The Player’s Aid: review of Winter Thunder

My comments:

Grant and Alex from The Players Aid blog give their (very favourable) impressions of Winter Thunder.

My comments:

1:16 “Dunnigan Ceramaceous Randomizer” = the legendary clean, dry coffee cup.

2:40 I have also used this system in Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939 and Balkan Gamble. It was originally inspired by a variant for Blitzkrieg by Jim Stahler from over 30 years ago. Very glad you find it interesting!

8:30 ??? The only HQ command limitation is that the British 30 Corps HQ cannot command American units (rule 9.6). (And I wanted hot pink SS, but got purple instead…)

9:10 I thought 6 divisions was quite a large span for a corps to coordinate, 3 or 4 might have been more realistic. It was also kind of an abstraction on my part to let a division be under command by one corps in one turn, and another corps on the following turn, but I think in practice it fell out that most corps ended up commanding 3-4 divisions, and assumed responsibility for certain sections of front line or Schwerpunkten using those same units, so it worked out.

11:40 Yes, another abstraction but about as far as I wanted to go down the whole puzzle of moving supply and reinforcements forward through enemy air superiority.

12:20 Not just engineer units but also many detached battalion-size task forces manning roadblocks, which in many Bulge games get their own little counters and wads of fiddly rules.

15:00 Exploitation movement gets more use in Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939 due to the more open terrain and greater dispersion of forces. The Ardennes is quite closed (whence the Traffic Control rule, 6.11).

17:00 I once joked that for any game designer to be taken seriously, he had to do a Bulge game, and this one was mine. The game originally came out of a deal that the Microgame Design Group was trying to hatch with a Spanish magazine, where they wanted to put wargames in their magazine but they only wanted the “Big 5” battles (Waterloo, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, Bulge and something else I forgot – maybe Arnhem). The deal did not go through but we did get a couple of games done, and which were later published by other companies. Hjalmar Gerber did a Stalingrad game that was later published by Turning Point Simulations, which coincidentally the Players Aid guys reviewed just a few months ago:

19:30 Now that you guys know the system, you could perhaps play the standard length game, where the Allies get to develop their counteroffensive fully – this game is also a few days longer than other Bulge games, to allow this.

20:30 The solitaire system is adapted from the one that Lock n Load wanted me to put in Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939.

22:15 And you should let Grant play the Germans next time too, so he feels better!

Thanks so much guys and I am glad you enjoyed the game.



Some more videos from The Players Aid (unboxing this time)

I’ve been finding other Youtube videos that the guys at The Players Aid blog have been making of my work. These are unboxing videos, where the maker of the video opens the box or bag and talks about what they find inside – necessarily, mainly first impressions of rules, map and counters.

First, Winter Thunder from Tiny Battle Publishing.

And Red Horde, a more recent release from TBP.

Next, The Scheldt Campaign from Hollandspiele.

And finally, the unboxing video to Colonial Twilight, to go with their longer video on their impressions of play.

Thanks so much for doing these Grant!