Matrix: First off, thanks for this occasion and congratulations on the work so far. The game looks very interesting! Is it your first title?
Brian Kelly: Yes. My day job is programming in java, so I decided to try writing a wargame, instead of just playing them.
M: The theatre of operation depicted is, undoubtedly, unique. Could you tell us more about your choice? What fascinates you about this kind of warfare in North Africa?
B.K.: I've been interested in the North African campaign since I read The Desert Generals by Correlli Barnett years ago. I was fascinated by the little known but devastating attack by General O'Connor against the Italians, the to-and-fro actions, sea-sawing across North Africa, the colourful cast of characters, and the fact that it was generally a "War Without Hate" (as John Bierman's book on the theatre is called).
M: And which aspects were you determined to recreate in your game?
B.K.: I wanted to do a game with large maps, relatively low unit counter density, and the ability to do sweeping manoeuvre. Of course, not every battle in North African had those aspects, and so we've tried to create a mix of scenarios to reflect this.
Secondly, I think combining Fog Of War and WEGO (where both sides move simultaneously) can help replicate some of the chaosand confusion of the real battles. When reading about the Desert War, it's remarkable how little the generals of either side knew of what was happening; neither side knew the location of the enemy, and in many cases didn't even know their own location. This is why reconnaissance is very important in the game. Air and EW assets can be used as recon, as well as ground units. Ground Units have different recon range and strengths. Ground Recce units are the best of course, and like real recon units, will try and avoid combat. they should be more than just weak infantry; they should be vital.
Including scenarios only involving the Italians versus Commonwealth forces was important too, so four of the scenarios occur before the arrival of Rommel.