Here is a look at the current chits used for artillery. I do not own the art. It is after all, just a prototype.
Here is the original art I used.
The chits were created using Photoshop CS6 to crop and add the numerical values and flag. Then a sheet was created per Print and Play Production specs. Final products were produced by PnP Productions. They are available to anyone who would like a playtest copy.
Here is Tim Porter, giving the game a go for the first time. Here he is, we are about to score. To win, he has to take Verdun.
Side note: He took over from a previous demo, or two maybe. His options were limited so he chose Verdun.
I happen to snap a photo as his drive on Verdun was coming down to the final rolls. A few turns of artillery, including the use of Big Bertha had finally leveled the fort. The look of hope, can you see it on his face?
Hard to see where the fighting is so here’s a close up. Verdun is two hexes. He had to take both.
Or better expressed as
The French army holds the city with one MPV (pip/step).
A couple of players were kind enough to allow me to snap a photo. Here they are…
Karl was kind enough to discuss the game at length after a couple of turns. He told me that he does not like production systems in wargames, preferring to focus solely on the battles, or grand strategies in the field. Then he referred to the my economic system as simple and elegant working well for the game and for him. High praise indeed.
I spent my time at Strategicon running demos and play testing the 1914 Mobile War scenario. On Sunday, The War Game Bootcamp was kind enough to save me some prime table space. My head was spinning and my stomach full of nerves as I set up.
My spot was on right on the edge of a main thoroughfare. I was honestly surprised by how many people stopped to take a look. I owe debt of gratitude to my early playtesters who insisted I add color to the map. The prototype was mistaken for a finished product by most. I certainly would have had fewer sit and play without the color map and PnP Productions chits etc.
Of note, Joshua Gottesman of Victory Point Games sat with the intention of just listening to the overview but stayed and played through a few turns. He quite complimentary of the game. I wish I had written it down but I wanted to enjoy the conversation, critique.
I ran demos from about 11am to 7pm and came away with a lot of feedback and a couple of new playtest, rules review volunteers. Thanks again to anyone who stopped by.
This was the end result of the game for which I did the play by play. I was not a participant but I spent a lot of time pouring over the end result. Note the large amount of German flags in the West. This is due to the large sweep and near encirclement of Paris. Also you may see the German army where the Belfort fort once stood. Hard to believe this was a narrow FRENCH victory. Had the game continued, it seems certain Germany would have won the war. This seems to be common outcome because the French player, if playing only the scenario is far more aggressive. If the campaign were played he is far more defensive. It makes for a nice change of pace but at the same time makes it hard to string the scenarios together.
This game had a different result. Played to the near end when the Germans achieved a breakout in multiple places along the front at once. Too many holes for the French to plug and still hold Paris. We stopped short of the final action phase agreeing that Germany would hold the spots needed for a 2 point (marginal/operational) victory.
I took some photographs as I completed a parts inventory. The inventory was much needed as I have created, changed, recreated, changed again, many components along the way. I began using Print and Play productions about 6 months ago and have received several orders.
It was time I figured out exactly what I had so I knew how many more games I could assemble before I was out of components.
Chits – Air Recon, Artillery and Tanks. All from Print and Play (very nice)
The blocks – 1/2 inch GMT size. To make one set it takes 50 blue, 50 grey and 40 brown. After the inventory I realized I could only make one more playtest set. I have 2 friends who would like sets and I need to be able to make one should a publisher request one. Blocks are the one component that is truly limited. I have an order in but am told, that’s it, they’re out. tough choices to be made…
This month was insane and I am exhausted.
On the playtest front, several games were played resulting in rules changes to scoring, the use of forts and supply. Also the occasional debate erupted as we try to discern between balance vs game play. For example, when the French army goes running freely into Belgium, the problem is I left my line too thin, not that the German army needs more men. Or if the Schlieffen Plan feels impossible to carry out, perhaps it’s because I overreacted to the French attack on Mulhouse (I see this a lot with first time players).
Components underwent a complete inventory. New sets arrived from Print and Play Productions (thank you Andrew) and a larger set was made using Columbia’s Victory blocks. Small maps (20×25) went out to the blind playtesters as we work on ways to make the game more accessible to average kitchen table. And finally, I made two more complete sets from scratch and completely updated Tim’s set.
As fortune would have it, I’ve also added 3 more rules reviewers. Two from BGG and another volunteered after giving it a play recently. I am very lucky to have people willing to give their time to my obsession.