Peace Talks & Ceasefire

I quite like these little dialogue tokens (from spotsandscreens on eBay); unsure that they’ll make it to production, but they do add an element of uniqueness.Now just to get the Ceasefire flags and the dialogue tokens painted white; and the ‘barracks’ painted tan. (I originally hoped for them to remain olive green, but there would be too much of a clash between the British Army and the Nationalist factions.Currently finalising the third and final part of my blog interview with ‘The Player’s Aid’ as well as Victory Conditions (really tough for one or two particular Factions). Awaiting components in order to ship the playtest copies.Exciting times!

Advanced Squad Leader

We’ve doubled the number of students interested in Advanced Squad Leader. What a wonderful tool for History, Literacy and Numeracy development.


Delighted to have provided Part 2 today.

Faction Cards enlarged; County Seats enlarged to properly accomodate Electorate Ratio.

I’m cntemplating dropping the Pawn from either County Seat or the Westminster Seats area – component saturation?


It took a while…

But here it is.

Northern Ireland’s political and paramilitary complexity in the mid 1960s.

Yes, the heart sank when I realised that cubes were too big for Faction Board squared-spaces; or that there’s no need for a zero space for political ratios; the COIN and Support labels are too big…

And the Track looks a bit busy (introduce two?)

However, as I tell my pupils: focus on the positives, and use any failings or problems as learning opportunities. Never give up, use errors as a route to success.

To think that this simulation has the potential to have six people – from various parts of the world – sitting round and thinking, strategising, and collaborating within the context of an important 20th Century period is extremely humbling.

Let’s begin…

I’ve been tinkering with scale, thanks to my printer which has helped me reduce the footprints of the County Seat areas so I didn’t get around to any actual testing.

However, I’ve compiled everything need to begin – Faction Cards, Election Round Instructions, Player Aids. And Event Cards.

So tomorrow I plan to unbox and simulate a setup in order to check that all components are present and everything that my wonderful (and critical) playtesters will require.

I really am pleased with the learning process thus far; I hope others will share this appreciation: we teachers are constantly involved in cognitive artistry to produce the best learning experience for our little learners – I hope The Troubles will deliver such.


Ok, so I uplifted two new maps today enroute to my daughter’s swimming lesson (she swam a couple of strokes on her own, ZPD in full affect from her instructor).

They look really good especially after I – by sheer chance – managed to print the County Seat sections/footprints in a smaller size.

But alas recent birthday invites drank what was left of the printer ink, so I was unable to print more and some other tabular content that was missing or will be erased from the map (they look grainy) and I’ll print smaller and stick.

This weekend – after a new ink cartridge is purchased – I’ll print all remaining map content so that I’ll have at least 4 to be sent out for playtesting.

I have 15 labelled bags, have printed 6 Faction boards for each of the 4 prototype boxes. I’ve still to print Player Aids, Event Cards from 1965-1970, Election Round Instructions…

There is no way – although I am ploughing through one – of have a Rules of Play prior to getting prototypes out there: I think that experienced COIN playtesters will have sufficient grounding to put The Troubles through its paces.

I want to decant everything and run through another test myself, making a final tally of exactly goes in each box and place orders for the four boxes. I hope to have four or five boxes out ‘in the wild’ and keep one for myself – sentimental value and playtesting at ComicCrazy, Paisley.

A huge thank you to the community, especially The Player’s Aid team, Volko Ruhnke and Padraig – his prototype Event Card is amazing.

Saving Time

I thought I’d invest some time by creating digital LOCs and town markers.

I am amazed that I’m now at the stage where I’m labeling bags and creating a manifest of components for each box – I’m looking at 5 or 6 prototype boxes to be ready for the Christmas holidays. (Still tightening up elements of the mechanics, etc.)

Part Two of my interview shall be published shortly…