China’s War: near-final map art

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I haven’t written much about China’s War lately, but here is something to look at – the near final map art!

Much heavier visual emphasis on the Lines of Communication because of their critical importance to the game, and the need to give pieces some space to unambiguously occupy them.

Chinese characters have been vetted with native speakers.

Next up for visuals will be finding illustrations for the Event Cards… then finishing off writing for the Playbook – I won’t be doing the tutorial or the solo system playthroughs but there will be Designer’s Notes, Faction Interaction Chart, Event Text and Background, Transliteration and Pronunciation Guide, and reading list, capped by a short piece on the war for historical background for people who don’t know anything about the war already.

Work is proceeding, at a dignified pace which suits me.

Free game: Call Sign by Sebastian Bae

Free postcard game: Sebastian Bae’s “Call Sign” gives a look at carrier combat

Normally, I do not play naval or air wargames, and this game is about both, but I am a sucker for the format and intention of the postcard game format. I hope that Sebastian and “CNA Corp” will make more of these available!

Review: We Are Coming, Nineveh

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At the blog “A Wargamer’s Needful Things”, a very complimentary and detailed review of We Are Coming Nineveh.

https://www.awargamersneedfulthings.co.uk/2023/05/we-are-coming-nineveh.html

Strike For Berlin: Chinese edition!

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Several of my games originally published by Flying Pig/ Tiny Battles have also had Chinese-language editions, produced by arrangement with Banana Games (think they are in Tianjin).

Here is the Chinese edition of Strike For Berlin.

Looks nice except they misspelled my name on the box!

More broadly, for anyone who is interested I ran across this interesting summary of wargame shops, publishers game clubs and other resources across Asia, recent as of 2019.

https://legalalien.sakura.ne.jp/wiki/?Tabletop+Wargaming/A+Brief+Summary+of+Tabletop+Wargaming+in+Asia

And of course this leads one down a bit of a rabbit hole, where I found some panels of “Girl Genius Wargamer”, a manga drawn by Fraser Chang of Taiwan in 2014. Here is a short piece of his giving an introduction to the different forms and scales of board wargaming, featuring cartoon girls with large heads, odd coloured hair and short-skirted high school uniforms.

https://home.gamer.com.tw/creationDetail.php?sn=2634535

News from GMT

Today saw the monthly GMT Games update newsletter, with tidings of developments on all game projects and – most keenly anticipated by all – announcements of new items up for P500.

https://mailchi.mp/de4993df6d3b/march-23-update-from-gmt-new-p500s-final-art-and-rules-production-update-gmtone-and-developer-updates-and-more?e=3e213be610

Two of these are notable:

1032

A new four-pack of games on Latin American insurgencies by Stephen Rangazas, using a slightly encomplexified iteration of the cut-to-its-core COIN system he used in the first four-pack, The British Way. This one has games on the Tupamaros (1968), El Salvador (1979), Nicaragua (1979) and Shining Path (1980). You can play the El Salvador and Nicaragua games simultaneously side-by-side in the “Resisting Reagan” scenario.

More here: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-1032-the-guerrilla-generation.aspx

1033

This one is a continental-scale game on the European revolutions of 1848, using a an area control system that was featured in 1989: Dawn of Freedom and Twilight Struggle, two perennial GMT best sellers. The designer is Jules Felisaz, whose name I do not recognize and does not show up on Boardgamegeek so this must be his first published design.

More here: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-1033-1848-the-springtime-of-nations.aspx

I designed a game on the Tupamaros in 1995, a game on the Shining Path in 1996, and a continental scale 1848-revolutions game in 1997. As far as I could tell these were the first designs on these conflicts.

So of course I am excited to see the second designs on all these conflicts coming out, over 25 years later!

Yes, I signed up for these, certainly….

We Are Coming Nineveh: make your pre-orders now!

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The time has come for all good people to make their pre-orders for the English-language version of We Are Coming, Nineveh! from Nuts! Publishing.

This is a grand-tactical/operational scale block wargame on the battle for Mosul in 2017, designed by two former students of Rex Brynen’s and further developed by Rex and I. This one is a challenge to balance speed and casualties and time as Iraqi government forces hem ISIS fighters into a smaller and smaller perimeter in the Old City. The game has many event and capability cards that vary play, by accident or on purpose respectively.

Price 52 Euros (about $56 USD), reduced from regular price of 65 Euros. Not sure of shipping cost of course, but for once the European customers will get a break on this part of buying a wargame.

Deliveries begin in March 2023, so no long waits! The link below is for pre-orders and has some very good images of the high quality graphics to help you make up your mind about that part… as for the play and replay value, I definitely will vouch for that.

https://www.nutspublishing.com/eshop/nineveh-en

New for 2023: Palace Coup!

PalCoup cover

Now available for download and print-and-play from Wargame Vault: PALACE COUP, a simple and fast game on the modern coup d’etat.

This game was inspired by two works: Coup d’etat, a Practical Handbook published by Edward Luttwak in 1968, which in turn inspired the making of the movie Power Play in 1978. David Hemmings and Peter O’ Toole played two Army officers plotting a coup in an imaginary country, Donald Pleasence fittingly played the head of the secret police, and Barry Morse played a civilian academic who advises the military. This game is a thorough revision of a game I designed in 1991 called, unoriginally, Power Play. In homage to the movie I have supplied an alternative set of Leader counters with images of these actors, and the cover sheet is a still image from the movie.

Same price as all BTR Games products in this line: $8.00 US funds!

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/421823/Palace-Coup

Ad copy:

Historically in the Third World, coups have changed more governments than elections since World War II. Most coups involve using part of the armed forces of a country to seize power from a ruler, though there is usually little overt conflict – the coup d’etat is generally a much less bloody way of seizing power than its distant cousin, the popular revolution.

In the game, two or more players act as the leaders of political or professional factions in a fictional country. Some players will be plotting, individually or severally, to effect a change in the existing government; they will be opposed by others who wish things to remain as they are.

The game is played in two phases: the Pre-coup Phase where players attempt to secure support for their faction and thwart the others; and the Coup Phase where both pro-government loyalist and rebel sides face off in direct combat.

Each game contains the following: one set of 40 counters, one Tactical Map, and these rules. You will also need one six-sided die, some bits of scrap paper for recording secret information, and one deck of ordinary playing cards (including Jokers).

Power Play was available only briefly from a DTP publisher, with lackluster components and limp promotion, over 20 years ago. I hope you will give this new and much improved BTR Games version a try!

[ETA: a Boardgamegeek entry for this game was approved with suspicious speed: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/377788/palace-coup ]

Brief Border Wars 2: have a look at the maps and counters!

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Knut Grunitz, the artist for Brief Border Wars Volume 2, has uploaded the work he has done on the maps and counters for this quad game. 

Great work – go and have a look!

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/371208/brief-border-wars-2/images

Meanwhile, we are about done with all the game files… all is arranged and in readiness for actual physical production, which will be some time in 2023. 

Nights of Fire: 60% off, for David Turczi’s birthday only!

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Today only:

In honour of David Turczi’s birthday, Mighty Boards is selling Nights of Fire for 60% off!

Great Ghu, that’s only $18!

https://mighty-boards.com/1/9/products/Nights-of-Fire-Battle-for-Budapest

Buy, folks, buy!

If not for me, do it for David… he recently welcomed a child into the world and he’s gonna need every royalty he can get!

 

La jeu de la guerre: now available for iOS and MacOS

A digital version of Guy Debord’s Meisterwerk (at least, the one he spent the most time and wine on) is now available on the App Store.

http://r-s-g.org/kriegspiel/index.php

From the site FAQ:

Is the game free?
Yes, the game is free. There are no in-app purchases. No advertisements. No Patreon. No GoFundMe. No monetization of player data. There is literally no possible way to take your money.

What are the system requirements?
iOS system requirements: Version 15.0
macOS requirements: Version 12.0 (“Monterey”)

Will the game be released for Android, Windows, or another OS?
The game is supported on two platforms (macOS and iOS). There are no plans to port the game to other operating systems.

Do I need a log in to play?
The game uses Apple’s Game Center for networked play. You may log in to Game Center using an Apple ID. If you are not logged in to Game Center you may still play in Practice or Tabletop mode.

How can I learn more about Guy Debord and the history of the game?
The “About” page contains a brief overview. For a deeper reflection on the history of the game, see section five on “Crystalline War” in Alexander R. Galloway’s book Uncomputable: Play and Politics in the Long Digital Age.

[Edited to add:]

If you don’t have a Mac or an iDevice, there is now a Web version of the game available on Freeboardgames.org, that you can play via your browser.

https://www.freeboardgames.org/en/play/kriegspiel

[/edit]

Some more about Debord and the game here, in this Youtube video of an interview with the app designer Alexander Galloway:

Two Interviews: The British Way, La Jeu de la Guerre