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Subject: Brian Train's Ukrainian Crisis PnP Game rss

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Gordon J
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I just printed out and put together the free game Brain Train put out just a few weeks ago. Looks pretty good, but I have to read the rules.







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Greg S
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Looks like a nice, neat job. Well done!
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Gordon J
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essayons7 wrote:
Looks like a nice, neat job. Well done!


Thanks. The graphics are pretty simple so there isn't a whole lot one can do to pimp this out. Can't wait to try this out. There are some interesting mechanics Brian has put into this little game.
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Iain K
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patton55 wrote:
The graphics are pretty simple so there isn't a whole lot one can do to pimp this out.


Now what kind of an attitude is that?! A game can always be pimped out! Hell, the simpler the game the more it cries out to be pimped!


Now you go out there, like your avatar/namesake and you pimp the hell out of this thing!


Seriously, you've inspired me to print my own copy and go absolutely nuts on it*. I'm talkin' about Belli'ing this thing!

And we all know Pete can pimp a game like there's no tomorrow.



If you'd like to play Brian's game the files are located at:
http://brtrain.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/a-new-pnp-game-ukrai...

To learn more about Pete Belli and his predilection for custom scenarios and general game pimpery check out his portfolio:

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* this is not a guarantee, time permitting blush
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Brian Train
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Ick, I don't like the word "pimp", as a noun or a verb, but you guys please yourselves.
I hope you enjoy the game once you've put it together!
Usually the first thing people do with my games is make the components bigger and more easily read by aging eyes.
I admit I'm kind of miserly with paper and toner, from my days with the Microgame Design Group.

And for those who don't want to do the papercrafting, there is a VASSAL module for it too, thanks to
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"Brian Train's Ukrainian Crisis" - sounds as if I've eaten too many cabbage rolls!

Brian
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Gordon J
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I had a buddy who bought your Algeria game Brian, and then he took the map to Kinkos, strong armed the worker there to blow up the map bigger, and it ended up costing him just as much to blow up the new map as it did to buy the game. But it was worth it.
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Gordon J
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citizen k wrote:
patton55 wrote:
The graphics are pretty simple so there isn't a whole lot one can do to pimp this out.


Now what kind of an attitude is that?! A game can always be pimped out! Hell, the simpler the game the more it cries out to be pimped!


Now you go out there, like your avatar/namesake and you pimp the hell out of this thing!


Seriously, you've inspired me to print my own copy and go absolutely nuts on it*. I'm talkin' about Belli'ing this thing!

And we all know Pete can pimp a game like there's no tomorrow.



If you'd like to play Brian's game the files are located at:
http://brtrain.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/a-new-pnp-game-ukrai...

To learn more about Pete Belli and his predilection for custom scenarios and general game pimpery check out his portfolio:

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* this is not a guarantee, time permitting blush


I'll check it out. Let me know what you do to "jazz" it up.
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Brian Train
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Yeah, Kinko's is expensive all right, but they are all like that: I got a 22x34" JPG of the Distant Plain map printed up at a local quick-print place to do playtests and it was almost $40.

A better idea might be to scan the original 11x17" map, blow it up as big as you want using a graphics program, and print it out as a tiled PDF or something like that.

Brian
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Gordon J
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ltmurnau wrote:
Yeah, Kinko's is expensive all right, but they are all like that: I got a 22x34" JPG of the Distant Plain map printed up at a local quick-print place to do playtests and it was almost $40.

A better idea might be to scan the original 11x17" map, blow it up as big as you want using a graphics program, and print it out as a tiled PDF or something like that.

Brian


Good idea. In the future, Brian, maybe you could post a PDF of the map or something like that, though I don't know how hard that would be for you to do. That would make things easier for me. I'm able to make nice colored prints at my work for free.
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Brian Train
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That's just what I did for this game!
I do my primitive map work in LibreOffice (free, slightly better variant of the also free OpenOffice) and save files in PDF format, for printing or posting.
The Ukrainian Crisis mapsheet is laid out the way it is because making the whole 11x17" sheet map would have distorted the geography too much - there was no point in showing the western third of Ukraine, nothing's happening there. So instead the space is used for the record tracks, holding boxes, Foreign Relations Display and card play area, which are in constant use.

Brian
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Gordon J
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ltmurnau wrote:
That's just what I did for this game!
I do my primitive map work in LibreOffice (free, slightly better variant of the also free OpenOffice) and save files in PDF format, for printing or posting.
The Ukrainian Crisis mapsheet is laid out the way it is because making the whole 11x17" sheet map would have distorted the geography too much - there was no point in showing the western third of Ukraine, nothing's happening there. So instead the space is used for the record tracks, holding boxes, Foreign Relations Display and card play area, which are in constant use.

Brian


And that is much appreciated. Thanks for sharing about the Libreoffice, I'll look into something like that for my own stuff.
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Brian Train
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I can't remember the last time I paid for software - there usually seems to be at least two freeware alternatives for almost anything I want to do or get done, or I've been able to use software that came bundled with whatever second-hand computer I happen to be using at the time.
Of course some freeware programs are better than others; I've tried to learn GIMP which is more powerful but the interface frustrates me, Inkscape is easier to use but not as easy as Libreoffice.
I made my first maps using Clarisworks and MacDraw back in 1991, and I've even used Word to make counter sheets.
I've gotten a bit more sophisticated over the years but my needs aren't very high-level, for yea, I worship at the sparsely-decorated yet highly-functional altar of Redmond Simonsen...

Brian

PS: yeah, looking at the photo you posted you do have old rules - go back and get the set marked 30 March.
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Gordon J
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ltmurnau wrote:
I can't remember the last time I paid for software - there usually seems to be at least two freeware alternatives for almost anything I want to do or get done, or I've been able to use software that came bundled with whatever second-hand computer I happen to be using at the time.
Of course some freeware programs are better than others; I've tried to learn GIMP which is more powerful but the interface frustrates me, Inkscape is easier to use but not as easy as Libreoffice.
I made my first maps using Clarisworks and MacDraw back in 1991, and I've even used Word to make counter sheets.
I've gotten a bit more sophisticated over the years but my needs aren't very high-level, for yea, I worship at the sparsely-decorated yet highly-functional altar of Redmond Simonsen...

Brian

PS: yeah, looking at the photo you posted you do have old rules - go back and get the set marked 30 March.


Yep, did that. Were there any other major changes made between those variations other than Economic changing to Information?
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Martin Hogan
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Hi!

For those of you looking to upgrade the graphics: Take a look at the VASSAL module. I have done a little number on the cards, counters and some record tracks.

If you like those and are keen, you can either extract the graphics files from the module and print them - or you can persuade me to pull them out for you.

As for free graphics software, I have fallen in love with Inkscape. It takes a fair amount of learning, but there are a lot of free tutorials and manuals out there. And then it becomes extremely powerful.

Cheers,

Martin
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Gordon J
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Sturmwind wrote:
Hi!

For those of you looking to upgrade the graphics: Take a look at the VASSAL module. I have done a little number on the cards, counters and some record tracks.

If you like those and are keen, you can either extract the graphics files from the module and print them - or you can persuade me to pull them out for you.

As for free graphics software, I have fallen in love with Inkscape. It takes a fair amount of learning, but there are a lot of free tutorials and manuals out there. And then it becomes extremely powerful.

Cheers,

Martin


Well.......

Any way you can put some of that in a PDF?

I will take a look at the Vassal Mod tonight.
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Brian Train
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Changes are in the notes added to the post where you got the files. Think I just tightened up some language and added two airfields. But give them a good read first, and maybe download the charts too to make sure.

I neglected to mention what a great spiffy-uppy job Martin did on the graphics. I'm sorry Martin, these look really great!

Brian
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Gordon J
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Excellent job on the Vassal Module. Looks good. I just downloaded it.
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Andy M
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Amused that there is a deck (?) entitled "Fuck the EU".
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Gordon J
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moss_icon wrote:
Amused that there is a deck (?) entitled "Fuck the EU".


It's the name of one of the events, not the whole deck. I'll now have to go google some of these events and read more up on them.

I like the fact Brian always (usually?) adds random events to his games, it adds flavor and replay value to the game.
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Wendell
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moss_icon wrote:
Amused that there is a deck (?) entitled "Fuck the EU".




This was before Yanukovich fled Kiev.
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Thanks for sharing Wendell. Nice to know where these event cards come From.
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Brian Train
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Glad you liked that one.
Someone over in the UK liked the game but said he couldn't show it to "serious games people" because they'd object to the language on the card.
I replied that that was the actual language that "serious diplomatic people", to whom this crisis is not a game, used to describe actual events but in the end I had to concur with him: to many people, an unexpected four-letter word derails further thought on whatever the subject was.

Anyway, the effect of the card is to reduce the support of the EU countries for Ukraine towards Neutral, but the Ukrainian player can gain considerable Prestige out of it depending on the current inclination of the USA.

People who have seen my games know that I like random events and throw a few funny ones in.
The random events for this game I put together in mid-March when I was first designing the game and have not changed them since.
I came up with ones that had happened or seemed likely to happen at the time.
I had a limit of 12 Event Cards because that was what would fill up two sheets of cardstock with the 36 Resource Cards, with two left over for make-your-own events.
In hindsight, even though the crisis is not yet over, I would suggest an event or two that affects the Ukrainian Army's readiness; it appears that the Army mostly wants to sit this one out (I also read the other day that the 25th Airborne Brigade had been disbanded; can anyone confirm?).
Of course people are free to cook up even more Event Cards if they wish to shake things up.

And by the way, if anyone wants to skip the papercrafting for the cards, and almost all the die rolling, it is possible to play the game with a deck of ordinary playing cards.
This will also give a somewhat more high-powered game, as the 18 cards (Ace to 9, two suits) for each side give a total of 90 Resources to allocate during the game, versus the average expected total of 73 with the randomized die rolls on the cards (9x 1d4, 6 x 1d6, 3 x 1d12).

I wanted this game to be as simple as possible for people to put together rapidly, but there isn't any way to get around having to make up the counters, unless you want to do something like use physical substitutes - e.g. remember that a red Risk piece rolls 4 dice and a yellow Risk piece rolls 2, both shapes of macaroni roll 1, and the black licorice nibs cannot be eliminated in combat (though they can be eaten after the game, and eliminated even later).

However, it seems that the simple fact that this was a paper game, and not something cartoony someone could diddle with on his smartphone, dissuaded over 99% of the more than 1,100 visitors who popped in to look at that blog post the day I posted the game files.

Brian
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michael connor
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Brian, I'm thinking your Jesus Shaves game could possibly model some of this urban free-for-all fighting going on in the Ukraine right now. What do you think?? Lots of factions and chaos.
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Brian Train
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Well, I suppose it could... though it depends on what aspect of the fighting you want to explore.

I'm revising my Civil Power game right now, which is a tactical game that goes into aspects of crowd and riot control, and low-level gang warfare.

Virtualia (for those who tuned in late: a game about the urnban insurgency taking place in the capital city of the fictional nation of that name, after the departure from power and/or life of Jesus Shaves, charismatic strongman) might do for an operational look too, if it were done for an ethnically divided city - different neighbourhoods would have different attitudes, criminal and non-aligned gangs running about, degradation of civil services and authority - yeah, it could work, though it would not handle an actual invasion by Russian conventional forces: in this case, assume that if the Government player's political support zeroes out, then an invasion has been triggered, effectively ending the game.

Yeah, it could work.
But dammit, I have to sleep some time....

Brian
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essayons7 wrote:
Looks like a nice, neat job. Well done!
patton55 wrote:
Thanks. The graphics are pretty simple so there isn't a whole lot one can do to *plump* this out. Can't wait to try this out. There are some interesting mechanics Brian has put into this little game.
I have to wonder if there is "hidden employment" used within it overall? Another, were with concern for "simul~deployment" and even "HQ activation(s)" that utilize such with one another. Perhaps, 'moi' shall 'peruse'-&-'apprise' "such-&-much" M-O-R-E-! K? thx! whistle
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