Category Archives: Personal

Of Copyright and Gaming

Recently, there has been some debate on violating copyright on some of the social platforms (specifically in regards to the game Memoir ’44). I would like to state up front, I am not a lawyer but…I certainly have had a considerable interest in the subject ever since I started creating extra materials for games. Here is what I understand so far…

You cannot copyright a game – it doesn’t meet the criteria for copyright. So if I decided to make up my own game that is similar to an already published game, that is perfectly ok so long as I don’t infringe on their copyright. A good example of this was my creation of Dire Heroes.

Copyright pertains to the creation of the content itself – I can’t, for example, use the Days of Wonder scenario generator to make a scenario then sell that scenario. Not because it is a Memoir ’44 scenario (more on that in a bit) but because they own the copyright to the images used to make that scenario (well, that and they have you agree to their terms before you can even get the editor to make it in the first place…you’ll note, thanks to my Dire Heroes they’ve added the clause that you won’t make other games with it either now!). However, in theory, I could create my own graphics from scratch and sell the scenarios but then I would have a new problem, Trademarks!

Trademarks prevent confusion about brand – So if I made a game, scenarios etc… that don’t violate the copyright, I can still run into trouble here. I can’t pretend to be another brand and must declare even on a mere mention of Memoir ’44 that ‘Memoir ’44 is a Trademark of Days of Wonder’.

So as I understand it, I could create, for example, a Memoir ’44 campaign book. All of the content would need to be created entirely by me (I can’t even duplicate any of their existing rules I can only reference them…and declare the trademark). I could then sell it…but the law here is still a little murky and Days of Wonder could still pursue legal action (nothing stopping that anyway)…and I’m not even sure they would win but it just doesn’t seem worth the risk. Honestly, it takes a lot of work to create something like a campaign book and while I might make a few bucks I would likely lose that and more in legal fights.

Short answer here, don’t bother. Create content if it’s your passion and simply share it. That’s what I mostly do. The hook here is again, it takes a lot of work to produce something nice and if there is nothing in it other than a community ‘thanks’ (which I do appreciate, it just doesn’t pay my bills) then it likely won’t get done…or not properly.

All that being said, I would like to reiterate, this is just my current understanding. If anyone can enlighten me on any of the above professionally, I would love to hear from you.

Re-Org!

Now that I’ve started back into wargaming again, I had a hard look at this site. Thanks partly to a comment I received about the need for new scenario notification I decided to do what started out as a simple re-organization of the information. Well, that quickly grew! My wordpress skills have developed considerably over the years so I put them to the test here.

Now you can find scenarios by game, expansion, setting, year and even units involved!

I also took the opportunity to brush up a number of things and one thing led to another. As a result, I think, I present a more logical site. Also, the blog is now a more of a blog…which is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

So now, players can get to where they want to go without having to hear me go on and on about something they really don’t care about (but you still can!).

Hope you enjoy!

Now back to designing…

Dire Heroes – now in production

Dire Heroes - Gas Attack at Ypres

As some of you may already know, I have been busy working on a project of my own.  It’s a First World War game that can be played with a standard Memoir ’44 set.  It’s called Dire Heroes – Gas Attack at Ypres.  For those not familiar with the 2nd Battle of Ypres, here is where the first effective gas attack was launched in modern warfare.  The game opens with the gas attack.  From there players try to force the capitulation of their opponent through a Military or Morale Victory.

The game is now in production and I hope to offer it up soon.  In the meantime, check out the Dire Heroes dice sheet that you can use to make your own set of dice (I’m looking into a source for indented dice, will keep you info’d).  Of course, feel free to download my Memoir ’44 dice making tutorial to see what I am talking about.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day

SUICIDE IN THE TRENCHES

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
– Siegfried Sassoon

Campaign Book Score Sheets

Quick Update (March 11) – The file is now also available at BoardGameGeek.com for those who are on there.  You can find it here – Flanking Caen Score Sheet
While I’m sure that Days of Wonder will be posting the individual campaign score sheets for download, I thought some of you fans might get some use out of the prototype score sheets I designed while playtesting the campaigns.

You can download it from my User Page on the Memoir ’44 website or, hopefully, you will be able to get it from BoardGameGeek.com (see the Memoir ’44 Campaign Book – Volume I entry).

Enjoy!