Sunday, January 1, 2012

Set'em up and Knock'em down Philosophy

In the coming weeks, I will be posting three Fast Play Rules Sets for Sword & Shield, Kepi & Musket and Thompson and Panzer. These rules sets are the basic rules I have gamed with since the late 70's, when I first began utilizing "Dice" in my games. Yes a revolutionary moment in my gaming came as a result of my 7th Grade Art Teacher in Bristol, Tennessee. Mr. Lockett was not your average art teacher, unless of course it's customary to come to class with the 90th Light Division of the German Afrika Korps in a wooden suitcase. Mr. Lockett introduced many a 13 year old boy to the joys of MRC-Tamiya models and Airfix 1/76 scale miniatures. I can still remember the huge American Western diorama that was a class project. At any rate, it was during discussions with Mr. Lockett that he opened my eyes to the use of dice in resolving combats.

Together with my gaming buddies, we embarked on a rudimentary set of rules to play out battles between German and Soviets on the Eastern Front. In those days, the dice determined what forces could move, shoot, etc. We hadn't yet evolved to actually rolling for effects. It was simply if you were able to fire a figure and see an opposing figure, well then that opposing figure was eliminated. Obviously, this style of gaming had severe limitations, and let to massive clumps of lychen covering the gaming table, with troops intricately hidden within. We certainly learned the art of concealment in those early days.

Thankfully, our gaming moved on to the next level and that next level will be the three rules sets I will post in the coming weeks.

Why post them? It's a fair question, but as I have aged from an eager 13 year old to a jaded 47 year old gamer, I have come to appreciate the simple joy of gaming "back in the day". What I realized is that gaming became more detailed, more complicated and more work...without an appreciable gain in "enjoyment". As a gamer I was spending more time reading rules and trying to remember them, than actually enjoying the game. This has become even more pronounced as full-time white collar member of the workforce and a father of two. There is just so much time available for gaming.

So these rules, retrieved from my youth are intended to offer other gamers, both new and old to the world of miniature gaming, an opportunity to just open a box of miniatures, set them up and knock'em down in a way that provides just enough of a wargame to satisfy the average gamer. Of course, these rules are not for the hardcore gamer, whose miniatures are pro-painted and whose table is a singular work of art. In my experience those gamers are looking for rules that match the time and energy that have been lavished on the miniatures themselves. rules are for the guy, who likes to open a box of new Airfix, Revell or ESCI miniatures and sets them up on a surface with scattered trees and lychen and just wants to throw some dice.

Now a word of warning, my rules are always 1:1 in ratio. So if you set up 500 figures...well you will be spending some time moving those 500 figures. For folks like myself, that's all part of the joy of this type of gaming. For others, it's the exact reason they based their figures long ago. To each their own, but on my game table, the figures are free to roam!!!

Ok, enough said and if you are still reading...then thanks! And I hope these rules sets will be of some benefit for some of the gamers out there. And may you always roll what you need when you need it!


  1. Having just browsed the first 2, they appear to offer just what it says on the box. Simple but offering scope for both generalship and luck.

    1. Thanks for the comment Ross! I hope to post my WWII-Modern rules shortly.