B.: Did you design any other games? I didn’t see your
name attached with any other ones, so I’m wondering if this
was just a hobby for you or something that you wanted to get
T.W.: For me game design was just an offshoot of my
wargaming hobby, I was nothing more than an enthusiastic
amateur, so much so that when the game went into production
I didn't even bother to ensure that my name was credited,
come to think of it neither did Gary. Subsequent to Cry
Havoc, Gary and I discussed the possibility of producing a
game set in the "Days of the Raj" with particular emphasis
on the Northwest Frontier. Gary started sketching a few maps
and I began wrestling with the effects of volley fire and
melees with Afghan tribesmen. Unfortunately for a variety of
reasons the project stagnated and died a death.
B.: What about your relationship with Standard Games?
T.W.: Apart from Gary himself, I had no direct contact
with "Standard Games" aside from the receipt of an
occasional cheque for my part in the games design. When it
was first released "Cry Havoc" was being sold essentially by
mail order, one or two specialist game outlets had taken
half a dozen or so copies and that was about it. After
several months I was asked if I wanted to sell my rights to
the game. Given at that time it's so far less than stellar
performance, I settled on a price and relinquished my rights
to the game. If truth be told I was never in it for the
money, I was more than happy that the game itself had been
manufactured and that although the numbers were small,
gamers in far flung corners of the planet were apparently
enjoying it (one of the first orders came from a guy in
Papua New Guinea ! I was delighted !!).
B.:You didn’t design the following games in the
franchise. Any reason?
T.W.: Not long after Cry Havoc was released my wife and I
had a second child and life's priorities changed also as I'd
lost touch with Gary and I was never familiar with the
people at Standard Games .
B.: One topic in the Cry Havoc rules that has been
generating a lot of discussion over the years is the effect
of combat with a 1:1 odd ratio: The attacker cannot win and
has a fair chance of being wounded. Was it intentional?
T.W.: For reasons that are beyond me, the inability of
the attacker to inflict any damage in a 1:1 ratio was an
error that wasn't addressed when we tested the game. It's
more than twenty years since I've played but I think at that
time our "speedy" solution was to treat 1:1 ratios as 2:1
(but still applied terrain effects).
B.: Another issue is the strength of the crossbows:
Many believe they are way too strong and ruin the gameplay.
Is it something that was anticipated?
T.W.: We were happy with the values attributed to the
crossbows and didn't consider them too strong, should a bolt
strike it's target the effect could be pretty devastating.
Having said that, there is a case to be argued that at the
higher ratios we should have always allowed at least a 1 in
10 chance (maybe even more ) of the bolt missing its
target. Certainly at the longer and medium ranges I would
recommend lowering the crossbows attack strength.
B.: Did you anticipate that this game would still have
a large fan community and would still be alive almost 30
T.W.: I remember being pleasantly surprised when Cry
Havoc first appeared on the shelves of some major stores. I
was even more surprised when its popularity became so strong
that it spawned other games but never in my wildest
imaginings did I consider that 30 years on a dedicated crew
of gamers would still be playing and enthusiastically
discussing Cry Havoc! I'm amazed that in this age of
computer gaming a relatively simple board game like Cry
Havoc continues to flourish.
B.: That's probably
because your goal of creating a FUN game was successfully
achieved. Thank you so much Tony for your insights and for
spending the time to share your memories with the Cry Havoc