My Newest EBook Is Out: Paint The Force Red

My newest ebook, Paint The Force Red, is now out on Kindle.

It’s a brief guide to making fictional nations and their armed forces, something I’ve long been interested in (as any look at the OPFOR-tagged posts on this blog can indicate). My aim with Paint The Force Red was to illustrate the basics someone should follow for making a fictional armed service in wargaming (Command very much included), or in prose fiction, using examples from both real and “real fake” (read-existing exercise fodder countries) nations.

Writing it was tough and frustrating in parts, but also very enjoyable, and I hope readers find it enjoyable and informative!

D-Day, June 6, 1944

Today is the anniversary of the Normandy landings. Probably the most famous Western Allied campaign of World War II.

This picture illustrates the scale and effort of it, all the ships needed, and all the trucks needed.

Commonwealth Collision has been released

Commonwealth Collision, the second Command Live scenario I authored, is out. It’s available on Matrix and Steam.

EBook Recommendations

So I’ve been doing a lot of reading and figured I’d recommend a few of my favorite military ebooks. While I can be a relentlessly critical person (that on my personal blog, the posts tagged “Bad Fiction” vastly outnumber those marked “Good Fiction” speaks for itself), even I have some works I’ve liked enough to endorse.

First book: Raven One, by Kevin Miller

This book isn’t exactly going to win any Nobel Prizes for Literature, but it stands out as something that does all the elements of a post-USSR military thriller right. Just the right amount of enhancing the enemy, just the right level of stakes. As a page-turner, you could do far worse. (I’ve recommended this before, and for good reason)

Second book: The Defense of Hill 781, by James McDonough

This is more unconventional, a Duffers Drift-style piece of edutainment. I like it, not just because of its good writing, but because it manages to use one of my favorite potential tropes, a completely artificial foe. And it uses it well.

Third book: Team Yankee, by Harold Coyle

This is a classic tank novel. And for good reason-one thing I was impressed by was how well it moves. Some thrillers are clunky, this one is not. It’s still a cheap thriller, but it manages to move well and (for the most part) incorporate a ton of characters and actions into a smooth narrative. Well worth a read.

Squadron sizes

Knowing fighter squadron sizes is useful for new scenario builders.

Though not perfect in every single case, a good rule of thumb for a fighter squadron deployed at an air base in Command is 10-24 aircraft. The low-end is for an underequipped or battered unit, the high-end is for a USAF squadron at full paper strength. (In the middle are US Navy carrier squadrons at 11-15 and OPFOR squadrons at 12-16).

A substantial portion of the squadron will be down for maintenance at any time in even the best-case scenarios, so set a few to “maintenance-unavailable”.

PING! The Silent Service DLC is out!

The Silent Service DLC for Command, full of submarine-centric scenarios, has now been released.

It’s available on Matrix and Steam.

I have a military-themed ebook out

I, Coiler, have a new ebook out. It’s called the Volunteer Force Threat Brief, and it’s on Kindle here.

I’ll be honest. This may be one of the first literary tributes to an OPFOR manual out there. Those were, no joke, one of the primary inspirations for this. I’ve had this army called the Volunteer Force that I’ve used in my other fiction. It originated in concept as an antagonist, then it both developed and mellowed out. So it became a background force and now has “cooled” to the point where I could put a reasonable protagonist as a member of it.

So, I had all this inspiration, all this technical stuff about the VF in my mind. Yet I didn’t feel it was quite “right” to work into one of my (still-in-progress) narratives. So I thought “if I could do something in the vein of one of those old OPFOR manuals, only with more fun and less field-manualese, then I could reasonably put at least of the stuff I have in my mind about the Volunteer Force in it”. And thus, the Volunteer Force Threat Brief was born. Enjoy.