Saturday, July 23, 2005

Still Looking for the Wargame

I'm still looking for good wargame rules. Here are some notes I've taken:

"Fast-playing, realistic rules," means "Stephen Hawking can calculate all the variables required for each turn's two-hundred and nineteen steps."

"Ease of play" means "the level of attention required runs the gamut from "air traffic controller" to "plotting mission trajectories for NASA."

"Beer and pretzels" means that "you're going to home-brew each beer served, hand-make each beer stein in your own kiln, and farm, harvest, and mill the wheat you'll use to individually bake each freaking pretzel."

"Can be played in an afternoon" means that the game originated on a planet with a ninety-six hour rotation.

Signs of a ridiculous wargame:
-- There are rules for wind effects on bullet trajectories.

-- An event card says, "Your quartermaster has run out of shoelaces."

-- It makes a difference if your soldiers are "charging," "advancing," "moving," or "torpid."

-- People are arguing about whether the game is "historically accurate."

-- The phrase "1d12" appears on the same page as "1d20," "3d6" and "2d85"

-- The word "fanatic" is associated with the game at any time in any place.

-- You have to know which units are carrying what kind of radios.

-- You roll a die to determine your' country's production of "light crude."

-- You put one marker on a tank to indicate if it's top hatch is open, another marker to show whether the driver's hatch is open . . . . .

-- If you'd had all these templates and measuring sticks 3,500 years ago, Pharaoh would have made you his chief builder.

-- The rule book is over 75 pages long and still has appendices.

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