Two Good Years Out of Seven: The View from Paris After a Game of The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble

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Introduction by 7YW:FG Game Developer – Fred Schachter

Mark McLaughlin and my designer/developer partnership span a number of fine GMT games: but since my business career took me away from the Northeast; it’s been all too rare that I could visit with my friend Mark and enjoy a good fun time gaming.  A recent trip to New York City, however, provided opportunity for a side trip to Mark’s home. 

During this visit, I re-introduced Mark to Greg Ticer’s The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble, which we last played a few Impulses of during WBC 2014 when GMT introduced us to Greg.  As InsideGMT content for this game indicates; there’s been considerable progress and improvements made to this design since that WBC. 

It was a genuine pleasure to share the latest iteration of 7YW:FG with Mark. Mark had such a grand gaming experience he was inspired to write this After Action Report for InsideGMT.  I wrote the photo captions and the end game victory calculations. However, this article’s photos would be better appreciated if a reader references a copy of the 7YW:FG play test map.  Enjoy!   

B&T Warpath Chronicles #3: Action Tokens Part 3 — Full Action Round Example: French & Indian Rampage, British Resilience

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“Bayonets & Tomahawks Biweekly” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically every two weeks. It features articles from the Bayonets & Tomahawks development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release.

Issue #3: Action tokens PART 3 — Full Action Round Example: French & Indian Rampage, British Resilience.

The following play example focuses exclusively on how tokens are used in the Action Round. Movement, battles and other game mechanics will be explained elsewhere. I’ve minimized strategic insight for a clearer demonstration. The Action list featured in previous article is repeated at the end of this article for reference.

70 Minutes to Victory: A Hitler’s Reich Replay with The REAL Game Components

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Introduction: Readers may wish to reference other InsideGMT material regarding this fascinating upcoming P-500 listed game for background and explanation of game mechanics whose general appreciation is presumed by this post.

Finally, a long-awaited day has come… being able to play Hitler’s Reich: A Card Conquest System Game (Hitler’s Reich) with REAL components, using the map and cards created by artist Charles Kibler from my amateurish components used to date in many a Hitler’s Reich play test game. Along with these were GMT “wooden bits” similar to what could be provided with the published game.

Although there is still some prettying up of the game’s European Theater of Operations of World War II map to be done along with minor edits of the cards; the After Action Report (AAR) described by this InsideGMT post was this designer’s first playing of the game with their professionally rendered graphic components… the same components you could experience with Developer Fred Schachter at WBC 2016.

Silver Bayonet: Playtest Report

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Y’all may know Ralph’s work from other GMT titles such as Operation Dauntless, Blood & Roses, Infidel, and the soon-to-be-published Arquebus. He was a valuable member of the playtesting team, and, below, he describes his experience with the 25th Anniversary Edition of Silver Bayonet.

When I heard Mitchell Land was working with GMT to re-issue Silver Bayonet, I approached him about playtesting the game. I knew Mitch from his Next War series and like his ideas on modern war. Many years ago, I had played the original Silver Bayonet game. It is a good game with a few flaws that kept it from being a great game. As one of the first GMT games, the rules and scenarios were ambiguous at points. The lack of smaller advanced game scenarios kept me from playing anything but the standard game. I just couldn’t convince my opponent to play the 39 turn campaign so we could use all of the cool hidden movement rules and helicopters.

A Walk in the Sun: Scenario #5 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Once again we find ourselves deep in the jungle basking in the sunshine and tropical weather. This scenario, #5, depicts the ill-fated journey of the 2/7 Cav (along with elements of the 1/5) as they humped overland from the aftermath of LZ XRAY to a new landing zone, LZ ALBANY, a few miles away.

The torturous terrain combined with a severe lack of sleep and some command issues resulted in the cavalry troopers paying a heavy price as they were ambushed during their walk in the sun.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

The Drang River Valley (LZ MARY): Scenario #3 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Following the recommended order of scenario play, the first is #6 Tea Time, we come to scenario #3 LZ Mary. This scenario depicts the night ambush conducted by A/1/9 and some CIDG Strikers on the NVA 66th Regiment as it was moving into the Ia Drang Valley as well as the subsequent NVA counterattack.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

Tea Time: Scenario #6 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Here’s an AAR of the shortest scenario in the game: #6 “Tea Time”.

This scenario simulTeaTime1ates the night attack by the VC on the Brigade HQ. The HQ was lightly defended and cooks, clerks, and other “ash & trash” were pressed into service as riflemen. The HQ was saved, but that safety was bought dearly.

The Brigade HQ sets up in 3909 along with B/6/14 Artillery Battery. The VC set up in the hexes indicated by the Assault markers. I’ve spread out the units so you can see who is involved. The FWA also start with 10 Air Points which represents the HH-1 Aerial Rocket Artillery helos which were operating out of the HQ.

Setup rules indicate that the PAVN player must place at least one Assault marker. He places three and declares which units are Assaulting. Note that, although there are eight stacking points of units available to the VC, only four stacking points may actually Assault a hex. In this case, the bigger H-15 Main Force companies (2-3-9s) will do so as there are four of them and each is one stacking point.

A Playthrough of Comanchería

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Joel Toppen and Mike Bertucelli asked me to play through the tutorial for Comanchería to assist in proof reading. For me it was a rare treat to learn to play this much-awaited game with adult supervision and possibly get a few games in before it gets printed!

The game covers 4 historical periods from 1700 to 1875.  You make the decisions of the Comanche people trying to survive and thrive in the face of numerous threats and opportunities.

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium: Shunning the Schlieffen Plan in Fields of Despair

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Part One

For the past several months, I’ve been involved in the latest round of playtesting for Fields of Despair.  I’m playtesting with a couple of my regular wargaming buddies (Phil Mowatt and Dave Moseley) using VASSAL and Skype. After about 7 or 8 games, in which each of the short scenarios as well as a couple of campaign games were played, we were impressed that this is a game that invites repeated plays.  This is at least partially due to the great variety of possible strategies and outcomes that it offers.  I realize that the purpose of playtesting is to determine whether the game has balance issues or incomprehensible/contradictory rules or a variety of other problems, but because this game has been tested for several years by a fairly large and varied group of people, my fellow playtesters and I weren’t finding any gaping holes in the rules.

Talon Tuesday Issue #10: Empire War Report

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“Talon Tuesdays” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically on Tuesdays.  It features articles from the Talon development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release.

Issue #10

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Empire War is a strategic game mode in Talon that does not use the written scenarios. It’s going to get its own Talon Tues in the coming weeks but I’ve got this really interesting play test report from one of our MVP playtesters, Michael that I really want to share first. I’ll explain the game mode briefly here.

In Empire War, each player has a fleet of ships that he assigns to different sectors on a strategic map. The game has 4 sectors – Antares, Badlands, Maelstrom, and Orion and each sector is broken into a number of “Conflict Zones” where battles take place. Ship buying and assignment take place over strategic turns, and then battles are fought in each sector.  As one faction wins, the “front line” in that sector advances towards the enemy home world. The game ends when a player loses a battle over his home world.  It’s a big game and it offers players a way to run a “campaign” over multiple sessions in addition to playing the written scenarios.

As you gain territory you increase your income and decrease your opponent’s. Furthermore, there are planets in some sectors, typically guarded by bases that are worth additional income and are easier to defend since they must be invaded by the enemy to be captured.

The most important thing in an Empire War is keeping your ships alive and destroying those of the enemy. If one side gets a large fleet size advantage, they are going to be able to very easily take territory. Knowing when to retreat is an important key to victory. Empire War is honestly my favorite way to play the game in the long term.

There are ship assignment minimums that mandate a certain quantity of ships be assigned to each sector. This prevents a side from just blitzing through one sector with his entire fleet strength. Tracking ship assignments is pretty easy on the tracking sheet that comes with the game, but to make things easier, I’m working on a player aid app that will hopefully be ready shortly after the game’s release.

Michael was one of our most prolific play testers. Not only did he put in the time, he consistently wrote very detailed and insightful reports. He also tested every written scenario and wrote some of his own. He was a developer’s dream as far as play testers go. One of his last play tests was an Empire War game that he soloed. In the second strategic round of play, one of the largest battles in Talon history took place over the planet Orion.  Here’s his report: