Simulations Canada

History

The company was formed in Jan 1977; at the time only The Avalon Hill Game Company, Simulations Publications, Inc., and Game Designer's Workshop were considered serious competitors in the growing wargame industry. Only two of those companies accepted outside submissions (SPI did not), and in small numbers. Stephen Newberg set up the company which ran as a one man operation, with assistance from talented designers and artists who were employed temporarily.

Simulations Canada offered an eclectic mix of subject matter in their games, though the majority of titles tended to be simple 2-player historical simulations.

During the first two years of operation, the company's goal was to target the Canadian market with 1/3 of its production. The company focused on board games exclusively historic in theme, and small in nature, generally remaining under 16 pages of rules, one map and no more than 400 counters. By the end of 1986, the company had produced 45 titles, 9 of those computer games, and announced a plan to produce computer games only after the release of their 36th board game title.1

Of the 36 board games SimCan will have produced when we switch over to just a computer game company, I would say that six were real winners (though not necessarily our best sellers). That is, they did everything I felt they should to reflect the history, be a good game, and not settle for the deadly compromises that games are normally made of. And two more really belong in that group because they were second games using the system of one of the winners and hence share its success.2

  • I Will Fight No More Forever
  • Lee at the Crossroads
  • The Wilderness
  • Rockets Red Glare
  • Seapower & the State
  • Man of War
  • Line of Battle
  • Battleship

In 2001, Matrix Games announced a multi-game publishing deal with Simulations Canada, developing a computer line of the most popular Simulations Canada titles. By 2001, Simulations Canada had 65 board and computer games in print.3

In 2005, Omega Games announced the first two releases of reprints of Simulations Canada games.

Line of Battle and Battleship will ship in March 2005. Rockets Red Glare will follow this summer. Each game has been completely overhauled with all new artwork. The cover art is by Adrian George of the UK, the counters are by Nicolas Eskubai of Spain and the maps are by Scott Holmgren of Blue Guidon Games in Orlando. Rules editing and game development by Bill Gibbs and Rick Lechowich. Overseeing it all from the bridge and keeping us on course is Stephen Newberg. 4

List of Games with Canadian Subject Matter

  • Dieppe 1977
  • Ortona 1983

The choice of Dieppe as subject matter for a two-player board game seems interesting; company founder Stephen Newberg commented in 1986 that "...SimCan insisted on a very clearly delineated format of games that were historically reflective, but could also be played (well, would you believe with varying degrees of playability?)"5

Notes

  1. Newberg, Stephen. Simulations Canada, feature in 10th Anniversary issue of Fire & Movement: The Forum of Conflict Simulation, Number 49, Jul/Aug 1986, ISSN 0147-0051
  2. Ibid
  3. http://www.wargamer.com/news/arc8-2001.htm (Wargamer.com report on Matrix press release)
  4. http://www.omegagames.com/omega/do/military/home;jsessionid=1903788935007641BDFA8381C4026A5A (Omega Games website).
  5. Newberg, Ibid
 

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