Brief Border Wars: shipping at last!

bbw-boxcover-1100px

https://www.compassgames.com/brief-border-wars.html

Available and shipping as of today!

Still shows price of $52 so perhaps you can order quickly and save a few dollars too!

As was briefly discussed in the recent interview with John Kranz, I have been mulling over another set of four conflicts… nothing succeeds like a sequel (which is rather idiotically self-referential, now that I think about it).

Interview with Compass Games, 5 June 2020

Winter Thunder: coming to Steam!

Screenshot from website.

Casey Bruyn is making a version of Winter Thunder, complete with Artificial Intelligence, that will play on Steam! Game is also playable 2-player “hot seat”, if you like. Due out the end of 2020!

He has already worked on Krim, a 1990s Ty Bomba game on the Crimean campaign that was in an early issue of Command magazine.

http://www.bruinbeargames.com/#winterthunder

On Youtube: Heavy Cardboard plays Colonial Twilight

On the Tube of You, Edward from “Heavy Cardboard” (on the 6th anniversary of his show!) plays a COIN system game for the first time: Colonial Twilight. He does something a little different: he plays the short scenario and takes the role of Government, introducing and teaching the game as he goes, while the Peanut Gallery (everyone watching: including Volko Ruhnke himself for a while!) discusses and suggests the FLN moves. What a great idea to learn the game collectively!

He didn’t promise to play the game well, and you know what, I don’t play games particularly well either; never have. But the play and the learning of it is the thing, for me.

Thanks Edward! I appreciate it.

(note: the stream goes for about 7 hours since it’s his first COIN game, and he introduces everything about the game first… so feel free to skip ahead to the game itself. The main commenter in the Peanut Galley, Laura Guy, very ably played the FLN!)

Interview with Compass Games, 5 June 2020

Coming to an Orthicon Tube near you: John Kranz of Compass Games does a live online interview with me!

Mostly we will be talking about the Brief Border Wars Quad, coming out Real Soon Now from Compass, but maybe other things if John lets Unca’ Gran’pa’s mind and mouth wander….

Friday, June 5, 2020: 1700 Pacific, 2000 Eastern

Click on the above or below to set a reminder!

Tune in, maggots!

Happy May Day, comrades!

Happy Labor Day, Public Service Poster PSD

It’s May Day, and while the day is observed more in Europe than Canada or the United States, there are labour actions and anti-rentier unrest aplenty.

TESA Collective, who I have mentioned here before, are having a big honkin’ sale too!

This will be a May Day to remember.

Across the country, renters and homeowners are demanding relief from the escalating crisis. At the same time, workers are going on strike to fight for safer working conditions, better pay in the face of a pandemic, and basic dignity.

Today, in recognition and celebration of all these people fighting for a better world, and with acknowledgement that many people need entertainment while social distancing at home, we are offering most of our games about changing the world for half off! No coupon code needed: but the sale is today only.

We are beyond proud that all of our games and products are made domestically, primarily by worker-owned cooperatives, and using sustainable materials. These are our most popular games:

  • Rise Up: The Game of People & Power. Rise Up is a board game about building people power and fighting together to create social justice—even when the cards are stacked against us. Everyone wins and loses together. 2 – 5 players, ages 10 and up.
  • Space Cats Fight Fasicsm. Space Cats Fight Fascism is a cooperative game where you play as a band of rebel cats trying to stop fascists from taking over the galaxy. You’ll go on secret meowssions to liberate your crated allies. 2 – 4 players, ages 12 and up.
  • Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives. In Co-opoly, you’ll learn and practice skills needed to run a cooperative, make tough choices and put your teamwork to the test, and build the cooperative economy in your community! 3 – 6 Players, ages 10 and up,
  • STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion. STRIKE! is on pre-order and is only $5 off, instead of half off, because we want to honor the commitment our Kickstarter backers made when they supported the creation of the game. This game will begin shipping when our manufacturer in the US can safely resume production. All other products are shipping immediately.

Because even while we are at home, we can still imagine – and work towards – the world we want to build.

Also on sale are our other products, like this STRIKE! Shirt. And if you have a young rabble rouser in your life, then check out the adorable and powerful modern classics, A is for Activistand Counting on Community.

We have some more exciting updates and content planned for you – so stay tuned! And please feel free to share this with anyone who you think could use some games to get them through this time of social distancing.

In solidarity with those striking and organizing,

The TESA Collective

Eagerly awaiting my copy of Strike!

 

 

Interview with Howard Buchanan

A surprise interview with Howard Harold Buchanan, from confinement.

A very enjoyable three quarters of an hour!

Kind of a weird echo sometimes on my end, and just as many umm, uhhh, ahhs as ever.

Fair bit of detail about China’s War 1937-41, if you haven’t heard it already, and a bit about Strongman (remake of Caudillo).

But I hope you like it.

 

Compass Games sitrep

So, Compass Games has extended the spring sale of 40% many items to April 17, including Finnish Civil War, and added a number of other games at 33% off.

https://www.compassgames.com

On the front page of their website, it says that Brief Border Wars has been pushed back to May 2020, though the pre-order page still says 14 February 2020… obviously “that statement is inoperative”.

Connecticut is under a stay-at-home order but apparently Compass is still able to ship games, and the US Postal Service hasn’t been completely destroyed yet, so I imagine you would get prompt service!

COIN series games: how it’s done

Volko Ruhnke recently did an online lecture for the Georgetown University Wargame Society on “How to design a COIN series game”. It’s available on Youtube.

Volko is an excellent teacher and speaker; I recommend it to you if you are interested in how these things are put together. If you are interested in making your own design, this will also give you an idea of just how much work one of these things involves, or should involve; good games rarely come easy.

 

Finnish Civil War 40% off, until April 5!

Katalog 1

Katalog

Compass Games is holding a 40% off sale now through April 5, 2020.

There is a large selection of game titles and issues of Paper Wars included in the sale. Finnish Civil War is one of them: $28.17 down from $46.95.

Enter the coupon code: 40PERCENTOFF at time of check-out to cash in your savings!

https://www.compassgames.com

 

Obligatory end-of-year review, 2019

headthames

Well, another year has zipped by. A busy year too, though day job stuff dominated my busy:

Game publishing

Game design work and future publication

Work and or testing continued throughout the year on some of the following:

  • China’s War: testing testing, and hoping to get into development in early 2020. Almost 900 pre-orders now.
  • Strongman, an extensive rework of Caudillo that may be a while coming, and publisher not completely confirmed. Really need to spend some time on this but it needs multiple people to play it.
  • Brief Border Wars Quad, from Compass Games – up for pre-order and probably will come out in the first half of 2020: not sure what conditions they apply to pull the trigger.
  • District Commander series, from Hollandspiele – Maracas is out, Binh Dinh is coming next; maybe Kandahar might be out in 2020, or maybe not. Meanwhile, the Algeria module is available for free PnP.
  • Semi-abstract urban counterinsurgency games: I have been working on two of these for some time now, can’t get time to finish them off. Will likely put them up for free PnP as few people seem interested in this kind of thing.
  • Civil Power: This was one of the first games I ever designed (1991-92) and revising it after 25 years is proving almost as much work as doing a new one. Like the original version, this will have a lot of new scenarios based on contemporary headlines: Hong Kong 2019, duelling mobs in Caracas, Violent Demo USA, etc..

Conferences and conventions

Not so busy year on this front:

  • February: I attended Connections North for the first time, at McGill University. It was a great but short event: I made a presentation, met some nice folks, role-played CDS John Vance in the megagame about a zombie outbreak, and spent some quality time talking with Jim Wallman! Into the White
  • April: I went to Marine Corps University at MCB Quantico April 2-5 for a special MORS event on urban warfare. I presented on the different games I had worked on to cover urban conflict at the operational level. There were some really imaginative analyses but it seems to me that the professional military is still consumed by the likely problems of standing armies fighting “peer” forces in an urban environment, not the far more likely and nastier irregular warfare. Studies in Concrete
  • June: Consimworld Expo at Tempe, AZ. High point was meeting and spending time with Nick Karp and Mark Herman, two Gods of Design, and a long, fun interview with Harold Buchanan for his podcast! Back from Consimworld Expo 2019
  • July-August-September: no Connections conferences for me, in any flavour, as Day Job kept me too busy. I intend to attend as many as I can in 2020.
  • November: BottosCon was fun as it usually is, though I got there rather late. Still, got some testing of China’s War and Kashmir Crisis in, and picked up a couple of nice games in the flea market. BottosCon pictures  .

Writing

  • Not a productive year, as far as writing about war and games. Nothing formally published, just the usual torrent of wise-guy stuff on blogs, sites and social media.
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Near-meaningless digest of site statistics:

  • I seem to be cruising still at just below 2,000 views per month, but about 3,000 fewer than 2018. About 8,000 visitors. The five most curious countries were: US (by a very wide margin), UK, Canada, Italy and Australia. One guy clicked in from Ghana! Don’t know what to make of that.
  • Besides the then-current post, popular pages or posts included the BTR Games, Free Games and Scenarios and Variants pages. No surprises there.
  • The most clicked-on and/or downloaded documents (WordPress started measuring downloads in July 2019) were the files for the free games District Commander,  Ukrainian Crisis, Third Lebanon War and Battle of Seattle.