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Subject: ANDEAN ABYSS Playtesting Gets Underway rss

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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi all! An update on where development and testing stand:

As he announced, developer Joel Toppen has set up a playtest Google Group and produced a lovely VASSAL module for the game. Our playtest group has assembled over 50 members (!) -- We are very grateful for all the volunteers. These include a playtest team in Bogota -- thanks Juan Francisco!

With VASSAL and in isolated cases ftf, playtests already are underway and producing results. Joel and his test teams will have their work cut out for them, because the game includes various options to suit particular player tastes -- regarding level of chaos, intensity of negotiations as an aspect of play, and so on -- all of which will have to be kicked around until in shape. Finally, the game will include a solitaire system handling between 1 and 3 different factions (so that 1, 2, 3, or 4 players can play the game). So plenty of work ahead of us.

Joel and I are both quite active on BGG, so if you have any thoughts or questions about gaming this topic or about this design in particular, fire away!

Best regards, Volko Ruhnke
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roger beatson
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Hi Volko

Thanks for the update.
Glad to hear that the game will have a single player option. If as the description states that the system is going to possibly encompass other conflicts I would like to see The Malayan Emergency of 1948 1960 given the same treatment.
Really looking forward to seeing how this game develops after having just received my copy of Labyrinth: the war on terror .

regards
Roger
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi Roger, thanks! Yeah, Malaya is definitely a candidate -- I have not yet set on what a Volume III would be (presuming interest in the series holds that long!!), but something Southeast Asia is a good bet. Philippines is another possibility. Regards, Volko
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roger beatson
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Thanks for the response Volko.
Hopefully the game gets to see some Southeast Asian conflicts.
Any possibility of tackling the Vietnam war (or even the First Indochina War for that matter ?).

Being a Kiwi I'm a bit biased and would obviously like to see conflicts that involved New Zealand forces (and our Australian cousins as well). Sounds like the system could be robust enough to handle a multitude of historical scenarios with some minor tweaking. Who knows, might even get to see that East Timor conflict one day !!!

Anyway, best of luck with the new game.It's certainly on my watch-list.

regards
Roger
 
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Edward Rustin
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Algeria and Oman could both be interesting as well. As would a game around the struggles with the north mexican narco cartels (although, that might be a touch close to the topic of this one).
 
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D L
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Volko wrote:
Hi Roger, thanks! Yeah, Malaya is definitely a candidate -- I have not yet set on what a Volume III would be (presuming interest in the series holds that long!!), but something Southeast Asia is a good bet. Philippines is another possibility. Regards, Volko

Please, please do this!
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Borat Sagdiyev
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Volko wrote:
I have not yet set on what a Volume III would be (...)


So, do you already know what Volume II will be?
 
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Wendell
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harzal wrote:
Volko wrote:
I have not yet set on what a Volume III would be (...)


So, do you already know what Volume II will be?


From the Andean Abyss page here at BGG: "Next up for Volume II: BUSH WAR-Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Southern Africa"
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Volko Ruhnke
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Algeria is a great topic, but already has 2 robust designs out there (Brian Train's and Kim Kanger's). Vietnam (including the 1950s) is similarly an already crowded field.

Oman bears a serious look, though, as does -- I think -- Iraq.

Quote:
Please, please do this!

I would love to! Whether I have a publisher for it will depend, of course, on public reaction to ANDEAN ABYSS.

Thanks for the ideas! - Volko
 
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Andy Latto
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Are you still looking for more playtesters?

If so, how do I sign up?
 
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Carlo Marinozzi
Italy
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How about Italy in the '70-'80?

Government, red brigades, right-wing organizations and the mafia, a low intensity struggle with a lot of backstabbing, surely a controversial topic
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Borat Sagdiyev
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Carlo M. wrote:
How about Italy in the '70-'80?


+1
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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That's definitely one that I had not thought of. So little time, so much history...

Hi Andy, thanks! Get in touch with Joel Toppen, who is the game's developer and running the whole playtest operation.

Regards, Volko
 
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snico
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harzal wrote:
Carlo M. wrote:
How about Italy in the '70-'80?


+1

+1

It could be a very interesting theme, especially because it involves many aspects.

Volko, if you're interested, you can still read Romanzo criminale or Gomorra (or watch the movies).

Definitively a good option
 
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Neil Morgan
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If you need any testers in the UK I am more than happy to help out.

Thanks Neil
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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Thanks Neil! That's up to Joel Toppen, so you may wish to get in touch with him directly. Regards! vfr
 
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Charles F.
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I've been dreaming of and at times dabbling with various insurgency game designs. While on the subject of possible future entries into the series, next to the already mentioned COIN evergreens Malaya, Algeria, Indochina/Vietnam, Afghanistan (Soviet and present) and Iraq, I think the following subjects would make for sound games:

- The Decline and Fall of the Portuguese Empire (both overseas and domestic dimension)

- Greek Civil War

- America's Banana Wars

In any case, insurgencies, civil wars, revolutions tend to be sorely neglected subjects in our hobby, so it's grand to see that the subject is getting more love these days. No doubt to no little degree due to the wider scholarly and public interest in the subject since 9/11. Lucky us that such a gifted designer as Volko is set on doing multiple COIN treatments.

One very ancient COIN scenario I'd love to one do do a game on is the Roman attempt to conquer Germany. Very much a Hearts & Minds type of affair. Fun "Divide & Rule" asymmetric stuff.
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hello Charles! You're too kind.

I agree that Portugal in Africa would be a tremendous topic.

There is so much under-gamed territory out there to explore.

vfr
 
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Ian Johanovski
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Italy: a very very interesting theme. You could play many factions in many ways. For example, armed militant left-wing groups like Red Brigades (best known), Prima Linea, Nuclei Armati Proleteri or tens of others. Strategy of tension was another aspect of Italian's 70's. Secret services and some right-wing armed groups worked together to destabilize Italy, to implement hard-line government (maybe fascism again) and fight social movements. You could play numerous left and right-wing groups/movements/parties, which all played rolle in that time. And the government under the Christian democrats of course – with their links in the strategy of tension and connections to mafia. Endless possibilities.

One question for Volko about Andean Abyss. Why you excluded ELN in Abyss game? In my opinion it is very interesting group. Some ideological differences from FARC are much visible. They had and still have conflicts between them. So, with ELN you could easily play against every present faction. I'am very interested in the game, it looks so nice and I think it promises a lot. Need any testers in central Europe?
 
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Charles F.
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johanovski wrote:

One question for Volko about Andean Abyss. Why you excluded ELN in Abyss game? In my opinion it is very interesting group. Some ideological differences from FARC are much visible. They had and still have conflicts between them. So, with ELN you could easily play against every present faction. I'am very interested in the game, it looks so nice and I think it promises a lot. Need any testers in central Europe?


I dare say they're subsumed into the FARC for game-purposes.
 
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Mike Prentice
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Volko wrote:
I agree that Portugal in Africa would be a tremendous topic.

Wow, that would be an interesting one. Iraq also. In any case, I'll buy whatever you design.

I am really looking forward to Abyss, although I hope that the map gets toned down a bit from how it appears in Vassal. Less saturation in the colors and less contrast between areas would improve it, IMHO.
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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Thanks Mike! Yes, don't worry, the VASSAL playtest art is just that. I did the prototype in magic marker on trace paper, and it came out really bright. Joel did his VASSAL kit based on my original, etc. Like you, I tend to dislike bright pieces on bright maps. The final for ANDEAN ABYSS, I suspect, will have a more toned down map so that the solid-color blue, red, yellow, and green pieces can stand out.

Quote:
One question for Volko about Andean Abyss. Why you excluded ELN in Abyss game? In my opinion it is very interesting group. Some ideological differences from FARC are much visible. They had and still have conflicts between them. So, with ELN you could easily play against every present faction. I'am very interested in the game, it looks so nice and I think it promises a lot. Need any testers in central Europe?

Well, that's actually two questions!

ELN (and a clutch of other leftist groups) during the period had substantially less capability that FARC. They often coordinated operations with FARC, so are represented in the game as a portion of FARC capability (as alone they would not justify a player role).

But ELN also jostled with FARC for position, as you note, and coordination of military and negotiation strategy was not perfect.

So the game has 2 event cards that concern ELN specifically:

1) An "ELN" event that may add or remove FARC pieces to/from mountain departments.

2) "Zona de Convivencia" that represents ELN and the Govt reaching agreement in their long negotiation over providing ELN a sanctuary zone similar to that enjoyed by FARC during Pastrana's presidency.

Hope that helps!

As to central European testers: yes, please get in touch with developer Joel Toppen!

Thanks and regards, Volko
 
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Carlo Marinozzi
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Reading these forums and the thread at consimworld seems that a recurring suggestion for the next projects in the COIN series is about the war in Algeria.

While I concur that the topic is definitely interesting, it should be mentioned that there are two excellent games on the war (Algeria by Brian Train and Ici c'est la France by Kim Kanger) and maybe the niche is full.

...But, moving the focus just a little there is an intriguing topic never seen before on the gaming table; I'm talking about the secret struggle between the OAS, FLN, Barbouzes and the french government that inflamed the last year of the french presence in Algeria.

I'm sure there are dozens of interesting low intensity/political struggle, but this one is certainly one of the most excrucianting (along with my prior suggestion about Italy, of course)



 
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Volko Ruhnke
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Andean Abyss » Forums » News
Re: ANDEAN ABYSS Playtesting Gets Underway
Another interesting idea!

Truth be told, however, I'd be unlikely to do a North Africa COIN topic anytime soon, in light of the two insurgency games on Algeria already out there that you mention.

There is simply too much virgin snow to ski.

vfr
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