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Waning Crescent, Shattered Cross» Forums » General

Subject: To the designer - included history? rss

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David Bartholomew

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Ohio
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Really looking forward to this game! What type of historical content are you planning to include? I'm hoping for a brief writeup on the historical significance of each card and maybe even a short historical booklet Thanks!
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Andy Loakes
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AHdave wrote:
Really looking forward to this game! What type of historical content are you planning to include? I'm hoping for a brief writeup on the historical significance of each card and maybe even a short historical booklet Thanks!


Hi David, your enthusiasm is appreciated I've just finished a session updating the counters and signed on to BGG to see this - a real motivator.

I am expecting to include a historical narrative of some form and I'm actually considering featuring the cards as part of the narrative - so great minds think alike. I will probably submit the article to War Diary Magazine (or perhaps even ATO since the topic would be ideal for that publication) in advance of the games publication to hopefully garner additional interest (and pre-orders). I guess, if this is my plan, and with a possible 2017 game publication, I'd better get my finger out.

Andy

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David Bartholomew

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Hi Andy,
Thanks for the reply. Glad to hear you're thinking about a historical narrative with the cards included! I just heard a historian speak briefly about this battle and its importance to the Christian west a couple days ago - first I'd heard about it before that was from the Consim folder on the game
Dave
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Brett McLay
United States
South Burlington
Vermont
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As an interested observer and weathered wargamer, I'll echo that the better game designs include historical notes. Some do a fine job working the content into rulebook margins or actual pieces. In my opinion this allows the game to transcend a "nice simulation" and stoke a deeper immersion. Honestly, it's what keeps me coming back to my favorites.

References:
1) Spies! 1935-1939. -- Prewar events are listed on pulled tiles, like Anschluss.
2) A current euro-in-progress, Lisboa -- the rebuilding of Lisbon, Portugal after the 1755 earthquake. If you read the recent forums (and corresponding images) for this game, Mr. Lacerda details some of the technical timber reinforcements used in reconstruction. This, along with exquisite artwork, adds tremendous value to the game's heritage.

I don't know what kind of benchmarking you prefer to do; these are some of the designs that have impressed me. I could go on: Paths of Glory; Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg! for strategic comparisons and essential indexing.

~ Wishing you well!

edit: removed reference to D-Day at Tarawa ... solo game.
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Andy Loakes
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Whoo - nearly missed these replies having failed to sub to the thread - now rectified.

David's post motivated me to write to Steve at ATO and see if they would be interested in such an article - first response is positive,

What I didn't say above, and have also failed to mention to Steve so far, is that I'd also want the article to be included with the game. This is the approach I took with Toulon (War Diary published the original (but edited) article and it then appeared in full with the game).

As with Toulon I'm anticipating the supporting article to be part of a playbook supplement.

In fact David's post enthused me so much that, tonight, I wrote a 300 word introduction to said article. Still rough drafyt and probably subject to change but, fior what its worth, here it is...

A History in Cards

Following the publication of my game Toulon, 1793, I felt almost obliged to hunt out another topic for a game – to keep the design momentum going as it were. But, like an author with writer’s block, trying to force it just wasn’t going to work for me. I needed to bide my time until a suitable topic found me – that was what had happened with Toulon and it would have to happen again, naturally, if I was to have the enthusiasm necessary for such a venture.

Ten years ago I’d read, and loved, Tim Willock’s historical novel ‘The Religion’ and picking it up for a re-read the penny soon dropped – here was a great topic for a game – The Great Siege of 1565! If ever there was an ‘against the odds’ situation, surely this was it – 500 Knights of St John holding off 60,000 Ottomans. And, despite Voltaire’s claim that "Nothing is better known than the siege of Malta”, nowadays a fairly obscure topic – just as Toulon was (at least in gaming terms).

First stop, again as with Toulon, was the Osprey Campaigns series. These great little books pack a lot of information into a small space and provide a great basis for a game design. Their book on the siege reinforced my belief that this was a great game topic and so my reading broadened. I’ve now read numerous accounts of the battle with publication dates ranging from 156? To 2016, and I’ve yet to find one that is anything other than exciting and engrossing – they relate an adventure straight out of Boy’s Own. The tales of derring-do and miraculous events made one design decision very simple – the game was going to feature cards.

Each of the game’s Event Cards reflects actions and events that occurred during the siege’s four months and so provide an (at times literally) incredible narrative as each game unfolds. In this article I use a number of the cards, in their historical sequence, to relate the story of John de Vallette, the Knights of St John and the brave people of Malta in the face of overwhelming odds.
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David Bartholomew

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Outstanding! Thanks Andy!!
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