FOW Dispatch 2018-1

2017 in Retrospect and a 2018 Prospectus


This month marks the second anniversary of the founding of Fog of War Publications, LLC.  2017 proved to be an interesting year of growth and fulfillment. 2018 will hopefully build on the successes of 2017 and provide an even greater opportunity to get my CDG designs out to the public. As mentioned last year, with any start-up venture, the first few years are ones of trial and error where hopefully the end result of experiences gained is continual improvement both for the consumer and the company.  With this in mind, this “Dispatch” is offered to hopefully provide you insight into the workings of FOW.




The main objectives of this second year were two-fold: firstly to get “Age of Bismarck – The Unifications of Italy and Germany” out the door and secondly, to establish a website for the LLC which would provide for the publication of the products and also a method to order on-line that would supplement the previous manual system of ordering and order fulfillment. These objectives were all accomplished.


In regards to actual products produced and designed/developed, Fog of War published the long anticipated “Age of Bismarck – The Unifications of Italy and Germany”. AOB was priced very reasonably to reflect my gratitude for its decades-old supporters; this price may go up in the coming year depending upon various factors but for the time being, customers can still get it at this low price. In addition, a free download was made available through the courtesy of the publisher of War Diary, i.e. my additional counters for my “Remember, Thou Art Mortal: Variants for Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage” article that appeared in Issue 3.1. This joined the sample scenario for the Eastern Front variant, which had previously appeared on its CSW folder.


The website was launched in early Summer and orders began to be automatically processed through the website early in June. In general, the system has worked quite well.  However, there were two rare complaints about not receiving the verification message that authorized a download.  One was resolved very easily as the machine-generated authorization message was in the buyer’s spam folder.  The other non-receipt could not be verified so the files were sent out manually, thus promptly resolving the issue. Finally, the “Coming Soon” section has been expanded, to include more information on the upcoming titles.




I have “Ides of March – The End of the Roman Republic 44BC – 30BD” targeted for release on March 15th of this year. I want to further test the “Rubicon Module” and then incorporate the playtesting changes into the rules set and the playbook.  A March release may be too ambitious but it would be really great to release “Ides” on the Ides of March! However, if I don’t feel it is ready, I will not release it prematurely. Stay tuned…


“1859 – High Tide of the Second Empire” is moving along quite nicely. I am tentatively scheduling it for release in late 2018.  Soon I plan to establish a folder for 1859 on both CONSIM World and Board Game Geek, so watch for news in regards to that.  I am pretty excited about this one.  While it is using the popular 1866 system, it will have some changes that better reflect the political-military situation facing Austria and the French/Piedmontese.  Owners of 1866 will have no trouble getting into 1859 quickly.


Depending upon time available, I would also like to release the third module in my “Blitzkrieg WWII Variants” series. This one will cover Northwest Europe in 1942/1943. I am not sure yet whether I will extend the period into 1944.  The main thrust of the scenario is to provide a situation where a second front occurs earlier than it did historically.  Specifically, certain elements such as greater Luftwaffe presence in theater, predominantly British and Commonwealth participation, a lesser but growing US historical order of battle and amphibious operations are the key elements in this module.  Most of the initial work has been done but some effort will be required to adapt the units to the current template and to codify the amphibious warfare rules section.


An undisclosed publishing company has asked me to provide them with one of my designs for potential publication through them. When requested in 2017, I decided that I did not have the bandwidth to embark on that initiative until “Ides” was in the can and my other initiatives were further along.  We mutually agreed to wait until this Spring to further discuss what this kind of collaboration would look like.  I suggested two titles from which they could choose one, and they were amenable to that plan.


In addition to the titles mentioned above, I will continue working on the designs of a number of other CDGs, some old and some new. These include:

– Gaul is Divided – Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul

– Panzers of Spring – France 1940

– 1864 – The Danish/German War

– The Boyne Water – The Conquest of Jacobite Ireland

– A Pragmatic War – The War of the Austrian Succession (under contract with Compass Games)

– 1870 – The Rise and Fall of Empires


I would like to conclude by thanking you all for your interest and support of this fledgling company. FOW will continue as a one-man operation, which has its plusses and minuses – the main plus is that I am in control of all aspects of my designs but the main minus is that I am one-deep and that life has a nasty way of changing production schedules!




John B. Firer (JBF)

Fog of War Publications

Specializing in CDG Designs