I know that many of you that come to our blog do so to read our designer interviews about newly announced pre-orders or upcoming new releases. We post a new designer interview typically each Monday and by the end of the week, depending on the game of course, those interviews will be viewed between 400-800 times. We have even had some that have made 1,000+ views in their first few days, which is always amazing to me.
Our designer interviews are fairly lengthy and in-depth, which probably reflects my view of games and the design process as I like to know why certain decisions are made and where inspiration came from. I also believe that we try to give the reader an idea for how the game works, including how it actually plays and the mechanics that are used. I will be honest though, there have been some interviews that after I am done posting them, I ask myself why it was so hard to convey the idea of how this will be played.
Through the life of the blog, we have posted 234 designer interviews and through July 2020, we have posted 36 interviews. In this post, I simply want to share with you some of the best performing designer interviews from a views perspective.
Interview with Dan Fournie Designer of 1944 Battle of the Bulge from Worthington Publishing – our number 1 performing designer interview so far in 2020 is from Dan Fournie. Dan has designed lots of scenarios and rule sets for games that we are all familiar with such as Tyrant (a Great Battles of Alexander Module-2003) and Barbarian (an SPQR Module-2008) as well as over 40 articles in C3i magazine with scenarios for the Great Battles of History Series, Pax Romana and Commands & Colors: Ancients. This is Dan’s first full design and he has done a great job with hitting the high points of the Battle of the Bulge and making it approachable for new wargames but with enough crunch to appeal to Grognards.
Interview with Brian Train Designer of COIN Series Volume XII China’s War: 1937-1941 from GMT Games – You know how much we admire and enjoy our associations with Brian Train. I have never met him, but we have carried on communications over the past four years as he has designed some of my favorite games including Colonial Twilight, A Distant Plain, Winter Thunder, District Commander Maracas and others. We posted this interview with Brian on December 30, 2019 and I am counting it in this post as a 2020 designer interview because it has done so well in 2020, with most of its views coming in this new year. China’s War is the next volume in the COIN Series and you know how we feel about it. The game looks amazing and I hope to have it in my hands by year’s end.
Interview with Mike Nagel Designer of Dawn of Battle from Worthington Publishing – the popularity of this interview blew me away as it just shot right up there once posted. Mike Nagel is an amazing person and has a really interesting approach to game design. I have interviewed him before covering Saint-Omer to Saint Crispin: Tactical Battles of the Hundred Years War from GMT Games and he was very easy to contact and was very thorough in his answers. This new game Dawn of Battle appeals to so many because it is focused on Ancients and is highly playable. The game just screams to be played and I really like the look of it.
Interview with Ted Raicer Designer of The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 from GMT Games – we played The Dark Sands this past year and Alexander played solo The Dark Valley during quarantine and we are very taken by this system. We love Chit Pull and this one takes that mechanic in a new direction that keeps you on your tore and assists in telling a great narrative of your play. Ted takes the system to the beaches of Normandy and this one looks really good. In fact, it was included on my Top 12 Most Anticipated Wargames of 2020 list. If you haven’t added this to your P500 list what are you waiting for? A written invitation?
Interview with Brian Train Designer of Brief Border Wars from Compass Games – another Brian Train interview covering a very interesting game that is reminiscent of the old Avalon Hill Quads as this one contains four small battles that all use the same system. This one landed in our mail box a few weeks ago and we cannot wait to get it to the table. Brian has a real skill when it comes to dealing with small insurgencies and weaving a great system together that helps you understand the history that you are gaming. I have really loved our plays of all of his games and always get a bit excited when I catch wind of a new Brian Train design.
Interview with Maurice Suckling Designer of Chancellorsville 1863 from Worthington Publishing – a rising star in the gaming industry is Maurice Suckling and he signed on to do a hidden movement American Civil War game on the Battle of Chancellorsville and it simply looks amazing. We loved his Freeman’s Farm 1777 design and now have this one to look forward to. We also currently are working on a new design covering the American Revolution of his called Hidden Strike: American Revolution coming to Kickstarter in August. Keep your eye out for this guy as I am sure that this is just the beginning for him.