The Song of the Dodo

Yes, nice to see you too. Where have I been? Nowhere really, but I've been reading and ruminating and the like. Been cautious about what to get involved with and I've avoided any strenuous physical activity like painting figures and making terrain bits and, God forbid, actually gaming. I can't tell an absolute lie because I have been dabbling with new rule sets, but nothing too dramatic. OK, I do a little painting too, but nothing too demanding.

Over the past year or so, or maybe longer, I've bought a few sets of rules for various periods. Some, I thought were necessary updates for existing sets I own/use and others were spur of the moment buys which have joined the 'Hmmmm' pile which is the collection of rule books you thought were going to lead you to wargaming utopia; those which seemed to offer a new approach; those which seduced you with a properly orchestrated propaganda campaign, those dripping with eye candy; those accompanied by a new range of figures which generated a wave of mass hysteria; those which claim to be updates or new editions, but which aren't really; those new editions which are such a radical change they bear little resemblance to the original; those for historical periods you really want to wargame, but you haven't got the time or money yet; those which you've always coveted, but have no practical way of using: the qualifications for this pile are endless.

Necessary new editions included the brigade level Fire & Fury II which tidied up the original set and provided a replacement for my now tatty old version. These rules have a good few critics, but I've been a fan since I got the original edition years ago and I just like'em. I also bought the new version of Beneath the Lily Banners which is still a good set of rules, but seems to be slipping into the pit of 'more money spinning supplements'. We're covered for King James' Irish Wars, but the really meaty stuff in Europe has to wait for supplements. Well, we'll see.

The big event of the Autumn is the release of Black Powder II, which you don't really need unless you're a big fan and want to follow the thread. I watched Rick Priestly's interview about the new set and he was very honest. He explained what the changes were and how he went about incorporating them into the rules. So, anyone with a modicum of common dog can get stuck in and update their own set, especially as the original PDF was offered free a few weeks ago on the Warlord Games website. Given the pedigree of this outfit, I'm amazed at the open approach and a sales pitch based on the premise that you don't really need them to continue playing and use the supplements. Good on them, I say.

An example of what I think of as the more common approach is the saga of the Konigkrieg rules which were originally a really nice set of rules dating back to the 70's, originally published in the UK by Freikorps and later by Outland Games. Nice, simple, but subtle set of rules which were among the last of the stapled photocopy/printed style. Bags of character, but not too high on the survivability table unless you split them up and bunged the pages in plastic wallets. I'm on my fourth set, the original having gone beyond repair and the two interim copies having disappeared, one after another. However, in the meantime, the rules were bought up by an Australian outfit (the rules are, apparently, popular over there), sexed up with lots of eye candy, puffed out with lots of examples of play (because we're apparently thick), bunged in a posh cover and banged out at a healthy (for them) price. I understand they're now about to publish another revamp which will involve seven or so volumes. Not for me, thanks.

Anyway, as it seems few people can read without pictures too, here're a few:







Comments

  1. Glad to hear you're alive and kicking old boy, I like lots of rules but now as the brain gets a little slow I like my rules simple, in fact minimal to the extreme!

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    1. When I was younger, so much younger than today (gerrit?) there was always a temptation to pack your rules with little add-ons to reflect the true nature of warfare of whichever period. Nowadays, it's more obvious that the overall result is the same if you ditch all this extra detail, which only really served to show you were well read and slowed the game down. I'm firmly in your camp Fran: the simpler the better.

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  2. Nice to have you blogging again Gary!
    I didn't know that info about Koènigskrieg. We used them a few times when trying to decide a 7YW set and again a few months ago. They're a great set. I quite like BLB3, actually I've not played a game yet, but they sound very interesting. Hopefully I'll get a game in before Xmas!

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    1. Stroll on! Did a very interesting and informed reply to this and it's vanished! Anyway, nutshell: BLB are still good rules, but I'm cagey about this supplement approach. It always smell of the hunt for filthy lucre to me, but the Black Powder supplements are generally good (the AWI and ACW ones are very good). So, yer pays yer money etc.

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  3. Welcome back.. sounds like your Konigkrieg rules are like triggers broom mate!

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    1. Yeah, I'm not a fan of generating new editions seemingly will nilly. The fanboys are well up for it and drool for more, but if it ain't broke . . . . Remember the WRG ancients rules which were updated every three years or so? Continual skirmishes in Slingshot and various "We Hate Phil Barker" movements? I think it became change for the sake of change after the third edition and that put the top hat on it for me. I can barely understand DBM (DBMM?). Killed off my interest in Ancients, but thankfully didn't affect my interest in their 1685-1845 set, which I still like.

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  4. Welcome back...with gorgeous minis!

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    1. Well, businesslike I suppose, but there's no spark there, just churn'em out. Of course, that implies a regular output . . . . :O)

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  5. Good to see you back! As for KK, I am one of those who bought the Freikorps version many, many years ago; bought the revision from Outland; and then succumbed to the attractiveness of the 3rd Edition from Siege works Studios when it was available. from Lulu.

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    1. You must have the breaking strain of a Cadbury's Flake! :O))))

      I reallly like the rules, I just balk at the thought of having to pay a fortune for a photograph album. The ambition to produce so many supplements seems questionable when other rule producers can manage with fewer and sometimes none.

      I'm just an old curmudgeon.

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