Off again, off again, jiggety-jig…

battle-of-algiers

On Monday I am going to Washing Tundy Sea, for the 2018 iteration of the Connections conference on professional wargaming.

https://connections-wargaming.com/connections-2018/

I’ll be at National Defense University at Fort McNair… among other things, facilitating a gamelab table discussion and giving a short seminar on “Perspectives on Counterinsurgency Gaming” (largely my usual talk on how games on modern irregular warfare are rare and subversive, and don’t get no respect because they upset people for a variety of reasons when they pay attention to them at all… so you’re not missing much if you’ve heard it from me before).

Also, demonstration/participation games of Guerrilla Checkers, Second Lebanon War and We Are Coming, Nineveh (Mosul urban combat game).

Looking forward to seeing many of the Usual Suspects again!

Going to be hot (32-35 degrees) and humid (with two days of thunderstorms). Quite a change from Arizona (though I hear the monsoon season has started there now).

Probably won’t be posting from there as I will be working off a teeny tiny tablet; more when I get back.

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New free game: Maracas

Maracas mapsnip      Maracas ctrsnip

Maracas is one of the four games I’ve designed so far that uses the District Commander diceless, operational-level counterinsurgency system.

It takes place in Maracas, the fictional megacity capital of the equally fictitious nation of Virtualia (which was also the locale for my game Caudillo).

I am making it available for free print-and-play download as an example of

a) the District Commander system itself; and

b) an introductory game on asymmetrical warfare in a modern large city.

I intend to do more of this kind of thing. I’ve been interested in urban combat for a long time (Tupamaro was one of my first game designs) and I think this is a crucially important topic for present-day and near-future wargame work. There’s certainly going to be a certain amount of the real thing soon enough.

Game components consist of:

The counters are made to be printed out at 5/8″ and the map at 17×22″, but if your eyes are young and strong and your fingers nimble go ahead and print them out smaller. Or if you’re half-blind and near-palsied like me, print them out on 1″ foamcore and as big a map as you can find.

Permission is granted to downloaders to make a copy for their own personal use, under the usual Creative Commons Licence adopted for this website.

NOTICE:

All material on this website, including all its subsidiary pages, that is written by me is made available through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

This game, and up to three or more other modules in the system (so far Algeria 1959, Vietnam 1969, Afghanistan 2009, Maracas 2019), will be released over the next year or two by Hollandspiele.

I hope you will give it a try.

Thanks!

Back from CSWExpo 2018

me and masahiro

At CSWExpo with Masahiro Yamazaki, a profound and prolific game designer.

Well, I went, and now I’m back… it was a great week!

As You Know, Bob, I went down to Tempe with ten designs and I think I have found homes for twelve of them.

  • The Brief Border Wars quad will be published by Compass Games, all four in one box;
  • the District Commander series (the first four anyway) will come out singly from Hollandspiele;
  • Thunder Out of China gathered a lot of interest and some very good initial player test input (lychee-nut clusters to John Burtt and Ian Weir, among others), time permitting in between it should be ready to deliver to GMT for P500 next Expo time;
  • We Are Coming, Nineveh attracted some nice attention and partial or full tests from passersby, notably Paul Van Etten and Steve Lieske who gave me a page or two of notes and suggestions. Needs some work but an established publisher is definitely interested!
  • I showed Caudillo to GMT and they were interested too but it needs some R&D for added light-heartedness without it becoming like Junta… I know the man who  is up for this kind of job, and hopefully can report more soon.
  • Finally, Steve Jones of Blue Panther games proposed sales of a spiffed-up version of Guerrilla Checkers (board printed on canvas with poly back, little wooden punch-out pieces) to SoCal pubs… a market I had never considered, though the linen-napkin and glass stones versions I had been selling are just as beer-proof.

Whoof, it was hot though… 42 degrees and more every day. No excursions as we had planned, but we had fun in the hotel and general area, and it was great to meet both the people I meet once a year here (John Teixeira, Kerry Anderson, John Kranz the expo organizer, Joel Dahlenberg etc.) and new friends (Masahiro Yamazaki from Japan (he was there last year but I was too shy to speak to him, this year I essayed my broken Japanese), Florent Coupeau from Nuts! Publishing in France, Zach Larue, Sam Losthisname (but he’s a cool guy), Tom Switajewski, Randy Strader, etc.).

Besides the revision and refining work to be done on some of these designs, I also came home with several ideas for new games that I hope to work out over the rest of the year. So stay tuned….

buchanan intvw

Being interviewed at CSWExpo for Harold Buchanan’s podcast “Harold on Games”. Photo: Harold Buchanan.

While I was there, Harold Buchanan (designer of Liberty of Death and more besides) interviewed me for his podcast “Harold on Games”. He let me ramble on for almost two hours, I don’t envy him the job of editing it down to fit. Anyway, when he does I’ll let you know here and you can listen to me, too.

Nights of Fire: Kickstarter is done!

 

nights_of_fire_ks_stretch_goals_V2.1-step014

The Kickstarter campaign is over. And the final tally is: $87,821 !

Over three times the minimum $25,000 goal required to get this game produced at all… so I am gratified!

Final counts:

  • 167 people bought just Nights of Fire
  • 396 people bought Nights of Fire and the expansion pack (which includes 28 miniatures, two decks of cards for expansion of Nights (scenarios and leaders) and rules for play of the the campaign game)
  • 94 people bought the combined Days of Ire (reprint) and Nights of Fire package
  • 254 people bought the combined package with the expansion pack
  • 8 people bought something else – e.g. large group buy (thanks!)

So that’s about 900 copies at least that will be out in the wild… plus more for the retail trade, no idea of the production numbers.

Really nothing left to do now except review bits and pieces of stretch goals like new art bits for the Insurgent pieces… everything that has anything to do with the actual play of the game has long been written, arted-up and tested. Which is all I wanted to know.

If production goes well some copies will be in people’s hands (or at least for show) at the Essen game fair in October. However, to be sure, they are committing to a delivery date of March 2019 which will cover all exigencies.

If you backed this Kickstarter, good for you and many thanks!

If you didn’t, I hope you get a chance to buy or at least play it when it comes out! I think you will be pleased.

Nights of Fire: 48 hours to go!

Nights of Fire - A sequel to Days of Ire -- Kicktraq Mini

Less than 48 hours left in the Kickstarter campaign for Nights of Fire!

At the time of writing, we’ve just broken the $70,000 barrier – nearly three times the initial $25,000 “all or nothing” point – but there are a couple of stretch goals left to crush.

Please back it now, if you’ve been thinking of doing so! Yes, at this point the game will be produced but if you back it now you will

  • get it before The Others
  • get a nicer product than otherwise
  • save yourself quite a few dollars!

Thanks!

War Plan Crimson, Mark II

WPC Cover 8sm

Faithful Readuhs will recall (or they can refer to my ludography) that I have designed four games in a family of games I call the “Between the Wars” system. In chronological order of design they are Freikorps (1998), War Plan Crimson (2000), Konarmiya (2007) and Finnish Civil War (2009).

Finnish Civil War, as the last one to be designed, was the first to use the three-Operations-Segment, interleaved sequence of play when it was published by Compass Games in Paper Wars magazine in 2016.

Subsequently Konarmiya got an overhaul to use this system and was published by Tiny Battle as Red Horde 1920 (along with the upgraded system it also had a new map, new order of battle research, some new rules and different components, so it really did need a new title too).

Freikorps was next to get a similar treatment and will be published in April 2018 in Yaah! magazine #11 (from Flying Pig Games, which is Tiny Battle’s sister company) as Strike for Berlin.

That leaves War Plan Crimson as the only one of the family left using the old mechanics and sequence of play. There’s nothing I want to change in the game’s content, just its mechanics, so today I rewrote the rules to update the game for the new system.

You can use these, or not; playing with the new system will probably give you a more chaotic experience, which is fun for many, but not all (I know some of you out there probably wince even at the idea of random events).

Warplancrimson mkII rules

Warplancrimson MkII charts

charts in pdf: warplancrimson-mkii-chartspdf

The rules and charts replace those supplied with the game. I might have missed a numerical reference here or there, deal with it.

You will have to make two sets of three Operations Chits each using blank markers, poker chips or something like that. That’s about all the physical conversion required.

I hope you will give this a try!

Available for pre-order: Yaah! #11, with Strike For Berlin

Yaah 11 cover

Coming in April!

Strike For Berlin is a revised version of my earlier game Freikorps. It has had the same level of revision to it as Konarmiya got to become Red Horde 1920: that is, a new interleaved sequence of play, new map and terrain analysis, new order of battle research, loads of new and improved optional rules and variants.

Yaah 11 counters2

Map and counter art by the very capable John Cooper, who also did Red Horde 1920 and Winter Thunder.

And yes, Strike for Berlin‘s map will join with Red Horde 1920‘s so that you can play one long hot summer of Central European war, from Kiev to Berlin. Essentially you start with a game of Red Horde 1920 and play until Warsaw falls, then you carry on with renewed proletarian vigour… to strike for Berlin!

Yaah! magazine #11 is now available for pre-order, at $35 ($3 off the normal price):

https://flyingpiggames.com/products/yaah-magazine-issue-11

Copies of Red Horde 1920 are also now on sale at $29 instead of $35, so you can buy a copy now and practice while waiting for the sequel game.

https://tinybattlepublishing.com/products/red-horde-1920

This is my second appearance in Yaah! magazine… my first was in issue #2, which had my games Army of Shadows and Uprising, as well as the rules for Guerrilla Checkers and a short article by me on the value of abstract games (From YAAH! #2: Thinking About and Through Abstract Games)

https://flyingpiggames.com/products/yaah-magazine-issue-2

By the way, if anyone is balking at the price of postage, downloadable copies of all the above are available through Wargame Vault, at usually less than half of the price of the physical product.

http://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/9307/Flying-Pig-Games

http://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/9069/Tiny-Battle-Publishing