Grognard Wargamer Thread!


Planet Miners is on the internet archive for people that are curious. Is the Internet Archive allowed to do that?


I dunno, but they do :)

For folks playing an emu (I recommend the c64 version)
Copy of the manual is here
Say Y to player 1 being a human & name your family, then N for the others
the key commands are as follows

1 Large scale solar system map
2 Small scale solar system map
3 Display travel times
4 Display mining status
5 Display ships in orbit
6 Display ship status
7 Set ship destination
8 Protest a claim
9 Attempt to claim jump
10 Attempt sabotage
11 Finished with commands (end turn)

Thats pretty much all you need. Enjoy.


Like this?

Yeah, it’s not one of the games you worked on, but… it’s the one I still have!


Yup, that’s what they were. Brings back a lot of memories.


I just want to feel like the gameplay has something to do with the battle being fought. That boardgame about Dien Bien Phu is what I’m talking about. Using areas instead of hexes is a better way to represent the geography that actually mattered in that battle. I’d like to see more computer games taking that kind of risk.

Anyway, thank you for taking your time to respond. I really appreciate it.


Ah, but are they? ;) I would argue (strongly, and with passion) that the Dien Bien Phu games that used areas to depict the battlefield were the weaker of the DBP games, and the one that actually got the whole battle (including the strongpoints) totally right used hexes to do it. It’s actually one of the best examples I can think of showing how mechanics are completely trumped (sorry) by design. Citadel uses hexes and does a terrible job of capturing the importance of strongpoints. La vallée de la mort and Storm Over Dien Bien Phu use areas, and the completely flub the strongpoint question, for different reasons. The Final Gamble uses hexes and just nails it perfectly. It’s all about how the designer used those hexes, not the hexes themselves.

Just like it’s not about hexes in current computer wargames - it’s about the designers not knowing what to do with them.

If anyone is wondering what we’re talking about, it’s this:

I love talking about this stuff!


I spent hundreds of hours in junior high and high school playing Midway Campaign, B-1, and North Atlantic Convoy Raider. My hat is off to you, sir.


@Brooski did you ever play any of the Simulations Canada games from the 80s? Those hybrid computer-board games always sounded interesting to me, but I never had the opportunity to play.


I never played the SimCan hybrids because I never had (a) a computer that could run them and (b) the money to buy them as they were super expensive and I did not have that much money at one time. I did play a lot of SimCan’s boardgames, though. Often they were interesting designs held back by confusing or incomplete rules.


Thanks so much. Was one of my favorites too.


So happy to see people here remember the games and had fun with them. Will pass that on to my two fellow designers as well.


As long as we are taking a trip down memory lane, I did find the other two games we did for Avalon Hill. One was Nukewar, and the other was Close Assault. The latter was interesting in that it came with a physical board and units for the Germans, US, and the Soviets. The computer could play either or both sides. It was loosely based on Squad Leader as I recall.


I actually buy a boardgame and then read a book or a bunch of articles about that particular war or time in history so I learn more before I then dive into the boardgame. Comancheria boardgame got me to read two books on the Comanches. Cool to learn and play a bit of history. I told my wife, who hates games, what I have been doing a lot more lately so she is a bit more supportive…just a bit.


Yeah, in the past I’ve picked up games on obscure (to me) battles or campaigns and then gone to find books about them. Either way, the one enhances the other!


Age of Rifles was great for that (unrealistic as the outcomes were); the engine and mechanics really made ACW battles into unsatisfying slug-fests, but the Franco-Prussian and Seven Weeks War battles made me try to find out more about the wars themselves…


That’s a great post, Brooski. I agree with your take all the way.


Since I was a kid - a long, long, long time ago - I would get interested in an wargame, but after buying it and before playing it, I would go buy numerous books on the battle/campaign/war and read them first. I’ve got a pretty large library of military history books as a result. To this day, I prefer paper books over kindle when it comes to military history (though there are some for which I have both, since it is much easier to read large history books on the plane on long trips on the Kindle vs. carrying 50 pounds of books. ;)

If i wasn’t a military history buff I don’t think I’d be very interested in computer wargaming just for the sake of gaming.


Oh, yeah, history and wargaming are intimately connected. That’s one big reason why the hobby is in the position it is in today, for good or ill. It’s also why I am skeptical about broadening the base of wargaming, because I think it’s inherently limited to people with an interest in military history. Now, there may well be a lot of folks out there in that demographic–goodness knows the History Channel makes a mint off of military stuff–but how much of that goes beyond liking to see stuff blow up, or liking to watch Nazis I am not sure.


One of my favorite wargaming memories is when my dad got V For Victory: Market Garden and we watched A Bridge Too Far. Being able to visualize what was in each of those hexes and what my guys were fighting for made that game come alive to me in a way that doesn’t happen often.


Looks like GOG has all five of the original Close Combat games now, as well as some of the Slitherine updates like Cross of Iron!