Inside the Design Studio: Production/Design Philosophy and Incentives

Conflict Simulations LLC is considerably different than other wargame publishers for a number of reasons, the main difference being that I am doing this to make a living. Most people in the games industry (not all) are doing it as a boutique hobby or have a bunch of money already to start with. Unfortunately, the wargaming industry isn’t the most profitable endeavor, however noble it may be 😊. That said, this requires me to work in ways different to other publishers, and I thought I would pull back the curtain a little bit and talk about how I go about designing and releasing a game.

 The first thing I’d like you to keep in mind is that I do not have the same luxury of time as other publishers do. We strive to have games coming out every month, but it’s more like every other month given common delays in editing or playtesting. For one thing, most of the production work is done by volunteers who are only able to do so in their limited free time.

Everything starts with a thesis, or at the very least a strongly held conviction/big idea. Nothing can begin until I’ve come up with an argument I want to prove. In that way, some of the preparation for a design is not unlike the preparation involved in writing a large paper at college. Before I start writing rules, I will go over sources taking notes of the things that stick out to me, or things that seem important. Once I have created a collection of all this data either in a notebook or on my PC, I will usually sketch out some abstract ideas about mechanics related to the thesis kicking around in my head.

Nine times out of ten, the most fundamental mechanics will have to deal with movement, because I would argue that movement is the most important aspect of any wargame. This is because 80% of a wargame is centered around movement. Unless doing a very realistic tactical simulation, combat is almost always much easier to simulate than the realistic movement of forces within the time scale of a simulation. This is because most abstractions of combat are nothing more than the designer’s opinion (based on experience, research bias etc), whereas doing so with movement (with the exception of research) can result in deeply flawed simulations that fail to reproduce historical outcomes, no matter how detailed the logistics and combat mechanics are.

Apart from coming up with movement allowances for units, there are several critical mechanical decisions related to movement that designers make that can effectively change the whole feeling and character of a game. From deciding on movement penalties for stacking, movement allowance charts based on the size of a stack or nationality, let alone the effects of entering enemy Zones of Control are all integral to the heart of any simulation. As a result, after reviewing my collection of notes from research, I apply these notes to mechanical concepts related to movement. A simple example for this is the decision to add a movement cost to stacking in 1864: On to Jutland, literally represents the time spent setting up a chain of command and the figuring out of logistics related to the force. One can think of units in the stacks actually occupying multiple spread out hexes radiating out from the hex occupied by a stack. Gamers tend to think very literally when it comes to hexes and counters simulating history, but more often than not history is better reflected in a nuanced effect on movement or stacking than several pages of chrome.

Once I have my big idea figured out mechanically, I go about designing the rest of the game keeping in mind that I only want complexity in regard to my big idea. Most people, myself included, can really only handle 1-2 complex ideas in any simulation. While there are plenty of other games with loads of complex mechanics, many of them only get played by people truly devoted to the time period or game itself. ASL being a perfect example given most people need a copy of the rules open to play at all with armor or artillery. I do not intend to knock these games as I have enjoyed many in my own right, but in terms of design philosophy, a deductive approach to complexity and complication will produce the most playable, marketable, and enjoyable simulations in my honest opinion. Creating a detailed tactical game there doesn’t make much fiscal sense for us in terms of the amount of time I would need to spend doing research relative to my rent check.

The decisions outside of movement are much easier to make in general. Wargames are essentially known for the fact that nearly all of them use the same concepts of hexes, zones of control, stacking etc, and unless your name is Mark Hermann, you probably aren’t going to reinvent the wheel with each simulation you design. My decision-making process in terms of what ideas and concepts to use in terms of combat, supply, and other mechanics, solely relies on what feels good. This is fairly vague I am aware, but what I mean by feel is how well the mechanics reflect the history being portrayed. One quick example being I’ve always thought tactical games that resolve combat with 1d6 feel totally limiting, given that tactical encounters can have way more than 6 possible outcomes given the small amount of space being depicted. So as much as I may like an idea I have for combat resolution, I always temper the idea against the complexity of the other mechanics. Unless doing a game heavily focused on logistics, supply and attrition are fairly straightforward to abstract as well without needing to go into a detailed explanation.

This part of the process should produce varying results for different people. What may feel acceptable or realistic to one player may easily be blasphemy to another, so in some ways, you will never win no matter what you ultimately decide. That said, seek the opinion of others well versed in the subject to validate and check your own ideas. Failing to check your own creative mechanics against actual history can easily result in a broken game. It’s imperative of CSL to do what would not only play well but sell. Sometimes this part is also impossible though, no matter what you do. I remember one publisher who I was trying to shop a game to telling me “I hate all games with facing”, so much for the tactical system I spent a year working on.

After ruminating on and synthesizing the factors described above, I will then go on a manic writing spree usually writing stuff non-stop for a few days until I have a rough draft. This is more or less just force of habit left over from when I was a musician, most of the creative work I do, I end up doing best when ignoring everything else in my life sometimes to the detriment of my health but it’s worth it given I am almost always satisfied with the work I end up producing as a result. Then my ideas will get looked at by my developer Matt who will send it back to me, and we’ll do that once or twice before it goes to our editor Nick. Nick is a saint who takes my often times rambling mechanics and makes readable and understandable. After I make all of Nick’s changes, it then goes to Trevor who does all of our formatting for our rules.

Simultaneously during this period, I will attempt to do as much playtesting as I can between myself and my developer. Admittedly, for the time crunch under which I am under, it is almost impossible to find playtesters that can reliably and promptly test things between life and other obligations. That said, Matt and I go the extra mile to test these things as much as we can. Once I feel comfortable that the game is finished, Matt says it’s fun and Nick says it’s readable, it will then go to Trevor who puts it all together. Finally, all these files get sent to Steve at Blue Panther who then prints each game that you guys order and sends it over to you. Oh and of course, our usual map artist Ilya along with our usual counter artist Ivan will work with me closely to create the components.

April Update

Hello everyone, hope all is well

Forgive me for not saying more sooner, but I’ve been hard at work getting DAMOS ready to go for a hopeful release later this month. The rules right now are with the editor and I am working on reinforcements to the Russian OOB that I overlooked. working hard to keep the games under 140 counters each so some units which would have been fleshed out in more detail may get consolidated into larger formations for the sake of simplicity. Ivan Caceres is doing the counter work again and it’s great looking, you’ll have to wait to see everything though as we’re still working out details.

The following is a tentative release schedule that I have in my bullet journal:


1995, AGN, AGC, AGS




Imperial Bayonets: Sedan 1870


Imperial Bayonets: Solferino 1859


Guns of the Americas: 1914-1919

There will likely be some other games too, I am in talks with a few designers about bringing their designs to us, as well as several projects I have started to keep busy while I wait for edits. As of now you can find our games worldwide as a store in Japan just bought 20 copies of games (need to get the name).

I think the next DAMOS game is likely to be something from the western or pacific front, would love to do Sealion/Overlord too. One of the games I’m working on is a point-point army level sim of the Franco Prussian war, don’t want to use cards as I don’t really like cards personally, once people know how to count them a game isn’t fun for me anymore, which is sadly what has happened to me with paths of glory, an amazing game in it’s own right.

Anyway, we are hard at work, as always you can reach me through the contact us link here. Everyone who ordered 1864 should also get shortly a replacement map and counters (unless they said they did not need them) on us. Also looking into the idea of hosting a small 1-3 day convention in Manhattan. I have a lead on a great space near union square that while not as gigantic as most conventions, we could set up 4-6 really big tables filled with our games or others you bring in. I would buy pizza for everyone, t-shirts, and try to get a hotel deal somewhere for people coming in from out of town. If this is something you have experience with doing, shoot me an email, I could use some help.

With love


Guns of the Americas Design Journal

Note: Right after my last post I found out one of my longtime best friends died unexpectedly which is why I was quiet for about a month, sorry about the delay and I appreciate your understanding patience during this difficult time. Some releases may be pushed back a bit (Slogball was pushed back longer) in order to account for the missed time.

Guns of the Americas was my first attempt at deliberately designing a AAA game with lots of chrome and innovation. This is what is now probably the antithesis of my current design philosophy but a year and a half ago, I was desperately trying to find a home for the pile of games I had finished. It has a bit of a humorous history.

My first choice of publisher to release the game initially refused to even consider it given the subject matter. This probably wasn’t too long after Charlottesville and anything where the CSA was somewhat successful was going to be difficult to sell in the current climate. Indignant, I sent some choice words to the publisher in classic NYC jerk musician style eventually apologizing later after realizing I was being an idiot. Graciously, and to their credit, they accepted and actually came back a month later interested in the game. In Between that time, I had showed the game to a smaller publisher who had loved it, but lamented that it was too big with too many components for them to publish.

Read More

Feb Update

I am finally free of shingles, or at least it doesn’t hurt anymore and is healing, so I can concentrate on work again. That said, my doctor advised me if I don’t want to keep getting shingles in my 30s I need to chill-out, apparently they are triggered by stress. As much as I love doing CSL, I’m not going to lie and say that it isn’t stressful at times. Especially given we have tons of people waiting on quality games that they paid for to arrive to their door within a reasonable time frame, the initial loan I used to start the business is gone and I rely on pre-orders to both pay for rent, game-components, and producing the actual games themselves.

This reasonably puts me under a good deal of pressure. For one thing, I am pretty sure I am the only 1-man publisher that does everything other than art and its a s*it ton of work for one person to take on. What work I am able to get done is mostly in thanks to volunteers who go through the writings I generate deductively editing the noise out, but given they are volunteers I can’t impress upon them in a pinch (without being a huge jerk). Every other wargame publisher has other people that are at least part of the company, the smallest example being a husband and wife shop like Hollandspiele.

Not to sound like I am listing a group of grievances, it's more or less to remind and reassure myself that I’m doing a shit ton of work and even if not everything is perfect, I’m doing alright. In fact, I think that at this point, I can argue that I am among the hardest working designers/publishers currently in wargaming. Most other CEOs of wargame companies, most likely do something else for a living. You don’t really hear of many people making enough money to survive in the wargaming business (except to the inflation adjusted average SPI wage of 30 something grand in the 1970s,) and there are maybe only 2-3 people I know who are able to do so now, by account mostly that they work as hard as I do if not harder.

Not sure what the point of all of this is except maybe as a therapeutic exercise to remind myself that I’m not totally fu*king everything up. In fact, CSL is doing better than average in terms of how our games have been received so far. The thing I’ve prepared myself most for was negative reactions to the games, being a new designer and not having the resources to playtest or refine as deeply as bigger companies, I wanted to be extra cognizant of that and try to make sure all of our games are indeed playable, historical and enjoyable. I think I am at a point now where I can objectively say none of our games as of yet (saving how 1987 is ultimately received,) are broken, unplayable, or all that bad so far. In fact, I am willing to wager they are probably more enjoyable and playable than many less affordable AAA titles available given my own experience as a wargamer.

All of this said, I don’t intend on slowing down the number of titles I’m working on, rather just force myself to stop worrying about them and have faith in the process I have come up with. By next week, all of the art assets for pre-orders will be paid for and I hope to share tons of new content with you as it gets done. The one part where I have failed is that the games have not come out as quickly as I had hoped, but I ultimately think most customers understand and accept this as its for the best. No one wants a game before its done either way, and it's not like I’m taking years to deliver on pre-orders like many other publishers. Most of my release estimates are optimistic in terms of timing, so as a general rule, knock a month or two off any planned release date for the actual release date :)

With Love


DAMOS Design Journal Update

Matt and I have spent the last week doing some heavy development on DAMOS, and I can now say that this may be my best game yet, and an innovative take on WW2 operational scale games. We’ve nailed down concepts that in playtesting have turned out to be very quick-playing and fun. Some of the choices we have made made it more interesting for play against an opponent, but the game still remains completely solo-able.

The coolest innovation we have is what is called the Combat Matrix. Depending on the belligerents, the defender in any given combat has a choice of how to posture their defense. A lot of games ignore posturing (except at a tactical-level) when dealing with an operational or strategic scale as its assumed the piece representing the unit will make the right choice, but what happens if the player is given that instead of the cardboard commanders we imagine collectively? Check the bottom of the post.

This is where the Combat Matrix comes in, once a force has been declared the target of an attack, before identifying the attacking force, time freezes as we zoom in on the defending force. That commander has an immediate choice to make as to what posture they were in prior to the approach to the attack. This is because non-phasing units may react and attempt to prevent other units from reinforcing a combat or even retreating from one.

Whatever choice the defender makes, if the combat occurs, that defender has locked himself into a course of action without knowing who is attacking or from where (though they may have an idea). I value immersion in wargames and this method brings about a level of uncertainty I’ve usually only seen in block wargames. All of this sounds like it would take a lot of time to play out, but it really only takes as long as the defender chooses to take his time. Reactions take place against enemy movement or retreat by rolling +9 on 2d6. It's pretty damn hard, but when it happens it rules.

Putting the cart ahead of the horse here as all of this is resting upon a foundation of both Zones of Influence. The number of SP in a stack relates directly to the range of hexes eligible units may project a ZOI into. ZOIs are important for attacks beyond Meeting Engagement and Standard Attacks, and for Reactions. You read that correctly, non-phasing units have a chance to influence the action, and force moving units into unintended meeting engagements. ZOIs otherwise have no effect on the game other than the above and usually only some units will project one depending on the game being played. Zones of Control are still there for purposes of supply and retreat.

    Gone is Advance after Combat and instead we introduce Exploitation. Each unit type has an inherent Exploitation Rating which is added to the number of MP a force spent on an attack, giving you the Exploitation Movement Allowance (penetration attacks, which require all mp spent in order to attack, use a different calculation for exploitation movement, subtracting the cost of the hex terrain from their normal movement allowance, plus their Exploitation Rating giving them their Exploitation Movement Allowance. Exploitation combat is permitted just like regular combat, except the supply trace for the second combat isn’t required (the unit is considered to be insupply throughout exploitation if they were in supply at the beginning of the attack). Reactions are not allowed during Exploitation Movement and Combat.

    Best of all, the series rules clock in right now at 11 pages which I’m sure will get smaller as development moves through its final stages. I am extremely excited for this series and we will probably open up playtesting as well as place the series rules online as soon as we get vassal modules made up. Different exclusive rules will account for changes in theater, terrain, and other factors necessary to fiddle with when making a system that covers stuff from the eastern front through the west and Africa. Really excited about this one, it’s a unique, yet familiar approach to operational ww2 gaming, that I think you are all really going to love.

With love



Destroy All Monsters!

Introducing the Destroy All Monsters Operational Series of Games

A Sub-Series of Conflict Simulations LLC’s 2140 Series.


The Destroy All Monsters Operational Series (DAMOS) is a rules-engine for simulating WW2 at either an operational or strategic level. Each game by itself covers a theater, or period of WW2. Nearly all of the games will be stand-alone except for some of the campaign specific games that will tie disparate parts of the series together. The first in this sub-series of games is on Operation Barbarossa, Army Groups North, Center and South. When combined together, it simulates the entire 1941 campaign on the Eastern Front. A later expansion will cover years 1942-1944. Eventually, we would like to cover the entire war on both sides of the globe.

The main goal of this series is to create an intuitive, quick playing series that would appeal to the vast diaspora of WW2 wargamers that is neither too large a footprint nor a fortune. Players would be able to purchase games on the theaters they are interested in and pass on others. The following is a discussion of the combat mechanics which simulate engagements between forces (note, that a force is defined as a unit or a stack, most wargamers can follow what I’m talking about, sorry if you can’t.)

Combat in DAMOS is a straightforward process that involves both players totaling the number of opposing Strength Points (SP) in a single hex (all combat is in-hex at a scale of around 25 miles per hex) and then both rolling on a Combat Result Table (CRT). Those of you familiar with the combat procedure in 1812 will find this system to be similar but nevertheless different in several key ways. Both players roll 1-3 six-sided dice depending on the number of SP present in a hex modifying the roll in 2 different ways.

The attacker modifies dependent on the Movement Points (MP) spent on attack planning, during the movement phase, a step loss marker is temporarily used to mark either 1 or 2 mp spent on an individual combat. The defender modifies his die roll dependent on the terrain they are occupying and any hexside terrain the attacker is crossing. Attacking across a bridge generates positive CRT shifts for the defender possibly allowing them to roll more dice on the attack. Air Support grants a CRT shift for either side along with allowing the player to reroll a single d6 during combat. Individual games may also grant additional combat shifts or DRM for various aspects of support and auxiliary attachments.

    Design wise, this is done to introduce a full spectrum of probabilities to combat. Lower numbers of units will grant a more unpredictable result (1d6) whereas higher numbers of units generate bell curves (2-3d6). CRT results are given in Loss Points (suffered by the highest SP unit in a force) which players mark with Step Loss markers (each SP is the equivalent of 1 step). A winner/loser is determined by comparing losses (defender winning ties unless a ♥ or ♦ card suit symbol indicates otherwise). The loser is forced to retreat 2-3 hexes, but if defending across a bridge or in a major city, they may absorb those retreat results through further step losses.

Working CRT

Working CRT

This approach allows for the game to accurately and quickly simulate maneuvers at an operational level by using strategic pacing. In-hex combat also cancels an Enemy Zone of Control (EZOCs) allowing units to run buckwild passed engaged units. Using otherwise established movement and supply rules allows players the freedom of operational games while encouraging players to follow similar strategies that were used historically. As with most of my games, I strive for an immersion in-game that allows players to forget they are playing a game and presented with the same choices, problems and considerations as their historical counterpart (army level commanders).

Once I figure out how, I will be putting up a poll to determine the next games in the DAMOS series. So far, we are still on track for a late Jan release, at worst early Feb. A special thank you to all of you who have pre-ordered the game so far and I hope this gets you excited about what is to come.

With love

Ray Weiss - CEO of Conflict Simulations LLC

Mid November Notes & Update

Hello all!

Past few weeks have been fairly stressful with friends/family health issues but things are finally starting to calm down a bit. 1950 is now shipping and we are hoping to start shipping 1812 this or next week. Hoping we can get 1864 out by the end of the month.

We have 4 (maybe 5) games planned for late DEC early JAN:

1995: Milosevic’s Last Gamble (PCS # 3)

Army Group North

Army Group Center

Army Group South

1968: Tet (PCS #4)

Hauberk: 900-1100 AD (game by Ryan Kirk, designer of Battle of Donetsk Airport)

Otherwise, you can now also download the rules + vassal module for 1916 and 1950 without buying anything, allowing you to try out the games. As soon as 1812 is shipping, I will be posting the rules and module as well.

Another exciting project, we may be getting into a limited Old School Role-Playing (OSR) game release. OSR has been growing in popularity in past years, but the most popular clones started with the “1st” edition of AD&D. For years, I played the shit out of the 1974 Original Edition version, the white box with 3 booklets. The game is fairly silly and unbalanced but it is the weirdest most fun iteration of the genre. So we will be working on a new old school clone meant to not only recreate the old school experience of the mid 70s, but include rules that cover settings like Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha. I can’t imagine this will sell all that well, but its more of a vanity project for me I suppose.

Anyway, keep in mind if you ordered multiple games, you will be getting them once all are printed. Shoot me a message if you want to get your games earlier.

With Love


Early November Notes and Happenings

I’ve been working myself into oblivion lately, but I have no time to bitch so have been plowing through getting things all ready to ship this month. 1916 is now shipping and I’m super thankful to those who pre-ordered the game, you’re the best <3

Apart from chain-smoking and staring at the screen, I’ve forced myself to take periodic breaks for the first time in a while. I feel a little less stressed so that’s a net positive. I got to play some gamma world over my birthday and it reminded me how much I love and miss playing RPGs, my first game to get published was an RPG as well. CSL may do a release of a tribute to the 1974 edition of D&D and all of the sister games like Metamorphosis Alpha and others. Been talking to a friend of mine who is well better versed in RPG publishing and we may team up for this, so stay tuned (also, I have a hilarious pdf of a cyberpunk RPG I never released written a decade ago, if you want it, shoot me an email through the contact form and I’ll oblige.)

I am somewhat nervous about how 1916 will be received. It is my first wargame to actually get published, even if on my own, and most of everything outside of the art, editing and formatting was done by Matt and I, me being new to nearly all of this along with Matt to a lesser extent. I’ve been worried like a terrified professor in a Lovecraft novel but that probably has more to do with my generalized anxiety. In all seriousness though, I hope you guys like the game, if you don’t and you hate it, I’m really sorry, I would love to hear from you as to why you disliked the game or felt that something was poorly done or represented. I’ve stated from the beginning that mistakes would probably be made, errata might happen, but I can assure you that I’m working my ass off non stop to make sure they don’t suck lol.

Anyway, we could use some more dedicated playtesters, people who can communicate and commit to play within a quick time frame as the amount I am having to test my games is frustratingly burning me out. To be honest I don’t even enjoy playing games nearly as much as I do designing them anymore. I can’t remember the last time I played a game other than my own at this point and that kind of sucks lol. Anyway, I’ll keep testing etc and roll with punches but if you want to help out with that, shoot me a note.

That said, we are actively planning new games for November-December. 1995 will be the 3rd PCS game covering a what if situation in Yugoslavia, and that may be followed by the October war and/or Tet. One of these days I will do a deep dive on the PCS system an why I believe it really works well for modern conflict simulation with a low level of overhead. Until then, I will keep my head down and keep working. I need a vacation or something lol. Anyway, thanks and goodnight.

With love


Prussian Space-Time Theory & The OODA Loop

The following is from a short guide I am writing on contemporary, amateur wargame design that I plan on working on for the next few years:

2.2.1 Prussian Space-Time Theory & The OODA Loop

    OODA stands for observe, orient, decide, act, and in military terms is usually referred to how quickly a force can act upon receiving new information. One of the most severe historical examples of this concept in action is the first few months of the Franco Prussian War in 1870. The French army, who was highly regarded by most of Europe at this point, was utterly destroyed and conquered in less than 2-3 months by a united Germany. While the armies looked somewhat even on paper, the French army was constantly paralyzed by an inability to act. A commander would get shot and the unit would wait for hours until receiving orders to act. Troops would fail to follow the sound of guns without direct orders to do so, and the French army structure was simply incapable of this kind of flexibility given the French tradition of having the Emperor (Napoleon III at that time) command the whole army. While this worked for his uncle Bonaparte, Napoleon III was no tactical genius and suffering from gout for most of the war, he eventually was surrounded and gave up his empire on September 1st at the Battle of Sedan.

    The Prussian army on the other hand, was in a perfect position to exploit this inflexibility because wargaming had come up with a new warfighting concept loosely translated as Mission Command. Mission Command meant empowering officers at a tactical level make decisions based on their own their own initiative and experience. The main result of these ideas being the Prussians were able to do several things in the time it took the French to do one thing. This breakthrough was simply too decisive for the French to make use of their superior technology or numbers in instances where they had the edge, like at Mars La Tour how the whole of the French army basically froze unable to retreat because of the harassment from a few Prussian corps.

    There is a solid reason I went into this tangent, it’s because this phenomenon in military history is something that would be relatively easy to abstract and replicate in game form, it's also necessary to do for a wargame. Let's say you are designing a card game on this conflict, and each card in your hand represented various maneuvers your forces could make. Germany could, for example, have 5 cards in their hand as opposed to 4 for the French. That example is fairly quaint but the same concept applies on a number of  levels. In a chit pull wargame, where units would be activated by drawing markers randomly out of a cup, we could put several activation chits for the Prussian units and only several for the French, meaning the Prussian side can act more times during a turn. A final example i’ll use is the idea of initiative, say units have a rating, 2-5 that represent their ability to think on their feet. We could give Prussian infantry brigades an infantry of 3 compared to a two for the french. Initiative would then be checked during a turn if units were, for example, outside of the command range of a leader.

    Your ability to synthesize your research into concrete ideas for game design will ultimately depend on your knowledge of the topic and experience. In the most crude sense, you are simply applying abstractions and probabilities to your research, but depending on the scale, it can become more complicated. What I’d like you to take from this tangent is that a wargame must reflect actual history and not just simply in theme, if you are going to design mechanics around history, you need players to feel as though they are taking part in history, and the best way to do so is immerse them into the subject through relevant mechanics that require them to focus on the bigger picture.

Meanwhile, at CSL HQ...

BOY the past week has been an absolute shitshow for me. First off, I want to apologize for not getting the games out faster, but at the same time I kind of don’t apologize because I’ve been taking the extra time to double check and fine tune everything so what you get is the best possible thing I can produce.

You may have noticed, but I have commissioned all new covers for all the games. My art is fairly terrible and I wanted to create something that looked professional. Now thanks to Ivan Caceres, we have some amazing looking covers coming up. He has also done all the counters for 1916 and 1864. 1916 I got fairly lucky to have a play-tester point out to me that my OOB was a month off. After pulling my hair out for an hour or two I reworked the OOB to include everything that was actually there at start, and reconfigure a bunch of variables regarding Admin Points due to the new units. There are now approximately double the number of combat units than when I started.

Memories of Squad Leader… Granted the game plays nothing like SL.

Memories of Squad Leader… Granted the game plays nothing like SL.

After the emergency with 1916, I then continued with working on play-testing and development changes for 1950. As of all the games I’ve created, I may be the most proud of 1950. Inspired by Adam Starkweather’s game on the same subject, OSS KOREA by Compass Games, 1950 plays kind of like a bastardized, miniaturized homage. One unique aspect I manged to develop was the use of Randomized Combat Chits, though clearly not groundbreaking, I think it especially resonates well when it comes to modern combat. 1950 will reward the player for historical tactics but there is no promise that they will lead to victory. 1950 will also be the first game of my new Procedural Combat Series, which will focus on post WW2 wars and large scale battles.


The next game for the PCS series will be 1987, and then we are thinking about some others like what-if Yugoslavia in the 90s, Arab Israeli wars, and the Tet offensive. Anyway the next crisis I had to defuse was the formatting for all of this great new art and some of our rules was not to the publisher’s specifications. Everything had to be redone, this was a nightmare to get right but I have two people competent at these things in charge of getting everything ready for the printer now, as I know little to nothing about formatting and don’t have the patience for it.

Apart from dealing with that crisis, we began to rework 1812 because our illustrious map artist, Ilya Kudriashov, pointed out to me that the way I had fortresses and cities setup was completely a-historical, along with some of my assumptions about the war in general. What is now resulting is what I can say is an extremely unique set of rules where both cities and fortresses only exist in hexsides and they have no effect on combat, only morale and VP. This radically changes how most wargames work and I am working furiously on incorporating those changes and getting them to playtesters.


So again, I apologize for not getting the games out sooner, but there have been good reasons and you would have hated me more if everything came out shitty. I can guarantee that wont be a problem now. I may have underestimated how frustrating this process would be but I remain steadfast in the amount of work I pour into these every day.

With love,


Release Schedule for the first 5 games

Hello friends!

We are hard at work getting 1916 up to snuff for release. We got word right at the last minute that our OOB was off by a month, so we hired an artist to add the correct OOB and add the old OOB as reinforcements. I and developer Matt are expecting to get proof copies for the final that we will be checking for final changes by this weekend.

New counters for 1916: double the units! By Ivan Caceres

New counters for 1916: double the units! By Ivan Caceres

1916: Hopefully shipping by early next week.

1950: Hopefully shipping by late next week, early the week after.

1812 & 1987: First week or 2 of November.

1864: Middle to end of October

Keep in mind that these only apply if you have ordered games individually, if you ordered a group of games, we will send your order once all games are ready. If you wish to get any of your games earlier or wish for some other arrangement, or want to complain or ask any questions, please feel free to contact us here.

Finally, we will have several copies of our games to buy at a discount at FaTDoG this year, come say hi if you plan on attending! Oh and I almost forgot, once we have everything finalized for 1916, we will email out modules and rules to all customers.

With love


We are live!

Hello all. I’m thrilled to let you all know that today we have started accepting pre-orders for our first 3 games, 1916, 1950 and 1812. Verdun will likely be finished first, followed by the others later this month. I am doing everything I can do to make sure these games are quality, fun, and worth your hard earned money. This company is my dayjob, and I plan on being as active as possible to focus on little else.

2 more games are currently in development which were meant to be released with the first 3, but because of a mixup they got pushed back a little bit. Those two games are 1987 (ww3) and 1864 (second schleswig war). After those I am planning on a few different ideas, possibly branching out into other strategic games outside of wargaming. We are also considering the possibility of printing larger footprint games for sale.

Thank you to all of those who bought games today, and I will be sending out Vassal modules and rules shortly. Please feel to reach out about your orders, any questions or concerns.

With Love

Ray Weiss - CSL Owner & Operator

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

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 :)