Monday, December 3, 2007
Veronica is akin to a very suave, cool, hip private eye for this century, not the Nancy Drew of the 20th Century. She helps solve serious and not so serious issues in a manner that is witty and intelligent. Adding to this success was the soundtrack. Very good rock music, especially the theme song. Its creator was a High School teacher for many years before he burned out and went to Hollywood.
I highly recommend watching all of this series DVDs. Great entertainment if you want to see the youth of today in their element. I would rate this PG most of the time.
Soon to be released is the new FFG game, Heroic Frenzy Oct. 1919, which covers the closet advance that any White Army had made against the Reds. In this case, Yudenich's tanks and night attacks decimated the Red 7th Army, leaving Petrograd (now St. Petersburg)wide open. Trotsky himself entered the battle to rally his men near Pulkovo Hill, the last obstacle before the city. It is a fast moving game on this pivotal battle!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Kakhovka: Wrangel's Kursk, Oct 14, 1920. This depicts the largest use of tanks in the Russian Civil War and also the last major battle! The game is very intesting set piece and really was a kind of Kursk in some ways.
Remagen 1945 depicts the battle of luck using a point to point system. Luck because the US found a bridge over the Rhine and despite the Germans tossing V2 rockets, jet bombers, JagdTiger tanks, and sending SS frogmen to destroy it, it was all unsuccessful. The game shows what happened and could have happened had luck turned, even a little, in the German favor! Very interesting. It is nothing at all like the old SPI game. It is way more accurate and tense.
Being tested now is Operation Westindien 1942- a U-boat game on the battle for the Caribbean. This is also a point to point game and depicts how vital the refineries and oil was in the Aruba area.
Friday, July 6, 2007
I have been a wargamer for over 30 years now, and in that time I have seen the Golden Age of Wargaming, the demise of much beloved companies (SPI, Battleline, GDW, Avalon Hill etc.), and the prophesied demise of board gaming as we know it. As a member of the hobby, how can one, lone gamer influence this downward trend? The doom-sayers saw that computer war games were going to replace our faithful cardboard and paper companions. The hobby was not attracting new gamers, so how can this trend be reversed?
Well here we are, continuing to play wargames of the cardboard and paper variety. The hobby seems as vibrant as I can remember, and the "big" companies (GMT, MMP, Avalanche, Clash of Arms etc.) seem to be offering interesting designs that might attract new gamers. The number of really strong DTP companies (Firefight, Khyber Pass, Schutz Games etc) fills the esoteric void left by the larger companies, and they too might attract new players to the hobby. Is this enough? Well, here is how I have tried to help.
As a high school Humanities (integrated Social Studies and English) and history teacher, I am in a unique position to bring new gamers into the fold. How? Not necessarily by what I teach (though that is a bonus), but by starting a games club! That is correct, start an extra-curricular club. On the one hand, it provides a much needed activity for students at lunch or after school - I run mine at lunch. On the other, it gives me a chance to play games with people who may one day want to play more historically accurate board games (more about this later).
Our school population is approximately 1600 grade 8 to 12 students in a middle class community. Our lunch "hour" is only about 45 minutes, so getting games that are playable in a short period of time, or the space to store longer play games, become two very important organizational considerations. Assuming you will be using your own classroom, the next steps will help get the club off to a great start.
First, you need to get the support of the administration. Usually they will be happy to support (both morally and financially) any endeavor which occupies students during the lunch hour. Second, you need to have a few games on hand to "get things started". Initially, I brought games from my own collection, then augmented those with other games purchased using school funds. After solidifying your initial club game collection, begin to advertise to the school body. This can be done through the school intercom notices, student newsletters, school website, posters, and of course, word of mouth.
The third factor to consider is the type of games to be included in the club's collection. Now, I'm partial to hardcore military simulation games. Unfortunately, very few students want to get into those types of games. So, we compromise and bring in games that will appeal to the widest possible student audience. The first games from my collection included: Risk, Axis and Allies, Stratego, Battleship, Shogun (Samurai Swords), Quebec 1759, War of 1812, and Rommel in the Desert. With student government funds, these initial offerings were supplemented with other games like: Carcassone, Settlers of Catan, Civilisation, Age of Mythology, Risk 2210, Lord of the Rings Risk, Star Wars Risk, Monopoly, Clue, Guess Who, Candyland - just to name a few.
Finally, you have to consider how you will store games that take more than one lunch period to play to completion. I had a cupboard in my room with four pull out drawers. I could place one complete game on each drawer. After a while, we had to carefully stack more than one game in a drawer because so many games were being played. If you have a dynamic industrial education department in your school, perhaps the student government would supply sufficient funds to have a games cabinet built. It would be a good project for the Industrial Ed. Students and it certainly helps out the games club. Ideally the cabinet should be designed to allow game boards to be stored with all the cards, pieces, dice etc. necessary for play. You'll be ready for action once you have this all set-up.
Generally, I keep the club open to any and all students of the school. All grades and both genders are welcome. It has been my experience that the vast majority (98%) of the gamers in our school are male. We do have some girls who show up on a regular basis, which is great! There are also a number of teachers who periodically attend - especially if we have a game of Diplomacy going!! (Recently, three teachers and three students had a game of Diplomacy - the teacher's - very experienced Diplomacy players - got their clocks cleaned by the students! Wait until next year!!)
Games that are visually pleasing (such as anything by Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight, Eagle Games, and Milton Bradley) certainly attract students into the room. Some days there are so many people they have to play their games on the floor! (We average between 25 to 35 students each lunch hour we run the club - Tuesdays and Fridays at lunch.) People (both students and staff) drift into the room and have a quick look before moving on. Some come back, others get a look at a game and end up buying either for themselves, or in the case of some of the adults who come in, their children.
At the beginning of each school year, I approach the student government for funds to purchase new games. I usually request between $300.00 to $400.00 for the year. Not surprisingly, this money does not go far, given the price of games these days. But it is enough to add a few titles to the collection. We also get games by donation, so now we have just about every type of Risk ever published (except Godstorm Risk). Currently, there are 65 games in our collection. Popular games this year included: Blockus, Hey, That's My Fish, World of Warcraft, Settlers, Command and Colors: Ancients, Axis & Allies Miniatures, and Memoir '44. A host of other games were also played, not to mention chess, checkers, and great games like Apples to Apples. Next year we will be adding to the collection. Sometimes with modules for pre-existing games, and sometimes new game hot off the press. I might even buy a copy or two of games that I have had published (For Bloody Honor by Firefight Games and Prairie Aflame by Khyber Pass Games), to try and entice students into the more historical realm of gaming.
All in all, the club has been a rousing success at my school. The admin are happy because it gives a large number of students something to do at lunch. The students are happy because they get to play games with their friends and school. I'm happy because I get to play games, and some of those gamers have grown up to become wargamers. And that's what it's all about, isn't it! If you are a teacher, try it at your school. You'll be amazed at the results. If you're not a teacher, perhaps check in with your local Boys & Girls club to see whether there might be an opportunity there to begin a club to attract new gamers.
The endeavor has been worthwhile and a lot of fun. Maybe we can have another Golden Age of Gaming with all the new blood entering the hobby. I for one hope so.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
This sneek peek is based upon my original never released DTP game, Operation Paukenschlag (Drumbeat)covering the devastating attacks by U-boats off the US East Coast and in the Caribbean, 1942. This is the historical part. The "what if" and the more exciting part is it supposes the Germans had developed some Amerika Bombers and had modified (well within their capabilities)their already exisiting He 177 and FW 200 long range bombers.Further, it supposes that Hitler had decided to seize the Azores (he had seriously considered it in 1940-41)to be used as a launch pad for long range bombing on the US East Coast! It was not that far from reality and actually quite plausible had Hitler demanded it. The German wolfpacks were ravenous against the unprepared and nearly defenseless east coast of America. It was like Pearl Harbor. By May, over 400 transports had been sunk off the US east coast, some two million tons of supplies lost with 5000 lives.
The game is the most innovative and accurate, yet playable, sub-air game ever. Sea and submarine movement is actually based on how German U-boat commanders plotted and tracked surface ships. Very cool!
The game was never released as a DTP because ATO secured it right off the bat, seeking to diversify their gaming line. Sub games, by their nature, are difficult to make interesting and fun (computer sub games excepted). Most sub board games have almost always sunk in their popularity--so, hopefully, this game will change it when Issue 22 comes out.
The counters shown are from the DTP game. The final ATO game will no doubt be more artistic and polished. Each strategic square is 550-600 miles. Each operational square is 55-60 miles. Each tactical square is 6-7 miles. Each turn is three days. Each sub is one submarine. Each convoy is between 10-50 ships. Each US DD, ASW, Cutter naval unit is two ships. Air units are squadrons of 6-12 aircraft. Each US CV, BB is one ship. Each turn is a week.
Excerpts from the Movement Rules:Movement on the Operational or Tactical Grids only applies to those opposing naval units in the same Strategic Zone (on the game map). The rates are the same per square, either 1 or 2 squares. Some ships (DD 11, 12, BB, CV) may move 3 squares. Prior to moving a sub, the German must decide whether it is submerged or surface. A submerged sub moves one square, a surfaced sub-two squares on the OSL\TSL grids. Only the final zone where movement ends and the presence of enemy ships determines if the OSL or TSL grids will be used. If the ending zone has none, nothing more happens. If it does, the involved units are removed and placed in the OSL and each player determines their precise location and units alternate moving until either opposing ships end in the same square or not. If they do, the TSL is used and the same procedure occurs. When opposing naval units end movement in the same square on the OSL, movement continues on the TSL. If the convoy exits the OSL before any subs have intercepted and ended movement in the same box on the OSL, nothing more happens…the convoy has escaped for this turn only.
German long range bombers may also conduct missions against various industrial targets along the East coast.
Aircraft IssuesThe reality was that had the Germans acted upon their first Amerika plans in 1940, the Me 264 long range bomber could’ve been operational by 1942, historically, only a few were done by late 1942. The He 177 was operational in March 1942. While the FW 200 had been modified. All three faced the same problems with aircraft engines being unreliable over the long flight (2-4,000 miles to the East Coast from either island) weather, pilot fatigue, and target recognition were major issues!
The He 177 and FW 200 suffered a 50% chance rate that the engines would catch fire during flights. A rather humbling event.
Flight times would average 7-8 hrs, thus, pilot fatigue would be an issue. Target ID would’ve been almost none existent, as even the U-boats had inadequate maps and generally used tourist maps to sail by along the coast.
Historically, the Uboats totally missed the CV Hornet being escorted from Key West to Norfolk in January 1942. In the game, you can go for it, if you fail, the American player can use it to attack the Azores where the Luftwaffe is based! It could've easily happened. Historically, the Hornet was sent to Pearl Harbor after being prepped in Norfolk.
Hopefully this sneak peek will still your interest!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Agel's drawbacks are many. Expensive, a carton of 30 packs for $60 retail or $30 wholesale. The are much larger than a tiny pill one can put into a pocket. The variety is very limited into not more than 10 assortments. You are stuck with vitamin proportions as you cannot simply have 1000mg of Vitamin C, or a specific amino acid etc. While the taste is OK, their appeal is limited despite the launch and money promoting it as a new MLM where one can make unlimited residual income, like Mary Kay, Cookie Lee etc. The other drawback is that while you can buy them on Ebay, usually you can only buy them through a rep who has joined the MLM at the retail price. They are not sold in vitamin-health stores.
Agel has a stiff competition from hundreds of vitamin companies on the internet, mass mailings, companies with hundreds of vitamins to select from such as Puritan or Swansons, to name only two. Their prices are WAY less than Agel's. Yet,Agel is thriving on the wannabe millions in hopes that millions can be made.
Hey, remember the Pet rock? Who would have thought?!.......
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
The following games are near ready for release:
The Koltov Corridor July 1944 - Covers the dramatic tank battles between the German Panzer Divisions and the Russian Tank Armies moving through the narrow gap at Koltov south of Brody. A unique game where players issue orders for formations and hope they chose the correct one!
Wicked Narrows - The Roman disaster at Kalkreise, Germany in September, 2 A.D. It was at the Narrows where the most wicked bloody battle occurred between four German tribes and three legions. The German attack destroyed all three legions!
Operation Fischfang, February, 1944 - Covers the only near successful German Panzer attack to crush the Allied landings at Anzio. The elements can either be a friend or for in this game at the right or wrong time.
Storm Over Taierzhuang 1938 - Covers the almost forgotten Stalingrad-like battle for the town between the Nationalist Chinese and Japanese forces. This is an area movement game designed by Terence Co, a great design and his first! Most Westerners have not even heard of this battle. It was decisive with aircraft and tanks as the Japanese drive inland seemed unstoppable!
NEWLY RELEASED GAMES:
One German, One Bullet August-Sept. 1944 This is a two map game!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Over the years I tinkered with other people's designs, coming up with house rules, modifications, and possible scenarios for already published games. There were other topics, however, that would never appeal to a main stream company because they were too esoteric - not enough interest in the subject matter to justify the cost of production. This changed with the advent of the computer, and especially the type of software available today to neophyte designers.
Topics that had never been covered before were now seeing the light of day. I suppose I thought I could never do it, but over the course of a number of years I toiled away at a disign for a piece of Canadian history that is littl known in the States, but is fascinating and holds the potential to be an interesting, challenging game. But, how do you translate your ideas - rules, charts, maps, counters, etc. - into a game?
With a personal computer, the rules, charts, and to a lesser extent the counters can now be produced at a fairly high level of quality - in fact the components look as good as some of the materials coming out of the main stream companies. For me, the biggest bug bear is how to produce a decent map on the computer!!
I use a Macintosh, and I have Illustrator CS. It's a great programme, but I'm an impatient cuss! The learning curve is steep, and my attempts so far have been somewhat ham handed and journeyman like. Making a field or a river or a road is not too difficult, but how do you make your terrain look like the terrain the battle was fought over? One method I've used is by taking a copy of an actual battle map, dropping it into the Illustrator file, then drawing over top of it - making the terrain as I go. It seems to be working for a couple of projects I have on the go now.
Truly, the biggest problem I face is how to make a properly scaled hex grid. One of the functions in Illustrator allows you to make a hex, which you can play with - resize, change the orientation on the map etc. How do you make a hex grid for an 11 x 17 map? or 22 x 34 map?
Yes, you can cut and paste until you have a grid, but there are often gaps between some of the hexes, or they don't quite fit properly! Then there is the problem of putting the hex numbers on so they look legitimate. I know that once you have things the way you like as far as the hexgrid goes, you can just make it a template and use it everytime you need a grid that size, but how do you make it look PROFESSIONAL?
If I can conquer this little problem, I think I would be able to crank out some of my ideas more quickly. I have a group that I game with which provides me with a ready group of playtesters (with almost 200 years combined gaming experience!). One of our group does the graphics for my games - Brian Moore. He was instrumental in providing the map and counter graphics for my games "For Bloody Honor" published by Firefight Games, and "Prairie Aflame" which is to be published by Khyber Pass Games. He's been great, and does a wonderful job. But I hate to continue imposing on him - or providing him with such a shoddy draft map (my own efforts) - he does have a day job and I don't want to "overuse" him.
If you have any ideas - short of taking a course on Illustrator, please let me know. I could knock off a few more games in a more expeditious fashion which I think people would like. It would also give me for of a feeling of accomplishment.
Whew! Glad I got that off my chest - hey, this is a great form of therapy!! (Whoa - that might be my next game! I think I've got a picture of a couch around here somewhere . . .)
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
My name is Terence Co and I am the designer of Storm Over Taierzhuang, the Samurai Stalingrad which is going to be published by Firefight games.
I was born and raised in the Phillipines and started my wargaming there. I have been wargaming for more than 20 years.
This is my first wargame design and hopefully not my last as I intend to bring esoteric topics to the wargaming field. By 1938, the Second Sino-Japanese war was not going well for the Chinese. Since July 7, 1937, the Japanese conquered huge swathes of Northern and Eastern China and were steadily pushing deeper into
With the conquest of
The KMT generals also seeing an opportunity would lure Japanese forces to a cul de sac and then encircle them with numerically superior Chinese forces.
The town of
Li Tsung Jen, the KMT general of the 5th war area(with around 100,000 men in 9 divisions) which was given the task of defending
On January 26, 1938. The Japanese launched their offensive towards
The Japanese opened their attack on Taierzhuang on the evening of March 24, 1938 with a massive artillery bombardment on Chinese positions. The Chinese defenders weeks before had heavily fortified the town and the villages in the Taierzhuang district. In addition to the fortifications, the heavy rock which was used in the construction of the building in Taerizhuang made them virtual castles. Confronted by this grim defense, the Japanese were forced to slog through these heavy defenses and incurred horrendous casualties in the process while being constantly harried by Chinese forces in their flanks. The Chinese casualties were probably worse as the huge Japanese advantage in artillery, air and tanks caused large number of losses.
By April 3, 1938. The Japanese were in possession of four-fifths of the main town of
On April 6, 1938. The Chinese forces launched a major night assault and crushed the Japanese defenders in the town of
The battle of Taierzhuang is considered the first major Chinese victory in the Second Sino Japanese war.
The battle of Taierzhuang nagged me for a long time. It nagged me that in the thousands of wargames published, nobody has done a wargame on a battle in the Second Sino Japanese war(apart from a few ASL scenarios). This war is one of the most important wars in the 20th century. Inspiration for the system came to me after reading and playing Tetsuya Nakamura's Storm Over Stalingrad. After this, I became immediately convinced that this is the system that I wanted to use for the game. I wanted a game on the battle to be easy, to learn, simple to play but effectively showing the flow of the battle.
Now some players might ask why the subtitle: "Samurai Stalingrad"? I answer that the Battle of Taierzhuang eerily resembles that of
Some players may be mystified on how a lone Japanese reinforced division could hold off, led alone do an offensive vs. hordes of Chinese divisions. Japanese divisions in this era were large square formations of 20 to 25,000 men. A Chinese KMT division on paper has 10,000 men but usually had 5,000 men(or less). The Japanese also had huge advantages in tanks, aircraft and artillery. For the KMT, it only had a few of these and these were reserved for the best divisions. In Taierzhuang, the Chinese defenders had no tanks and air support and had little artillery.Anti tank capabilities were only limited to a few German Pak 36s(which were really effective vs. the Japanese tanks) and fanatical "Dare to Die" units of men equipped with bundles of dynamite and grenades charging at oncoming tanks. The Chinese main advantage was in manpower. The Chinese heavily outnumbered their Japanese opponents. Also
Hopefully this game opens up the floodgates for more designers to do more wargames on battles of the Second Sino Japanese war, so as Paul Rohrbaugh would say, let the dice roll!!!!!
I still have some copies of the book available for sale at $35.00 US\Canadian only payable via Paypal through the Firefight-games.com website. A great deal, 50% off the retail, shipping is included!
Perry Moore, Author
Thursday, March 15, 2007
too much time, and has some educational outcome consistent with the
learning outcomes set by ministries of education.
As part of the History 12 curriculum here in British Columbia, we are responsible for teaching students about the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War. I know that using games in a classroom setting is a powerful learning tool, one that students remember long after they have forgotten the "facts" we try to teach. When you can marry the facts to a game, well - you really have something that will stick in their brains!
At the time of its inception over 10 years ago, there was only one game on the Russian Civil war that existed, SPI's old Russian Civil War game. Given the constraints of the classroom, I could not take the time to teach the students about this game - it was too complex and required a level of interest that could not be sustained by 32 diverse individuals. I decided to fuse my two passions - gaming and education by designing a game of my own to be used in the classroom.
The first versions of the game were called "Civil War: Russkaya" (which doesn't mean anything, but I thought sounded cool). I found map of Russian in one of our textbooks, enlarged it on a photo-copier, divided it up into regions with a Political value based on population and resources, grabbed some old, square, plastic pieces from a Risk game, came up with a set of rules and voila - I had a game. The mechanics were pretty simple and the sequence of play was very rigid. The map was black and white, the rules and charts were word processed and the pieces and dice were readily available from old games (and the local dollar store).
I wanted a game that up to six students could play at one time - in other words instead of having one game that the whole class participated in, I would run 4 or 5 games simultaneously. The rules were simple enough that sharper students figured things out pretty quickly - others just went along for the ride. It took one 60 minute period to play the game to completion, then another part of a period to debrief the experience and make the links between the game and history. Ultimately, I wanted to show the students why the Reds won the Civil War, when most of the cards seemsed stacked against them.
In the original game, each White faction rolled a die to determine if they could move. If they succeeded, they moved then engaged in combat if they ended the turn in a space occupied by Red forces. Once all the White factions had moved, there would be combat. Then the Red player would move and have combat. Political points were scored by occupying territories which then allowed players to return any eliminated pieces back into play. This kept the Whites in it, provided they held onto their territories. The rolling a die to move was problematic, because the Whites had a 50/50 chance that they would not move at all. In many games, over the years, certain students spent most of their time waiting around after failing a movement die roll. In some cases, certain factions did not move at all during the game!
Despite this drawback, the students overwhelmingly loved the game. The tense die rolling to see whether the last Red unit would be eliminated from the Moscow Zone, or the anticipation of a successful White drive to the capital has kept student interest for a decade.
What lessons did I want them to learn? Well, the Whites did not cooperate in history, and they could not cooperate in the game. The Reds had better mobility and motivation, and this was reflected in their central position, greater chance to move, and the cohesive nature of their forces. What came out of those discussions and my own thinking is the game we have today - "For Bloody Honor: The Russian Civil War". I also happened to notice on Consim that Firefight Games was taking outside designs. I contacted Perry, made my proposal to him, sent him what I had (a very rudimentary version of the map and counters, the rules, and charts). He said he liked what he saw, but would have to do some work on the graphics.
Our gaming group happens to have a talented graphics guy, Brian Moore, who agreed to give my map a going over. He also spruced up the counters and we chatted about how to organize the various charts and format the rules. Much of the current product (with the exception of the counters)
is a direct result of Brian's work. We playtested the hell out of it, made some tweaks, and submitted the revised game to Perry. He liked it, made a few additions to the counters (which I didn't notice at the time, so some units were not explained in the first edition of the rules - that problem has been rectified and any games purchased now will include the updated rules and charts. If anyone has the old rules and charts - which did not explain how armoured cars worked or what the Denekin
Volunteers were and how they worked - contact me through this blog and
I'll get you the proper rules etc.)
The game presents a tense situation for both sides. Both sides also have a chance to win. The chit pull system works really well, and adds to the replayability of the game. If you haven't tried it yet, visit the Firefight web site and give it a gander - I think you'll be pleased - hey, hundreds of students can't be wrong!
Mark Woloshen, Game Designer
I´d like to thanks a lot to Perry, for the privilege to write here in Designer Blog. I´m a fan of Perry´s games, since the classic Landships, my first WWI wargame, and in my personal oppinion one of the best.
Here in Brasil, we play wargames. The history begins in 1979, when a small group of players created the first Brasilian company : Jog Publishing. The company published some introductory games about World War II, but the the company had a short life, two years after your first release, the company broken, but the idea about wargames borned in Brasil.
In 80´s some people here played the old classics of Avalon and other comapnies like GMT, SPI/TSR, 3W, Yaquinto and the hobby growed. But, in 90´s two kind of games banned the wargames from Brasil : RPG and card games. These games created a great group of players, with a lot of fans, and players . But a tiny group of brave and solitaire wargamers remains. Many wargamers called these years "The Black Years", because many great wargame companies vanished, and a new menace appeared : computer games and Internet. But the "menace" turned into a great thing.
Internet brings to people the contact with the gamers around the world, computers brings the DTP games and the wargaming hobby rebirth with a great force. In Brasil the hobby is growing up again. People here likes a lot wargames about World War II, Napoleonics, and miniature wargames (Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, TSR Battle System, LOTR). We have an annual convention called WargameCon, here in Rio de Janeiro, and some litlle events happens monthly.
Well, I talk a lot ! I´ll tell more about games here and the people ! Thanks again to Perry, and guys sorry for my poor English ! Best Regards to All !!
After researching the battle I came to the conclusion that, at least with this battle, little is really known about it. The Roman historians usually cited wrote about the battle some 50 years later! No writer had actually been in the battle. In fact, it was not until the 1980's, that the battle location had been determined at Kalkreise, Germany. Specific details about the battle are not known, even the time is not known. We know that 20,000 Roman soldiers were destroyed by an equal amount of German Tribal soldiers who laid in ambush. We know how the ambush occurred.
There are two schools of thought about this battle:
1. The destruction occurred over a period of three days.
2. The battle last no longer than three hours, with the bulk of the killing occurring within 30 minutes.
Item 1 is supported by several Roman accounts, all very general, and most agree that some men escaped by the 3rd or 4th day. This seems logical, as 20,000 men is a lot of bodies to lose in a half hour.
Item 2 is mostly conjecture but based on what is known about ancient warfare. Most battles lasted no longer than 30 min. before the opposing sides withdrew and recovered for the next round. But losing 20,000 men in that time seems illogical with the weapons available at the time. If one states this amount was lost over three hours time, it seems far more plausible.
With item 1, how does anyone really know that the Roman historians simply did not rely on what was previously written, maybe the battle did not last three days--there were few survivors and none of the Roman historians were there.
Then there is the weather. Roman accounts chat about torrential rains hammering the legions and the forests. Many recent accounts write that the references to rain is incorrect and was used to "enhance" the dramatic battle--again, does anyone have a weather report for 9 A.D ??? As to the Forests, well, the Kalkreise area does have a forest, but the route of the Romans did not take them through them per se, so the battle did NOT happen in the forests, but on open terrain with a marsh on one side and a forested hill on the other. The Romans hated forests! It spooked them.
As a designer, I had to decide how to contend with these differences. I tend to think it lasted one day with the bulk of the killing occurring in the daylight hours on the 2nd day (when the Romans approached the "Narrows"). Over a period of 10 hours, it would not be hard to believe that 20,000 men could be killed. Many probably died slowly from wounds. Some probably did escape as Roman accounts declare, making it to safety on the third day. In game terms, the design focuses on the 2nd day.
In any case, that is why I usually stick with more recent events to design a wargame on--the informational is more reliable.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
When released, it received little play on the radio because of the "word" and it really was just another protest song. But, why are so many people today so sensitive about a name, whether it is gringo, wop, queer, homo, spic, honky, ho, or whatever. This sensitivity is really a product of today's society spurred on by the threat of a lawsuit. If the legal establishment would toss out some of the suits, this over sensitivity about anything that anyone calls you would end. What is really funny is the fact that some illegals in the US are upset when called an "illegal" and not an "immigrant" (which is a person here legally). All this over sensitivity about a name simply forces everyone to not say anything because of the fear of a lawsuit. The same over sensitivity pertains to the use of the "finger". Some go ballistic if you flip the finger at them to the point they are crazy. Maybe I am a bit too aloof about what one may call me as it is only one person's opinion and it certainly not worth my time. The finger is less, a mere gesture. Please, there are way more important things in life than a word or a gesture.
The ONLY news organization reporting this horrible event remains Bill O' Reilly on Fox news. I have not seen it anywhere else nor mentioned on TV. Does the mainstream media condone this behavior by omission? Seems to be. Unbelievable!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Winning in Iraq is now pointless.
We are at the same critical junction that we were at in the Vietnam War in 1970. Despite winning the battles, we cannot seem to win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqis nor subdue the violence between groups and terrorists. This brings me to the Russian Civil War from 1918-20, when the Allied nations (UK, US, France) thought they could kill the birth of Communism. After a year, the US and France went home, only the British remained until 1920, supporting the White cause in a situation that was corrupt and winless.
History repeats itself over and over.
Saturday, March 10, 2007