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HistWar: Boney Retreats From Battlefront

Not a good week for Combat Mission creators Battlefront. After waiting donkey’s years for Jean-Michel Mathé to finish his ground-breaking Napoleonic ‘First-Person Commander’ wargame HistWar: Les Grognards, the scamp has jumped ship at the eleventh hour and decided to self-publish. Battlefront are sticking doggedly to a ‘we cancelled because of repeated delays’ line, but the simmering annoyance radiating from their statements suggests subtler shenanigans.

I could puddle the mud with my own ill-informed speculation but, to be honest, you might as well choose your own explanation:

  • Battlefront Version A – After four years of missed milestones, patient publicity, and sensitive shepherding, Battlefront finally snap, walking away in disgust despite JMM’s assurances that HistWar will be done by Christmas.
  • Battlefront Version B – After four years of missed milestones, patient publicity, and sensitive shepherding Battlefront finally snap, walking away in disgust after JMM refuses to confirm HistWar will be complete by Christmas.
  • JMM Version A – With the finish-line in sight, JMM goes back to Battlefront and attempts to renegotiate the original five-year-old deal. Talks founder over the thorny issue of moulah.
  • JMM Version B – With the finish-line in sight, JMM goes back to Battlefront and attempts to renegotiate the original five-year-old deal. Talks founder over the thorny issue of DRM (Battlefront insist on shackling HistWar with their own eLicense system).
  • JMM Version C – With the finish-line in sight, JMM goes back to Battlefront and attempts to renegotiate the original five-year-old deal. Talks founder over the thorny issue of retail distribution (Battlefront are no longer able/willing to put HistWar on store shelves)
  • Stone Version – All is going swimmingly between Battlefront and JMM until, during an all-night drinking session involving both parties, one of the Battlefront crew makes an off-the-cuff remark about Ney’s performance at Quatre Bras. JMM visibly bristles, then demands the comment is retracted. When the BF man refuses, a five-year relationship disintegrates in a chaos of flailing arms and hurled furniture.

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Tim Stone

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