Video Review: A Distant Plain

 

Reporting in from Buckeye Game Fest, Grant Kleinheinz and other friends of The Player’s Aid talk about their experience of a longish game of A Distant Plain. Not just a post-mortem; very nice commentary and musing through the various actions and combinations available to all sides!

Thanks, fellows.

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Revenge of the Balkan Gamble

BGmbl cover

BALKAN GAMBLE

BACK IN PRINT – only 10 copies available! (no wait, only 9 left now…make that 7…)

Way back when, I initially made only 20 figuring they would never all sell, but they did and people kept asking for it, so I made up another 10 copies. They sold too. What gives? Is this some kind of a trend? So a year or two later I made another 10. 

The Allied invasions of the Balkans that never happened. One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre, at least to Hitler and the German High Command, was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia. The Allies knew the Germans perceived such invasions as a credible threat and created several strategic deception plans, leading the Germans to move or keep critical troop formations in northern Italy and the Balkans when they would have been much more useful somewhere else. Scenarios for 1943, 1944, 1945, and a hypothetical 1950 Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. Uses the Autumn Mist/ Summer Lightning/ Winter Thunder system of formation activations and almost-diceless combat with mission matrix, at a larger scale: 1 week/turn; 30 km/hex; division/brigade; 17×22″ hex map and 280 double-sided counters. Many “chrome” rules to cover the fragmented human, political and physical terrain of the area.

This game has twice the map (and it’s printed on nice heavy paper) and twice the counter sheets, so the price per copy is $25 US. This includes postage. Paypal to brian.train@gmail.com. Thanks!

New free game: ZNO (District Commander module)

burning farm

Down on the farm, mes gars.

Since District Commander Maracas has been released in physical form by Hollandspiele, I am now offering for free print-and-play the module District Commander ZNO (Zone Nord Oranais). 

This time the action takes place in the hill country southwest of Mostaganem in Algeria, circa 1958-59. The Government player has a selection of French Army sector and intervention (elite) troops, moghazni militia raised by the Sections Administrative Specialisees, and Garde Mobile policemen, backed up by Commandos de Chasse tracker teams, double agents, and small numbers of helicopters. The nationalist insurgent forces have several grades of fighters, Terror and IED Cells, and Supply units that must be escorted back and forth across the arena of combat.

Thanks to everyone who voted in my small poll over on Boardgamegeek. ZNO won narrowly! This module will remain available until it is published by Hollandspiele or I replace it with something else.

DC RB District Commander system rulebook, as spiffily published by Hollandspiele, pdf.

DC system counters 4july District Commander system counters, pdf.

DC ZNO x-rules 10 18 oct 19 ZNO exclusive rules, Word file.

DC ZNO x-charts10 18 oct 19 19 ZNO exclusive charts and play aids, Word file.

DC ZNO ctrs88 18 oct ZNO exclusive counters, pdf.

DC ZNO map 1722 quad 23 sep ZNO map, sized for 17×22″ printing, pdf.

Permission is granted to downloaders to make one copy for their own personal use, under the usual Creative Commons Licence adopted for this website.

NOTICE:

All material on this website, including all its subsidiary pages, that is written by me is made available through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

Playing the Nazis

benno

http://analoggamestudies.org/2019/09/playing-the-nazis-political-implications-in-analog-wargames

In the new number of the Journal of Analog Game Studies, Giame Alonge writes on the history and recurrent appeal of Nazi roles and symbology in board wargaming.

Giame Alonge is a Professor of Film Studies at the University of Turin, and a lifelong wargamer. He wrote a review of the anthology Zones of Control anthology (Harrigan and Kirschenbaum, eds.), and he and I had a correspondence about the blind spots of wargames about modern and contemporary warfare mentioned in “Chess, Go and Vietnam”, the chapter on insurgency games that Volko Ruhnke and I co-wrote for the anthology.  I’m pleased to see that our discussion has helped inspire him to write this piece.

In it he also invokes Susan Sontag’s excellent essay “Fascinating Fascism”, a connection I’ve often thought about but have never seen someone else mention in connection with wargames. Sontag wrote the essay in 1974, when wargaming was still on its way up but still wrestling with its closet-Nazi problem. I rather doubt Sontag would ever have heard about wargaming at the time but if she had, she would regard it as one more example.

As Alonge points out,  Sontag said, “for fantasy to have depth, it must have detail”. This certainly underlines what I and others have written about that pointless degree of historical intricacy in OOB research , pointless because it misses the point precisely and entirely… that is, the Benno Effect.

DC Maracas: available for sale!

dc_maracas medium

https://hollandspiele.com/products/district-commander-maracas

The day has come!

Yeet Yeet Woohoo!

GET IT NOW for $45.00, ’cause it will be $50.00 later.

I’m withdrawing the Maracas module from my free Print and Play selection, but I will be replacing it with another. Other modules will be published in due course by Hollandspiele but I still want to leave up a District Commander module with the core rules, so that people can try the system for free.

So which module should I put up next?
Help me decide!

I can’t have a poll with this thing unless I get an account with some other creepy sounding company, so I put one up over on Boardgamegeek:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2273252/what-dc-module-should-i-post-next-free-pnp

or you can let me know your desire in the comments.

ZNO (Zone Nord Oranais) (Algeria 1959)
Features supply units, airmobility, population resettlement, random terror

Binh Dinh (Vietnam 1969)
Features US and ROK units, supply units, airmobility, Agent Orange, random terror, monsoon rains, the Phoenix program

Kandahar (Afghanistan 2009)
Features ISAF units, non-State militia, criminals, airmobility, Command Nodes, KAF and Pakistan sanctuaries

I’m leaning towards Kandahar myself….

WW2 +80

80 years and one day ago the Second World War began with the German invasion of Poland. Boardgamegeek user “Grisz” commemmorated the occasion with a video review of Summer Lightning.

Thanks Grisz! I do not speak Polish, so I hope it is a nice review. The video does not end with the game being swept off the table into the Round File, or crumpled, or set afire, so I guess it’s at least OK.

PS: For those who drop by here regularly, I’ve made an addition to the rules to Kashmir Crisis. The “1sep” rules and player aid card now available have an additional optional rule with an alternate, “sudden death” victory option; they replace the “28aug” version. Stop by and replace your rules: New game: Kashmir Crisis

Nights of Fire: kind comments from RMN

NOF cover art mid

Over at the RockyMountainNavy Gamer blog, some very positive comments about Nights of Fire and its apparently successful fusion of wargame with Eurogame.

https://rockymountainnavy.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/shedding-some-daylight-on-nights-of-fire-battle-for-budapest-mighty_boards-2019-wargame-boardgame/#comments

Thanks so much for the kind words!