Wargame design external brain

one thing wargames do much better than rpgs is they share ideas without crying about it. Side effect of rpgs getting virtually monopolised by one big fat american corp. Wargames have no monolith, no single financial truncheon, no group of bestest friends advertising them. This is a good thing.

We will use the basic wargame. Chits, Attack/Defence/Movement, possibly with Steps and Supply, definitely with Ratio, maybe with Chit Pull. These are all basic concepts.

Wargamers are literally dying out. They are old. They like ww2 and other conflicts involving america.

Make a wargame with indie sensibilities. Cave Evil are doing it.

The problem with fantasy and sci fi wargames is lots of stuff. Things i can think of right now:

1- They dont have any emotional connection (see old men and ww2/america invades the world) so must make their own.
2- There is a temptation to make then a symmetrical conflict AKA chess

Every wargame i have enjoyed has been lopsided and told a story. I know more about 40k than ww2, plus space naizis arent real.

A fantasy (i'm gonna use fantasy to mean both 'cos that's fine) wargame has to tell me a story quickly. It has to have a warp and weft, ask questions the players have to answer, have lots of answers. it must be pretty, it must be replayable, it must be chunky, it must be fun. It must not be a generic frame to hang more things off, it must not be a minitures wargame clone.

Wargames can do so much and don't.

It should probably be 2 player. No one knows multiple people who will play with a carboard token on a map. dont lie.

It should have a shape that suggests the ability to make more things and build upon it. It should be open and welcoming, it should have fewer than 4 a4 pages.

it needs a hook. it needs and punchline. it needs to be something you can sell someone on in a sentence. Dark Emperor is about Sauron-like invading a post apocalyptic fantasy land. Obviously great idea. into it. it has a shape and you can picture it playing out.

It's such an easy thing to do. The rules are already made all you need to do it hang them in a suitably tasty way


  1. Okay, I will take up this challenge in my slow, sloppy process of creation.

  2. I've just been re-examining the old BECMI Gazetteer, the Orcs of Thar. It came with an enormous map and a pretty simple but fun chit wargame based on playing as rampaging hordes of humanoids. It's pretty fun and you may have inspired me to re-skin it...

  3. Been thinking for a while about how much I'd like to play a wargame (probably skirmish size) that did some kinda antifa vs cops thing. Asymmetrical, actual LEO handbook tactics, block to block skirmishes, kettling, etc. I was in protests back during Occupy where me and friends were brutalized by cops, so I've definitely got an emotional tie to the idea. It feels like a very "present" sort of conflict in today's environment. Just look at France.

  4. GW pretty easily dominated my understanding of all miniatures and war games for my entire life. Now I want to promote black/POC/Queer voices over those at Nottingham. How do I engage with content creators while telling them the only company they make real money off of is problematic?