WW2 +80

80 years and one day ago the Second World War began with the German invasion of Poland. Boardgamegeek user “Grisz” commemmorated the occasion with a video review of Summer Lightning.

Thanks Grisz! I do not speak Polish, so I hope it is a nice review. The video does not end with the game being swept off the table into the Round File, or crumpled, or set afire, so I guess it’s at least OK.

PS: For those who drop by here regularly, I’ve made an addition to the rules to Kashmir Crisis. The “1sep” rules and player aid card now available have an additional optional rule with an alternate, “sudden death” victory option; they replace the “28aug” version. Stop by and replace your rules: New game: Kashmir Crisis

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Nights of Fire: kind comments from RMN

NOF cover art mid

Over at the RockyMountainNavy Gamer blog, some very positive comments about Nights of Fire and its apparently successful fusion of wargame with Eurogame.

https://rockymountainnavy.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/shedding-some-daylight-on-nights-of-fire-battle-for-budapest-mighty_boards-2019-wargame-boardgame/#comments

Thanks so much for the kind words!

 

 

Ukrainian Crisis: Two Videos

 

The guys at Take Your Turn post two videos about Ukrainian Crisis on Youtube: first, a short review, then a longer playthrough of a game (the “low-luck” variant with the playing cards).

They like it very much!

Thanks guys!

 

Mike Siggins reviews Nights of Fire

NOF cover art mid

… On BGG Mike Siggins, once of the famous Sumo game magazine and one of the luminaries of the field, has written a very kind review of Nights of Fire based on his initial thoughts.

He likes it! I hope you will too.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2257327/initial-thoughts

Nights Are Falling

repairmanjackNOFminis

Photo: Jason Moore

At last, copies of Nights of Fire are landing on doorsteps across the planet. People seem to be pleased! Still awaiting my personal copies.

So far, queries have been limited to finding one small misprint on one Konev (card-based AI system) card, and the usual pointing out to people where their question has already been answered – in the rules….

The above image is from Jason Moore (user “repairmanjack” on Boardgamegeek), so you can have a look at a game in progress using the miniatures. He has also written the first BGG review of the game, and it’s nice: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2247615/out-ire-pan-and-fire-solo-play-first-impressions

By the way guys, for some time there has been a Nights of Fire Facebook group. But for some reason it hasn’t had much traffic. Stop by and make some noise!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589636498046898/

Rebel, Inc.

Screenshot: Ndemic Creations

https://www.c4isrnet.com/it-networks/2019/02/22/what-if-anything-can-the-pentagon-learn-from-this-war-simulator/

An interesting article mostly on a new computer game called Rebel, Inc. designed by James Vaughan of Ndemic Creations.

The writer introduces the game, and writes more broadly about the value of and use of these kinds of games for educating policy makers and other interested parties. He contacted Volko Ruhnke and me for some quotes and background. The conclusion is that “it’s complicated”, which is fair enough!

Rex Brynen already posted a review of the game a while back, here:

https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/review-rebel-inc/

I’m waiting for the forthcoming Android version myself, since I can’t stand to play things on that tiny iPhone screen. (However, if anyone wants to take a crack at making an iOS version of Guerrilla Checkers, I’d be pleased to talk to you!)

iOS version here, for $1.99:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rebel-inc/id1439187947

EDIT: the game is available on Android! Appears to be free, but there are a lot of in-game purchases to make.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ndemiccreations.rebelinc

Uploaded about 10 days ago and over 50,000 downloads and over 4,000 ratings already. No indication of total downloads for the iOS version, but it has over 9,300 ratings, so following the same ratio – let’s say at least 150,000 examples of the game are being played, or not.

For perspective, it took five years and two reprints to get 10,000 copies of A Distant Plain out there.

Sure glad I am not in this to make money.

Obligatory end-of-year-review, 2018

FranklinHowe_o

Can you mansplain convincingly while wearing breeches, stockings and buckle shoes?

Well, another year has zipped by. Maybe a bit early for year-end post-mortems, but I have been busy:

Game publishing

  • February: the Kickstarter launch for Nights of Fire. We made the first, most important target in 12 or 13 hours, and ended up with $87,821 pledged over 30 days. Nights of Fire: Kickstarter day at last!
  • February also saw Tupamaro come out, in folio format from One Small Step. Tupamaro is out!
  • March saw the release of Chile ’73 from Tiny Battle Publishing. I was pleased that this came out, but there were a number of unfortunate changes/additions of art, physical components and rules that lessened the “bang” for me. Chile ’73: errata file
  • May, and out came Strike for Berlin in #11 of Yaah! magazine. Very nice art and production, a really great overhaul of Freikorps. I was quite pleased with it, but it doesn’t seem to have garnered a lot of attention on BGG and other places. Strike for Berlin has struck
  • July: I posted District Commander: Maracas, for free print-and-play. This is presented as an example of how the District Commander system works (this and three other modules will be published by Hollandspiele over the next couple of years) and as an introductory essay of mine into operational level urban combat against irregular forces in a large city. New free game: Maracas
  • September: a second edition of Summer Lightning came out, from Lock n Load Games. This is a physically enlarged (one might say engorged) edition, the rules are the same – just all of the components are bigger. Pretty spiffy looking though! Summer Lightning: Second Edition!

Game design work and future publication

Work and or testing continued throughout the year on some of the following, while others have likely publishing dates in 2019 or later:

  • Thunder out of China (now renamed China’s War, at least until an even better title comes along): testing testing, and hoping to have this ready for GMT P500 by Consimworld Expo time.
  • Strongman, an extensive rework of Caudillo that may be a while coming, and publisher not completely confirmed.
  • Brief Border Wars Quad, from Compass Games – I handed this over to the guys at Consimworld Expo and understand that it will be up for pre-order in the next couple of months. Will be published all four in one box.
  • District Commander series, from Hollandspiele – I handed over four modules (Algeria 1959, Vietnam 1969, Afghanistan 2009, and Maracas 2019) to Hollandspiele at Consimworld Expo and they will be publishing these as separate single titles over the next two years.
  • We Are Coming Nineveh: This very clever game on contemporary urban combat (Mosul 2017) was designed by two of Rex Brynen’s students in a trial course he ran in getting students to design games. Rex and I have done a considerable amount of development on it, without changing its basic concepts, and I’m quite pleased at how this came out. Will likely be published in 2019 or early 2020.
  • Nights of Fire: Pretty sure this will be out in March 2019 or so. I think people will be pleased.

Conferences and conventions

Another busy year on this front, a week or more away at each of these events:

Writing

  • Only one formally published piece, the foreword to a book of wargames rules on irregular war situations published by History of Wargaming Project, John Curry’s imprint. New book out – Small Wars

Near-meaningless digest of site statistics:

  • I seem to be cruising still at just below 2,000 views per month, a bit higher than the preceding two years. The five most curious countries were: US (by a very wide margin), UK, Canada, Spain and Italy. One guy clicked in from Venezuela!
  • Besides the then-current post, popular pages or posts included the BTR Games and Free Games pages, and the post containing the corrected Tutorial and errata for Colonial Twilight. Also popular was a new page of Scenarios and Variants I added in July, incorporating material lugged over from my old website as well as some new pieces (e.g. the 4-player variant for Colonial Twilight and the historical scenario for Operation Whirlwind).
  • The most clicked-on documents were the rules, corrected tutorial and playbook for Colonial Twilight, followed by the free PnP files for Ukrainian Crisis, Third Lebanon War and Desert Leader.