It’s three o’clock in the morning … and I’m thinking about wargamingPosted: March 7, 2014
A couple of nights ago I gave up the uneven struggle of lying in bed trying to sleep, and at just before three o’clock in the morning I got up, went downstairs to the living room, and sat in my chair … and hoped that the change of location and position might just help me to doze off. It didn’t … so I began to idly list on a notepad all the things I want the next set of wargame rules I write to include … and the reasons why.
Here is that list:
- The tabletop will be gridded. (This is now a prerequisite of my figure wargame designs.)
- The minimum size of grid should be 8 x 8 (if a squared grid) and 9 x 8 (if a hexed grid). (This is based on the experience I gained whilst designing the PORTABLE WAR GAME.)
- The basic units will have four infantry figures or three cavalry figures or two artillery crew plus a gun. (This will make them compatible with my existing wargame rules as well as Richard Borg‘s BATTLE CRY, MEMOIR ’44, and COMMANDS & COLORS rules. It will also enable me to store an individual unit in a single compartment in one of the hobby trays manufactured by REALLY USEFUL BOXES.)
- The rules should be able to be used solo and for face-to-face wargames. (Although most of my wargaming is done solo, I am not completely friendless and do like to fight against other wargamers occasionally!)
- The combat system should be applicable to both fire combat and close combat. (A single system for resolving all types of combat keeps the design simple, easy to remember, and quick to use.)
- The dice I use should be either standard D6 dice or D6 dice with symbols on each face. (The former are easy to use but the latter usually don’t require users to have to remember the outcomes of particular number or dice score combinations.)
- There should be some form of limit placed on how many units a commander can activate each turn, and that the limit should reflect the commander’s underlying ability to command. (This should work for both solo and face-to-face wargames, and bring an element of ‘no commander can do everything’ into the rules.)
- A battle fought using these rules should be quick to set up, fast to fight through, and easy to pack away afterwards … and should require a small (i.e. 4′ x 3′ or smaller) tabletop area. (I have to accept that in the modern age time – and space – are at a premium, and that I may have to choose between taking part in large but very infrequent wargames and smaller, more regular ones.)
So now that I have my design parameters – none of which are particularly new or revolutionary, and all of which have featured in one way or another in my earlier designs – all I need to do is to design my next set of wargame rules around them.
As Alexandr Orlov would say … ‘Simples!’