Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Playing through Scenarios For All Ages

It is almost September. The kids have gone back to school today. The weather is getting colder. In the British Isles the rugby posts are going up, a sure sign that winter is coming, as they say in Game of Thrones.

I'm launching a number of projects at home this autumn, largely to distract myself from the fact that the season is drawing to a close. To run in concert with these, I'm also going to see if I can launch some more ambitious gaming projects which will hopefully also mean I'll not need to spend more money on the latest shiny things to come out of the games industry over the next 12 months. The emphasis is going to be on playing with what I have already, rather than buying more game books and miniatures (although the new Star Wars skirmish game from FFG looks intriguing). That's the plan anyway. It is an exercise in self-discipline for the most part.

On the miniatures front, I've been inspired by Ross Macfarlane's blog to try to achieve what he did in 2008-09, namely play through the entire series of wargames scenarios contained in Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith's Scenarios For All Ages. This contains 52 wargames scenarios, ostensibly one for every week of the year. Macfarlane played them in sequence, achieving his goal within 14 months.

I realise there is absolutely no way on this planet I will make it anywhere near this. I'd be lucky to get one done every month. However, playing one a month would take me just over four years. This seems like rather a long term prospect. Instead of setting myself the goal of achieving something within a specific time period, I'll therefore try to focus simply on hitting the goal of the complete 52 games.

First steps will be to get the first scenario played - 'Attack On A Prepared Position'. For this I think we'll be using my Middle-earth armies, which recently had an outing for the Battle of the Fords of the Isen. However, I was not completely happy with the rules we used there, The War of the Ring from Games Workshop. We slightly mis-interpreted the casualty rules, leading to marginally more resilience on the part of both sides, and a consequently longer game. But that aside, regular opponent Sebastian was not bowled over by them [American English = disliked them], and so we will look further afield.

The Enemy Within


Work is going to make it harder for me to attend regular gaming sessions for the rest of this year, although I will see what I can do about being a semi-regular attendee. In the meantime, I'm going to try to set myself another, likely overly ambitious RPG project. This will be to run The Enemy Within, the epic old school Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign with an ad hoc, scratch group of players. Achieving this will be very challenging, giving conflicting schedules, etc, but I'm determined to give it a go.

The objective will be to run it using the Zweihander rules, which are in the process of being shipped from the US as I write, and are now available in some US stores. Zweihander was conceived as a successor to WFRP 2.0, especially once FFG took the third edition of the game in a new direction rules-wise.

Exactly how much progress I make with TEW, as it is known, remains to be seen. I will chronicle what I manage to achieve on this blog, possibly with photo or two if any emerge.

I never managed to get my hands on the final piece of the TEW saga, The Empire In Flames, when it was first out, and IIRC Hogshead never managed to publish it when they re-published the adventures in the 1990s. Hence, failing to find a copy, I may re-write my own ending. But we need to get there first!

Viscounts and Vagabonds

Finally, I'm going to have a stab at writing my own RPG. This will be a lengthy work in progress. The idea is to produce a system capable of yielding short, ribald escapades in Georgian England, involving characters that generally leave a lot to be desired, both in morals and ambitions.

What has plagued me thus far is the core mechanic. Once I get that sorted out, and am actually able to produce a test adventure, then perhaps we can make a little more progress. At the moment I'm toying with four main social classes which serve as the background for each character - these work out as the Landed, the Educated, the Rogue and the Labourer. Each type provides access to a range of skills and sub-abilities unique to that stratum of Georgian society.

I have been working on the premise that characters will have servants or sidekicks, who are in turn managed by other players. However, I am inclined to ditch this in favour of a vice mechanic which again allows other players to mess with your character's destiny. This will likely not be in the alpha play test, regardless, or may be an optional extra.

There's quite a bit here to be getting on with, as I'm sure you can imagine. Just how much success I will have with any of this is anybody's guess. Do come back to see if I've made any further progress or been distracted with a new shiny.

4 comments:

  1. There's a fan-made conclusion to The Enemy Within called The Empire at War; I am told it's quite well-regarded but I have not played it -- my original group only made it as far as the second or third book, I think -- or read it. I do have a copy of it in pdf if you'd like to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also happy to help with the Scenarios for All Ages project if you need opponents!

      Delete
  2. and whist you are uncertain in your movements Stuart, we can do our best to run games which work for you dropping in and out.

    I am optimistic Eberron using Cypher System rules will cope with 3 or 4 players.

    Call of Cthulhu likewise. E.g. your pc is researching xyz.

    Hope that you can return to regular gaming in the NEW Year and that running TEW scratches that itch for you.

    ReplyDelete