April 18, 2024

Mentioned in Dispatches Season 10 Ep 6 ~ Wargaming Rules Formats

17 March 2023

OK look, we all have rulebooks we love, and ones we hate.  Formats we love, and formats we hate.  Podcast guests we love, and…  well, you get the idea1.  So let’s talk about rules, and the rules that govern rules-writing.

Don’t forget, you can always catch up with past episodes on the “podcast” tab of our site.

Case system?  Conversational style?
Learn-to-play vs quick reference?
“Did you read what I wrote?”
Programmed learning to slowly roll out the rules, or just throw players in the deep end?

We tackle all of these topics, as well as why you don’t want to be the person who gets a rule named after them, why you should always have blind playtesters2, and the breast & worst typos you can make.


Just for kicks, we did ask Chat GPT for the definition of a “rules lawyer” and this is what we got

A "rules lawyer" is a term used to describe someone who focuses more on the technicalities and specifics of the rules of a game, system, or situation than on the actual intended outcome or spirit of those rules. This term is often used to describe individuals who use their knowledge of rules to gain an advantage over others or to argue their case in a situation where the rules are unclear or contested. While knowing and following the rules is important, being a "rules lawyer" can be seen as negative because it often involves using technicalities to manipulate the system or win at all costs, rather than playing in the spirit of the game or situation.


Please trot on over to the iTunes page for our podcast and give us a rating – whatever you think is fair!
We’re still a few reviews short of iTunes recommending us in their podcast engine, and every rating helps.  Thanks!


Thank you for joining us for  Mentioned in Dispatches and checking out the official podcast of The Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
You can find our regiment’s social media on MastodonFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  (We have an Instagram page and we never use it.)
You can support The Armchair Dragoons through our Patreon, also, and find us at a variety of conventions and other events.
Feel free to talk back to us either in our discussion forum, or in the comments below.


 

 


Podcast 1600 Splash S12
"Mentioned In Dispatches" with the Armchair Dragoons
Mentioned in Dispatches Season 10 Ep 6 ~ Wargaming Rules Formats
Loading
/

Footnotes

  1. seriously, though – we love all our guests or we wouldn’t’ve asked ’em to join us
  2. especially now since digital platforms have made it so easy

Armchair Dragoons PAO

Official Public Affairs account for The Armchair Dragoons, for official site news, and other contributors.

View all posts by Armchair Dragoons PAO →

One thought on “Mentioned in Dispatches Season 10 Ep 6 ~ Wargaming Rules Formats

  1. Two things to say:
    First, agree with Gary: Free time is the enemy to the middle-aged “typical” wargamer. Never enough of it to fully enjoy our hobby. Such is life. Ironically, when we’re younger there is often much more free time, but usually not enough extra cash. The Wargamer’s Quandary.

    Second: there’s two sides to the coin on the subject of rules quality in most wargames. On one hand, yes doing this as a hobby will never pay the bills. As such, there just is never going to be neither human nor financial resource to retain the kind of professional technical writing staff to give our hobby’s rulebooks the kind of true polish we wish they could always have. Errata and ambiguities will be inherent to the way wargames are made, just like fleas to dogs. You can take steps to reduce the problem, but if the process of writing game rules doesn’t fundamentally change, we have to live with the problem. The other side of the coin, in my opinion, is that it’s just a hobby, so some of the designers & publishers out there should throttle back deadlines and utilize the advantages of digital communications to make that extra two or three passes in playtest and get DIFFERENT sets of eyes on every project. The odds of knocking out more errata and ambiguity will only improve with a larger sample size of testers. This was well expressed by the panelists in the podcast. I agree completely. Perfection will remain agonizingly elusive, but the errata being churned out in some games continues to astonish me.

Tell us what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: