Updated: Quads That Never Were


Back in 2003 I wrote a piece for Simulacrum magazine on SPI Quadrigames that were proposed but never published. Today was a rainy day and I went through my collection of MOVES magazine to comb the Feedback sections for more Quads That Never Were, to add to the piece.

I found 47 in all!

Here is a link to the updated article. I hope you find it interesting!


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

13 Responses to Updated: Quads That Never Were

  1. Darryl Kop says:

    I like your new ideas. When can I expect to see them at my FLGS?

    • brtrain says:

      I guess this is a general comment, in which case thank you?
      This particular post is about things from 40 years ago that never got published.

      My most recent releases are District Commander ZNO (summer 2021), Civil Power (winter 2020), District Commander Kandahar (fall 2020), and Brief Border Wars (summer 2020).
      I don’t know how friendly your FLGS is (I’ve met a few grouches in such places) but it they are right folks they will have these – or you just get them from the publisher.

      The stuff I am working on now will not be out for a while.
      I recently turned in the files for Brief Border Wars Volume II, that will likely take a year or so, and China’s War 1937-41 probably won’t be out for a couple of years given how clogged up the supply lines are to China, and the huge number of projects GMT is dealing with simultaneously.

  2. bastognebulldog says:


    If only… I once had a dream that I actually was able to acquire a number of the SPI titles that were never produced. It was so real. I was so happy! Then I woke up.

    Thanks very much for putting this together. I seem to recall yet another Quad, “The Odd Quad.” See this from Moves 26 published in the spring of 1976 in Designer’s Notes, Works in Progress on Page 3:

    “We have a number of new games in the works now. In November, the “Odd Quad,” a collection of Folio games done by various people around here that we are putting into a QuadriGame. Two of them are Civil War battles (Murfreesboro and the Seven Days’ Battles), while two are Napoleonic (Eylau and one still to be chosen). The Folios have become more innovative and eclectic as more
    of them have been published. This will be particularly evident in the “Odd Quad.” It is quite possible that many of the QuadriGames that we publish from now on will not be limited to one theme (like Blue & Gray, Napoleon at War, etc.), but, rather, will be a collection of four Folio games that various people have done at approximately the same time.”

    I am certain that I would have bought just about any on the list, but a few comments follow:

    Asian Wars Quad (Yes, quite the design challenge, but JFD simulated WWI in 100 counters. Too bad it never saw the light of day).

    Canada at War Ouad (I would have liked to have seen Hong Kong added to the mix, perhaps as am S&T game).

    Invasion Pacific Quad (DG’s Pacific Battles: Volume 1, The Rising Sun did include Bataan in its mix – I would have loved this one).

    Italy Quad (Perhaps the games could have been linked into a Campaign game?)

    Battles in Normandy (It reads a bit like the recent DG D-Day Quad).

    Kamehameha Quad (I am sure you are correct in your estimate of the proposal’s lack of acceptance. I imagine this had to have an extremely low feedback rating).

    Thanks again.

    Best regards,

    Jim Di Crocco

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks Jim – I remember SPI advertising an Odd Quad sale once, where you could pick any 4 folio games for a low price and they would put them in a flatback for you.

      I’m sure the thematic idea would have won out even if they had tried it the other way… once upon a time when 3W was producing S&T, then-editor Ty Bomba tried to make the idea of “flexi-subs work” where you signed up for the next 4 or 6 or whatever issues you were interested in, and those were the ones you got, even if it took them 5 years to work them into the magazine schedule… which they couldn’t, because you cannot run a magazine like that.

      I tried to be as complete as possible to point out where subsequent TSR – 3W – DG products eventually fulfilled some of these proposals, though really it was just a matter of time before someone did a game on Battle X.
      For my part I’ve done Quad-size or smaller games on Khalkin-Gol, Pusan, Inchon/Seoul, Chosin, and Cyprus.
      And a full-size game on the Scheldt.

      • bastognebulldog says:


        Thanks for your reply. I once participated in a SPI sale like you describe. I could pick any four folios for $12 to form my own Quad. However, it did not come with a flatpack, but the four all came in their individual folios, which I liked for their artwork and brief historical commentary.

        Yes, many/most battles have been subsequently covered by one company or another with varying success. However, unfortunately a number never have seen the light of day. If I was king for a day, owned the rights to SPI, and had my own game company, I would try to emulate the “glory days” of SPI and fill in the gaps of all the cool games I desired, but were never published. I am sure that I am not alone in this, just by the interest in your list. I wish that TSR, 3W, and DG had actually tried to capitalize on this.

        BTW, I think I own almost all, if not all, of your designs listed above.

        Best regards,


        • brtrain says:

          Okay, good, I’m glad I didn’t just imagine that sale real hard.
          I generally don’t work before 1900 but in my small way I am trying to bring back the Quad with Brief Border Wars – Cyprus was in Volume I and Khalkin-Gol is in Volume II.
          I may yet do a Volume III though history has removed the hypothetical nature of many of the items in the Modern Battles III” proposed quad.
          Unfortunately my Korean War Battles three-fer in S&T, using the DG Fire and Movement folio system, was fairly thoroughly destroyed in “development”.

  3. Aaron D. says:

    Brian, I just came back from Compass Expo, it its clear that Compass (probably John Kranz, who is an old SPI aficionado like myself) is interested in more quads. In addition to your Border Wars duo, there is the East Front quad: https://www.compassgames.com/product/eastern-front-operational-battles-quad/ that is in the works. Had a great time playing SPI Operation Typhoon while I was there!

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks Aaron, BBW volume I was picked up by Compass before John Kranz joined them, but he has been very enthusiastic and supportive – and certainly there are a lot of fans out there of the quad approach. I see that the East Front quad (not out yet) has cover art inspired by the old Quadrigame format, just as I browbeat Mark Mahaffey into doing for Volume I! Will bedevil him to do it again for Volume II.

  4. Pingback: Obligatory end-of-year review, 2021 | brtrain

  5. John C says:


    Looking at your site recently this caught my eye. You know my consim tendencies. An enjoyable read and very good summary. I’ve given all 16 SPI quads an examination, some more than others. Just wish I was aware of SPI in the 70s. LOL at Odd Quad, but why not? Some of those make sense, e.g. Nap, B&G III, WWI, and II proposals, while others were quite obscure, e.g. Kamehameha, Obscure Wars of… no kidding.

    Isn’t it thought provoking that the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact games are now a distant historical alt-historical? Maybe someone should design a Putin Goes Wild or Jinping Attacks quad (ducks).

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks. I’m not entirely sure I captured every Quad that was ever proposed in the SPI magazine feedbacks; since this is the Internet, some intrepid soul will be along at some point to tell me I Missed A Spot.

      The entire phenomenon of NATO vs. WP wargames as a now-historical alt-historical, and its recent resurgence via recapitulation/redesign of old games and growth via new games, is a head-scratcher for me. I mean, I think I understand it and I want there to be more in it than what I think there is in it, but perhaps there is not.

      As for Putin This and Xi That, well yes, these have been recently done at twice the size and four times the price.

      • John C says:

        Those intrepid gotcha souls are close relatives of the Benno Effect wiseguys.

        Agree that the recent NATO-WP developments are a head-scratcher. Regarding Putin & Xi possibilities, yes I know they’re been done… but not as quads! ; ) Or have I missed them?

        I like alt-historical, e.g. your post WWI and Balkan Gamble titles. However, on a 1-5 scale (5 = Martian’s w/ ray-guns at Gettysburg), Invasion America is a solid 4. It’s …High Castle material, which is okay if you want a near fantasy game. Your Land of the Free was more probable.

        • brtrain says:

          Benno howls, and he is never sated.
          The Putin and Xi stuff has been done “Quad-style”, that is practically interchangeable basic rules with some fanciful chrome and exceptions per the situation, but as full-size magazine games. Or even in boxes, sometimes.
          S&T used to have Quad-size games in it, and some of them were good (e.g. Battle for Germany, Revolt in the East, Oil War). But I think people felt short-changed, so they went for bigger games in the end.

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