Coffee Break #19/2022

It has been a while since I posted.

Maybe the energy was diverted elsewhere or I simply didn’t have much to write about, either way the hobby works in that elastic format of sprees of activity and sudden quietude.

As a follow up from my most recent activities is the game jam Postcards from the Front 2023,organised primarily by Hissycatstudio. It features a magnificent panel of contributors to the finalist projects and first and foremost being a great opportunity for aspiring hobbyists to sample out a design in a fairly difficult package format.

Do follow the link and discover all the details and given there’s still plenty of time why not go wild and submit a project of your own ?

Personally I took the challenge without giving it a second thought and threw myself onto the notebook of ideas and which to use for a design. There were too many so I had to reduce those that could be, possibly, adapted to the postcard format.

In the end it became a natural choice once my brain started spinning around the idea of designing my personal “holy grail” non wargame wargame and I sat comfortably in my sofa and watched ‘Bastogne’ episode of the Band of Brothers series.

It is by far my favourite episode, together with the follow up to an extent. It features and focus totally on the combat medic which is often a forgotten character in media, be it film, books and for what pertains this entry, boardgames.

Greatest challenge is definitely the package format despite the possibility to use both sides and I had to juggle around with some opportunities as to ensure the less hassle to the players.

First and foremost I went with a solitaire design as the theme itself doesn’t render itself to opposition as despite being a game bout war isn’t a wargame in the sense of commanding combat forces. I also put aside any necessity for the player to possess extra pieces so cubes, pawns, meeples, etc, and decks of cards were put away from the options.

The one option I could not abide from was featuring my favourite die – the 12 faced one – which maybe deserves an entire blog entry on its own and why, if anyone cares, and I accept the fact that is not a common die so some players may not have one but do not let that put you off for if you write ‘roll D12’ in your browser search ( I did it in chrome ) it will provide a visually cool die roller. Or may want to click the link and save yourself some keyboard time…

With that in mind I had to figure out how the game would be and I went overdrive with playing a mental game, imagining moves and rolls and scribbling with pencil and paper came up with a rough ‘croquis’ which I then – by taking away dead times in the office – translated into software…

Note: digital is immensely helpful BUT nothing stops anyone from actually creating a fully analogue design and then scan it. I would enjoy a lot to see hand painted games subscriptions.

… and while I do am fairly knowledgeable with Adobe suite and subscriber I turned myself to Slides from google.

Started placing things and the mental game I had done before started to get in shape.

A few details came after some further playing as the cinematic dramatic sequences are an essential part of any game and as with any good book there must be critical moments which in a board game may well happen at any time and for this particular theme it resonates well that ALL moments are critical so I may have ended making it particularly hard at times.

Yet another effect I wanted is that there’s no victory nor defeat nor an end to the game and with that in mind the only track used, as an option, is the KIA, and the player could play indefinitely but losing 6 troopers is the bitter spot and makes for a quick coffee break game.

You may play the game already, print and play, as it is available through the the Jam subscriptions

along other amazing project submitted so far ( to date of this post )

Maneuver Warfare in the Age of Napoleon

Have a good weekend !

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