Walking the Distant Plain

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Barg-i-Matal, Nuristan, Aug 2010

I want to introduce you all to Chris Davis, the creator of the Practical Tactical blog. Chris currently serves in the US Army, and is a veteran of Afghanistan. Chris likes to use simulations as teaching tools to train soldiers, but he’s also very interested in how designers create games based on their own experiences and perspectives. This article – hopefully the first of many from Chris – shares some of his reflections on A Distant Plain based on his experiences in Afghanistan. I hope you enjoy the article! – Gene

The Pendragon Chronicles – Vol. 11 – The Historical Material

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We looked in the previous entry of these Pendragon Chronicles to some elements of the Arthurian Legend that can be found in Pendragon – The Fall of Roman Britain. The game is also drawing from what little historical material came down to us through the centuries, i.e. mostly De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (“On the destruction and conquest of the Britains”, a pamphlet by a British monk, Gildas, circa 510), the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (“Ecclesiastical history of the English People” by the English monk Bede, c. 730), the Historia Brittonum (“History of the Britons”, compiled by the chronicler Nennius c. 830), the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (late 9th century), the Annales Cambriae (“Annals of Wales”, 12th century?), and, for flavor at least, the epic Welsh poem Y Gododdin by Aneirin (c. 600).

The Pendragon Chronicles – Vol. 9 – The Fall

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Now that we have surveyed a range of individual aspects of Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain, we would like to see how they interact to transport us into the final travails of the Roman presence in Britain. As we discussed in the previous Chronicle on Imperium, Pendragon for the first time in the COIN Series not only provides a dynamic simulation of Britannia, it models the transformation of the island’s political-military-economic affairs from one system to another. While Andean Abyss enables you to enact the relations among diverse factions in modern Colombia to varying outcomes, the system of insurgency and counterinsurgency represented functions essentially the same at the end of the game as at the beginning. In Pendragon, we can begin in a diocese of the Roman Empire and end amidst warring kingdoms of the Dark Ages. To see how, we must view the behavior of Pendragon’s elements as a complex and interlocked whole.

The Science of the COIN Bot: Volume I

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The following article, written by VPJ Arponen, originally appeared on The Players’ Aid blog earlier this week. To make sure that all of our GMT customers get to see this excellent article, we’re including it here in InsideGMT as well, with the permission and agreement of our friends at The Player’s Aid. We hope you enjoy the article!

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

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!

Colonial Twilight: Playing the Game Solitaire

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In previous Inside GMT articles, the designer Brian Train has written extensively on the various game play features of Colonial Twilight. In this article he asked me –the solitaire designer for Colonial Twilight– to talk about playing the game solitaire.

Imperialism and Protest in GANDHI: How to Shift Support (or Build Opposition)

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The newest offering in our COIN Series—Volume IX, Gandhi—takes on the world’s most famous nonviolent resistance movement, the 20th century struggle to free India from British colonial rule. In today’s article, designer Bruce Mansfield introduces us to the ways this COIN volume treats population, support for/opposition to the colonial government, and the role of Gandhi’s strategy of peaceful civil disobedience within the broader framework of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Enjoy!

— Gene

The Pendragon Chronicles – Vol. 5 – Foederati

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For the very first time in the COIN series, in Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain, you will be able to take control and use for your own the pieces of another faction… How so? Through the very unique feature of Foederati, that typical Late Roman practice of hiring potential or even erstwhile enemies in exchange for land or subsidies. Let us explore this further: