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!

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

More unboxing videos! In limba romana…

 

Two unboxing, or rather unbagging videos of the OSS editions of Kandahar and Operation Whirlwind.

However, the poster is speaking in Romanian, a language I do not know. I presume it’s a positive impression!

 

Kandahar: unboxing video from The Players Aid

 

 

Grant Kleinheinz does an unboxing (technically unbagging) video of Kandahar from One Small Step Games.

Thank Grant! I hope you will enjoy the game.

2:02 Green Beret and a couple of other titles are “out of stock” right now because the publisher ran out of folio covers… so as soon as he has some more printed, these will be back in stock! Real Soon Now.

3:45 counters and map by Ania Ziolokowska! Very nice.

4:15 playable solitaire, no AI, though more fun with two certainly.

4:50 there is one enormous long (2 pages) example of play at the end of the booklet to show how it all works together.

8:06 That’s right!

9:20 Right again!

13:45: eight games of mine? You have a few to go before you can call yourself a true completist! B~)

OSS Games Summer Sale! 20% Off!


One Small Step Games has announced its Summer Sale!

On now through the 4th of July, get 20% off on all published items.

Amounts to five bucks off each of my folio designs with OSS.

Sale does not include items already on sale, pre-order games, or subscriptions… so Tupamaro is not eligible as it’s still in pre-order.

Use coupon code “SummerSale” at checkout.

http://ossgamescart.com/

 

“Kandahar: the dark, cynical, bitter sibling of GMT’s COIN series”

FS03K

James Sterrett sees right through me:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1677733/kandahar-dark-cynical-bitter-sibling-gmts-coin-ser

James’ conclusion:

I mentioned these and a number of other factors to a co-worker (and fellow gamer) who served in Afghanistan; he was not sure the game was quite cynical enough to be accurate, but more so than A Distant Plain. You can make a case that A Distant Plain is a better game, but Kandahar feels like a better simulation, and if you are interested in the topic, it is well worth giving it playtime.

Thanks James! You have seen to the bottom of my insufficiently rotten soul.

Also, a quick link to Neal Durando’s cogent thoughts on the game, which James also references:

http://defling.com/blog/?p=85

gahanwilsongame

Thoughts on Kandahar

 

FS03K

Some recent posts from Neal Durando’s Defense Linguistics blog:

Kandahar Hot Washup

Through a Glass, Darkly

I think this man gets what I’m trying to say, or at least that I’m trying to say something.

Money quote from the latter, at least for me:

Of Brian’s designs with which I’m familiar all attempt a similar level of honesty. They are deeply skeptical of ideology and other power fantasies. Their mechanisms give you plenty of rope with which to hang yourself. Glorious blitzkriegs, chevauchées, razzias, and shit-hammerings are rare and never engaged without careful calculation of the downsides. If he had designed OGRE, there would be the possibility of co-opting the cybertank by surrendering power stations along with a good wash and detail. I still say his Algeria is way too hard on the French, although I’ve been able to win playing both sides.

These are, in their way, anti-games. They resist commercialization in the best way by raising the bar for their audience while keeping their author impoverished and angry.

Go read the rest of it! This man is a WRITER.

Much appreciated, Neal.

Kandahar is shipping!

Pre-ordered copies of Kandahar are nosing their way into the postal system right now!

If you haven’t already, get yours at http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=50 !

Only $24.95!

Frighten Grandpa!

This is the last of the four folios of mine to be released by OSS this year. OSS is planning to do another round of new titles next year, and it’s quite probable I will have one or more of mine in the mix! I’ve been quite pleased with how this has worked out – Ania Ziolkowska’s maps are very good, the counters well-printed and nicely cut, presentation overall has been great.

We’ve seeing a resurgence of small wargames games these past few years – not like the first waves of Micro-games and Capsule games back in the 80s, but substantial enough – and these OSS items are among the best (IMO of course).