A different way to fight a wargame: Three video clips produced by Chris Engle

Chris Engle is an innovative wargame designer. He devised the original Matrix Game and has continued to develop the concept in a variety of different directions ever since.

Recently he has produced a set card based rules for figure wargames, and to demonstrate how they work he has produced three video clips that can be viewed on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Chris‘s rules have some novel features, and do produce a narrative-style of battle in which all the participants have an input. They may not be to everyone’s taste … but they are nonetheless an interesting experiment.

6 Comments on “A different way to fight a wargame: Three video clips produced by Chris Engle”

  1. arthur1815 says:

    I watched parts of the videos, but found them quite frustrating: the screen width meant it was not always possible to see what was happening on the table, and the pace was very slow.
    Recording a session in which the designer was explaining the system to two new players was, perhaps, not the best way to explain it to others!
    A presentation/explanation by the author direct to camera would have been better, IMHO.
    I wonder if Chris has provided more detail on the Matrix Games yahoo group?

  2. Arthur1815,

    Whilst I agree that they are not the best video clips I have ever watched – and the thin view does not help at all – at least they are a stab in the right direction. Chris's games tend not to lend themselves to being read and understood, and really need to be explained face-to-face. I think that running through a few moves of a game – possibly with the involvement of a couple of players – would be the best way to explain the game's mechanisms. This could be done quite easily … if Chris could find someone to hold the camera for him!

    All the best,


  3. arthur1815 says:

    I think the problem was that what was being recorded was Chris explaining the game to the players, rather than to the audience! Running through some turns of a game is a good idea – provided that the turns demonstrate the salient features of the game clearly, which they may not necessarily do if the participants are actually playing it. A prearranged, 'scripted' demo is better than relying on what may, or may not, arise during a real game.

  4. Arthur1815,

    I agree that a scripted demonstration – filmed properly – would be far and away the best way to explain how Chris's wargame rules work. I have seen it done for other wargame systems … and it was very informative.

    All the best,


  5. arthur1815 says:


    Agreed! So when may we expect the PW video?

    I just checked the Matrix Games yahoo group – nothing there – and the Hamster Press website – nothing there either.

    But I did find an interesting looking Supply Line campaign game that, although set in modern times, could be easily adapted for H&M era, which you might like to take a peek at.


  6. Arthur1815,

    I may well make a video that explains how the PORTABLE WARGAME works … one day … perhaps.

    I will have a look at the Supply Line campaign game. It sounds as if it might be useful.

    All the best,


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