Conflict Simulations Limited
CSL
0
blog.png

Blog

Here, Ray Weiss opines and makes probably incorrect assumptions about wargame design.

Mildly Bad News and Good/Great news.

Hello all,

As of out last post, we were planning on 1987 being our 3rd game out of 5 to be available at launch, but fate has intervened because I am a moron and misunderstood various map negotiations. Thankfully my incompetence hasn’t sank this venture before it has started and we are still on track to launch in a week or so, but with 3 games at launch instead of 5, the three being 1916, 1950 and 1812. I felt this gives a good range of eras and in terms of playtesting, these are the most solid so far so we decided to go with these three for the release.

As of this morning, we are nearly finished with the playtesting process for 1916. Admittedly, our process is recklessly expedited given my plan to launch so quickly, but we only have myself to blame for that. That said, I feel pretty confident in how 1916 is turning out given it has created the same historical ebb/flow of the frontline during the campaign. The focus on Administrative points is key as there is little other way to tie in the combined effects of attrition on both planning, and operations.

Oh and I nearly forgot the good news, We have secured a contract for 4 maps with one of wargaming’s hardest working and reliably solid artists in the industry, and we will reveal them along with some of their work for us next week, but they will be doing the map art for releases 2-5.

Our focus for this coming week is getting the 2 remaining games ready for launch. If you send us any proposals, it is likely I will not be able to review them until November, as of now this will soon be my only means of income and I will need to be focused on getting things up and running, until they are doing so.

In closing, apologies for the delay in posting but a lot has been going on behind the scenes. I haven’t taken a day off in over a month and I don’t care given I am so excited about being able to produce these games. If I can figure it out this week, I will start allowing people to pre-order items at an even better discount than our launch prices.

With Love

Ray Weiss - Owner/Operator @ CSL

Ray WeissComment
Game 004: 1987

Immediately after designing 1950, I realized that a slightly modified system using the same mechanics would be perfect for other modern engagements. The reason for this being the fast moving back and forth turns, plus the generalized confusion from not knowing what strength your units will end up with until the last minute. I decided on doing a hypothetical situation in order to test the limits of this system

Playtest copy of 1987

Playtest copy of 1987

The game adds in several new mechanics to the same generalized flow of 1950. The situation itself is based on the original intent of the Russian invasion of East Prussia in 1914. Two Russian armies moved west and were supposed to meet outside what was the Konigsberg, the seat of Prussian power in Germany. Tactically, the situation resembles what the Russian army had intended in 1914, though admittedly the situation itself is a-historical.

This game is simply meant to be a good time, most people enjoy the eastern front and WW3, so it made sense to combine the two. In addition, the absence of NATO heavyweights such as the US, UK, FR etc, it gives the players an interesting opportunity to maneuver with an interesting, historically accurate order of battle. Note that the above are playtest components, thanks for reading :)

Ray WeissComment
Game 002: 1950

1950 is the very first original game I’ve designed that takes place after WW1. I specifically wanted to design a Korea game that did not feel like it was scripted to recreate the campaign, but rather one that encouraged those tactics and maneuvers. Additionally, I didn’t want a game that accountants could abuse or break with strength factor counting, this felt totally antithetical to the nature of the Korean war in which everything seems confused and unknown.

41758077_891564297705046_7816723372141707264_o (1).jpg

After originally considering a more traditional approach to the war with attack and defense factors, exploitation phases and an IGOUGO sequencing, I then decided on trashing all of those ideas and starting fresh. I had recently played Starkweather’s OSS KOREA game and felt inspired enough by it to try to come up with similar ideas and approaches. I finally felt satisfied settling on the random combat chit resolution to stop players from what I saw as the wrong kind of gamey planning (not that I have anything against games that promote that type of thinking, like The Russian Campaign , Africa Korps etc, but they have already been done and done well.)

The combat chits create a more accurate experience by removing some of the domain battlespace knowledge inherent in most games, you only know the type, quality of a unit, and how far it can move. The exception to this is airpower as in order to accurately represent the strategic situation, players must be able to figure out how best to use air assets to support their units through the various options. Anyway, I ended up really liking this game of mine in terms of how I think it plays, no other korea game plays like it and it can get very interesting solo. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed designing it :)

Game 001: 1916

1916 is our first game of the 2140 series covering the Verdun campaign at an operational scale. Many of the available games on Verdun are solely focused on the tactical situation at Verdun, which really pays little to no justice as to the actual objective of the Verdun campaign: attrition. Falkenhayn had wanted to both physically and emotionally drain the French by forcing them to defend a large flank attack against France’s most iconic fortress.

Northern sector of Verdun, playtest kit shown above

Northern sector of Verdun, playtest kit shown above

1916 uses Administrative Points to represent logistical, political and strategic capabilities available to each side. The campaign was a massive resource drain on both sides given the number of shells, men, and guns being gone through on a daily basis. No simulation would be comprehensive without placing this burden on the player. Players receive a finite number of Administrative Points making it impossible to possibly do everything a player wants, only what is absolutely necessary. The game also features tactical chrome such as hurricane barrages, flamethrowers, French Elan, and stripping fortress guns.

Ultimately, the French won at Verdun due to their innovations in defensive tactics. The French defended Verdun in the field in depth as opposed to from the fortresses. By the end of the Verdun campaign, it was clear to Falkenhayn that the effort was no longer worth the returns when French and German manpower evened out at a similar level. The French had figured out the solution to the Bruchmiller artillery tactics that had so dominated the war up to this point through their defensive tactics, though a decisive end to the war would not come until years later.

Playtest kits have been sent out as of last week and we are in the final playtest/development phase for the game. We have a great stable of playtesters at CSL but given the number of releases we plan on doing, we can always use more! As a playtesters, you receive a free demo copy of the game along with thanks and credit in the rules. That said, we expect our playtesters to quickly and thoroughly playtest given the games are designed to be playable in 2 hours, and we run on a fairly tight schedule for the sake of my continued survival and ability to keep this website up :)

The 2140 Series
CSL Mini Logo.png

Welcome to the design blog for Conflict Simulations Limited. Here we will discuss upcoming games, some of the ideas and rationale behind them, and other gaming related issues.

Our plan is to first release a large set of games under the 2140 Series. These games all take 2 hours to complete at most, include 140 counters, and are all very re-playable. Pains were took to ensure that players wouldn’t get only 1 play out of a $30 game. All of the games focus on low-complexity rules that allow players to immerse themselves within the framework of the spacial simulation. Players are not forced, but encouraged to follow historical strategies or tactics in an attempt to showcase history in motion.

A little introduction: my name is Ray Weiss and I’ve been designing wargames for several years. I had always wished there were more GDW 120 series titles and this is basically a homage to that series, but studying different topics. I tend to be fairly manic and work non-stop on nothing but game ideas so instead of trying to shop out a billion games at once, I decided to bite the bullet and get into the ‘distinguished’ and non-lucrative field of wargame publishing.

I am quite positive mistakes will be made, things may get misspelled, need errata, or other things go wrong in general, but since this is primarily a 1 man show I will attempt to do my best. Though I wouldn’t be able to do this without the select help of a few entities and individuals, namely Blue Panther LLC for printing, Matt Ward for development, and Tim Allen for map art and design advice in general. The contributions of these and countless others is why I am able to go ahead with this and Im extremely grateful for all of their input.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the games, I hope on putting them out fairly frequently as long as they don’t suck, this is primarily what I do with all my time. In time, I will set up a Patreon which will get you new games as they come out, and even a personal design request!

With Love

Ray Weiss

Founder, CSL

Ray Weiss