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Subject: Books on the Subject? rss

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Gerit Driessen
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It seems this game is a long way off, but I could always start to read some books on this interesting period of time. Does anyone have suggestions on what books to pick?

(By the way, I have already ordered the first - of many? - Flashman, so I am looking for 'serious'' titles now...)

Thanks!
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Karl Hiesterman
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Heh. Don't denigrate Flashman too much; George Macdonald Fraser did a great deal of research for his books, and often gives some great overviews of the period and regions he writes about...
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Richard Tyson
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Hi, I'd recommend (in order):

The Great Game - Peter Hopkirk (who has written several other books around the same subject, all worth reading)

Tournament of Shadows - Karl Meyer & Shareen Brysac

Playing the Great Game - Michael Edwardes ( slimmer volume really superseded by the two previous books)

The Struggle for Asia - David Gillard (Britain and Russia - more on the political aspects of the situation)

A fascinating subject, have fun,

Richard
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Richard Tyson
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Oh, and you should read 'Kim' if you haven't already.
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Gerit Driessen
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Thanks! I will try to catch up before the game is out...

I have not read any Flashman book yet but I love it that it is historically correct; that is what I look for in a wargame, and above all: period feel. At the moment too little is known about the game to judge this (and I should read those books first ). Hope the rules will be available soon.

Anyway, like you said, a fascinating subject, and I love it that the designer makes it possible to go through the whole fifty years!!
 
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John Gorkowski
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The Great Game by Hopkirk is the best book on the subject. He was a British journalist who covered Central Asia and researched its history. I designed the game with historical accuracy in mind. Of course, there will be deviations. But, I took great care to design economic, political and combat systems that encouraged a historically accurate pace. You can read about them in the AARs posted by WifWendell. Don't forget to tell your friends and place your pre-orders at Legion to get this design moving. And, you're not alone. A game club in Volgagrad (Stalingrad) recently contacted me to express interest.
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Gerit Driessen
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Thanks John! Glad to learn that the game will be so historically accurate. I read Wendell's AAR's with great pleasure. They show that the game can give a fine narrative. Alas, it is still unclear how the systems work. No CRT I understand, but how can you differentiate losses? And how does diplomacy work? What strategic decisions must be made?

This is not a CDG so chrome and random events must be implemented in another way... would love to know more about that.

Hope you are able to elaborate on my questions .
 
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John Gorkowski
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Combat System
Here's the core of the combat system. Some acronyms that might help: SP = Strength Point, IP = Imperial Power, VS = Vassal State. In a nutshell, opposing forces roll a number of dice determined by their quality, low rolls are better. You inflict an amount of damage equal to the difference between your roll (hopefully low) and the number of points in your stack (hopefully high). The system works well this way. The locals, Afghans, Kazakhs, Pashtun etc. usually have really high stacks (lots of points) but are also forced to roll many dice - for low quality - unless they are "rebels."

7.517 Subterfuge

Subterfuge covers all the cleverness and/or treachery that competing forces employed to defeat one another in this era.

7.5171 Check for the attacking stack first.

7.5172 Make a subterfuge check by designating any one officer from the stack and rolling one die. If the result is less than that officer's tactical skill then that officer's stack gets two consecutive strikes at the usual time.

7.5173 If the attacker succeeds do not check for the defender. If both stacks fail their one allowed check then neither side benefits from subterfuge.

7.518 Strikes

7.5181 Each stack rolls a strike in the proper order. The die/dice used depends on the SP, not officers, in the striking stack as follows.

1 die if striking SP are all IP.
2 dice if striking stack is IP/VS SP mix or Rebel SP or Turcoman SP.
3 dice if striking SP are all non-Turcoman VS.

7.5182 Modify the results as follows:

-T where T is the tactical modifier of any one officer in the striking stack*
-2 from the defending stack’s roll if the defending stack occupies a box with a white star (IP capital), Delhi or Orenburg
-3 from the defending stack’s roll if the defending stack, ignoring the presence of officers, contains only VS SP and is being attacked by a stack which, ignoring the presence of officers, contains only VS SP

*Any officer chosen by the player controlling that stack will do. IP officers can apply their tactical modifiers to combats in which they are stacked with VS SP combating the other IP.

7.5183 If the final modified die/dice roll is less than the total number of striking SP then the strike inflicts an SP loss on the other stack equal to the difference between this final, modified result and the total number of striking SP.

7.5184 Should a stack lose all SP then its officers are also eliminated. However, officers of the same camp as the attacker that happen to be in the defending box at the time of an attack are exempt from this rule.

7.519 Retreats

7.5191 After all strikes by all parties conduct retreats. The attacker never retreats, but the defender might. If the defender in a combat lost more SP then the attacker then the defender must immediately retreat. Conduct a retreat by moving all defending SP and officers to any one adjacent space they could legally enter during a move. If there is no adjacent box that they could legally enter then those SP and their offices are destroyed. Note, the defender may be compelled to “invade” another country via his retreat; that is legal. However, VS SP will never retreat out of their home country; if required to do so they are eliminated instead.

7.5192 When a defender retreats as above the attacker does NOT automatically “advance” after combat as in other games. Instead, the attacker could chose to “move” into the newly vacated space as usual when he conducts his moves after having finished all of his combats.

 
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John Gorkowski
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And here's the diplomacy system. Again, IP = Imperial Power, VS = Vassal State.

Diplomacy Rolls

7.532 Conquered VS cannot be targeted for diplomacy.

Design Note: Therein lays the British incentive to invade Afghanistan, and Russian incentive to invade its nearby Khanates. The surest way to prevent the other guy from taking over a vassal is to conquer and garrison it. Of course one then has to deal with rebellion.

7.533 Each IP can attempt one diplomacy die roll per VS per impulse. An IP can make a diplomacy die roll against a VS if he has at least one officer in that VS’s capital. To make a diplomacy roll, the rolling IP must first spend one RP and then roll one die.

7.534 Apply the diplomacy adjustment for the target VS if appropriate.

7.535 VS have diplomacy adjustments printed in red, white or black on their capital boxes. Scores printed in red are subtracted from diplomacy rolls by British officers only. Scores printed in white are subtracted from diplomacy rolls by Russian officers only. Scores printed in black (Punjab) are 0 and do not modify either camp’s roll unless and until they change by random event.

7.536 Should the final modified roll be less than the diplomacy score of the officer used to make the roll then his IP can adjust influence in the target VS by one level. Said IP can increase its own influence by one level OR decrease its rival IP’s influence level by one.
 
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Gerit Driessen
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Wow, I will gladly read the write up of the rules. Appreciate it! goldencamel

Almost ordered Hopkirk''s book, but I seem to find two books titled The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk, one subtitled 'The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia' and one subtitled 'On Secret Service in High Asia'. Which one is the one that was recommended?
 
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Gerit Driessen
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Oh, and I almost forgot: thank you Richard for the recommendation for Kim. I think that is a book I will enjoy! Kipling is great.
 
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Wendell
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Gerit wrote:
Wow, I will gladly read the write up of the rules. Appreciate it! goldencamel

Almost ordered Hopkirk''s book, but I seem to find two books titled The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk, one subtitled 'The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia' and one subtitled 'On Secret Service in High Asia'. Which one is the one that was recommended?


The Struggle for Empire one. I also highly recommend it.
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upandawaygames.com
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Had previously compiled some here:
http://rick-heli.info/silkroad/4ndevils.html#related
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