Monday, 21 October 2013

It was all so simple back then.....

I was having a chat with an old gaming mate last night when he reminded me that it was 25 years since GW Edinburgh opened. As you can imagine, at the time, this was a momentous occasion for us at the time. We must have spent nearly every weekend there, travelling in on the bus and spending all our pennies from our paper rounds. 
(I'm not in the photo but I did help build the shelves in the basement!)

I remember being invited to play in games by the staff (one bloke called kryton with big hair, beard and a crotch made from a beer towel) and being ever so slightly outclassed by their knowledge of the rules. This got me thinking.

Did we ever play the games properly in our youth? 

My mates and I played all sorts of RPGs in our early and pre-teens. Runequest was a particular favourite as was shadowrun and of course WFRP.

As part of the nostalgia of oldhammer I bought the old rules and read through them revelling in the memories that they triggered. What also occured was how complex the rules are. There is so much stuff in there. And let's face it, wfb 3 and wh40k rogue trader are chock full of rules that are confusing and perplexing. So how the hell did our 11,12 and 13 year old selves actually manage? Truth is, I don't think we did. I think we made most of it up! 

And I have proof! 

You see, being a Teacher, one if the many joyous tasks that befall us is to run extra-curricular clubs. I've recently re-launched the wargames club (well 40k club really) and have been spending my late afternoons up to my armpits in mini nerds. And guess what. They don't have a clue! They focus on the basics, move, shoot, fight and they just go daft! They don't care about the pages and pages if special rules and exceptions to rules. They just have a great time shouting and shooting and winning and losing and telling each other how awesome their placcy deamon prince is. 

And it made me realise that that is probably exactly how we played when we were kids! That's why we love it so much. My orks were awesome!!!

5 comments:

  1. You nailed it. That's the essence of gaming and stands in 3 letters : fun
    What you describe is exactly my experience of oldhammer, battles fought on the corner of a table at lunchtime with totally made up rules.
    Great times...

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  2. Yeah, the number of rules was daft. It's why 4th was such a momentous thing. If you play the basic rules it's just that, nice and simple, even adding in the magic rules it's still easy. The real problem came when you keep adding army books. Whilst they were lovely (and exciting at the time) there is no doubt it created the highest case of rules creep there has ever been! I've always thought the stat line should give you all the special rules you need. Want someone to be quick in a scrap? Don't do "always strikes first", give em ab exceptionally high Initiative. No "immune to psychology" give a super high Leadership (maybe even make it 12). All of the rule is right there in the dice roll against that stat. Great article Dude.

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  3. I recently had a game of 6th edition 40K with the same mate as above and it was one of the least enjoyable games I've ever had (including the one and only game of 5th). I tried to explain to him why I hadn't liked it and, being a little lubricated at the time, found it difficult to explain. I think what it comes down to is when i shoot someone and they fail their save I expect them to die (Mr Bond!). I don't want re-rerolls! If we get into combat I expect there to be honest to goodness, seat of your pants fisticuffs not reroll after sodding special rule induced reroll! That's why I haven't stepped in and told the kids at my club that they are doing it wrong. They are in fact doing it right. GW appear to be doing it wrong.

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    Replies
    1. From what I can gather it's to do with how they work out their points values. If you mess with the statline it increases points values but adding a special rule it's less so. Therefore I'd say it's that that's flawed, rather than come up with umpteen rules come up with a new PV calculating system.

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  4. Another teacher, eh? I wonder if there is something about teaching and wargaming that go together? Of my (what I laughingly call "regular") group of gamers, four out of the six are teachers and so am I...

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