Thursday, February 26, 2009

Contributing Designer On Islandlwana

Dennis L. Bishop is a commercial game designer with a number of published games to his credit. His work includes Command magazine games such as LIKE LIONS THEY FOUGHT and ALAMO-DARK VICTORY. Dennis is the primary game designer for Kyber Pass Games ( and has worked on games for ConsimPress (VELDT COMMANDO) and Worthington Games (BLOOD OF NOBLE MEN) as well. Through his research, Dennis has become something of an authority on the battle of Isandlwana. WDG is pleased to have Dennis as a consultant on our current project, Day of the Spears: The Battle of Islandlwana 1879 (working title). He will be contributing in the areas of historical research and game design. We are confident that Dennis' contributions will make Day of the Spears a better game. Certainly his professionalism will stiffen our amateur ranks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Be A Game Developer

There are two kinds of boardgames games posted on White Dog Games, computer-based and print-and-play. The print-and-play kind come with historical notes, rules, maps and unit counters. A lot of research has been done for you. So, if you wanted, you could become a "game developer" by tweaking a rule or several or modifying a table or two. This might make a particular WDG print-and-play game more interesting to you. We have no problem with that. In fact, we would like to know what changes you make because they might be good ideas that we could incorporate into a revised version of the game.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lion In A Net: Saratoga 1777 (PnP)

As Saratoga was not one battle but a month of manuvering and fighting, the challenge was how to model the aspect of time in the game. This was done by creating a two-tier system of a game day and action turns.
There are 10 “game day” turns in the game, each game day representing one or more historical days. Each game day consists of the following phases.

Reinforcements Arrival
Build Forts
Initiative Check
Day Action Roll
American Action Roll (Solitaire)
Three Action Turns (depends on day action roll)
End of day (if action that day)

If the action roll for the day allows for "action" (movement beyond the army bases and combat) during a game day, the game day then has three action turns consisting of the following phases.

Side With Initiative Movement
Other Side Movement
Combat (including Retreats)

At the end of the combat phase, the game day is over and the end of day phase completes the game day turn.

Saratoga can be said to have been the turning point of the American Revolutionary War. After the surrender of general Burgoyne and his troops at Saratoga, the French soon entered the war on the side of the Rebels. Without French men, material and money, conceiveably the Colonies might well have lost the war.

If Saratoga, then, is the most important battle of the war for the Americans, then Benedict Arnold may be their greatest hero because it was his generalship and courage, more than any other, that gave the colonies a positive result at Saratoga. It was Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with "traitor", who persuaded the cautious, unimaginative American General Gates to aggressively counter British moves at Saratoga that resulted in an American victory and Burgoyne's surrender.