Dark Sands – Compass Scenario AAR, Part 2

3 people like this


Click this link to read Part 1 of this article.

Chit 6: Axis Half Move/Combat-1

Figure 6 Axis Half Move

Figure 6 Axis Half Move

Next Chit is an Axis HalfMove/Combat. The Axis takes it as a move and attempts to cover major crossroads. The Italians in Sidi Baranni attempt to move out of their predicament. At this point they will survive the attrition phase if the British do not do anything to change the situations. Helfaya Pass and Sidi Omar are covered, so the risk of a sudden breakout by the British is temporarily averted. If the Axis can get one more full move the will be in the best possible position.

Solitaire System for Fields of Despair, Part I

9 people like this

Fields of Despair Banner 3

Hey Solitaire Gamers!

Now for Something Completely Different.

Solitaire Design for a Block War Game!

Solitaire play for Fields of Despair was first brought up by developer Mike Bertucelli who my family affectionately refers to as, “your other wife.”  Every so often Mike would say, “You know what would be awesome?” (pause – I know what’s coming) “If you could figure out a way to add a solitaire scenario!” Any rookie designer will tell you that the process can be exciting and overwhelming at times.  You’ve handed over your design to a developer.  You think it’s near completion.  Aaaand you would be wrong because here he is (again) asking for something that perhaps you never considered or maybe you considered but thought impossible.  Maybe he’s just toying with me because he knows I’m new….

 21 monty_python

This article will cover the solitaire player turn and a future article will detail how the game’s AI moves and attacks. The easiest way to understand solitaire play is walk through an action phase (the heart of the game) so here we go. This seems like a good time to throw in the disclaimer that everything you’re about to see is play test art.  I stink at art.  I made this stuff. 

Design Update from Mark Herman

11 people like this

I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Mark this week at John Kranz’s excellent Consimworld Expo in Tempe, AZ. I got to play the final version of Churchill and had a blast and also got some detailed updates on Mark’s upcoming games. Mark has a bevy of terrific titles lined up to grace our gaming tables over the next few years, so I wanted to make sure all of you got to see his latest update, posted recently in his personal design blog. Enjoy! – Gene

mark-herman1Studiolo Designs Update: June 2015

Studiolo Designs has just completed its first year of operation and I find myself at a good transition point. I thought it would be a good time to review the recent past and talk about what’s next.Fire in the Lake Cover

My very enjoyable collaboration with Volko Ruhnke yielded gold, well at least it looks gold, from Boardgame Geek when Fire in the Lake won best 2014 wargame. Thanks to all who supported this title.

I also am very appreciative for the support shown by the tribe in getting all of my GMT CDGs back into print. While Washington’s War and For the People are more or less straight reprints, Empire of the Sun 2nd Edition is the same design, but with significantly upgraded components and concepts such that it is the next evolution of this design. Folks should be receiving this one at their doorstep soon as it is being organized as I write this for the P500 orders in Hanford.

Dark Sands – Compass Scenario AAR, Part 1

4 people like this


The following is the beginning of a multi-part After Action Review (AAR) by Tim Wilcox of the Compass Scenario from Ted Raicer’s Dark Sands. Enjoy!

Turn 1

It is December 1940 and O’Conner is leading the British attack to push the Italians out of Egypt.

The Axis have two VPs, one for holding Benghazi, one for holding Tobruk and Bardia.   The British have zero VPs. In addition to the forces here, the Italian have a Garrison in Tobruk and the British have an Infantry Brigade in Alexandria.


Figure 1 Opening Positions – Compass

BLOODY THURSDAY: The Battle of Gravelotte-St. Privat 1870

8 people like this


“It is difficult to think of a great passage of arms in which one critical day of battle was so strangely – and so soon – underscored by another” – David Ascoli, author of A Day of Battle

On the evening of Tuesday, August 16th 1870, the battlefield of Mars-la-Tour looked much like countless other battlefields of history. The devastation spread from the Yron River valley in the west almost to Gravelotte on the eastern end of the field. Physical destruction and human sorrow was prevalent and overwhelming throughout the length and breadth of this deadly ground. After the exceptionally brutal “day of battle”, about 33,000 casualties had been inflicted on the two armies – roughly equally split – and both forces were spent. Superficially, the battle was a draw when scoring by a measure of raw casualties or relative field position of the combatants. But in actuality, this was an astounding Prussian victory and a near-miraculous outcome considering the odds against them at the start of the day. The Prussian 2nd Army of Prince Frederick Charles had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and Marshal Bazaine’s French Army of the Rhine had no one to blame but themselves.


German period map showing troops positions of all three battles around Metz – August 14th (Borny-Colombey), August 16th (Mars-la-Tour) and August 18th (Gravelotte-St.Privat)