Complexity does not equal Reality

I have come to believe that more complexity equals less realism. Whatever game I am playing, whomever I, as the player, am representing, has to feel authentic. Although I spent most of the late seventies and eighties looking over SL, and then ASL, boards I didn’t for a minute think that my grandfather would ever say, “Yeah, that’s what is was like!” Tactical games do require more complexity, but they don’t push my buttons anymore.

Strategic/operational games are what I like now, and I want a game that immerses me in the battle. Every time I have to stop to look up a rule, or consult charts, it lessens my enjoyment.

Ever since I was a young man, I imagined myself sitting around a large table with a glass of wine looking at a map with blocks, just the way the military atlases showed them. That’s all that there would be. No charts and tables, just the two of us looking at a map. Of course, in time I came to believe that was just a fantasy, and you needed hexes and game info on the map, charts and tables to regulate all the details. That was what wargaming was to me, and I enjoyed it immensely, but that dream was always there, in the back of my mind.

Then I found Pub Battles, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Boom Simple rules that capture the feel of command, all played out on a map with blocks. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is mine. Getting back to the rules question, I find most rules excessive and unnecessary. “Chrome” is the descriptor. The market demands that you have super detailed logistics and combat, weather and C3, all aimed at greater realism. I find such efforts to be mostly smoke and mirrors. I want a game that makes me feel like a commander issuing orders and awaiting reports, Actual commanders are very concerned about the minutia of leading an army, and that’s why they have staff officers. I just want to know that all those things are being handled, so I can focus on overall strategy, matching wits with my opponent.

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Mr. Q

I semi-retired at 47. I suffered a sever brain injury at 25. I have written 3 books about living with brain injury and have had a regular column in the Brain Injury Alliance of MN's quarterly mag since 1999. I received my BA in English with honors in 2014. One of my avocations is developing simulation games. Weather permitting, I enjoy a round of Disc Golf whenever possible.

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