Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Phew, glad that's over.....

2017 that is!


GZ a work in progress!
I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and a happy new. I have taken a bit of time out to recuperate after a very busy year. As part of the usual festivities, I greatly enjoyed Norm's annual Xmas post. A great tradition that has replaced the Queens Speech in my house.

As for last year......

First up it is necessary to record my abject failure to take part in Capt. Kobold's 6 by 6 challenge (play six games six times each). And thanks to the Capt. for not mentioning my failure in his annual review. I had chosen to play six games largely focusing on solitaire techniques. However, immediately after exposing myself by volunteering I got involved in a number of projects which I greatly enjoyed and which took up a big chunk of my time.  

I developed Op. Icarus for the fantastic Tiny Battles outfit......


This was a real challenge and a great learning opportunity.

I then did some play testing for Steve Kling of the Historical Games Co.


First up was Poltava which was released as a freebie for an exhibition at the Swedish Army Museum and went down very well. Second was working on Steve's design for the Battle of St. Louis (1780) which used a similar system. I don't think this has been published as yet.

And then some further play testing for Dave Kershaw on his Albuera game which has not yet been published but will no doubt appear shortly. 


All in all, very challenging and a lot of fun.

On my own design front, I adapted a couple of excellent rule sets put together by Peter, a guy that knows how to design brilliant mechanics. First was Glorious Morning, adapting Peter's AWI rules to a hex grid format. 


I'm in the process of working up some small scenarios for Glorious Morning using a small hex grid with counters to cover the Southern Campaign. This one is for Camden but is not yet finished. I'm having trouble with the number of units and the scale of the grid, just needs further thought. 

Second was Ground Zero, this uses a great activation mechanic that I borrowed from Peter adapted to a hex grid and to modern warfare. This is definitely not yet finished. However, I am greatly enthused by the adoption of the mechanics by Duc de Gobin and friends to Vietnam.



The last project I started last year was Steel, Steel, Steel.  This is a solitaire area game of the Southern Front at Kursk. I've been working on this since 2013 and I'm determined to get it finished!


Now for 2018.....

Given how unsuccessful I was in my forward look to last year, this year I will mainly be planning to finish the scenarios for Glorious Morning, complete the work on GZ and look at a Vietnam version and also to get to grips with Steel.  

In readiness for some top quality brain work on these designs I have spent Christmas reading the collected Hammers Slammers novels. I have also been doing some literature research on combat values which, unfortunately, leads me to the conclusion that no one actually has the remotest idea about how to model modern combat. More on this later (and probably at great length).

My last thought for this post is that I am looking forward to a couple of really interesting things. 

  • Vicki has been working on a tactical grid based game of the battle of Stalingrad. The great thing about this is that the troops are worms and the fighting is in Wormingrad. Nuff said.
  • Nordic Weasel have been busy with a tactical rule set called Squad Hammer. This has now developed into Trench Hammer (WW1) and October Hammer (Russian revolution). I think these may be important research materials!
The last thing to say, but I should have probably said this first, is thank you to everyone that has read my posts, commented with helpful and constructive thoughts and has kept my enthusiasm up. Hopefully 2018 will be a good year for all of us!

5 comments:

Shaun Travers said...

You seemed to have had a busy 2017. 2018 is bound to be great for gaming for us all!

Kaptain Kobold said...

Oddly enough the Poltava game you were testing *was* one of your six picks, so your only failure was actually reporting on the games you played, not actually playing them :)

I was quite looking forward to seeing reports of Poltava as it's a game I'd be keen to try (if only because I want to see how the battle can be made into a playable game).

Norm said...

Hi Jay, thanks for the shout. That is an impressive input to games that will see print, the designers (and subsequent customers) are lucky to have got such a thorough person with a careful eye involved in play testing / developing.

Best Wishes for the New Year.



Ivan Sorensen said...

You've been busy !

Looking forward to seeing what you have going on next year :-)

Old Trousers said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. It is only the 6th of January but this year looks quite interesting already!

Yes, Capt. it was a real reporting failure on my part but I did actually play more games last year than in any year of the past decade so I participated in spirit at least!

Cheers

Jay