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.

District Commander ZNO: new files

aff10

Recruiting poster for the Colonial Parachutist regiments.

I made a change to the exclusive rules for this module: the “Intervention” forces (three battalions of paratroopers, and a set of high-value Assets such as helicopters and Commandos de Chasse) have been reclassified as “Foreign” units and Assets for game rules purposes. They aren’t actually foreign of course, everyone’s still part of the French Army but the system rules allow Foreign units to use two Chance Chits in an attack, and they are also the last ones in a stack to be Disrupted… two good ways to show the effects of these elite troops and the resources they enjoyed. Also makes them harder to obtain and use, which is as it should be unless your sector really heats up and Division HQ is prepared to listen to you….

Download the new exclusive files; if you have already made up the counters, you just have to colour some Government units green with a highlighter marker, following the counter sheet.

EDIT, 5 May 2020: I have made some changes to the District Commander system standard rules, and some further changes to the ZNO module. Please download these exclusive rules and charts files. 

DC ZNO x-rules 11 2 May 20

DC ZNO x-charts11 4 May 20

DC standard rules11 5 May 20

DC ZNO ctrs88 18 oct

If you are wondering what the fuss is about, the entire set of files for the game is available here:

New free game: ZNO (District Commander module)

and here, with some other free stuff:

Free Games!

 

District Commander Maracas: narrative

dc_maracas medium

https://bigboardgaming.com/district-commander-maracas/

Over at his site bigboardgaming, Kevin Sharp starts in on a game of District Commander Maracas, described in a fanciful narrative of the Economic Freedom Coalition striking back against the despotic rule of General Fernando Herra Cortez-Gutierrez.

“General, power and water to Bella Liana have been impacted. We suspect sabotage of our infrastructure. People are demonstrating at police stations and asking how this could happen with so many soldiers on the streets.”

What comes next?

New free game: ZNO (District Commander module)

burning farm

Down on the farm, mes gars.

Since District Commander Maracas has been released in physical form by Hollandspiele, I am now offering for free print-and-play the module District Commander ZNO (Zone Nord Oranais). 

This time the action takes place in the hill country southwest of Mostaganem in Algeria, circa 1958-59. The Government player has a selection of French Army sector and intervention (elite) troops, moghazni militia raised by the Sections Administrative Specialisees, and Garde Mobile policemen, backed up by Commandos de Chasse tracker teams, double agents, and small numbers of helicopters. The nationalist insurgent forces have several grades of fighters, Terror and IED Cells, and Supply units that must be escorted back and forth across the arena of combat.

Thanks to everyone who voted in my small poll over on Boardgamegeek. ZNO won narrowly! This module will remain available until it is published by Hollandspiele or I replace it with something else.

EDIT, 5 May 2020: I have made some changes to the District Commander system and updated the ZNO files with these changes and some other refinements.

DC standard rules11 5 May 20 District Commander standard rulebook, version 1.1 (some changes in the Ambush and Intimidate missions, a new use for Intelligence Advantage chits, and disrupting Militia units no longer deducts TP). Word file.

DC system counters 4july District Commander system counters, pdf.

DC ZNO x-rules 11 2 May 20 ZNO exclusive rules, Word file.

DC ZNO x-charts11 4 May 20 ZNO exclusive charts and play aids, Word file.

DC ZNO ctrs88 18 oct ZNO exclusive counters, pdf.

DC ZNO map 1722 quad 23 sep ZNO map, sized for 17×22″ printing, pdf.

Permission is granted to downloaders to make one 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.

 

DC Maracas: available for sale!

dc_maracas medium

https://hollandspiele.com/products/district-commander-maracas

The day has come!

Yeet Yeet Woohoo!

GET IT NOW for $45.00, ’cause it will be $50.00 later.

I’m withdrawing the Maracas module from my free Print and Play selection, but I will be replacing it with another. Other modules will be published in due course by Hollandspiele but I still want to leave up a District Commander module with the core rules, so that people can try the system for free.

So which module should I put up next?
Help me decide!

I can’t have a poll with this thing unless I get an account with some other creepy sounding company, so I put one up over on Boardgamegeek:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2273252/what-dc-module-should-i-post-next-free-pnp

or you can let me know your desire in the comments.

ZNO (Zone Nord Oranais) (Algeria 1959)
Features supply units, airmobility, population resettlement, random terror

Binh Dinh (Vietnam 1969)
Features US and ROK units, supply units, airmobility, Agent Orange, random terror, monsoon rains, the Phoenix program

Kandahar (Afghanistan 2009)
Features ISAF units, non-State militia, criminals, airmobility, Command Nodes, KAF and Pakistan sanctuaries

I’m leaning towards Kandahar myself….

DC Maracas: Two Videos

 

 

Release of District Commander Maracas is imminent. Tom Russell recently shared two videos on Facebook to demonstrate aspects of the game. The first explains how missions are resolved, the second one talks about the variable victory points mechanic and what Infrastructure Units are good for.

District Commander Maracas nears release!

dc_maracas medium

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/286616/district-commander-maracas

It’s so close… it now has a Boardgamegeek entry!

District Commander Maracas: interview at The Players Aid

dc_maracas medium

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

The doughty (now that I’ve looked it up, I’m confident that’s a good word) Grant Kleinheinz over at The Players Aid has published an interview with me about District Commander: Maracas, the first of four modules in the District Commander series to come from Hollandspiele.

Grant says this is the eighth interview I’ve had with him, and I believe it!

(Why wouldn’t I? Well, perhaps I should – these days I’m feeling rather like Hank Kimball from Green Acres.)

Image result for "hank kimball"

It’s quite long – over 7,000 words – but it tells you most everything you might want to know about the system itself, and the changes rung on it for the Maracas module, which covers the action in a made-up large city (the capital of Virtualia, reeling in the aftermath of the sudden departure from power of the charismatic strongman Jesus Shaves).

Hollandspiele will bring the game out in probably late August; I’m not sure of the price at this point. But in the meantime, you can still score a free print-and-play copy here, if you want a closer look at the rules and mechanics of play.

Free Games!

The Putsch and the Bomb

bof-a

Over at the Rockymountainnavy blog, the writer (I’ve been reading his blog for a long while but still don’t know his name) posts that he has acquired a copy of Colonial Twilight, and is looking forward to playing it! I’m glad to hear that, he has enjoyed other designs of mine he has played in the past.

In his post he also draws attention to a research paper he found detailing an incident that took place during the April 1961 putsch against de Gaulle: a nuclear device prepared for testing at the Reggane site (wayyy off to the south of the game map) was detonated during the events of the coup. The author explores the various interpretations of why and how the test took place, and whether there was any question of the rebellious generals being able to seize the device and use it (symbolically or in reality) against the government. The answer in this case is either “no” or “maybe, but so what”, but it does provide an interesting base for other questions about the role of nuclear weapons in contentious situations between a nation’s military and civilian powers.

https://rockymountainnavy.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/wargame-for-train-coups-nukes-colonial-twilight-the-french-algerian-war-1954-62-gmtgames-2017/

Of course, nothing like this is reflected in the game, except for the Coup d’etat card (#66) and a reference to the nuclear Force de Frappe in the NATO card (#16) – which was another piece in the complicated game de Gaulle was playing to impress his vision of France on its armed forces.

dc_maracas medium

RMN also mentions the upcoming release of District Commander Maracas by Hollandspiele – they have announced that it and the Binh Dinh module will be released in 2019, followed by the Algeria and Afghanistan modules in 2020.