Some interesting words about games, rules

By George Arnold

One of the other blogs I find well worth keeping up with is Rob Cordery’s Wargaming Miscellany. Here.

A day or so ago, I was especially struck by some words of wisdom from one of Rob’s regular commenters, one Arthur1815, about the difficulty of designing one set of rules that fits all or multiple periods. Here’s some of what Arthur1815 had to say:

 I think the ‘perfect set’ of wargames rules that will meet all one’s needs is an illusion; rather, one should regard rules like stage performances – both are, after all, trying to dramatise a narrative within severe constraints of material, time and space – that may be perfectly satisfactory at that moment, but seem less so when reviewed critically afterwards, leading one to consider how to alter/improve them.

The great thing is to be prepared to adapt, change – and even abandon – a particular set of rules in order to enjoy a wargame. If a ruleset generates just one, truly enjoyable game it has served its purpose. The mistake, IMHO, is to devote an inordinate amount of study, time and expense to devise and/or learn a lengthy, complex set of rules hoping to use it in all one’s games, when one could just select some simple rules that suit one’s immediate needs, play a good game and then, perhaps, move on to something else.

In thinking about developing solo rules, which I do from time to time, these words make a lot of sense to me and I wanted to call attention to them here on the Lone Warrior Blog. You can read Arthur1815’s full comments at the Wargaming Miscellany blog site, along with Rob Cordery’s response, based on his own rule-writing experiences. Your thoughts are welcome, as well.

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