Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Column - 'Worst Case Scenario'


'No one understands my mad, mad genius... '
(Who amongst you remembers that book cover?)
Ok, I have to come clean about something.

I have an addiction.

I'm hopelessly hooked on game scenarios.

You see, game scenarios are like a drug to me. They are my smack. My kryptonite. I am defenseless against their overwhelming power of dorkiness. I have stacks and stacks of the freakin' things stashed around the house. They can be for any game really; historical, sci-fi or fantasy, it doesn't really matter - cripes, most of them are for systems I don't even play. I usually have a scenario book in my shoulder tote at all times (you never know when you might get bored at a meeting). My wife even lets me read the bloody things at the dinner table - bless her soul. She puts up with me flipping through pages, looking at charts, chortling away between forkfuls of food and gulps of bad plonk, gleefully snorting at umpire's notes and idiotically grinning at victory conditions. Its a sickness really.

Next to reading scenarios I also really enjoy creating them. Grid maps, entry points, reinforcement tables, special events cards; to me they are like some kind of nerd poetry. I often will find myself reading a book or watching a film and think, damn, this would make an excellent scenario. Sometimes I get them onto paper, but often they slip past my espresso-addled mind.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this particular fetish with you by starting a new regular column on the blog that I'm calling either 'Worst Case Scenario' or 'Half-Baked Plan' (By popular vote its  officially 'Worst Case Scenario'!) which will focus on a dog's breakfast of ideas for game scenarios. To be honest these will be pretty rough concepts, not fully-developed or necessarily ready-to-play, but I hope that they might inspire others to take them to the next level and actually try them out. Anyway, I'll give it a whirl and see where it goes.

First up: some orderly, courtly and courteous slaughter from the Hundred Years War...


24 comments:

  1. I share a similar affliction - designing game tables and modifications to such that rarely ever see the wood shop. Perhaps I'm on a quest to design the "perfect" table.....

    Madness

    Hmmmm, I wonder if posting on your qualifies this for "Group Therapy"?

    Miles

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    1. Oh, I'm positive that with the right spin we could get some kind of government funding...

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  2. A perfect scenario - it's like the dark matter of wargaming. Always possible, but just needs a little more tweaking...

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    1. Absolutely! Usually its the tweaking that kills them. It seems simplest ones often work the best.

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  3. Curt

    My name is Peter and I'm also addicted to scenarios.....

    Looking forward to your output.

    Cheers
    PD

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    1. Thanks Peter! You should as you'll probably be a guinea pig for some of them!

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  4. I too feel your pain, I've got stacks of scenario books, and even more I've found online and printed off. One day i plane you bloody use one!!!

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  5. Oh god! I can't tell you how much paper and colour laser ink I've used from work to print off stuff on the net. Its appalling. I'd probably get sacked. Wait.... my boss is online...

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  6. Good start to a column, made me chuckle.

    If only you had time to play them all. My addiction is buying - ill typically buy twice as much as I need for a system. Never paint it all. I like shopping though.

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    1. Oh, I know! I love the preparation and planning for getting into a period. Getting it finished is often a letdown compared to the build-up.

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    2. I don´t know why, but I agree with you...
      The preparation and planning phase is my favourite, and the next one, the writing of (very interesting, of course) scenarios.

      Is it a pandemic?

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  7. See it's all about the 7 P's...

    Proper Planning Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    and it sucks you in, planning , preparing .. for having fun..

    love it too..

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    1. You said it bro! The devil's in the details. (But wait, we said those are the best bits - is that bad?)

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  8. LOL, yeah I remember that book alright (pictured)... I'm not such a scenario junkie as you appear to be , but do enjoy a good read and I look forward to your output in this... I can certainly concur with Planning for a new project etc though, and certainly usually buy more figures for a period/setting than I ever get round to painting/using...

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  9. There's probably a Twelve Step Program we could enter.... But WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DO THAT!?

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  10. Oh, and I recently passed my first edition Monster Manual on to my son who pours over it constantly - often asking what this monster's or that monster's stats would be in Savage Worlds...

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    1. Very cool! You have to start them young...

      Its such a great book and I remember spending countless nights pouring over it, both dreading and hoping that our DM would match us up against this monster or that.

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  11. Now although relatively new to this most wholesome of hobby I'm already finding myself drawn into the dreaming up of weird and wonderful scenarios so will be avidly reading for inspiration!

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    1. Thanks Michael! I have quite a few waiting in the wings which should keep the blog busy for awhile.

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  12. Ah those were the days, I remember spending hours pouring over d&d books and scenarios, looking through endless modules.....wait that was yestetday!

    We all do it, just enjoy.

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  13. Absolutely! I recall eagerly waiting for a particular module or rulebook release, saving my earnings from mowing lawns and my paper route. Good times!

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  14. Scenarios are just such wonderful things. The times I've been inspired by reading a scenario from someone else - well, I've lost track!! I think the best thing about them is that they're a gateway or window to a point when, perhaps weeks or months away, you're ready to start playing.

    Army chosen, figures acquired, all painting done, units based, research finished, rules purchased (or written), terrain laid, friends assembled and the last thing drawing it all together - the scenario. It's the last key ingredient - gives you balance, aims, objectives, random events….and so on. What a great thing to base a column around….simply fantastic.

    Bravo (again), Curt. Brilliant!

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    1. Thanks Sidney! Yes, to me its often the scenario that will drive the entire project. It really can set the tone/mood for all the subsequent effort. I know my current WWI project was inspired and conceived by a few lines in a book describing a particular skirmish during the Frontier Battles in Belgium. When I first read that passage I knew it all had to be done in black and white - crazy.

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