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Back to Business (All props to the man)

By Robert E. Allen III

December 15, 1998


Okay, the contest is over. The State of the Union is done. The year isn't over yet, so none of that silly "Best of Year" stuff. (At least -- not yet) No, this is going to be a good, ordinary Small Talk column. This month, I thought I might shove a few game ideas in this one. In an attempt to completely destroy any chance of getting "bored" or making a game "stale", here are seven (and a half) things you can do to complete change the nature of a game:

  1. Change the terrain. Play a game in a marshland, for instance. Halve all movement distances. Or, disallow any units to "double" their movement -- no running, charges, etc. Or, for sci-fi, play in a low gravity world- double all movement. Allow for the possibility of troops "over-bouncing" and going off track.
  2. Go blind. Get a neutral GM to run the game, and you and your opponent go to separate rooms where you can't see the action. All of the activity has to be "reported" to you, and you must make judgments according to what the GM tells you. Or, if you have enough participants, break up the action into several rooms and only allow commanders to be aware of what is going on in their area.
  3. Switch armies. Trade with your opponent. Learn what is it like to play against your own forces. See how tough/weak/impossible your troops are when they are used against you.
  4. Ditch victory. Take all of the troops that aren't worth their points or effort. Take the weakest, most inefficient, useless troops that you wouldn't use for cannon fodder in your normal games. Be surprised at how well they actually perform. Perhaps reconsider their value.
  5. Change the game. Take your Ogre tank legions into a game of Legions of Steel. Try out your Space Marines against the Baron's finest Knights. Expect a slaughter. Laugh.
  6. Play your finely painted legions against the masses of your unpainted figures. Force yourself to paint anything you kill in the game. (This one could take a while...)
  7. Play a game with two identical forces. See what a difference tactics makes over sneaky tricks.
  8. Stop playing the same old game. Pick up something different. Try that game that everyone is talking about, but you were too afraid to try because you are too attached to one system.


Okay, the last one is a cheap shot. But variety is the spice of life (nevermind the Spice Girls), and it's my moral obligation to make certain you people enjoy a wide variety of wargaming entertainment.

VARIOUS NOTES: Warzone 2nd Edition is out. It is quite nice. Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition is out. It too is quite nice, although I am still scratching my head trying to forget the old rules. I am eagerly awaiting Babylon 5 Wars 2nd Edition, Starsiege, and Apokalypse (which may never actually come out -- news is sketchy on what the heck is going on with Manticore Productions).

Having recently gotten my hands on a digital camera, I have been trying to put together some images of reviewed miniatures to put up here. To my absolute surprise, taking pictures of miniatures is hard work. I was completely stunned. Now, I have my lovely girlfriend working on it. Given her remarkable skills, I think we'll have something to put up by next week.

I am presently preparing for the Warhammer Grand Tournament, coming up in March in Baltimore. Anyone in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC area looking to knock my Dark Elves down a few pegs (it has been known to happen) should drop me a line. Or, anyone wishing to drive a great distance is welcome to also get in line.

That'll do it for now. Anyone who wants to add to that list is welcome to send it in; I might even add them on. I wish everyone a happy Hanukkah, Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate just to get a pile of games and figures for gifts. Enjoy.


General discussion, feedback, challenges to Warmaster@rpg.net

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