Hold the head while I milk the cow….

News from MMP in the “Gamers Division”


Folks… I dunno. I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with SCS and its general direction. I will not be supporting the SCS games that are ‘in development’ here. Well unless I see some really compelling evidence as to why I should. I’m very very close to selling off the entire series in fact. The Afrika title below feels WAY too much like the proverbial cow milking. SCS with some activation chrome, then right back to  Arty, DG, Attack, Exploit.

Why so angry? Well I think the SCS titles could be a richer game experience with more historical flavour than is presented. So far very few if ANY of them play out historically unless YOU make them play that way. Once the ‘edition/volume specific puzzle is solved’ its done as a playable game.

LOB..You know A designer once said all ACW battles are the same, except Chickamauga. The same effort, same result regardless of system. I’ll have to see if he was right and invest some time into ACW.

Onto to brighter things – BCS! Will this be the magic? Will Battalion level command and control and combat in WWII be realized? How fascinating!!?

  • The Last Blitzkreig (BCS) – The long awaited first game in the Battalion Combat Series (BCS) covering the Ardennes Offensive on four maps of exquisite detail. The BCS was originally intended as merely a scale-change version of the OCS rules, but it became much more than that… the design goal was to introduce a vision of battalion level warfare that players had never experienced before, but in an easy to learn and play format. Multiple scenarios allow the player to pick and choose the size of the game being played and what the conditions of the offensive (i.e. balance between the sides) he wants to see.
  • Panzer Battles (SCS)- Applying the popular game specific rules of the SCS games It Never Snows, Bastogne, and the comingDay of Days, Panzer Battles examines the classic fight for the Chir River defense line in December, 1942. Here you’ll get to actually execute the famous fire brigade action of the 11th Panzer Division as depicted in the book of the same name. Two maps give players some maneuver room for some very wild and exciting active defense action
  • Monocacy & Ft. Stevens (LOB) – This is the third game in the LoB series and is a dual title covering both the Battle of Monocacy and the potential Battle of Ft. Stevens in one package. Both are part of Jubal Early’s 1864 campaign threatening Washington DC. Players are able to use their results from their Monocacy fight to determine the forces and timing of their chances at Ft. Stevens. Obviously, as Lincoln put it ‘Mr. Early was late’ … now you can see if you can do better.
  • North Africa (SCS) – Using the award winning OCS game DAK as a base, this is a monster SCS game showing the desert campaign using a very clean set of game specific rules. There has been a little confusion as to the relationship of this game to the existing SCS Afrika and Afrika II titles… well, this game is four times their size and makes use of the extensive research effort that was poured into the DAK monster game. It is a large, but very easy to play game that uses a unique activation system whereby players don’t activate units (as is usual), but rather bid on the turn sequence they want to use… in other words, they buy phases.

See 2:32…:)

4 thoughts on “Hold the head while I milk the cow….

  1. I’m looking forward to Panzer Battles, seems right in SCS’s wheelhouse. I’ll also probably get Day of Days, but will probably only play the one or two map scenarios. I didn’t go for It Never Snows, b/c of topic and I’m not a monster gamer, but have seen it get played first hand, and its garnered more attention than any other SCS game I’ve seen.

    RE; your concerns…. Any enjoyment of any game/series depends on your expectations of it. I play many more complex games than SCS, and my expectation and reasons for enjoying SCS are different than those more complex games. SCS hasn’t changed much in 15+ titles, ie easy to play, low rules overhead so you can focus on the fighting/maneuver. (They’re largely games of maneuver.) IIRC the designer’s notes describe it as beer and pretzel games, not as historical studies or conflict simulations. I can plop down a game and play with a buddy or solo w/o literally studying the rules, and complete it in a relatively short time.

    More jibber jabber…. I enjoy both Open games like SCS, and more Closed games that force or encourage you along a more historical path, although they almost always come with more rules overhead, but tend to be more historically satisfying. OTOH you get more wild swings and narrative with Open games. I enjoy both. I also enjoy your blog, keep it up!

  2. I understand the premise of SCS. But with them venturing into monster game territory I think the expectation changes. It is more expected to have some of the historicity of the topic at hand. paying 30-50 bucks for Yom Kippur is one thing, over 100 is another. Panzer battles has great potential I agree. But our group has become sorely jaded with SCS of late. Such that we really wont play it opposed much. They are open games, and that is a good thing. I still like to see some history. INS for instance could have had a nice dollop of chrome without killing the game. Ahh well.

  3. If you and Pete stop playing SCS Austin will have nothing to play when he shows up. They aren’t that bad but I get the same feeling with North Africa that you do. Either play DAK or Afrika, I don’t see the need for something in between.

  4. I agree that they seem to disappoint more than excite. Yom K was our first, and way entertaining. Since then we’ve bought ever title, played half, enjoyed none. In fact, we replayed YK and it seemed that the life was sucked out of that one now too. Sad. We like the chrome and speed of play. Just little flavor variety.

Hey!! At least say something! ;)