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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > August 2018 (#21) > Red Alert

Red Alert

Richard Borg has taken his wargaming series from ancient history to modern conflict, but Commands & Colors is about to embark on its greatest leap yet


It seems a tad ironic that a man who shares his last name with one of the most iconic and enduringly memorable alien races in popular culture has only come into contact with science-fiction a handful of times during his lengthy career.

And yet, outside of a few fleeting diversions into the depths of space – and occasionally to fantasy worlds another universe away – Richard Borg has primarily kept his feet firmly planted on Earth, preferring to travel vast distances in time.

His journey to mine the rich vein of history has taken the designer from the dawn of military history through the American Revolution and Napoleonic Wars to both World Wars of the 20th century. While the combatants, their armaments and the fields on which they fight and perish have changed, they remain linked by the thread of Borg’s streamlined approach to wargaming as the Commands & Colors series.

Debuting in Battle Cry, Borg’s 2000 recreation of the American Civil War, the Commands & Colors system cut back on the complexity of conventional wargames. At its heart was a deck of command cards divided into ‘sections’ and ‘tactics’ that effectively generated a fog of war, dictating in which areas of the hex map players could order their troops and any special abilities available to them. Combat was swiftly resolved with a handful of custom battle dice, meaning that any one of the game’s various historical scenarios could be completed in under an hour. Battle Cry’s innovative design earned Borg a nomination at the prestigious Charles S. Roberts Awards – he would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 for his contribution to the wargaming hobby.

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About Tabletop Gaming

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