Obligatory end-of-year review


So, that was 2017.

This year I published these games, or got them down the slipway:


It was also a busy time for conferences, events and conventions.

  • April: we went to San Diego for the Popular Cultural Association conference where I made a presentation on “News Paper Games”, about journalism in analog game form. Next year’s conference is in Indianapolis so no way am I going there, but I think I am about done presenting my ideas in this kind of academic venue… not much left to say.
  • May: I went back to the Army War College to screen The Battle of Algiers for them, and do some guided play of Colonial Twilight with the guys of the Strategic Simulations Division. Also sat in on a very good panel with Peter Perla and Jim Lacey. Then I went up to Ottawa for the Cangames convention, where I played some more Colonial Twilight and met up with Rex Brynen, who was running a zombie game. I also learned The Grizzled from Michel Boucher, and had dinner at his place… I did not know of course that this would be the last time I would see him.
  • June: Consimworld Expo at Tempe AZ. Hm, I seem not to have written anything about that. Well, it was the usual good time among the hardest-core gamers, and nice as always to meet with publishers and discuss future projects. Lianne and I went to the local art museum and saw a neat exhibition on Frida Kahlo. Unfortunately Tom Russell hurt his back so Hollandspiele could not make the 800 mile drive to get there, but I’ll see them next year.
  • September: Back to Kings College London for the 2017 Connections-UK conference, boy that was fun! Also had a couple of extra days to look about in London, so that was great too.
  • November: BottosCon, like always, and it was a great weekend, like always, though I see I have not written anything about it either. I think I like the new hotel.


Near-meaningless digest of site statistics:

  • I seem to be cruising at between 1.4 to 2.1 thousand views per month, definitely higher than the preceding two years. Not surprisingly, the five most curious countries were: US, Canada, the UK, France and Australia. One guy clicked in from Jersey (the Channel Island, not the toxic waste dump).
  • Besides the then-current post, popular pages or posts included the BTR Games and Free Games pages, and the post about how to use the “horseshoe” in Colonial Twilight to play any four-player COIN system game with two players (this was also published in issue #31 of C3i magazine).
  • Even less surprisingly, the most clicked-on documents were the rules, corrected tutorial and playbook for Colonial Twilight, followed by the free PnP files for Ukrainian Crisis, Third Lebanon War and Caudillo. The page for all my presentations and other material got a lot of visits, but very few people downloaded the files. Oh well.

Now on to 2018, and further dumpster fires. Things I am pretty sure will get done in the coming year include:

  • Nights of Fire on Kickstarter in February, might be produced in time for Essen but we’ll see
  • Tupamaro will come out in 1Q as well, in folio format from One Small Step
  • Strike for Berlin will be in the next issue of Yaah! magazine (#11, March (?) 2018)
  • Chile ’73, folio game on the coup that put Pinochet in power (Tiny Battle Publishing)
  • A quad of mini-games on border wars, using a development of the Little War system (most likely Compass Games)
  • Finish off design work on Thunder Out of China (China 1937-41, COIN system, 4 players, different emphases)
  • And there will likely be other stuff besides…
  • …so get to work, ya bastich!

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

11 Responses to Obligatory end-of-year review

  1. I sent you money for Balkan Gamble..You returned it.

    • brtrain says:

      If you could tell me who you are, and when you sent it, then I would know who you are and when you sent it, because I don’t think I returned any Paypal payments this year.

      Anyway, if you are who I think you are (and even if you aren’t) please contact me at brian.train@gmail.com and we’ll straighten it out.

  2. Grant says:

    Very productive year for you Brian! I am really grateful for your hard work as it has brought us such great joy in playing your games. Thanks for all of the time you have given to The Players’ Aid as well with my rather lengthy interview questions. We appreciate you taking the time to answer those thoroughly and our readers really enjoy them as well. I look forward to your games scheduled for 2018 and beyond! Good luck to you.

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks a lot Grant!
      I appreciate that you appreciate my work.
      I have grown to enjoy answering your interview questions very much, and I hope you will still find room for my meandering replies on the blog in 2018.

  3. bottosconadmin says:

    Brian, if you’re ever at a kids for words about BottosCon, I may be able to help you out….just saying 😉

    • bottosconadmin says:

      Loss for words….hate autocorrect and predictive text.

      • brtrain says:

        “Kids for words” sounds like a clumsy way to advertise a spelling bee.
        I’ve written about BottosCons past here on the blog, I just got really busy the end of this year and failed to write about it. I’m not that great at regular blogging.

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