Lone Warrior #213 – some feedback

By Brian Cameron

I certainly agree with Rob Morgan (Solo wargaming: its place in the modern world) about having too many interests. I partially solve this (as you’ll see in the next issue, inspired by Steve Turner’s article) by not being terribly fussy about the figures/counters I use if I just want to try something out. I’ve also been gaming for over 50 years and have built up a lot of kit in that time. I think it’s also a strength of the imagi-nations approach that one can try out a setting/situation that appeals by translating it to something you do have the forces for. So after reading about the Royal Navy taking on Malay pirates in the 19th century, I used what I had available – a joint British/US venture using 28mm War of 1812 figures against my motley collection of (20th century) Chinese from the Back of Beyond and various pulp settings. Given I tend to see games in a cinematic setting, I rationalise (I use the term loosely) this as the extras are in whatever the costume department had available.

I was intrigued by a number of ideas in Rob Morgan’s other piece (Chess boards and wargames). Monopoly: the Anarchist pursuit game is a nice idea and there’s lots of inspiration to be drawn from the game described in the first issue of Wargames World. Spy ring is definitely one to watch out for in charity shops. An extra suggestion would be to keep an eye open for some of the games by Cheap Ass games, mainly the series based around Kill Dr Lucky. Each of the variants included a set of rooms to be set out (a country house, 3 decks of a luxury steamship, a secret lair and a moonbase among others. They were originally (around 2000) very cheap, about £5; avoid the expensive posh versions now produced at a much higher price. There’s a downloadable version of the mansion at: https://cheapass.com/free-games/kill-doctor-lucky/  By the way, the games are excellent and non-wargaming friends and family will enjoy.

Paul Wisken’s Wargame Campaigns provided some good food for thought. I’ve certainly wondered about using Axis & Allies as a basis for a World War II game but I’m not that interested in WWII to make it worth the time and effort. Paul’s 1700 setting has more appeal. A while back I bought a cheap copy of the boardgame ‘A Game of Kings’ which has a useful gridded map for such a purpose. I’ve also looked at simplifying the movement by using something like a Diplomacy board and just having armies move from one area to another (though with the necessity for a line of supply without which a game cannot represent the period).

I regret to say that Jim Rohrer’s riot game doesn’t appeal as a topic but it looked well worked out. Anyone interested in riot games could usefully take a look at Jim Wallman’s article in the Courier, vol. 5, No. 4, available as a download form the Wargames Vault.
There’s a lot more to comment on but I think I’ve gone on enough for one post! Another excellent issue.

About Brian Cameron

I've been wargaming for over 50 years, often solo. I've written lots of games and rules, some published, and articles in the wargames press.
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2 Responses to Lone Warrior #213 – some feedback

  1. George Arnold says:

    Good feedback on No. 213, Brian. Here’s my two cents:

    I enjoyed your own article on how you approach solo gaming. Your simple rules look very playable and I liked your photos of a game in progress. I especially liked the backdrop (model railroad scenery, perhaps?).

    Rob Morgan’s material, whatever the subject, is always so informed and informative. While he says that all gamers have a painting backlog, it’s almost no longer true for me. I’ve spent a lot of time during the lockdown catching up on my painting. I’m close enough to getting completely finished that I’m starting to get nervous about it! What do they say happens when a gamer finishes all his painting? I might be close to finding out.

    Rob’s ideas on using a chess board clicked for me. If I remember correctly, Bob Cordery’s Portable War Games rules started off by using a chess board. There’s another wargaming blog, which I can’t place right now, that has set up a campaign by using a revised Chutes and Ladders system. It seemed to work really well.

    I too once thought about using a Monopoly board for a campaign. I got as far as working out what the spaces would represent in a campaign as you worked your way around the board but never went any further. It might be due a revisit.

    Paul Wisken’s campaign ideas also provided lots of food for thought. I’ve generally shied away from campaigns because they can get too complicated too easily. I want to spend my time gaming, not doing bookkeeping for a campaign. Still, there has to be a way to pull off a simple campaign. Lots to mull over here.

    I had to be careful when reading Steve Turner’s article on choosing a new period. I do NOT need a new period. But reading how he goes about it makes it sound so tempting.

    I always enjoy the articles from gamers about how they connected with Lone Warrior and with wargaming in general. Graham Empson’s recollections in this issue were a fun read.

    Jim Rohrer’s article on scale considerations for a novice gamer was interesting, even for non-novices. I liked his stated approach to gaming, which I’d summarize as do what suits you. There’s no right or wrong way to do this hobby of ours.

    Finally, Editor Rich Barbuto updates us on his busy schedule. (His new book on the War of 1812 has now been published, by the way.) He mentions that it’s time to think about the future, as in, someone else to consider taking over the editor’s reins. None of us are getting any younger and I’d add that someone to run this blog and website will also be needed one of these days.

    Overall, another excellent Lone Warrior issue. So many devoted and knowledgeable contributors. Thanks to all!

  2. Brian Cameron says:

    Thanks for the comments George. The background are indeed those used for model railways, a spin-off from my own railway modelling. The best use I’ve seen for a monopoly board was for a game set in the WWII Blitz on London. My own painting backlog is pretty well limited to figures I’ve bought in the past year, the benefit of having more time since retirement.
    After a side-track into cheap alternatives to 28mm figures for venturing into new periods I’ll be writing more about my solo gaming by covering campaigns, starting with some very simple approaches; I hope you’ll find it of interest.
    Brian

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