Category Archives: Interviews

Tuesday “Interview”: The Grogs’ Favorite Tank Games

We asked the Grogs to give us their favorite tank-heavy game ~

The GrogHeads Team, 21 November 2017

Cyrano

This one’s not even close:  Combat Mission in its various iterations.

These are games played with a merciless physics engine that feel every bit as gritty and grand now as they did nearly two decades ago.

I remember getting hooked on the WEGO gameplay and the ability the 3D environment gave you to peek over the shoulders of your digi-troopers and guess at what war must have been like for them.  Multi-player randomized battles to the wee hours of the morning were pretty great too.  What made both x1 and x2 really special, though, was the incredible variety of, yep, AFVs.  I’m not an WWII rivet-counter — I save my O.C.D. for Napoleonic games — but the fellows who designed Combat Mission are and it shows every time you pan around their products; not to mention the remarkable array of modifications available on-line.   There are no CRTs or bog charts here.  These are games played with a merciless physics engine that feel every bit as gritty and grand now as they did nearly two decades ago.  They’ve let me play with some of the most famous tanks of the war and some I never even knew existed.

Others have come for her throne, but CMx1 and x2 are still queen of the battlefield for me when it comes to tank warfare.

The Tuesday Interview – COIN on Mars!

The designer of the home-brewed COIN-on-the-Red-planet game gives us the scoop on his personal design ~

Brant Guillory, 25 July 2017

The COIN system has taken a variety of odd directions – some modern, some not – many of which we’ve covered here at GrogHeads.  One place the COIN system had not yet gone was to space.  Until now.

A home-made COIN-based game, set on Mars, has started to capture some attention, and there’s some buzz about it on teh interwebz.  With that in mind, we tracked down the creator (wasn’t too hard, he’s on BGG!) and bugged him with some questions about his design.

First, the obvious question – this wasn’t anything official from GMT, was it?  You’re not just part of a, ahem… “guerrilla” marketing campaign, are you?

Not official from GMT in any way shape or form. When I first had the idea for the game I messaged Volko and asked his permission to use the game engine. He was 100% cool with that and said if I ever wanted to publish the game, that GMT would be the place to do it.

As it stands, there is no agreement, formal or informal, with GMT to publish the game.  Ideally, there will be. Otherwise this will end up being a free PnP game.

 

 

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.

The Tuesday Interview – Brian Train (The Game Theorist!)

Brian Train stops back at GrogHeads for an asymmetric interview  ~

Brant Guillory, 9 May 2017

 

Let’s start this off with a whopper: all-time best game you’ve ever played? Why that one?

Hmm. I really don’t know what would be the all-time best one. One I never seem to get tired of is Minuteman, the Second American Revolution by James Dunnigan. I played it again and again back in the day, and one of the first variants I ever designed was for that game. The premise back then seemed farfetched but 40 years later, I am not so sure. But I liked the processes of building up an insurgent movement, or the counter to it, through covert and semi covert actions, and the eventual payoff of an actual revolution. The various scenarios were interesting too, including two occupation/resistance ones and a four-way second civil war that could develop any number of ways.

I think I got more out of that design than any other SPI game I played, but a close second would be South Africa; another game people say they love to hate but I spent a lot of hours tinkering with it.