about project cont.
In general, Armati produces a game of about the right length with an appropriate level of player decision making (in the context of an Umpire controlled historical battle). Clearly, from that departure point, there is a lot that can be done to hone a generic game for a specific period. One of the purposes of this blog is to have a deposit for the discussions and options that go into the final selection.
With my interest in the English Civil War dating from the early 70s, and my collection started in the 1980s, I have lived with Naseby on my doorstep for over a decade (and understanding it has been an outstanding project throughout – such is the impact on leisure time something like the SoA commitment makes). However, when work on the ECW Armati game began a few years ago, it became apparent both that figuring out how to do the game would help me understand the issues of the battle – and that focussing on an individual battle can give a consistent resource for the historical inputs for the game.
Many years ago I said that with any decent set of wargames rules you ought to be able to recreate the important battles of the period. By the same token, clearly some features of any battle will be unique to those events (so will either be part of what the random component is meant to represent, or should be incorporated into a battle specific scenario), other will be typical of the period and should go into the main body of the rules. Making the judgement between what is random, what is unique and what is typical is part of the fascination of wargaming the period. And as ever, the most important source is the history of the period. The history of the period should never be tampered with or set aside purely to provide a more balanced or entertaining game for the players.
The initial aim of the project was to produce a viable set of updates for ECW Armati. That is pretty much sorted. The next and most immediately challenging phase is to build and deliver a working wargame of Naseby and to put this on at Colours 2009 (for the Pike and Shot Society). Hopefully doing Naseby in 2009 will not only advance my understanding of the battle but might also help publicise the very important work of the Naseby appeal – and its rightfully ambitious plan to raise the funds for visitor facilities appropriate to Naseby’s status as one of the most significant battlefields in English History.
What then? Well no project is ever really ‘done’. But then again, there are plenty of other battles that need pages creating for them – from the great fights at Edgehill, Marston Moor etc. to desperate actions like Islip Bridge. And the one advantage of WordPress is that you can create extra pages as your project moves on.