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Subject: Rock 'n Roll Wargame: The Hidden Coolness of City Fight rss

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brian Britton
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those are people from some of my favorite bands-now i HAVE TO GET THIS-i like the lydon and hell counters best
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Wow, never thought I'd see SPI, ABC no rio and Stephen Donaldson mentioned in a single thread, and in the BGG wargame subforum of all places surprise

A couple of movies to complement the book and records recommendations:

American Hardcore


and The Decline of Western Civilization (no trailer available on youtube, just random bits of the film )

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Bob James
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Ummm, I've owned CityFight since 1980 and was involved in the punk scene (not NY) at the time.

I admit to more than slightly wondering about the names on the counters at the time - I think I thought it was kind of obvious actually.

But I have to say it's a hell of a game especially if you can get someone to umpire it. For nail biting tension it leaves everything else for dead, you creep around never knowing where you're going to get hit from (and no, ASL is just nowhere near as good)

Absolutely ripe for computerized umpiring (VASSAL?) and a desire, as yet unrealized, to create a computerized umpire for this game was what got me into IT.

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Alec Clair
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Beside the designers personal musical tastes, linking a game with City and Fight in its title, to the punk genre is just F#*ø~^g Dead Brilliant. Just think about The Clash for example.

Moreover Wargaming is as far from the middle of the road boardgaming genre than Punk is to music. A nice "mise en abîme"
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Justin Hoffman
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usrlocal wrote:
Pramas wrote:

Another unlikely punk/wargamer connection is Chris Bauermeister, the bass player for Jawbreaker. Those guys went to NYU the same time as me, and Chris lived in my dorm. I well remember the night he got drunk and blasted Faith's "Subject to Change" so loud you could hear it up and down the hallways.


Jawbreaker! Oh yeah! A buddy/former roommate of mine who was in the band Fuel used to tour around with them in the early 90s!



Christ on a crutch. I caught at least 2 or 3 shows on that "Fuck '90" tour. Still have an autographed Fuel single (don't remember now if it was a 7" or a CD-S) and the CD *still* gets play around here. Never did get a chance to get autographs from Jawbreaker (or Samiam, which I think played at least one of the dates...). Guess I'll bring my Samiam/JB split 7" to Historicon next year. laugh

Great thread folks.
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JOSEPH BORNSTEIN
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usrlocal wrote:
So, keeping in mind that Cityfight: Modern Combat in the Urban Environment was a co-design between Donaldson and Joe Balkoski, are there any SPI insiders out there who can help to illuminate the relative contributions to the game from the two designers? Balkoski is listed first on the box, but I'm not sure if this is because he was lead designer, or just due to alphabetical ordering.

The only SPI game that I can find that Donaldson designed was indeed City Fight. In terms of other design/development credits, Donaldson was involved in development of:

Caporetto, 1917
MechWar 2
MechWar 2: Red Star / White Star
MechWar 2: Suez to Golan

Interestingly, Costikyan's site says that Donaldson went on to design for for West End Games.

Joe Balkoski, of course, designed tons of games for SPI, including:

Atlantic Wall
Fighting Sail: Sea Combat in the Age of Canvas and Shot 1775-1815
Ney vs. Wellington
The Kaiser's Battle
Operation Grenade

Balkoski was also involved in the development of, among others, the following:

Wacht am Rhein
Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo
Tito (yay!)





I thought Donaldson worked on "The Next war' as well; he wrote a long piece about it in F&M, complaining about his pay, dealing with the designer, and so on.
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Magister Ludi
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usrlocal wrote:
thehal wrote:


I thought Donaldson worked on "The Next war' as well; he wrote a long piece about it in F&M, complaining about his pay, dealing with the designer, and so on.


Thanks for posting that. I just double-checked a photo of the box cover of The Next War, and Dunnigan has the design credit with Herman as developer. Perhaps Donaldson was uncredited because he left the project early? I'll also check through back issues of Moves magazine to see if I can find anything about that - they often had progress reports on SPI games in development.


ahh..Moves, the hardcore wargamers eqivalent of a Google search.

If my wife cops me reading one of these beauties I always get a rubbishing. What's wrong with 35 yr old gaming magazines?
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Justin Hoffman
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Aussie550 wrote:

ahh..Moves, the hardcore wargamers eqivalent of a Google search.

If my wife cops me reading one of these beauties I always get a rubbishing. What's wrong with 35 yr old gaming magazines?


They're contemporary to the games you're playing, right? That makes 'em practically new! whistle
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Mark Herman
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You may be the first person to figure out Donaldson's naming convention.

Mark
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Geoff Burkman
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usrlocal wrote:


 


As Chris mentioned may refer to Ed Pittman, first lead singer for the Indianaopolis-based band Toxic Reasons.

This pic might be him - someone correct me if I'm wrong.






What a fascinating thread, how did I miss this earlier? Kudos! Anyway, the fellow pictured above is not Ed, it's Bruce Stuckey, TR's lead guitarist. A classic pic of Ed in action can be found here: https://files.nyu.edu/cch223/public/usa/toxicreasons_main.ht...(he's on the left in the pic at the bottom of the page; the top pic is from a later incarnation of TR, with Tufty at left. Bruce on guitar, J.J. on drums, and Rob Snot in the back playing bass). BTW, Toxic Reasons was originally a Dayton, OH band and didn't officially relocate to Indy until after Ed was gone from the roster. Ed still lives in Dayton, married to a very nice, very quiet lady. Next time I see him I will let him know about this thread; I'm sure he'll be amused.

Thanks to all for the trip down memory lane!
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Sam I Am
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MarkHerman wrote:
You may be the first person to figure out Donaldson's naming convention.

Mark


Yes, usrlocal is our official code breaker.
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Paul Amala
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This thread is quite entertaining as I was in high school also during the 70's and also played City Fight at college. But I sure wouldn't want any of these dudes as my Company Commander!
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Enrico Viglino
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usrlocal wrote:
MarkHerman wrote:
You may be the first person to figure out Donaldson's naming convention.

Mark


Thanks for that, Mark. I was indeed curious as to just how big this in-joke was at SPI.


That was the first thing I thought of when I saw his post.
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R Moore
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usrlocal wrote:
MarkHerman wrote:
You may be the first person to figure out Donaldson's naming convention.

Mark


Thanks for that, Mark. I was indeed curious as to just how big this in-joke was at SPI.


That's so cool. 30+ years to break the code. Well done sir.
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Ian Raine
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Grimm -

'Major' Matt Grim, lead singer of New Jersey's Grim Klone band.

Unfortunately he got demoted to Captain in the game.

And there is No Excuse! this wasn't spotted earlier.
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What a fascinating thread! What's amazing, too, is that without the interwebs plus Aldie and crew setting up BGG, Peter would've had a tremendous flash of insight, but no real way of following up or sharing this information.

This thread made me dig up my copy of Fire&Movement #25, which features City Fight. The reviewer, Jay Selover, admired the ambitious attempt, but said the mechanics were cumbersome.

Stephan Donaldson seemed rather annoyed at Selover's play-by-play of the "Take the Money and Run" bank heist scenario, which exposed several of the game's flaws.

He also directs fans of the game to two gentlemen: Dan Dennis and Harry Erwin. Perhaps they can shed more light? Does anybody know them?

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Ian Raine
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Grim Klones youtube:



Have a good time!

Edit: someone in a share house I lived in circa 1982ish had the No Excuses! EP. We kind of shared stuff around so not sure if I bought the import at Redeye Records in Sydney, or someone else did, but vaguely recollect that some f**ker stole it a couple of years later.The pr*ck.

There was one excellent track, and the other two were immensely obscene and therefore required listening.

I have intense nostalgia for those days; Radio Birdman at the Oxford in 1977, before they were famous. Shirts off in the summer heat, volume so loud that it hurt your ears. Aloha Steve & Danno.

A few years ago some of the lads gathered in Brisbane for a Radio's comeback concert (after Denis Tek finished his stint as a USN pilot & flight surgeon); we had to stand at the back of the venue it was so frackin loud; the first note they played just about blew our beers out of our hands.

To borrow a phrase from my teenage kids - awesome!

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Ian Raine
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PPFS - for any of you not familiar with the Birdman (a slightly American but mostly Oz combination), this is an excellent place to start:

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Carsten Bohne
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Just stumbled over this thread and... wow.

Musicwise I came to the party approx. ten years later. Still regret not being able to afford a trip to a sunday matinee at ABC's. Will get the kids into bed early tonight and crank up some GO! and Quicksand...
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Justin Hoffman
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sxmpxr wrote:
For a bit of background on the origins of "Up against the wall", from the Wikipedia page:

Quote:
The phrase was taken from the poem, "Black People!" by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones): "The magic words are: Up against the wall, mother f@#$r, this is a stick up!" One of the first appearances of the phrase "Up against the wall Motherfuckers!" as a revolutionary slogan was in April 1968, on a famous piece of graffiti found scrawled in the mathematics department (the building they helped occupy), following the Columbia University protests of 1968.


Ben Morea, the most prominent member is also known for his friendship with Valerie Solanas. It was allegedly from him that she got the gun used against Andy Warhol.

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that the British branch of the Situationist International (Timothy Clark, Christopher Gray, Donald Nicholson-Smith & Charles Radcliffe) were eventually excluded because of their ties to Black Mask. Guy Debord didn't like them very much.

It might be a stretch in this thread, but Greil Marcus' excellent book "Lipstick Traces" traces a lineage from Dada, to the Situationist International to punk.

"never work"!
"Under the cobblestones, the beach"!!
"Jouir sans entraves, vivre sans temps morts"
Those are punk words indeed.


The Up Against the Wall line came from Baraka, but, in the wake of the Columbia mess, was broadly popularlized by the Jefferson Airplane in "We Can Be Together," the B-side to [the great] Volunteers. (Grace Slick could make *anything* sound brilliant back then...hell, listen to their Levi's jeans ads from the late 60s...)

Not sure if this was covered previously but Ben Morea actually part of a "direct action" group in the vein of the Weather Underground that called itself "Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers" and, in a play off a labor union, "UAW/MF"....

Edit: Ah, I see I missed the original post about UAW & Morea prior to the one i quoted.
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Justin Hoffman
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usrlocal wrote:
We're now down to Schmidt and Fiddler! Keep 'em coming!!


Any chance of Fiddler be the Medicine Head/Box o'Frogs/British Lions singer John Fiddler? A little more Mott the Hoople/Dr. Feelgood than The Clash but the timeline is right...
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Ian Raine
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Irmin Schmidt?

Not punk, more of an experimentalist in the Nick Cave style, but had New York connections.
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Justin Hoffman
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usrlocal wrote:
Hmm..Irmin Schmidt was a founding member of Can - 70s krautrock - and John Fiddler was pretty early 70s British blues/glam rock. I'm not ruling them out, but might be a bit of a stretch to call it on these just yet. Let's keep them on the back burner for now and see if anything else comes up.


Schmidt/Can I could see because Can were darlings of the NY fringe art scene for a while there. Not entirely in line musically but may cover the weirdness factor.

My second thought was...did he drink Philly beer? Schmidt's "grenades" (those bulbous 8oz bottles)--and the last steel can with pull-tab in US brewing as far as I could ever tell--fuelled every grimy club and basement party to both ends of the New Jersey Turnpike
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P. Mihalarias
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@_@

My friends, this is the single most amazing thread on all of BGG. I'm so happy to have stumbled upon it.
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Rock 'n Roll Wargame: The Hidden Coolness of City Fight
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