Charles Féaux de la Croix's Blog (26)

US and Soviet National Material Capabilities 1946-91

The below chart tracks national material capabilities (CINC as discussed in previous post) for the two Cold War superpowers:

Interesting how the US value takes a hit round 1970. In those years, the US decreased its military personnel from 3.5 million to about 2 million - with also certain reductions in military expenditure.

Here a military…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on August 9, 2013 at 11:28am — No Comments

Measuring National Power

I've always had the urge to define national power in quantitative terms. Many histories strike me as overly wishy-washy due to an insufficient grounding in numbers. Not only does this hamper understanding, but it also presents a considerable challenge in terms of wargame design.

One scholarly effort to that effect is the "Correlates of War" project. It defines "power" as "the ability of a nation to exercise and resist influence - [...] a function of many factors, among them…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on August 9, 2013 at 10:50am — No Comments

A post-Cannae scenario for "Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage"

By the time Hannibal settled into winter quarters after his celebrated Cannae campaign, he might have felt in equal measure elated and frustrated. While many cities in tribes in Southern Italy had joined his cause (most notably Italy's second city, Capua), he had failed to secure the vital ports of Campania (most notably Neapolis), nor the strategically important Greek cities further to the south (Tarentum, Rhegium).


Cannae thus hadn't dealt Rome a knock-out blow by having…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on May 26, 2011 at 8:43am — No Comments

What a map for a First Punic War CDG might look like

Valley Games has now announced a First Punic War expansion to HANNIBAL. I suppose it's basically the variant once featured in THE GENERAL. It's been years, but in checking out that variant, I thought it fell short in two major ways:

1) In my view, a game on the First Punic War needs quite another map from that of HANNIBAL given the more narrow geographical scope of Hamilcar's war to that of his one-eyed son. Sicily  was the main theatre of this war and ought to be shown in sufficient…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on May 21, 2011 at 11:56am — No Comments

1648: Design & Historical Notes

I wrote the below article for DIPLOMACY WORLD a good year ago. Since then 1648 has undergone further changes, yet the below nonetheless serves as a good introduction to the game. For the game's rules, and maps visit…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on September 25, 2010 at 5:30am — 11 Comments

1648: More balance talk

A running conversation about 1648 I'm crossposting here (my online archive, so to speak).

> Where can I download the V2.3 Realpolitik files? That would make study and

> practice of the variant much easier.

I'll post the files in the near future.

I've actually thought of a way to do some solitaire playthroughs of the early game. I'd roll a die for each power and consult a table indicating which power it attacks or in which direction it… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 17, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

1648: Power Balance and more

Here are my responses to some feedback I got about my 1648 Diplomacy variant. See earlier posts for basic information.

> I personally love the DP points system idea, and think it improves on the

> trademark negotiating element of Diplomacy that makes the game so much fun

> to begin with.

Thanks for your detailed comments. I'll adress these further below.

Note though that the previous map I posted has been replaced by v2.3. Christiania… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 17, 2009 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

1648: Third time's the charm?

I implemented further tweaks with v2.2. I included more territory to the East so as to ensure Astrakhan abutts Persia. This allows Russia to gain further leverage on Persia (the new Caspian Sea also provides for yet another way of getting Russian units into action down there).

Persia strikes me as the minor power most likely to be conquered last. After all, neither Russia or Turkey will want the other to conquer it and will be mindful… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 16, 2009 at 10:53am — 2 Comments

1648: A revised map

The above map is the result of putting a good deal of thought into adjusting the bilateral friction levels according to the aims I set out in my previous post (see the previous post to see what I am doing). You'll note that the Franco-Spanish relationship has drastically changed so as not to railroad those two powers into war.

Further, Turkey now is in much closer contact with Spain and Russia than was previously the case and the same… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 15, 2009 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Revisiting my 1648 game design

Back in 2003/04 I was working on an ambitious design project together with David Cohen. The aim was to create a eurocentric world Diplomacy variant set in the year 1648. Also, we aimed to include armed neutrals, which might be swayed by greater powers by the means of their budgeted diplomatic points (as explained further below).

Why 1648? The geopolitical balance of power (so important for a Diplomacy variant) was at that stage quite intact since neither Spain, France, England or any… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 14, 2009 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Twilight Struggle: Chinese Civil War Optional Rule

Randy Pippus's summary:

Chinese Civil War Variant

The Chinese Civil War Variant (Rule 12.0) that appears in C3I is accompanied by a small insert that serves as a holding space. There is also an interesting article by Jason reviewing American and Russian relations with China going back to the 19th Century and culminating in the Communist takeover.

Basically the USSR has to place 3 influence in the space to (immediately) receive the China Card face-up. The space is… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 5, 2009 at 12:40am — No Comments

Twilight Struggle: Historical Example of Play Project

I've set myself the task of storyboarding the entire Cold War as portrayed by Twilight Struggle. This process is geared towards providing new scenarios beginning with each and every game turn.

While I've tried to do justice to the evolving geopolitical picture and done some reading-up, I'd be grateful for any suggestions on how to further improve this historical storyboard. And what's your take on game balance starting off in Turn2?

Here's what the board looks like…

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 1, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Schwarz-Rot-Gold: new map sketch

Re-doing the map, I saw having the political arenas/constitutional displays right on top of the states simply isn't feasible for space reasons. So those displays went to the side into the unused spaces of Eastern Europe.

Given that, I dare say it's best to transfer the class/ethnicity spaces from the state displays to the on-map spaces. That also ensures the Prussian, Bavarian and Austrian provinces work the same way as all the other… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on April 7, 2009 at 9:30pm — 14 Comments

The political game model for "SCHWARZ-ROT-GOLD: The German Revolution of 1848/49"

Schwarz-Rot-Gold: The German Revolution of 1848/49

Having outlined my game design philosophy in an earlier forum post, let me turn to some aspects related to class politics.

The State Political Displays:

These represent the respective states (exceptions noted further below). They're the heart of the game and markers are placed on them as necessary to indicate shifts in political strength, laws and constitutional… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on April 7, 2009 at 6:36pm — No Comments

Gaming the 1848 Revolution

I've always felt that our hobby sorely neglects conflicts which happen to be primarily of a non-military nature and indeed non-military affairs (especially political matters) central to a given conflict. This is a shame since in particularly political strife makes for great gaming material.

I've lately been reading about the revolutions that swept across Europe in 1848/49 and thought how these events might be turned into a game. Just thought I'd voice my musings… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on April 5, 2009 at 11:33am — No Comments

What a First Punic War CDG might look like...

I recently had a look at the Hannibal variant for the First Punic War, yet found that it really didn't go far enough in adapting the system to the quite different character of the earlier clash of Rome and Carthage.

The variant only abstractly portrays naval warfare despite the First Punic War being largely decided at sea - and featuring arguably the largest sea battle in all history (in terms of the number of men involved).

Moreover, Sicily was the primary theatre of… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on March 29, 2009 at 6:17pm — 1 Comment

The most popular wargames on Consimworld...

A thread on BGG prompted me to check out which games are most popular on CSW, i.e. how many posts they got.

I chose to limit myself to games (and game series) which have garnered more than 10000 posts. Very few games make that threshhold (and I hope I didn't miss any!):

If you add in game series (admittedly, the distinction between the "individual games" and "series" categories is something of a judgement call) you get the… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on August 1, 2008 at 5:50am — 25 Comments

Paths of Glory: Hassard Variant

Here are the rules for the variant:

1) Incentives for the CP to fight aggressively in France and Belgium and not retreat to the Rhine.

a) +1 replacement point for GE each turn if a CP unit is entrenched in Cambrai, Calais or Amiens. Applicable only when CP is at TW.

b) -1 replacement point for GE if no CP units in France or Belgium.

c) U-Boats Unleashed can be played without the H-L Take Command pre-requisite. This will help the attrition ratio… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on July 18, 2008 at 7:36pm — No Comments

Hannibal AAR: 2007 Wargameroom Finals 4th game

The Wargameroom Finals are won by whoever first manages to win three games. I went into this game having won two, while Kevin had one victory under his belt. So, in effect, I was "serving for the match". It's now been a week since we played this game, so I'll be relying to a considerable extent on my notes, data and situational screenshots in writing this account.

Rome: Charles Féaux de la Croix

Carthage: Kevin Worth…


Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on July 3, 2008 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Hannibal AAR: 2007 Wargameroom Finals 3rd game

With both Kevin and me having won one game each in the finals series, we entered our third game. However would win this one would be in the pole position to win the entire championship (first who wins three games).

Both preceding games had come down the the last few cards, despite Hannibal having been eliminated quite early in the second game. Well, here's an account of how our third game went:

Rome: Kevin Worth

Carthage: Charles Féaux de la Croix

This… Continue

Added by Charles Féaux de la Croix on June 27, 2008 at 8:42pm — No Comments

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