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'Dead' wargame systems - why does it matter?

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Author Topic: 'Dead' wargame systems - why does it matter?  (Read 725 times)
usrlocal
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« on: July 09, 2014, 03:24:51 pm »

I've been mulling over this after reading numerous posts on various forums about MMP's Napoleonic Brigade Series. At some point, almost inevitably, someone says something like 'yeah, but it's dead now' as if it's not worth playing anymore because no new games in the series are being designed. I don't get that attitude.

Does it come from the computer gaming universe, where software has to be actively developed or will become 'abandonware'?

Does it come from an acceptance of designers getting away with 'living rules', where they can patch up design flaws well after a game is released? I mean, the NBS rules are pretty polished now, being on version 3.0, which to me is pretty stable.

So, do you care if a board wargame system is or isn't currently active? If MMP was to suddenly go under, would you think twice about playing more OCS or ASL, for example?
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sparty
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 03:37:25 pm »

I'd hate to see a world in which actively supported systems stop getting supported and people just fade away from them!

I still hold out hope that Berg will do the 2nd Carthaginian War..but for now that series is "dead" har har

I think about the "death" of GCACW between Grant Takes Command and Battle Above the Clouds.

Heck, I organized counters for Air Cav last night and hope to get it on the table soon.

Maybe it'll lead to the price dumping on some awesome old games and people who appreciate them can get them at more realistic prices rather than the hoarding that seems to be going on right now.
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kira1y
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 04:26:55 pm »

So, do you care if a board wargame system is or isn't currently active?
No.

I mean systems that are currently 'inactive' still have veteran players and even original designers that you can ask questions of. Doesn't send like a death to me.
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sparty
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 04:30:54 pm »

So, do you care if a board wargame system is or isn't currently active?
No.

I mean systems that are currently 'inactive' still have veteran players and even original designers that you can ask questions of. Doesn't send like a death to me.

A game is dead when it's dead to me, but generally when that's the case I don't own it any longer.  There are plenty of games that are "dead" to me that are still very much actively played, supported, and developed with new releases even.  It just seems sad and arbitrary to call something dead definitively.
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 11:50:20 pm »

I've been mulling over this after reading numerous posts on various forums about MMP's Napoleonic Brigade Series. At some point, almost inevitably, someone says something like 'yeah, but it's dead now' as if it's not worth playing anymore because no new games in the series are being designed. I don't get that attitude.


Eh? I play games from my earliest era in the hobby. Hell, I play games from a decade before that - but the big joys for me started with the late 70's.
I am fully in FAVOR of games not constantly evolving.



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Does it come from an acceptance of designers getting away with 'living rules', where they can patch up design flaws well after a game is released? I mean, the NBS rules are pretty polished now, being on version 3.0, which to me is pretty stable.

2.0 (or so) was pretty stable too. 3.0, to me, is akin to the LOB changes when viewed in light of RSS.

What makes NBS 'dead' is that no one is making new games for it. Sad
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 07:44:52 am »

"Dead" or not has no bearing on me whatsoever. I stopped believing that I'd ever "master" any one "system" anyways!
 
I love Musket & Pike, but if they killed it, I'd be fine with the three games I have.

I nabbed Talavera during the holiday sale last year, I think it was like $15. I haven't played it yet, but I'm sure I've gotten my money's worth from a dead game already.
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 08:48:15 am »

There is another process at work that create dead wargame systems. That is the reissue of old titles. Often when the publisher reissues a game, they make so many changes it's not the same game at all. It just shares the same title.

Here's the problem for me. You get excited to see that a game is being republished that you missed out buying the first time. Then you read the reviews of the republished game and it's disappointment time.

Not that that's much of a problem compared to real problems.
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Calandale
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 09:50:16 am »


I love Musket & Pike, but if they killed it, I'd be fine with the three games I have.


I'd be fine if M&P stopped - I've been less impressed with the recent designs.
Same rules, but the scenarios aren't as clean to play.

But here's the thing - I'm very sad that NBS stopped. There are so damned many
Napoleonic battles that I want to play out with my favorite system. So, I feel as
though I need to find a new favorite. I have to give up a design that I was fully
committed to.
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 10:45:36 am »


I love Musket & Pike, but if they killed it, I'd be fine with the three games I have.


I'd be fine if M&P stopped - I've been less impressed with the recent designs.
Same rules, but the scenarios aren't as clean to play.

But here's the thing - I'm very sad that NBS stopped. There are so damned many
Napoleonic battles that I want to play out with my favorite system. So, I feel as
though I need to find a new favorite. I have to give up a design that I was fully
committed to.

Hm, you've got me thinking now. I'm probably happy with M&P because there's a lot more of it. And, the rules were up to 5.0 when I got in with NGBG.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I may not even have anything to contribute to the conversation because I've never really been engaged with a new system as it came out and was developed over a series of releases. I just got back into gaming in 2009, so the stuff I've fallen in love with (GBoH, M&P, OCS, etc) were already established and never in danger of being killed off.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 11:22:33 am »

But here's the thing - I'm very sad that NBS stopped.
How different is NBS from CWBS (another "dead" system)?
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 12:44:01 pm »


Now that I'm thinking about it, I may not even have anything to contribute to the conversation because I've never really been engaged with a new system as it came out and was developed over a series of releases. I just got back into gaming in 2009, so the stuff I've fallen in love with (GBoH, M&P, OCS, etc) were already established and never in danger of being killed off.

It's better to get in late, IMO. The number of times I upgraded my SFB stuff makes me sick.
GBoh - the deluxe editions include more scenarios and such. Early adopters get screwed.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 12:45:43 pm »

But here's the thing - I'm very sad that NBS stopped.
How different is NBS from CWBS (another "dead" system)?

NBS 1.0 was very similar. 2.0 made some pretty important changes, but still held the same clear parentage.
With 3.0, my first reaction was wtf. It works quite well though (better than the earlier ones).

I'm hoping LOB does so well for me. My first impression is negative.
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sparty
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 10:28:01 pm »

I'm hoping LOB does so well for me. My first impression is negative.

Not to drag this insanely off topic... 

I'm curious about your take on the this system.

I liked LOB v1 with None But Heroes.  However, retreat and artillery was cumbersome.  In particular, the chaos strewn by broken units freaking out good order units along the way.  In concept it was a cool idea.  In practice, it was a crap-load of moving stuff around without substantive payoff.

The streamlining that was done, at least to me, made the game easier to teach and learn.  The downside to me is the oddball calculations about how many units are using what kind of weaponry and what percentage of the overall units that constitutes to determine a firepower rating...so there's a strange melange of "We've streamlined X, but decided to leave Y untouched even though it's equally awkward."

Curious to get your take!
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 12:06:36 am »

I shan't really know until I play with it. I'm not thrilled with losing the detail of
stragglers and I liked loose cannons. RSS didn't terribly impress me though -
it was too much in some ways.

We'll see though - I almost didn't try NBS V3 (thought about retrofitting back to V2),
and it's really impressed me.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 07:58:18 am »


"It's really not dead... as long as we still play it."
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Ba-a-a-ah!
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