BTR Games

BTR Logo

BTR GAMES – a series of games designed by me, in Desk-Top Published (DTP) format. Some are older designs that have had a graphic update and/or a rules rewrite, and some are entirely new designs. See below for descriptions.

For me, this is like looping back to over 20 years ago when Kerry Anderson and I launched the Microgame Co-op (later called Microgame Design Group). We sold games in DTP format, packaged in comic book bags, for a little bit more than what it cost to produce and mail them. We were not looking for profit, we wanted to provide new designers a chance to have their designs exposed for little risk and cost – and even more importantly, little delay. Given that the Design Group published 40 titles in eight years, we certainly moved product – and designers like Paul Rorhbaugh and Bruce Costello got their start. And it didn’t hurt that we were non-profit by design, not by outcome!

Each game generally includes: a map, rules and charts for play, one or two sheets of colour-copied counters on full-sheet sticky labels so you don’t have to fuss with glue (but you do have to mount them on cardboard, and cut them out yourself), and often a cover sheet. And it comes in a comic book bag.

Much art by talented artist and my personal ludographer, John Kula!

Free games: I also have a few game designs that I give away, for free print-and-play. See the separate page: Free Games!

AVAILABLE NOW

Unless otherwise noted, the games are $15 in US funds, each. This includes postage to anywhere in the world. I take (and prefer) Paypal. Contact me at (brian.train@gmail.com) if you would like to buy.

1848cvr

1848

About the popular revolts of 1848-49 in Europe. For 2-4 players, 140 double-sided counters, 11×17″ area-movement map of Europe, abstract troop and time/action scale. Designed 1997, as an act of creative procrastination while battling writer’s block on finishing an article for Strategy and Tactics magazine on the event. Rather simplistic; recommended for Brian Train completists.

 

Andartes cover

ANDARTES
One of the few times a Communist-inspired insurgency was beaten by a Western government. Uses a hybrid of the Algeria and Shining Path systems: the situation combined aspects of the war in Peru, in that it was an internal struggle between two sides with limited material resources, and Algeria, in that the Rebel player had an external sanctuary. Some additions to the game include government political interference in how the Army is deployed and supplied, refugees, Yugoslavian and American support, and the Rebel player has the option of switching his forces to conventional warfare mode if he is confident (or desperate) enough to engage the Army in set-piece battles. 11 x 17″ area movement map of Greece and environs; 280 single-sided counters.

 

 

CP Cover

CIVIL POWER

Tactical study of urban disorder, inspired by an article by Hunter S. Thompson. 140 double-sided counters, two 8.5 x 11″ staggered-square maps of a generic urban area. Many scenarios, some 3-player, on riots, raids, gang warfare, and urban terrorism – from student demonstrations to the Chicago 1968 campaign game and the Warsaw Uprising, it’s all here, in a generic way. Previously published in Strategist magazine, #294.

 

eoka cover
EOKA

Greek Cypriot terrorists vs. British occupiers, 1955-59. A colonial situation, with both sides working under considerable strictures of resources and time. Mission-oriented system, the most ambitious development of the Shining Path/ Algeria/ Andartes system yet, with additional rules to cover the lasting effects of violence and kinetic operations and requirements for government to maintain civic infrastructure. Also includes a simple intelligence – counterintelligence subsystem, where the counterinsurgent seeks to identify the insurgent forces and anticipate their actions, while the insurgent tries to evade and cloak his presence. Lastly, solitaire play rules are included for a semi-randomized British player that will allow players to learn and play the game alone. One 11×17″ area-movement map of Cyprus, 140 double-sided counters.

 lotfcvr

LAND OF THE FREE

Radical politics in the USA during the Great Depression. 280 single-sided counters, 11×17″ area-movement map of the USA, abstract troop and time scale. For three players: Fascist, Communist and Populist. Will you become the dictator of America? “It Can’t Happen Here”, said Sinclair Lewis…. Originally from the Microgame Design Group, now with updated rules, counters and map.

 

AVAILABLE SOON

These games need to have some artwork/testing done to spiff them up a bit, then they’re on the block….

PALACE COUP

Comprehensive overhaul and revision of Power Play, one of the first games I ever designed, about a coup d’etat in an imaginary country. Multiplayer (2-5+?), card play, hidden agendas, simple and fast.

NOT AVAILABLE, AT LEAST RIGHT NOW

 

BGmbl cover

BALKAN GAMBLE

SOLD OUT – only 20 copies were made! 

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.

 

GB Cover
GREEN BERET

Withdrawn, at least temporarily, because One Small Step Games has announced that their folio edition of this game is now shipping! 

Getcher copy at http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=49 . Nifty map, 140 two-sided die-cut counters, $22.95 not including shipping!

1964-5 in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, in the period before the first United States Army and Marine units arrived to bring the war into a new phase. Montagnard tribesmen of the Civilian Irregular Defense Groups, raised, trained and advised by Special Forces A-teams, try to prevent the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army from controlling the population and opening supply routes to the coast. The game focuses on processes of progressive recruitment, population control, evasion and detection. One 11×17″ area-movement map of the Central Highlands region, 140 double-sided counters, company to regiment scale.

Kandahar Cover small

KANDAHAR

Withdrawn, at least temporarily, because One Small Step Games has announced that their folio edition of this game is now shipping!

Getcher copy at http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=51 . Nifty map, 140 two-sided die-cut counters, $22.95 not including shipping!

A game on the conflict in this province of southern Afghanistan, 2008-10. Players take the role of regional commanders (Afghan National Security Forces and Taliban, yes not the ISAF) striving for the resources to allow them to earn Victory Points, which are granted in accordance with objectives set them by the same higher authorities that provide them with those resources. Players will find themselves in the position of having, if they wish to continue to get high levels of support, to follow courses of action that are maybe not the most effective in opposing the enemy but are more valued by their superiors, and which themselves change from time to time during the game. When you run out of support, the game ends – the war continues but with a different regional commander!

An ambitious development of the Algeria/Shining Path etc. family game system. Menus of kinetic and non-kinetic missions, with optional added complexity in the form of additional factions (an intelligence/counterintelligence system, organized crime, tribal militias, additional powers for ISAF forces). One 11×17″ area-movement map of Kandahar province, 140 double-sided counters.

 

spathcvr11

SHINING PATH

Withdrawn, at least temporarily, because One Small Step Games has announced that their folio edition of this game is now shipping!

Getcher copy at http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=48 . Nifty map, 140 two-sided die-cut counters, $22.95 not including shipping!

The “Sendero Luminoso” insurgency against the government of Peru, 1980-ca. 1995 (though it is still sputtering away today). Guerrilla fronts and cadres engage in a vicious insurgency against the government’s corrupt and untrained security forces. Chrome includes narcoterrorism, the MRTA (a rival guerrilla movement), and United States support. One 11×17″ area-movement map of Peru, 280 single-sided counters, abstract troop and time scale. Originally from the Microgame Design Group, now with updated rules, counters and map.

 

Tupamaros Cover

TUPAMARO

Withdrawn, at least temporarily, because One Small Step Games has announced that this will be folio #13 of the line!

Get your pre-order copy at http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=105

Pre-order price is $19.95, MSRP will be $24.95. Larger (11×17″) maps, 100 die-cut counters, art by Ania B. Ziolkowska!

Urban guerrillas in Uruguay, 1968-72. An unusual treatment in that because all the action took place inside a single large city, the map is a non-representational ‘map of attitudes’ of the people of the city of Montevideo, with an abstract troop and time scale. The guerrilla player has many subtle strategies to try while the Government player struggles to train his security forces and keep the people on his side. 100 single-sided counters, two 8.5×11” maps. Originally published by Schutze Games, now with updated rules, counters and map.

8 Responses to BTR Games

  1. Hello Gregor says:

    Very nice! Can’t wait until I have money again so I can spend it.

  2. neilspry says:

    Hi Brian

    Any update on when EOKA will be ready for purchase? Having recently retrained as a teacher I’ll soon be enjoying the rather unusual experience of a 6 week summer break, which I intend to use to play as many of my recent game acquisitions as possible (including Andartes & Green Beret). However there’s always room for one more BTR game.

    Regards
    Neil

  3. Erskine Widemon says:

    Hi Brian,

    I like area impulse war games and I like learning one game system with multiple games available. So are Creek Civil War, Kandahar, Cyprus, Shining Path, and Tupamaro part of the same game system and how “solo friendly” do you consider them?

    Thanks

    Erskine

    • Brian Train says:

      Hi Erskine,

      These games are all part of the same system in that each one is a development of the ones before it.
      Chronologically first there was Tupamaro, then Shining Path, then Algeria, then Andartes (Greek Civil War), then EOKA, then Kandahar.

      Each one is different due to the nature of the conflict.
      Tupamaro, the first, has a non-representational map because all of the action took place inside one large city over a period of years, so the normal time-space dilemmas of wargames did not apply.
      Shining Path, Algeria and Andartes are slightly more similar to each other but Algeria, being a colonial situation, is in contrast to the other two, which are internal conflicts (though one has an insurgent sanctuary and one doesn’t, an important distinction).
      Kandahar is also different in that it look at only one part of the whole war, over a period of a year or two, not the whole country for the duration of the conflict – therefore the players in the game represent mid-level commanders, not national-level decision makers.

      And yet, at a mechanical level these games are fairly similar. They are all area-movement maps, time, space and action parameters are kind of abstract, notions of political and psychological (or at least not strictly military) action are omnipresent, both sides choose kinetic and non-kinetic missions from different menus… and like that.

      Once you have played one or two of them, the rest will be easy to pick up – but it’s not quite the “SPI Quad” style of basic rules plus folder of exclusive rules.

      As for solo-friendly, they’re not bad – there is little or no hidden information that is crucial to play of the game (though if you have two players, it’s more fun to keep as much as possible hidden from the other player).

      Brian

  4. Pingback: The First Four Steps: Designer’s Notes For The New Line Of OSS Folio Games | GrogHeads

  5. Pingback: Vassal module available for Andartes | brtrain

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