Tuesday, 10 July 2012

In the doldrums

After the initial euphoria that always follows my attendance at COW (the Conference of Wargamers), I have entered a period of metaphorical doldrums. In other words I seem to be unable to get up enough enthusiasm to do much at all that is related to wargaming ... and yet I have lots of ideas that I want to develop as a result of my going to COW!

I have, however, had time to do a bit of thinking about what I did, saw, and talked about at COW2012, and I have come to the conclusion that most of my future wargaming projects are going to involve the simplest rules I can find and use as many 'off the shelf' resources as I can get hold of.

To that end I went shopping today and bought copies of some well-known games ... RISK: BALANCE OF POWER and OTHELLO.



RISK: BALANCE OF POWER contains some very useful playing tokens (arrows) that I am thinking about using in a forthcoming game design. It also has a useful game board that is a stylised map of Western Europe that might come in handy.


OTHELLO (which is also known as REVERSI) not only has a number of two-sided counters (one side black, the other white) which I am also thinking about using in a forthcoming game design, but also has an eight square by eight square playing surface that might well serve as the basis for a very portable version of my PORTABLE WARGAME. The fact that each square on the board has a slightly raised edge should ensure that any playing pieces don't slide about if the board has to be moved mid battle.

I may be in the doldrums at the moment ... but I hope that whilst I am, I am using the time to lay down the foundations for future projects.

12 comments:

  1. Post-con exhaustion is a foe I know well.

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  2. Somewhat similar to Jetlag without the suntan!

    Jim

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  3. Arquinsiel,

    It affects us all in one way or another.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Jim Duncan,

    I had never thought of it like that ... but you are absolutely correct!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. I see it more like flash flood of ideas and formation in the brain. All very exciting and energetic but very cloudy making it difficult to pick out one thing. Given time, the layers settle out and you can get a clearer view.

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  6. Pat G,

    That is a very good way to explain how I feel ... and I hope that you are right about things starting to settle down and becoming clearer.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Bob, as you are looking for "the simplest rules I can find", perhaps it is time to re-read the following and contemplate how they have handled things:

    Charge!
    The Sword and the Flame
    DBA

    Those games (and all are good ones) have stood the test of time and use simple mechanics.

    That doesn't mean that you have to play them specifically, but looking at the way that they approach things would be a good place to start.


    -- Jeff

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  8. Bluebear Jeff,

    Wise words indeed!

    I have copies of all of the books/rules you mention (along with Donald Featherstone's books and Charles Grant's THE WAR GAME and BATTLE: PRACTICAL WARGAMING) in pride of place on my bookshelves. I often refer to them, just for inspiration.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Bob, Relax! Its only Tuesday! (well probably Wednesday by the time you read this) Give yourself a day or two of rest! The ideas and energy will flow in good time.

    -Ross

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  10. This bit especially caught my attention "the simplest rules I can find and use as many 'off the shelf' resources as I can get hold of." I will "stay tuned".

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  11. Ross Mac,

    It is one of the problems with COW. It gives you lots of ideas you want to try out ... but it also drains your physical and mental energy because you do such a variety of different things in so short a time.

    Another day or so of rest ... and I should be back to firing on all cylinders!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Fitz-Badger,

    This comment mainly arose because of a discussion I had over coffee one evening.

    A group of us have all bought and used one or more of Richard Borg's wargames ... and we were discussing the merits of taking his basic game mechanisms and developing them. The general consensus was that they were simple, easy to learn and use, and produced reasonable results.

    We also discussed using gaming pieces from other games (not all wargames, I might add) in our wargames. Examples included the terrain tiles from the board game Carcassonne and the buildings from Cathedral. The figures from various versions of Risk were also mentioned, alongside those from Axis and Allies and Memoir ‘44.

    All the best,

    Bob

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