The games of Mark Herman
Brian Morris
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Raytown
Missouri
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There are many great game designers. People who have contributed much to our hobby. Some of my favorites are people like Richard Berg, Don Greenwood, Bruno Faidutti, Ed Beach and Bruce Harper to name just a few. Sitting near the top of that list of favorites would have to be Mark Herman. From his days at SPI in the 70s to his current work for GMT he has created some truly great games. He has won just about every major game design award you can think of. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the works of one of the most successful game designers in the hobby.

Mark Herman by the way is currently working on a new game for GMT entitled Washington's War.
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1. Board Game: The Battle for Jerusalem [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Brian Morris
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Raytown
Missouri
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One of Herman's first games for SPI in 1977. Ok, not exactly a classic and impossible to find 35 years later.
 
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2. Board Game: Raid! [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:14308]
Brian Morris
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Also from 1977 and SPI. This game appeared in Strategy & Tactics magazine.
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3. Board Game: John Carter: Warlord of Mars [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:6165]
Brian Morris
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Raytown
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Ok, when you think sci fi games this one isn't exactly one of the first games that will come to mind. It's also an unusual theme for Mark Herman. Still, the game gets some good feedback from the folks here on BGG. I love the wonderful artwork on the cover of this game. It catches the feel of the classic pulp science fiction book covers.
 
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4. Board Game: Pacific War [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1740]
Brian Morris
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While his games for SPI were hardly bad games by any stretch, it was when Herman went to work for Avalon Hill and it's Victory Games line that he started producing some truly classic games. Here's a perfect example of his work that came out under the Victory Games label.
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5. Board Game: Gulf Strike [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3705]
Brian Morris
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Raytown
Missouri
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Released in 1983 and updated in 1988, this game did a remarkable job of foreshadowing the 1991 Gulf War.
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6. Board Game: The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:3093]
Brian Morris
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Raytown
Missouri
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A game unfortunately no longer in my collection. It's was a unique game where the player played against himself. You start winning and you then switch sides to play what was the side that was losing. You either loved this game or you hated it I think. I really liked it myself.
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7. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1031]
Brian Morris
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Raytown
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A ground breaking game to say the least. Using the point to point system rather than the more popular hex map system of the time, this game was unique in that it added in cards to be used in the combat system. Games that use a similar system that have followed in the years since like Hannibal started here with this game.
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8. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:712]
Brian Morris
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Herman follows up his successful We The People with this game using the same system in the American Civil War. A great game under the Avalon Hill label, it was reprinted and improved under GMT. A reprint of this title is now sitting on the GMT P500 list waiting for the magic 500 number...hint hint.
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9. Board Game: Central America [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:8629]
 
Brian Morris
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Although not credited for this on BGG, Herman's bio on GMT lists him on this game along with James McQuaid. Very complex but also unique and in my opinion pretty fun.
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10. Board Game: SPQR [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2003]
Brian Morris
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Co-created with Richard Berg (another of my favorite game designers), this game has had a series of module expansions for it that have made it a great series for those who enjoy wargaming in the Ancient World. The great thing about these modules is they cover battles and wars in ancient times that simply are not covered in any other game. Many of these modules are now being reprinted under GMT's P500.
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11. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:742]
Brian Morris
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Missouri
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20 years after the publication of Pacific War, Herman returns to the WW II Pacific Theater, this time using a variation of his card system invented for We the People. A great game.
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12. Board Game: The Next War [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:3556]
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
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While listed as the developer for Next War, "developing" means various things, for different games. I corresponded with Mr. Herman about Next War, and what came out of it was that Mr. Dunnigan had essentially provided a "grocery list" of ideas for this game, and left Mr. Herman to essentially turn them into a game.

As an aside, there were many projects at various stages of creation, when SPI folded (not including those that various designers had intended to develop, but had shelved because of conflicting schedules), which were subseqently released under the VG banner. AH did not infuse the former SPI staff with much more, I think, than paychecks and "go-no go" decisions.
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13. Board Game: Aegean Strike [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:7122]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Companion game to Gulf Strike.
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14. Board Game: The Siege of Alesia [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:4398]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
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Co-designer with Richard Berg
 
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15. Board Game: Caesar in Alexandria [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:5050]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
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Co-designer with Richard Berg and Alan J. Ray
 
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16. Board Game: Flashpoint: Golan [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:4747]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
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Flashpoint:Golan is a game about a possible fifth Arab-Israeli war. It uses a highly interactive sequence of play. The map contains the Golan Heights and the surrounding area. The major combatants are; Israel, Syria and Jordan with possible intervention by US or Soviet Union forces.
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17. Board Game: France 1944: The Allied Crusade in Europe [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:7468]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
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18. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:2999]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
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Co-designer with Richard Berg.

Samurai is the fifth entry in the award winning GREAT BATTLES OF HISTORY. Covers 6 major battles which are Okehazama, Anegawa, Kawanakajima, Mikita-ga-Hara, Nagashino and Sekigahara.

Game features 850 colored counters, Two 22 X 34 mapsheets (backprinted).
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19. Board Game: October War [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:4900]
John Vasilakos
United States
Annandale
VA
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Mark was the co-designer. He took advantage of the 3 tank platoons to replace the old disrupt-kill the entire platoon system used in previous SPI tactical games with a step reduction system. And it works with a min of fuss.
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20. Board Game: MechWar 2: Red Star / White Star [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:10146]
John Kovacs
United States
Elyria
Ohio
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This is the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact game that is part of the Mech War 2 package that also included Suez to Golan. One of the first tactical wargames to include rules for biological/chemical/nuclear warfare - nuclear blast, radiation, and even electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) effects. NBC protection rules for troops and vehicles. Similar to Red Star/White Star I but modernized, updated, and more complex.
 
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