COIN Series Falling Sky: Arverni Strategy

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We continue our glimpse into the diverse personalities of the player roles in Volume VI of the COIN Series, Falling Sky.  In this second of the series, druids advise a powerful Celtic tribe on how its young king might lead all Gaul in revolt against the Romans….

Wing Leader Scenario V25 Replay (Part 2)

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The following is a continuation of the previous Wing Leader post, which was a replay of Wing Leader Scenario V25 “Singapore Sling”, one of the supplemental scenarios provided by Lee B-W online.

COIN Series Falling Sky: Roman Strategy

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Here is a peek into the character of each role in Volume VI of the COIN Series, Falling Sky, that also will get you a step ahead of the competition when you sit down to play.  In this first of a 4-part series, anonymous ancient authors presume to advise Caesar on his strategy for the reduction of Gaul….

Talon Tuesday Issue #21: How to Build a Warhead

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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 #21: How to Build a Warhead

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Missiles, perhaps, underwent the greatest number of changes during development in terms of mechanics. They are a Talon faction weapon and a mainstay of combat with a lot of character. We wanted an on-map tracking weapon, but we didn’t want it to be so complex it took away from the rest of combat and became a game unto itself. Initially, Missiles only took 2 hits to destroy and had a turn radius of 1. We were designing from a “realism” perspective at first with this. We wanted to be able to see Fighters make tight turns and dodge the missiles; and we wanted to be able to shoot them down.  This proved to be a real problem. First it was too easy to shoot down a missile as Patrick will explain below. Second it made Missiles way too easy to get inside of and really diminished their power. From a practical standpoint it harmed the streamlined nature of the game as we had separate damage counters for the Missiles and the Missile turning status was tracked by flipping the counter. Now, Missile damage status is tracked by the Missile counter itself with a really simple system described on the Play Aid Card below.  Patrick joined the team after we ditched the Missile turn radius but they still had a ways to go. I’ll let Patrick tell you the rest of the story.

Design Collaboration in Skies Above the Reich

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I asked my design partner, Mark Aasted, if he wanted to write something for InsideGMT about our game, Skies Above the Reich. He came back with a pithy reply. Actually, he came back with an uncooperative, evasive, mildly combative, yet unexpected, reply. It’s worth printing here. His reply may not provide the details of the difficult and often contentious design process that must be negotiated between two intelligent and mature designers (I hear you snickering, Mark), nevertheless it elucidates a certain something about what it’s like co-designing a game. This is what he wrote back:

“Do I wanna write one?  Ha ha ha…it almost sounds as if you asked if I wanted to write an article for a war game magazine. I remember how well the last one went. Hold on, let me wipe the tear from my eye and catch my breath…

Talon Tuesday Issue #20: Talon Puzzle 1

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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 #20: Talon Puzzle 1

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Things are winding down here on Talon Tuesdays.  In the last 20 consecutive weeks, we’ve taken you on a whirlwind tour of the Talon game system, the game’s design and events surrounding its development.  We’re not done yet, we still have a few more things we’d like to share, plus I feel like there is so much more to show off!  I’ve heard from the guys at GMT that the game is shipping now as I write this article so there’s a lot to be excited about. The Talon Tuesday posts will probably slow down to less than once a week going forward.

Next War India-Pakistan: An After-Action Review

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Pakistan started it. It was supposed to be a short, sharp push over the border into the disputed territory. Pakistan had prepared well, both militarily and diplomatically. Initially, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (IROP) gained tactical surprise over the armed forces of the Republic of India (ROI). Diplomatically, Pakistan secured the support of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

That was three weeks ago. Now? Well, it’s all over now. As radioactive clouds still hover over the war zone, a new regime is being established in Islamabad. Beijing is facing the most severe diplomatic pressure it has faced since the Korean War, and an international team of soldiers and specialists are preparing to move into the region to help with the ecological disaster now unfolding.

How did it come to this?

Trevor Bender and Harold Buchanan will be running a Combat Commander Tourney at Es Con. If you are in SD Jan 22 to Jan 24 we would love to have you. Open to all skill levels – we will even teach! Details below:


ES CON 2016

Welcome to the three day, open entry, CC Tournament! Players are free to come and go anytime. The four players with the most overall Wins (W’s) by 1:00PM on Sunday will advance to a Single Elimination final. This will be a self-sorting style tournament where players arrange their own opponents, scenarios and starting times. The GMs (Trevor Bender and Harold Buchanan) can assist with pairings, scenario selection and rules questions as needed. Guidelines are as follows:

• Players can recruit their opponent and determine sides in whatever manner they both agree to; let the GM know if you are looking for a game
• When possible, try to play a different opponent for each game; if this is not possible, try and play a different scenario or switch sides if playing the same scenario
• You are free to choose any GMT published scenario, though one should play a scenario
• If a scenario cannot be mutually agreed to, use the recently published CC Tournament Battle Pack Nr 7and roll a 12 sided die to determine the scenario to be played
• The GMs have copies of all of the Battle Packs and Modules in the series if you need to borrow any
• Players are to sign in with the GM and record their results on their individual Tournament Record Card and the overall Tournament Roster
• All games played on premise from 4:00 PM Friday and concluded by 1:00PM on Sunday are to be recorded for the Open Entry portion.
• If there are ties, Advancement Points will be used to determine the final 4

Note: Prizes will be awarded Sunday Night. The four finalists will all receive some level of prize.

Additional details on EsCon 2016 on JAN 22-24 at Cal State San Marcos can be found at:

Send questions our way!

Harold and Trevor

Date: January 22, 2016—January 24, 2016
Time: 04:00 p.m.
Event: Combat Commander Tournament at EsCon 2016
Sponsor: Harold Buchanan and Trevor Bender

Talon Tuesday Issue #19: The Newest Ship in the Fleet

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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 #19: The Newest Ship in the Fleet by K. Patrick “Shadowmeld” Barley

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One of the challenges we had to overcome in Talon was balancing fleet strength across the factions. We have several areas of fleet imbalance between Fighters, missiles and the Talon Dreadnaught, but as a whole the fleets needed to be able to field large or small forces that at least feel balanced. Through the first year of playtesting we started with a central ship the Heavy Cruiser (CA). Our first battery of play tests had us pitting three CAs against each other to test Talon tools versus Terran tools. It was this testing that rooted out the need to add afterburners and eventually lead to some Talon structural increases. Wave after wave after wave of Talon CAs clashed into their Terran counter parts, disruptors alight. Phasers and torpedoes fired back and as the dust settled, our win rates came closer and closer to even.

We then slowly folded more and more ships into the scenarios, first Scouts and Frigates, then Terran Light Cruisers and both factions’ Destroyers. The Talon Destroyers had us adding missiles for the first time, and while we were trying to weigh this unconventional weapon system it seems another issue flew under the radar. The Light Cruiser.

An Informal Introduction to “Gallipoli 1915: Churchill’s Greatest Gamble”

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The following summary is like a five minute run down of the rules from an experienced player. This won’t tell you everything, just enough to get you pushing counters and giving you the bones on which to hang the details.