Recent Matrix Game developments

The man who came up with the original Matrix Game concept is Chris Engle of Hamster Press … and he is still developing new ways to use it. His most recent games have reverted to the use of Matrix Cards, and by the look of them he seems to have come up with yet another interesting and novel way to produce a ‘narrative’ wargame (i.e. one in which the players work with and against each other to create a story of what happens).

The two most recent games featured on his blog include a map-based campaign/battle set in East London/Essex

… and a Revolution in 1830s Paris.

I am pleased to see that Chris has revisited the use of Matrix Cards. They always seemed to me to be a real antidote to the mechanistic and mathematically-modelled approach to wargame design that is so commonly seen. They also allowed a wargame to incorporate the ‘human in the loop’ element without having to rely upon things like morale throws or reaction tests; these were replaced by something much better … a real human being!

My only regret is that I never found a way to use Matrix Cards in solo wargames … but with Chris on the case there is every chance that he may well find a solution to that problem as well.


6 Comments on “Recent Matrix Game developments”

  1. Chris Kemp says:

    Excellent post Bob. Thanks for signposting Hamster Press. I didn't know that Chris E. was still going.

    Regards, Chris

  2. Chris Kemp,

    Over the past few years Chris Engle has been beavering away quietly developing different variantions of the Matrix Game concept. In particular he has been building special terrain boards for his games, which he puts on at various conventions in the US,

    I hope to write another blog entry about Chris's work – and his various publications – over the next day or so.

    All the best,


  3. Jeff Chorney says:

    Interesting post! This type of war-game is very appealing to me. Excellent campaign map with lots of detail.
    Thanks Bob … Jeff

  4. Jeff Chorney,

    Matrix Games can be very enjoyable to take part in as well as being a bit of a change from the usual run-of-the-mill wargames one usually sees.

    I hope to write another blog entry about Chris's work sometime very soon.

    All the best,


  5. Jeff Chorney says:

    Bob I look forward to it … Jeff

  6. Jeff Chorney,

    With luck I will write the blog entry later today.

    All the best,


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