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Word of the author of the game "Cossack campaign" - Alexei Galchenko

The BombatGame team begins the “Word of the author” rubric in which we will tell the story of our board games created by our authors, interesting details and facts, and much more.

And on the eve of the Day of Defender of Ukraine and the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks, we met with the author of our new game "Cossack campaign", which is being prepared for publication next month (November 2018) and offered to answer several questions.

AUTHOR ALEXEY GALCHENKO SHARES THEIR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE GAME "COSSACK CAMPAIGN"

(IN FORMAT INTERVIEW)


Is this your first project to be published?

- Yes, this is the first game that has passed the publishing house. There were other games and meetings with publishers, but there was no way to publish the project. Possibly and for the better, in order to make an interesting product, it was necessary to "practice".


How was the idea of this game born?

- The theme of the Cossack Setting has long been hanging in the head. Perhaps even since I began to be interested in board games (of course, it was "Monopoly" with my parents), I wanted something military and desirable about the Cossacks. I think it was then that the pridee of the "Cossack campaign" settled. Over the years, the idea became obsessive, but could not fit the game about Cossacks to the mechanics of the game, which allowed players to interact: to engage in plotting, to question or express mistrust, thus revealing the characters of each player, and at the same time tie all of this on the historical events of the Cossacks.

What was the main idea, as an author, when implementing this project specifically on Cossack subjects?

- I wanted to make a history game, without magic and spacecraft. Show that the Cossacks are not only sabers and trousers, but also diplomacy, politics, and strategy. Show that the Cossack era of Ukrainian history is quite saturated and varied with a sharp change in political sentiment and vectors. The game prompts analyzing and thinking, just as the hetmans had to make complex volitional decisions and perhaps even somewhere to go to the victims. I hope each player will be able to draw parallels with both historical events and current events.

In the game there are cards of some hetmans of Ukraine, they are chosen randomly, or there is some deep meaning precisely in using cards with their names?

- In fact, there is a sense. All these characters, they are hetmans from different periods of the Cossacks, and it is logical that all of them could not be hetmans at the same time. But in order to make the game interesting and show the difference in the military preferences of each individual, hetmans diametrically opposed in the directions of their conquests were selected (Crimea, Moldova, Russia, Poland ...). To get into the game every hetman passed, so to speak "casting". And of course, the obligatory requirement is to be a famous historical and colorful figure.

How much has changed the final version of the game, which went to the edition of the prototype?

- If you take the first prototype and the last - there will be a lot of differences. However, the final version of the game almost did not change in terms of mechanics. Although work was carried out in conjunction with the publishing house in terms of improving the balance of the game, and some historical moments were corrected. For example, in the first version of the game there were no such cities as Khotin, Berdichev, Chigirin, but there were Galati and Bratslav. In Romanian Galati, by the way, I. Mazepa was buried, there still is a whole microdistrict named after him. Also in the first edition it was impossible to raise the "Peasant Revolt" or "Saddle horses." For my help in improving the final version of the game, I am eternally grateful to the good friends from the Igromason's Lodge and Bombat Game, and especially to their little testers for live criticism. As if it did not sound wierd, but testing with children went to the game for the benefit.

The working title of the game was “Hetmans”, while the game was released under the name “Cossack campaign”. How do you think this name corresponds to the meaning and spirit of the game?

- Indeed, if the game is about the Cossack period of history, then there should be something Cossack in the title, because the hetmans were later, and, in fact, there is now. However, the essence of the hetman reveals precisely the period of the Cossack campaigns. There they received fame, defended their people and gave trouble to enemies. From the title "Cossack campaign" it immediately becomes clear that the game about the Cossacks and their campaigns, therefore, sounds like an adventure and should be interesting.

You, as the author, are impressed by the design that the publisher realized or would you have implemented some things differently?

- By design, in my opinion, it’s better for this subject to be impossible to imagine. I did not want the drawings to be too "cartoony". I like the fact that the playing field itself, like the maps, has many historical small elements, this adds a certain atmosphere. I am not familiar with the artist personally, but it is pleasant that even in absentia, he managed to catch exactly that wave and convey the mood of the game. It should be noted that during the entire period when the game was being prepared for publishing, Bombat Game consulted with the author of the game on certain design elements. It is interesting and pleasant to take part not only in the development of the skeleton of the game, but also in the atmosphere.

How did you even imagine the finished game, already issued?

- Many people know that feeling when you open a box with a new game for the first time. Every element, every card is interesting. I wanted that every time the owner would open a box with this game, he would find something new for himself in the game. There are many unique cards, many atmospheric elements - a bag, chips in the form of coins, and so on. I was very worried that the Cossack theme was present in the game, because this is the main theme. It seems the publisher succeeded.

Who do you think will be interesting or even addressed this game?

- I hope the game will interest not only schoolchildren, but also their parents with Ukrainian history. The game is addressed to everyone who is interested in Ukrainian history, and who is not interested - the goal is to interest. If at least one of the five players after the game on the Cossack campaign gets into Wikipedia in search of information about B. Khmelnitsky’s campaign on Zbarazh, then the idea was a success. 

Do you have plans for the future in the context of this game, and in general the development of board games?

- Of course, I hope that this is not the last game to be presented to the public, no one is going to stop. There are already a few developments in other games, but I will not divulge secrets yet, better come to the game stores and festivals and play something new. It is even possible that the additions or collectible elements of the game will come to the "Cossack campaign", but it is too early to talk about it. Today, the main experience - to publish the "Cossack campaign."

What for you, as for the author, will be the best reward from the publication of this game?

- We do not discuss any material values, because the release of the game into the world is more a internal event for the author, a joy that his ideas are realized, and even more so if the players recognize and support them. Perhaps the biggest reward will be to see a schoolchild in a game store who begs for his parents: “Please, buy a “Cossack campaign! ”, Or come to a game club somewhere in the same Zaporozhya, and see how bearded guys compete for the right to be a hetman. I guess I'll not reveal a terrible secret, but the authors of games do not create them for the sake of money.


Thanks to Alexey for the answers to our difficult questions, and we wish him success and creative inspiration with new games!

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