NEWS: Site reaches milestone, New MOUT game on way.

One of the goals of this blog has been to make it useful beyond hearing myself talk. In order to do that I’ve tried to encourage others with descriptions and pictures of my projects and to provide information on products I really like. Several months ago I had to re-assess. You see, one way of measuring interest is tallying the number of hits on the website and the number of clicks on the ads provided by Google. After 3 years I had made less than $25, if I remember right. So I made changes. I added more information and wrote longer articles. You my readers have responded in kind. In 6 months my readership has matched what I had the previous three years worth. Many thanks go to the the blogs in my blog roll for carrying links to me and some of them even keep community headlines. Thanks also goes to Rackham for profiling me in their Cry Havoc newsletter. I am very grateful. We hit a milestone today. The blog has made more than $50 now. While not a Kingly sum it is my way of measuring your interest. Google only writes checks for $100 so by that calculation I have a year to go to make the next $50. My goal now is to make is sooner by adding more and more interesting content.

One of those things is my latest game. In the 90’s I was pretty prolific with rules writing and produced 4 games. Life changes in 2000 ground that to a halt. Today I can proudly say that my writing is back on track for the first time. I have this weekend had the first successful playtest of a new game that I’ve been kicking around conceptually for 12 months. It is based upon MOUT (Mobility Operations in Urban Terrain) and it has several very interesting features:

1. It works just as well with a single player as with multiple. It is being designed for solo play concurrently with multi-player play.
2. It is not WWII with M16A4s stapled on. This is modern doctrine set in a very focused environment.
3. It is players vs. the system. There, I said it. The problem with systems is they aren’t usually intelligent. I am doing my best to make the enemy react the way the after-action reports say they do. You will feel the gut wrenching tension of knowing that if they aren’t in your OODA Loop, you are in theirs. My success here will make or break this game and I am very critical of my own work.
4. I am using LITKO counters for many of the systems. You can make your own but if you want high quality markers for your game you can get them from a source you already know and love. I have mine and I am very excited about them. They make the game really shine!
5. Miniatures aren’t needed; this could be played on a board or a map or via email. This along with the solo-option will excite people. My friend Olaf first suggested the move to incorporate solo-play. The mental exercise of doing that made me see the entire problem from another angle and really it was that suggestion that produced this new approach to gaming these situations out.

The result of the successful playtest this weekend means I can now start taking my 40 pages of notes and condensing them down into a format that will allow for playtesters to give it a shot. It may be that by the start of the new year there will be an initial release to the public. I plan on combining the usual written rules with video instruction that I’ll post on youtube. At that point it will become a community project.

I’m really excited by this game and I hope to have some convention games ready as early as Cold Wars. I am confident that this will be a welcome addition to the many other modern rulesets available today.

Today is November 4th. If you are an American and have not yet done it, get out and vote. This is a historic vote and every voter is needed to help guide the US. Let us get out there and get it done. I voted early over a week ago and I am happy I did. I accept either candidate as the new President. The question is upon us Americans as to what we can do to make this a better place. It starts but does not end with responsible voting.

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