Thursday, 14 June 2012

Projects Big and Small

I will be pursuing a number of projects this year and the next, to bring some focus in my efforts, because often I'm all over the place.

Grand Project: World War I Megagame, Maximum Effort

The main inspiration is Norman Stone's The Eastern Front 1914-1917 and thus focussed more on social and economic issues than the actual battles. It's too big, and it's not the kind of game people will want to play for a megagame, but I still keep looking for a way to make it work. Whatever, it's been a great stimulus for me to read an collect books on the war. Nick and I started a blog on the megagame two years ago and all my WWI stuff goes there, but I'll keep you posted on what happens there.

I've got a few smaller projects cut out to make it easier to digest the big one...

Mother Russia: this is the basic mechanism I have in mind for the megagame, but it should work better stand-alone. I've unashamedly stolen the mechanisms, but I think it will deal with economic issues of mobilisation in WWI very well. It has a social-political angle as well as all players represent groups in Russian society, negotiating their contribution to the war effort. Can Russian industrialists provide the troops with the necessary weaponry or do the rural gentry have a crucial role to play and can the peasants be fed?

Ypres: in April I visited the town and battlefield with a couple of friends and picked up a bunch of books about the battles in the area. I did a review of one of them, about the Belgian assault troops. I'd like to finish a few of the others as well and close it off.

Through the Mud and the Blood: I've got a few packs of 10mm late war French colonial troops with support for a company level miniatures game Through the Mud and the Blood by Too Fat Lardies. This will need painting and hopefully I can get some playing time after that.

Other minor projects

Barbarossa: this is in fact the left over of a serious project we finished in May. On the 26th of that month over 50 guys and a few women played a megagame through the opening half year of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The Germans miraculously managed to take Moscow early on but didn't enjoy it for long.

I read lots of books in that time, but after a while couldn't keep up reviewing them or even finish them. So I will occassionally repost a review I've done elsewhere, but hope to finish off the remaining books, like the brilliant Absolute War by Christopher Bellamy.

Dark Ages Skirmishing in 28mm. I revealed this one earlier so take a look here

Vietnam: Jim Wallman's new Vietnam megagame Lost Youth will take place in London on September 15th. I hope to read a few books in advance, like Michael Herr's Dispatches and a book with the fascinating title The War Managers by Kinnard.

The Hero of Waterloo: a friend of mine is writing a book on Prince William of Orange, the future King William II of the Netherlands. He's asked me to take a look at the chapter on the Waterloo campaign, so I've (re)read some of my books with that question in mind. It's also forced me to get a better feel for the timing of events. William's greatest moment is at the Battle of Quatre Bras where his leadership overcomes the worst crisis of the campaign.

Leipzig Campaign in 1813: another project inspired by a megagame. There's vague plans to organise a rerun of Master of Europe in Germany in 2013. I need to brush up on this a some point, but it's distant future

King John: It all started on a lazy day in Rochester, and I'm fascinated by King John still. Obviously John was not a nice man, but as a statesman and military leader he's had a terrible press. I still fancy doing a game on the 1215/6 campaigns, or the revolt of Henry II's sons in 1174.

Essen 2011: Almost forgetting about the boardgames! Like with miniatures and books, there's a long backlist I'm not even getting to. So my first project is to get all the games I bought at Essen last year played. So at least one each month until October. Then I might get to the few more recent buys I've already played like Labyrinth.
A review would be nice by I don't think I'll get to the point where I've played the heck out of them and so can comment authoritatively.

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