Right now, I'm developing The First Battle of the Marne, Jon Compton's game on the decisive battle of World War I in the West in 1914. It's not destined for Against the Odds, but for the Turning Point Simulations line.

As are the rest of the games in the product line, the game is physically small, with an 11" x 17" map and under 200 counters, and right now just eight pages of rules. As one would expect, it's systemically fairly simple, and playing time promises to be short. That is all in keeping with the specifications for TPS's games.

Does anyone want to be present at the creation, through volunteering to playtest The First Battle of the Marne? We have some good playtesters now, but preexisting commitments and that nagging matter of real life means that we need some additional players too.

If you'd like to join the fun, please send me an e-mail at support@turningpointsimulations.com and I'll e-mail you a copy of the game so we can get started. We need your help, and will certainly appreciate it.

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I'm doing some solitaire play of The First Battle of the Marne, to get a grip on the main elements, and check out the rules. I think that players are going to like it.

Combat is not the typical odds-based variety. Units shoot at each other, much as one would in a tactical game, so that outcomes depend on the absolute firepower employed, not relative strength. There is ranged combat by artillery, and stacks not engaged but adjacent to attackers can lend support, at half strength, to the actual targets of a standard combat.

The capabilities of corps depend in large part on their modes of operation. Corps can be in offensive, defensive, transfer or recovery mode; the latter two are good for strategic movement and receiving replacements respectively.

Also, in all but the first two days of the battle, when the Germans go first, the players roll for initiative. A player can receive a beneficial modifier for initiative rolls depending the number of corps currently in offensive mode.

There's still work to be done, and systems to validate. But The First Battle of the Marne looks very good from this perspective.
Once again, we could use the assistance of experienced, dedicated players who'd like to get in on the ground floor of the TPS game line. Feel free to e-mail me at support@turningpointsimulations.com and we'll get you started.
I'm eager to get things done on The First Battle of the Marne with all due alacrity, for to accomplish that we still need playtesters. If you're interested, please e-mail me at support@turningpointsimulations.com.

Also, they'll be other designs up for playtesting soon, and I'll fill you in as soon as they're ready to go out. Bur right now I'd like to concentrate on The First Battle of the Marne.


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