A Distant Plain: soundtrack loop

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Column of Canadian LAV-IIIs in Afghanistan. (PhotoL CPT Edward Stewart, Canadian Forces)

Gamer and fan David Coutts has composed a brief piece fusing Western rock and Middle eastern instrumentation… sets the mood for a game of A Distant Plain! Free to listen, or you can download if you have a Soundcloud membership.

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Interview with Harold Buchanan – part 2

 

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https://soundcloud.com/harold-buchanan/podcast-22-an-interview-with-designer-brian-train-and-his-top-5-list-part-2-of-2

Continuing on from a week or two ago, part 2 of my long interview with Harold Buchanan when we were at Consimworld Expo 2019.

For some reason he starts off with me explaining and singing the Smarties song….

Also, the tale of the Pantzooka!

Games (inspirational and not) referenced in the interview:

  • Central America
  • Minuteman: Second American Revolution
  • National Liberation Front
  • Nicaragua
  • Plot to Assassinate Hitler
  • South Africa
  • Tito
  • Vietnam 1965-75

 

Three philosophers on “difficult” board game topics

 

https://aestheticsforbirds.com/2019/08/21/playing-games-with-history-philosophers-on-the-ethics-of-historical-board-games

Based on the interest aroused by Ken Draper’s New York Times article on problematic board game roles, the Aesthetics for Birds blog asked three philosophers their thoughts on these “difficult” topics.

To take on these questions, we asked some philosophers who specialize in thinking about games, ethics, and art.

  • Stephanie Patridge, Professor and Department Chair, Religion & Philosophy, Otterbein University
  • Chris Bartel, Professor of Philosophy, Appalachian State University
  • C. Thi Nguyen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Utah Valley University

All good but Professor Nguyen’s comments are particularly interesting.

 

Interview with Harold Buchanan out now!

2019-06-25-19.42.04

Looks as if I’ve run out of rant and have put myself to sleep.

Remember that Harold Buchanan interviewed me while I was at CSWExpo this year? He managed to edit my gibberish down into something halfway coherent, and now you can listen to it!

https://soundcloud.com/harold-buchanan/podcast-21-gen-con-insurgency-and-an-interview-with-designer-brian-train-1-of-2

The Benno Effect gets a shout-out around 33:35.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode, part 2 of 2. Highlight will undoubtedly be the tale of the history and deployment of the Pantzooka!

Ave hominem vestitum!

Space-Biff! on Guerrilla Checkers

bots11playgcheck.jpg

Playing Guerrilla Checkers with Michel Boucher, long ago.

https://spacebiff.com/2019/07/19/guerrilla-checkers/

The very clever Daniel Thurot at his blog Space-Biff! has posted a very nice set of thoughts on his plays of Guerrilla Checkers.

He thinks it’s a clever and very pointed game, and I cannot but agree.

Thank you Daniel!

This piece is the second in a series of “political abstract” games he is writing; I look forward to further instalments.

Sitrep: the Syrian Arab Army

SAA Order of Battle early 2019

SAA OOB, early 2019. Credit: Gregory Waters.

https://www.mei.edu/publications/lion-and-eagle-syrian-arab-armys-destruction-and-rebirth

Here is a brilliant bit of contemporary history and analysis by Gregory Waters of the Middle East Institute on the collapse of the Syrian Arab Army during the Syrian Civil War and its rebuilding under Russian tutelage. Includes complete, detailed Orders of Battle for years between 2013 and early 2019. Current OOB was partly assembled and verified through checks of Facebook pages!

My Third Lebanon War game (which will soon be issued in physical form as a BTR Games product, I hope) has Syrian intervention units in it, however they were not given distinct numbers – I assumed at the time (2010-11) that they would be the 1st Corps, perhaps reinforced with some extra armoured forces. Apparently the 1st Corps has spent the entire Civil War still deployed in approximately the same area (covering the Golan Heights, Deraa, and Damascus generally). The divisions haven’t changed much though they are now more mechanized/motorized infantry since the Syrian tank fleet is quite reduced from what it was.

Podcast: on Armchair Dragoons’ “Mentioned in Dispatches”, vol 2 ep 9

Recently I sat down with James Sterrett for an episode of Brant Guillory’s podcast “Mentioned in Dispatches.”

The occasion was the recent release of Matt Caffrey’s new book On Wargaming

On Wargaming by Matt Caffrey, out at last!

and we thought we would discuss, for well over an hour in our meandering ways, this book and other books we’ve found useful for thinking about games and game design.

James has a more practical take on this of course, as he teaches game design to his students at the US Army Command and General Staff College.

https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/teaching-wargame-design-at-cgsc/

Anyway, here is the link, go and have a listen!

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/podcast/mentioned-in-dispatches-season-2-episode-9-the-essential-wargaming-library/

In other news, this weekend is the inaugural Victoriaconn, a mini-convention put on here in town by local gamer Geoff Conns. I’ll be there Friday and Saturday (have to work Sunday), showing the playtest version of China’s War and the near-production copy of the Brief Border Wars quad. Maybe someone will notice….

http://www.victoriaconn.ca/