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Subject: BGG Wargame Designer of the Month: Jack Greene rss

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Hunga Dunga
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This Month's BGG Wargame Designer of the Month is Mr. Jack Greene. A native of California, he holds a degree in History from Whitman College. He has designed over a dozen wargames.

His wife, Beth Quemen, did game graphics for most of his games, as well as the maps in his six books, five co-authored with Alessandro Massignani.

Mr. Greene licensed his first two American wargames to Japan back in 1981. They were IRONBOTTOM SOUND and NORWAY – 1940. This fundamentally changed the dynamics of the Japanese wargame market by reducing the costs of buying a game in Japan.

He has probably worked for more wargame companies than anyone in the hobby: Simulations Design Company(SDC), Avalon Hill, Battleline Games, and was a partner in Paper Wars (GALLIPOLI and DORA NAWA). Mr. Greene owns Quarterdeck Games which is now Quarterdeck International.



Currently he is working with JAPANESE COMMAND Magazine to produce some naval games with modern research and some newer game concepts than from the 1980s! Quarterdeck International is licensing/importing and publishing Japanese game designs with REVOLUTION GAMES. PACIFIC FURY was published this Spring, and this Winter they plan on releasing PANZER KORPS: RED TYPHOON, a divisional level game of the Soviet January 1942 offensive in front of Moscow.

Mr. Greene has agreed to sit down with us for a while and talk about wargames. Please give him a warm, BGG Wargame Subdomain Welcome!
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Roger Hobden
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Welcome and congratulations Mr Greene !

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Jim P.
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"Did you too learn that secret from the river: that there is no time?"
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Thank you for being with us this month, Mr. Greene - and thank you, HD, for making this visit possible.

Another wargamer here in the subdomain introduced me to your Tsushima design last year which I enjoy playing, and having purchased Iron Bottom Sound III just a month ago, I consider myself a convert to your games.

This question is about your books - is their a title among your publications that you particularly enjoyed writing? Perhaps the subject was special to you, or maybe you enjoyed doing the research on a particular one?
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Sean
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Congratulations Mr Greene on being the being the BBG Wargame Designer of the Month!

I'm a former Australian soldier who was lucky enough to be granted the honour of representing the Australian Army in a catafalque party for ANZAC Day (25 April) on sands of ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, in 2007. It was amazing to be a part of that event. As I'm sure you are aware, ANZAC Day plays a huge role in the national identities of Australians and New Zealanders, being a national day of remembrance observed each year.

So, naturally, my question relates to Gallipoli. During the design and making of Gallipoli, what were the challenges, thrilling moments, hardships and most satisfying parts for you from the ANZAC perspective?

For those of you who are interested, these words were said by Kemal Atatürk of Australian, New Zealand and British soldiers (not at the exclusion of others) in 1934 and can be found on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach) the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington, NZ:

"Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well."


Such was the respect between adversaries which, during my time in Turkey, I found still lives on today.

Thank you and congratulations again Mr Greene. I hope you have an enjoyable month.
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Harold Buchanan
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A comment rather than a question.

Jack is a role model in the hobby. You won't find a kinder, more gracious designer. He has given me great advice and encouragement since I have known him.

And all that says nothing about his thoughtful, well researched designs.

This is an honor well deserved!
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Edmund Hon
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I didn't know Beth Quemen is married to Jack Greene. Talk about a wargaming household!

When I started wargaming in the mid 80s I missed out on the games from Quarterdeck (they weren't carried in the FLGS that I frequent at the time), so when I bought the latest version of Iron Bottom Sound last year it was my first exposure to the system. I'm hooked.

I understand JG is working on a new edition of Destroyer Captain, and I am eagerly awaiting that. Hopefully The Royal Navy will also see an update treatment!
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Charles Vasey
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Hi diddly doo, Designerino.
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Salvatore Vasta
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Congratulations!

Sal
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Here is more background info on Jack: Jack Greene: Gamer, Designer, Historian, Publisher

The C3i magazine interview covers a great deal of his experience throughout the gaming industry. The info on Avalon Hill is fascinating, and the little anecdotes he shares about various gaming people, particularly Jon Southard, are really quite funny.

Questions for Jack:
--What historical battle or situation have you always wanted to cover in a game but for some reason have not been able to begin or complete?

--If you could be transported to the bridge, quarterdeck, or whatever command position of any ship in history, what ship and battle? Why?

--Who do you admire the most in the gaming industry?

--What's your favorite experience related to gaming that you shared with Beth?

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Martin Gallo
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Given the nature of the photo in the OP, are you going to design the naval component for Tide of Iron?
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Doug Mann
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Jack, having just acquired Ironbottom Sound III, please tell me that you will be doing more naval games in the near future.
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I did not know you hung out at SDC. The company seemed to have so much promise. Please enlighten us with your thoughts on those early years.
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roger miller
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Congratulations Jack. A well deserved honor. The Red Typhoon game being done with Revolution Games will be printed in December. Counter art and map art are in progress as well as testing. One map, 180 counters, playing time of about 5 hours. Nice change of pace to have the Soviets starting on the offensive and lots of German units struggling to avoid encirclement and death.
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Jack Greene
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IBS III is OLD SCHOOL. I incorporated some newer research but it was not fundamentally changed. DESTROYER CAPTAIN II OR what ever name it ends up will be streamlined.

My favorite book because it is almost IMO perfect is HITLER STRIKES NORTH and you gamers can take it back to NORWAY-1940.I even learned some Norwegian. Worst seller too!

NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN came out quite good.
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Jack Greene
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Just started IN ALL RESPECTS READY on the Oz Navy in WWI. My upcoming JUTLAND:Fleet Admiral II game (ConSim-John Kranz) has the two German armored cruisers in a hypothetical cornering the HMAS AUSTRALIA off of Apia.

The author claims in gunnery practice in early 1914 they were the best shots for all RN/RAN dreadnoughts . . . .

I hope to attend Canberra Con in 2018.

As to Gallipoli, Rick Spence designed it. He is trained as a historian, teaching (retired?) at the U of Idaho for decades. The hardest job I had on it was literally, with Beth, Rick and Rick's then wife the game counters to cardboard. We spent the best part of a weekend in a shed at U.C. Santa Barbara doing THAT! First and only time I did that - 1500 counters. Also DORA NAWA which was 1000. We did a very good job too - wastage was minimal.

Dana Lombardy is doing a little naval game on it and I helped him some on that. The game you want is GMT's upcoming GALLIPOLI from Phipps.
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Jack Greene
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Thank you for your kind thought!
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Jack Greene
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Plus I live near my Best Friend in gaming, Larry Hoffman. Had a five player game of CATAN just this afternoon at his home with his wife, sister-in-law and Beth + local home style tacos.

JUTLAND has to be finished with the goal being November 8 (my birthday). Right now the manuscript, of which 1/3rd to 1/4th is designer notes tops out at 45,000+ words. TONS are optional rules. Of course this does NOT include scenarios or PACs (Player Aid Cards). Published games, this is most like TSUSHIMA.

BEAR FLAG REPUBLIC is almost complete. DESTROYER CAPTAIN II (likely title is going to be DESTROYER CAPTAIN: 1891-1945. One scenario for the Italians against the Austro-Hungarians has the future C.-in-C. of the Italian fleet as Captain on a DD. Vince O'Hara came up with that one for me. Much simpler. R.N will get a treatment too - but will have some of the features of Fleet Admiral and will hopefully have some LARGE Med daylight actions.

Then down the road we will look at a simple Bismarck and I want to finish my design career with a strategic sailing ship game of the American Revolution. I actually worked on that before taking on JUTLAND but hit an impasse that I solved recently. Two maps and some sub-maps.
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Jack Greene
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Not a chance!
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Jack Greene
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To answer the last one first - working with Beth - We put an Apple II in front of her when our daughter was at home - she is a gamer too by the way.

An Aside on our daughter: While at University getting her B.A. a prof told the class that sieges succeeded in World War II - she raised her hand and said, "What about Stalingrad . . . " Leningrad would have applied too.

Also, Beth packed and shipped literally 1,000s+ of ADG product, and while I helped, she did a lot of the work with local temp help - usually friends of our daughter. She and I once did by hand a 22,000 mailer in the 1980's!

Admire? Well several. Difficult to choose one person. Rodger, Vance (talk about nose to the grindstone), Dana Lombardy of course, Ed at Clash of Arms - I could easily name several more. Mostly old guard.
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Jack Greene
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Now Charles is a man with great talent. AND, to C.V.'s credit and not so much mine or Jeff Tibbetts (and Jeff cops to this too), he recognized early on Kieth Poulter's lack of character.

We all make mistakes, and sometimes they involve promises and $$ - but Kieth was all about Kieth. And let me tell you, sometimes you just do not have the money. And while very talented, K.P hurt a lot of folks.

AND P.A. was pretty cool back in the day.

Another story. When QUARTERDECK GAMES was going down in the late 1980's I toyed with declaring bankruptcy. I did an interview about that time with Charles S. Roberts and that topic came up - he counseled my TO NOT declare bankruptcy and I did not. That decision can be argued and Vance von Borries in lieu of cash received several cartons of ROMMEL'S WAR. cry
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Jack Greene
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See Above.
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Jack Greene
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SDC.

1) Dana Lombardy is a GREAT talent.

2) SDC did not have enough $$ - My first wife and I got issue #5 ($$) out but a bi-monthly appearing twice a year (or worse) will NOT succeed. Dana eventually was able to pay me/us back - much of it doing graphics (he did the map for NORWAY-1940 which is a really GREAT map.)

3) Put me on the map. Dana is my guest at Tempe 2017 for that alone.

4) Dana, with Rodger MacGowan, essentially made West Coast graphic style enter the wargame world. Go look at JERUSALEM or HUE by John Hill and those graphics are as good as in 1975 as they would be today.

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Jack Greene
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Excellent news. Roger & Richard at Revolution and QUARTERDECK INTERNATIONAL are trying to show more of the world talent over here in the States.

PACIFIC FURY was our first foray and now TYPHOON is coming up. WATCH this space.
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Ron A
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Jack, congrats for being honored.

I met you last year at the San Diego Historical Games Convention, where you demoed Jutland. It was quite fun playing the Dogger Bank scenario with teams.

Will you be coming back to San Diego this year?
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Jack Greene
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Ron, I have to pass this year. Too much on the plate right now. I plan to in 2017.

It has been good for me as the designer to play a large game most every 3 months - and some were quite intense - Almost 3 full days playing it at Tempe.

AND every once in awhile you see something completely new to you. At San Diego in 2015 the German torpedo-boat commander fired ALL his torpedoes (long range mind you by the time the torpedoes got there)- 29 rounds and at the range and bearing in should have gotten at least one hit - and missed on all 29 rolls. wow
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