz!