Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dice and Table Top Wargaming - The False Strategic?

I was watching some people play the table top war game 'Warmachine' the other day.

It made me wonder, do dice rolls simply have to be part of such a game? What exactly do they do?

Say instead you had randomly set up start conditions of some kind (but exposed - not like a shuffled deck, all the start conditions are clear from the, err, start). Then everything else simply has rules which are chess like (and tie into the random starting conditions).

One of the elements of this is that the scenarios are repeatable. You could play it all again, using the same start up as previously, and try different methods of approach.

Where as with dice - sure, people try some tactics. But are they interested in trying different methods of approach in how to try to win the scenario? Particularly when they can't  with a dice system (you just can't repeat the scenario at an intellectual level). Or do they just wanna get lucky with dice and win - classic gambler approach?

I'm not against a gambler approach, but generally only when its clear that's what your doing. Rather than it appearing to be some strategic game, but in the end you'll give up and just hope for high rolls (yet keep calling it a strategic game).

I mean really, you could have the most half assed strategy in the world, but if you kept rolling really well, you'd win. What does that say in regards as to whether strategy or gambling comes first? Not that I could see much strategy in the game I watched - they moved towards each other, shooting at first, then hitting when the got close.

Basically strategy is deprioritised - ostensibly strategy has first position in what is important in the game. But really it's in second or perhaps even third place.

I'm trying to think of a tag for that - what do you call it, in just a word or two, when a product is supposed to be about X first and foremost, but actually X comes second or third?

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