Recommend
32 
 Thumb up
 Hide
47 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

GMT COIN Series» Forums » General

Subject: Any news about A Terrible Beauty? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Drew
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I stumbled onto a comment and some photos of A Terrible Beauty, about the Irish War of Independence. That particular period has always fascinated me and my interest in the game was instantly piqued.

What's the news about this game? A few months ago it seemed like people were saying that A Terrible Beauty would be #6 in the COIN series, but things seem to have been switched around since then.

Thanks!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There was a COIN-fest at the GMT West Weekend a few weeks ago, but the Designer of A Terrible Beauty could not make the event.

Volko was present coordinating things however, so hopefully he'll chime in soon.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Houserule Jay
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just posting to also state my interest in this title and war, seems extremely under-serviced and yet there is a lot to tell so very interested in a game on this
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Volko Ruhnke
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John Welch is the designer. He is a design partner of GMT President Gene Billingsley, regularly attends the GMT Warehouse events, and has had his prototype for A Terrible Beauty at them in the past. As Steve noted, he was not able to attend last month (because of health), and I have not heard from him lately regarding the status of the design (not the only project that he is working). I certainly will welcome seeing it, once John believes that it is ready to show. Regards! Volko
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hawkeye
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Volko wrote:
John Welch is the designer.
John Welch

This is John's first design for GMT but he's done a number of titles for Victory Point Games including Cruel Necessity and Levée en Masse: The Wars of the French Revolution, 1789-1802. I had a great time talking to him two years ago at the Consimworld Expo and he's one of a handful of designers that if there name is on something I am going to think hard about buying it.

Cheers,

Hawkeye
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Conroy
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree that Welch has great pedigree as a designer so I look forward to this. His expertise will be key as the topic is one where it's particularly important to think (& research) carefully about the historical background, not least because the various conflicts in Ireland have been subject to a considerable deal of, shall we say, misunderstanding elsewhere in the world.

For example it would be a mistake to project later or earlier divisions onto the protagonists of 1918-22. Similarly, and unlike Vietnam (which was almost perfect for the COIN system) it's not a case where there are four obvious factions. This has been handled before with some imagination in Cuba Libre and I think something similar is appropriate here.

Personally I would not have two armed insurgency factions. Rather I would have one such faction representing Sinn Fein and the IRA, and a separate unarmed faction collectively representing conservative and centre-right Catholic groups such as the Church, farming & commercial organisations etc. This faction's interests would lie primarily in securing a favourable position in whatever political settlement obtains or emerges. In some sense it would be analogous to the Syndicate in CL, and partly to ARVN in FitL. They would have influence over RIC police activities.

On the COIN side things aren't straightforward either. Do the British want to maintain control like the Govt in CL, or do they just want stability so they can get out, like the US in FitL? To some extent this division was genuinely present on the British side and needs to be handled carefully in the game.

Anyway it's an interesting prospect!
15 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Welch
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry for the delay in posting here but thanks for the question and the kinds words about me.

I continue to design and refine A Terrible Beauty (AtB). Here are a couple pictures from the latest iteration of the playtest map
and


There are a number of new COIN titles in the works now and they all look excellent. I want to be sure my design does justice to the period but also lives up to the standard set by Fire in the Lake.

Gabriel you hit on a number of things that I'm striving to keep in line. The period 1918 to 1922 is a first important consideration as it bookends the end of the Great War in 1918 and the use of some of those veterans for service in Ireland but ends before the Irish Civil War gets going in a major way by the end of 1922. Choosing factions is always a challenge. Currently, I'm using the British Army, the RIC (including the 'Auxies'), the IRA, and what I'm referring to as the 'Republicans' (those Irish that wanted Statehood and were prepared to 'deal' with the English to get it). In a two player game, the British Army and the RIC would be grouped together as would the IRA and the Republicans. The four player game is much more of a challenge as all the four factions are working (to a greater and lesser extent) in opposition to each other. I want the Operations for each faction to reflect their particular goals. As an example and you commented on it as well, the goal of the British Army is to maintain order, keep English public opinion up, AND get the most favorable treaty possible. Treaty negotiations are an integral part of the game and can lead to some "interesting" deal making with the Republicans. Public opinion is the 'currency' the British Army player has to deal with and the actions of the RIC were often at odds with that.

Thanks again for asking about AtB!
53 
 Thumb up
1.55
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great to hear an update! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how the game turns out (and buying it, haha).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Conroy
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the response - and I think the board is looking really great.

Perhaps I have misunderstood but it seems to me the division you are proposing really focuses the game on the period during the Treaty negotiations, because prior to that I don't think one could really say there was a clear split of that nature within the IRA. Obviously the divisions that manifested in the Civil War must have had earlier precedents, but I think they were more along the lines that I described, i.e. political and socio-economic differences amongst the wider population, not so much amongst the individuals involved in armed rebellion.

But such a narrow time focus would seem to exclude (or make ahistorical) events from the earlier War of Independence period - events which seem important to include in a counter-insurgency game. I realise it is not necessary to follow the strict course of history, but I feel much of the strength of the COIN games has come not just from the system but also the careful treatment of historical details specific to each setting.

By the way, for anyone interested in the historical background, I think the best place to start for a detailed view is almost certainly Charles Townshend's recent book 'The Republic'. For those completely new to this period, Robert Kee's 'Green Flag' trilogy is also an accessible introduction.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Welch
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the response and the questions - it really helps with my design process.

As a history teacher for the last 30 years, I really want the game to get the history as accurate as it can be and that is my goal. That said, it also has to be a game that is engaging for four players and for two players. I agree that there were critical antecedents that occurred during the Easter Uprising of 1916 to the start of the game in 1918 and that they were primarily political. The problem is that modeling that part of history means that two players would have very little (or in some cases nothing) to do. Similarly, after 1922 as the Civil War really gets going two players would again be left with very little to do in game terms. That's why I chose to frame the timeline the way I did from 1918 to 1922.

My current design allows for a number of optional starts that will include the key historical developments (those up to 1918) for those that want a strictly history game or alternatives e.g. the Great War continuing into 1919 and the commensurate effect on manpower availability for the British in Ireland.

Also part of the design are victory conditions for both the Republican and IRA player that involve the number of spaces and cities they have loyalty in. This sets up a compelling 'end game' as the Treaty Negotiations wind down each of those two players will have to pay particular attention to their regional support all around the country and make tough choices for Operations and the expenditure of scarce Supply points.

One of the things I love about the system is that a person with no real knowledge of the time or place can learn the key elements that drove the history from the operations and victory conditions each side has. That is the real challenge in designing for this series in my opinion and why I want to be sure and get it as right as possible. I look forward to posting some of the Event Cards over time to show that careful consideration has been given to historical details that are another hallmark of the COIN series.

Thanks again Gabriel for your post and I hope my response addressed some of your concerns.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John, thanks so much for posting! I'm quite excited about this game and it's great to hear some dialoguing about the design process.

I do think that calling the second insurgency faction the "Republicans" is an odd choice and I'd be interested to hear if you've had any alternative names pop up during play testing. For one thing, it seems a bit linguistically redundant with the first insurgency faction being called the IRA, but, more importantly, it sounds strange given the context that came to be attached to the term "Republican" during the Civil War and even the Troubles.

I'm not a historian, but the IRA and Sinn Féin were distinct organizations and it seems to me that there was enough tension between them to allow for the use of the latter as your second insurgency faction (rather than the fairly generic "Republicans"). Sinn Féin and Éamon de Valera had quite a bit of trouble controlling the actions of the IRA between 1918-1921 or so, and de Valera and Michael Collins found themselves at odds on more than a few occasions during the fighting. And, of course, I believe that de Valera's Sinn Féin and Collins' IRA were the pre-Treaty factions that eventually coalesced into the pro-Treaty IRA and the anti-Treaty IRA, respectively. That seems like it would provide a lot of endgame potential, along with resolving some of the historical anachronisms involved with naming the future-pro-Treaty faction the "Republicans".

Just some thoughts!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Welch
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent points and at the heart of the design challenge for this game. I fully expect the current IRA and Republican faction names to be changed or altered to reflect the dynamics you wrote about. The rub is designing a game on this topic that allows players to 'experiment' with alternate approaches to what was done historically BUT within the confines of what would be historically possible/probable. I also have to allow for players that may know the period so well that they will attempt to take advantage of that. This is why the victory conditions for each faction are so critical here. They have to allow for a skilled player (and a 'sympathetic' event deck) to possibly achieve their victory conditions before the event decks are exhausted.

As you correctly state, the timing of the Treaty is key to the translation of the conflict from an insurgency against the British Army and the RIC and the onset of the Civil War. The current design will feature a struggle-within-a-struggle as the IRA and Republicans (as currently identified) seek to gain loyalties and support in the various regions and cities in anticipation of a post-Treaty struggle. If the IRA were to gain too much support vis-à-vis Republican support, then the Republican player will have to delay signing the Treaty or get the British Army player to help weaken the IRA player before a Treaty is signed. Of course, the British want to get a Treaty signed when public support in England is strong and as it tends to fade over time they want to get the best deal early.

The optional starts are just that - optional and a way to play with history a bit. I want to be sure that none of the options unbalance the game or render unusable any of the faction operations. Your point is well taken and I would really like to see the game be robust enough to yield historical outcomes even if they only exist within the Einstein multiverse.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I really do appreciate the feedback.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry for the superficial question but any idea on the player count? Will it be soloable?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Print and Play Gamer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Can't wait for this and Iron Butterfly to hit the P500.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Welch
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the question - the current design is for a two or a four player game. My hope is to work with Volko on the 'bot' mechanics to allow the game to be played solo when the design gets to that point.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P Burke
Ireland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow! John Welch...and...Volko Ruhnke......the Irish Civil War, i'm throwing cash at the screen as we speak, extremely interested in this.

Had started designing a pnp called The Irish Question covering the period between 1880 and 1930 politically and the battle between nationalism, republicanism and the British. The map is not dissimiliar but we're only a small island after all! All inspired by both Cruel Necessity and Labyrinth (cant seem to get my hands on Andean Abyss or Cuba Libre which id like to start with in the COIN series but im likely to pick up Fire in the Lake shortly).

I'm guessing with the time period this is likely to cover the War of Independence as well as the Civil War? Was there any thoughts of stretching this back to 1912 - plenty of material from the Third Home Rule bill, Ulster covenant, Ulster Volunteers, gun running, Irish Volunteers, Easter Rising etc...

Anyway, looking forward to this one and good luck!

Éire abú!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John, any idea when this might pop up on P500?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George
Greece
Athens
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I'd like to know that too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Berman
United States
White River Junction
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just checking to see if there is any news.

I'm excited at the prospects of this!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Just checking to see if there is any news.

I'm excited at the prospects of this!
For real. I'm dying to see this and Pendragon pop up on P500!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brendan McHugh
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
*BUMP*

I'd love to do some play-testing via VASSAL if and when it's appropriate or helpful.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Appreciate the little things in lifeMicrobadge: Billy Connolly fan - Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey... Doesn't try it onMicrobadge: GameChat League - Gelato Division: "Discover your favorite flavour!"Microbadge: Tea drinkerMicrobadge: He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
I had sworn Pendragon would be my last COIN, but Professor Welch means this is an insta-buy for me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Needless to say lots of talk and goings on here for the 1916 commemorations so I was wondering - is ATB aiming for a 2018 Centenary release? Fingers crossed it's sooner than that...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Marentette
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Regarding a few posts back, what is Iron Butterfly about? Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Iron Butterfly = Marcos era Phillipines.

/Oerjan
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   |