Interview with Harold Buchanan – part 2

 

2019-06-25-19.42.04

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

 

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China’s War is up for P500!

CWp500cover

Preliminary artwork, of course. (Rachel Billingsley)

Yes, now it can be told.

Today GMT put China’s War up for P500, and the clock starts ticking… to what end I don’t know, because it will come when it comes, and that’s when it’s ready.

$55.00 now, $80.00 later. I see it’s up to 230 pre-orders already, but I think that is about the number of people who have a “give me anything COIN” standing order with GMT.

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-830-chinas-war-1937-1941.aspx

I will be working with a developer on this, and we’ll be ready to start playtesting with groups soon, after a Vassal module has been got ready (dammit, I really need to learn how to make these things…).

Other information, also available from the page where you went to place your order RIGHT AWAY, and then came back here:

China’s War: 1937-1941 examines the first five years of the conflict, when China stood alone against the Japanese Empire. Each player takes the role of a Faction seeking to attack or defend the Republic of China: the aggressive Japanese, the harried Government (represented by the Nationalist party), the rebellious Chinese Communist Party, or the unruly, fractious Warlords who are obedient when convenient but have their eye on gaining state power. Using military, political, and economic actions and exploiting various events, players build and maneuver forces to influence or control the population, extract resources, or otherwise achieve their Faction’s aims. A deck of cards regulates turn order, events, victory checks, and other processes. The rules can run non-player Factions, enabling solitaire, 2-player, or multi-player games.

COMPONENTS
One 22”x 34” mounted game board
One deck of 52 playing cards
167 wooden playing pieces, some embossed
12 small pawns (6 red, 6 white)
One full-color countersheet
Rules Booklet
Playbook
4 Faction Player Aid foldouts
Cards, Player Aid, and Rules for the card-based solitaire opponent*
1 Sequence of Play sheet
2 six-sided dice

Players: 1-4 (full solitaire system)
Map: Area movement
Time scale: about 1 year per 12-card campaign

*I’m not exactly sure about how to approach the solitaire system for this one; you-all know that I am not all that interested in them. But I was intrigued by the card-based one used in the recent release of Gandhi, and the 12-card AI that David Turczi came up with for Nights of Fire was amazing, so I think I would like to see something like that rather than more flowcharts. Again, if I could get away with not having one, I would, but it is something people have come to expect… after 11 previous volumes in the series!

Laissez les bon temps rouler…

[ETA: 10:00 am the next day and we are up to 406 pre-orders! Might be able to make it by the end of the day, or by the weekend. Whoops, 412 now… 428…]

[FETA: I woke up Saturday morning and it was 501. So, that’s that.]

Here is a look at a prototype map, as exhibited at CSWExpo 2019. Not much to see. The yellow and pink pieces are now green, how prototypical is that for you…

Chinas_War

And speaking of CSW, I have set up a discussion area for the game here:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.1de0d6b6/0

BGG entry for the game is here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/287515/chinas-war-1937-41

Card #24

card #24

24. US-Taliban Talks TCWG
Selective fire: Until Propaganda, Taliban Operations may not remove Coalition pieces (mark).
MOMENTUM
No sudden moves: Until Propaganda, no Coalition Assault (mark).
MOMENTUM
Direct, official contact between representatives of the United States and the Taliban began in late 2010. Earnest and productive negotiations held out the possibility of  reducing the pace of operations in Afghanistan. Meetings took place in Germany and Qatar, but progress was slow.
(US DoD Report on Progress, p. 82)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/world/asia/taliban-peace-deal-afghanistan.html

Review of Colonial Twilight in Nerdly

ColTwilightCover(edit)RBM

http://www.nerdly.co.uk/2018/10/03/colonial-twilight-the-french-algerian-war-board-game-review/

A very nice review of Colonial Twilight by Matthew Small at Nerdly, a British site that seems to review a bit of everything under the sun.

Thanks Matthew!

 

4Box system: series video review

On Youtube, Randy Strader has posted a 22-minute video on the games of mine he owns that use the 4Box system, beginning with Andartes.

This is a good explanation of the system and variations thereof: he runs through all six or so games that use the 4 box system (Tupamaro (as prototype), Shining Path, Algeria, Andartes, Kandahar, EOKA) and other area-control games of mine he also owns (Green Beret, Binh Dinh 69 and Operation Whirlwind).

Seven of these nine have been published in folio format by One Small Step, and their production gets a good look-in. He’s also kind to the much more modest graphic and production standards of my own BTR Games products.

He also acknowledges the influence of the 4Box system on the development of Volko Ruhnke’s COIN system, and my two games using that exact system (A Distant Plain and Colonial Twilight)

Thanks Randy! I appreciate your work.

Newest COIN system P500: People Power

Just announced for P500, is a new COIN system game from GMT: People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-86. Designed by Ken Tee, a gamer I know from CSW  – this appears to be his first design.

I’ve just had a glance over the description but here are some of the interesting points I noticed:

  • 3 factions:
    • Government, symbolized by the personal rule of Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, and his political cronies and military forces. Seeks Support and Patronage.
    • Insurgents, split into two blocs – the communist New People’s Army (or NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (or MNLF but more commonly referred to as Moros). The NPA sought a national uprising from both the urban and rural populace, while the Moros wanted a separate nation founded on Islamic autonomy. Seeks Control of spaces and some form of “Resistance” index.
    • Reformers, think Corazon Aquino. A non-violent faction that was historically the winner of the conflict as the Philippine political landscape changed. Seeks to build Bases and Opposition.
  • Seems to be an effort to create a high-speed, low-drag entry into the COIN system: small map (17 x 22″) with only two terrain types (city and country) and likely a small number of spaces; low number of pieces (79 wooden bits), and a small deck of event cards (likely around 40 or 50).
  • Some new features:
    • A hand of Key Personality cards kept by each player, that represents the effectiveness of various generals and power brokers.
    • Propaganda Rounds replaced by a two-turn Election Cycle procedure (each Election Cycle is made up of 10 cards and represents 6 to 9 months of activity).
    • A faction can combine any Operation with any Special Activity.
    • card-driven solitaire play system; no more flowcharts.

Here’s the link to the description page and pre-order link:

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-689-people-power-insurgency-in-the-philippines-1983-1986.aspx

220 orders already – I’m jumping on this one too!

Card #30

ADP card 30

30. Urban Specialists

TGWC
TALIBAN CAPABILITIES

Ineffective: Taliban Terror in Kabul requires Activation of 2 Underground Guerrillas.
Effective: Taliban Terror in Kabul costs 0 Resources and does not Activate the Guerrilla.

Insurgents need to go where the people are, and a lot of them are in the main urban center of Kabul. The Taliban have been ingenious in using technically skilled fighters to collect intelligence, plan assassinations, and conduct spectacular high-visibility attacks on government buildings. (Moreau; Giustozzi p. 70)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/afghan-military-academy-attack-1.4508324

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/kabul-afghanistan-attack-aftermath-1.4498165