Rules design concepts for Other periods

>> Friday 30 October 2009

Now that several of my club rule sets are up on this website (Thank you Andy/Count belisarius) - I feel I need to put some of my thoughts on rule writing on this Forum.

I started writing rules for the club when we found we didnt much like the available sets for Medieval skirmish. And we had figures needing killing! I had started a long time ago with Retinue rules, but had lost interest in them due to the quirks inherent in the system. (An example being the best way to hit a particular figure at long range was to aim at the guy next to him! )
I had no computer at the time, so I ran up a Retinue-esque set of rules on my old Brother typewriter.
Half a bottle of Tippex later, I had a fairly useable set to use.

As time went by, I got a scanner and laptop and scanned the rules into Word.
What a mess, it would have been easier to type it all in again!!!
Version 3 - now on the website - still has something of that original typed set in it.
I have gradually written rules for most of the periods we do at Tyneside Wargames club, and yes--there have been some sincerely duff ones along the way --but we are happy for now with what we have I think. At least for now!

In the last year or so, I have changed the style of Skirmish rules I write, as I wanted a set where you could be a single guy on the table, and all the rest of the battle went on around you. Of course, once the French and Indian rules went live, there turned out to be not many uncommanded figures out there! - Wargamers are all control freaks to some extent obviously!
The way it plays is that you dice for all the units on the table on a chart, and dependant on their situation, they act in the directed way. Players have a command rating and may attempt to control units. These units then ignore the charts orders unless things are going too badly and/or your dice rolling is awful!
I used to have casualties taken in the same chart but this rather overtaxed the system so I took it out. Also, it is part of the fun of the game to throw 'To Hit' dice.

As time has gone by, my rule systems have evolved somewhat. At first I designed for opposed games, but I am a solo player at heart, so most of my systems evolved to be played solo as an option.

Generally, I am rather loathe to make the sets as full of explanations and pictures as most commercial sets unless people really want it! - I always feel these things are best kept seperate so they can be laid aside when you are playing. This can make learning the systems harder though as I am aware. in the club I am always on hand to explain things, but people picking the rules up to use cold may find the concepts difficult to grasp.

I have found, especially recently,too many sets seem to make it hard to find the rules in a sea of explanations in my opinion. However, rule writing is individual in taste, and I am sure my club rules will only appeal to a certain proportion of gamers.

If you download any of my sets, and feel they need changes or additions to the rules to make them easier to understand I will be really happy to try and oblige!

As ever - happy gaming! - And seriously, dont feel obliged to like my rules! - they are only up there to give you more choice - and they are free!!!

Enjoy!--- Herkybird

PS: This link takes you to the club forum, where more information can be found onthis subject


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