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Subject: BGG Wargame Designer Of The Month: Tom Dalgliesh rss

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Tom Dalgliesh
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The blocks, like many good ideas, were an accident.

When Quebec 1759 was being developed, the game originally had wooden cubes much like six-sided dice...actually they really were six-sided dice...so we could use them for strength reduction.

It turned out that the six-sided dice idea was hopelessly expensive. So Lance Gutteridge, my partner in crime, came up with the idea of printing only on one side of a block, but still keeping the four sides as step reduction. Then we realized this was not only a better idea economically, it also introduced fog-of-war to the game! I was sold.

By the way, in those early days, Quebec also had ten tactical maps (one for each area, which is why there are only ten) but they too vanished for economic reasons. The much simplified tactical system in this game replaced the maps.

Tom

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Tom Dalgliesh
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Easy choice. NAPOLEON and SHILOH. The first because it really is still a good simulation of the Waterloo Campaign, much better than dozens of other complicated games on the subject. The second, SHILOH, because it gave me a chance to fix my biggest problem game, namely GETTYSBURG.

Gettysburg, although just wonderful to look at when set up for the second day, is just too busy and cumbersome, a block too far so to speak. With SHILOH, I threw out the hexes and reworked the ACW system as an AREA game. I think it works great, and now I'm pondering if I can rework this into a second edition of Gettysburg?

Probably, but there's never a shortage of projects around here. Just time.

Tom
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Tom Dalgliesh
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Geeze, "nice, intelligent, and creative" too. Well, two of those three perhaps. But thanks, you have got my day off to a good start.

Tom
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Tom Dalgliesh
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I hope I made it clear earlier that I am not the lead designer of the EastFront, WestFront, EuroFront series. That honor goes to Craig Besinque a former Californian who now lives in British Columbia, Canada. My design contribution to that series was only with EastFront and, of course, as publisher of the series.

This year is the 20th anniversary of EastFront. We should do something to celebrate that.

Craig is also the designer of our game ROMMEL IN THE DESERT, and the GMT block game HELLENES.

Tom
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Tom Dalgliesh
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I think decoys would work in any games. I have some issues with truly blank decoys, since there should be "something" there to have the desired effect.

The one step "detachments" seen in our games Bobby Lee and Shenandoah solve that problem. They also avoid the special decoy rules seen in Quebec 1759.

Tom
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Tom Dalgliesh
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Mike:

Thanks for the kind words. Please call me so we can discuss your comments on the K.I.S.S. map on our website.

Tom
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G. Harding Warren
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scotia61 wrote:
Then we realized this was not only a better idea economically, it also introduced fog-of-war to the game! I was sold.

Tom



Interesting that the fog of war was an afterthought. I play Napoleon (AH version) solo and I really don't feel as if I'm missing much of anything. Lovely game.

Regarding your sailing excursion with Mr. Hunga Dunga, what whisky did you all have? What is your favorite malt?
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scotia61 wrote:
Napoleon 3rd edition is almost sold out. I am seriously considering bring back a revised 1st edition as our 4th edition. You all following that?

Tom



That would be great -- would you be bringing back horse artillery? And what prompted this consideration?

Thank you so much for the hours of fun...I managed to get my wife to play Hammer when we were in the hospital waiting for our twins to arrive!

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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: BGG Wargame Designer Of The Month: Tom Dalgliesh
scotia61 wrote:
Napoleon 3rd edition is almost sold out. I am seriously considering bring back a revised 1st edition as our 4th edition. You all following that?

Tom
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I feel the original (which I have) is more elegant than the 3rd edition (which I've played), so I heartily approve of the 4th edition being "retro".
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Roger Hobden
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leroy43 wrote:
scotia61 wrote:
Napoleon 3rd edition is almost sold out. I am seriously considering bring back a revised 1st edition as our 4th edition. You all following that?

Tom
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I feel the original (which I have) is more elegant than the 3rd edition (which I've played), so I heartily approve of the 4th edition being "retro".


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Tom Russell
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I recently was reading a thread here on BGG where it was noted that many recent Columbia Games use the same form of combat resolution-- A blocks before B blocks before C blocks etc.-- which, IIRC, was introduced in Hammer of the Scots (please correct me if I'm wrong). So, I had a couple questions about that system:

First, was it your idea or Mr. Taylor's? I notice that you're listed as co-designers on the box, and I know from experience that sometimes a publisher will suggest/simplify a mechanic.

Secondly, what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages of this system? (I can say from personal experience that it's certainly easier to teach to new/non-gamers than, say, the system used in Rommel in the Desert.)

Thanks Tom.

==Tom
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Jeff Johnson
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Think the A/B/C ratings were in Victory and Wizard Kings first before Hammer?
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Tom Dalgliesh
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The ABC system was my design and first appeared in WIZARD KINGS. VICTORY uses a fixed fire sequence of Air, then Naval, then Ground.

Easy enough, but it gets a bit complicated when we then sub-divided fire sequence within each main group so we have, for example, in the air group: Fighters, Fighter Bombers, Torpedo Bombers, Medium Bombers, and finally Heavy Bombers. Then, of course, defensive Fighters fire before attacking fighters, etc.

With the large variety of fantasy creatures found in WIZARD KINGS there did not seem to be any easy fire ranking so the ABC system was born. In Wizard KIngs we began with five fire rankings, ABCDE. WE later dropped the "E" rating, but five levels crept back in with an A+ rating for wizards and such. Similar I guess to credit ratings that evolved into AA and then AAA ratings.

The advantages of the system are that it is indeed easy to learn, creates another combat advantage, and works rather well when combined with firepower levels such as A1, A2, B2, B4, etc.

Tom
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William Barnett-Lewis
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I've never had the pleasure of any of their war games.

OTOH, their work with the (alas late) Mr. Crossby caused much of my money to go into their coffers. I hope to get a copy of Hammer one of these days.
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Tom Dalgliesh
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Horse Arty for sure.

For those unfamiliar with the issue of Napoleon 3rd edition, we got the 2nd edition back from Avalon Hill when they rode away into the sunset. Their 2nd edition was a clone of our 1st edition.

We soon published a 3rd edition which changed the O/B to one block per division. That increased the block mix from 48 to 84 and the game just never quite worked as well. We increased movement limits to compensate for the greater number of blocks, but there was just too many blocks for the game board size. And deeper problems too such as the historical French divisions were smaller than those of the Anglo-Dutch and Prussians, so the French got 2-step and 3-step infantry while the Allied side had 3-step and 4-step infantry. That distorted movement. We should have increased the French road limit more to compensate for this but did not.

Anyway, we will right these wrongs with a 4th edition which we plan to release just as soon as we can (8-12 months).

Tom
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Tom Dalgliesh
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My favorite single-malt.

Anything over $25 will do, which is just about everything. My all time favorite is my own blend of two single-malts, Lismor and Laphroaig. I mix 2/3 Lismor (inexpensive single malt) with 1/3 Laphroaig, the most peaty single malt available commercially. That gives me the right balance of peat and budget.

Scots rarely call Scotch anything but whiskey. Never actually heard whiskey called that until I came to America, but I get it. Here we have Irish Whiskey and Kentucky Whiskey so Scotch Whiskey it must be.

Tom
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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scotia61 wrote:
Scots rarely call Scotch anything but whiskey.

Alas, Tom, you have been away too long. The word is WHISKY. shake

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Tom Dalgliesh
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Jim:

Well of course, you are right. Whisky in Scotland, and Whiskey most everywhere else. For the first decade in the New World I fought the American spellings of color, labor, defense, and whiskey. But I surrendered and began to accept the shorter spelling, although for some odd reason, the Americanized Whiskey is a longer word.

I have been reading an interesting book called "Born Fighting" by Jim Webb. This book essentially claims that everything distinctive in America, everything good in fact, originated with the Scots-Irish from Ulster! Large numbers of them settled in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky from 1700 to 1760, which of course explains the whiskeys of that region. Did you know that we essentially won the American Revolution fighting the hated English, beat them again in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans led by Andrew Jackson of Scots-Irish heritage, fought for both sides in the ACW, and won WWII thanks to our descendant General George Patton? And we invented Country and Western music too. The thesis is a bit extreme, but fun reading for a Scot.

And good blood for a wargame designer.

Tom
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Mike Szarka
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When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
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I must say I have never really ventured to doing my own pure malt blending! But very Scottish of you to find a way to stretch your whisky dollar. laugh
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Tom Dalgliesh
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Mike:

It's good that you said "Scottish" and not "Scotch".

I'm kinda hoping we can get some good discussion going on our upcoming games like K.I.S.S.and BORODINO, and MACBETH (as yet unlisted). The last is a Hammer of the Scots clone, with suitable changes. Queen Victoria called the Shakespeare play, "that Scottish Play, so we will of course call MACBETH that Scottish game.

I realize, of course, that it's difficult for folks to comment on games when the details we post tend to be sparse. But you could comment on just that, our reluctance to post details that usually change, or what YOU would like to see in these games, or what other games YOU want from us.

Jerry Taylor and I also have a preliminary design for HAMMER OF THE IRISH when the Scots invaded Ireland to free them from the English (and add to the domains of Robert the Bruce) only to find many Irish supporting the English there. Messy business...

Tom
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Mike Szarka
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When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
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scotia61 wrote:


I realize, of course, that it's difficult for folks to comment on games when the details we post tend to be sparse. But you could comment on just that, our reluctance to post details that usually change, or what YOU would like to see in these games, or what other games YOU want from us.



Well since you asked, here are some possibilities:

- The '45 rebellion would be interesting and should be a straightforward adaptation
- More Napoleonics - I haven't been following the development of Borodino. Maybe you can tell us a bit more about that? Borodino is an interesting choice for a first entry; I didn't think it involved a lot of manoeuvre.
- I actually think WW1 would work, Eastern front or Ottoman front...
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I like your trend of having games named after Shakespeare plays.

Of your upcoming titles, I'm most intrigued by Borodino. I've become a huge fan of Napoleon's Triumph, which for me has become almost the definitive Napoleonic block game, but I have a long standing affection the CG 1st edition Napoleon the Waterloo Campaign.

K.I.S.S. could be interesting, although I'm with the folks who think the name could use some help. Maybe F.U.B.A.R. or S.N.A.F.U. whistle Seriously though, I think a better name could be found. I can't think of anything off the top of my head though.

You guys recently made a couple of significant changes to your Game Plan pre-ordering system. The big one was the limited edition mounted boards for pre-orders only in lieu of a discount, and the other one I've noticed is that you no longer have pre-order targets, but rather have scheduled release dates for your games. Can you tell us what drove those two changes and how they've worked out for you? Has it made for more robust pre-sales?

One thing I've always admired about CG is that you have your entire catalog of wargames still available. The fact I can still buy Quebec 1759 today, even though it's now 40 years old, is just awesome.
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scotia61 wrote:
Mike:

It's good that you said "Scottish" and not "Scotch".

I'm kinda hoping we can get some good discussion going on our upcoming games like K.I.S.S.and BORODINO, and MACBETH (as yet unlisted). The last is a Hammer of the Scots clone, with suitable changes. Queen Victoria called the Shakespeare play, "that Scottish Play, so we will of course call MACBETH that Scottish game.

I realize, of course, that it's difficult for folks to comment on games when the details we post tend to be sparse. But you could comment on just that, our reluctance to post details that usually change, or what YOU would like to see in these games, or what other games YOU want from us.

Jerry Taylor and I also have a preliminary design for HAMMER OF THE IRISH when the Scots invaded Ireland to free them from the English (and add to the domains of Robert the Bruce) only to find many Irish supporting the English there. Messy business...

Tom


Well, I don't know what I can say about K.I.S.S. besides I can't wait to learn more about it. I think blocks will be awesome in a tactical WW2 game. The Fog of War is something missing from a lot of games at that scale. Will there be decoy units as well?

What exactly is the game's scale? Are the units squads, or something larger, like platoons?

I'm sure I'll buy it since I at least try every WW2 tactical game that comes down the pike. But I do wish someone would make a skirmish level wargame with each unit being a single soldier. I don't think there's anything at that level in print right now except for Lost Battalion's hybrid Sergeants Miniatures Game.
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Roger Hobden
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leroy43 wrote:

One thing I've always admired about CG is that you have your entire catalog of wargames still available. The fact I can still buy Quebec 1759 today, even though it's now 40 years old, is just awesome.


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Roger Hobden
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leroy43 wrote:

K.I.S.S. could be interesting, although I'm with the folks who think the name could use some help. Seriously though, I think a better name could be found.


From a marketing point of view, a name like K.I.S.S. for a WWII tactical game would be the kiss of death. whistle
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