As a game designer

  • Battle for Moscow, 1941. Published by “Repetitor” mag, 1996
  • Kniazia. Published by “Repetitor” mag, 1997
  • Siege of Izmail. Published by Hollandspiele, 2019

Text for C3i magazine (2019)

Each gamer dreams to be a designer. My first game about Hungary 1956 uprising was well horrible. The hex greed did my father (engeneer) and the map was did on the wallpaper, but counters made by hand was in national colours. I think it was common history with all game designers. I has no idea that my game can be published one time in US. It was a Dream. Beautifull and unachievable.

Far far away. In the country that not exist already in small town Staritza in 1986 I played in a game. It was my first wargame. Not classic hex’n’counters, but monster napoleonic game Kriegspile style. My army has about 1500 units 0.2’’ size. I did them by hand carefully and beauty, cause want to play estethically good like that period armies looks. We was a very small group of games passioned young gays and found S&Tcs revue in Moscow central bibliotheca and played some game. This way I becomes familiar to magic wargame world. At this time I played in Dunnigan’s PGG and another games and becomes his fun for ever. 

When I have my first PC with Win 3.11 and bieutifull lovely paintbrush. Making the counters becomes easiest! Then I saw more and more usefull programs. I love to make something pretty. We published the historical revue “Sergent” and I start to make the maps for different articles in them, just for curious. For some games we have just map and copy of rules. I maked the counters myself. With little humor of course. In ‘Revolt in the East’ I did all soviets in “Ushanka” hats, and all US was with small Coca-cola bottle in the counters corner.

That’s going somehow… I did some maps for my friends revue and couple of books, I already don’t playng many times. One time five years ago I had an idea “I can make the maps and counters, why not?” I asked my friend and very passioned wagramer Igor, what he think and he gives my names of publishers: “Great idea! propose him, you’ll be good artist, I’m sure”. I sended my portfolio to different companies, publish them on BGG and after six month received my first contract from Mark H. Walker. I was in euphoria: “I will make the artwork for real wargame!”

Next year I tried to participate in PnP BGG contest as artist and did artwork for PnP “Constantinople” game. And we win all main prizes in 2016. Best game and best artwork including. Passed just two years. I already did the wargame maps for many publishers (Compass, Hollandspiele, Flying Pig games, One Small Step, High Flying Dice etc.) and dream to make my own game. I remembered about old project. 

It was 90s. Time of dreams and hopes in new Russia. We has the idea to make the six games about great russian history battles and publish them. My part was Izmail and Moscow’41. I did the both. So now its time to revive my old design and try to go to next contest as designer. Izmail storming in 1790 was ferocious and bloody battle. Russians with famous Suvorov won the battle after crushing all garrison forces. Main difficulties was not take the fortress wall, but crush the desperate Ottoman defense inside, highly supported by local population, not only Muslims, but local Christians. Garrison included even Cossacks and tartars emigrated from Ukraine and Crimea.

I has just find the old files (it was easy cause I keep all work, even finished 20 years ago), totally redraw art components (they was in paintbrush, remember that?) and translate rules to English. Thanks to Hami Gua from BGG and John Kranz from Compass helped me convert rules from runglish to normal English. Game looks simpa, but I was stressed. And Yeaaaaaa!!!! I won the contest! As best game and best artwork. 

Hollandspiele decide to publish them. My Izmail is the introductory level, old-school, sticky ZOC, Dunnigan style game with modern art. Thanks to my friend Igor who has now in Moscow brick’n’mortar wargame store, I can sell some copies of the game in Russia.

I always has a dream to be a game designer. That’s become true. I did art for 80 games or so, but its my first game published. Some my friends ask me what is for you. I answer “Imagine, it’s the same if small guy from here receive the contract in NBA”. Game of Russian designer with Russian artwork about Russian history published in the wargame heartland. I’m proud and still cant believe.