The Game Has Changed


When I started a blog the assumption was I would write something now and again, somewhat regular. Something about Old School gaming. Yes I am still into that.

Lets step away from RPGs for a moment. Wargames, in specific age of Nelson wargames. The two I’m thinking of are Wooden Ships & Iron Men, and Sails of Glory. Both do the same thing. Tactical level sailing ship battles.

Wooden Ships (Hereafter WS&IM) is very old school You have a hex based board, and the ships are markers that cover two hexes. The movement rules are fairly complex and take the wind into account. You can add complexity right up to crew quality and Captain renown. The game is tracked on a paper document.

Sails of Glory (SoG) uses a table without a board. Ships are beautiful little 1/1000 miniatures. Movement takes the wind into account, but you move using movement cards Every ship has it’s own deck of same. Yes many of the same variables seen in WS&IM are there, but everything is tracked with counters on a ship matrix board. The sheer amount of bits in the game is astounding.

Then expense. WS&IM while 1/1000 ships are cool. (I’m a sucker for miniatures.) the box has everything you need right up to replaying the battle of Trafalgar. SoG has four ships, and additional ones are 20 bucks or more, each. About what I paid for WS&IM. Not only would Trafalgar cost a small fortune, but then you need to store all of that. Ships (somewhat fragile) Cards, matrix boards counters et all.

Is all of that more fun? My jones for minis aside, not really. The pleasure brought by the game itself is about the same. SoG however is designed to continue to pull money out of you. Buying the game is just the start. Once you have that box of WS&IM you have all of it. You might have to copy more ship tracking sheets. Am I an old jaded gamer? Might be. But my wallet is not bottomless. I saw Flames of War and walked away because I didn’t need another drain on my pocket book. No other reason.

Do people expect more…stuff from a wargame? There certainly have been a lot of miniature wargames in that category, and well Avalon Hill the main pusher of the little cardboard counters is long gone.

Conclusion? I don’t have a neat one. The game has changed.

I play different games depending on what I’m feeing.

It’s sheer spectacle and I live the minis and representation of the figures but I also like hex and counter games to an extent. I love Avalon Hill’s Starship Troopers but the stacks of counters make me crazy.

The hex and counter wargames are a different feel.

I’m a sucker for miniatures. I’ll break out sails of GLory and take a few pictures. If you think Starship Troopers is bad.