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!

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Shining Path back in stock at One Small Step!

FS01SP

Si!

Like the title says, you can buy copies of Shining Path again… $22.95 each.

Here is the link:

http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=20&products_id=48

Green Beret and Algeria are still marked as sold out, but that may be fixed soon as well. Meanwhile, Kandahar, Operation Whirlwind, Binh Dinh 69 and Tupamaro are all available.

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.

Strike for Berlin has struck

Yaah 11 cover

Yesterday I got an entirely-too-large-for-the-purpose box from Coolstuff Inc., containing my designer copies of Strike for Berlin (along with a year’s worth of styrofoam packing peanuts – unfortunately not the edible kind).

Very nice physical presentation; quality map and counters by John Cooper; good diecutting and the maps match up if anyone wants to play the Link Game; even some interesting articles in the magazine. The rules are bound into the back section of the magazine and you cannot remove them; you should probably make copies of the more useful charts.

One thing they did not have room for was an expanded and annotated Sequence of Play that I have taken to writing for my games, as a way of ushering players through a turn until they get used to the sequence. So here it is:

S4B exp sequence

Thanks, hope you enjoy the game!

And if you haven’t had a chance yet, buy it here: https://flyingpiggames.com/products/yaah-magazine-issue-11

Brian

Chile ’73: errata file

2006-08-27.destroyed.israeli.tank

“Gang aft agley.” Getting a bit tired of this, though…

Regrettably, there were a number of production errors and unsolicited additions and changes to the rules and components of Chile ’73. Most of them are rather minor on their own but taken all together, detract quite a bit from what people seem to think is an interesting design.

Tiny Battle has moved to address and correct most of these errors, and remove the changes (which only introduced further confusion in the game) in the print-and-play version available at wargamevault.com. But when I received my physical designer copies after they were mailed to me on April 20, they still contained all of the errata that I had brought to Tiny Battle’s attention as soon as I saw the first PnP version, on March 3.

Tiny Battle will do something about this; they usually do. So far they have emailed what buyers of the physical version they had addresses for with a link to get a free copy of the PnP version, so they can print out the corrected rules and assemble the corrected counters for themselves.

Not everyone is going to want to, or be able to, do this, and there are other customers out there who would never have received that link at all. Which means I am going to be answering errata questions about this game that may or may not have been addressed, for some time. It all counts as “game support” but I would really rather be doing other things, like making new games, instead of answering for or about someone else’s mistakes.

So, here is the file for all the Chile ’73 errata that I have found or have been brought to my attention.

Consolidated Errata for CHILE 73 13jun

(as of June 13, 2018)

Also, here is an expanded sequence of play to use as a player aid to prompt you through the game – something I included in my submission but which they couldn’t fit into the rules booklet.

CL73 expanded sequence 20mar

Oh, and some final points, if you do make a set of the PnP counters:

In the game I submitted, all of the unit Control Chits were the same colour on the back. I just left them white. This was so that when you drew them out of the Control Pool no one could tell what Faction of unit (Civilian, Paramilitary or Military) you were picking and choosing – just that when you took one in and discarded an Infiltrate chit at the same time, the unit you took was not of your faction or you did not have the faction leader (or you could just have been faking people out).

This gave more depth to the pre-Coup phase, so people would have more incentive to play Investigate chits on other players, or trying to make deals with others to sound them out for what faction they were. Colouring the backs of the unit Control Chits by their faction (which TBP’s artist did for some reason) removes that mystery, and makes it obvious pretty quickly who is what faction…

Again, like the other counter errata, this does not make the game unplayable. But those of you who are making up your counters with the free PnP download might want to make this change when you are pasting up the counters.

Also, it would be a good idea to print the counters out at a smaller size than 1″ square, and print the map out larger if you can. TBP’s doubling the area of each counter (from 5/8″ to 1″) but leaving the map at 11×17″ results in several map areas where only one stack of units can comfortably fit.

Strike For Berlin: interview at The Players Aid

Yaah 11 cover

Happy April!

Over at the Players Aid blog, Grant Klenheinz has an interview with me all about Strike for Berlin, the redesign of Freikorps that is appearing in issue #11 of Yaah! magazine… which is now at the printer’s, and will be out later this month.

https://theplayersaid.com/2018/04/03/interview-with-brian-train-designer-of-strike-for-berlin-appearing-in-yaah-magazine-issue-11-from-flying-pig-games/

Still available for pre-order at $35 for the physical product ($3 off the regular price), and $15 for the PnP version ($4 off the regular price)!

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

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.