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Severus Snape
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Warriors of God: Less is More, More or Less

Introduction:
I bought the bloody thing for three reasons: one, I had two books by Jonathan Sumption (now it is three books) on the One Hundred Years War; two, I had a credit with Toad and Troll (if you want the gory details and like nightmares with your debit account, e-mail me); and, three, I saw that Warriors of God was the only decent choice I could afford on a credit from a business that expects kidneys in return for its wares.

I am not going to cover the "basics" of gameplay, because this has been well done in other reviews. My review is written for those either interested in the game, or who know it well (so that you can either be confused or argue with me and tell me I have it wrong and what not),

The strengths of the game as a game, balanced by the "problems" it raises regarding history:

1) Interaction of the rules:

One of the "things" I notice about Warriors of God is how few rules it contains. I am wary of labeling it a "light" game because I am wary of labels; they too often take the place of serious thinking and explanation. As someone who has played games like Empires in Arms, Fire in the East, The Rise of the Roman Republic, among others, Warriors of God is almost frightfully thin when it comes to the amount of rules. I was too committed to the subject matter to dismiss the lightweight rulebook out of hand. More importantly, I had read many of the comments about the game on BGG and was intrigued how Chris Farrell could give the game a 7 based on his understanding of luck in the game, while Natus the Nemesis could give it a 5.6--Natus, for the love of Peso Pete, round up or down--for the same reason.

The rules are not long in length. However, they are much "longer" in the sense that the gamer needs to develop a practical understanding and appreciation of them. Understanding must lead to insight and application. It goes without saying, so, naturally, I will say it anyway, that all rules are important, to some degree or another, in every game. But when you have so few rules, relatively speaking, as Warriors of God does, the interaction of these rules is critical and evident from your first play. For example, in each of the three games I mentioned earlier, you could leave out a rule in your early games and not even notice it. Fire in the East is primarily a "land" warfare game; you could leave out all the complex and lengthy air rules for everything except ground support and interdiction and not miss them. At all.

My first four games with Warriors of God saw me leaving out things that should be there from the start. This always always happens with any new game, or even with a not-so-new game that has not been played in a long time. I do not go to sleep at night memorizing the rules to Barbarossa: Army Group South 1941, contrary to the hopes of Vance V. Borris. When my first game of the 100 Years War scenario was a blow-out for the English side from move one, I knew I had done more than just keep Edward III alive to collect his Canada Pension. It was a case of doing less because I played without having all the rules in play.

Because the rules of Warriors of God are few in number, they increase in importance. Do not let the thin rulebook fool you: there is deep thinking held within.

2) The flypaper rule.

Explanation: If both the French and English have leaders in the same area, this rule forces you to retain an equal amount of leaders (and leaders represent your armed forces" as your opponent does in a particular area. A control marker counts as a leader. For example, the English could have two leaders in Normandy, and the French one leader and one control marker, and the English leaders would not be allowed to leave unless another English leader enters the province. Assuming no other French units enter, this could free up one English leader to leave Normandy.

The Nuance of this rule for game play:

Some random ideas/thoughts:

This pinning or flypaper rule allows you to pin down enemy forces in one area, while you attempt to move a main strike force into another area. Many of the leaders in the game are of the shmuck and schnook variety. You can use these weak "guys" to pin down the stronger forces of your opponent while you may your quality leaders to strike at a weak spot. Of course, your opponent may do the same thing, and then you have the image of 1914, with the German and French forces striking at the opposite flanks.

For gameplay, this rule is totally nifty as all get out. However, from my reading (and since I began with Sumption, I have about a dozen history titles under my belt concerning both time periods covered in the game), the rule as history seems bogus. No one--no one--not Edward the III or his son, the Black Prince, is ever thinking, "I'll pin Charles down in Normandy while I invade Aquitaine," etc.

The "problem" of this rule for history"

What you have with the flypaper rule is a concept that works superbly in the game, once you put your concept of accurate history back on the bookshelf. You have, in effect, the Napoleonic concept of attacking with the weaker force to pin the enemy down, while you outflank him applied on a strategic level.

3) The ability to remove control markers:

Removing your opponent’s control marker in an area keeps him from counting the area for victory points or for reinforcements. He will have to fight you in the field to retake it. This ability to remove enemy control markers lessons the need for sieges. Sieges, especially against strong areas, are especially chancy, even with a strong leader. If your leader is weak, your odds are minimal, even if you have "gunners" counters. But if you can load up an enemy area with your forces, you can use an impulse to remove his control marker. This takes the area away from him (he would have to roll to regain control, if he wins the battle) and forces him to fight.

How the game deals with sieges works with ease of understanding. The modifers are minimal; the rules are easy to grasp and implement. However, the way Warriors deals with sieges seems dull and unsatisfying. This is where Warriors of God could benefit from how castles are taken or defended in Tilsit/Clash of Arms Joan of Arc. Joa is not the poster game for history either, but attempting to take a castle can involve the use of engineers, traitors, a "hero" figure (based on a historical character), and the strength of your cards. There are more elements involved, yet not greater complexity, in JoA's dealing with sieges, but I feel more staisfaction in Joan's handling.

4) English and Welsh archers:

The rules addressing English and Welsh archers are apparently like all the other rules in the game: easy to understand and use. The "problem" is that the effect of archers are so abstracted as to quash all the decisiveness these men, when placed correctly and in sufficient numbers, brought to battles large and small. There is no possibility to imagine them pulling off another Crecy, Potiers, or Agincourt. They come to the game as eye-candy and that's about it. The French were painfully slow to learn and adopt themselves to English tactics, but you would never know it in this game.

5) The ability for both sides to stay in the game:

Speaking of the French, they managed to stay in the game, from the standpoint, long enough to finally kick the English out of France. It only took a 100+ years (maybe that's why they call it the Hundred Years War? Just a guess). Unless you are lucky or unlucky, either side may be down, but not out through the course of the game.

6) The "quality" of the components:

This is a mixed batch that leans toward the good/okay side of my subjective taste. I like the large counters too, as do so many others. The leader counters, with names and standards, are both colourful and functional. The unit counters are purely functional and incredibly dull and lifeless: they scream "keep the cost of the game down!" The two game aids are functional, but following the basic dark colour scheme of the map does not make the game aids any easier to read, nor does keeping them dark make them somehow more colourful: they are dark. Period. I like the map but for one quible: it looks like a grade three student drew the areas. Seriously, how much effort would it have taken the map designer, who clearly knows his business, to have added some accuracy to the lines. England looks squashed and Wales looks to be the but-end of England. Not good. Otherwise, the map is fine and functional. The physical quality of this MMP game is fine, though I am inclined to say that it seems a shade less than that of most GMT games. Purely subjective, I know.

7) Combat resolution:

Anyone who knows me well enough knows I hate "dice fests" as a rule, and the rule applies here. The combat system is, once again, easy to understand and use. The modifiers reflect the designer's understanding of the capabilities of the leaders, a debateable topic to be sure. But there is no problem in applying these modifiers to combat resolution. I do feel the more dice involved (as versus the use of modifiers, a la Rise of the Roman Republic, for example), the less thinking, creativity and originality went into the game. If there is a circle of hell in Dante's world for the lazy, "bucket of dice" designers beware and take note. However (note how I reverse my usual "good news/bad news" for "bad news/good news" this time), it is simple and it works in the game.

8) The life-span of your Leaders:

The ability--ability?!--to have Henry II, Edward III or Jeane d'Arc cack-off at the end of the first game turn when they entered is a bit of randomness that breaks the game for some. I think the idea is brilliant: it is the most enjoyable aspect about the game. If it bothers you, dig up all the information you can find on the death-dates of the leaders and apply these "real" dates as an optional rule. The randonmess is removed, and you can plan your campaigns with a considerable degree of historical forsight. But what will you do with leaders like Edward III, whose "effectiveness" for leading his men in the field ended around 1360, even though Edward lived byond that date? And how fair is it to the French if the English side can have Henry V for three turns?

What I would love to see in Warriors of God, or something like it:

1) Joan of Arc is a multiplayer (three to six) game where alliances can be made or broken. It also reflects more accurately (ironic, given how JoA seems far removed from what it could be as an history game) the fickle tensions and goals of the major historic "players" in the 100 Years War. Warriors of God misses out on the "big picture," even for a game that does not pretend to be a simulation. Multi-player rules would make it so much more the game (just like Macbeth would be so much more the man, according to Lady Macbeth, if he would only kill King Duncan).

2) A Card-Drive Version. Shazaam! Can you see the possibilities? Now, go out and design such a monster. Better yet, teach me how to do it.

Conclusion:

This is a game worthy of a ten because it is a great game to play. It is a blast, and an easy one to learn at that. Then again, Warriors of Game does not promote itself as an "historical simulation," whatever that might be. It is not expected that the game has to meet my concepts of history, or yours, for that matter. But if you want a game that goes beyond fun, this is not the game for you. Or for me.

It is in this sense that Warriors of God is a case of "Less is More, More or Less." The game is simple, but gives you much in return. And yet, after several plays, there is something missing. Games are meant to be fun, and Warriors of God succeeds. Great games are meant to be more than fun. Here, Warriors of God is found wanting. That being said, I enjoyed the game so much I bought a second copy to perhaps give away as a gift one day. But I will always have a copy for myself.

goo

Edited for spelling, clarification, and the pressing need to address Richard's point!

Quote:
You don't address the chaos factor directly here (of course I've seen your posts on the topic elsewhere) which appears to me odd for a review as it is a central feature of the game that has polarized the community. One of the biggest aspects for me is the initiative die roll which can be game changing in and of itself. It is not sufficient to say that in the game there is lots of opportunity for the "luck" to even out. There are several turns in both scenarios where getting the "right" initiative die roll can be absolutely critical. Leader death has been beaten to death and it is what it is - go with it or adopt whatever house rule you wish to modify it.


Thanks, Richard, for pointing out something I missed in the review:

9) The Chaos Factor: the initiative die roll:

Leader death is certainly chaotic, but I have already addressed this above. In Warriors of God, there are turns where winning or losing the initiative can have effects akin to the infamous "double turn" in Avalon Hill's Rise and Decline of the Third Reich. Although one side or the other is not going to be permanently eliminated from the game, getting walloped with a Warriors' "double turn" can bury you so far into the victory point hole that you will never seen blue sky again. Ever.

In my game experience (and this is where I need others to jump in and shere their own), the "gamebreaker" risk is not in having one side--often the English, always going first in a turn. It is having one side go last in one turn, and then first in the turn imediately following. Not only does that side get to select the best leader from the "independents," he or she gets to open the next dance with said leader.

Q: What are your thoughts concerning the initiative?

I am less bothered by having the English usually go first. In the history, the usually do begin the festivities by setting aside the latest truce, with the result that a prime piece of real estate, in the form of a castle, would fall into their hands (though the French could be just as sneaky, they were often playing catch-up).

From a history perspective, the French won. In the game, this would mean winning let, as in the last couple of turns. I agree with those who see a bit of English favouritism in the game design. I also agree with those who believe that most of the best leaders were found on the English side. But how does one define--design--most?

To play the game with the English going first, the French second on turn one, then doing the opposite on turn two, then back to England first on game three is not the solution: it is the "problem" as a game rule.

But what are the alternatives? I think we can see why the designer--most any designer--would go with the need to roll for initiative. What are the viable options?

goo

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Tom Shields
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Simply an amazing review and a fine piece of writing. I have just received and punched this game, so thank you also for the recommendation to read Mr Sumption as companion.
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Donald Walsh
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Great review. My group plays multi-player wargames as well, but I really haven't chased down historic games that scream "Grognad" as opposed to "Ameritrash".

For instance, our current wargame is Warrior Knights. I've looked at JoA many times, will that fit our group? I think it would stand a better chance than say "Here I Stand" or "Revolution the Dutch Revolt".

I don't really think WofG is a Grognads game, but 2p games have the distinct advantage of only needing a single opponent. After 1 play (in which I was also blown out by the Brits), I've already elevated the game over Richard III:Wars of the Roses.

So if I like WofG, will I like JoA?
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Alan Goodrich
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Great review. This is one of my favorite games, and even though it might not be historically accurate in terms of tactics or detail, it certainly is thematic as heck for me - it does the scope and sweep of such a conflict justice. Regarding this, leader death is a revelation. I know some don't like it, but for me it makes the game.
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Severus Snape
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havoc110 wrote:
Great review. My group plays multi-player wargames as well, but I really haven't chased down historic games that scream "Grognad" as opposed to "Ameritrash".

For instance, our current wargame is Warrior Knights. I've looked at JoA many times, will that fit our group? I think it would stand a better chance than say "Here I Stand" or "Revolution the Dutch Revolt".

I don't really think WofG is a Grognads game, but 2p games have the distinct advantage of only needing a single opponent. After 1 play (in which I was also blown out by the Brits), I've already elevated the game over Richard III:Wars of the Roses.

So if I like WofG, will I like JoA?


My advice would be to go to the Joan of Arc listing on BGG and let that lead you to the website that sells the computer version of JoA. It is called "Montjoie." Download the English demo version and give it a go. Be mindful that the computer version offers more than the boardgame, especially in the way of historical scenarios. Also, if you buy the computer version, it appears to only come in French. If you enjoy the options the demo gives you, you should like JoA. Warriors of God and Joan of Arc--I guess I should write a review on it next--give two very different approaches to the 100 Years War. In JoA, there are no "counters" to move, which gives it a decidely "non-wargame" feel. I do enjoy the computer version.

goo
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Nate Merchant
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Ah, Bent. With you, less is always more!

Funny you mentioned the rules. They are a dealbreaker for me due to their informal writing style. I'll learn a Gautier-written game from anybody, but I'm not going to wade through the swamp myself, I simply don't have the time. At least the overblown FFG rules are attempting to be as clear and professional as possible.

Did I really rate this that low? Maybe it needs a boost. A light, fun game, but the chaos and unintuitive sequencing makes babies cry from miles around.
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Jon Gautier

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Nice review. I certainly agree: good game, lots of fun. However, not very historical, and not to be considered a great game. Worth having and playing.

I do disagree about the archers, though. An otherwise average English leader becomes hard to stop if he has longbow capability and a troop of long bowmen. A really good English leader with both long bowmen and longbow capability is a total killer.
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Richard Young
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Bent: Very nice write up. You've captured my feelings about the game almost to a tee. I do enjoy it and wish I had more time to play two-player games than I do; because I am very anxious to test the contention that "skill" (here I read more like "experience") will largely overcome the chaos present at every turn in the game.

I guess my biggest gripe is not so much with the game itself but with the adamant assertion by many that there isn't all that much "luck" involved in the game. If it were just the "buckets of dice" (about which I think you and I have similar views) that would be enough for debate, but there's so much more.

You don't address the chaos factor directly here (of course I've seen your posts on the topic elsewhere) which appears to me odd for a review as it is a central feature of the game that has polarized the community. One of the biggest aspects for me is the initiative die roll which can be game changing in and of itself. It is not sufficient to say that in the game there is lots of opportunity for the "luck" to even out. There are several turns in both scenarios where getting the "right" initiative die roll can be absolutely critical. Leader death has been beaten to death and it is what it is - go with it or adopt whatever house rule you wish to modify it.

As I said, I can enjoy the game and have never been too much of a stickler for historicity as long as the game works. This one does, but. And I guess that's the bottom line for me - there's always that "but." I don't know what that "but" I sensed in your assessment is, but for me it is the almost overwhelming chaos...
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Severus Snape
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Natus wrote:
Ah, Bent. With you, less is always more!

Funny you mentioned the rules. They are a dealbreaker for me due to their informal writing style. I'll learn a Gautier-written game from anybody, but I'm not going to wade through the swamp myself, I simply don't have the time. At least the overblown FFG rules are attempting to be as clear and professional as possible.

Did I really rate this that low? Maybe it needs a boost. A light, fun game, but the chaos and unintuitive sequencing makes babies cry from miles around.


Natus the Nemesis, the less you hear of me, the more pleasure you recieve, eh?

Thank you for bringing up the how well the rules to Warriors of God are written, and that's not well. I should have cited some examples in my review, but that always seems to make me seem as if I have a PhD in Pedantics. The "sting" from these "Gautier-written" rules has been removed for the following reasons:

1) Lots of carping about them for me to read and dicipher long before I played the game.
2) Lots of Q&A to help navigate through the maze.
3) The maze itself is rather short.
4) Often the issues are solved by applying Sherlock Holmes' dictum of, once you have eliminated the impossible, what is left, not matter how improbable, is the truth.
5) Lots of carping about--oh! I mentioned this above.

If there is ever a second edition (as versus a second printing, which we have already seen), or a set of "living rules" (has MMP heard of a company called GMT?), the syntax must be polished and the holes must be filled. And MMP might want to see an edition where the play aids and the rulebook teach the same content.

"chaos and unintuitive sequencing"--sounds much like your last opera, Natus. kiss

goo

Edited for "goo removal," or "one too many goo's," take your pick.
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David Bohnenberger
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Great review. This is one my favorite games, and the only problem I have with it is that it can take a little too long to play. I believe the next "special" operations issue will have TWO new scenarios - one is a "50 years war" which I think is just a way to start on turn 10, and the other is a different war with some extra rules and units.
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Severus Snape
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Bubslug wrote:
Bent: Very nice write up. You've captured my feelings about the game almost to a tee. I do enjoy it and wish I had more time to play two-player games than I do; because I am very anxious to test the contention that "skill" (here I read more like "experience") will largely overcome the chaos present at every turn in the game.

I guess my biggest gripe is not so much with the game itself but with the adamant assertion by many that there isn't all that much "luck" involved in the game. If it were just the "buckets of dice" (about which I think you and I have similar views) that would be enough for debate, but there's so much more.

You don't address the chaos factor directly here (of course I've seen your posts on the topic elsewhere) which appears to me odd for a review as it is a central feature of the game that has polarized the community. One of the biggest aspects for me is the initiative die roll which can be game changing in and of itself. It is not sufficient to say that in the game there is lots of opportunity for the "luck" to even out. There are several turns in both scenarios where getting the "right" initiative die roll can be absolutely critical. Leader death has been beaten to death and it is what it is - go with it or adopt whatever house rule you wish to modify it.

As I said, I can enjoy the game and have never been too much of a stickler for historicity as long as the game works. This one does, but. And I guess that's the bottom line for me - there's always that "but." I don't know what that "but" I sensed in your assessment is, but for me it is the almost overwhelming chaos...


Richard, thank you for pointing out what I never intended to avoid, but did. I have edited the review to address your point. I see the problem. What I do not see is a solution. You probably have ideas, and you might have posted them already elsewhere, but I would appreciated your constructive comments on the initiative die roll.

goo
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Nate Merchant
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bentlarsen wrote:
"chaos and unintuitive sequencing"--sounds much like your last opera, Natus. kiss


Dude, that's just the rehearsals! The performances are the very Triumph of Chaos !

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Neil
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Thanks for writing this great review.

I think the rulebook is excellent -- perhaps the best I've ever read. I'm not sure what accounts for our different opinions. The rulebook seemed to anticipate and address my questions as I was having them, and there have been no rule-related confusions in the games I've played.

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Paul Borchers
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People learn differently. In general, I tend to do better with more "conventionally" written rulebooks, but I had no trouble with the one for Warriors of God. The rules for The Devils' Cauldron are written in the same style, and between that and their scope I had a harder time absorbing them.
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Severus Snape
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mr_peabody wrote:
People learn differently. In general, I tend to do better with more "conventionally" written rulebooks, but I had no trouble with the one for Warriors of God. The rules for The Devils' Cauldron are written in the same style, and between that and their scope I had a harder time absorbing them.


Yes, people do learn differently, and the "perfect," error-free rulebook has yet to exist. It would seem, however, that rulebooks should at least be proofread for grammar and syntax and errors in the rules themselves. What excuses can be offered for not having the rules in the play-aid match those in the rulebook other than things were rushed to incompletion?

goo
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Nate Merchant
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Hatchling wrote:
Thanks for writing this great review.

I think the rulebook is excellent -- perhaps the best I've ever read. I'm not sure what accounts for our different opinions. The rulebook seemed to anticipate and address my questions as I was having them, and there have been no rule-related confusions in the games I've played.


I'll put in my oar here, since I really do want to like this sgame more and am mystified by the fact that I'm evidently not seeing what everyone else is. A basically simple 2-player wargame set in medieval times? Should be an auto-buy for me.

As to the rulebook, the informal, jokey writing style gets in my way, not to mention that I find the syntax lax to the point of sloppiness ("run away" instead of "flee"...really?). I keep getting jerked out of the rules by the author, which is a problem.

Now, to be fair, Richard Berg tends to joke in his rules as well, but more often than not those are in the designer notes, so they are already in parentheses. They also fit his bombastic, know-it-all, grand pooh-bah manner, although with some of his games they do intrude and make me want to slap him.

Since the rules for AVL and AVD were so spare and concise, I'm not sure why MMP would want to deviate from that model. Oh, well, maybe because of comments like yours.wow
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Wulf Corbett
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I don't think the issue is with the rulebook, it's a matter of how people learn. Some learn by being told exactly what to do (possibly while standing to attention), others like to feel like they're having a chat with the author (albeit a one-sided monologue). I am definitely of the latter school, having been bored senseless through the years by the legalese of old-school wargames from decades past. I like these rules just as they are (and still smile at the Maurice Chevalier reference). The humour doesn't break my connection with the rules, since I already know it's just a game, I don't need lectured at, and even if I did, a lecture doesn't have to be humourless.
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Severus Snape
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
I don't think the issue is with the rulebook, it's a matter of how people learn. Some learn by being told exactly what to do (possibly while standing to attention), others like to feel like they're having a chat with the author (albeit a one-sided monologue). I am definitely of the latter school, having been bored senseless through the years by the legalese of old-school wargames from decades past. I like these rules just as they are (and still smile at the Maurice Chevalier reference). The humour doesn't break my connection with the rules, since I already know it's just a game, I don't need lectured at, and even if I did, a lecture doesn't have to be humourless.


We all agree that it is a matter of taste; can we also agree that there is "polished" writing with proper syntax, and "sloppy" writing with fractured syntax? Clear, "jargon-free" instructions do not have to fall into the latter category.

I usually have not found the "old-school legalese" of wargames past to be a problem. Maybe this is because I understood it, and because it had a habit of answering most of the questions that needed an answer. There are exceptions, of course. I never did understand the rules to Clash of Arms Edleweiss, and traded it away, unplayed, much to my regret.

As for RH Berg, he usually manages to combine humour with polished syntax. Where the humour is absent, the polished syntax is still present.

goo
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Wulf Corbett
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I understand legalese writing perfectly well, I played plenty of the games for decades (hell, I even studied Law...), but I see no advantage to the dry, humourless rules it creates most of the time. On the other hand, I enjoy the conversational style you categorise as 'sloppy' - maybe I'm just happier with the English language as it's spoken, than with the stiff authoritarian style of so many rulebooks. I prefer to learn rather than be taught.
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
I prefer to learn rather than be taught.


For much of that learning, you need to be taught; the people who do this are called teachers.

goo





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Wulf Corbett
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I graduated many years ago.
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Nate Merchant
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
I don't think the issue is with the rulebook, it's a matter of how people learn. Some learn by being told exactly what to do (possibly while standing to attention), others like to feel like they're having a chat with the author (albeit a one-sided monologue). I am definitely of the latter school, having been bored senseless through the years by the legalese of old-school wargames from decades past. I like these rules just as they are (and still smile at the Maurice Chevalier reference). The humour doesn't break my connection with the rules, since I already know it's just a game, I don't need lectured at, and even if I did, a lecture doesn't have to be humourless.


Maybe it's because I work in theater, where you don't want to break the tone you work so hard to establish. I just find the Shakespearean quotes (good!) contrast alarmingly with the colloquial informality of the rules. I don't want the rules to have a beer with me, be my friend, or remind me incessantly of the writer's presence; I just want clear, concise, and well-ordered sans humor, thanks very much. If I want lowbrow comedy, it's a lot cheaper to look in a mirror.
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A very enjoyable review (and post-review conversation). Thanks very much for doing it and sharing your thoughts on the game. Also, special kudos for mentioning Sumption's books; more logs onto the inferno that is my "must read" list. Sigh!

The rulebook was not much of an issue for me personally. I suspect, though, that it would have been intolerable if the game were more complex. Being a short, simple ruleset it was just fine.

I have only really dabbled with the game, having a mere two solo and one FtF encounters under my belt. My feelings have not changed since the first dabbling in that I quite like the experience. At some point in the not too distant past I made a conscious decision to take a game for what it is, not for what I want it to be. That has helped this old poop wargamer to appreciate WofG, C&C:A and others.

And just what did I like? All games are puzzles to varying degrees for me and this one is high on that scale. I have some general ideas as to what I want to do to win the game, however I am not only fighting my opponent, but also trying to mitigate the adverse effects of Fate at the same time. I like that. It is like a fist fight in a dark room. I can influence my defense and the potential of my offense, but only to a point. Looming over all actions is the possibility that my swing will hit nothing but air and my adversary will pummel me when I least expect it from a direction I did not anticipate (and sometimes even he did not anticipate).

I like how there are some identifiable consistences for each side. You do know where and when most of your leaders arrive. You do know the strengths and weaknesses of the units and can (sort of) plan the composition of your forces. I appreciate the internal lines of the French versus the mobility of the English and how that influences your strategy.

However, like a stroll in your neighbourhood during a winter afternoon in Ontario, you can never be sure of your footing. Leaders expire at the most inconvenient of moments (unless they are on my side and reside in a foreign gaol). I tend to think of them as lasting for 2 turns and any time beyond that is a bonus. Initiative rolls will mount against you. Nothing can be taken for granted.

My only real concern for the game are those initiative rolls. Perhaps a home rule to provide a +2 bonus to the previous turn's non-intiative player? It is not that simple though as the intiative rolls themselves effect the number of impulses for each side and who gets that important pick of the first fickle leader. More thought and game play with the rule as written required.

I too like the tactile feel of the counters, but also quite like the (watercoloured?) images of the troops. Should we be able to play our PBEM game in the future, I wonder if the lack of that tactile appreciation will be particularly noticed by us with a corresponding decline in our feelings toward the game? Nah!

The map is dark. Not too dark for me, but it is getting close. This seems to be a trend in several of my games of late and I am not liking it.

It is definitely more game than sim. I wonder if we have to wait for the publication of GMT's CDG "Crown of Roses" to get a nice blend of playability and simulation for medieval warfare? Time will tell.

As I said, it is an enjoyable puzzle. A puzzle whose pieces keep changing each and every turn. Best to swig some ale, pop a pretzel in your mouth, have a laugh and enjoy the ride...


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Ryan Powers
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bentlarsen wrote:
(has MMP heard of a company called GMT?)


MMP's view of computers and more specifically the internet is at least 10 years out of date. IMO, it's the biggest thing holding back the company right now. Bigger even than having a catalog full of products that rely on out of print products to be useful.
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Severus Snape
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
I graduated many years ago.


As did I, but I still find teachers from whom to learn, regardless of the quality of their syntax. Some of these teachers are my students as learning comes and goes full circle.

goo
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