Formats - The Quads and Color Maps 

Tracing the Evolution of SPI Game Formats

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Chapter 5 - The Launch of the Quads

Announced: Strategy & Tactics 46, Moves 17

Both in August/Sept 1974 (Technically, S&T would hit in August, Moves in September)

S&T 46, Outgoing Moves column:

"[W]e are planning a new game project known as Quad-Games. These 'games' actually contain four separate, complete, distinct games. Four different mapsheets, four sets of counters, four rules folders . All in one box for $12. The 'catch is' that these games are all quite simple."

Moves 17, Designer Notes

"At the present moment (Sept. 23rd), we have the unusually high number of sixteen games actually in the R&D department. These range from ... the five completely revised pre -gunpowder tactical games (Chariot. Spartan, Legion, Crusader, and Yeoman) ... and our first 'Quad' game, Blue & Gray (including separate games on the battles of Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Antietam.)"

One could not argue with the numbers - the public was consuming everything SPI offered. As 1975 dawned, the Quads were launched and a huge success. In 1975, SPI would produce an amazing five sets of Quads: Blue and Gray I and II, Modern Battles I, Island War, and Napoleon at War! Each of these games also represented a type of format change for SPI.

Each game had a smaller map 17" x 22"  and 100 counters -  though not all games used that many counters.

And did I mention these maps were in 4 colors?

Along with these, SPI produced thirteen other games (six in S&T at the smaller map sized) for an amazing total of 38 games! While most of the larger maps 22" x 34" - Mech War '77, etc were still the blue and buff maps, by the end of the year, all SPI games would feature four color maps.

A far cry from the two games a year era of Avalon Hill that launched SPI! (Link to SPI games of 1975

As 1975 neared the end, the next experiment was leaked to the SPI audience in S&T 53: the long discussed attempt to provide mounted mapboards.

Below: Some examples of the Quads. (Click to see the picture enlarged.)

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Cover of the original Flat Pack 'Blue & Gray'

Published May 1, 1975. Includes four games: Shiloh, Antietam, Cemetery Hill (Gettysburg), and Chickamauga.

 Complete list of Quadrigames at this link: Full List

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Next Chapter -  we examine the SPI's experiment with mounted maps! (Not completed)

FORMATS | COUNTERS | WHITE BOXES  | FLAT PACKS | QUADS | DESIGNER EDITIONS | BOXES | CAPSULES

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This site was last updated 06/14/15