September 26, 2022

Connections Online Next Week – #TuesdayNewsday 4/12/22

Every week, #TuesdayNewsday takes you around the strategy gaming world with the headlines

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Connections Online will be in full swing by this time next week (18-24 April 2022) with the Core Events being held 19-21 April from 10am-4pm EST.  As the Armchair Dragoons are the co-sponsors of this event, we’ve been providing regular1 updates.

Core events are set and the full schedule can be seen here.  Some highlights:

  • Wargaming Practitioner Certification: Necessary or not?
    An oft-debated and controversial idea – is there a need for a certification for wargaming practitioners? Is it a natural progression of a body of knowledge, or protectionist gatekeeping? Should the community take control of the process before someone outside does so instead?
  • Wargaming Outside the NatSec World
    Professional wargaming tools & techniques can be used in a variety of contexts outside of the national security and political decision-making space. What are some ways in qhich professional-style wargames and exercises are used in the business & commercial worlds?
  • Hiring New Wargamers
    Who hires wargamers? We do. Meet the Hiring Managers.
    We have assembled a group of individuals who hire, or influence hiring, for professional games. The session will start with each panelist giving their thoughts on the professional market, what skills they would look for, and any advice about getting into the professional game design market. Panelists will then be available for questions. Note that this is not a hiring event, and participants are not representing their organization with their comments. They are just people with experience giving their advice and counsel to those looking for jobs.
  • Wargaming Other Than War
    A variety of commercial games have appeared over the years, with wargame-like mechanics, that portray situations that are not actual wars or kinetic conflicts. What the models and game engines behind some of these games?

Extended events will occur across all 7 days, at a variety of hours that do not conflict with the Core Events.  Current planning includes, but is certainly not limited to

  • Wargame Bootcamp (multiple sessions) for VASSAL / TTS usage
  • Moderated panel, and a seminar game for the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands War
  • Wargame Design Workshop, where participants will actually design the broad-strokes mechanics of a wargame
  • Presentations from HMGS, The Deitz Foundation, and designer Jason Matthews

Some relevant details:

  • Registration is live!  Early bird tickets are probably sold out, but even the regular ones are only $5
  • All Core Events will be streamed through YouTube, but using unlisted URLs, which will limit live interaction to registered attendees.  After Connections is over, streams will be made public.  Some – but not all – Extended Events will be streamed.
  • Want to know more about Connections Online?  Brant & Brian Train crashed Moe’s show last year to talk about it

 

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There’s some business news we need to cover:

Conflict Sims Ltd released the following statement by email to their newsletter distro list over the weekend:

Bad News for Customers
So our printer, Blue Panther, after 4 years of being in business with us relatively smoothly, has decided to stop printing our games regardless of the fact that there are nearly 200 customers with pre-orders left, some worth thousands of dollars. Given that there’s basically no way for me to pull in money now, I have no way to pay any of these orders back, so you will have to contact Blue Panther about any refunds for orders with our games, I encourage you email them.
In the meantime, I am going to see if I can find an alternative arrangement for printing, will keep track of all the orders and attempt to honor those still, but in the event I basically give up and decide to brain myself, I want to thank you, all of my customers for giving me the opportunity to run this company and publish these games, its the only thing about my life that is really worth anything currently and the highlight of my 34 year existence, so I eternally appreciate your support and patronage.
Any orders made to the site will immediately be refunded, I should be able to host stuff on WGV for now and will get those online at some point. If I’m not floating in a river in the near future (dont worry I will leave the games to another publisher), ill be sure to update you guys with anything.
With Love
Ray

We reached out to Blue Panther and requested a comment from them.  Steve Jones, the owner, provided the following statement to Armchair Dragoons on Sunday afternoon.

On April 9th Blue Panther LLC (BP) and Conflict Situations Limited (CSL) ended their business relationship.
Blue Panther has or will shortly ship all orders of record from April 9th from individuals and online stores in the next few days. BP will also provide any replacements for missing or defective components until Oct of 2022.
BP continues to provide all printing and fulfillment for all of our other clients with no impact on operations.
On a company newsletter the same day, CSL specifically asked their customers waiting on CSL pre-order titles to contact BP for a refund. This is a misleading request. The fact is that all pre-orders were paid to CSL and that CSL is the only party that determines when pre-orders will be published.
The pre-orders range from one year to four years ago. BP never received any money from CSL for these games either to make them or to ship them. The files and art assets required to create these games have not been made available to BP. As of this date, we do not know if any of these files and art assets exist yet.
If you have any questions regarding the facts of this situation, contact Blue Panther at our Facebook page.
Thanks
Steve Jones
Blue Panther LLC

We are not going to conduct any deeper investigation or inquiry, but we felt it fair to request a follow-up comment from Blue Panther rather than simply report the CSL statement by itself.

 

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We’ve also got a 4X-specific area in the forums to discuss any of these, too.

  • Publisher Hooded Horse announced yesterday that Old World, the historical 4x by game designer Soren Johnson and his company Mohawk Games, is releasing on both Steam and GOG May 19, 2022 (watch the announcement trailer here).  In addition, a new expansion, “Heroes of the Aegean”, will be released the same day, and will be free to any who purchase Old World for the first two weeks.
  • A major update (version 5.17) dropped for Conquest of Elysium.  In addition to the usual balances and bug-fixes, this patch also adds a new playable class to Elysium, the Monkey Maharaja.
  • Shadow Empire likewise received a major update.  This patch addresses everything from map scrolling to fixing issues with PBEM games, but probably the most significant improvements are to the AI, which received quite a bit of work.
  • Nearly two months after the game’s launch, Creative Assembly has finally released the 1.1.0 update for Warhammer III.  (Watch the overview video here if you don’t have the patience to read all the patch notes.)  The update addresses a myriad of issues, including a much-requested overhaul to Realm of Chaos mechanics.

 

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Don’t forget we’ve got a dedicated area of our forums for the professional wargamers.

 

Special thanks to Game Theorist Brian Train for bringing this to our attention

 

 

That’s all for this week!
Be sure to drop by our forums and join the fun, and next Tuesday we’ll drop some more news on you.


We appreciate you visiting the Armchair Dragoons and hope that you enjoy our weekly news dumps!
Please leave us your feedback in our discussion forum, or in the comment area below.
You can also find the regiment on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and occasionally at a convention near you.

Footnotes

  1. some would say ‘annoying’

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