Hollandspiele + Second Chance Games = $ales$ !!

Even since Hollandspiele got started, they have had a rising tide of interest from customers in the UK and Europe – interest that was promptly deflated by their  production costs (print-on-demand) and postage (which could sometimes be higher than the cost of the item) and probability of exorbitant customs and duties once the item reached foreign shores.

The print-and-play version solution was always there, and it’s the same price to everyone on the planet. But there are lots of people out there who value their time more highly, and their crafting skills less generously.

So today Hollandspiele announced its partnership with Second Chance Games in the UK, as their retailer Across the Water.

https://www.secondchancegames.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/manufacturer/hollandspiele/

Prices range, and I am not sure how much shipping would be, though certainly it would be more reasonable than sending from California. But as an illustration, Scheldt Campaign and Ukrainian Crisis/Little War are 49 pounds each.

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The Putsch and the Bomb

bof-a

Over at the Rockymountainnavy blog, the writer (I’ve been reading his blog for a long while but still don’t know his name) posts that he has acquired a copy of Colonial Twilight, and is looking forward to playing it! I’m glad to hear that, he has enjoyed other designs of mine he has played in the past.

In his post he also draws attention to a research paper he found detailing an incident that took place during the April 1961 putsch against de Gaulle: a nuclear device prepared for testing at the Reggane site (wayyy off to the south of the game map) was detonated during the events of the coup. The author explores the various interpretations of why and how the test took place, and whether there was any question of the rebellious generals being able to seize the device and use it (symbolically or in reality) against the government. The answer in this case is either “no” or “maybe, but so what”, but it does provide an interesting base for other questions about the role of nuclear weapons in contentious situations between a nation’s military and civilian powers.

https://rockymountainnavy.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/wargame-for-train-coups-nukes-colonial-twilight-the-french-algerian-war-1954-62-gmtgames-2017/

Of course, nothing like this is reflected in the game, except for the Coup d’etat card (#66) and a reference to the nuclear Force de Frappe in the NATO card (#16) – which was another piece in the complicated game de Gaulle was playing to impress his vision of France on its armed forces.

dc_maracas medium

RMN also mentions the upcoming release of District Commander Maracas by Hollandspiele – they have announced that it and the Binh Dinh module will be released in 2019, followed by the Algeria and Afghanistan modules in 2020.

Obligatory end-of-year-review, 2018

FranklinHowe_o

Can you mansplain convincingly while wearing breeches, stockings and buckle shoes?

Well, another year has zipped by. Maybe a bit early for year-end post-mortems, but I have been busy:

Game publishing

  • February: the Kickstarter launch for Nights of Fire. We made the first, most important target in 12 or 13 hours, and ended up with $87,821 pledged over 30 days. Nights of Fire: Kickstarter day at last!
  • February also saw Tupamaro come out, in folio format from One Small Step. Tupamaro is out!
  • March saw the release of Chile ’73 from Tiny Battle Publishing. I was pleased that this came out, but there were a number of unfortunate changes/additions of art, physical components and rules that lessened the “bang” for me. Chile ’73: errata file
  • May, and out came Strike for Berlin in #11 of Yaah! magazine. Very nice art and production, a really great overhaul of Freikorps. I was quite pleased with it, but it doesn’t seem to have garnered a lot of attention on BGG and other places. Strike for Berlin has struck
  • July: I posted District Commander: Maracas, for free print-and-play. This is presented as an example of how the District Commander system works (this and three other modules will be published by Hollandspiele over the next couple of years) and as an introductory essay of mine into operational level urban combat against irregular forces in a large city. New free game: Maracas
  • September: a second edition of Summer Lightning came out, from Lock n Load Games. This is a physically enlarged (one might say engorged) edition, the rules are the same – just all of the components are bigger. Pretty spiffy looking though! Summer Lightning: Second Edition!

Game design work and future publication

Work and or testing continued throughout the year on some of the following, while others have likely publishing dates in 2019 or later:

  • Thunder out of China (now renamed China’s War, at least until an even better title comes along): testing testing, and hoping to have this ready for GMT P500 by Consimworld Expo time.
  • Strongman, an extensive rework of Caudillo that may be a while coming, and publisher not completely confirmed.
  • Brief Border Wars Quad, from Compass Games – I handed this over to the guys at Consimworld Expo and understand that it will be up for pre-order in the next couple of months. Will be published all four in one box.
  • District Commander series, from Hollandspiele – I handed over four modules (Algeria 1959, Vietnam 1969, Afghanistan 2009, and Maracas 2019) to Hollandspiele at Consimworld Expo and they will be publishing these as separate single titles over the next two years.
  • We Are Coming Nineveh: This very clever game on contemporary urban combat (Mosul 2017) was designed by two of Rex Brynen’s students in a trial course he ran in getting students to design games. Rex and I have done a considerable amount of development on it, without changing its basic concepts, and I’m quite pleased at how this came out. Will likely be published in 2019 or early 2020.
  • Nights of Fire: Pretty sure this will be out in March 2019 or so. I think people will be pleased.

Conferences and conventions

Another busy year on this front, a week or more away at each of these events:

Writing

  • Only one formally published piece, the foreword to a book of wargames rules on irregular war situations published by History of Wargaming Project, John Curry’s imprint. New book out – Small Wars

Near-meaningless digest of site statistics:

  • I seem to be cruising still at just below 2,000 views per month, a bit higher than the preceding two years. The five most curious countries were: US (by a very wide margin), UK, Canada, Spain and Italy. One guy clicked in from Venezuela!
  • Besides the then-current post, popular pages or posts included the BTR Games and Free Games pages, and the post containing the corrected Tutorial and errata for Colonial Twilight. Also popular was a new page of Scenarios and Variants I added in July, incorporating material lugged over from my old website as well as some new pieces (e.g. the 4-player variant for Colonial Twilight and the historical scenario for Operation Whirlwind).
  • The most clicked-on documents were the rules, corrected tutorial and playbook for Colonial Twilight, followed by the free PnP files for Ukrainian Crisis, Third Lebanon War and Desert Leader.

Yet more sale! OSS Games -25% too!

It’s on! 25% off on published games at www.ossgamescart.com.

Shining Path, Green Beret, Operation Whirlwind are marked down to $17.25; Kandahar, Algeria Binh Dinh and Tupamaro are down to $18.75.

Use coupon code BLACKFRI at checkout.

Sale runs now through Monday the 26th of November. Does not include pre-order items, subscriptions, or games already on sale.

Oh God, I feel so cheap….

Tiny Battles -25% sale

Tiny Battle Publishing is having a sale!

From now (actually, yesterday) until Tuesday November 27th, all in-stock, games in the Tiny Battle Publishing inventory are 25% off.

So this means:

  • Chile ’73: $25.00   $18.75
  • Red Horde 1920: $34.00   $25.50
  • War Plan Crimson: $30.00   $22.50
  • Winter Thunder: $27.00   $20.25

The PDF versions of these games, available form Wargame Vault, are also marked down, so they are around $10-12 each.

Now, I tootle my own horn here a lot but I’d also like to draw another Tiny Battle game to your attention: Battle for Ramadi by Jay Ward. This is a small game, no bigger than most of the TBP folio games (83 counters, 11×17″ map), on the battle to retake this Iraqi city from ISIS forces at the end of December 2015. It’s designed to be played solitaire, and it’s a good quick simple game on the high points and considerations of kinetic urban combat. I saw an early version of this on Jay’s website ( Off to CSW Expo 2016… meanwhile, Ramadi.) and I’m glad to see that he has had it published. And now it’s also 25% off; $19.50 marked down from $26.00!

https://tinybattlepublishing.com/products/ramadi

A rare find?

konarmiya100

You gotta be kidding me!

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS for an unpunched Konarmiya?

Well, at these prices I guess they need to sell only the one copy.

(I think I might have one left; sell it to you for $99.00…)

Colonial Twilight: a bot for the FLNbot

coltwibox2

BGG user Curt Sellmer has created a program that automatically implements the FLNbot that Vesa Arponen made for Colonial Twilight. He says it handles the details of ‘bot decisionmaking, and is similar to a program he created for the expansion to Volko Ruhnke’s Labyrinth game,  Labyrinth: The Awakening: 2010-?

It supports the the Short, Medium and Full scenarios.

It will run on a MacOS terminal, a Linux terminal and the Windows console as long as the Java JVM is installed and the path to the ‘java’ executable program is referenced in your PATH environment variable.

For more information and to download the built package, go here: https://github.com/sellmerfud/coltwi

Scroll down until you see section heading: “Downloading the package”. In that section is a link to the “built package” which is a zip file.

Finally, here is the discussion thread on BGG where he introduces the program, and where players (that’s you, cousin) will discuss questions and problems, when encountered.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2095115/software-runs-fln-bot

Thank you for your work Curt!