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What it takes to make better war games

Demanding more from war games means better games

The demand for better games and miniatures has been great for the gaming community. We have realized you demand quite a lot from war games, and most war games fail to meet your standards for immersive experience, or replay value.

Meeting with hobbyistsWhile we are humble enough to know we do not have all the answers to making games, we are lucky to have spent a lot of time working in the industry developing and learning the art and science of game design. When we start a game development process we begin willing to scrap it and start over if it means the game is not going to provide you with a quality gaming experience.

To even be considered for publication by a plucky little game company like ours a war game has to pass three consecutive tests which at the end of the day are all about you the player.

1. Rules Mechanics

All games from Covert Intervention Games are built on top of our proven table top game engine we affectionately code named MILSPEC-BOGEY. The engine is easy to learn and fast to master as it seamlessly mixes the best in real world tactics with best in class war game rules mechanics. Because of the flexibility of the game engine we can add or strip various rules in the design to make each game unique and not a cookie cutter of each other.

12 foot game from Covert Intervention Games using MILSPEC-BOGEY war game systemMILSPEC-BOGEY is not a generic system. It was purpose built to support the flexible requirements of Department of Defense agency and the Military with tactical, operational, and strategic war games experiences and simulations across the broad spectrum of combat situations and options. It has been used successfully and received accolades for the genius of the game play.

We had to develop MILSPEC-BOGEY because as we checked the market and tested other commercial off the shelf war game systems out there we found they were bogged down in complex, clunky, redundant, and often unnecessary rules mechanics. Additionally the other war games were unable to reflect the full spectrum of military and law enforcement operations. We do a lot of work on the math to ensure an elegant and easy to use play system is released and we polish it further with regular updates to balance from your feedback.

DEFCON ZERO U.S. special operations defending a building are taking fire from the Pan-Persian empire forcesFinally. we use special closed beta testing to check the rules from you the player's game play perspective. From your feedback of the game play and the background in parallel development we build the rules further to create unique games, player experiences, and supporting tools. This can be adding mechanisms to reflect the units in the battle and their capability or unique rules for various terrain or strategic options.

2. Game Play and Replay Value

We have a saying around here, "We eat our own dog food." This means we play our games ourselves over and over again to ensure we have a high replay value with every game. Many games fail this test; and if they fail it with us we are pretty sure they will fail it with you too and even worse. Game play must remain exciting and consistently challenging; If it isn't... we go back and iterate our development until the game has amazing replay value. 

So what breaks replay value? There are so many ways war games can fail in game play and replay value! Some games are too random depending solely on random shuffles of cards or dice, some are not terribly balanced, some have just one strategy which always wins, some require too much of a grind, some are too complex with lots of sheets or cards to keep track of. War games which try to represent history in some way often penalize a player from making different decisions from the historical ones, and sometimes end up sacrificing game play.

No player should accept bad game play or poor replay value in their hobby. We also want to thank some great players out there who have been awesome at providing us some amazing feedback which has impacted the overall development positively.

3. Immersive Background and Story Line

A.R.C.: Shadow Wars undercover agents line up shots against terrorist minions moving down the streetOur games must be immersive. The game must provide a rich background which you as players can envision your forces fighting in and be open ended enough that players can weave in their own forces battles and sagas without breaking the background for everyone. You as players should have the flexibility to create your own scenarios and embrace the game to make it your own.

A.R.C. Shadow Wars corrupted zombie infection concept artOften the background stories are not as simple as Good vs. Evil as the reasons for factions engaged in combat can be be for power, resources, greed, lust or even ego. Villains are often villains because of a great tragedy and Heroes are often heroes because of circumstances they didn't choose.

We make sure we create a background filled with stories which inspire and delight you as a part of the hobby. If we fail in this... your games would become a very bland mediocre game for certain.

Help in developing amazing war games for the world to play!

If you would like the rare opportunity to take part in our special closed beta tests be sure to sign up for our Inner Circle email list below. Once on the list you will get exclusive opportunities to check out and test rules sets before release to provide feedback and potentially impact the next generation of the game, background, and miniatures.

Inner Circle Email Registration

It is hard to be a war game company in an industry saturated with so many games. Sadly many of the game companies out there fail after just a few years because they lack flexibility, replay value and immersive backgrounds to go with a fantastic range of miniatures. We have made it our mission to be a bright shining light drowning out the grey dreary rules sets out there, we hope you agree.


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  • Anton Ducrot on

    Excellent article.

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