Challenges and Adventures
So Tom, who runs the best RPG sessions ever, was going to do a 40th anniversary D&D game. He got out his original white box etc to prepare and realised it was incomprehensible rubbish, so he wrote his own rules, and did some great graphics:
|Oh look! I'm an archer & this is my stuff.|
|Jon, Judith & John look like they are taking this way too seriously.|
|The final confrontation in the temple. How could I miss at that range?|
This was my second session, organised at short notice. There were some gaps in the programme and I thought it would be fun to refight Raphia, - one of the largest ancient battles - in about 30 minutes with no dice. Couldn't work out how to do it. Then when I woke up Thursday morning I found I had dreamt the whole play system. I nipped down to Shedquartes, typed up the rules on the netbook, drew up two playing grids and sorted out the figures. I didn't ruin the idea with any play testing.
Over the weekend I got a bit worried as a few people remarked they were really looking forward to the session. I was expecting it to tank after 15 minutes.
As it was we played it four times on the two boards in just over an hour and got a mix of outcomes. Everyone who took part claimed to enjoy it and asked for the revised version once the changes were written in that were found in the play tests. I was astonished that the core system worked really well and only a few adjustments were needed. I'll write a more complete blog on the system in the next week or so, but the core of the game is a card management and deployment mechanism.
|Jim Roche & Chris Ager clash across the Rapid Raphia board|
|Russell King takes me on for the first two moves before Tony Hawkins arrives.|
|The Drury brothers clash. A classic CoW grudge match.|
|The Drurys end their game with Antiochus & Ptolemy killing each other at the head of their Companions|
Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics
This was a discussion lead by Jim Wallman and John Bassett on the use of sources, how they influence game design and how you fill in the gaps. I can't really say more, but it was very thought provoking to say the least. It's the sort of well informed discussion that CoW excels in.
And then it's time for home, with many promises to meet up and play games before next year. CoW is unique. It's a group of old friends who meet once a year to eat and drink well and play games in a civilized environment. Even those who are attending their first one easily fall into the category of old friends after the first 5 minutes.
Next year will be the 35th CoW at Knuston. I've missed two, I think, over that time and I hope I never have to miss any more. Each year I learn new things and enjoy new games. Yes the toy soldiers are important and there are some nice looking games but it's about ideas, imagination and design. It's unique. I love it.