Like vinyl LP, board games have made a comeback in the digital age from those looking for material enjoyment शिवाय without cellphones — that can be played with. Milwaukee’s Ben Madison turned his hobby of playing board games into a part-time job of creating and introducing new ones for gamers. Since 2004, Madison – often working with collaborator Wes Ernie – has produced some 15 board games published and distributed by various companies in the US and abroad.

This summer, Madison added two more games to her resume, an improved version of “Death in the Trenches” (published by Compass Games) and “Kaiserkrig!” This is a brand new title! (From White Dog Games). Both relate to World War I and are part of the flourishing style of war games in the board game field.

His new games are a different subgenre of that genre. Madison says, “I like strategy games, big campaigns, I don’t like individual fighting games. “I am not as interested in the political side as I am in the military side of the war. I like the big picture of war more than Kirkiri. ”

In 1983, Madison, Head of Political Science-International Relations at UW-Milwaukee, spent a session abroad at the University of London. There, he met students playing a kind of dungeon called “The 1898 Expedition” and a historical geopolitical game of dragons. He recalls, “It was a game of political leadership and alliance building. Back in Milwaukee, he began making the American version of “1898” with Ernie and friends. “We were always thinking of improving the (existing) game,” Madison continues.


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In 2004, Madison and Ernie entered the gaming marketplace with “Byzantium Reborn”, based on the post-World War I struggle between Greece and Turkey for control of Asia Minor. The following year saw the first edition of “Death in the Trenches,” which nominated Charles S. for an answer to the Oscar board game industry. Roberts won the award.

Madison brings unusual scope to her historical projects. “Death in the Trenches” does not stop at the western or even the eastern front, but includes the wars in Africa and the Pacific, as well as the Senussian uprising in Libya and the Armenian genocide under the Ottomans. A game for two players (or two rival teams) called “Death in the Trench”, “Kaiserkrig!” The solitude is entertainment. The player draws a marker from a bowl and rolls the dice to help determine the movement around the map of Europe.

“It’s a game of chance and strategy,” Madison explains with a random draw that makes the player’s calculation uniform or confusing. “Kaiserkrig!” Germany, Austria-Hungary, is played from the perspective of the Ottoman Turkish central powers. Chances are stacked against victory नात in real life the central powers were defeated by the Allies British, French and Americans — but the game is designed to give the player a chance to rewrite history.

“The outline should be consistent with reality – with boundaries of unreality,” says Madison. “It’s a question of balance. Do you want a balanced game so that both sides have an equal chance to win? Do you want a Confederate victory in the Civil War game? Is the purpose to reflect history or to enjoy the competition? I err on the side of history, ”he says. And yet, in games like war, a seemingly random event can change the outcome.

David Luherson

David Luherson lectured at UWM and MIAD. He is the author of The Vietnam War on Film, Encyclopedia of Classic Rock and Hammer of the Gods: Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism.

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June 29, 2022

8:09 a.m.

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