West Nattai Walls

Gaming

Over the years I have played many board games and war games, although very few computer-based games (I don't like the poor resolution, heat, and noise of a computer, plus I fear their addiction). This page contains some games and rules I have written, and partial designs I have worked on.

Now that the children are older I am back to playing "serious" war games, particularly with a Metro Seattle Gamers. I do play a lot of Euro-style board games with the family. Particular favourites of ours are Silverton and High Frontier

Gallipoli 1915, Churchill's Greatest Gamble

I have been working on a grand tactical game of Gallipoli for many years now. The last two years has seen a big push to just get it out, and it is now in pre-order at GMT Games - you can order a copy here. Playtest reports are available on this website.

I originally hoped that it would just be a slight modification on the Tactical Combat Series from Multiman Publishing, but I quickly realised that the scale, time and unit granularity, and command system were completely different. So now all that the two systems have in common is that they are grand tactical.

Units are battalions and companies, because at that stage of the First World War neither side manoeuvred independently as platoons. Artillery was all direct fire, so we do not need indirect fire rules. Nor did mortars or tanks exist, so the fire rules can be much simpler than for a World War 2 tactical game. Therefore I am able to put much more complexity into the command rules. The difficulty of executing an order can be influenced by many factors, and I also have rules for getting lost (particularly at night) and therefore failing your orders, plus special rules for the covering force at The Landing.

I produced one map based on the 1920 British Army contour maps held by the Australian War Memorial. I took a version of the map to CanCon in 2005 and just laid it out for people to see, and also play tested an earlier version at the Paddington Bears. Most recently I showed it at Dragon Flight and Game On! in Issaquah. I am running the game at Dragonflight in 2014.

Order your copy now!

La Bataille

In the early 1990's I played a lot of the La Bataille series of Napoleonic war games published by Clash of Arms. We found the tactical complexity to be fascinating, but were frustrated by the ambiguity of the third edition rules. We were particularly confused by the cavalry charge rules, so one Saturday I decided to sit down and write up our house rules as a coherent body. Unfortunately it was not possible to describe cavalry charge without reference to fire, or formation, or units, so the small project grew into a complete rewrite of the rules. We were also playing the Civil War Brigade Series from Multiman Publishing at the time, and I became convinced that a game (i.e. a model of reality) that portrayed French superiority in terms of being able to shoot straighter and march faster was not very accurate. Napoleon's victories were usually achieved by being able to order his armies faster, i.e. to turn within their decision cycle. Austerlitz is a classic example. So we (myself and Ed Bryan) grafted a derivative of the CWB orders rules onto my rewrite. Eventually it was published in Operations. I offered my rule set to Clash of Arms for free, but they did not take me up on the offer. They produced their fourth edition rules soon after which I believe includes its own command rules. However, Clash of Arms did grant me permission to publish these rules.

The colours in the command charts refer to see-through coloured dots that I fixed to the counters to make it easier to recognise formations.

The rules are provided as pdfs, paginated to A4.

The rules are written using Adobe Framemaker, which I find to be vastly superior to Microsoft Word because Framemaker can reliably number paragraphs. Word is seemingly unable to do in a document of any complexity.

I have not played the game in years, so I won't be able to reliably answer any questions :-(

Fleet Series from Victory Games

We also played a lot of the Fleet series games. We used the variant rules for "simultaneous" movement published in The General. There was one little thing which still bothered us, which was that air unit losses were expressed in absolute terms (ie one plane, or half a plane), irrespective of how many air units were involved in a combat. If two planes fought one, then the result was one shot down, the same result if twenty planes fought ten. So I wrote up some house rules for air combat that expressed the combat in terms of ratios. Here are those rules. This is not a very original idea, and it only matters when large groups of aircraft are involved (i.e. rarely).

Text and Images Copyright Geoffrey Phipps 2007-2014. Unauthorised copying or reuse prohibited.