Thursday, January 22, 2015

An endorsement from the Dean of Mil-SF

Jerry Pournelle approves of Castalia's new mil-SF anthology:
Riding The Red Horse has a number of stories and essays, and is worth your buying. My non fiction contribution is an essay on simulation I did for Avalon Hill in the 70’s –and it is still pretty good. They found and asked my permission, and I am told I’ve already earned a good dinner out of it… Next I think comes a revival of There Will Be War.
It's good to see Dr. Pournelle recovering so rapidly from his stroke. As a wargamer and game designer, I very much enjoyed his game design essay in The General; I found it by pure happenstance and we added it at literally the last moment. It was fascinating to learn that he was the inventor of the "matchbox" concealment system, which uses a single unit to stand in for several, a concept that is incorporated in most wargames these days in one way or another.



Anonymous grey enlightenment January 22, 2015 9:11 AM  

wow I never knew he had a stoke. Glad he's doing better. His knowledge of the world is inexhaustible

Blogger Ten41 January 22, 2015 10:07 AM  


I haven't played wargames in quite a while. Is match-boxing similar to what HG Wells described in Little Wars?

...keeping the soldiers in their boxes with the lids on, and moving the boxes as units. (This boxing idea is a new one, and affords a very good substitute for the curtain; I have tried it twice for games in the open air where the curtain was not available.) Neither side would, of course, know what the other had in its boxes; they might be packed regiments or a mere skeleton force.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 10:13 AM  

Very much so. It was apparently forgotten in the transition to counters.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet January 22, 2015 10:17 AM  


Is that graphic design job still open? I emailed over to Castalia after all. If not, no worries.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 10:58 AM  

Is that graphic design job still open? I emailed over to Castalia after all.

We're still working with the first guy. We'll send out emails next week depending on how that goes.

Blogger CarpeOro January 22, 2015 11:12 AM  

A possible reason for the loss of the concept for creating a "fog of war" element being the transition from less exact and more fluid placement and movement to the more rigid and specific confines of hexes and squares. the focus was on simplifying the game and making it more "exact". Many games restricted the number of counters to one per hex, making it a little more difficult to recreate the "fog of war". Likely the reason I played miniatures when the opportunity presented itself (the higher price for gaming meant going where people had them, and those gentlemen were a rather quirky crowd).

Anonymous Jack Amok January 22, 2015 12:30 PM  

I really enjoyed his contribution to RtRH (which reminds me, I still have to write up my Amazon review...) Glad that he's recovering well. Strokes are - as far as I'm concerned - the most frightening medical problem around.

Blogger MidKnight January 22, 2015 1:28 PM  

Add me to the list - glad he's recovering well. He was, in many ways, one of the most influential mentors of my childhood, and most directly responsible for my love of history.

Anonymous Jeanne January 23, 2015 11:43 AM  

Speaking of books, I just got my notice from Sasquan that nominations are opening. We need a thread about books and short stories to read to see if they are worthy of a nomination. I need to get reading!

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