Tabletop Wargames A Designers And Writers Handbook Pdf
- and pdf
- Sunday, April 11, 2021 9:33:25 PM
- 3 comment
File Name: tabletop wargames a designers and writers handbook .zip
- Chambers Crossword Manual
- Tales of @TheBrummieDwarf
- Tabletop Wargames: A Designers' and Writers' Handbook
All members in good standing are free to post here.
Chambers Crossword Manual
All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page. Back to the Game Design Message Board. Back to the Blogs of War Message Board. Thanks for the review Neil. Was looking forward to getting my hands on this, but will skip it now.
Good review, which confirmed my initial impression that this book had nothing to offer me, personally. Well… yes. It's a game. If your objective is to accurately reproduce all aspects of a military engagement in miniature, then you have diverted from creating a set of wargaming rules, and are attempting to pen a war simulation. Reality provides the canvas on which the game's representation of events and actions are presented.
However, if you dogmatically favour reality over the game, or over playability if you like, then there is no longer a game to be played. Many enthusiasts may believe that their favoured set of rules for some particular period or setting are highly realistic, but unless they are dealing with a setting of pure fantasy, there must be some degree of interpretation and even fudging of reality to ensure everyone goes home by at least next Thursday.
It seems that the book may take certain design assumptions as gospel, and fails to expand or explain in places, but my own experience of game design matches all the commandments that are described within.
Range, for example, must be a tool by which game outcomes are achieved, not an exact scale representation of reality. If it were, we'd all need tables at least 20' across to play in 28mm, even with the catapults and ballistas of antiquity.
Shakespeare may have meant something different when he had Hamlet pronounce "the play's the thing", but I'd say it is sound advice for any game designer. For a slightly different perspective, it's also good to read the editorial review over on Amazon. If reality has little influence on the game then you are not playing anything I can accept as a wargame.
If you can't work out a way of keeping ranges, movement distances and such within a framework based on at least an approximate ground scale then you should probably stick to writing fantasy rules and not historical ones. A wargame IS a war simulation. Just because it isn't an accurate or a very close simulation doesn't stop it being one. I've read this one, and my perspective is different.
No, it's not the last word on writing rules for miniature wargames, but it's a pretty good exposition of the thinking processes of a successful writer of wargame rules. It's very hard to get beyond that. I've got three books on wargame campaigns, all written by noted wargamers with successful campaigns to their credit, but they have trouble getting beyond their own creations. Two of the three don't really try. Parts of it are very useful, and no one's written the miniature wargamer's Clausewitz yet.
The book is well worth the price if you are into designing games in general, particularly the discussions of terms, language and rule book organization. Rick does do a real disservice to the wargaming hobby in the chapter on scale. A very distorted and at times bizarre effort to prove that games have little in common with reality.
It is a complete hash of the issue. He spends the first 4. He then gets into movement and fire, implying that there are only two ways of handling the relationship and only one works… i. His grasp of history seems really weak. I'd skip that chapter. I quite enjoyed the book personally. I think the sections on the use of English were particularly good. And I think it needs to be borne in mind that the book approaches wargames writing from the point of view of professional publication.
Of course, we all have our own opinions and preferences on rules mechanics, so inevitably it's impossible for this book to please everyone. But it's staying on my shelf, and I'll refer to it from time to time. So thank you Rick and John! You know, McLaddie, I wouldn't skip that chapter. He's also right that not every solution which works mathematically works for a wargame, and that time scales are easiest to fudge. He's very present-oriented, always referencing this week's hot game rather than the classics.
The whole thing will feel like a period piece in five or ten years. But he has some real insights. When the cover has an error in grammar, one might wonder about the contents usefulness on how to write rules. The use of apostrophes means ownership or possession e. Mary's cat. If the intention was to mean A Handbook for Designers and Writers it would have been easier to just say so.
Or perhaps the purpose was to define the book as a Designers Handbook, similar to a User Manual or a Reference Manual. No apostrophes. It's just a Designers and Writers Handbook. If an apostrophe must be used, then a designers' handbook means many designers owning just one handbook. Reality and game play are not independent. For an activity to be enjoyable, it usually has to be meaningful. The player has to relate to the game. Using familiar concepts reality is one way of doing this.
The player uses his existing mental model of the world rather than needing to build one from scratch. For example, in a horse and musket game rather than expressing distances in inches, use real distances such as paces or yards.
If a player knows the range is yards, then he could expect musketry to be relatively ineffective. If the player only knows the range is 10 inches, then he has little knowledge of what to expect. And looking at this in reverse, realistic rules can teach the player about the game world. This is what serious games do. Okay, we are going to have to agree to disagree on skipping the chapter. Whipped with a newspaper won't do it. Whipped with an Alabama wet squirrel is more appropriate.
That formation [base] size rather than the size of the figure is important is not some new insight. Featherstone and Grant four decades ago had already gone to that important place. No one debates that issue on TMP and hasn't as far as I know or have disagreed with Those two gentlemen's insights. No matter the size or number of the figures on a stand, it is simply a game counter, a marker, a representation of something else.
Old news. Certainly, they could have mentioned before moving on to current issues, but to 'explain' it as though no one realizes that fact is a waste of paper. True, but who has ever argued against that? Again, the authors gives no rationale for their 'fudge' conclusion, but states it as a fact… which it isn't.
It is very easy to fudge anything in any scale, time, ground, movement, ranges etc. That's why designers do it so often: It's easy. Figuring out how avoid fudging is much harder. But any solutions that work mathematically are only math solutions…it's what they do for the game that counts…but they remain math.
See below at some of the 'math' provided in Rick and John's chapter. It felt like a period piece now, circa After 4. This is old, old news. The very next paragraphs are new and rather bizarre math: Movement and weapon ranges can be boiled down to a fairly straight-forward mathematical formulae:. It seems he is willing to develop mathematical formulas for game design that are deemed impossible for historical approaches to scale.
They do mention some classic designs like Squad Leader , but misrepresent John Hill as a designer, the game and misuse some of the only quotes offered in the book.
I'll concede most of that. I'm so used to wargame articles reinventing the wheel that I barely flinch anymore when someone spends six pages of a glossy discovering modular terrain or hexes. But I give the man points for saying that of the range of valid combinations of ground scale, time scale number of units under command and such, only certain solutions result in satisfying wargames, and trying to work out the relationship between table depths, move distances and firing ranges.
Some great names in the hobby have simply assumed certain answers--sometimes not too far off Priestly's--without ever discussing the individual circumstances. I've been know to go through old Waargamer's Digests looking for clues to what size board and what frontage of unit the Big Name regarded as normal, because it wasn't specified in rules or scenarios. I don't think he has all the answers,but some of the questions are new, which is worth something. The use of the apostrophe is correct.
Designers' indicates usage by multiple users, not merely ownership. I am now aware that the chapter on the use of English has opened something of a can of worms for some, regarding the use of gender in non-determinable descriptions. This is absolutely true, but it seems that in an attempt to present a sometimes vexing issue in a light-hearted manner, the authors talk about 'Dave transmogrifying into Davina' as disturbing.
I have no doubt that the authors had no desire to insult or embarrass any transexual gamer who may read their work, but it might not have been the best turn of phrase. It also seems that John Lambshead's social media responses to criticism on this point have been… lacking in tact.
Tales of @TheBrummieDwarf
Wargaming Military. Unlike chess or backgammon, tabletop wargames have no single, accepted set of rules. Most wargamers at some point have had a go at writing their own rules and virtually all have modified commercially available sets to better suit their idea of the ideal game or to adapt favourite rules to a different historical period or setting. But many who try soon find that writing a coherent set of rules is harder than they thought, while tweaking one part of an existing set can often have unforeseen consequences for the game as a whole. Now, at last, help is at hand. They discuss the relative merits of various mechanisms cards, dice, tables then discuss how to select and combine these to handle the various essential game elements of turn sequences, combat resolution, morale etc to create a rewarding and playable game that suits your tastes and requirements. This paperback is profusely illustrated with colour photographs of wargames in progress and offers an extensive list of reference works.
Jon Yuengling won the book, and has very kindly written an article for the blog. I received this book after taking part in a contest to receive a wargaming book that you were asked to read and than review. A fine group of guys that are only looking to make the hobby better, as am I. So it is clear that this is a good book for myself and most in the community. From a production stand point this is first class. Unfortunately I found the writing style to be incredibly stilted with paragraphs going on and on, offering little to support their initial thesis. This in itself could have been corrected by a good edit of the materials.
Tabletop Wargames: A Designers' and Writers' Handbook
I stumbled over this release on my facebook feed and couldn't wait to get my hold on it. Luckily, it was gifted to my as a birthday present in late september and I read in a day. But before I overwhelm some of the readers with my enthusiasm of this book, let me first explain who wrote and what it is about. The two authors are well known in the tabletop and wargaming community.