Monday, 23 April 2012

Richard Borg, Art of Tactic: Operation Barbarossa, and Samurai Battles

During the past twelve months I have been acquiring quite a lot of models produced by the Russian manufacturer Zvezda. My purchases have included two sets of the ART OF TACTIC: OPERATION BARBAROSSA boxed hybrid miniatures/boardgame as well as additional boards, figures, and equipment from David Crook and various retailers. Although the rules are quite playable, they are not my 'style', and it was my intention to just use the boards and playing pieces along with some rules of my own, MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT). The latter are heavily influenced by Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY! and MEMOIR '44 rules, and I have enjoyed developing and using them.

It was therefore hardly surprising that a news item dated 28th March that I saw yesterday on the BOARDGAMEGEEK blog made me sit up and take note. The blog included the following quote from Zvezda:
Samurai Battles puts you in command of brave warriors clashing on the battlefields of feudal Japan! Assemble your army using magnificently detailed and historically accurate miniatures, then face your opponent on an endless variety of battlefields created from beautifully painted terrain and elevation tiles.

You can play Samurai Battles two different ways:
  • Commands & Colors: Designed by Richard Borg, this award-winning game system features a fast-paced, card-driven mechanism to represent the "fog of war". Special Dragon cards, along with Honor and Fortune tokens, will influence your luck in the thick of the battle!
  • Art of Tactic: Designed by Konstantin Krivenko, this game system requires wits and strategy. You and your opponent secretly plan your moves every turn, then the actions of your warriors are resolved simultaneously – just like a real battle!
Both game systems are easy to learn, and offer deep strategic and tactical challenges to please every fan of historical board games. Samurai Battles is the perfect blend of the beautiful and the historic – and the perfect way to explore the exciting battles of medieval Japan.

Wow! It would appear that what I had been considering doing with ART OF TACTIC: OPERATION BARBAROSSA, Zvezda is doing with SAMURAI BATTLES ... using Richard Borg's rules with their game boards and playing pieces.

I am now wondering if they are going to add a version of Richard Borg's MEMOIR '44 rules to future runs of ART OF TACTIC: OPERATION BARBAROSSA. If so ... I might just be ahead of the game!


  1. Hi Bob,

    If Richard Borg is collaborating with Zvezda then this could have some very far reaching implications IMHO!

    Zvezda produce a lot of figures for other periods as well so there is much mileage here.

    I would not hold your breath in getting any indirect royalties though!

    All the best,


  2. David Crook,

    I agree that any extended cooperation between Richard Borg and Zvezda could have some interesting consequences.

    As to royalties (even indirect ones) ... no chance!

    All the best,


  3. There is a bit of a review about samurai Battles on boardgamegeek showing a pictures of the figs and the back of the game box

  4. Johntheone,

    I picked up the original information about the Zvezda/Borg link-up from boardgamegeek, but I had not realised that there was a review of the figures etc., on the website. Thanks for sharing that information with me and my regular blog readers.

    All the best,



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