Russian Frontl from Hunted Cow

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Holy Crap, we’re up to #29!

We’ve been running this AAR for 2 years. Yep, you read that right. In part More »

GameTalk: England expects every man will play a naval game…

Byron Grant, 20 October 2014 Our weekly design discussions continue! Naval warfare games usually take two More »

Battle Lab – Mission Planning

Doug “panzerde” Miller, 18 October 2014 What happens when doctrinal planning meets your friendly neighborhood More »

A Visit With LNL Publishing – Old Roads Well Trodden

Jim Zabek, 17 October 2014 Following up his visit to Colorado, Jim drops some more More »

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 8

CHAPTER 8: STILL WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE click images to enlarge As space More »

 

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Holy Crap, we’re up to #29!

crusader-kings-ii-aar-part-17

We’ve been running this AAR for 2 years. Yep, you read that right.

In part 28, Benvenuto finally rid himself of the last of his troublesome siblings, their wives and their children. He was the one true leader of Salerno, Genoa and Parma. In this part small wars, big wars na dlove at first sight.

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The Croatians are coming! The Croatians are coming!

 

ckii-Pic281
Four thousand six hundred men of Salerno stop the Croatian march dead in its tracks. They retire to Foggia to check castles and stuff.

How To Make It In The Game Business – Playtesting!

Jim 2200-point-Scrabble-Name, 22 October 2014

How can you make it in the game business?  How about playtesting?

(Interviewer’s disclaimer:  I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hamilton via a playtest.  I will absolutely not indicate which one as it turns out that’s quite the forbidden thing.)

For the folks that don’t know, who are you and what is your role at John Tiller Software?

My name is Rich Hamilton. I cut my teeth on Avalon Hill and SSI games as well as 1:72/HO scale miniatures but had boxed my hobby up a few years earlier as my life just didn’t have room for it, in more ways than one! Then one day, in a Computer City I believe it was, I found Battleground Ardennes and I was hooked from the moment I looked at the back of the box.

I’ve been active on-line with the Tiller games since late 1997 when I stumbled upon the old Leadeaters outfit. From there I migrated to the “sister clubs” hosted under Wargame.ch (CCC/ACWGC/NWC/MBC, etc.)  and have played an active part in a variety of sites at varying levels. WarfareHQ, later GameSquad, was probably my largest “club” activity outside of the Wargame.ch clubs.  I started the SDC, or Scenario Design Center, as a central hub for Tiller user-created content in the late 90’s posting my custom work and content from many others.  Several years ago I handed that site over to Steve Trauth who has done a fine job expanding both the content and appearance of the site over time.  I also spearheaded the three TillerCons along with help from quite a few others. Having a 20+ system LAN party for three days was a good way to enjoy the games and discussions related to the games.

I made contact with John Tiller directly in 1998 through my activities on the SDC and was given the opportunity to be the scenario designer for my first game, War of 1812. From there I lead/participated in several game design projects (French & Indian War, Campaign Waterloo, Mexican-American War), but also started project management duties for several titles spanning the Squad Battles series, Naval Campaigns, Modern Air Power, Musket & Pike, Napoleonic & ACW. During all this I became the official front man for HPS support in late 2001, handling all email communications and patrolling the forums. Today my project management roles continue, and while I continue to be the front end of HPS Support I also fulfill that role for John Tiller Software.

Tuesday Screenshot – Scourge of War

21 October 2014

RooksBailey shared this army on the march in our forums

Scourge-ACW

 


Share your screenshots here >>

GameTalk: England expects every man will play a naval game…

Print

Byron Grant, 20 October 2014

Our weekly design discussions continue!

Naval warfare games usually take two forms: grand fleet or ship-versus-ship actions Games based on the latter pose a unique problem for game developers: how to keep track of the countless aspects of ship management. Things like ammo type, sail state, hull damage, fires, engine speed, turret direction, and boarding parties. Some designers eschew detail and resort to abstracts and percentages; others pile-on the detail until you can almost smell the oakum and tar. So what kind of naval gaming experience do you prefer? Any favorite or not-so-favorite examples?


Sound off below, or jump into our forums to say your piece >>

Breaking News: Panther Games signs with LNLP

20 October 2014

Lock’n’Load Publishing and Panther Games have both confirmed the news, and Panther Games’ next digital and tabletop releases will be with LNLP.  Yes, you read that right – LNLP is going to republish Panther Games’ original Trial of Strength boardgame.

Here’s a little something for you to ogle while the news sinks in…

The new Command Ops GUI

The new Command Ops GUI

Battle Lab – Mission Planning

BattleLab

Doug “panzerde” Miller, 18 October 2014

What happens when doctrinal planning meets your friendly neighborhood wargame?  This.

This summer I had the good fortune to spend most of a week hanging out at Origins with the Grogheads team. During that week I participated in and observed several sessions of the wonderful Staff Wargaming sessions run by Dr. James Sterrett and Mark Graves (USA Retired). I’m going to apply the planning approach we used during these sessions to the first US campaign scenario from Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. I’m partial to doing this with Flashpoint Campaigns because it’s really perfect for this sort of planning. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jim Snyder and Rob Crandall of On Target Simulations at Origins and discussing the game with them as well as using it during the Staff Wargaming sessions. I’m going to run through the process of terrain analysis using OCOKA, develop several potential enemy Courses of Action (COAs) and then plan my defense based on those COAs. To begin with, lets get an overview of the battlefield.

 

An overview of the battlefield in Google Earth. The Soviets will be advancing from east of Buchholz toward the western edge of the map on the route to Bremen. Note that the game map stops on an east-west line just south of Schierhorn-Tostedt.

It’s time to do some terrain analysis. I’m going to use the OCOKA method, which stands for:

  1. Observation and fields of fire
  2. Cover and concealment
  3. Obstacles (and mines)
  4. Key Terrain
  5. Avenues of approach
Looking at the map above, the features that dominate the map are the town of Buchholz and the gap to the west through the line of hills running north and south. In considering Observation and Fields of Fire, observation east-west is pretty much constrained by that line of hills. There looks to be another line of hills to the west. Between the hill ranges is an open area. That area is most easily accessible (and can probably be somewhat observed) via Buchholz and the gap behind it.

A Visit With LNL Publishing – Old Roads Well Trodden

LNLP-new-splash

Jim Zabek, 17 October 2014

Following up his visit to Colorado, Jim drops some more Lock’n’Load news in our lap.

Click images to enlarge

Old Roads Well Trodden

Last week Grogheads published my initial take of a visit to LnL Publishing. Along with me, Dave Lowry also visited LnL Publishing and his article can be found on Clubfantasci.com. Between our articles a number of questions were raised by readers regarding the direction of the company. It is not the intention of this article to address every question raised, but rather to share additional information which should give readers a sense as to the overall direction LnL Publishing will take. Hopefully many of the questions out there will be given answers.

LnL Publishing’s roots are firmly established in traditional tabletop warming. Readers concerned that LnL might depart from those roots should rest at ease: all that printing equipment recently purchased is of little use to electronic games. Yes, LnL is interested in expanding its horizons into different genres and media, but gamers should rest assured that Mark Walker continues to work on boardgame designs.

What can gamers expect to see in the near future? I already hold in my hands (well, technically it’s in the chair next to me as I type) World at War Compendium 2. A reprint of Compendium 1 is also in my possession. Printed and sealed in a plastic bag, it lacks only counters, which have to be printed overseas, in order to ship out the door.

LNL-comV2-3

The new Compendium includes additional maps, along with the scenarios, counters, and AARs.

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 8

BOTF-Splash

CHAPTER 8: STILL WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE

click images to enlarge

As space has nothing BUT time while it passes…time, it’s been a while since the last AAR. Technically, I’ve been busy, but untechnically, I’ve been touring our newest colonies. MURICA. I mean, uhh, FEDER…uh…FEDERMURICA.

So anyway, let’s take a look at where we’re at right now. Shall we? Yes, let’s.

 

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Here’s our slice of the galaxy. We’ve explored…well, not much. Humans are lazy! I should start popping pills into their synthe-tribble ribs to make them move faster. Then again, we can only move as fast as my little Troop Transports and Colony Ships can carry my children. (I know I’m totally working up some delusions of grandeur, but when you technically have total control over an entire empire…well, stuff happens.)