District Commander Kandahar: unboxing by Armchair Dragoons, shrink-rip by Big Board Gaming

Armchair Dragoons does a decloaking of District Commander: Kandahar. You can get a pretty good look at the components.   

They were sent a copy to review, and review it they shall… later.  

Also, Kevin Sharp rips the shrink on his review copy of the game!

Unboxing videos by The Players Aid: District Commander Maracas and Brief Border Wars

Today, a Brian Train double feature as Alexander of The Players Aid does unboxing videos for District Commander Maracas and Brief Border Wars.

Interview with TPA about the game: https://theplayersaid.com/2019/07/22/interview-with-brian-train-designer-of-district-commander-maracas-from-hollandspiele/

Interview with TPA about the game: https://theplayersaid.com/2020/02/17/interview-with-brian-train-designer-of-brief-border-wars-from-compass-games/

District Commander: on sale, sale, sale!

Starting today, District Commander Kandahar is on sale from Hollandspiele!

In fact, all three District Commander games are currently on sale.

Buy two and use the discount code “DCdiscount” at checkout will save an additional $5.

Buy all three modules and use “traingames” to save an extra $10.

I’ve made it, I’ve become a discount code!

I really like Tom’s ad copy for this one:

District Commander: Kandahar simulates the problems facing insurgent and counterinsurgent commanders in southern Afghanistan circa 2009-2010. This is not Brian Train’s first or even second game about this conflict, and you might be wondering, what does this one have to offer? We think that the District Commander system – with its emphasis on bluff and deception, scarce resources, and shifting operational goals – is an especially good fit for capturing the pace and nature of operations in Afghanistan. 

Brian Train’s District Commander is a series of operational games on counterinsurgency situations. The players alternate activation of groups of units (stacks) to perform discrete operations (missions) through the expenditure of Task Points (TP). Some missions are Tactical Missions – straightforward military tasks such as performing patrols, ambushing or attacking enemy forces, or moving from one place to another – and these may be performed multiple times by a stack during a turn. Other missions emphasize the “non-tactical” end of the campaign, establishing friendly influence, control, and infrastructure in an area, reducing the enemy’s claim to the same, and recruiting or training troops. These missions take more time to perform and so unlike the tactical missions may be the only mission performed by the stack during the turn. 

Missions are resolved by play of secretly-held Chance Chits, each with ratings that are better or worse for certain types of operations. Chits are played simultaneously and the ratings compared, modified by units, assets, and the current board state to determine the outcome. Using the right chit at the right time – knowing when to save a good chit for later and when to use it, and trying to determine if your opponent is going all-in or holding back – will require steely judgment in an atmosphere of doubt and deception.

All this is done in pursuit of objectives handed down to you by your superiors (i.e., chosen randomly) and kept secret from your opponent – objectives that may even change over the course of the game. Within this framework, the two sides – Government and Insurgent – play very differently, with the Insurgent player, in particular, depending on bluff and deception to achieve their goals. A large number of variant rules allow you to turn the game into a sandbox for exploring counterinsurgency doctrine and practice.

Now go have fun in the sandbox….

District Commander Kandahar: preview video from Hollandspiele!

Coming next week from Hollandspiele: District Commander: Kandahar, the third in a series of four volumes using the District Commander system.

Tom gives a quick introduction to some wrinkly and attractive parts of the system, and references the procedural videos he made last year to introduce District Commander: Maracas.

I hope you’ll give this one a look!

The fourth and final (so far) volume will be District Commander: ZNO, which takes place in Algeria 1959. It will be out some time next year but meanwhile you can get it for free print-and-play here.

Free Games!

Link: DC Maracas: Two Videos

Link to the Hollandspiele store: https://hollandspiele.com/collections/all

District Commander system and ZNO module: changes/updates

binhdinh bits

Binh Dinh module map and pieces. (photo: Mary Russell)

I have made some changes to the standard rules of the District Commander system:

  • changes in the Ambush and Intimidate missions,
  • a new use for Intelligence Advantage chits, and
  • disrupting Militia units no longer deducts TP.

New standard rules, updated player aid files for the Maracas and Binh Dinh modules, and updated rules and player aid files for the Zone Nord Oranais module (Algeria 1959) with these and other changes are available for download at the Free Games page.

Free Games!

 

District Commander Maracas: unboxing video, en espanol

 

Spanish-language unboxing video. I think he liked it!

District Commander Maracas: now available at Wargamevault!

dc_maracas medium

Now available, as a watermarked PDF for Twelve Yankee Smackers:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/303989/District-Commander-Maracas

By the way, here are other items of mine that are available for print and play from Wargamevault, with their current prices:

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?author=Brian%20Train

Hollandspiele

  • The Scheldt Campaign ($12)
  • District Commander Maracas ($12)
  • Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War ($12)

Lock n Load

  • Summer Lightning (second edition) ($20)

Tiny Battle Publishing

  • Chile 73 ($10)
  • Red Horde 1920 ($12)
  • War Plan Crimson ($12)
  • Winter Thunder ($12)

District Commander Binh Dinh: unboxing video

 

Over on the Tube-of-You, Maurice of Moe’s Game Table opens up his new copy of District Commander Binh Dinh for us!

I haven’t seen any physical copies of the game yet; this is a really sharp production, as Hollandspiele usually produces. And if you look closely you can see the covers of the next two modules in the series, District Commander ZNO and District Commander Kandahar.

Thanks for the look inside!

District Commander: Binh Dinh out now!

District Commander Binh Dinh is out today from Hollandspiele!

https://hollandspiele.com/products/district-commander-binh-dinh

The second volume is District Commander Binh Dinh, set in the jungles of Vietnam circa 1969. This is a period of transition that sees Government forces shifting their focus from pitched battles to providing population security and pacification. Mr. Train gives each player very different tools – here, we have rules for Agent Orange, the Phoenix Program, and the Ho Chi Minh Trail, among others – with which to pursue a sometimes shifting set of operational goals in a highly-customizable sandbox.

  • 17″ x 22″ mapsheet
  • 264 counters
  • 2 Display Sheets
  • 1 Player Aid
  • 16-page Series Rulebook
  • 8-page Module Rulebook
  • 10 Strategy Cards

BGG link: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/300175/district-commander-binh-dinh

Introductory price marked down to $45.00, down from $50.00 !

In fact, Hollandspiele have all of my titles with them on a discount now… District Commander Maracas is $45, Scheldt Campaign is $40, and Ukrainian Crisis/Little War is also $40. So didi mau over there and complete your collection!

District Commander Maracas: two videos

 

Over in Youtubeland, Andy Mesa posts two videos about getting to know District Commander Maracas. They set up a scenario and play through one turn of the game, so you can hear a lot of explanation of the game’s mechanics. They are new to the game, so it took a little while.

Thanks for doing this guys!

One thing that one of the players mentioned (sorry, I am not sure which one was Andy) was that they would have been a lot happier if the Insurgent counters (which spend much of their time face down) had been on blocks instead, so as to not have to be flipping them up to check them all the time. It’s true that this would have been great, but Hollandspiele is simply unable to source and mail games with blocks economically. Mighty Boards was able to do this with Nights of Fire of course, and they look great, but as a European company with higher margins they could do this without another thought.

It’s no great task to get a printout of the counter sheet onto a sticker sheet and sticker up a bunch of blank wooden blocks. Except that you have to make that sticker sheet, and have some wooden blocks lying around that you know you’re not going to use for anything else.

Another workaround is to get something you can use as counter clips, plastic bases that clamp on to the bottom of a counter so they can stand up. These exist and are available, because I’ve seen them in games like Battletech and even thrifted games, from which I’ve gleaned a bag or two. The Game Crafter makes these in different colours, at 19 cents or less each… and for a game like District Commander you would not need more than 50 of them at a given time, generally.

blue one chosen to show detail.

 

 

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/parts/card-stand-black?dept_uri=game-accessories&dept_name=Game%20Accessories

Another even cheaper way to do it would be to take one of the plastic clips that hold reports together (I’m having real trouble with vocabulary today), in a width that would let it stand up, and cut it into pieces to fit the counters… I tried this but it wasn’t the best solution.

The problem with this, though, just as it would be with wooden blocks is that missions in this game are performed by stacks of units… so you would have to be quite careful about how you grouped these together within each area, to make it obvious what is part of what stack.