Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Explore A New Wargaming Period (or Revisit an Old Favorite)

I've talked about some epiphany moments in regards to fantasy role-playing games before on the blog. Today I thought it would be cool to mention something about diving into a new wargaming period with the right kind of spirit. 

Chris Scott's article, "The Sneak of the Sudan," found in Miniature Wargames #137 (October 1994) still makes me think to this day. I couldn't find a digital image of the cover, but I did find that they used part of the cover in a digital collection available here and pictured above. You don't have to be a fan of 19th Century colonials to appreciate the content - Mr. Scott sets a good example to follow.

One of the things that is right up front is the element of fun. It's obvious that the author and his chums are having a good time researching the period, collecting figures, playing the games, and creating/tweaking rules. Their efforts make a richer experience for all parties - they learn something and get into a friendly competition of out-sneaking the other. 

I love the way the guys go about building their forces. In addition to new figures and models, they hunt the bring & buy/flea markets at conventions to create hodgepodge armies of manufacturer ranges. Mr. Scott goes so far as to draft plastic toy camels into his army (adding supply bags and a paint jobs). He and his friend even make some conversions of just out-of-period artillery and boats - you get the idea. Their armies had a lot of character.

I don't know if they used a published set of rules or not, but they certainly felt free to add in scenario rules for fatigue, movement, etc to make the rules fit historical accounts. This is the right kind of attitude to have. If a historical game can't be played with the rules as written, then change them for that game. 

That's it for the inspirational soapbox today...

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