“Kandahar: the dark, cynical, bitter sibling of GMT’s COIN series”


James Sterrett sees right through me:


James’ conclusion:

I mentioned these and a number of other factors to a co-worker (and fellow gamer) who served in Afghanistan; he was not sure the game was quite cynical enough to be accurate, but more so than A Distant Plain. You can make a case that A Distant Plain is a better game, but Kandahar feels like a better simulation, and if you are interested in the topic, it is well worth giving it playtime.

Thanks James! You have seen to the bottom of my insufficiently rotten soul.

Also, a quick link to Neal Durando’s cogent thoughts on the game, which James also references:



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

2 Responses to “Kandahar: the dark, cynical, bitter sibling of GMT’s COIN series”

  1. Welcome – but really the thanks is to you for making the game. 🙂

    A way to add a further twist might be to add a random chance (2 in 6?) that forces a redraw of the mission card just before calculating VPs during the turn, to ensure players really don’t know what the victory conditions are. And Victory Points don’t accumulate, because last quarter doesn’t matter – what are you doing for me now?

    • brtrain says:

      You’re very welcome James!
      You know, I had thought of something like that when I was working on the game, but shelved it as I thought there had to be some limit as to what players would put up with.
      I’ve also thought (wrt to other games) about having one player keep tabs on the other player’s “true” victory conditions and performance, compelled to honesty only by his self-respect and the knowledge/trust in the other player who is measuring him.
      Greg Costikyan wrote something clever about games being a form of cruel theatre, but I can’t find it now as his costik.com site seems to be down, or abandoned.

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