Finnish Civil War Ludography

This year is the centennial of the Finnish Civil War. Not surprisingly, people are marking the event, pushing the number of games on the war from “almost none” to “some”. Here is a partial ludography, certainly a work-in-progress, that shows the games on the war that I know about, sorted by publication date:

image:, showing a copy in a display case in a museum in Tampere.

1918: Punaisten ja Valkoisten taistelu Suomesa 1918

The first board game on the War, this was apparently produced for the Christmas market, only seven months after the end of the war. It is a simple roll-and-move game with red and white pieces occupying different towns. Point-movement map, 14 wooden pieces, abstract scale.

BGG link

Katalog 1

2009: Finnish Civil War

I put my game Finnish Civil War up for free download at the end of 2009, making it the first “standard wargame” treatment of the conflict. It was available for free download until 2012 – I think maybe four people might have taken advantage of the offer – when I was offered a spot in Paper Wars magazine for the game, and was asked to take it down. I thought it was going to come out more promptly than it did, but it did come out at the beginning of 2017, with a very nice presentation and a few changes from the earlier version. 270 counters, hex map, company to brigade scale (two versions to play).

The Paper Wars version has a historical article in it by me on the War, but for some reason they printed only the first half of it – you can get the whole article at the link below.

BGG link

Finnish Civil War (Paper Wars #84) has arrived.


2010: Under The North Star

Designed by Dennis Bishop and published by White Dog Games. A rather standard look at the military aspect of the war. 160 counters, hex map, battalion to regiment scale.

BGG link

Enter a caption

2018: Veli Veljea Vastaan (Brother Against Brother)

Card-driven, point-movement game on the War by Antti Lehmusjarvi, published by Linden Lake Games via Kickstarter.  I did find a photo of a prototype of Antti’s game that was played at “Warcon 2013”, a game convention in Tampere. About 200 counters, 55 cards, point movement map, company-battalion scale.

BGG link



2018 (?): All Bridges Burning

This is a COIN system game designed by the brilliant VPJ “Vesa” Arponen, who remade the ‘bots for A Distant Plain and designed the ‘bot for Colonial Twilight. Man’s a genius and he has made the COIN system work for three players. Has done very well on P500. About 90 wooden pieces, 47 event cards, a card-driven (!) solo system of 36 cards, point movement map, scale abstract.

BGG link


2018: Helsinki 1918

Designed by Hannu Uusitalo, produced by U&P Games. This one is kind of interesting: a card-driven, hex map treatment of the battle for Helsinki in April 1918. As German forces approach the city, the Red defenders prepare to receive them but there is a secret group of White forces ready to rise in revolt within the city. Even more interesting, the game is for three players. BGG description:

The German player must execute an effective attack to defeat Reds and avoid too high casualties especially in the fights on the streets of the centre. The Red player focus to keep their morale high and recruit new fighting groups to the Red Guards while Whites player must wait the right timing to deploy hidden troops in the streets of Helsinki.

80 counters, 40 cards, hex map.

BGG link

image: Lenin Museum website

2018: Suomi 1918

Not really a wargame as such, I did find mention of this on the net, as being on offer at the gift shop of the Lenin Museum in Tampere. This is the only museum dedicated to Lenin outside the former Soviet Union: elsewhere on their site you can buy things like busts of Lenin, and fridge magnets of Urho Kekkonen and Leonid Brezhnev.

Thrilling new game Finland 1918 is a card game about the start of the Finnish state, the civil war and the events that led to it. The game describes the birth of the Finnish state and possible social models: what if history had been different?

Finnish-language cards, but the Museum staff tell me that English rules are in preparation.

Article on the Lenin Museum from Atlas Obscura:



Chile ’73: first review!

c73 banner

Over at SP’s Projects Blog, “Pete” (I don’t know his name but he comments here frequently) writes about his purchase and play-through of a PnP copy of Chile ’73 with his friend Paul.

He enjoyed himself quite a bit!

Thanks Pete!

By the way, the game now has a entry so you can see some pictures and see what other Geeklists and things it is involved in.

One thing I have posted over there already, and make available here now, is a one-page expanded sequence of play that summarizes the rules. Help yourself:

CL73 expanded sequence 8mar

Colonial Twilight: review, yong zhongwen


Across the ocean, Mike Yuan of Taipei writes his impression of Colonial Twilight:

Unfortunately, I do not speak any Chinese and the machine translation is not very good…

Back to the front, compared to the four people may continue to soy sauce this situation, a little look you will find that in the CT, continuous action often occurs, so players will not only have a flexible schedule, but also make a good To be full, the ability to effect very strong.  At the same time the goal of action is also simplified; So I line up the skateboard machine to not finished thinking immediately turn to me, how do I use this opportunity?

But I think I get the gist of it – he was not entirely happy nor unhappy with the game.

  • He found the two-player mechanics interesting, and that they mitigated some of his frustrations with the 4-player mechanics and stabbery in the other COIN system games published so far.
  • Some of the Event Cards are quite strong (e.g. Napalm) while others are uninteresting or indeterminate in effect (he cites the “many” +/-1d6 cards in the deck – there are 6 that effect either side equally, of 60). Of this he says, “This is indeed Brian Train’s style, enhance the player’s sense of dilemma, sense of historical experience; in Chinese is called: ‘unlucky in rotten peach’ (「在爛桃中挑顆不爛的」)”. I liked that.
  • His impression is that the game is unbalanced against the Government; I think he played the Short scenario, twice, for this review so that is perhaps understandable.

Perhaps next time I should soy sauce my skateboard machine. Internet translation has a long way to go!


Colonial Twilight: video review po polsku

On his regular video podcast Wojennik TV, Michel Sorbet gives his impressions of Colonial Twilight. Unfortunately I don’t speak a word of Polish but it looks as if these impressions are positive ones.

Nights of Fire: unboxing video

Grant Kleinheinz has made an unboxing video for a prototype copy of Nights of Fire!

I sent him this copy after I had looked it over, so it is the same as the one pictured in this blog earlier… but now you can get a close up look at the components.

The art is pretty close to the final versions. There will be some adjustments to the layout of the board.

Grant hadn’t learned to play the game when he made this video, so his guesses as to what the components, icons etc. stand for are amusing! However, Grant and Alexander did later make a video of them playing a game, along with their observations and thoughts, and it will be posted in a week or two. Looking forward to that (spoiler: he liked it!).

I have also finished writing a very long interview with Grant about the game, and he will be posting that to his website in due course.

Thanks as always Grant!

Koloniale Daemmerung: the video

Ach so! (and I don’t know how to get an a-umlaut on this thing…)

I don’t know if any of my readers here are German speakers, but here is a new 70-minute video on Youtube where the Spieler (Christoph, a frequent contributor) gives a very complete introduction to, and description and impressions of, Colonial Twilight. I didn’t stop to listen to the whole thing but he seems quite complimentary.

Danke sehr Christoph!

(also appearing on Victoria Parta Spiele website:

The Player’s Aid: Best 3 Games with… Designer Brian Train!


Oh my. I really did not expect this.

Grant Kleinheinz has written a really nice post about three of my designs he’s had the most fun with:

  • Winter Thunder
  • Binh Dinh ’69
  • Colonial Twilight

I’m touched by this, and happy that he’s enjoyed my work enough to write such nice things about it. Thank you Grant!

Go have a look….