Interview at The Players Aid blog: Tupamaro

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The ever-alert Grant Kleinheinz, one of the “Faithful Eight” (readers of this blog, that is) asked me some questions about Tupamaro, my game on the Uruguayan urban guerrilla movement that is coming out soon from One Small Step Games (Tupamaro available for pre-order from OSS Games!)

Step over and have a look!

https://theplayersaid.com/2017/03/27/interview-with-brian-train-designer-of-tupamaro-from-one-small-step-games/

Review of Operation Whirlwind in Small Wars Journal

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Over in the clandestine caverns of the Small Wars Journal, Michael Peck has written a good review of Operation Whirlwind:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/game-review-operation-whirlwind-the-soviet-assault-on-budapest-1956

Go check it out!

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

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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

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Thoughts on Kandahar

 

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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.

Algeria is available for pre-order!

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Now available for pre-order from OSS Games: the revised version of Algeria: The War for Independence 1954-62, the first game ever published on the war (Microgram Co-op, 2000).

Revised counter mix (140, back-printed, diecut, art by Jon Compton), a redrawn map with very nice graphics by Ania Ziolkowska, and cleaned-up and streamlined rules that feature three scenarios (1954, 1958, 1960).

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Sample counters, scattered aesthetically… the game uses the familiar “four boxes” system.

Preorder price is $18.95; later, it will cost you $23.95.

http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=77

Binh Dinh ’69 is ready for preorder!

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Coming soon (well, as soon as enough people express an interest with their dollars)!

Nice map by Ania Ziolkowska (who worked on the other ones), counters by Jon Compton.

$18.95 now, $23.95 later.

http://ossgamescart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=76

OSS Folio Games Sales Report

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Just got a sales report from OSS Games – these four folios of mine all came out in the first six months of the year, and so far have sold over 700 copies between them.

Far more than I was selling through BTR Games for the first three, and Operation Whirlwind (which has sold the most, at 214) had been out of print for quite some time.

Quite pleased to work with OSS! They’ve treated me well.

As detailed before, 2016 will see two of mine in this series (Algeria and Binh Dinh) and maybe more on top of that.

Update on BTR Games

A bit more clarity on what will be happening with a few of my designs:

AVAILABLE NOW

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BALKAN GAMBLE

The Allied invasions of the Balkans that never happened. One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre, at least to Hitler and the German High Command, was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia. The Allies knew the Germans perceived such invasions as a credible threat and created several strategic deception plans, leading the Germans to move or keep critical troop formations in northern Italy and the Balkans when they would have been much more useful somewhere else. Scenarios for 1943, 1944, 1945, and a hypothetical 1950 Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. Uses the Autumn Mist/ Summer Lightning/ Winter Thunder system of formation activations and almost-diceless combat with mission matrix, at a larger scale: 1 week/turn; 30 km/hex; division/brigade; 17×22″ hex map and 280 double-sided counters. Many “chrome” rules to cover the fragmented human, political and physical terrain of the area.

Only TEN copies have been made; I keep one, and the map/cover artist Kula gets one. That leaves eight, and one of those has been sold already. Also, the price for these is $25 each, since it has twice the map, printed (not copied) onto quality heavy stock (the same as used for Ian Weir’s Red Sash Games (http://redsashgames.com/), and twice the usual number of counters. This also makes it heavier, so postage (which is included in the price) is higher.

AVAILABLE SOON (but not from me)

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ALGERIA (redux)

To come from OSS Games in 2016, as part of their Folio series. Comprehensive overhaul and revision of 1999’s Algeria: The War for Independence. Revised and streamlined rules, 17×22″ map, 140 back-printed counters, scenarios.

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AUTUMN MIST WINTER THUNDER

Coming very soon from Tiny Battles Publishing, as noted previously. A redesign of Autumn Mist, my historical game on the Battle of the Bulge. I was getting a reputation that I only design games on obscure topics and battles. But there is an unwritten rule that every game designer has to do a Bulge game, so this one is mine. Mission Matrix idea for combat system was also used in Summer Lightning (Lock n’ Load, 2011) and Balkan Gamble. 17×22″ hex map of the Ardennes at 5 km per hex, division/brigade scale, 2 days/turn, 176 back-printed counters. Very nice new artwork!

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BINH DINH
To come from OSS Games in 2016, as part of their Folio series. Simpler game on insurgency in this coastal province of Vietnam in 1969. Originally designed for use in a university history course on 20th Century violence. Uses a one-off system rather like Green Beret’s but taken up a notch, and a bucket-of-dice combat resolution method. Like all folio games so far, 17×22″ map and 140 double-sided counters.
Cover art to come.

Cover art to come.

THIRD LEBANON WAR

To come from OSS Games in 2016/17, possibly as a boxed game or for Counterfact magazine. Original version of Next War in Lebanon, same as is freely downloadable from this website now but very nice artwork and die-cut, double-sided counters. Great if you don’t like the craft projects that are PnP games!

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).

Unboxing (unbagging?) of Green Beret

Rob Bottos, of BottosCon fame, bought a copy of Green Beret and recorded his first impressions.

Thanks Rob, I hope you enjoy the game!