Monday, 21 March 2011

The portable wargame is now ... The Portable Wargame

In my reverie as I sit here at my computer, idly whiling away a few minutes of time that are not filled with work or the cares of the daily world, my thoughts have turned to my portable wargame rules … or as I now call them, my Portable Wargame rules (note the use of the capital letters; the name has moved from a mere description to become their working title).

Portable has more than one meaning. Most people understand it to mean ‘easily or conveniently transported’, and this was the original meaning I had in mind when I started its design process but … some years ago I used to teach Information Technology (i.e. using and developing computer applications), and in that world portable – more precisely portability – means ‘ the degree to which a program can be transferred from one operating system to another without too much disruption and/or loss of functionality’.

Now wargames rules have a lot in common with computer programs, and it has become apparent that the basic architecture and mechanisms that I have used and/or developed for my portable wargame are capable of being transferred from their original historical period to another without too many problems and/or loss of functionality. The work that Ross Mac and I have written blog entries about over the past few months has shown that to be true, hence the change from 'the portable wargame' to 'The Portable Wargame'.

PS. You might have noticed that the label has always identified it thus ... but that was its choice, not mine!

4 comments:

  1. I think there's definitely a lot to be said for simple rules that can be adapted to a variety of circumstances. I think that that might be some of the attraction of much modded rules like TSATF, Command & Colours, Volley & Bayonet and the like.

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  2. Conrad Kinch,

    The move towards using simple and adaptable rules is - to my mind - the only way forward for a lot of wargamers. Simple does not mean that they are any less enjoyable to use or any less historically correct; the latter is much more a function of good design.

    I would also add HOTT (and to a lesser extent, DBA) to your list of much modified rules that many wargamers use.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Simple rules are where it's at - for me at least. My (long-held) theory is that complexity of the games one likes is inversely proportional to the complexity of the rest of one's life.

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  4. Tim Gow,

    If your theory is true I must have a very, very complex life ... and I do!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. Expect an offer to put on a Portable Wargame session at COW2011. I think that it is ready for that sort of audience now.

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