I was lucky enough to interview game designer Brian Train and highly recommend you check it out. For those that are unfamiliar with Brian I’ll offer two insights into his thought on game design:
In the interview I ask him how he would go about designing a simulation on the current events in Venezuela. Brian’s answer is good but at the end he throws this out:
“What would be really interesting – and this is something that is almost never done in games – is something on the reconciliation, readjustment and reabsorption processes after a conflict, after a transfer of power.”
That statement raises so many possibilities. “Congratulations on your major victory. Now you need to win the peace”. Iraq springs immediately to mind but what about the Alexander player after destroying Persian power and facing rebellion in Bactria (around modern Afghanistan)?
Pro Tip: Marry Roxanne.
The other example concerns “symbolic combat”, which he incorporates in the Ukrainian Crisis game. An example of symbolic combat can be found on Youtube. The Russians keep the base and there is no fighting, the Ukrainians show defiance, bravery and keep their lives.
One of Brian’s games has been featured on the CH blog before.
The Guns, Dice, Butter podcast. The latest post is from early 2016 but the topics are timeless. The podcast is on “historical strategy board games and a series of meandering conversations with some of the more interesting members of the wargame tribe“. I found this podcast when researching Brian Train’s work and there is a ton of great content. By the way, the idea that marrying into the local society you are trying to pacify such as Alexander and Roxanne was not mine but came from one of those meandering conversations.
Found this game review by chance today but looks like Train inadvertently helped me add content to my Bulge series of posts. I like the map and unit placement at start looks good.
Via Realclearworld.com I came across an article on Indian air strategy after Balakot and pertinent to “winning the peace” an article / book review on an Arab veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan on losing the post-war game (couldn’t say “losing the peace” when describing what happened after the Soviet withdrawal).