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game design Archives - Themself
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Tag archives for game design

design

Destructive & Formidable by David Blackmore [Book Review]

Destructive and Formidable: British Infantry Firepower 1642 - 1765 by David John Blackmore My rating: 5 of 5 stars Destructive and Formidable is a quantitative look at British infantry doctrine using period sources from the British Civil Wars of the seventeenth century up to just before the American War of Independence. If anything you can see the constancy, which drove the success in battle of British forces, even when outnumbered. Destructive and Formidable This has got all the detail you need to model infantry battles in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are comparative weights and rates of fire. Measured hit rates based on range, and commentary on doctrine and how certain tactics worked in certain situations but not others. In short everything you need to design a game (although there's clearly a morale factor, which Destructive and Formidable covers…
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alternative

What if? Building an alternate history

Photograph of Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States, with an unidentified officer, at the - NARA - 199243 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week I had dinner with a friend who asked me a "what if?" question that set me thinking about building an alternate history for a game and a story. We were talking about SOE in the spring and summer of 1944. The period is rich in possibilities and decisions for players on a game. However there's an awful lot of hindsight getting in the way of being able to properly game the period. The Problem with Hindsight The invasion is inevitable, and even when previous games have given the allies latitude over where and when the German players don't act the way the Germans did. It's impossible to create the same uncertainty in the German High…
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design

Milmud – Guest Post today about 1689 Highland Battles

Today's blog post is a guest post on Military Muddling, AKA Milmud. Milmud is the blog and club newsletter for Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group (CLWG). CLWG are a group of activist game designers. Most of the Megagame Makers designers belong to CLWG, including Jim Wallman who brought us the Universe roleplaying games and Watch the Skies. I'm a member of CLWG and have been for about 20 years. At the 2015 CLWG  conference I ran a session on the Highland Battles of 1689. This is going to form part of a 1689 Megagame planned for late 2017. You can read more about my game design efforts over on Hot Blood and Cold Steel. Link to Milmud Here's the post on milmud Highland Battles 1689 - onside report. I found the session very useful and I learnt a lot from it.…
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design

The 200 Foot General

This is the third post on my Operational Research driven wargame rules (and it's probably about time that I came up with a catchy name for them, ideas in the comments section most welcome). One of the most unrealistic things I find in most commercial wargames that I have read or played is that it is very easy for players to change their plans and give new orders to their troops every turn. This is so common that there's even a name for it, the 200ft General. What is the Problem? The concept being that the player is like a General with perfect perception and control of his troops, and he can react to things that they aren't yet aware of because the player can see the models on the table. Here are a couple of relevant quotes from the Operational…
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2D Morale Chart

Further to the previous post Faith in Morale I've tried to synthesize the varioius readings on military psychology into a set of morale rules that might give a realistic ebb and flow to an engagement. I've not had a chance to test these yet, but here's what the chart looks like. v01 of the 2D Morale Chart, (c) 2014 James Kemp Reading through the various OR type publications it seems to me that morale is affected by proximity to both friends and the enemy. The closer solders get to the enemy the more they seem to do things other than follow orders. This is not really a surprise, but it's nice to see the research back up the gut feel. Where I can find hard numbers for things I have used them to construct the 2D morale chart. In some…
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