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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 672 times)
Sluggonics
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2014, 08:54:01 am »

For a while there, publishers going out of business was a bigger threat to game systems than the systems themselves ending on their own or being abandoned by their designers.
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 01:14:58 pm »

The biggest barrier I find for "dead" systems is that with my pool of local opponents (and online VASSAL ones too for that matter) is that the games can be hard and/or expensive to find.

I loved Great Medieval Battles from SPI when I was in high school, and played it endlessly with a friend of mine. It's a 35 year old game. I even have two copies.

Nobody else I know does. And the rules aren't online. And copies are rare and hard to come by. I can certainly teach my opponents to play, but when we have a large repertoire of current in print easily available games in common, it becomes yet another barrier to getting these "dead" games to the tabel.

If I were a solo player, it wouldn't matter. And at that, I buy games I want for any number of reasons, including ones that simply won't ever get played.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2014, 02:21:51 pm »

Whether a game or system is dead is pretty irrelevant to me. The bigger problem is the large number of games published each year that I want, buy, read, punch and stick on the shelf -- without getting played. My unplayed stack is rising faster than I can play games off of it.

I don't even consider whether or not a game is dead when I finally play it.
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Calandale
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2014, 02:26:54 pm »

I can certainly teach my opponents to play, but when we have a large repertoire of current in print easily available games in common, it becomes yet another barrier to getting these "dead" games to the tabel.


I find this preferable (from either side) from coming in to play something everyone knows, for some reason.
Maybe because I have to relearn everything anyhow.
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2014, 02:30:22 pm »

I do prefer games that have PDF rules available. My wargame buddy and I don't have a lot of time, so we prefer to spend most of it playing, instead of rules explanations, set up, etc. With a PDF, the player who doesn't own the game can at least read the rules ahead of time to gain some familiarity. (I learn a lot better when I have the components to push around while reading, however, so it's not perfect.)

I'd go as far to say, that if we can't have a PDF of the rules, we probably won't play it. And that is a potential strike against older, dead games.
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Calandale
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2014, 02:32:37 pm »

Scanner?
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2014, 02:33:40 pm »

Scanner?
Sometimes, but that's a lot of work and we're pretty gawddamn lazy.
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sparty
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2014, 08:16:23 pm »

I'd go as far to say, that if we can't have a PDF of the rules, we probably won't play it.

This is becoming more and more important to me as well.  I rarely have time to read game rules except before bed which means I get 5 pages tops before I pass out and I have to read by tablet so I need the PDF...heck I even shelled out $6 for the Battles from the Age of Reason rulebook despite PAYING ONCE to buy the damn thing with the game because it's worth me having.  I find that approach 100% repulsive, but apparently even 100% isn't enough to keep me from shelling out my $6.
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Robin Hoodlum
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2014, 09:50:48 pm »


So, do you care if a board wargame system is or isn't currently active?

Absolutely not.
That seems shallow and elitist... to me anyway.
I don't need to be part of the next big thing, or to jump on the same wagon everybody else is riding on.
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2014, 10:57:10 pm »

One of the things that brought me back to wargaming is that tabletop wargames are timeless and don't rely on websites or obscure operating systems...or even electricity. Which is handy when the power goes out...I just pop the headlamp on and start playing Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2014, 09:48:24 am »


That seems shallow and elitist... to me anyway.


I certainly don't agree with this. There are TONS of games out there, and we have limited time. I can certainly understand if someone wished to play enough of something to get really good, with the hopes of making it "their" game for the rest of their lives. Let's be honest... there are some complex games out there that really do require an intellectual, economic, and temporal investment.  So one with such an inclination would certainly be interested in choosing a game/system that is well supported, advertised for, and continues to attract some kind of fan base.

Would anyone still be playing World in Flames, if it never evolved through rules updates and expansions? What if wifwendell had tacked himself onto SPI's old Cobra in the 80's? Would he still be playing it? And does cobrawindell have the same ring?  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2014, 10:11:21 am »


That seems shallow and elitist... to me anyway.


I certainly don't agree with this. There are TONS of games out there, and we have limited time. I can certainly understand if someone wished to play enough of something to get really good, with the hopes of making it "their" game for the rest of their lives. Let's be honest... there are some complex games out there that really do require an intellectual, economic, and temporal investment.  So one with such an inclination would certainly be interested in choosing a game/system that is well supported, advertised for, and continues to attract some kind of fan base.

Would anyone still be playing World in Flames, if it never evolved through rules updates and expansions? What if wifwendell had tacked himself onto SPI's old Cobra in the 80's? Would he still be playing it? And does cobrawindell have the same ring?  Grin

I think I'd be fine getting back into SFB, where I left off. Or Car Wars. I don't know
how much further support these games got, but dead is not an issue in and of itself.

The CWB series IS dead - but, hasn't really needed any tinkering for a long time (even
if Dean kept doing so). While something may be too rough around the edges early
on for a lifetime commitment, once a game reaches a solid state, I don't see why
it matters that someone keeps changing things.
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sparty
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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2014, 12:03:34 pm »

I thought that SJG was going to be putting together an epic Car Wars Kickstarter a la Ogre sometime in the near future.
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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2014, 12:08:08 pm »

I thought that SJG was going to be putting together an epic Car Wars Kickstarter a la Ogre sometime in the near future.

It's not going to Kickstarter right away. A classic edition is coming out this October:

http://thegaminggang.com/game-news/origins-2014-car-wars-classic-returns-this-october-from-steve-jackson-games/

It is a reprint of the original microgames-style edition, from what I can tell.
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2014, 12:34:51 pm »

I thought that SJG was going to be putting together an epic Car Wars Kickstarter a la Ogre sometime in the near future.

As anarchy noted, Car Wars Classic is headed into distribution and Mini Car Wars is already available (maybe a Warehouse23 exclusive).  These are both basically straight reprints of the 20+-year-old versions.  I think Phil Reed said that Classic is a reprint of the 1990 edition.

The sixth edition (for Kickstarter) is still under development.  A couple months back SJG brought back Scott Haring into a new Car Wars Line Editor position, and they are doing in-office playtests.  Apparently driving and crashing is working adequately, so current focus is on rebalancing the shooting.  I'd be surprised if it heads for Kickstarter before mid-2015 at this point.

[disclosure:  although I'm a moderator for the Ogre forum over at SJG, I'm not an employee or directly involved in the Car Wars side.]
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