Snek pek


Roughly as illustrated. Not.

Here is a picture of two people, in an undisclosed location, playtesting my Secret Project of 2017.

What’s going on? What could it be?

Just going to tease you with this, for now!

Now It Can Be Seen: Box art for Colonial Twilight

Rodger MacGowan has finished the box art for Colonial Twilight!

And boy it looks good. The collage-of-images is a staple for many wargame covers, but it’s particularly interesting how Rodger has arranged these and used colours to imitate and fuse the structures of both the French and Algerian flags. And the green-and-black scheme really makes it pop.

I’m very pleased with this, another great cover by Rodger!

And now, this is the very last thing there is for me to look at and approve… so that’s it.

I think we’re done here, after more than two and a half years.


Look for this to appear in June or July!

Colonial Twilight rules, final version

… and this is one of those things to do: post the rules for Colonial Twilight.

Here they are!


(C3i banner by Rodger Macgowan, who is doing the box cover art for the game)

Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War coming soon!


The release of the two-pack Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War from Hollandspiele is imminent! In the next five or six weeks, that is….

Just created a Boardgamegeek entry for The Little War

Here are samples of the final map and counter art. I think you’ll be pleased!


Ukrainian Crisis counters by Tom Russell.


Ukrainian Crisis map by Tim Allen.



Little War map by Jose Faura.

Caudillo now available for free PnP


Cover by John Kula. His last published work.

Several times over the past few years I have mentioned Caudillo (pronounced “caw-DEE-yo“), a 2-5 player card game I designed three years ago on power politics in the fictional Latin American country of Virtualia, after the departure from power of its strongman leader Jesus Shaves (pronounced “hay-sus sha-bezz“).

The game was of course about a thinly-disguised post-Chavez Venezuela (though in 2013 it wasn’t post-Chavez yet), and just to drive it home, its original title was Dios o Federacion, a takeoff on “Dios y Federacion”, the national motto of Venezuela.

I liked working on this game because there is a constant tension within it between competition and cooperation. As players vie to create the largest and most durable personal power base, the card deck delivers more and more crises that players must deal with collectively, or the country will collapse. There are coups, too!

Anyway, I do not think that there will be any time soon that I could find this game a properly professional publisher, with 90 pieces of original card art and high-class production to match. And Venezuela looks as if it is really about to implode, with rampant inflation, riots, political intrigue and so on.

So, as my Christmas present to you all, I am now making the files for Caudillo available for free download and print-and-play (PnP).

The free PnP version consists of 90 cards, 230 counters, and the usual rules and play aids. You print ’em, you cut ’em, you stick ’em or sleeve ’em.

And, just for fun, I will also be making a limited number of hand-made copies of the game for sale too, through BTR Games. Besides the rules and play aids, this version has:

  • 90 cards printed on coloured cardstock and hand-cut;
  • 120 die-cut, pre-punched counters;
  • 120 small coloured wooden cubes;
  • nice cover art by John Kula. His last published work.

Price is $50 US, which includes postage. If you want one of these, let me know at; I take (and prefer) Paypal.

Here are the files for the free version:

caudillo-pnp-crisis-cards (Crisis cards and Scoring Round cards)

caudillo-pnp-group-cards (Group cards, Personality cards, Sequence of Play reminders)

caudillo-ctrs-pnp191216 (counters)

caudrls-124 (rules and play aid)

caud-pnp-assembly-notes (notes on how to print and assemble the cards and counters)

I hope you will enjoy this game, in either format.

Feliz Navidad!

PS: the game now has a Boardgamegeek entry:

Coming soon from Hollandspiele: Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War!


Another interesting cover design by Tom Russell.

Coming in March 2017, from Hollandspiele!

Ukrainian Crisis will be much the same as the PnP version available now here, except that the Resource cards will be chits (they can’t print up that many cards), the game length is increased to 9 turns and there are a few extra units, for variety and to fill up the counter sheet.

Even better, this will be half of a two-game package… the other game will be the mini-game The Little War, on the brief Slovak-Hungarian border war of March 1939! This one uses only 30 counters and a deck of ordinary playing cards to drive the action. I designed this one last year.

The free print-and-play version of Ukrainian Crisis will remain available. But you know Hollandspiele and their printing partner Blue Panther LLC have been doing a very good job of production!



New from BTR Games: EOKA

As work finally winds down on Colonial Twilight, I finally made the last touches to EOKA, and journeyed to the copy shop to get some copies printed out. So, the game that I originally worked out in 2010-11 is finally available!
It is the first game ever published on this small but very interesting counterinsurgency campaign.
[ETA: it now has a BGG entry too:]
EOKA: The Cyprus Emergency, 1955-59

Greek Cypriot terrorists (EOKA) vs. British occupiers (Empire). A colonial situation, with both sides working under considerable strictures of resources and time.

One 11×17″ area-movement map of Cyprus, 140 double-sided counters (when assembled). 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 third faction, representing non-state militias. During the historical conflict groups of Turkish Cypriots came together to form self-defence groups to protect their villages from ethnic violence. There were also small groups of British expatriates who acted as vigilantes. They supported the government in its opposition to EOKA, but were not under its control. These groups are represented in the game by “Volkan” units (named after the main such Turkish group), that are not played by a human player but which appear on the map in response to high levels of insurgent violence and perform in accordance with a set of “automatic” rules.
  • 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.

Like other games in the “Box4” system, the main currency of victory is the Political Support Level, and the game ends when one side zeroes out.

If the Empire PSL reaches zero, it means something along the lines of a negotiated settlement has been reached among the British, Greek and Turkish governments on the future status of Cyprus. Historically, one was reached at the beginning of 1959 which decided that Cyprus would be an independent country, without ethnic partitions, and that the British would be allowed to maintain several military bases on the island.

If the EOKA PSL reaches zero, it means something like a collapse of the viability of the organization has occurred –  the Greek government decides it should no longer be supported, the population of Cyprus turns against what EOKA proposes, the security forces manage to round up or eliminate much of EOKA’s field units, etc..

The usual terms: $15 US funds, which includes postage to anywhere. I take, and prefer Paypal: please pay to Like other BTR Games releases, the game comes in a comic book bag and you must mount and cut the counters yourself. (Tell you what, though, I will do that for you for an extra $35 US… a bargain, Tom Wham will charge you up to $200!

I hope you find this one interesting!


Western half of map. Note new layout of “4 boxes”.



Section of counter sheet. Yes, I am crude. Thanks to Tom Mouat and his Mapsymbs fonts!