Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Push and pull ... will I ever finish a set of wargames rules?

As regular blog readers will have noted, I seem to have real problems with keeping on track with regard to developing sets of wargames rules. I start to develop a set of rules, take them some way … and then get sidetracked. The ‘push’ to complete an existing set of rules vies with the ‘pull’ of writing a new set … and the new tends to supplant the old.

Sitting in my car in today’s snow-bound traffic jam gave me time to think about this situation. Over the past few years I have designed a series of rules for the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I have been influenced by the work of: There are certain common ‘strands’ to these ‘influences’; these may be summarised as being:
  • The use of terrain that is divided into squares or hexes (and, as a consequence, the measurement of movement and weapon ranges in squares or hexes);
  • The use of simple combat resolution systems that either use normal D6s (with a minimal number modifiers) or specially marked D6; and
  • Some form of card-based activation system.
On reflection, I have actually taken the design of some wargames rules just about as far as I could have, and in many cases the new set has not replaced the previous ones ... they have been the springboard from which the new ones have taken off. Furthermore, I now feel that I am almost at the stage where I have a set of wargames rules that work for me, and which I foresee using for some time to come. These are MEMOIR OF BATTLE and MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA. They are not yet perfected, but I don't think that they are that far from being so. When that has happened, the 'push' and 'pull' of 'old' rules versus 'new' rules will have gone ... or will they?

Only time will tell.


  1. Bob, as someone who has experienced that push-pull himself, i hope you do reach a period of rest and satisfaction if only because it will offer me hope!

    Actually I have 2 sets that have reached a fairly stable state for some eyars now but both are collaborations with some one less given to tinkering and thus a positive force for stability.


  2. Ross Mac,

    I must admit that before today I had been feeling a bit dissatisfied with the way I seemed to keep chopping and changing between one set of rules I was working on and then the next ... but this period of reflection has left me feeling that I have actually made much more progress than I had realised. Looking back this evening over my blog entries for the past few years has reinforced that, and I feel much happier and much more positive.

    I think that I am actually getting somewhere.

    All the best,


  3. Bob, I've enjoyed your Bundock Rules over the past five years. I run them for my 28mm Sikh Wars games. The rules work, well and the guys at my club enjoy playing them. So, don't feel you haven't finished a rules set, these work just fine.


  4. Brigadier Dundas,

    Many thanks for your kind comments.

    On reflection, they were not too bad a set of rules, and I am pleased that you - and others - are still using and enjoying them.

    All the best,



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