FOW Dispatch 2019-1
FOW Dispatch 2019-1
2018 in Retrospect and a 2019 Prospectus
This month marks the third anniversary of the founding of Fog of War Publications, LLC. Many of the issues associated with the start-up of a new company have arisen and been solved satisfactory during the past year. Fog of War has reached a level of stability which can now serve as a firm platform for further product production. In addition, there have been some new initiatives which we believe will provide the customer with an enhanced product experience. With this in mind, this “Dispatch” is offered to provide a review of the past year and a glimpse into the coming year for FOW.
This our third year, saw the release of Ides of March – The End of the Roman Republic 44BC – 30BC appropriately released on the Ides of March! It initially had a special price for the first 15 (extended to 30) days following the release date. This was to honor the support of its advocates over an almost 20 year period of gestation. There were some initial problems with the mapboard which when brought to our attention were corrected expeditiously and new files were sent to all those affected by the initial problem. In addition, both a cyberboard gamebox and a VASSAL module were produced for its purchasers and the links were made available on CONSIM World and Board Game Geek.
In addition to Ides, a third module in my Blitzkrieg WWII Variants series was released in late Spring/early Summer. This covered Northwest Europe in 1942/1943. The main thrust of the module provides a situation whereby 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 were the key additional elements in this particular module.
Two additional downloads were made available to all visitors. The first “The Emperors’ Waltz”, was a French intervention scenario for my popular 1866 simulation marketed by Compass Games. It provided scenario rules, set-up and conditions for a completely new game experience for 1866. It was a teaser of sorts for my 1866 designer’s notes article which should be appearing in War Diary magazine in the near future. The second download released was my complete “Ides of March Designer’s Notes” which had not been included in Ides in order to make the desired release date. It focuses on design evolution and decisions, rationales and approaches over a 20 year period culminating in its final release. The article also provides additional historical detail and the evolution of its journey into final publication.
In mid-Summer, we became aware of a problem that had developed in the “Contact” functionality on our website. Evidently when first set up, an incorrect email address was established as the ultimate destination for any information sent to us via the “Contact” form This has now been corrected so that any message generated through the “Contact” functionality will now go directly to our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org This had been a source of frustration for our customers but also for FOW since we had had a few complaints about our not responding to customer problems and we could not track down the source of those complaints. Finally, a customer steered us to HOW they had corresponded with us and that led to our discovering the problem and taking action to fix it. If you ever have a problem contacting us, we can always be reached at email@example.com and your problem will be addressed in an expeditious manner.
We have had a number of queries as to our recommendations as to what method one should use to actually assemble the components of our products. Without endorsing any one company, we have provided links for various companies that specialize in providing completed “print and play” products. We have also provided advice on how to assemble the product at home using simple/inexpensive but effective methods. Feel free to write us if you need advice in this area. Once again though, we endorse no particular company when providing information to this effect – that is between you and any potential company specializing in this type of service.
1859 – High Tide of the Second Empire is nearing completion and is tentatively scheduled for release this March. We established folders for 1859 on both CONSIM World and Board Game Geek, so watch for news in regards to that. 1859 is a two-player simulation dealing with the Franco-Austrian War in Northern Italy in 1859. One player controls the forces of France and Piedmont-Sardinia and the other player controls the forces of Austria and its potential allies. Using a shared deck of Operations Cards, each player makes decisions concerning the deployment, combat and political-military operations in support of his forces and his general strategy. We are pretty excited about this one. While it is using the popular 1866 system (the Wars of Unification series), it will have some changes that better reflect the political-military situation facing Austria and the French/Piedmontese. One major component of the game is a German Confederation Intervention scenario (Wacht am Rhein) which posits the very real chance that Prussia and the German Confederation intervene on Austria’s behalf, applying pressure to a weak French position in Alsace-Lorraine. Two other scenarios include the Campaign Game (Mobilization to War) and the war itself (Excursion to Italy!). Owners of 1866 will have no trouble getting into 1859 quickly.
We are also contemplating a fourth module in our Blitzkrieg WWII Variants series. This would provide the Blitzkrieg aficionado with a NATO scenario set in the 50s/60s/70s, with a Soviet/Warsaw Pact order of battle opposed to a US, British and French order of battle with some other NATO allies included. This module would most likely include at least two scenarios (1956 and 1961) and possible as many as 2 – 3 other scenarios. As with its predecessors, the module will be moderately priced at $5.00 and include rules, charts and counter sheets for a complete game.
We are also considering providing two additional free downloads in support of Ides. The first is a set of stand-up counters, similar to those used in many early CDGs. Initially I personally had always thought these were somewhat “toyish” but after a few plays of let’s say HRC, I found that they help focus my attention to key points on the mapboard where my enemy’s and my forces were located – great for situational awareness. Secondly, we have been playtesting a set of battle cards for use with Ides. These would follow the same method as in HRC but adapted to the particular tactical practice exhibited during the time of the Triumvirs.
In addition to the titles mentioned above, we 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 (Wars of Unification series)
– The Boyne Water – The Conquest of Jacobite Ireland (NPWS system)
– 1870 – The Rise and Fall of Empires (Wars of Unification series)
– Death Grip – Operations in South Russia 1942-43
– Marshall’s War – The Allied Invasion of Europe 1943
– Imperial Sunset – Central Europe 1813
I would like to conclude by thanking you all for your interest and support of this fledgling company. FOW remains a one-man operation, to insure adequate control of all aspects of our designs and their production but life has a nasty way of changing production schedules so please keep that in mind!
John B. Firer (JBF)
Fog of War Publications
Specializing in CDG Designs