Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A different way to fight a wargame: Three video clips produced by Chris Engle

Chris Engle is an innovative wargame designer. He devised the original Matrix Game and has continued to develop the concept in a variety of different directions ever since.

Recently he has produced a set card based rules for figure wargames, and to demonstrate how they work he has produced three video clips that can be viewed on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Chris's rules have some novel features, and do produce a narrative-style of battle in which all the participants have an input. They may not be to everyone's taste ... but they are nonetheless an interesting experiment.

6 comments:

  1. Bob.
    I watched parts of the videos, but found them quite frustrating: the screen width meant it was not always possible to see what was happening on the table, and the pace was very slow.
    Recording a session in which the designer was explaining the system to two new players was, perhaps, not the best way to explain it to others!
    A presentation/explanation by the author direct to camera would have been better, IMHO.
    I wonder if Chris has provided more detail on the Matrix Games yahoo group?
    Regards,
    Arthur

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  2. Arthur1815,

    Whilst I agree that they are not the best video clips I have ever watched - and the thin view does not help at all - at least they are a stab in the right direction. Chris's games tend not to lend themselves to being read and understood, and really need to be explained face-to-face. I think that running through a few moves of a game - possibly with the involvement of a couple of players - would be the best way to explain the game's mechanisms. This could be done quite easily ... if Chris could find someone to hold the camera for him!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bob,
    I think the problem was that what was being recorded was Chris explaining the game to the players, rather than to the audience! Running through some turns of a game is a good idea - provided that the turns demonstrate the salient features of the game clearly, which they may not necessarily do if the participants are actually playing it. A prearranged, 'scripted' demo is better than relying on what may, or may not, arise during a real game.
    Regards,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  4. Arthur1815,

    I agree that a scripted demonstration - filmed properly - would be far and away the best way to explain how Chris's wargame rules work. I have seen it done for other wargame systems ... and it was very informative.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bob,

    Agreed! So when may we expect the PW video?

    I just checked the Matrix Games yahoo group - nothing there - and the Hamster Press website - nothing there either.

    But I did find an interesting looking Supply Line campaign game that, although set in modern times, could be easily adapted for H&M era, which you might like to take a peek at.

    Regards,
    Arthur

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  6. Arthur1815,

    I may well make a video that explains how the PORTABLE WARGAME works ... one day ... perhaps.

    I will have a look at the Supply Line campaign game. It sounds as if it might be useful.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete