Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Gaming Manifesto

Flames of War gaming night last night can be summed up as:

Know the feeling?

There was a bit of tension there, which I in part added to (okay was primarily responsible for).  For me, I feel that unless I am "policing" what happens in the other side's turn then I will be taken for a ride - particularly over-measuring which is my personal bug bear.

Perhaps we should leave our weapons at home when we play

The other issue that gets me is the "squidgy shot" that skims the outside of a wood, just fits between two buildings and takes out your tank or something.  I find it impossible to protect against that sort of thing and must confess I think ultimately such shots are somehow against the spirit of the game (which they are not).  I also feel that the game would slow down to a crawl if I had to measure and ask about each potential shot before moving.

Really, I need to chill out a little and enjoy the game and allow such things to happen as part of the game.  What we need is a gaming manifesto for our group to stop things disintegrating.  Something we all buy into, so that I feel like I don't need to "police" things, and also so I don't affect the vibe by being the annoying guy.
Your thoughts on what should be added would be helpful.  Something like:

  1. I will trust that the other side is playing within the rules of the game and the spirit of the game.
  2. I will not over-measure.
  3. I will ask on a clarification about line of sight in my own turn.  If I don't ask, then tough.
  4. It is better to lose and have fun that win and be a dick.
Last night wasn't helped by the fact I hadn't played for a while and I have holes in my understanding of the rules.  Steve pointed out later that one of my platoons lost its command (it was an armoured car platoon) and couldn't have taken one of the objectives for instance.  I also get very confused about shooting through friendly teams in the same platoon (another pet hate is the need to carefully arrange teams so that they can all shoot / assault etc).

The scenario we played was not one of the usual missions either, it was a scenario from the FOW website (Recce over the Canal) that was a little confusing to say the least.

Your thoughts on this issue would be good - any additions to the manifesto would be helpful.


  1. I find a length of 4" x 2" and the threat of violence curbs the over measuring sods! Don't think that'll help, but hey!

    1. There are so many of these cases and even within the Rejects there are cases but it's ruthlessly pointed out and repeatedly so....even years later!

  2. Communication is the key. Have a good chat about the terrain and its rules implications at the start of the game. Declare intentions at the time, eg: "I can't see you from here, you can't see me either". If you can't quickly resolve an issue using the rulebook or discussion, then roll for it and move on.
    It's an experience thing too. As you get more familiar with the rules, less will get overlooked and the game will run more smoothly. Stretchy tape measures is getting into cheating territory though, and needs to be cut right out. Using the "range finder" doodads where possible is a good idea. Declaring intentions helps too, eg: "I'm moving to just outside 25cm" so then if a model gets bumped or whatever, you don't find yourself a victim of micro-measuring technicalities.
    Never forget, you do this for fun!

    1. Yes good advice - keep talking is the key and declaring intentions is important as well.

    2. Good points Paul. Communication is the key. I find I need to defend myself, more often than not I don't push my teams further than their distance. However when I do or the others do I think a simple, 'oi I think you over measured there' would suffice! No point getting all up in arms when it could have just been a mistake.

      Declaring intentions is important. I find I often do this in opponents turns also. Like this one time last night where Dan moved his recce by a forest and I would have been able to assault without incurring return fire (assaulting out of cover rule). I couldn't help myself and told Dan is potential mistake so he moved his recce out of the way.

  3. Ah the old elastic tape measure award - always a favourite! ;-)

    Easiest thing to do here, perhaps, is have some simple tokens available; tiddlywinks or whatever... use tape-rule and place marker... remove tape-rule... move tank to marker...simple... that way, if you are not sure about the move after you have made it, you are not guessing where was tank was if you want to go back... look at the marker first and be sure you want to move there before moving... cries of "j'adoube" may be frowned upon ! ;-)

    Its also fair enough just to have a clarification when you move something, what LOS is in effect to and from the position moved to... remember in terms of shooting through a gap, this needs to be 1" wide, in terms of shooting at a target, if the tip of a mudguard is showing or the end of a barrel is sticking out, its an iffy shot, but if you can see the hull, you're going to get pinged...

    Shooting through friendly teams is tricky, but basically if your infantry move, they cant be fired through. If they keep their heads down, and stay still, gun teams can shoot over them, remember that includes HMGs. Have a flick through the shooting rules again for a refresher...

    We all forget rules, especially when you haven't played for a while so don't sweat it.

    Dead platoon command teams mean the platoon cant move, unless it has a special rule like Mission tactics, or the CO comes over and appoints a new commander. But the platoon is still viable otherwise; if it contesting an objective where it is, it will remain doing so, and can still shoot and can fight back in assaults...

    At the end of the day, we play these games for fun and enjoyment and to relieve stress of work/life... try and get all involved to play in the spirit of having fun, its not that important to win, (especially not at all costs), though agreed its nicer when you do...

    Remember, Keep Calm and Carry On... otherwise take two of these pills and call me in the morning! ;-)

    1. Thanks Scott - it is all about good communication and being transparent about what you are doing. I think rules rustiness is an issue as well - Steve is more on top of that side of things and sometimes I act on what I think is the rule and then defend my mistake because I have stuffed up.

      For me I think trust is important. I am suspicious because I feel for some reason that I have been taken advantage of in the past - so I think I need to be on top of the other side to make sure it is fair. Steve is actually really fair with his approach - I think I get a little defensive from others and then me and Steve, as the ones who know the rules, end up pushing the issues.

      The times me and Steve play by ourselves have been fine.

    2. The 1inch/2.5cm rule is crucial and that seems to be where you get caught out Dan. The best way I find to work this out is to use a tape measure and make a straight line with it to the target and ensure the 2.5cm gaps are there etc. I think it is pretty hard to move troops etc. into positions where it is impossible to be shot at. However you can move them into spots where they can only get a few shots against them, which you did very well last night Dan. However when a shot is able to be scored that’s fine its part of the game right?

      I guess that’s where point 4 comes in. First off we have fun then we play to win, well that’s my interpretation.

      I feel like I should note, last night was a lot of fun despite some sore moments.

      My advice re: all this is first and foremost, chill out, have a beer and if you can do that try win the game while including the previous points! Also when things are annoying like over moving just say, 'err are you sure that’s ok?' Discuss it, work it out in a gentlemanly fashion and try not to get up in arms.

      Oh and great post Dan! Always good to reflect on the gamers as well as the game.

  4. BTW - freaky shot of Blair! - reminds me of the scene with of Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers... I wonder if that's what happened to Blair? ;-)

    1. Possessed by the Aliens that secretly run the world - like George Bush was

    2. LOL, couldn't agree more! ;-)

  5. There, doesn't that feel better?! All talked through, now you can get back to trying to murder each other on the table top :-)

    For the 1 inch thing, I seriously recommend a range finder (stubby triangluarish shaped thing with various measurements). You can plonk down the 1 inch side and it gives an unambiguous reading on the size of the gap.

    1. Haha yep that's right! Nothing like good ol' friendly tabletop murder.

      We have one of those range finders, I get confused with it however as it doesn't say the actual distance just the type of distance if you get me? Tape measures are easier if you know all the ranges.

    2. Must admit, Paul makes great use of the range finder for all types of movement/measurement... I think I am still in the taperule camp though, just from experience of past wargaming of other games... but agree the range finder is a very handy tool and speedy too once you get used to using it routinely.

  6. I like to pint out to people taking it too seriously that it is only a game.

    Winning a game does not make you more attractive to girls and it does not make your penis bigger so it is therefore unimportant.

    1. Err no comment... except Dan and I a married so we can take the game very seriously if we want :-)

    2. However I do agree it is just a game. As I said before the main aim should be to have fun. If you can do that then trying to win is all good.


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