Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gallion's Reach Playtesting Completed - Four New Games Being Considered


Play testing for Battle for Gallion's Reach has come to an end with the result that it seems this game is a winner! We have added two more ways to win the game as well as improving the planet colonization/control rules.

This means that I am now in full "get-it-to-market" mode. I am finalizing the rules manual, followed by uploading all files to the printer and finally updating the website. 

Target date for release: early April 2014.


 Now that Battle for Gallion's Reach is in the final stretch we are looking at four serious contenders for our next game. Two are World War Two strategy games, one is a general multi-history war game and one is a global game of "what-if?" World War Three strategy.

Storm of Steel

Storm of Steel is a operational-level World War Two strategy war game for 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up. Players recreate famous battles such as the Battle for France 1940, various battles on the Russian Front, Invasion of the Balkans, a speculative German invasion of Britain as well as Normandy invasion, battles for Italy, the allied crusade in France and the Battle for Germany as well as a couple of fictional scenarios such as a conflict between the Western allies and Russia over Germany and a German invasion of the USA.

Using a card-based combat and organization system and an "orders" mechanic with a simple dice-less combat mechanic, Storm of Steel gives players the feel of actually commanding forces in well known battles. The dice-less combat mechanic allows players to concentrate their time and effort and giving secret orders  and simultaneous moves. Cards also drive special events in the game. Commanders use Command Points to decide what sort of orders they wish to give tor their armies. Units in the game are generic but can represent battalions to divisions while organizations can be either brigades up to corps. Players can use this system to create their own battles and we plan to develop and expand on the game with a map/unit set for the Pacific theater and new scenarios.


Great Commanders is 2-player  game using the same basic orders-driven/simultaneous movement/dice-less combat mechanic as Storm of Steel but with a historic twist. Instead of World War Two combat, players play different historical commanders such as Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Pompey Magnus, Belasarius, Marlboro, Fredrick the Great, Wellington, Napoleon, Blucher, Lee, Jackson, Sherman & Grant in various campaigns designed to showcase their abilities and challenges.

Campaigns could include: Alexander's Invasion of Persia, Hannibal's Invasion of Italy, Caesar's Civil War against Pompey and allies, Belasarius' campaign against the Vandals in North Africa and Germanic Italy or his campaign against the Persians, Frederick's war against his neighbors, Napoleon's campaigns including Waterloo, Lee's gettysburg Campaign, Jackson's Valley Campaign, Grant's campaign in the West or his campaignb against Lee, or Sherman's invasion of the South.


Third World War is a 2 to 3 player grand-strategic game of global conflagration covering various historical periods of east-west conflict from 1945, 1953, 1963, 1981, 1991 and 2015. Game stresses strategic moves to grab resources, maintaining global supply lines, theater managing, spy satellites and the potential risks of nuclear escalation. 

 Eastern Fury is a fast-paced two-player game of the World War Two eastern front war between Germany and Russia during the 1941-1945 time period.  Meant to be a fast-paced game where players have to husband assets and are limited by political considerations thereby limiting the number of orders that can be given to the massive number of troops involved. Card hands are held and played or discarded. Supply lines must be kept open. Partisans disrupt rear areas and weather takes it's toll. Players receive new weapons as the war rages and new commanders are offered to each player to improve the chances of victory.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NEW GAME: The Great Commanders


[ser-uhn-dip-i-tee] noun aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

Sometimes the best ideas come while working on something else. While waiting for the terrible winter weather of late to clear so that the test players can gather and finish the test playing of Battle for Gallion's Reach, I was working on the second game, Storm of Steel. However, as modifications were being made, and research was being done, I realized that there was another game here, hiding inside the game system.

Storm of Steel is meant to be a fast playing and casual (but historically detailed) game of World War Two operational combat for 2 to 4 players. While working on the combat system I stumbled on a better combat system altogether. A dice-less system that would speed play along. While I do like dice in combat I wanted to do something different with this game. As I was working on the mechanics I found out that perhaps I was wrong in concentrating on combat while I should be focusing on the difficulties and challenges of command. In a computer simulation, because so much is automated, you can combine both into a great game. But in the analogue world of board games where people have to do all the bookkeeping and number-crunching and rule following, it's best to focus a game on one aspect. While combat is still critical, I decided to look seriously at a dice-less combat system that stressed placing secret orders and having command points to spend as your "currency".


While looking into this new system I realized that both the system, the mechanic and the scale of the game would be ideal for more than just World War Two.  So I began considering a game that might focus on a different era> perhaps the Civil War. Or the Ancient world. Maybe Napoleon or the rise of Prussia. And then it dawned on me that it might be possible to do them all. In fact that might be a part of the game system itself. Playing through history and seeing who can gain the most points.

After doing some research, the game began to crystallize.

Firstly I do not know of any such table-top board game like this on the market. Players would step into the shoes of history's greatest generals and battle it out through time. Starting with Caesar and advancing up through the middle ages, 1600's, 1700's, 1800's and finally World Wars One and Two...and possibly a modern battle such as a US/Soviet war in Europe and maybe even a sci-fi war in the future. Players would select a track and advance battle-by-battle through time.

Using the dice-less combat system, players would place secret orders on organizations composed of units. These orders would be exposed simultaneously and players would then conduct those orders. To introduce some randomness I brought in cards that provide the player with options such as taking reinforcements, gaining command points or playing special orders. Command Points would be the currency.

Each historical commander would have abilities to use this mechanic based upon their own historical strengths and weaknesses.

As I have worked on this system, it has become clear that this is the first game after Gallion's Reach that we should release.

As I start play testing I will be talking more about this game. Stay tuned!