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Subject: The future of wargaming. rss

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No, the title is not a reference to PC games, ipad wargames, nor to some future 'virtual reality wargame'...hmm, actually, let me ponder that for a few seconds....


I'm actually referring to advancements in game mechanics in wargames. From my perspective, wargames have come a long way in the past few decades; indeed, they've come a long way just in the past few years. I know some people still appreciate the golden old days of wargames (The Russian Campaign is close to four decades old), and I respect those old grodnards. But the hobby is expanding, wargamers are diversifying, and so are the games themselves.

The card-driven game system (a-la We the People(1994), Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (1996), Paths of Glory(1999), and Here I Stand (2006)) continues to grow (Virgin Queen should come out this year folks!!!).


As a relatively young wargamer, Bonaparte at Marengo seemed amazing to me when it first came out in 2005. A wargame without dice or cards or CRTs! It was, and remains, a joy to play (I even got my wife to play it with me!).


In 2008, Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 was touted as the game to introduce Euro-gamers to wargaming [from what I've heard it was relatively successful].


And of course last year (2011) Martin Wallace (you know, that guy mostly famous for designing train games) helped bring Euro-ers and War-ers (hmm, maybe I should just call us war-y-ers) even close together with the first 'deck-building' euro/wargame blend - A Few Acres of Snow.


Things just seem to be getting better every year. I'm excited about the future, excited about the games I know about, excited about the games being designed that I don't yet know about, and excited about the awesome mechanics that those awesome designers will create (or borrow from popular Euro-games) to make wargames even better.

So, war-y-ers (new name for wargamers), please help feed my excitement; what are some of the awesome mechanics or features of wargames that you're looking forward to seeing in the near (or not so near) future?

Personally, I'm looking forward to:
* More great no-dice/card/CRT goodness from Bowen Simmons in The Guns of Gettysburg
* Ed Beach streamlining the religious rules in Virgin Queen

But I also look forward to the unknown, to seeing more:
* Designers taking advantage of the deck-building system as a basis for wargames, as in A Few Acres of Snow.
* Action/dexterity-based wargames (think Catacombs or PitchCar, but with a wargame-esque foundation).
* Dynamic, interactive and accessible multi-player wargames.
* Completely new mechanics that I can't even fathom at this stage.
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A Vietnam-era re-theme of A Few Acres of Snow with a bit more historical chrome and maybe, just maybe, asymetrical win conditions would see me become the speed of light squared.

Pretty Excited by the look of Sturm Europa if it's ever released and I'd love a special forces/SWAT team/hostage rescue game with modern mechanics.
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Abstract map representations like Fields of Fire (or, well, Up Front). Or the abstract representation of fire range and strength of units in the same game.

Cooperative wargames, or wargames were everyone plays on the same side but competes for victory points.

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Quote:
But I also look forward to the unknown, to seeing more:
* Designers taking advantage of the deck-building system as a basis for wargames, as in A Few Acres of Snow.
* Action/dexterity-based wargames (think Catacombs or PitchCar, but with a wargame-esque foundation).


The terror, the terror... yuk

M.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Amnese wrote:

* Action/dexterity-based wargames (think Catacombs or PitchCar, but with a wargame-esque foundation).


It's not like it hasn't been done before: Little Wars
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Also Lost Battles is quite innovative: a simulation which is actually a blast to play!
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Gorgoneion wrote:
Also Lost Battles is quite innovative: a simulation which is actually a blast to play!


Which reminds me - one of the innovations I'd like to see, in both wargames and boardgaming in general, is warp-resistant tiles.
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Sounds more like the future of War-Euros. Ick! gulp
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What excites me even more along with innovation (which has always been part of great game wargamming from panzerblitz to upfront) is there are new processes and standards at work in building historic details more fully into consim wargames. Squad level WWII games not based on abstract geomorphic maps but aerial photos of the battle field. Newly researched counter manifests down to regimental level for full battles. Orders of entry capturing every time and condition upon arrival. good times!

So for the future I want better maps and counter manifests!
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I really like the idea from A Few Acres of Snow, and I'm interested to see how it evolves in future games. The concept I think is sound - that capturing certain locations or objectives can give you new options due to the newly acquired resources and facilities at those locations, and that these options can be represented by cards. It may not be implemented perfectly in the first game (it seldom is) but I think this opens up some interesting avenues for further development.
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Personally I think the whole cards-in-wargames has gone a bit too far. Don't get me wrong, I love many of the CDG's but I'd like to see more new and creative mechanics drafted up for block games, and hex and counter games, and unique "randomless" games like Bowen's.

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Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?
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There was a thread or a list of the first time mechanics were used that I can't find now. If we're going to pin anything how about useful stuff like that?

Seems to me a lot of the future's been tried before.

 
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Sitnam wrote:
Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?

No rondels that I know of, but there's bidding sometimes. Guess it wouldn't be called "auction bidding" per se, but in Ancient Battles Deluxe players can bid command points, and the high bidder gets the initiative that turn.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Sitnam wrote:
Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?

No rondels that I know of, but there's bidding sometimes. Guess it wouldn't be called "auction bidding" per se, but in Ancient Battles Deluxe players can bid command points, and the high bidder gets the initiative that turn.



Mark Herman used the bidding of Command points for initiative in his Pacific War from 1985.
Does this pre-date many of those Euro's? I honestly don't know as I have ZERO interest in Euro's.
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Sitnam wrote:
Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?


I can't imagine rondels - neat mechanic that they are,
it would be tough to simulate anything reasonable
with them.

Most bidding that I've seen is sealed. I could see
a form of force commitment where you're pushing
more and more into sectors being abstracted as
some form of auction though.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Sitnam wrote:
Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?

No rondels that I know of, but there's bidding sometimes. Guess it wouldn't be called "auction bidding" per se, but in Ancient Battles Deluxe players can bid command points, and the high bidder gets the initiative that turn.


The first time I encountered roundel is the game of Imperial. Does that count as a wargame or not?

Map tile placement in Lost Battles is not really that new as it can be found in the earlier Blue vs. Gray, Medieval, even Tobruk. But I think wargames can make use more of that.

Quote:

Bonaparte at Marengo seemed amazing to me when it first came out in 2005. A wargame without dice or cards or CRTs!


Frankly, that's what I dislike for a wargame. Where is the suspense of disbelief?

A recent wargame I found to be innovative is Strike of the Eagles, a Polish design. It uses a card-based order system and a deterministic CRT with cards and modifiers adding up. It is original but then I can call for similar experience in Joan of Arc.

One mechanic I find it seldom being used is the use of combat cards in CRT, i.e. the cross matching of the "tactics", chosen by the players with the cards, on the CRT to determine the results. For example, the tactic of assault cross match with the tactic of fighting withdrawal on the CRT yields 0/DR, etc.. Piling on top of that, different combat strength ratio can be used for assault tactic when the same type of tactic cards are played by both players.

This is not entirely new idea. Some simple CRT based on tactics cards was used in the Hong Kong wargame design of Greatest Tank Battle back in the early 80's. But I haven't seen it being used in the western world designs so far. I am not sure even whether the game has an entry in BGG here.





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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
Sitnam wrote:
Speaking of Euro mechanics in wargames, do any wargames incorporate rondels or auction bidding?

No rondels that I know of, but there's bidding sometimes. Guess it wouldn't be called "auction bidding" per se, but in Ancient Battles Deluxe players can bid command points, and the high bidder gets the initiative that turn.


The first time I encountered roundel is the game of Imperial. Does that count as a wargame or not?

Map tile placement in Lost Battles is not really that new as it can be found in the earlier Blue vs. Gray, Medieval, even Tobruk. But I think wargames can make use more of that.

Quote:

Bonaparte at Marengo seemed amazing to me when it first came out in 2005. A wargame without dice or cards or CRTs!


Frankly, that's what I dislike for a wargame. Where is the suspense of disbelief?

A recent wargame I found to be innovative is Strike of the Eagles, a Polish design. It uses a card-based order system and a deterministic CRT with cards and modifiers adding up. It is original but then I can call for similar experience in Joan of Arc.

One mechanic I find it seldom being used is the use of combat cards in CRT, i.e. the cross matching of the "tactics", chosen by the players with the cards, on the CRT to determine the results. For example, the tactic of assault cross match with the tactic of fighting withdrawal on the CRT yields 0/DR, etc.. Piling on top of that, different combat strength ratio can be used for assault tactic when the same type of tactic cards are played by both players.

This is not entirely new idea. Some simple CRT based on tactics cards was used in the Hong Kong wargame design of Greatest Tank Battle back in the early 80's. But I haven't seen it being used in the western world designs so far. I am not sure even whether the game has an entry in BGG here.


1776 has this EXACT feature back in the early 70's.
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calandale wrote:
I can't imagine rondels - neat mechanic that they are,
it would be tough to simulate anything reasonable
with them.


Doesn't seem like too much of a stretch from something like Bulge 20's G-1, G-2, G-3 type stuff to a Rondel-style mechanic for a brilliant, groundbreaking innovator.
 
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jeb123 wrote:


1776 has this EXACT feature back in the early 70's.


I don't have that game. Why was the feature not widely used in other wargames?
 
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
jeb123 wrote:


1776 has this EXACT feature back in the early 70's.


I don't have that game. Why was the feature not widely used in other wargames?


It was used in quite a few games sometimes using cards, sometimes using command or tactic chits. In a way it's the precursor to CDG mechanics.
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
jeb123 wrote:


1776 has this EXACT feature back in the early 70's.


I don't have that game. Why was the feature not widely used in other wargames?


Off the top of my head
Empires in Arms
War & Peace
Hannibal (IIRC)


but the real difference here is that these are 'strategic' level games.
In the traditional 'tactical battle' wargame, you actually had to implement the tactics yourself.
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I think a basic map board, not paper, depicting terrain with a hex grid overlay, some sturdy counters with no comic book characters, some dice and a few simple charts to be used in a I-go you-go system. Base it on a historical battle, play test it to work the bugs out, and keep it under $40. Now that would be novel.
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
jeb123 wrote:


1776 has this EXACT feature back in the early 70's.


I don't have that game. Why was the feature not widely used in other wargames?


Also in Attila.
It was a rock-paper-scissor thingy.
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