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Subject: Tactical Series Games (Poultron Press a.k.a. SPI) rss

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In the thread regarding TDTs, the Test Series Games by Poultron Press came up. These were games released by SPI before they started releasing more-polished games. Many of them went on to become full-fledged SPI games. Here's the list:

Tac 1 became Combat Command (I got this from an article on the evolution of PB)
Tac 2?
Tac 3 became Panzerblitz.
Tac 4?
Tac 5?
Tac 6?
Tac 7?
Tac 8 (1960's in Europe--Red Star/White Star)? I got this from S&T 22
Tac 9?
Tac 10 was Deployment, which later became Grenadier.
Tac 11 became Grunt
Tac 13 was Centurion.
Tac 14 was Renaissance of Infantry.
Tac 15?
Tac 16 was Dark Ages.
Tac 17 was Strategy I.
Tac 18 was Phalanx.
Tac 19 Europe, 1914, which became Soldiers
Tac 20?
Tac 21?

(There may not be a Tac 20 or 21--Albion #10 says there are 21 "Tactical Games" but it may be referring to all of TSG's catalog)


Albion magazine describe the tactical series as including:

North Africa 1941 (which would have been related to Tac 3, so this is probably Tac 2 or 4)
Korea 1950 (but TSG released an operational game on the subject, so it might not be a Tac game)
Europe 1917 (This might be Tac 19)
Rome 80BC (This would be Tac 13)
Greece 300BC (This would be Tac 18)
Twelve O'Clock High

Other tac games would be the ones that became Armageddon and Musket & Pike. I am almost positive M&P was Tac 15, but I can't find my source!

Leipzig was released by TSG and might have had a Tac designation.

Ditto Flying Fortress 1 and 2.


In fact, with six slots unknown, Armageddon, M&P, FF1, FF2, 12 O' High, and Leipzig would fill in the gaps.




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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
The SPI Wargame Design book says Lou Zocchi designed 12 O'Clock High as part of the TSG, which became Luftwaffe.
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
pete belli wrote:
The SPI Wargame Design book says Lou Zocchi designed 12 O'Clock High as part of the TSG, which became Luftwaffe.


It was one of three designs considered for Luftwaffe including Flying Fortress 1 and Flying Fortress 2. I do not know which of the three ultimately became Luftwaffe (per my old S&T mags).
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)


Thanks to
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, we have a full list! Looks like Albion was correct, and the Luftwaffe games and Leipzig were *not* on there.

And it means Strategy I was not Tac 17. It was probably TSG-17.
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Yes, the main thing to remember is that TSG stands for Test Series Games and NOT Tactical Series Games. Not all Test Series were Tactical Series, as you pointed out about Strategy I.
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Oh, and edit the title of the thread to "Poultron Press". It's misspelled.
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Neopeius wrote:
It won't let me


Edit the first post iirc.
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Here's the list of Test Series Games I have which differs from yours(sorry yours is Tactical series different set..oops), some of these I own

Flying Fortress (1969) Test series game 2
Tactical game 3
Barbarossa: The Russo-German War 1941-45 (1969) test series game4
Deployment (1969) Test series game 5
Normandy: The Invasion of Europe 1944 (1969) Test series game 6
Leipzig 1 Test series game 7
Tannenberg (1969) Test series game 8
1914 revision kit (1969) Test series game 9
Flying Fortress 2 (1970) test series game 10
1918 (1970) Test series game 11
Korea Test Series game 12
Flying tigers (1970) test series game 13
Battle of Britain revision kit (1970) test series game 14
Stalingrad 3 (1970) Test series game 15
Twelve O'clock high Test series game 16

Up to 14 were published, not sure about the last two

Italy Test series game 1?
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
I thought I had a reasonably good idea about the early history of commercial wargames (from reading old magazines etc) but I have no idea what this thread is about. Anyone care to explain a bit more? Are those games in the bgg database?

I just received a copy of Firefight last week and am curious about what even older tactical games were like.
 
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Poultron Press was the precursor to SPI and published a series of games, or really game kits in the period around 1967-9. The games were typically a series of pages "mimeographed" or rudimentary photocopied stapled together, often with hand drawn units on them. The "counters" such as they were, came on a sheet that was cut up then mounted on cardboard and these too were pretty rough. The "map" was B/W pages, I think A4 but some may have been A3.

Anyway, they were very much design exercises which the original poster correctly points out developed over time into many of the clasic games we know today. TAC3 game was the precursor to Panzerblitz and is probably the most well known. Korea, 1918, Leipzig and many of the others went on to second editions with professionally (for the day) produced maps, counters and rules. These second editions were published by SPI. SPI was founded as a direct descendent of Poultron Press, I cant recall the details but I think there was a change of ownership. It's a long time ago but I'm sure Dunnigan was involved with some of the early Test Series games (also known as TAC games).

My memory on some of this is pretty murky as it is over 40 years ago!
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Ok so now you may me look...and yes the Test Series Games were not the same as the Tac Series Games although some of the latter were included in the former!

I've just pulled my copy of Tannenberg (1969), map is B/W A2 size, counters for this one, (at least in my copy) were mounted grey and tan with printed designations we are all familiar with. This one was published by SPI not Poultron Press. Rules are B/W photocopied, stapled about 12 pages, typed, though the unit types are shown with some hand written detail. Design notes are typed in different font but no author given. There is another pad of 2 sided A4 photocopied sheets all identical showing a reduced map and at start forces on one side and VP and turn record on the back.

1914 Revision This was an attempt to make the AH game more historically accurate and was a Poultron Press game, 9 pages photocopied and stapled includes one page design notes by James Dunnigan. Comes with counters that needed to be self mounted, no map as you were meant to use the AH game map.Counter design was pretty rough and my copy has had unit designations and unit type added in pen to the counters. No publication date but I think 1968

TAC Game 3 Russia 1944 Photocopied rules and scenarios stapled 10-12 pages rules, 6 scenarios (tactical situations) with scenario on one side and map setup on back. Interestingly, the back page has a list of 21 Tactical series games that says only three have been published to that date of Nov 1969. This is the original list in the above post that i said was inaccurate and the amended list I posted is closer to what was actually produced. The map is A2 B/W. Counters are self mounted type pink and grey and are unmistakenly forerunners of PB et al.

Normandy 1969 Has both the name Poultron Press and "Simulation Corporation" on the credits suggesting it marks the actual time when the ownership change was proceeding and presumably they hadn't settled on the name SPI. About 10 pages rules two scenarios identical production layout to TAC3. This game has a second photocopied pad of A4 two sided sheets the front having "invasion rules" the back a reduced scale map presumably for planning the invasion. Counters are again do it yourself mounting in blue and pink again! Again they are rudimentary. There is another three page stapled set enclosed in my copy talking about the test series games and the economics of producing better games, design notes for Normandy and a feedback sheet on the game...This may be the first feedback sheet for a wargame ever produced, if not it would be pretty close. It also asks for ratings of a list of AH games already published and comments on them and the age and years of eduction of the reviewer.

Pretty heady stuff for the early years
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
Thanks! BGG database could need some more info for completeness:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepublisher/4392/poultron-pr...
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Re: Tactical Series Games (Poutroon Press a.k.a. SPI)
berthier wrote:
Ok so now you may me look...and yes the Test Series Games were not the same as the Tac Series Games although some of the latter were included in the former!

I've just pulled my copy of Tannenberg (1969), map is B/W A2 size, counters for this one, (at least in my copy) were mounted grey and tan with printed designations we are all familiar with. This one was published by SPI not Poultron Press. Rules are B/W photocopied, stapled about 12 pages, typed, though the unit types are shown with some hand written detail. Design notes are typed in different font but no author given. There is another pad of 2 sided A4 photocopied sheets all identical showing a reduced map and at start forces on one side and VP and turn record on the back.

1914 Revision This was an attempt to make the AH game more historically accurate and was a Poultron Press game, 9 pages photocopied and stapled includes one page design notes by James Dunnigan. Comes with counters that needed to be self mounted, no map as you were meant to use the AH game map.Counter design was pretty rough and my copy has had unit designations and unit type added in pen to the counters. No publication date but I think 1968

TAC Game 3 Russia 1944 Photocopied rules and scenarios stapled 10-12 pages rules, 6 scenarios (tactical situations) with scenario on one side and map setup on back. Interestingly, the back page has a list of 21 Tactical series games that says only three have been published to that date of Nov 1969. This is the original list in the above post that i said was inaccurate and the amended list I posted is closer to what was actually produced. The map is A2 B/W. Counters are self mounted type pink and grey and are unmistakenly forerunners of PB et al.

Normandy 1969 Has both the name Poultron Press and "Simulation Corporation" on the credits suggesting it marks the actual time when the ownership change was proceeding and presumably they hadn't settled on the name SPI. About 10 pages rules two scenarios identical production layout to TAC3. This game has a second photocopied pad of A4 two sided sheets the front having "invasion rules" the back a reduced scale map presumably for planning the invasion. Counters are again do it yourself mounting in blue and pink again! Again they are rudimentary. There is another three page stapled set enclosed in my copy talking about the test series games and the economics of producing better games, design notes for Normandy and a feedback sheet on the game...This may be the first feedback sheet for a wargame ever produced, if not it would be pretty close. It also asks for ratings of a list of AH games already published and comments on them and the age and years of eduction of the reviewer.

Pretty heady stuff for the early years


Daniel, you have some real gems in your collection!
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berthier wrote:
Ok so now you may me look...and yes the Test Series Games were not the same as the Tac Series Games although some of the latter were included in the former!



TAC Game 3 Russia 1944 Photocopied rules and scenarios stapled 10-12 pages rules, 6 scenarios (tactical situations) with scenario on one side and map setup on back. Interestingly, the back page has a list of 21 Tactical series games that says only three have been published to that date of Nov 1969. This is the original list in the above post that i said was inaccurate and the amended list I posted is closer to what was actually produced.


Yes, this can get confusing as you acknowledged about my post where I stated that TSG (Test Series Games) have a different definition than Tac Series Games, even though there is some crossover. What is confusing to me now though is where you mentioned in your description of the TAC Game 3 that you own that it shows the identical list that I posted but you said it reads that "three have been published" whereas mine says there were only two (TAC-3 and TAC-10) on that same date (Nov 1969). Are you sure it says three have been published? If so, can you photograph your list and post it here. I'm also confused by your amended list as it is showing Test Series Games and not Tac Series Games (although there is some crossover), and this thread is specifically trying to identify the TAC series and what games they possibly turned into. For instance, we know TAC-3 was PanzerBlitz and TAC-10 was Deployment, etc...I don't believe they changed the list that I posted a picture of, but if you have something that shows different please share.
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I think he was just behind on the game. From my reading of Albion magazines of the time, the Tac game published after Deployment was Renaissance of Infantry (tac 14), and that was in 1970 in S&T.
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For reference (and fun), here is an ad for the Test Series Games from Poultron Press which appeared on the back cover of Strategy & Tactics magazine #20 (Jan-Feb 1970). The only "TAC" game identified as such is TAC 3, which never had any other title before AH purchased it and republished it – in a greatly expanded form – as PanzerBlitz.



I'll also upload this image to the Poultron Press page, so it will at least have one photo.
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Thanks Jay. We've already had that one passed around on another thread before this one was started, but thanks for getting it posted on the Poultron page.
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Tac 3 mini game becomes Panzerblitz minigame becomes PB (AH)
T34 S&T 23 Sept/Oct 1970 “Tac 3 game with miniatures”

Centurion S&T 25 Tac game 13 refers to rules in magazine, there is a longer set of rules separately without the Tac 13 designation.

The others are much harder to trace,
TAC 2 could have become Desert War
TAC 4: France 40 was produced in S&T 27 later re-published by AH but this is operational
TAC 5: T34?
Tac 6: also Desert War?
TAC 7: Korea development of Test Series Game but operational as stated above
TAC 8: Red Star/White Star?
TAC 9: Soldiers?
TAC 10: Deployment
TAC 11: Becomes Grunt or Search and Destroy?
TAC 12: ?
TAC 13: Centurion later Legion. Short rules in S&T25 refer to TAC game, expanded rules were also included separately and were not a TAC series game
TAC 14: Renaissance of Infantry later Yeoman
TAC 15: Musket & Pike
TAC 16: Dark Ages becomes Viking
TAC 17: ? American Revolution but this was operational again
TAC 18: Phalanx becomes Spartan
TAC 19: Soldiers? Flight of the Goeben?
TAC 20: Anzio?
TAC 21: Sinai?
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Wade I checked the list of tactical games published to Nov 1969 and the print says 2 had been produced (as does your copy) but the 2 is overwritten by a 3! The over write has not been done on my actual copy but rather on an original and that has been photocopied to produce the last page of the TAC 3 rules set. So I think you have a slightly earlier list and they just over wrote it an reproduced the updated list in my copy.
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Test Series Game
1914 Revision (found this one tucked away when looking for Tac series games)Published By Poultron Press,8 pages photocopied and stapled by James Dunnigan no date. Counters were pink and blue/grey on a sheet that required cutting and mounting. Rudimentary counter art work with just two numeric values (eg 6-3 for att - movement) a square box above with hand drawn unit type such as infantry (X in the square), handwritten unit sizes XXX, XX etc, handwritten unit designation. So the only thing on each counter actually printed were the square box, then the numerals were typed onto a sheet in the correct positions, then the other details were added by hand and the whole lot photocopied.Very very basic indeed!
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berthier wrote:
Wade I checked the list of tactical games published to Nov 1969 and the print says 2 had been produced (as does your copy) but the 2 is overwritten by a 3! The over write has not been done on my actual copy but rather on an original and that has been photocopied to produce the last page of the TAC 3 rules set. So I think you have a slightly earlier list and they just over wrote it an reproduced the updated list in my copy.


Perhaps a better way of expressing their message: Only two games have been produced, those being Games 3 and 10.
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Kluvon wrote:
berthier wrote:
Wade I checked the list of tactical games published to Nov 1969 and the print says 2 had been produced (as does your copy) but the 2 is overwritten by a 3! The over write has not been done on my actual copy but rather on an original and that has been photocopied to produce the last page of the TAC 3 rules set. So I think you have a slightly earlier list and they just over wrote it an reproduced the updated list in my copy.


Perhaps a better way of expressing their message: Only two games have been produced, those being Games 3 and 10.


Yes, that's what this is saying. It's the same as the list I submitted. Maybe the "3" was not clear and someone overwrote that. It is saying game 3, and not 3 games.
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It`s funny that they would use a numbering system at all, isn`t it? It seems so secretive.
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Kluvon wrote:
It`s funny that they would use a numbering system at all, isn`t it? It seems so secretive.


I don't think it's a matter of being secretive. I think this is more a case of all these things taking place in the very early years of the wargaming hobby and everything was very amateurish, new and going through a learning process, therefore it was very unorganized. These were more like thoughts put down on paper. Some made it, some didn't. All that aside, I think this thread and the one Peter started about Turn Record Tracks have both been very cool. They both spurred a lot of research and detective work.
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