Whilst I have never been accused of being a traditional Grognard, old school war gamer, I am eligible by age and to some extent pedigree to lay claim to the title of one such a thing.
Australia was and is a breeding ground for history hounds, board gamers, re creationists (my term ) and simulation designers.
Tho my ‘style’ in BGG forums is sometimes abrasive, and confrontational I get what I need from the conversations I engage in.
This blog is typically a bit more restrained, typically also a conversational style of exploration at the laymen level. No one has accused me of being an original thinking historian either.
It was with trepidation therefore that I enter the realm of playtesting. Play testing is new to me. Last nights dichotomous experience had me at once in stitches, and dreading the report writing. After you watch the video you may agree that I should have stayed home!
A group of 5 of us gathered to calmly play prior to Christmas – Men of Irons (MoI) new Blood and Roses (Yes War of the Roses tactical stuff) and play 2-3 scenarios to test for balance. At the same time Lock’n Loads Mark Walker had asked us to review the scenario Hells Wheels for the up and coming Honneur e Patrie expansion of HotG.
Wow. What a contrast in game mechanics, systems, and tactics. Men of Iron and Machines of Steel!!!! Long Bow men and Saggers. 105mm smooth bore guns and hand guns (think blunderbusses), squads of men and formations of Men at Arms, and single 60 tom vehicles versus squadrons of cavalry.
How fabulous. Well the following video, captured mostly in error actually, highlights the danger of too many men, a few beers, a dash of Kentucky Straight Whiskey (Eagle Rare) on ice and very little food ( no one ever tells me that its BYOF). Without the beverages the situation was hilarious, the comment profane, and doomed all at once.
So don’t mind the language, but let the images and sounds capture for you the dichotomy of two games, of two playing styles, of the different levels of preparation, and two very different results……