Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Space: The final battleground...


Some random thoughts on game design.

I've spent some time over the last few weeks tinkering with a tabletop card game. The initial test was rewarding, but revealed some areas that needed tweaking.

Beyond the basics of game design, it's been educational in terms of exploring exactly how a cards for games gets produced and the technical limitations of general layout applications such as MS Publisher. Mid to high end design programs seem to be the order of the day.

It's also pointed out my limitations as an artist. I can produce very basic graphics - on the level of what we saw in games back in the 70's - 80's. But technology allows much more - multi-color, photo-quality layered graphics and custom fonts. Full color, glossy rule books and flashy cards seem to be the norm these days. Rule book pages with background imagery that sometimes interferes with the text of the rules. Is that really necessary? When I pick up a copy of the USGA 'rules of golf ', the rules are presented in a clear manner that focuses on the text and supporting diagram. Yes, there are a handful of 'pretty pictures' and corporate sponsor logos, but the rules are focused on game play.  

Which brings me to the question, how much of the enjoyment of playing a card game comes from dropping a card with a stunning graphic versus, the effect of that card on the course of the game? Is is a 'little of column A, little of column B' sort of thing? If the game is solid, does the look and feel of the card matter? Can a gorgeous, well designed  card mask poor rules and effects, but it's so darn pretty?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Anaconda: Capital Navies released on Wargame Vault

It's been a long time coming, but Anaconda: Capital Navies is available for sale via Wargame Vault.

A Campaign game for American Civil War Naval battles
The cover of Anaconda: Capital Navies

The focus of Capital Navies are the "Virginia naval campaigns" - the Chesapeake, Potomac and James Rivers.

Capital Navies includes two short campaigns, a long campaign covering the whole war and maps designed to aid in setting up the tabletop battlefields for your games.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

15mm German armored cars for '44-'45

Battlefront released the box set of plastic Sdkfz 234 in December. I could resist picking them up.  One thing led to another...like a box of Plastic Soldier Company Sdkfz 250's and 251's and some Zvezda Opel Blitz trucks.

Here are the PSC Sdkfz 250 hulls. Two 250/9, two 250/1 and a 250/7.

The 250/1 with an Old Glory 251/9 and the PSC 251/1 in the rear.

The Old Glory 251/9 is close to twenty years old. It's showing it's age to the PSC model. The Old Glory model runs a little smaller that it's modern cousin. 

The Zvezda Opel Blitz is pitched as a 'snap tite' kit. But a good glue helps.

The recon battalion force. Three companies with a radio truck. Good screen for the panzer battalion.