Joe Joyce
United States
Yonkers
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Command and Maneuver (CaM) is a structured multi-move abstract strategy war game construction kit, built on a very simple basic rules set, 5 types of pieces, and 3 types of moveable terrain so even playing the same scenario, you can modify the board. There are 4 scenarios in various stages of development ranging from never played a full game to played a number of times against several other people.

For what it is, a chess - wargame fusion, it plays very well, naturally exhibiting some "military behaviors" generated by the interaction of rules, board, and pieces. It features "leaders" which must activate other pieces within 1 or 2 squares before they can move, creating small armies. The character of the game is controlled by the number of activations per turn vs the total number of pieces and the total value of the leaders. It replaces the randomness of combat with the sureness of a kill by chesslike replacement capture and the mathematical chaos caused by that requirement (to occupy the captured enemy's square) which often takes pieces out of command range, disorganizing the army. These features tend to make sustained combat extremely bloody.

The 4 scenarios are on Vassal but not yet on the Vassal site. The module for this was made by Bill Betts, just one of many to whom I am deeply indebted. The original artwork is by Gary Simpson with graphics adaptations by Brendan Coster. Initial development was done by Dave Bennett. Thanks to all the playtesters, especially Nick Wolff, Eric Korn, Jeff Cierniak, and Mark Simpson. And there are many others who pushed pieces or helped in other ways. Thanks, all.

The 4 scenarios are Border War, an update of the first version of the game that worked as legit "military chess"; A Tale of Two Countries Introductory Scenario, the best-tested; The Battle of Macysburg, an abstract riff on the Battle of Gettysburg; and A Tale of Two Countries Campaign Game, the one still looking for a final opening set-up, yet unplayed. The first 3 scenarios generally resolve in 30 - 40 turns. The untested one has the potential to go longer. Face-to-face, play time ranges from 3 - 5 hours or more.

This is an upgrade and expansion of The Warlord Games. There are print and play and Vassal versions of the games. Anyone interested? I'm willing to do playtesting to get playtesting.
 
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Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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I would be interested in looking at it. I'm a bit concerned about the play tim--3-5 hours seems long for an abstract.
 
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Joe Joyce
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kentreuber wrote:
I would be interested in looking at it. I'm a bit concerned about the play tim--3-5 hours seems long for an abstract.

Hello, Kent. Thank you for your interest. While 3 - 5+ hours is long for an abstract, it is about normal for a wargame. And while the game is pure abstract strategy on the individual piece move level, on the conceptual and organizational level, it is very much a wargame. This is from konsum24's solo game of Border War, using the prototype pieces: http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1413785/konsum24

The smallest board is 12 x 24 squares, the Macysburg board is 32 x 32, and the planned campaign game is 48 x 64. Players have some 35 - 100+ pieces in a game. They may get replacements, reinforcements or rally casualties during the game. I hope that explains it. Possibly I could send you the Vassal module and the starting set-ups of the 3 scenarios I have "completed". I'm not yet satisfied with the initial set up of the campaign game. Placing the units by the towns and cities in the game spread them out too far to quickly or easily form any significant armies before the first enemy troops came across the border. I could cheat and start with a mobilization phase, letting field commanders assemble armies from the 12 city/town "garrisons", but I think that idea is only for experienced players. So I need to push pieces in that scenario for a day before I get a decent starting set-up, I suspect.
 
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