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Tag Archives: Industry

Monsters of War: Learning Complex Games

How do you eat an elephant? ~

Gary Mengle, 31 July 2017

Many wargamers can hear the quiet siren’s call of the complex monster, the game with a thousand counters and 50+ pages of rules… or more. For those of us who desire simulation over competitive gameplay the song can be particularly strong. Sure, that game of For the People is enjoyable for a long afternoon, but we still thirst for the big, deep, epic, massive game that takes weeks or months and hundreds of hours to play.

 

Even so, most of us have only so much mental space to be taken up with complex rules for multiple games, which I figure is why a lot of ASL players seldom touch other games with similar depth. “Complex” doesn’t equate to “monster,” of course — and ASL is again a great example of that — but in recent years many monsters have also been complex.

Advanced Squad Leader

So how do you approach a game like that? Having learned and forgotten a number of complicated games over the years, here are some time that might help you learn the great beasts of wargaming. These won’t guarantee mastery… but learn the rules and then play, and mastery will come.

The Tuesday Interview – Steve Jackson

You know, the one with the company named after him…? ~

Avery Abernethy & Brant Guillory, 18 July 2017

Following LibertyCon, the esteemed Steve Jackson agreed to a short interview with GrogHeads.

 

First, the easy question!  What was your single most enjoyable game moment this year so far?

Had to be at LC playing one of the unannounced sneak playtest designs which I will not name for print. Everybody was involved and laughing. Great moment. I do like the chance to play with new people, and when a game clicks it’s wonderful.

 

One of our writers recently put together a big, multi-part retrospective of classic 80s-era Car Wars.  What can you tell us about the new Car Wars in Development?  What Kickstarter information can you start leaking out? 

I really can’t leak a heckuva lot. We had to set CW development aside to get the Munchkin CCG off to print. We are about to pick it up again. It already works very nicely but we want it to be faster, and the collision rule in particular could stand some polishing.

 

Tuesday Interview – Luke Hughes of Burden of Command

The main brain behind the forthcoming Burden of Command has a chat with GrogHeads ~

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2017

When I hear “Burden of Command” I start to flash back to my days as a company commander, and being buried under a pile of 15-6 investigations, dental cat-IVs, and guys who couldn’t qualify with their personal weapons.  I’m assuming the newly-announced “Burden of Command” game isn’t a game of competitive administrative duties.  Give us the thumbnail insight of what we can expect in the new game, and why this one is more focused on the ‘burden’ of command than other similar games on the marketplace?

Damn, I can run but now I can’t hide.  A real company commander, I’d love to know when and where! (ed note: nothing exciting – it was a National Guard HHC while the rest of the battalion was mobilized)

Now you are so right, real command is a lot of administrative tedium puncture by rare moments of terror.  However, maybe not such a great game. Though the game “Papers Please” might teach us differently.   What you can expect in BoC is not only the command and control decisions you associate with classic wargames (directing fire and maneuver, and the 4 F’s: find, fix, flank, and finish) but the morale oriented decisions we might associate with a classic tactical board game (ASL, Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, Fields of Fire).

Finally, and more unusually, you must take responsibility for the “preserve” decisions around the men’s physical and psychological welfare on and off the battlefield. They will look to you for the right mindset to adopt in the face of war. Novelist Karl Marlantes, who dropped out of his Rhodes Scholarship to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam wrote “What It is Like to Go to War.” He argued that, like it or not, when you go to war you enter a spiritual journey because you are in the presence of death. You have entered the “Temple of Mars” as he so eloquently put it. Whether or not you or your superiors have prepared you for that experience, and for making life or death decisions is a different question.  But the burden will be yours, prepared or not.

In sum, leadership in BoC is “Direct, Motivate, and Preserve.” And the burdens are many.

Origins – Raffle Winners

Who went home with their prizes from #Origins2017? ~

Brant Guillory, 27 June 2017

Photos by Corrinne Mahaffey

One of our highlights every year is the end-of-Origins raffle.  Everyone who plays in a ticketed event with us gets their names thrown in the cup for a raffle prize, to go along with the table prizes we’re giving out all convention long.  Some of those guys are in there 4 or 5 times, too!  Why?  Simple – we’re rewarding the wargamers who sit down and play a bunch of games with us!

More accurately, the vendors who donate their kind and generous support to our events are rewarding those gamers that are sitting down to game with us.

This year we had prizes for the raffle from Enterprise Games/GMT, DVG, Dust Tactics, Academy Games, Flying Pig Games, LNLP, and more, to go with a bunch of GrogHeads t-shirts.  We would’ve had more to give out from the great folks at LPS, High Flying Dice, Collins Epic, Lost Battalion, and Proving Ground, but our gamers had already snatched up those prizes earlier in the show!

This year we even experimented with live-tweeting the raffle, which went about as well as you’d expect it to, based on a last-minute decision.

So without further ado, our winners, and some scenes from the raffle itself.

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Origins Convention Report – Lock ‘n Load Publishing

Catching up with David & the crew at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 26 June 2017

We’re still working our way through our Origins 2017 reports, even though we’re over a week past the show!

With a staggering release of 30 new or updated titles, Lock ‘n Load Publishing earns this reporter’s “Most Ambitious” prize for Origins 2017.

Due to shipping issues from the printer, David Heath said he had a limited number of each title air shipped to meet expectations for his booth. Even so, response has been strong with approximately 40% of convention stock sold on the first day.

Brand-new to Lock ‘n Load Publishing is the Lock ‘n Load Tactical Solo set,  a card-based tactical rules AI, called AEO, or Artificial Enemy Opponent, allowing a player to enjoy any of the Lock ‘n Load titles in solitaire mode.

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