BTR Games



I have put my whole line of “BTR Games” DTP wargames on to Wargame Vault.

Formerly, to produce these games I used to go to the copy shop to have small batches of counter sticker sheets, maps etc. made up and keep stores of components on hand. But the dislocation of COVID-19 lockdown (2020 and 2021) underlined to me that it wasn’t really worth the trouble.

So why not go the online commercial-print-and-play route? No more aggravation of running out of physical components, hurry-up-and-waits at the post office, etm. … and the real value from the customer’s point of view would be the ability to order Brian Train products drunk at 3 am, as most online purchases are made, and get them right away. So I put it all up on WargameVault in November 2020, and have been pleased ever since.

Thanks for your interest, and please have a look.

Meanwhile, you can buy a physical copy of Guerrilla Checkers from me. Comes with raggedy-edge canvas map (hand-silkscreened by the guy who does the best t-shirts in town for local punk and metal bands) and your choice of glass gems or wooden pieces (usually beads). Spiff it up with a zippered carry case for an extra $2.00. Every set is different! Cost does not include postage (weight normally under 500 grams). Just shoot me an email, .



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 counters and a cover sheet. Physical editions came in a comic book bag and counters were printed on a single-sheet sticky label, but with the print and play edition you can spend as much time and effort on the components as you like.

Much art by talented artist and my personal ludographer, the late John Kula.

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


Unless otherwise noted, all PnP edition titles available through Wargame Vault are $8 US, and all sales are handled through that website. 



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 ca. 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

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. Originally designed ca. 2008. 11 x 17″ area movement map of Greece and environs; 280 single-sided counters.

BGmbl cover


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. Originally designed ca. 2008, 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.

eoka cover

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. Originally designed ca. 2010. One 11×17″ area-movement map of Cyprus, 140 double-sided counters.



Radical politics in the USA during the Great Depression.  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 (ca. 1995), now with updated rules, counters and map. 280 single-sided counters, 11×17″ area-movement map of the USA, abstract troop and time scale.

PalCoup cover


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 information and agendas, simple and fast. 40 double-sided counters, 11×17″ map, requires a deck of ordinary playing cards with Jokers.


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

3LW cover


As detailed here ( my game on a hypothetical invasion of southern Lebanon by the Israeli Defence Forces in the then-future was published by Decision Games in summer 2014, in a state unacceptable to me as its designer.

When I received my subscriber (!) copy of the game, I immediately made the original version of the game available for free Print and Play. It’s still available for free here (Free Games!), but if you want me to go to the trouble of printing out the maps, counter sheet and so forth, and then pay me for doing that and mailing it to you, I would be happy to oblige.



Withdrawn, at least temporarily, as a new edition with updated material and components will be available in the near future.

Tactical study of urban disorder, inspired by the article “The Police Chief” by “Raoul Duke, Master of Weapons” (Hunter S.  Thompson). 140 double-sided counters, two 8.5 x 11″ square-grid 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 slightly different form in Strategist magazine, #294.


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

Getcher copy at . 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.


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

Getcher copy at . 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.


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

Getcher copy at . 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.


Withdrawn, at least temporarily, because One Small Step Games has produced this as folio #13 of their line!

Get your copy at

MSRP is $24.95.

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.

Originally published by Schutze Games, with 100 single-sided counters and two 8.5×11” maps. OSS edition has updated rules, larger (11×17″) maps, 100 die-cut counters, and art by Ania B. Ziolkowska!

22 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.


  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?



    • 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).


  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

  6. Jason M Wintz says:

    Shining Path is sold out at OSS, as is Algeria. Any chance you’ll make these available?

    • brtrain says:

      Jon Compton (Mr. OSS) has had some problems with the online store in the last few weeks, so it may not actually be sold out.
      I retain the rights to both of these games, so if/when he ever ceases to sell them, I will continue to make them available in some fashion – back to BTR Games if I have to, using my less-than-Ania Z. quality art and graphics.

  7. Erskine L Widemon says:

    Hi Brian – Does the EOKA solitaire system work with Shining Path or the Greek Civil War game?


    • brtrain says:

      Erskine, I did answer you separately after writing a reply here that did not post. Short answer, for the benefit of anyone reading now, is NO, and the solitaire rules are there anyway only to provide a dumb robot to help a new player learn the game mechanics, not provide a serious opponent. I wouldn’t even call it a solitaire “system” without wincing.

  8. Pingback: Interview: Brian Train on Asymmetric Wargames and DIY publishing -

  9. Pingback: Interview: Brian Train on Asymmetric Wargames and DIY publishing – Games Night

  10. Paul torres says:

    Will you make any scenarios for the unrest of that black martyr and what happened lately at the white house?

  11. John Kelly says:


    I am looking for a good modern city fight game. Do you have any favorites?

    John P Kelly

    • brtrain says:

      Depends what kind of city fight you want.
      District Commander Maracas is contemporary, covers irregular warfare inside a large city, available for free PnP here Operational/ grand tactical scale.
      I’ve done two games on the city fighting in Budapest 1956, Operation Whirlwind and Nights of Fire. Operational/grand tactical scale.
      Battle of Seattle and Civil Power are two tactical city fight games dealing with riots and disturbances, Battle of Seattle is political and Civil Power has some battle scenarios like Warsaw 1944 and Last Stand of the Paris Commune.
      We Are Coming Nineveh is coming soon, it is a good game on Mosul 2017 that I assisted with the design.

      And I am working on two “kinetic” contemporary city fight games right now, one is simpler and one is more detailed, they may not be the sort of thing everyone wants since there is no detailed combat, looks more at staff decisions.
      When I am done I will probably put them out for free PnP here as I doubt anyone will want to publish them.

      If you are looking for something I didn’t do:
      The old Cityfight game by SPI is the ultimate… tactical scale (fire team and single vehicle), double blind, very detailed… it will take you all afternoon to find out where those shots came from. Difficult to find though.
      Battle for Ramadi is a simpler solitaire game about Iraq.
      Urban Operations is an interesting tactical contemporary game, designed by a LCOL who ran the French Army’s urban combat school.
      Fallujah 2004 by Joe Miranda is worth a look (but not his War for the Megacity, IMO it was not developed and has some assumptions I differ on).
      Berlin ’85 is one of my nostalgic favourites, system is all wrong for fighting in a city but I had an idea for a simple change that might work out.

      Good Geeklist here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: