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.