Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fun in games, and 500 posts

Dropped in on my friend Chris over lunch today - Chris is the founder and organizer of Posh Games, the Peterborough board games group. I inadvertently gatecrashed one of their Saturday sessions, but had time for a chat. One of the comments that got me thinking, as we were discussing board games vs wargames, was someone basically saying they didn't like most wargames (board/hex and counter or miniature) as they weren't 'gamey' enough. After a bit of discussion, we established he meant 'not a simulation', and Command and Colours was produced as an example of what he meant by gamey enough.

Which got me pondering, once I'd got home, as to what he really meant...

I think what he actually meant was 'realistic simulation games aren't fun', perhaps, or maybe 'the rules necessary for a decently believable simulation can't possibly be fun'.

If so? I beg to differ. I can think of a few examples where the simulation is remarkably accurate, and the rules are simple and fun to play. If you can't too, you probably haven't been following this blog long enough. :D

Speaking of which...

...I should also note that yesterday's was my 500th post and I failed to notice. As it's a milestone? Here's some delayed Kate :D


  1. Monsieur Whitaker! With ziss Kate photo you are really spoiling us!

    Congrats on the milestone!

    I totally agree that a game can be a good simulation of combat *and* fun.

  2. Congrats on milestone and may many more to come

  3. Nice one Mike and Its never too late for a photo of Kate!

  4. "where the simulation is remarkably accurate, and the rules are simple and fun to play"... and that my friend is the Holy Grail that some of us have been hunting for almost 30 years now... with varying levels of success (mostly 'good' for me I have to say)... :o))

  5. Congratulations, Mike. A phenomenal milestone - 500 posts. You've really worked at the blog, and it's wonderful. Carry on, Sir - here's to many hundreds more!!

  6. I find that some boardgames, many of them very popular with other people, fall into what I call an abstraction gap. I don't mind playing something that's basically abstract or very lightly themed, like chess or Castellan or Revolution or The Stars are Right; and I don't mind playing a detailed simulation, like Squad Leader or GURPS. But somewhere in the middle are the games which have a theme and seemingly let you make simulation-like choices, but are "actually" purely about gameplay; if I make realistic choices I'll lose, because what I needed to do was stack up cards in this order.

    I find many wargames remarkably lightweight compared with the RPG rules that I'm most familiar with, but prone to special cases, and that always slows a game down.

  7. Well done on the 500th post, takes a lot to get that far.

    I love ASL, the game that is most often pointed at for the reason high detail rule heavy games are not fun but each to their own


  8. Congratulations on the 500!

    'Simulation' versus 'Game' - difficult topic, especially as perhaps 99.99% of gamers have never experienced conflict of any form in reality, with 'historical games' the proportion is obviously non-existent.

    We can model what 'we think' went on, as related by eye-witnesses, but even then, different eye-witnesses can relate the same event in a different way. Eye-witness testimony is the least reliable evidence in courts btw... so should their accounts of long distant battles be accepted as the whole truth?

    I'm convinced that you will never get a 'simulation' of war, no matter how hard you try. Games are a different thing, you know where you are with them.

  9. 500 posts is quite a milestone sir. Congrats and here's to the next 500!


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