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Subject: Do you enjoy "Frankensteining" wargames? rss

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Michael Fuller
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Hello all,

I've come the realization that I might enjoy "Frankensteining" - combining two or more games together to create a new game - more than actually playing.

My current project is combining World War II: European Theater of Operations, Days of Decision III, and World in Flames with pinches from this and that.

I'm just curious if anyone else really enjoys doing this.

Cheers.
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Lance Runolfsson
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When I were a lad we did that a lot. Eg Bulge map Waterloo units and rules.

Now when I want to be creative I come up with a miniatures game.
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
I'm just curious if anyone else really enjoys doing this.


This technique is an important element in the creative process for wargame designers, and it's fun too!

I enjoy it. Here is one example:

Dust meets Risk 2042 -- I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

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Steve Willows
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Not really, but I did get some milage out of...

The General Vol 8 # 6 Blitz in the Pacific - Or Victory in the Krieg

...which added Victory in the Pacific fleets to Blitzkrieg.
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Leo Zappa
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In terms of doing mash-ups of two or more games, not so much. My creativity in regards to wargames is generally focused on creating new scenarios for existing games, or tweaking existing scenarios or rules.
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Mike Windsor
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I am looking for games that have maps at the same scale, and creating new sceanios using different maps. For me it solves a problem in one-battle-games, both sides tend to fight the same way each time because that is what the terrain dictates.

I have no talent for making maps, but I've thought about taking a shot a creating some accurate "what if" maps based on the idea that armies (in my case, the ACW) met at a different place than they actually did (maybe closer to Harrisburg than Gettysburg).
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Leo Zappa
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I will say though that I have thought about how I could use "Victory in the Pacific" and "War at Sea" ship counters in either Axis & Allies 1940 or Europe/Asia Engulfed.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Game design is about coming up with new and used mechanics which best suit your game and quite often a little bit of "Frankensteining" might take place. I do like to modify scenarios from one game to use with another which can show how adaptable or not a system really is.

I actually think there is a side hobby to wargaming, as well as playing and collecting there are I am sure a few of us who like to tinker with rules, modify scenarios, indulge in house rules, examine mechanics etc more than the actual playing of wargames.

Maybe the only time a "Frankenstein" Game does not have to be a monster. blush
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THE MAVERICK
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pete belli wrote:

This technique is an important element in the creative process for wargame designers

YES! The most notable case was the famous SPI game night when Richard Berg combined components from Tactics II, Fight in the Skies, Chinese Checkers, Whist, Mystery Date and PBI (all on hand as part of the normal gaming library) to come up with The Campaign for North Africa!
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Barry Kendall
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The Maverick wrote:
pete belli wrote:

This technique is an important element in the creative process for wargame designers

YES! The most notable case was the famous SPI game night when Richard Berg combined components from Tactics II, Fight in the Skies, Chinese Checkers, Whist, Mystery Date and PBI (all on hand as part of the normal gaming library) to come up with The Campaign for North Africa!


I believe you forgot to include the 1972 Federal Tax Code in the bibliography.whistle
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D. Quinn Nix
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Back in the '80s and into the '90s, when there were less board games available, I sometimes did this. For example, I took the counters and rules from Helltank (and the sequel, Helltank Destroyer)...



...and used them with the maps from Air Cav.



Because the Helltank games were "lite" and fast-playing, we were able to play out huge battles, involving dozens of units, on the poster-size maps of Air Cav. Eventually, I created a rules set that was a composite of Helltank's rules and Air Cav's rules, that was somewhere in-between the simplicity and fast-play of the former, and the complexity and detail of the latter.
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D T P
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I guess I have been "Frankensteining" from Blitzkrieg for 40 years now. Shortly after I got my first copy of this old AH classic I was making my own maps for the counters. This is one of the more recent ones.
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I very much enjoyed doing this.

But most fun was creating what is called a Schizophrenic wargame. That is one where the strategic portion is played by one game, and the subsequent battles by another.

Mogadeet
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Michael Fuller
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Mogadeet wrote:
I very much enjoyed doing this.

But most fun was creating what is called a Schizophrenic wargame. That is one where the strategic portion is played by one game, and the subsequent battles by another.

Mogadeet


I've done that too. When I was a young pup, I created my own map of Europe and used Squad Leader to resolve the battles. The difference in scale was just little bit off blush
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Doctor X

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pete belli wrote:
Quote:
I'm just curious if anyone else really enjoys doing this.


This technique is an important element in the creative process for wargame designers, and it's fun too!

I enjoy it. Here is one example:

Dust meets Risk 2042 -- I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!



Here's one for you Pete (I think I've pitched this before to you):

Taking Attack!, mushing it together with The American Civil War and coming up with a hybrid set in the world of Turtledove's (IMO) over-long Southern Victory series. Plastic pushers' heaven!
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Michael Fuller
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Doctor X wrote:
Turtledove's (IMO) over-long Southern Victory series. Plastic pushers' heaven!


Interesting that you mention Turtledove. I'm on the final book of his World War/Colonization series. There are seven books in total, which I think could have been completed in 5 books.

EDIT: make that 8 books.
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Jim Howard
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Axis & Allies pieces and rules played on Victory maps.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Rokin wrote:
Axis & Allies pieces and rules played on Victory maps.


Which got me thinking, I wonder how many people use a "similar" map from a tactical wargame to play their PnP games to save printing out an ink hungry map?
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Robert Wesley
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'moi' OWNS were more of some *Freak`n*#ZOINKZ# assortment, such as with the WEST map of "War between the States", GAME components from 2 sets of "Custer's Last Stand" upon 'outposts' of theirs theres, and varying "Battle Maps" we agreed upon for their 'locale' approximating the surrounding countryside it took place upon as our version for: "Injun WARS!". They sure hated whenever I were them: "consarned Injuns!"
_sauron_
,/whistle ~"whar you don't 'see'uns' is whar they's 'thickest'!"
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Eric Walters
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One of the best versions of this is using Mark Herman's rules from Flashpoint: Golan with new counters and the old SPI Central Front Series maps to create "Flashpoint: Central Front." Think those files are in BGG....
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Davout1806 wrote:

I've done that too. When I was a young pup, I created my own map of Europe and used Squad Leader to resolve the battles. The difference in scale was just little bit off blush


Yes, that can be a problem. The trick of the schizophrenic game is to avoid having the scales overlap (yes, they must be distinct) while at the same time having the two-way effect be logical and smooth. The strategic game needs to cover the movement, supply, build-up of, and other effects of the larger units (say divisions), and the tactical game needs to be able to translate those larger units into their smaller component parts, as well as factor in set-up and terrain, strategic effects (e.g., the effect Out of Supply would have on a combat unit), and strategic representations of tactical responses (e.g., retreat vs route, stalemates, Mexican Stand-offs, and build-ups, not to mention weather). One very successful effort was a Division/Corps level game that fought out its battles with Rifle and Saber. The core tactical unit was the Battalion, and for Cavalry was the squadron. These could echelon higher into divisions, and multiple divisions created a Corps. The Tactics II board handled Corps sized units, and we had other smaller-unit boards for moving Dvision sized units, depending on what maximum size we wanted to have for game units (Division level was most interesting). We had a complete set of Prestags boards for tactical fights, and a modified randomizer to determine what tactical board to use (modifications based on the terrain of the strategic board). Tactical losses would translate into strategic losses, with a certain "slop" to represent that unit losses were not often so much dead and wounded, but scattered and disorganized as well. You reconstituted more if you remained on the field of battle than if you retreated or were routed.

All in all it was damned interesting. Strategic movement was affected because your units were not of uniform size or makeup, divisions were represented by a division counter, but only you knew (barring cavalry scouting by the enemy, which was error-prone) what exactly was in there. On more that one occasion, under-strength divisions have bluffed corps long enough to have help finally arrive, or change an offensive thrust. And if your side had a good tactician, you could get more with less. Covering flanks with poor-quality troops was useful (who could tell without scouting), but had on occasion been disasterous when the opponent stumbled into them or took a chance.

Very exciting, but play time could be registered in months, or years. It could be damned close to real time on occasion.

Mogadeet
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Philip Clayberg
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Barry Kendall wrote:
The Maverick wrote:
pete belli wrote:

This technique is an important element in the creative process for wargame designers

YES! The most notable case was the famous SPI game night when Richard Berg combined components from Tactics II, Fight in the Skies, Chinese Checkers, Whist, Mystery Date and PBI (all on hand as part of the normal gaming library) to come up with The Campaign for North Africa!


I believe you forgot to include the 1972 Federal Tax Code in the bibliography.:whistle:


And "Drang Nach Osten", "Unentschieden", "War in the Pacific", and "War in the East". What's the point of creating a monster if you can't change your name to Victor Frankenstein.
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Enrico Viglino
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Tried combining Republic of Rome with Imperium Romanum II.

Often consider taking the endpoint of one big strategic campaign
to try and form a scenario startup for another (i.e. Pax Britanica
leading into La Grande Guerre).
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Nigel Twine
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Keep thinking about bolting "Tunisia" to "DAK II" to "Sicily". Of course, I`ll need to win the lotto first in order to A) buy copies of the damn things and B) buy an aircraft hangar to set it up in.

"Frankenstein". We`re talking about MONSTERS, right?
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We used to joke about playing Third Reich and resolving each battle at Squad Leader level. We called it "Thousand Year Reich" because we figured it would take about that long to play.laugh

More realistically, I remember a variant that patched together the SPI games NATO: Operational Combat in Europe in the 1970's, The East is Red: The Sino Soviet War, Sinai and I think one other game. There were a lot of extra maps to link them. The whole thing was published in some magazine (Jagdpanther?) in the mid-70s.
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