Andrew Bartczak
United States
Texas
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I was one of the "blind testers" for this game back in 1977-1978. You can find my name in the credits as a member of the Worcester Wargamers club as Andy Bartczak. My freind Alan Chiras was aquainted with Jim Dunagan and arranged for us to do blind testing. If I had known what I was in for, I might not have done it. I still have the original rules printed out on green striped computer paper, and for our efforts they gave us a free copy of the game. I never actually played it again. LOL.
Back then, I found the game to be very complicated due to the level of realism it was trying to simulate. But the rules that we had to wade through were miserable. I can't begin to tell you how many changes we went through! But, then again, I was only 16-17 years old
I still have the game and never even punched out all the counters.
Well, it's nice that the work we did wasworth it. I'm glad that some people still play the game. Cheers.
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Leong Yew Lam
Malaysia
Seri Kembangan
Selangor
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geeeez ....i had a blast with it when it was first published and have played off and on over the years (when taking a break from ASL)

Now that my playing buddy has passed on, am having difficulty finding opponents and had to bludgeon my son into this.

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Andrew Bartczak
United States
Texas
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Board game simulations took a huge nosedive with the advent of computer flying sims and first person shooters.
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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bartman0232 wrote:
Board game simulations took a huge nosedive with the advent of computer flying sims and first person shooters.


Well, it seems to be coming back a bit, with the PC tool on wargaming like VASSAL. For example, I jump in no time to play Battle Above the Clouds yesterday with Ken with a short notice and pick up the rules quickly and easily after 20 years (since the first release of Stonewall Jackson's Way. And yes, the series is still fun, serious about simulation of the American Civil War campaigns, and realistic for operational analysis!
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Joel Tamburo
United States
Justice
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It had some good ideas but also some really dumb exploits in the system were possible (such as making your infantry into death stars by giving them 2 RPGs).
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Russell Gifford
United States
South Sioux City
Nebraska
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Wow - thanks for the note! I know this game took forever in the design. Everytime you read the 'In Progress' reports, they were completely redoing the rules. In the end, I think you playtesters did a pretty good job! As games of that era go, it was pretty free from the normal 'what the heck are they trying to say there?' sections of rules! And these were darned complex rules, too!

---Russ
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Steve Bishop
United Kingdom
Lytham St. Annes
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Yep I've still got this one although I haven't played it for quite a while.

I was going to say it was ahead of its time for what it was trying to achieve (basically a modern squad level tactical game with hidden movement that could be played with two players and no umpire) but actually I don't think anyone has tried to do this again since.

I did look at converting it to a Vassal module with the system handling sightings based upon a right click menu on each hex that then checked the opponents map in the same location and hexes within LOS, but I couldn't see how it could work without an absolute ton of markers (at least one per hex) that held sighting/terrain information.
My Vassal skills also could not stand up to working out things like blocked LOS, elevations, etc.

I suppose with the advent and progress of PC's that can handle this thing so much better the drive to design a board game like this maybe no longer exists.

Shame
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M St
Australia
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PCs make it easier, but to see what went wrong and how, boardgames are still superior. Of course there is no need to design a new game exactly like this since this one is still compatible with the current version of hardware it was designed for - human brains.

That said, there is a new game in the works on this topic:



Urban Operations

Apparently from a French Army urban warfare instructor.
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Andy Tate
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I bought this game back in the late 1970s. I even traveled directly to Simpubs UK in Altrincham as I was so looking forwards to it. Although it had a steep learning curve, I loved it. Your work as a games tester was not in vain.

Although it might be a bit dated now and the hardware has changed, a lot of the concepts still apply and I am enjoying playing it again, thanks to the fans here at BGG.
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Russell Gifford
United States
South Sioux City
Nebraska
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Ironically, this is a game that can be played like VASSAL - without VASSAL! As both sides already have the map, and as you are NOT supposed to see your opponent's map, this game, more than any other, is tailor-made for Skype sessions!!

I think I will start to push this one harder at SPIGames.net, and at the Facebook SPI Games. Lots of people there, it should be easy to get this going.

(Sadly, I had a chance to do this a few years ago with a willing opponent - and work suddenly went crazy with 80 hour work weeks - and I dedicated the rest of the time to finding a DIFFERENT JOB!)

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Thomas Gagniarre
France
Ermont
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Still to this day my absolute fav squad game in "modern" environment. Have played it to death, and still play quite often (you need to plan for some free time ahead though...). In my opinion, remains unrivalled as far as scope, mechanics and immersion are concerned.

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Russell Gifford
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South Sioux City
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Well said!

Question: do you use the declared sighting option often?
As much as I love the total cat and mouse of the basic rules I find the effective deployment of a few open declared sighting units enhances the game. Also can speed it up, it seems. Curious what your experience has taught you!
 
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