New Features in Under the Southern Cross Part II

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Part I in this series can be found here.


Last time, we looked at how Under the Southern Cross (USC) deals with shoals and sandbars in the various river battles included among the almost two-dozen scenarios of the game. In this installment, we’ll see how river and tidal currents are modeled and how the rules for gunboats have been refined, and in so doing, try to give interested gamers an insight into the design process.

The Pendragon Chronicles – Vol. 8 – Imperium (Part 1)

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Where previous games in the COIN series cover a few years, or at most a couple decades, of history, Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain spans more than a century of the history of Britain, from the waning years of the Western Roman Empire (c. 360 AD) to the thorough fragmentation of the island into warring proto-kingdoms of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds (c. 500 AD). Naturally, such drastic political, institutional, and cultural changes over such a long period mean that conditions and objectives underwent significant evolutions during that span of time. In game terms, this translates into the necessity of the evolution of the very rules and victory conditions during the course of the game! This is captured in Pendragon’s Imperium Track. Now, this evolution was not necessarily preordained, but to a large extent the product of the actions and aspirations of the involved historical players, and so it will be in a game of Pendragon

Pericles: Strategy in the Archidamian War

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For me having a new design enter the gaming fray is like XMAS where everyone else gets to open the present. I opened a new copy yesterday to check that it was packed correctly and I was struck by that new game smell. I love that smell… far superior to what I usually smell in the NYC subway. As I have done in the past, I thought it would be helpful to pen a short piece on strategy beyond what is already well covered in the game’s playbook (page 35). I would also like to reiterate at this point that I strongly urge you, even if you have been gaming like myself for over 40 years, to make use of the games training regime (14.01). It will only take about an hour and the War in the Aegean scenario is quite fun, short, and interesting history. If you follow this sequence, you will come to 14.01 F, where you take the training wheels off and play a two turn scenario that I consider the tournament scenario for this game.

Solitaire Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea (Part 1 of 2)

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Introduction by Game Developer Fred Schachter – Prior InsideGMT articles concerning Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea focused on the multi-player versions of the game… and there’s more to come as the game’s development continues. This particular article by Designer Mark McLaughlin provides the reader insights as to the game’s basic systems and the cards that add so much entertainment, excitement and fun to the game. 

With this article, Mark shares one of the nifty solitaire versions he’s designed for the game.  We hope you find this article of sufficient interest to incite a P-500 order for Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea if you’ve not yet done so.

It should also be noted that this article provides a “first peek” as to the game’s mechanics.  Let Mark and I know if this provokes any question or request for clarification. 

The Pendragon Chronicles – Vol. 7 – Control, Population and Prosperity

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Like all games in the COIN series, Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain represents the political and economic geography through a combination of parameters including who controls the space (Control) and how large its population is (Population). Unlike most previous games however, Pendragon does not complete this trio with Support/Opposition, as, over such a long period, the only comparable measure would have been adhesion to Romanitas versus “barbarian” values, and I highly doubt any Roman Dux or Saxon war leader ever saw the situation he had to deal with in terms of “not enough Roman” or “not enough pro-barbarian”. So this aspect is modeled through events and, indirectly, the Imperium Track, and Pendragon instead adds for each Region and City the concept of Prosperity, and represents it in a wholly new way, by placing small golden Prosperity cubes on the map!

Tank Tales #3: Advanced Command Pt. 1

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In our last post, we discussed the detailed Fire Action Resolution Procedure in Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs. While that example is typical of normal play, there are many different options available to Commanders who wish to outwit the enemy. In the next two articles, we will use a series of examples, each building on the last, to more fully explore the possibilities of a Tank Action, and see the consequences of our actions play out through the Administration Phase of the game.